Formula 1 should be focusing more on improving the racing than producing faster and more technical cars, claims former team boss Flavio Briatore.
As talks continue to try to frame a series of rule changes for 2017 aimed at making cars faster, Briatore has urged grand prix chiefs to not lose sight of the one thing that attracts fans.
“I believe F1 is about the race,” Briatore said when asked by Motorsport.com about his views on the push to make cars five seconds per laps quicker.
“It is not a technology trial all the time. I believe the race is the key thing; and afterwards if you want to do technology, you do it.
“I believe in F1 you need gladiators, you need a fight, you need the show, you need a race. And you don’t need to worry about if you have fuel or no fuel in the car.
“I remember four years ago, the drivers were doing 60 laps of qualifying. Now everything is more strategic, the fuel flow and this and that. Maybe it is better [for some], but I don’t know if it is better or not.”
A level playing field
Briatore believes one of the reasons the racing is not as exciting now is that teams no longer operate on a level playing field.
He thinks the way revenues are distributed in the sport is wrong because it is allowing bigger teams to secure their place at the front of the grid.
“I believe the distribution of the money is not correct,” he said. “You give the money to the rich; you don’t give the money to the poor. That makes no sense if you want to compete in the same league.
“The costs in the last 10 years have been too heavy to have a race, and you take out a lot of people. For me, F1 needs to get back to a race.
“Instead of talking all the time about consuming the fuel or consuming the tyres, I want to talk about the fight between the drivers. And the more the cars are similar, the better race we will have.
“It is not a big a secret. F1 is very simple; we need a race. In the end the product is the race.”
Ecclestone needs to take charge
With F1’s governance structure having come under fire in recent weeks, Briatore thinks that the time has come for F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to become a dictator again.
“The [F1] brand is so strong, but in this moment I think Bernie needs to take back the direction and take F1 to the future, because there is a lot of confusion.”