Pirelli’s former motorsport director Paul Hembery says Formula 1 needs its drivers to become ‘kings’ and that the sport’s rulemakers should consider 1500bhp engines to reenergise the sport.

Hembery, who oversaw the Italian tyre manufacturer’s return to the sport in 2011, recently left the company after more than 25 years of service and is now looking for new opportunities in Formula 1.

“I left Pirelli at the end of last year,” he told Motorsport.com. “All good things come to an end, and it was the right time for both of us to go different ways.

“Now I am working on a few projects that I have had going for quite some time but haven’t been able to dedicate myself to. They are nothing to do with racing nor automotive, but I am still looking to see if I can offer something back to motorsport.”

The 52-year-old shared his ideas on the future direction he believes Formula 1 should take.

“What really needs to happen is that the drivers need to become the kings of the sport,” he said. “They need to become the superstars because people today are very much personality-focused.

“We often talk about exciting racing when there has been rain or Safety Car with 10 laps to go and that is a message.

“We need unpredictability, or the concentration of vehicles when there is a safety car allowing people to race flat out. That is where the work needs to be.”

When asked how he would do things, starting from scratch, Hembery stated:

“I think it would be simplified in the sense that power is relatively cheap to get and provides a greater challenge for the drivers. So why not have 1500bhp engines?

“That may not equate to what the car manufacturers might want in their desire to sell or market technology, but horse racing is still popular despite the arrival of the car.

“F1 could be the escapism. That is where my blank sheet would go: trying to put more money to the drivers, so a super F2 with huge power, less technology and hopefully ten teams that are profitable and have viable businesses.”

Hembery believes F1’s owners Liberty Media need to stand their ground on proposed changes instead of trying to keep everyone happy.

“You won’t please everybody,” he said. “Whatever you say or do, there will be someone saying something negative, and that is where you need to have a strong vision.

“That is the challenge for the owners of the sport now, describing that vision, believing in it and going forward. You may decide to do nothing but then you have a real risk of a gradual decline.”

Image via Ignite Image

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Elle Haus

Journalist at MotorsportM8
Seasoned media and communications professional. Tropical traveller. Cocktail connoisseur.