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FIA must consider simplification of F1 regulations – McLaren

The FIA should consider simplifying its Formula 1 regulations to ease the complexity faced by teams and the governing body itself, according to McLaren boss Andrea Stella.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

After completing a review of the leadership structure at McLaren, new team principal Stella has reappointed former sporting director Gil de Ferran as a non-executive consultant.

This move has been partially prompted by the way the “regulatory framework has become more complicated”. Stella cited the introduction of the cost cap as a key contributing factor.

He said: “The process of innovation and evolution that we have started at McLaren had some priorities that we identified relatively quickly.

“They had to do with the technical area, aerodynamics. But when you start to look into a Formula 1 team, that's a very complex entity.

“Especially nowadays, I would say even the regulatory framework has become more complicated than in the past. Think about the financial regulations.

“So, one element that we also wanted to address is that we want to have enough capacity at the leadership level to look into all the opportunities that you have.”

With teams having recruited to their financial departments to boost spending oversight to stay within the cost cap limits, and the FIA taking until late October 2022 to penalise Red Bull for exceeding the budget in 2021, Stella reckons now is the time to streamline the legislation.

He said of the rulebook: “It is very complex and it is complex for all parties. It is complex for the teams and is complex even for the FIA.

“If you think of the financial regulations, if you think how long it takes for the FIA to actually check the declaration, the submissions, it takes months and this is acknowledged.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

“There's actually a workstream that we all share as teams. Certainly, we support as McLaren, that is promoted by the FIA, of simplification of the regulations.”

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has previously spoken of a need to improve resources to boost the body’s capacity to effectively oversee the technical and financial framework.

Scrutiny of this ability was enhanced by Aston Martin overturning a five-second reprimand handed to Fernando Alonso in Saudi Arabia over the way a pitstop penalty was served.

Aston founded its successful appeal case by citing conflicting precedent, which left the FIA open to criticism over its implementation of the regulations.

Stella said of a push to simplify the rules: “That's a direction that we definitely should take because, at the moment, it makes leading and managing Formula 1 teams quite complicated.

“This is certainly more complicated than it was in the past, but it's also more complicated also for the FIA.”

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