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Lowe: 'Disparity among teams a bigger problem than engines'

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As teams tackle F1's proposal for new engine rules released earlier this week, Williams' Paddy Lowe believes the main focus should be on a different issue.

F1's new engine rules set to come into effect from 2021 have generally been regarded as the foundation on which the sport must build its future.

Teams already appear to be at odds with the new proposals, with further discussions scheduled to take place at next Tuesday's Strategy Group meeting.

Lowe believes Formula 1's leaders should focus more broadly on leveling the playing field by tightening the gap between the front-runners and the second-tier teams rather than remain so absorbed by the engine factor.

"I think actually when you look at F1, although there’s a lot of discussion about problems with engines, it’s not really the biggest problem in the sport," says the Williams' tech boss and partner.

"It’s seen as a problem amongst the top three teams as they fight for the top steps. The biggest problem at the moment is the huge disparity to the remainder of the teams. It’s not around engine choice."

Interestingly, Lowe cautions against rule changes, arguing that it has often led to divergence within the ranks in the past.

"I think when you change regulations you always create opportunity, and actually you create divergence, whether it’s around engines or aerodynamics or anything.

"Actually what creates convergence is regulation stability, the more you leave things alone.

"And we see that with the engines today, they are all a lot closer than they were three years ago. I think any regulation change has to be treated with great care.

"I find it curious that people often position new regulations as what’s needed to create convergence, and it does the opposite. That’s true whether it’s power, aerodynamics, or anything else.

"Unless you go to the other extreme and have a regulation that standardises everything, then of course you remove that effect. But even then, what does standard mean? It’s a difficult area."

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