Mansell says small grid sizes hurting F1

Former world champion Nigel Mansell believes the main problem with the current Formula 1 is the lack of cars on the grid.

The sport has lost two teams over the past three years and came close to losing the Marussia/Manor team too at the end of the 2014 season.

Although Mansell says the current era is "fantastic", the 1992 world champion reckons the small grid numbers are making Formula 1 miss an edge that it had in the past.

The Briton also thinks the sport is in dire need of more engine manufacturers.

"I think the difference is, although this era in some ways is fantastic for the development of the cars, the circuits, everything else, what isn't good is that you don't have 36-40 cars qualifying for the 26 grid places," Mansell told

"You've not got a full grid of cars. You've actually shortened some competition. And that's the little edge that they're missing.

"It's through no fault of any of the drivers, it's just circumstances. I think when you've got a full grid of cars and you've got more people going for it, tooth and nail, race after race,  [people will be interested].

"What we need is more manufacturers and we certainly need more engine choices."

But Mansell says Formula 1 will be "mighty" again once rules to improve the show come into play in 2017.

"It'll be mighty," he said. "I think the best drivers then will come to the top even more. They'll be able to show the personality.

"The car can get out of shape and they have got more tyre to catch it, play with it and demonstrate their skill.

"But more than their skill, their personality. Their late braking, different lines - because with bigger tyres, you can have a couple of lines into the corner. With smaller tyres, there is one precise line."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nigel Mansell
Article type Breaking news