Formula 1 in trouble
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