BMW Sauber boss Mario Theissen believes that the mixing up of the competitive order this season is good for Formula 1, even though his team was off the pace in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Responding to comments from Renault's Flavio Briatore suggesting that the sport's credibility is being damaged by independent teams beating manufacturers, Theissen said that he disagreed, but that he shared the Renault boss's frustration at the confusion over the diffuser regulations.
"It's refreshing to have a new order on the grid, even if it is not us who has benefited," said Theissen. "But he [Briatore] is right in saying that a lot of time and money is wasted until all the teams are playing on the same playground again.
"That is something that is not good for the sport. Sport is only interesting and exciting if all the players play by the same rules. We have to get back to this as soon as possible."
Theissen added that despite his team's disastrous showing in China – Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica finished outside the points after qualifying in the bottom half of the grid – the closeness of the field exaggerated their disadvantage.
"There are several effects that haven't been there in previous seasons," said Theissen. "If you look at the field, it's 1.5 seconds from first to last. Years ago, it has been five or even seven, so the slightest mistake in setup or by a driver puts you low down the grid.
"That's what happened to us in China and it has happened to others before. For the fans, it's generally good, as long as it's not up to us to go down."
Theissen also refused to lay the blame for his team's lack of pace purely on not running with the controversial double decker diffuser. BMW Sauber is working on its version of the design after it was ruled legal by the FIA Court of Appeal last week, but must also improve other areas of the car.
"I wouldn't say it's purely the diffuser," said Theissen. "We see a big up and down with the other teams, which is quite natural with a new set of regulations. Everyone brings improvements on a race to race basis. There is no clear picture. We have a package underway for Barcelona. There's not much for Bahrain, but for Barcelona we will have an upgrade.
"We are still developing the package. It will affect the aerodynamics, but I'm not sure how far we can go with the diffuser and what would be included. It will definitely not be the full potential. What we see now is that diffuser development has just started. There is more to come."