Renault fears innovation in F1 could be stiffled by regulation change

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Formula 1 teams may be less inclined to push ahead with innovative ideas due to the increased threat of it being banned, Renault believes.

After a future rule change, announced by F1 motorsport director Ross Brawn earlier this year, a concept, such as Mercedes' DAS system, would be declared illegal if the other nine teams voted to do so, as opposed to the unanimous support needed currently.

The motivation for that change is to encourage teams to reveal possible loopholes in the new technical regulations now coming for 2022, rather than capitalising on them.

However, in a sport that has been built on innovation over the past 70 years, Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski admits there is a fine line between increasing competition and altering the DNA of F1.

“You have to be careful with these matters because in one way it protects teams from haphazard changes and gives a certain amount of stability, but on the other hand in the past, you could have had one team blocking a change," he told Motorsport.

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“From my personal point of view, F1 has always been about good ideas and innovation and pushing the regulations to the limits, so I think it is good that teams cannot block the evolution of regulations from the point of view of self-interest because the sport has to move forward, and it is better if we collaborate to move it forward.

“But I still think that people who come up with good ideas should be able to benefit from it."

Budkowski does have plenty of experience when it comes to assessing concepts that challenge the boundaries, and spirit, of the regulations from his time as technical chief at the FIA.

And he does expect teams to be less inclined to push ahead with potentially costly if groundbreaking ideas if they feel there won't be a lasting benefit.

"How it is going to change our approach? It is a really good question," he continued.

“If you know that there is less potential life to a new idea if it is at the edge of the regulations then that will probably change our approach in asking the FIA to clarify, so that risk appetite will probably change.”