Formula 1 stars present and past have spoken out against the top flight's controversial, newly-unveiled sporting and technical regulations – suggesting that 'the need to constantly change the rules of this sport' is risking making things 'problematic not only for the authorities, but also for the spectators'.
The most significant changes to be implemented following Tuesday's meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in Paris are an optional £30 million budget cap for teams – to be introduced from the 2010 campaign onwards – and a new system of determining the destination of the world championship laurels, with the title henceforth to go to the driver with the greatest number of race victories at season's end, not necessarily the most points [see separate story – click here
Alonso, however, has warned the sport's governing body that such changes – the latest in a long line over the past year – risk driving fans away, and he suggested the budget cap in particular should be 'reconsidered'.
“I don't understand the need to constantly change the rules of this sport,” the Spaniard wrote on his personal website. “I think that these types of decisions can only confuse the fans.
“Formula 1 has developed for more than 50 years thanks to the teams, the sponsors, the drivers and, above all, the fans throughout the world, and none of them have been able to put their points-of-view in front of the FIA.
“I'm concerned not so much about the decisions that will affect the season which is about to start but, above all, those that will affect the future of the competition in the coming years.”
Alonso's sentiments broadly mirror those expressed by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) – which has accused the FIA of being 'unilateral' in making choices that have the potential to 'turn on its head the very essence of Formula 1' [see separate story – click here
] – and were backed up by Adrian Sutil, whose Force India outfit and other such cash-strapped teams the budget cap was designed to help.
“I have the feeling that a lot of things constantly change,” the 26-year-old told German broadcaster RTL
. “In the past years there have always been new things.
“It seems to me as if they're desperately trying to make Formula 1 always more interesting and more spectacular. Perhaps they should simply leave everything how it is so that the spectators can get used to everything.”
“Having two different sets of regulations in place at the same time will be problematic not only for the authorities, but also for the spectators,” agreed former grand prix ace-turned-expert commentator Christian Danner, when asked about the budget cap by German news agency SID