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Aston Martin could sue FIA over rule changes - Szafnauer

Aston Martin could sue FIA over rule changes - Szafnauer

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Aston Martin could sue FIA over rule changes - Szafnauer

Aston Martin could sue FIA over rule changes - Szafnauer
Will Gray & Ian Parkes

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has refused to rule out taking the FIA to court due to regulation changes that have severely hindered his team and Formula 1 champions Mercedes this season.

A series of modifications made last year have reduced the downforce available from the rear floor which has harmed teams with low-rake cars, including Aston Martin.

The modifications have taken the team from race winners last season, when it was known as Racing Point, to the lower end of the midfield, while Mercedes has lost its clear advantage over its rivals.

While the changes were made for safety reasons given the downforce was becoming too great for Pirelli's tyres, Szafnauer has questioned the overall motive.

"It's hard to know the intent," Szafnauer told Sky Sports F1. "That's a question for the FIA.

"The regulation change that was made for safety reasons, that type of governance rests solely with the FIA."

Szafnauer has additionally implied the FIA was not alone in the alteration of the rules and that people within F1's aero department were also involved.

"Yeah, that type of regulation change solely rests with the FIA," repeated Szafnauer. "They're the experts."

As to the next steps, the 56-year-old said: "The right thing to do is have the discussions with the FIA and find out exactly what happened and why and see if there is something that can be done to make it more equitable.

“We, as a team, have to work hard to try to claw back everything we can but at the same time we should be having the discussions with the FIA to see if anything can be done to make it a bit more equitable.”

Pressed further as to whether the team could sue the FIA if it does not obtain the right to amend its car, Szafnauer added: “I think we get to that point after the discussions. It’s hard to predict. The right thing to do is see what can be done.”

When contacted by GPFans Global for a response, an FIA spokesperson said: "It's normal for the FIA to talk regularly to the teams on a variety of topics relating to the regulations."

The spokesperson would not be drawn into a comment regarding potential legal action.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff suggests deeper dive

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, meanwhile, also insisted the issue “needs to be looked at” but steered away from controversy and refused to be drawn on the chances of joining Aston Martin in further protest.

Wolff explained: “I think this is a tricky subject because you need to have the full picture before making any comment.

“What we’ve seen in our data is that the change in regulations has harmed the low- rake cars more than the higher-rake cars but you won’t see that one every circuit.

“If you have your car balanced and in the right window, which is difficult to get into, then your performance will be okay but relative when you look at it over the year, definitely a hit."

Believing all details must be considered before any further action, Wolff added: "It's more nuanced than that.

"Since April there was a bunch of decisions and regulatory changes, tyres were introduced, and obviously lots of discussions.

“I think the nuances have to come to a point to say ‘Was there any decision that went against a particular concept of car and wasn’t there?’ and I think it needs to be looked at.”

What do you think?
altabill

As it happens and with the real reason why the floor design spec was changed to be the inability of the tires to withstand the downforce and associated stress being put on them isn't it a little like "the tail wagging the dog"?? Shouldn't the FIA have demanded that Pirelli design a better tire or have a different supplier take a shot at it? That aside it appears that the decision to change the floor design was a unilateral one with no discussion with the car makers. Pretty draconian, isn't it?

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altabill
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Dec 2020
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altabill

As it happens and with the real reason why the floor design spec was changed to be the inability of the tires to withstand the downforce and associated stress being put on them isn't it a little like "the tail wagging the dog"?? Shouldn't the FIA have demanded that Pirelli design a better tire or have a different supplier take a shot at it? That aside it appears that the decision to change the floor design was a unilateral one with no discussion with the car makers. Pretty draconian, isn't it?

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