Time for an F1 Tsar


Christian Horner’s latest idea to save Formula One was revealed this weekend in Austria. He believes an ‘independent advisor’ who knows Formula One inside out but has no vested interest in the sport should be appointed.

“Maybe you need an independent, someone who isn’t currently involved, some body like a Ross Brawn that understands the business, and understands the challenges, to write a specification of what a car and a set of technical regulations should be.”

This is not so much a new Horner notion, but rather an extension of a previous one broadly entitled: ‘The FIA and Bernie should decide on the regulations… give the teams a form… say sign here or bugger off’.

Red Bull Racing are floundering and so it appears is Christian. On what basis will another voice or an ‘advisor’ – whether independent or not – break the current F1 strategy group deadlock?

Jean Todt offered to provide an F1 commissioner when on the hustings chasing his first term in office as President of the FIA. Bernie Ecclestone preferred having a formal say on things – the FIA needed money – and so the F1 strategy group was created.

Yet some kind of F1 commissioner or tsar is exactly what the sport requires since Jean Todt has admitted F1 consumes less than 10% of his time.

However, this commissioner must be given proper resources and the ability to drive decisions through. Even if this means less bendy body bits Christian, or a sport where mechanical grip is more important than aerodynamics.

It’s amusing who is calling for what is in effect a return to the old days where Max Mosley ruled the roost.

Then, Bernie lobbied Max and the FIA along with the teams and Max then made a decision.

That mechanism of governance for Formula One somehow doesn’t look quite so bad now after all.

12 responses to “Time for an F1 Tsar

  1. The sport is currently run by the top teams, the top teams have all negotiated deals to get $10m’s more than the smaller teams simply for turning up.

    There is the problem, allowing those who gain from winning to chose the rules and to stack the pack in their favour.

    How it’s not already been part of a major investigation and rebellion who knows!

  2. Before Mr. Horner throws the baby out with the bathwater, it might be time for us F1 consumers to have a primer on F1 governance.

    Do we still have the Technical Working Group (TWG) and the Sporting Working Group (SWG)?

    The TWG used to consist of a technical director from each team.

    If the TWG and SWG still exist, who receives their proposals? Must it be the strategy group, or can it go to the F1 commission or the FIA WMSC?

    If anything were to pass a vote by the strategy working group, then where does it go to?

    • Yes to TWG at least as far as engines. Believe mention was made in Canada TP when questions were raised. I believe at this point it goes to Strategy Group where they will beat it to death with a club.

  3. It’s all about the agreements in place. If they need to be changed, it’ll cost money (on paper).

    But the problems with the sport are big and I think some are testing the water but nobody dares to really stir things up.

  4. “since Jean Todt has admitted F1 consumes less than 10% of his time.”

    The other 90% is spent each day trying to figure out how to check his email inbox….

  5. What about a duo? Berger and Brawn. There’d be no nonesense between them and plenty of racing experience and knowledge of F1’s inner workings.

      • I’d be too if I could.
        But really, I get the sense both would be perfectly attuned to commercial/promotional needs without forcing the teams into lose/lose self-destructive accords. And they could easily call Todt on his apathy and omission.
        Like Bernie said, it will be impossible to find one guy to manage F1, but maybe it just takes two savy guys to put teams and FIA in check while protecting the sport from predatory promotion.

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