Andreas Seidl, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2020

Embedding stewards within teams could help enforce complex F1 rules – Seidl

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In the round-up: McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has praised the possibility of embedding FIA stewards within Formula 1 teams to help enforce the sport’s increasingly complicated rules.

What they say

Seidl was speaking following two major protests at the start of the 2020 F1 season, targeting Mercedes’ DAS and Racing Point’s brake ducts:

What is happening at the moment or the last six months with all the negativity around Formula 1 in terms of protests, do people follow the rules and so on, I think it is in general not good for Formula 1. But we also have to acknowledge that this sport is quite complex.

We have very complex technical regulations, sporting regulations, financial regulations to come in the future, which makes Formula 1 also special but at the same time it’s important that Formula 1 and the FIA ensures that we are all competing according to the same regulations. That’s key to the competition we’re in.

I think there’s no doubt the FIA doing a great job in this and that, and they are the authority to do this policing. But as I said before we have to accept also it’s very, very complex. It’s simply important now also that we as teams give maximum support to FIA to see how we can even improve this policing because we all have no interest in what’s ongoing at the moment with this negativity of protests and so on.

From our point of view we obviously fully support initiatives like the whistle-blowing concept of FIA which I think is something that should be broadcasted and encouraged even more because I think that is one key element to make sure we all compete under the same regulations.

We will also be open to discuss even further initiatives like supporting the FIA to increase even their capacities. For example, in order to police what’s going on at teams and also what’s going on in terms of co-operation between teams. You could also think about ideas like putting permanent stewards at the team bases and so in, embedded into teams, simply to make sure that we have a fair sport.

The way the regulations are at the moment, the way it is also allowed to work together or to have this co-operation between teams makes it even more complex then. It’s already complex enough to police what’s going on at each team. But as soon as you open the door also for these co-operations it gets even more complex. That’s how I see that at the moment.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

There haven’t been many upsides to Covid-19, but the unexpected return of classic tracks like Imola is one of them:

Looking forward to it. Even if the racing may not be that exciting as some people are predicting, it will still be cool to see F1 cars on this circuit again after so long, and we should enjoy it while we can since who knows when or if F1 will come back to Imola again after this year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 23 comments on “Embedding stewards within teams could help enforce complex F1 rules – Seidl”

    1. Pathetic idea, really. A top F1 team spends millions of man-hours developing, designing, procuring, manufacturing, installing, testing and racing highly complex machinery with millions of lines of embedded software in many critical items. To think that one or two individuals could police the whole organization is ludicrous. Dieselgate….remember?

      Loophole devising was created the same instant motor racing came about. And, when teams are so “clever” that the oversight body cannot understand how they are breaking the rules, you come up with a “secret agreement”. Laughable.

      At least Ferrari is paying a high price of being “caught”.

      1. Great idea.
        Takes a special kind of short-sighted individual not to see that.
        Guess that’s why one person is a highly rated team principal with a long list of motorsport successes, while the other is posting comments on online news stories …

        1. Stupid idea.
          Who wants a police man in their house monitoring all their activity. Listening to everything you discuss with your wife or girlfriend.

          1. How is this any different than a slaughterhouse/abbatoir having a health and safety inspector on the floor while the factory is open?

          2. OOliver, that is a very strange comparison – there is a pretty significant difference between a personal relationship and monitoring the activities of a business within the confines of the office environment.

            Do you think it weird to have independent audits of a business to check that they are complying with regulations?

            @svianna I think you’re misunderstanding what Seidl is suggesting – he’s not suggesting that a couple of individuals would be the only means of monitoring those teams, just that it could be one option that would form part of a series of measures to monitor the activities of the team.

            It sounds to me like it would be more of a case of those individuals checking the team complies with specific activities (e.g. the wind tunnel testing restrictions), rather than monitoring the team as a whole.

            1. My takeaway from what Seidl is saying, and I’ll include what Zak Brown has spoken on too, is that they are thinking moreso of the degree of copying by Racing Point of last year’s Mercedes. Sure Seidl has mentioned protests over the last 6 months, and he would be referring to Ferrari’s secret deal, Racing Point tracing last year’s Mercedes but Renault protesting their brake ducts, and more recently Haas‘ penalty for formation lap instructions.

              But to me Seidl is moreso highlighting what he is calling cooperation between teams, which makes me think he believes Racing Point has done more than take great pics of the Mercedes car. He seems to me at least to be implying Mercedes did indeed help Racing Point. I’m not sure what other ‘cooperation’ he would be referring to from recent months as we are well past the fact that Ferrari and RBR have their junior teams, and those haven’t taken a sudden leap up the grid.

