3 July 2014
Perez: F1 needs more winners
Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Force India's Sergio Perez believes that something needs to be done in order to open up competition in F1.
Sergio Perez believes that F1 needs to be simplified for the smaller teams in order to give them a chance of taking on the 'big guns' at the front of the field.
Without going into specifics, the Mexican admitted that there is nothing he'd like to see more in the top flight than greater competition for the top step of the podium. In a year where Mercedes has dominated, with only Daniel Ricciardo's win in Canada breaking the silver monotony, Perez hearkens for a time when the playing field was more even.
Although the change of rules could have had that effect, it has instead tipped the scales in favour of one team, with even the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren having to play catch up. Although Williams and Perez's own Force India team have been able to move back towards the front of the field – not entirely surprisingly given both use Mercedes power – the Mexican is keen to see the honours spread more widely.
“I'd like to see more teams winning,” he said on the eve of the British Grand Prix, “I think this is something we need [in F1]. If you look back, to the start of 2012, when we had eight or nine different winners in the first nine races, that was really amazing, and we need to give more opportunity to more teams, not only the top teams and not only one team.
“The rules have to be more simple for the small teams and the medium teams. For example, that year Williams won a race and, at Sauber, we were so close to winning a race. We really need to bring this sport a bit more together, give more opportunities for more teams to win. I think the fans would love to see Ferrari winning, McLaren, Force India, different teams….”
Acknowledging that Silverstone may not be the best circuit for his own chances of success this weekend, Perez had cause to reflect on the closest he has come to victory in 2014, after a front-running performance in Montreal eventually ended in the barriers.
Adjudged to have been the cause of the accident that also eliminated a charging Felipe Massa, Perez unsuccessfully appealed against a grid penalty for the latest round of the series, in Austria, before coming through to finish sixth. He agreed to some degree with veteran Niki Lauda's suggestion that there was too much intervention from the stewards but, having jokingly suggested that a boxing ring could be erected in the paddock to settle disputes after the chequered flag, accepted that there still needed to be rules.
“Of course we must have limits but, in my opinion, what they gave me as a penalty back in Montreal was a bit too large, a bit too much,” he noted, “After that they changed the rule...
“Montreal was very difficult as there were a lot of factors we had to take into account. I was on a very different strategy to Felipe and the pace difference was very much. I think we both did a bit to collide - we could have both avoided the accident so, in my opinion, looking back, it was a racing incident. The FIA had to review it a couple of times to make their decision, but they needed to recognise it as a racing incident.
“Of course, if a driver makes a very obvious mistake and ruins the race of another driver then, for sure, they should get a penalty - but not in such a difficult case as we had in Montreal. We need to find a balance.”
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