Former grand prix driver Hans-Joachim Stuck says Formula 1 is in need a total rules overhaul if it is going to turn around declining audiences.
Stuck, who took two F1 podiums for Brabham in 1977, as well as two wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours later in his career for Porsche, told Motorsport.com that F1 must do more to level the playing field.
"When I speak frankly, Formula 1 is the pinnacle of motorsport - but they have to get their act together to make it technically what it was in the past," he said.
When asked what can be done to turn things around, the German jested: "How much time do I have to answer this question?
"Let’s put it this way. I don’t see it’s good that it takes 20 cars around the world for a championship and only four cars can win.
"So what do we have to do? We have to find new regulations, technical regulations, that gives also smaller teams the possibility to be up front.
"Maybe not winning, but further up front. That gives more chance for people to be competitive.”
He added: "Another important thing is cost. Costs are just too high. You see how much money drivers have to bring to able to drive in F1."
Stuck also believes that F1 has become obsessed with complicated rules, and has forgotten that it should be about driving talent.
"Another important thing is to take off these funny electronic gimmicks," continued the 64-year-old. "How can you adjust the brake balance during the race?
"Plus this funny Drag Reduction System [DRS] – the guy who is behind opens the wing and passes.
"F1 has to come back to its raw roots: to become a sport where the driver becomes more important.”
Stuck however voiced his support for the independent engine idea being championed by Bernie Ecclestone and FIA President Jean Todt despite stiff opposition from leading teams.
“What Ecclestone and Todt are doing together, bringing in a new system, I would say they are doing the right thing,” he said.
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