Pat Symonds warns F1 against 'doing a Ratner' amid debate over 2014 rule changes

Williams technical chief insists F1 had to change to stay relevant

By Sky Sports Online.   Last Updated: 05/04/14 12:24pm

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Amid the ongoing debate over whether F1's 2014 'rules reset' has done more harm than good, Williams' Pat Symonds has argued that the sport should collectively start 'focusing on the positives' of the changes.

Both the nature and timing of F1's switch to a more fuel-efficent, turbo engine formula has been criticised from both leading figures inside the paddock and fans with Ferrari this week publishing a highly-damning fans' survey on the current state of F1.

But speaking in the Team Principals' Press Conference in Bahrain, Symonds, one of the paddock's most experienced and respected figures, made the case that F1 needed to change to stay relevant and warned the sport against emulating jeweler Gerald Ratner in publicly lambasting its own product.

Watch the video above to hear Symonds make his case.

Symonds wasn't the only technical boss to speak out in favour of the new rules. Mercedes Executive Director (Technical) Paddy Lowe said: "I was very interested in Pat's Ratner comment because we've seen a little bit of that going on and I don't understand it because I think there are so many positives around this formula.

"For an engine to deliver similar power to last year, with more than 30 per cent less fuel consumption, I think this is just an incredible achievement and it's something we should celebrate."

However, Red Bull's Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey questioned both how 'green' the new fuel efficient formula actually is and its place in F1.

"When you get into things like batteries then an electric car is only green if it gets its power from a green source," he said. "If it gets its power from a coal-fired power station then clearly it's not green at all.

"A hybrid car, which is effectively what the Formula 1 regulations are then a lot of energy goes into manufacturing those batteries and into the cars which is why they're so expensive.

"I think technically, to be perfectly honest, it's slightly questionable. From a sporting point of view, to me, efficiency, strategy etc, economy of driving, is very well placed for sportscars, which is a slightly different way of going racing.

"Formula 1 should be about excitement. It should be about man and machine performing at its maximum every single lap."

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