Drivers urge caution over rules shake-up

There has been a lukewarm reaction among grand prix drivers to a raft of possible changes that could totally revamp Formula 1 in the future

Drivers urge caution over rules shake-up

Among the most exciting - and fanciful - is the suggestion that drivers would actually have to swap cars throughout the season in an attempt to create a level playing field and a genuine drivers' championship.

Drivers would be contracted to the FIA rather than to teams, and as well as generating enormous interest on a week-to-week basis, it would drive down salaries as a driver's main income could then be generated directly via his performances. Success ballast is another potential development.

"I know that there have been speculative ideas, some of them a bit silly," McLaren's David Coulthard said in Japan today (Thursday). "But thought is what is required. The knee-jerk reaction of putting in ballast and trying to handicap those that have done a better job, to improve the show, I don't think is right. I think it goes against what F1 stands for, which is a set of regulations rewarding the cleverest minds and the best budgets do the best job."

British American Racing's Olivier Panis joked: "Well, I definitely want to swap my car with Rubens' [Barrichello] but I don't think he'd want that! But I feel sure we need something, but it's very complicated. I think it would be quite a good idea if the drivers spoke with Max [Mosley] and Bernie [Ecclestone] maybe, because there will be different ideas. Also, we need to be fair to the best teams. I don't think ballast is the answer."

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