For­mula 1 in trou­ble

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LON­DON — It is the per­fec­tion of For­mula 1 that is turn­ing off the fans, ac­cord­ing to mo­tor­sport vet­eran Gil de Fer­ran.

With F1 in a pe­riod of in­tense in­tro­spec­tion amid a de­clin­ing au­di­ence, de Fer­ran thinks the pin­na­cle of mo­tor sport is a “vic­tim of its own suc­cess”.

Speak­ing to Ger­many’s Auto Mo­tor und Sport, he said: “F1 will al­ways be the top of mo­tor rac­ing, but it’s too per­fect. It lacks the hu­man fac­tor.

“Over the past two decades, huge in­vest­ments were made in for­mula one and ev­ery­thing has got bet­ter to the point al­most of per­fec­tion. The aim has been to elim­i­nate mis­takes and mishaps.

“Now I won­der: is there any­thing left that is bad? When I look at the cars at the far end of the field, I have to say that even they look damn good.”

The 47-year-old Brazil­ian is best known for his suc­cess in Amer­i­can open-wheeler rac­ing, in­clud­ing ti­tles and the Indy 500 win. In 2005 he was sport­ing di­rec­tor of F1 team BARHonda.

De Fer­ran says that per­fec­tion is in con­trast to the 80s and 90s, which he thinks was F1’s best era as driv­ers strug­gled to tame the im­per­fect mon­sters.

He in­sisted: “Any step back in that di­rec­tion would be a good one.

“Even in my day, we all dreamed of the per­fect race. Start from pole, do a good start, drive with no mis­takes, take care of the tyres, lap the field and win the race.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the peo­ple don’t re­ally want to see that. But if you have ev­ery­thing you need in your hands to plan this per­fect race, things get dan­ger­ous. This is the curse of the money that is in F1.

“I do be­lieve that to­day’s F1 driv­ers are still work­ing hard for that per­fect race, it’s just so hard to see from the out­side. Maybe I can see it, be­cause I raced for 30 years. But it’s dif­fi­cult for the or­di­nary spec­ta­tor.” — Wheels

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