The Formula One strategy group that convened last month to help find measures to cut costs at the event was unable to reach any form of consensus, and did not achieve one of its other key aims – to find, or at the very least, theorize improvements to the sport.
Comprised of the top six teams at Formula One, 5 of these teams: Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Williams are in place for historical reasons, with the 6th spot to the leading team outside the top 4. While other teams have a say at the F1 Commission, where all teams are represented, there will be no way to block any decisions, and it is for this reason that the committe has been described by various people involved with Formula One as ‘undemocratic’.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has now publicly called for the Strategy Group to be disbanded, saying that the process was ‘too democratic’ – “as long as teams put their own interests first”, no decisions would be reached and “nothing would get done.” He called for the FOM (Formula One Management), which is the company in charge of the commercial part of Formula One, and motorsport governing body FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) to take the principal role in making decisions related to the sport.
In an interview with Autosport, Bernie was scathing of the group.
“It’s bloody difficult for the constructors to come up with anything.
If you were Mercedes you wouldn’t want anything changed.
At last month’s Strategy Group meeting nothing was decided – not even the date of the next meeting.
We could have voted on something then and put it through, but nothing.”
sBernie referred to Jean Todt, saying that he would stand by any decisions the FIA President made as long as they were sensible, and expected Todt’s support if he, as CEO of the FOM did the same.
"Between us we should say 'these are the rules of the championship,” said Bernie. “If you want to be in it, great, if you don't, we understand'."
Several Formula One fans have lauded Bernie’s decision, as the Strategy Group is restrictive in its very membership, and teams tend to work in their own best interests rather than towards the common goal of improving the sport.