Mallya joins call for more autocratic rule of Formula 1


Force India team owner Vijay Mallya has become the latest figure to call for a more autocratic rule of Formula 1 as the legitimacy of the sport’s Strategy Group continues to be brought into question.

Ever since the collapse of the Formula One Teams’ Association in 2014, decisions regarding the future of the sport have been taken by the F1 Strategy Group, made up of representatives from Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Ferrari, McLaren and Force India.

The body has come under fire ever since its formation in 2013 given the exclusion of the other teams and its lack of actual progress over the past two-and-a-half years.

In Monaco, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admitted that “the only thing the Strategy Group has unanimously agreed on and implemented this year is the fact that the drivers should wear the same crash helmet for the entire season”, acting as proof of its failings.

In an interview with the official Formula 1 website, Mallya echoed the thoughts of his deputy, Bob Fernley, by suggesting that decisions about the future of the sport should lie with the FIA and the commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone.

“The way Formula 1 is run now – with the Strategy Group – teams are in fact running Formula 1,” Mallya said. “They discuss anything from technical regulations to revenue distribution etc, and that’s it.

“This is one of the few sports where the teams have such a big say in its running. In all other sports you have a promoter – which is FOM – and you have a regulator – which is the FIA.

“Between them they decide the set of rules and tell all participants: here you are – these are the rules. You’ve got to comply with them and get on with the championship.”

Mallya said that the biggest issue with the Strategy Group was the lack of perspective among the more prominent members, given that their priorities are their own interests, not the good of the sport as a whole.

“F1 is overly democratic,” Mallya said. “There are teams in the Strategy Group that are extremely inflexible – they only want to protect their own position.

“So we have to live with what the Strategy Group decides, which effectively means that we all have to live with what the big teams decide.

“We have our views and we clearly express them, but we are steamrollered by the big four and that is the rule-making process.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.