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Horner: F1 meeting must be decisive

2015-07-01 08:23

F1 ON THE LINE: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner (left) talks with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. The duo face a daunting meeting over the sports future. Image: AFP/ Mark Thompson

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - Formula 1 needs to make real strategic decisions at its meeting today (July 1 2015) after talking a lot about change and delivering little.

That's the view of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, speaking at a pre-2015 British F1 GP event near the team's headquarters in central England

"It's a crucial meeting tomorrow," he said on June 30. "Really, some actions need to come out of it. The time for talking has come and gone. There needs to be definitive actions after the meeting."

URGENCY OF F1'S FUTURE

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The sport's Strategy Group, which includes six leading teams (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Williams and Force India) along with the commercial rights holder and governing FIA, is due to meet in London before the sport gathers at Silverstone this weekend.

Previous meetings have produced meagre results, with the main headline-grabbing decision from the last one being a return to refuelling -- an idea which now lacks support.

Concerned about dwindling audiences, even though Silverstone expects a record crowd of 140,000 on Sunday thanks to the local pulling power of world champion Lewis Hamilton, the sport wants to make cars lighter, noisier, faster and more aggressive looking from 2017.

"There is definitely some urgency to see some improvements made, to make it a more exciting sport," Donald Mackenzie, chairman of commercial rights holders CVC, told motorsport.com separately.

Red Bull's partners Renault, and others, also want to be allowed to develop their engines during 2016 to close the gap on Mercedes.

However Horner said the group, which he dismissed only a week ago as 'inept', needed to look at the bigger picture more than the detail.

"The whole purpose of that group is to decide the strategic direction of the sport in the future, it's not there to finalise regulations," said Horner, who has advocated appointing an independent and highly respected figure such as former principal Ross Brawn to help write the rules.

"What we need to do is all get onto the same page. It's a key element to tomorrow's meeting," said Horner. "There are some concepts that will be put on the table tomorrow and I think it's important we converge on a majority position.

"It's time to take some action now. We've talked a lot, and now we need to dictate a strategic direction for the sport. That's what we need to focus on and achieve out of tomorrow's meeting." (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Lovell)

The sport's Strategy Group, which includes six leading teams (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Williams, Force India) along with the commercial rights holder and governing International Automobile Federation (FIA), is due to meet in London before the sport gathers at the Silverstone track this weekend (July 4/5).

Previous meetings produced meagre results though one headline-grabbing decision from the previous one being a return to refuelling -- an idea which now lacks support.

Concerned about dwindling audiences (even though Silverstone expects a record crowd of 140 000 on Sunday (July 5) thanks to the local pulling power of British F1 champion Lewis Hamilton) the sport wants to make cars lighter, noisier and faster in 2017.

Donald Mackenzie, chairman of commercial rights holders CVC, told motorsport.com: "There is some urgency to see improvements, to make it more exciting." 

Red Bull's engine partner Renault, and others, also want to be allowed to develop their engines during 2016 to close the gap to Mercedes but Horner said the group, which he dismissed only a week ago (June 2015) as "inept", needed to look at the bigger picture.

READ: Branson warns of F1's funeral

Horner said: "The whole purpose of that group is to decide the strategic direction of the sport in the future - it's not there to finalise regulations."

Horner has advocated appointing an independent and highly respected figure such as former team principal Ross Brawn to help to write the rules. "We need to all get on the same page. It's a key element to tomorrow's meeting. There are some concepts that will be put on the table - we must converge on a majority position.

"It's time to take action. We've talked a lot, now we need to dictate a strategic direction for the sport."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.


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