McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes Formula 1 is benefiting from a less-confrontational stance from the FIA, with Fernando Alonso's recent outburst over events in Valencia showing how things are different under Jean Todt's presidency.
With the governing body appearing more willing to let drivers race rather than be punished for questionable incidents, and also to not get involved in public conflict as it could have done after Alonso's "manipulation" comments, Whitmarsh thinks the sport is actually being made better.
"We are racing more naturally now," Whitmarsh said after the FOTA/Santander fans' forum in London on Thursday. "There always will be goals that were not goals, and those sorts of things – they happen in sport and you have to accept it.
"In fairness now, to Jean and the FIA, even from where I am sitting, things happen in the race and you think that is going to cause so much aggravation – but it doesn't. And even drivers are thinking that now.
"There is a fine line: you want it to be safe, to be fair, and you want decisions to be instantaneous, but you want drivers to have a go. And when you have a go in racing cars, you are going to get incidents, you are going to get controversy and you are going to get two drivers who see an incident from completely different perspectives.
"Alonso was fairly outspoken but actually people want a bit of that, and it doesn't worry me. In the past you have not been able to question. There has to be a limit, some fine lines, but not being able to question a referee's decisions, or umpire's decisions or stewards' decision? And, frankly, you have not been able to do that."
He added: "People complained about a sterility of conversations and debate within the paddock, but there was a regime where you were not even allowed to ask, 'Have we got it right?,' as that would bring the sport into disrepute.
"Now, I don't think it is reasonable for any of us to go on a blast and criticize the FIA over anything – there have to be some limits and we have to be respectful to the FIA, but I think it is acceptable for people to display their passion, enthusiasm and agreement in the sport. It is a healthy thing."