              So to me what Seidl is saying is that if extreme copying can now take place due to latest greatest technology for doing that, perhaps they need to monitor more closely this behaviour which appears to go quite beyond just buying a pu makers rear end and integrating it into one’s own chassis. At least beyond enough that it does indeed raise questions amongst the viewing audience (and obviously some teams) that may be harmful to the image of the sport.

    2. Please allow me to clarify: F1 enjoys airbridge status with Spain due to its zero worker Covid record. Thus tourists will be subject to quarantines the way the regulations now stand, but not F1 personnel. That is the present situation and according to my sources it’s unlikely to change.

      1. Thanks for that more detailed explanation, that makes sense. And it is certainly good news for F1.

    3. Re: cotd completely agree. Imola was always my favourite track in sims, really pleased it’s back on the calendar.

      Still, paywalls suck and I’m never going to experience it in all its glory through race highlight clips…

      1. János Henkelmann
        27th July 2020, 1:03

        Just find yourself a decent stream, man :)

    4. Instead of “the sport’s increasingly complicated rules,” maybe it is high time to think about introducing a simple, clear, transparent, coherent, self-consistent and obvious set of rules that would make the life of all parties involved. I guess it’s easier to say and ask for than actually working it out, but trying to fix a fundamentally disfunctional system seems to me like a short sighted eye-service, but obviously the point of view of simple followers and insider professionals might be quite different.

    5. InfoBae article is not in portuguese, looks like catalan to me.

      1. looks like it is just argentinian spanish.

    6. Surely with a cost cap the need for such detailed rules is unnecessary. The cost constraint increasingly levels the playing field and so far fewer rules are needed. A few parameters and let the teams get on with it.

      Innovation and initiative for the life blood of F1.

      Of course the rule makers will not be keen to simplify the rules as it takes away their access, power, influence and prestige. But such simplification of the rules would of itself be a cost saving for teams removing hours of compliance management every day..

    7. The sport might be complex but the FIA makes the rules and the policing of said rules unnecessarily convoluted.

    8. Seidl’s comments do seem rather odd or even naive. Surely the people working in an F1 team, certainly the ones calling the shots (e.g. race strategy), are intelligent enough to grasp the rules. But – caveat: putting on tinfoil hat – maybe there is a clever hidden agenda here. A steward permanently embedded within a particular team is also closer to that team and may lose some of his/her objectivity. That way, a team could have someone on their side within the stewarding group. Then again, maybe I have read too many spy or mystery books and Seidl’s comments are indeed to be taken at face value.

      1. Since most arrangements, if given the time and resources, can be made to work, I suspect that this one could. BUT … I would agree, a stupid idea.
        Effectively you wind up with 10 stewards, one located at each team or at least assigned to each team, with some additional supervision and coordination and the number is now up to 12 or more. And all this while, I thought the objective was to reduce costs..??
        Can just see a team asking “their guy”, “we want to do this and mount this here, can we?” At this point the assigned steward either says yes, no or I will get beck to you. What if the answer is yes and another team at the next race files an objection? This is just one minor scenario. Expand it by a factor of 10 and it will get really messy.
        The only way it may work is that an assigned steward must take all issues to a central decision body. Doesn’t that sound like what is in place now.?
        Yes, an interesting idea, but all I can think of …”it’s NUTS.”

    9. Tuero looked like he was bombing it down that avenue

    10. Correct me if I’m wrong, but a new layout for the Singapore GP has been in the news since the inaugural race. Still waiting for things to happen…

    11. How about make rules less complex?

    12. I hope they don’t make any significant changes to the Singapore track layout as I think it’s fine as it is & has produced a fair bit of good racing over the years on top of providing a challenge for both car & driver.

      I also don’t see what changes you could really makes without either taking away spots that have provided good action of the years or reducing the overall challenge of the circuit.

      You often see bypassing the 16/17/18/19 section & just having a straight run from turns 14/20, But you often see some good opportunistic overtaking at turns 16/17 & turns 18/19 are quite tricky & we tend to see a lot of mistakes happen there so i’d rather not see that section changed.

      1. @stefmeister I would be in favor of going from T14 straight to T20 bypassing the the section in front of the floating football-field grandstand.

    13. Yes, this is a stupid idea. Mainly because the F! rules and the FIA are out of control. They’ve built a set of rules and regulations that they cannot even enforce themselves. They cannot inspect the cars on race day because of their complexity. That just lets teams do whatever they want until another team catches them at it.
      And now we have the FIA making secret deals with Ferrari over their engine? And now, after the secret agreement it seems that Ferrari has some sort of power disadvantage. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Someone once said that if you see a “coincidence”, it just means you don’t have enough information. And how about all of the extra money that the FIA pays to Ferrari for nothing more than showing up, year after year. It’s obscene and a disgrace. And it’s no surprise at the number of people that hate Ferrari because of it.
      F1 and the FIA are corrupt and unethical organizations that need to be changed.

    Comments are closed.