Formula One needs a new audience - Prost

Former world champion Alain Prost believes it is key for Formula One to attract a new audience that can appreciate the sport in its current form.

Radical proposals aimed at putting on a more spectacular show - like wider tyres and 1000bhp engines - were rejected by F1 chiefs last month, and the current rules are set to stay unchanged at least until 2017.

Ferrari has been one of the most outspoken teams in its criticism of the current Formula One, with new chief Maurizio Arrivabene calling for a "revolution".

We have to attract people so they see the new things brought in.

Alain Prost

Four time-world champion Prost believes one of the main problems the sport is facing is that it is not attracting new fans who can value what F1 is currently offering without comparisons to previous years.

"I'm not in favour of ideas found just like that at the angle of a table," Prost told when asked about the idea of 1000bhp engines.

"There have been a lot like that those past few years and I think that it has a lot to do with the fact F1 is badly perceived nowadays.

"Look at drivers aids, for example. As far as I'm concerned, I would take off quite a lot of downforce, make cars maybe harder to drive. For sure, a bit of extra power wouldn't be bad. But that's not all.

"There are many things on the side, such as radio communications, etc. You have to give back an image, a credibility to F1, and to attract younger fans.

"Here, we are among a non-renewed public of F1 fans. That's also why they tend to get bored: those are the same people!

"People enjoy noise? There is no more! They are nostalgic of the 80's, etc. We have to attract people, so that they see the new things brought in.

"This engine technology is fantastic and it's not been talked about enough, or maybe not explained the right way.

"We have to put things straight and understand why we arrived at this point instead of going 'here's a thing that's gonna make a difference'. I don't really believe in that."

V6 engines were needed

Prost insists the current engine formula, introduced for the start of the 2014 season, was necessary in order to keep manufacturers like Renault or Mercedes in Formula One.

"Engines took back a major role and we talk more about it as it's a new technology. True, they took an important role. But that's what everyone wanted, what the manufacturers wanted," he said.

"Proof is that if we hadn't validated those rules, I think Renault would have stopped. Mercedes wouldn't have joined and Honda neither, for sure.

"So that wouldn't be the same F1.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Alain Prost
Article type Breaking news