Nico Rosberg urges FIA to consult drivers on F1 rule changes


Nico Rosberg thinks it is in Formula 1’s best interests to consult the drivers more on rule changes, in the wake of the backlash over the Halo cockpit device and the new qualifying format.

Driver criticisms about the state of F1, the aesthetics of the new Halo and the unnecessary late change to qualifying overshadowed the on-track action during this week’s final pre-season test at Barcelona.

A number of leading stars – including Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton – all hit out at various aspects of F1 as they expressed frustration about the direction the sport had gone in.

But on the other hand, the week marked another step of proper consultation between drivers and the FIA, with F1 race director Charlie Whiting having discussed various rules with a number of competitors at a meeting.

Rosberg did not wish to get drawn into the debate about where F1 was going wrong, but did make it clear that more dialogue and input from drivers was essential.

“It would be nice if us drivers could be integrated more in the future,” said the Mercedes driver.

“They have done that already because we sat down with Charlie Whiting two days ago, all the drivers were invited, to say our opinion, but also about qualifying.

“So it is going in the right direction that they are going to integrate us a little bit more into decision-making.

“It makes sense. We are 22 guys, and we also know what is best for the sport and have some great opinions and great ideas.

“What is important is that the 22 guys come out of the car and smile and are excited. That will be great for the whole sport if everybody is excited and smiling.

“So that is why it is important we give our opinion, and our opinion is listened to in the future.”

Halo debate

Although drawing short of offering his opinion about qualifying, Rosberg did lend his support to the Halo design, even though he admitted it was not visually perfect.

“The Halo is something that the GPDA has also been pushing strongly because it is the most risky area that still remains for us F1 drivers – the open head,” he said.

“A lot of the recent fatalities in open-wheel racing have been blows to the head. I don’t know how many exactly the halo would have avoided but for sure a couple of them. So a large percentage.

“Therefore, it is definitely the right thing to get it as soon as possible. I think it is fantastic that they are pushing ahead with it and putting it on the cars and things like that.

“From a couple of angles, it even looked pretty cool, from the front for example, great, no problem. Okay, some other angles you can work on it, but it doesn’t look bad either.

“So it fine to put it on the car and that is it. I can understand the purists of course, but the purists have probably always been complaining over the last 50 years.

“When Jackie Stewart was blaming safety in the 1970s, he was heavily criticised – and they were lethal, those cars.

“So there are always going to be the purists who want to keep it the way it is, but everyone has their opinion. My opinion is it is the way to go.”


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