The Formula 1 teams are all of the opinion that the new aero regulations are good and need not be doubted. Everyone agrees with them, except Aston Martin.
Otmar Szafnauer’s team complained several times in the first two races that the new changes to the ground rules, which are designed to reduce downforce, penalize low rake concept cars excessively.
Szafnauer said the difference in performance between the high-rake and low-rake cars could be as much as a second per lap and that would not be in line with the rules. According to him, the FIA’s aim should be to ensure equality of opportunity. But this is not the case. That is why they want to take legal action against the rule change if they have to.
These complaints are well-founded, but they do not find favor with the other teams. They think that the FIA and Formula 1 are taking an important step in the direction of “equal opportunities”.
Mattia Binotto, team principal of Ferrari, said: “There is a governance in place and if you need to change aero rules, you need to go through that governance. As Ferrari, we believe what was said on the safety reasons was the proper choice. But more than that, that choice was discussed at the time, with all technical directors, in the Technical Advisory Committee. We all converged to that regulation, and no one was raising at the time any concerns.”
Andreas Seidl, team principal of McLaren, added: “I think from our point of view it was a clear transparent process how these regulations came into force for this year. So, I don’t see any reason or also any way for a rule change now for this year.”
Otmar Szafnauer said after the Imola Grand Prix that a major conflict with the FIA was to be avoided and that the options were being weighed up first: “At this point, I’m pretty satisfied that all the correct steps were followed,” he explained. “I mean, we’re still in discussion. We’re just trying to discover what all the steps were to make sure that it was done properly, and equitably. So that’s the reason for the discussion.”