Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda agrees with comments made by Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen last week, where the Finn recommended F1 should be made “a little more dangerous”.
Lauda expanded on Raikkonen’s comments, saying that it’s time the drivers were made to work harder and feel an element of uncertainty.
“There is too much control, too many rules and not enough characters,” Lauda told Bild am Sonntag.
“The most important thing is the cars must again be difficult to drive. When I switched from Formula 2 to Formula 1, I crapped in my pants.
“It must again be about real men driving, not young men who play only with the buttons on the steering wheel.
“Only drivers with the highest driving skills, and I emphasise driving skills, may be in Formula 1. We cannot turn back the clock, but a driver must again have the car in his hands, not driving as now by pushing buttons.
“The highest limits and the risk factor have been lost.”
It’s important to note that neither Räikkönen nor Lauda are suggesting that the safety of the sport should be compromised, rather an element of risk should be present to test drivers as well as keep them alert.
“I’m not saying we should neglect safety, but at the moment if cars were faster then the thrill for both the drivers and the spectators would automatically increase. In that way, we have to go back.
“But any kind of manipulation is the worst thing you can do to a sport, and I mean artificial elements such as a reverse grid, or adding weight to cars, as Bernie Ecclestone has proposed.
“This must not happen.”
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