Former Formula 1 World Champion Jody Scheckter has bemoaned the 'disappointing' politics threatening to take over the sport in recent years – claiming that the situation has become so bad he has at times considered giving back his hard-fought title.
Scheckter lifted the laurels in 1979, seeing off the challenge of legendary Ferrari team-mate Gilles Villeneuve and proving to be the very model of consistency en route
to the drivers' crown. The 59-year-old South African was a fierce critic last year of the sex scandal in which Max Mosley became embroiled, and was one of the most vociferous in calling for the FIA President to resign from his post over the damaging episode.
He has since described Mosley's governance of the sport as being akin to 'a dictatorship going wrong' – with the latest controversy that surrounding the unpopular £40 million budget cap that seriously risks sending a number of teams scurrying for the exit door.
Current defending F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has recently asserted that he is 'not in the sport to be a politician' and that all of the perennial infighting and off-track squabbling has taken much of the enjoyment out of it for him [see separate story – click here
] – and Scheckter clearly concurs.
“The politics that have crept into Formula 1, and the way that things are handled now, is very, very disappointing,” said the last man to secure the title for Scuderia
until Michael Schumacher more than 20 years later, in an interview with the BBC
. “There have been stages when I have thought 'I am going to give back my world championship' because I have felt so strongly about it.
“Some of the regulations and some of the decisions that have been made by the FIA in the last years I think have been terrible. I think the sport's going through a dictatorship that is going wrong, as most dictatorships go wrong sooner or later.”