David Richards Q&A

BAR team principal David Richards is a strong supporter of the changes being made to Formula 1 and was happy with yesterday's outcome. Autosport.com caught up with him in the lobby of the Heathrow Hilton Hotel shortly after the FIA meeting

David Richards Q&A


Well I wouldn't say that. I would say that two very significant things have come out of today. The teams collectively with Bernie have come to a financial solution that secures the future of all ten teams in the championship, which has been a concern for everyone. So there is now no uncertainty over any of the teams and there will be 20 cars appearing on the grid from the start of the season to the end of the season.

And secondly, something that is probably more important to many concerned is that a lot of the issues that the fans have been concerned about, traction control areas and other aspects of driver aids have been agreed to be taken off the cars, certainly by 2004, but quite likely before that. And that sends a positive message that Formula 1 is getting its house in order and sorting itself out.


I actually think the whole traction control area is still a difficult problem to police and to resolve. That is why I say there are still technical issues to resolve. But nonetheless it is a major statement. The fans have been out there saying look we want to see the drivers driving these cars, we want to get back to the good old days, we want to go back to pure racing, and that is what it is going to be.


Well that's another aspect of it. I think there is a feeling that more and more these cars are being driven by a bank of engineers behind computers and not by the chaps that are behind the steering wheel. Now whether that is a reality or not we have to dispel that and that is what happened today.


There are going to be winners and losers throughout this and it is going to take a while for us to see who those are going to be. But the biggest winner of all is going to be Formula 1 and as a result of that the fans the world over.


A lot of the proposals that Max has been putting forward today are exactly in line with our philosophy. For instance we launched our new car in Barcelona yesterday and if you read the press releases and you read the positioning of our team for the future we stand firmly behind these proposals.


There won't be any clarity about that. That is a confidential arrangement between Bernie Ecclestone and the teams and that is all anyone needs to know.


We are not going to.


I believe there has to be a solution and if there is a will there is a way in these things. If we apply the minds of all the engineers that have been creating these devices I'm sure we can find an answer to it.


I don't think they have. I honestly don't think so. People naturally take positions when you've got something and you've worked very hard at it and the engineers have done a very good job.

I fully support that and I am sure of my engineers in the team will be very upset about some of the things coming in today. We have worked for two years developing a two-way telemetry system, a very sophisticated one which would be well ahead of what is currently available that wouldn't be on our car until next year. That all goes by the board as of today so there are lots of reason that I would have to feel fairly aggreived about this.

But the reality is that we have to think of the bigger picture, we have to think about Formula 1, we have to put away our own particular vested interests and say look for the once in our lives, the sport has to be first.


I don't necessarily believe that they have all accepted that view but the fact is they are going to have to.

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