Now or never for F1’s 2017 regulations, warns Red Bull team principal Christian Horner

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says F1 needs to agree on its 2017 regulations by Tuesday otherwise changes will not happen.
The teams and the FIA announced early in 2015 that they were moving ahead with plans to introduce faster and more aggressive looking cars in 2017 by radically overhauling the regulations. However, the new rules have still yet to be agreed as the teams are unable to reach a common consensus.
Meetings of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission in Geneva on Tuesday are the last chance to finalise the regulations before a March 1 deadline, after which the rules can only be set via unanimous agreement. Horner says F1 has “a wonderful opportunity” to instigate positive change which it should not pass up.
“I think it will be an interesting day,” Horner said. “We’ve got the Strategy Group meeting in the morning – usually a good old argument – and we’ve got the [F1] Commission meeting in the afternoon where hopefully something will get agreed.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for Formula One to address the rules for 2017 and it would be a great shame for that opportunity to be missed by not – excuse the pun – grabbing the bull by the horns for 2017. So if it gets delayed I think it would be disappointing for the fans, for everyone.
“There’s a real opportunity with a relatively clean sheet of paper to do something really good and address the fundamentals we set out almost 12 months ago to make the cars more exciting, harder to drive, to see a bigger differential between the drivers’ skill, to be more aggressive, absolutely to see driver and machine at the limit.”
And Horner warns the teams will not be able to reach a unanimous agreement, which makes tomorrow’s meeting the last opportunity for change.
“The thing that concerns me is each team has a different vested interest and I think sometimes when that happens things get diluted. I think we really need to see hopefully strong governance and leadership, with the commercial rights holder and the governing body aligned tomorrow in what they want Formula One to be moving forward. Because obviously if it goes beyond the end of February then it has to be unanimous and you might as well forget it.”
With Mercedes voicing concerns over Pirelli’s ability to produce tyres which can handle radically increased downforce levels, Horner says the tyre supplier should not be used “as a scapegoat” to prevent the new rules from being introduced.
“Well we had a very productive meeting with Pirelli two or three weeks ago where several of the teams and drivers went to Milan to Pirelli’s headquarters and met with [Pirelli chairman] Marco Tronchetti Provera to go through any concerns.
“It was made very, very clear to us during that meeting that ‘come up with the regulations and we’ll make whatever tyres that you want to suit those regulations’. I think it’s wrong to use Pirelli as a scapegoat to compromise regulations. I think Formula One needs to come up with a car that it feels it wants and it needs and I’m sure Pirelli can make the necessary product as their chairman stated.”

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