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“Now, of course, the uni­ver­sal re­frain is: ‘We should have capped power unit prices’”

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

e should have…” – the most overused phrase heard in con­tem­po­rary F1 cir­cles. Those three words con­vey the con­fu­sion sown by the sport’s gov­er­nance sys­tem, which re­lies on the sort of last-minute brinkman­ship that falls squarely in the ga­methe­ory cat­e­gory most re­cently prac­ticed by bleary-eyed politi­cians de­bat­ing ‘Grexit’. When­ever a team nd them­selves dis­ad­van­taged by ill-dened reg­u­la­tions – sport­ing or tech­ni­cal – the im­me­di­ate re­tort is in­vari­ably: “We should have thought of this when fram­ing the rules, but now it’s too late and we’re stuck with it.”

Take the cur­rent en­gine reg­u­la­tions: Con­ceived dur­ing V8 en­gine price freezes in 2009 un­der the pre­vi­ous FIA ad­min­is­tra­tion, the pro­posal was chopped, then changed. Congu­ra­tion switched from in-line 4 to V6; high-pres­sure fuel sys­tems re­for­mu­lated and turbo specications amended; and then in­tro­duc­tion was de­layed a year. Yet, in­cred­i­bly, at no stage did any party to the process con­sider im­pos­ing price caps.

This de­spite the se­vere nan­cial cri­sis in which F1 found it­self at the time, a pe­riod of ex­o­dus by man­u­fac­tur­ers, spon­sors and so­le­tyre sup­plier alike; a pe­riod of huge down­siz­ing

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