F1 needs number one drivers says Symonds

Tue, 30 October 2007, 04:18

Pat Symonds has suggested that he has changed his mind about whether formula one teams should appoint number one drivers.

The veteran Briton, who is Renault’s executive director of engineering, has traditionally agreed with the McLaren-style policy of offering absolute equality to both drivers.

But his boss Flavio Briatore said recently that McLaren counterpart Ron Dennis had erred in signing Fernando Alonso for 2007 but not giving him an advantageous position alongside his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton.

“Today the roles need to be clearly defined as number one and number two, otherwise you risk destabilising the team,” Briatore, who would gladly reunite Renault with Alonso for 2008, said.

Symonds told the Renault podcast that the Enstone based team has always offered driver equality, even when Alonso won his titles alongside Giancarlo Fisichella in 2005 and 2006.

“Even when we had Fernando winning championships, there were occasions when we had only one wing, so we wouldn’t take it to the race,” said Symonds, who also worked with Michael Schumacher in the team’s Benetton guise.

“We weren’t going to favour one driver over the other and I have been very, very strong about that in the past.

“But I have to say I am changing my view,” he added.

“Motor racing is a team sport and I think you have really got to do what is best for the team and I think these days it is better to go all out behind one car.”

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