Horner wants F1 to focus on ‘modern day chariot racers’

Red Bull principal Christian Horner says that forthcoming rule changes should aim to spotlight the skills of the drivers rather than the development prowess of the teams.

Formula 1 is currently thrashing out new technical, sporting and commercial rule changes to take effect in 2021 under a new Concord Agreement. But Horner is worried that this risks making the designers and engineers even more important to the outcome of races than they are now.

“The concept of what they are looking at should put more inference on the driver to be a bigger variable than he or she currently can be,” he said last week.

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“That’s what Formula 1 desperately needs,” he stressed. “It needs the drivers very much to be the stars, to be modern day chariot racers.

“We [must] have wheel-to-wheel, exciting, and to a degree unpredictable racing, because serial winning like we have at the moment [isn’t what people want.]

“The teams in many respects are getting too good at predicting the outcome of a weekend with the updates they introduce,” he explained.

“Hats off to Mercedes, they’ve done a better job than anybody to be in the position they are,” he conceded. “It’s up to us, the teams competing against Mercedes, to close that gap down.

“But hopefully the technical regulations will be the biggest driver to shuffle that around and change that, and hopefully introduce more variance.

The new technical rules are supposed to be finalised by the end of this month, with the commercial and sporting regulations following later in the year.

“I think for 2021 it’s a clean sheet of paper, it will be a big regulation change and I think one of the things that we debated is that you need to be a little bit careful.

“If you release very early regulations then quite the teams that have more resource quite simply put that resource earlier on than the smaller teams.

“It’s about finding that balance of when is the right time for full regulations to be released.

“I think the cars will be a lot simpler. Inevitably teams will get it right and teams will get it wrong,” he added.

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