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The truth behind why Formula 1 is so difficult to manage

Formula 1 is changing. The sport’s bosses are in the process of creating new rules aimed at ensuring the cars that race in 2017 will be the fastest ever.
The motivation for this has been concerns that F1 is losing its appeal, a belief created by falling television figures last year in some important markets, such as Germany and Italy.
Commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone, governing body the FIA and the teams have decided to leave aside for now the question of whether the falling figures are a reflection on F1 itself, or of a splintering TV market, and take action.
The result for F1 is going to be a very different sport in 2017, when most of the changes will come into force.
So why is F1 taking the decisions it is, and what difference will they make?

There was some dismay among F1 bosses when the media focused on the decision of the rule-making strategy group two weeks ago to consider the reintroduction of refuelling in 2017, rather than what they believed was the more fundamental commitment to make the cars five to six seconds-a-lap faster.
Part of that was down to the communication of the decision. An official statement by the FIA presented refuelling as a done deal – only for Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff to explain a few hours later that it was only a proposal.
Less than a fortnight later, that proposal is looking very shaky indeed, as not one of the teams wants refuelling to happen.
All realise that, as one team boss put it, “refuelling is not good for the spectacle”. While it will also add up to a million euros to each team’s costs because of increased freight bills.
But the idea is not dead yet.

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