The Formula 1 world is always full of surprises and controversies, and the «gentlemen`s agreement» is one such topic that keeps coming up from time to time. Essentially, a gentlemen`s agreement is when a group of people or organizations come to an informal, unwritten agreement on a certain issue. In the case of F1, it means that teams and drivers agree to certain unwritten rules to maintain order and fair play on the track.
The term «gentlemen`s agreement» first emerged in Formula 1 during the 1970s when teams agreed on a set of unwritten regulations concerning fuel consumption and engine power. These regulations were put in place to prevent teams from spending too much money on developing their cars and engines, and to ensure that every team had a fair chance of winning races.
One of the most famous gentlemen`s agreements in Formula 1 was the so-called «Ricciardo Clause.» This agreement was reached between the Red Bull and Renault teams during the 2015 season, after Red Bull threatened to quit the sport if they didn`t get better engines. The agreement allowed Red Bull to use Renault engines with the same performance level as those used by the Renault team, which was seen as an equitable solution to the issue.
Another common gentlemen`s agreement in F1 is a pact between drivers to avoid collisions and dangerous moves on the track. This is particularly important at the start of races, where drivers are jostling for position and trying to gain an advantage. If a driver is seen to be breaking this gentlemen`s agreement, they can face penalties or fines from the race officials.
Gentlemen`s agreements in Formula 1 are often criticized for being too vague and open to interpretation. Without clear rules and regulations, it can be difficult to enforce these agreements and ensure that all teams and drivers are adhering to them. Some people argue that these agreements are simply a way for teams and drivers to avoid punishment for breaking the rules by claiming that they were simply following an unwritten agreement.
Despite the criticisms, gentlemen`s agreements remain an important part of the Formula 1 culture. They can help to maintain competitive balance, promote fair play, and ensure that the sport remains exciting for fans. However, they should never be used as a substitute for clear, enforceable rules and regulations. Ultimately, the best way to ensure that Formula 1 remains a fair and exciting sport is for all teams and drivers to follow the same set of rules, whether they are written or unwritten.