Dennis's F1 vision

'Regulatory stability' key, says McLaren boss

Adopting an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, approach to rule-making is the way forward for Formula One, according to Ron Dennis.

The McLaren team boss outlined his vision for the sport during the Motor Sport Business Forum in Bahrain, ahead of Sunday's grand prix.

Besides the need for exciting racing, Dennis voiced the belief that rule changes are necessary to keep F1 contemporary with the world at large.

And, with spiralling costs a major subject of debate in recent times, he also said that new rules were important to try and keep each team's outlay stable.

"For F1 to continue to thrive in the way it has thrived all these years, we'll need rules that foster freedom of entrepreneurship, but we'll also need rules that encourage close and competitive racing," he was quoted by

"If we can frame those rules in such a way as to keep costs in check, or even reduce costs, so much the better.

"Because every time the rules are changed, the result is almost always a cost increase. And, because the smaller teams are perhaps less able to meet those cost increases, they may not respond as effectively to a rule change as their more affluent competitors.

"Yet we must change the rules, because the world is changing. But, because we also need regulatory stability, our rule changes must be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

"F1 must remain the pinnacle of motorsport - from an engineering point of view as well as from every other point of view.

"The day when F1 stakeholders - and I include F1 fans in that categorisation - begin to doubt F1's status as the pinnacle of motor sport, we are lost.

"We need to make F1 less expensive, too, and we need to do that very carefully as well."

Calendar limit

As F1 continues to expand its reach across the globe, Dennis also said that its calendar should be limited to twenty races per season.

With Singapore new on the calendar this year, Russia, India, South Korea, Abu Dhabi and Qatar have all been earmarked as potential future venues.

"I welcome this expansion, and heartily commend Bernie Ecclestone for spearheading it," Dennis added.

"But I have two provisos: Firstly, that the season never expands to more than 20 grands prix, which I regard as a natural logistical limit and, secondly, that we preserve a closed season over the winter.

"The closed season is essential not only for logistical reasons but also in order to stir up a sense of anticipation in the hearts and minds of F1 fans.

"The best-selling editions of Formula One magazines are always the season preview editions, for example, not the editions that are published during the season.

"And that's because a sense of anticipation has been stirred up in the hearts and minds of Formula One fans over the preceding winter. So, as I say, we must preserve that."