29 June 2015
Drivers play down desire for ‘risky’ F1
F1 is still a challenge, according to a handful of drivers, despite calls to make the sport 'riskier and faster'.
Several drivers have played down the suggestion that F1 needs to be 'riskier' or 'more dangerous' following comments from the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Niki Lauda that the current era of the sport isn't challenging enough.
A handful of drivers have aired concerns that F1 has become too technical in recent years, with too greater emphasis placed on conservation, rather than outright driving skill, while Lauda went as far as to suggest there needs to be a greater fear factor in order to differentiate the quality in drivers.
Despite this, however, a handful of drivers have come out in support of the current regulations, insisting the formula is still a challenge regardless, even if they would naturally always like to go faster.
“I think already if you're making the cars quicker through corners it's going in the direction they mean,” said Jenson Button. “I don't think the word 'dangerous' was probably used correctly, but I know what they mean in terms of the cars. Making the cars quicker through corners I think would be a good thing, as long as it's done in the correct manner that it doesn't hurt the racing. Mechanical grip is massively important, and downforce I think you've got to find a way of doing it so it doesn't affect the dirty air from the cars making it more difficult to overtake.”
Indeed, despite comments that F1 has become as much about 'car management' as flat-out racing, Force India's Sergio Perez insists that is part of the challenge.
“I think F1 is already quite risky,” said Sergio Perez. “That level of risk you have out there is high, probably not as much as the 90's or so, but it has become safer. Sometimes I read comments about F1 is too easy and it is too easy to drive the cars, but I don't think that is the case.
“We have a lot of things to manage in the race, not only the pace, we have to manage fuel, we have to manage tyres, car balance, corner after corner… you are not just focused on pure pace. In order to get the maximum out of a race or qualifying, it is very hard to get everything in place.”
F1 has already motioned plans to improve lap times by up to 'five or six seconds' with aerodynamic tweaks, but while Valtteri Bottas – who made his F1 debut in 2013 – echoes the sentiments of many drivers about faster cars, he insists they are still a challenge.
“I think all of the drivers would like the cars to be quicker, normal power, it is always more fun,” the Williams driver said. “I am not saying the current cars are not exciting to drive because I am enjoying myself in the current cars, but more power would be nice.”
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