Just when you thought that the principal movers and shakers of Formula 1 had finally achieved the impossible and actually agreed on something along comes the news that the manufacturers and teams, or at least those that wield the most muscle, are suddenly not at all happy with what they agreed to weeks ago and now want that agreement "discussed further".

To recap a little, series owners Liberty Media and the sport's governing body the FIA came up with a set of new engine regulations to come into force for the 2021 season and into the future.

These proposed regulations were grudgingly and reluctantly accepted by the major engine manufacturers as being in the best interests of the sport.

The intention of these new engine protocols was to simplify the units and thereby make them cheaper to build and in turn that would encourage new manufacturers into the sport.


Incidentally the changes included making the engines sound better, in part due to the abandonment of the incredibly complicated MGU-H, which in simple terms is the energy recovery system that magically converts heat from the exhausts into electrical energy.
Of course Formula 1 being what it is this MGU-H, like much of the power unit, is also fantastically expensive, occasionally problematical and massively complex.

So all was good, all agreed and all sorted? Well, not quite.

Since these regulations were agreed the manufacturers note that there has been no great rush of potential new engine builders showing much interest in entering the sport.
In fact none at all.

So, they now say, what is the point of changing the rules, in fact in Mercedes boss Toto Wolff's words "….just for the benefit of redesigning an engine without anybody else entering doesn't make a lot of sense," and on the face of it that statement could be true.

However, a few things stand out here.

Once any new engines have been produced and raced under these already agreed new regulations it could easily be the case that new manufacturers would see that they work then come in and join the grid.

It will also be beneficial that the new engines are expected to be considerably cheaper for the smaller teams to buy, even though there are now not that many teams running without manufacturer support.

The main point to me is that, in plain language, the tail now seems to be wagging the dog.


There are many things the FIA has done or has introduced, that have seemed ridiculous and I have my own views, as we all do, about the current power units but the overriding fact is that the organisation is the governing body of the sport.

It is they, in conjunction with Liberty Media (I repeat - the sports actual owners) who should be the sole arbiter of the rules and regulations governing the sport and if any of the players do not like the rules they should be reminded that it is not compulsory to come out and play.

The competitors, as in any sport, ought not be dictating to the sport's owners and rule makers about what they will and will not accept. This also applies to any rules that are being initiated to encourage overtaking by standardising the front wings and other aerodynamic parts or in fact any other regulations that the FIA and Liberty decide to bring in to improve the show because, despite a very exciting season and some well above average races lately, that show does need improving and bowing to the self interest of the manufacturers and teams is clearly not the way that is going to happen.

Harking back to the days of Mr Bernie Ecclestone; he managed to lift the sport from the severe doldrums to the richest sport in the world and he did that by manipulation, very shrewd business acumen, and a negotiating brilliance with one goal in mind. To make the sport the greatest it could be and along the way it may well earn him the odd billion or two.

He did not necessarily bother himself with engine rules, aero bits and pieces and the like but what he did do was rule. He ruled in the manner of a beneficent dictator but he ruled and what he said was generally what actually happened and he understood what entertainment was.

I think Liberty are trying to do the best they can but now it must be time to let the teams and manufacturers know just who is the top dog in this playground and impose the rules as they see fit.