Former Renault technical director Pat Symonds says Formula 1 teams should be applauded for at least trying out radical ideas like the movable rear wing this year, even though the concept may lead to controversy by making passing too easy.
At the AUTOSPORT International motorsports show, Symonds said that he is genuinely exited about the direction that new rules are taking the sport over the next few years.
"Is that [the movable rear wing] good or not? I don't know," he said. "What I am pleased to see is people being broad minded to try something like this – and it is a good bit of lateral thinking.
"The sport has been too conservative in the past, and that is because in the past one team was always able to veto the rules. With FOTA that has changed and now there is majority rule, so if 70 percent of teams think something should happen, it goes. So let's see how it works."
There has already been some skepticism about how effective the movable rear wing will be – and also that it could make passing so easy that it turns the races into a lottery. Symonds says it is too early to judge what the new wing's impact will be, but thinks it will almost certainly throw F1 strategy up in the air.
"The thing I worry about is that if you are close to someone on the last lap, then you want to be behind them rather than in front of them as it is almost a given you will lose the position. That will have a big impact on race strategy. Overtaking should not be too easy. It should be like a goal in football [soccer], not a basket in basketball."
Symonds believes that the return of KERS to F1 is the right thing for the sport, with the "green" technology having been absent from F1 throughout 2010.
"I'm not sure there was an awful lot of logic in it [not being in F1 last year]," he explained. "Once it was there in 2009, it should have stayed. It is a little bit easier to use now because the minimum weight limit will be 640kg, and it was 605kg when it was last used.
"With the introduction of Pirelli, we have a regulated weight distribution – so there is not the old problem on that front. There is a little bit more logic in it. But getting rid of it last year was not sending the right message and was not logical."
Symonds also believes the FIA's push to introduce more economical engines is good news for F1, because it will make the sport more environmentally conscious and accountable for more green technology in road cars.
"I feel quite strongly about it," he said. "It is totally wrong to be so arrogant to say we are not using much fuel, because the amount of fuel used in F1 is nothing. But we have an absolute responsibility. The 2013 rules for power trains go well in this direction, and the teams have done a great job in doing it."
He added: "They really are a model for the future – and it is the way that road cars are going. F1 will accelerate that change."
One regulation overhaul that Symonds thinks the sport should reconsider is the budget cap, because he thinks that would help open the way for more technical innovation.
"F1 needs to have that technical image, and it is a very important part of the DNA," he said. "The current F1 cars all look the same. F1 is so sophisticated, so if you opened up the regulations, and put a budget cap on it, then you would not have teams going out of business.
"Can you police it? Of course you can. Every company has to produce accounts to the tax office and each year. So, if you follow proper accounting principals, of course you can do it."