F1 must accent positives of new era, says Symonds

Fri Apr 4, 2014 7:25pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Formula One needs to focus on the positives of its new turbo era rather than talking itself down, Williams technical head Pat Symonds said on Friday.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix, Symonds warned that criticism of the rule changes from within the sport risked a backlash similar to that faced by British jeweler Gerald Ratner in 1991.

Ratner wiped 500 million pounds ($829.50 million) off his firm's value with a speech to business leaders that mocked both his merchandise and customers' taste.

In one of the great corporate blunders, he boasted his company's earrings were cheaper than a prawn sandwich "but probably wouldn't last as long" and called a cheap set of decanters and glasses "total crap".

Symonds said Formula One should not follow that path.

"We are in a good place and as a business we should focus on the positives," he told a news conference after Friday practice.

"I think many people in the UK will remember a guy called Ratner who basically killed his business by negative comments on it. We should be positive. We've done something good and we should tell the world about it."

Formula One ditched the old 2.4 liter V8 engines at the end of last season and replaced them with a new 1.6 liter V6 turbo power unit with systems harnessing exhaust gases and kinetic energy from the brakes.   Continued...