Todt: I don’t have the power to slow Mercedes down, other teams must catch up

Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 6 April 2014.

FIA president Jean Todt has promised to look into improving the sound of Formula One’s new engines but dismissed a change in the rules demanded by some teams.

Todt, the head of the world sport’s governing body, said that those who were complaining about the lack of noise from the engines were more vocal than those in favour.

But he said he was ready to meet with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel who bluntly swore when asked about the sound of the new engine.

“Vettel made a negative comment about the engine noise, but not on the engines,” said Todt.

“He’s an icon of our sport, four-time world champion…if he came to me about the noise problem I would listen because he is qualified to talk about it.

“We’re examining this problem with three engine manufacturers involved in F1. We’re seeing if we can make it noisier.”

FIA Gala Awards, Paris, France, 6 December 2013.

The Frenchman said however that for the rules to be changed mid-season it would require the unanimous approval of all teams.

“We need the unanimous agreement of stables, otherwise we can’t change anything. We are in a competitive world, those in front don’t complain and others complain, making more noise than those who are happy.

“It’s in the nature of things, the history of F1 is filled with periods of domination. Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Red Bull and now, after only two grands prix, Mercedes.

“I don’t have the power to slow them down and it’s a challenge for the other teams to catch up. It would not be fair to penalise a team that did a better job than others.”

Meanwhile Todt admitted that his bid for a cost cap in Formula One has met with some resistance.

Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 21 April 2013.

“My feeling is that F1 is too expensive. It has been proved to me that budgets could be limited, so I put this on the table, most of the teams agreed.

“Now I am told that the six members of the Strategy Group stables are against. I am disappointed because it will be more difficult to achieve this limitation, which seems necessary to me.

“But I’m told you can get there by the technical and sporting regulations. That is why we have a detailed plan, spread over three years, from 2015 to 2017.”

The six teams in the strategy group are Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Lotus.

Todt revealed that some new teams are set to join F1.

“Some teams have filed their dossiers, they were examined by people other than me, and we’ll make an announcement in the coming days,” he added. (AFP)

Subbed by AJN.