DEREK WAR­WICK BRDC pres­i­dent

F1 Racing (UK) - - THE LONG INTERVIEW -

“Some of the ex­cite­ment of F1 has been eroded by safety is­sues over the years. Do we have to do the safety work? Of course, but F1 is about an open-wheel car that’s the most dif­fi­cult car in the world to drive, driven by the best driv­ers on the planet. Why are the TV view­ing fig­ures down? Be­cause there’s not enough over­tak­ing and not enough noise. The sport and its driv­ers have lost the feel­ing of glad­i­a­tors driv­ing rac­ing cars. We need to find a way back to that and soon.

That’s not to say F1 isn’t any good. When I watched the race in Sin­ga­pore, you could re­ally see that these cars are the best in the world, but I feel that grad­u­ally we are los­ing some of the essence of what makes the sport great. We have to be vig­i­lant and make sure we main­tain a level of ex­cite­ment that keeps the fans on board. Speak­ing specif­i­cally about the halo, I think that F1 as a whole is at fault for its in­tro­duc­tion. All of the test­ing should have con­ducted be­hind closed doors. Once it made an ap­pear­ance, then, for in­surance rea­sons alone, the sport was left with no op­tion but to im­ple­ment it. Imag­ine if we had a se­ri­ous crash and the sport hadn’t in­tro­duced an ex­ist­ing so­lu­tion that could have pre­vented an in­jury or fa­tal­ity: the reper­cus­sions would be huge.

We went down a road we never should have gone down and that’s be­cause we have not specif­i­cally reg­u­lated F1 as an open-cock­pit for­mula. It’s a dif­fi­cult bal­ance. We can’t make For­mula 1 too vanilla. If you make it too bland, we will lose fans. But on the flip side, you have to ask whether the halo de­vice will save lives. The an­swer is al­most cer­tainly ‘yes’, so, whether we like it or not, it has to be im­ple­mented.”

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