The leaders of four Formula 1 teams have expressed their concern about Ferrari’s hopes of retaining its veto right under the revised regulations in 2021, calling it “silly” and “outdated”.

Ferrari has held a veto over possible rule changes in F1 for a number of decades as part of its commercial agreement to race in the sport, but this is under threat upon a revision of the Concorde Agreement for 2021. 

Ferrari F1 chief Mattia Binotto said earlier this month that keeping the veto was “important” to Ferrari as it was “protecting all the teams against decisions which could be against the spirit or the interest of the teams themselves”.

However, Williams F1 deputy team principal Claire Williams said she felt Ferrari retaining the veto did not make sense.

“I think it’s just silly, if I’m being honest,” Williams said.

“I have a problem in our sport anyway in the fact that I feel it’s too democratic. I’ve been quite open about that. I feel F1 and the FIA should take more ownership of the regulations. We run it too much in a collegiate way which is detrimental, as we all have our own agendas.

“We need to be looking at this sport and its sustainability into the future, and protecting it and protecting the true DNA of that. By doing that my committee, I think it can be very difficult.

“I really don’t feel that one team should have a veto. That makes no sense to me.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner echoed Williams’ thoughts, saying the idea of the veto was “pretty outdated”.

“You can view it two ways. You can say it’s a safety net for them representing the teams, but ultimately they’re representing Ferrari,” Horner said.

“Probably, if we’re going for a clean sheet of paper, it would make sense for it not to be there, and as Claire says, same rules for everyone.”

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul and McLaren CEO Zak Brown both said that while Ferrari’s importance to F1 must be recognised, it should be done so outside of the regulations.

“I think we need Formula 1 to be progressive rather than defensive, and an ability to block due process that can be perceived or decided on what is positive for the sport would be not good,” Abiteboul said.

“We completely recognise the specific value of Ferrari to the sport, but that can be reflected probably in the commercial area rather than in the governance.”

Brown added: “Formula 1 themselves want to do what is in the best interests of the sport, which I think is ultimately in the best interest of all of us, so we’re best having our own individual negotiations when and if that is appropriate.

“As Cyril said, I think Ferrari bring a tremendous amount to the sport, and that can be recognised in other ways.”

 

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