The Formula One Strategy Group is set to remain part of the structure of the sport, despite calls from smaller teams that the system is undemocratic.
Made up of the top teams – Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari, Williams and Force India; along with the FIA and FOM’s Bernie Ecclestone future plans for the sport are discussed and then processed to the F1 Commission to write into the rule book.
It was the Strategy Group which came up with the alternative qualifying format we saw at the start of the season, along with cost reduction and the new 2017 technical regulations. Some of which have been successful, and we will see next year if the new technical regulations promote better racing.
In an interview with Autosport, William’s Claire Williams believes that the current structure will stay, at least for the moment with no viable alternative currently on the table,
“It has pushed through some good things. What’s the alternative?
“Bernie [Ecclestone] has six [votes], [FIA president] Jean [Todt] has six and the teams have six but they listen to us.
“I have never experienced a case where they have just gone ‘no’ and bulldozed us. Apart from qualifying.
“But that was resolved pretty quickly. We did all stand up and stay no and they did agree to us.”
The smaller teams, most notably Sauber would like more equality and an even playing field for the series. Talking to Blick Newspaper in Switzerland, Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn outlined her concerns with the current system:
“Take the Premier League in England. There, last place in the championship gets only slightly less money than the champion, because the big ones already have an advantage with more sponsorship and advertising revenue.
“With a system like that, a club like Leicester can win the title. But in Formula 1, the big teams get multiples more than the smaller teams. The distribution of money and privileges when it comes to the rules are a distortion of competition.”
She did however give a commitment that the team would remain in Formula One, despite their financial problems and not move to competing series such as Formula E or the World Endurance Championship.