Force India team principal Vijay Mallya has criticised the structure of F1’s decision making body - the Strategy Group - which allow teams to formulate rules according to their own agendas.
The Strategy Group comprise of FIA, FOM and six teams, with the trio granted six votes each. Although Force India is a temporary member of the body, it feels its position is too insignificant to make a major impact. This was proved recently when the group voted for a string of changes for 2017 season, with each adding to the cost of going racing.
“F1 is overly democratic,’’ Mallya was quoted by F1’s official website. “There are teams in the Strategy Group that are extremely inflexible - they only want to protect their own position. So we have to live with what the Strategy Group decides, which effectively means that we all have to live with what the big teams decide. We have our views and we clearly express them, but we are steamrollered by the big four and that is the rule-making process.”
“The way Formula One is run now - with the Strategy Group - teams are in fact running Formula One. They discuss anything from technical regulations to revenue distribution, etcetera, and that's it.”
Mallya compared Formula 1 with other global sports where decision making power lies either with the promoters and/or the governing body.
“This is one of the few sports where the teams have such a big say in its running. In all other sports you have a promoter - which is FOM - and you have a regulator - which is the FIA. Between them they decide the set of rules and tell all participants: here you are - these are the rules. You've got to comply with them and get on with the championship,” he added.
The liquor baron feels that the sport should focus on increasing its fan base, amid dwindling trackside and TV audiences.
“First, focus on the entertainment and the growth of the sport,’’ the 59 year old suggested. “You want more fans, more spectators, and more viewers. That would make the revenue increase. Secondly, make it sustainable for all teams so that big and small can comfortably survive and compete.”
“It is also unfortunate that we are losing some venues - Germany is gone this year. We have top German drivers competing and that makes it even more difficult to understand why Germany has no race.”