Felipe Massa says Formula 1 is as equalling exciting today as it was when he joined the grid in 2002 but hopes the ongoing changes to the sport can inject some fresh impetus for fans.
The Brazilian driver has highlighted the fact during the bulk of his F1 career one team has dominated in stints; focusing on Ferrari in the early 2000s before the rise of Red Bull between 2010-2014 and then the turn of Mercedes in the hybrid engine era.
The Williams driver concedes there has been a couple of standout seasons where teams at the top have been evenly matched, such as the 2008 campaign when Massa at Ferrari lost the world title battle by one point to McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, with five different teams winning races that season.
“It's still the same since I started it was already a team that was dominant for the championship,” Massa said. “Some of the years I did it was more than one team that was fighting for the championship but it was not many, it was a few years that it was more than one team that was fighting for the championship.
“I think if you compare Formula 1 now and if you compare Formula 1 since the first year I started I don't think it's very different to be honest. The way the race is, the way you are inside the car and what you're doing I think is similar.”
READ: Heineken targets Vietnam F1 race
Massa still believes there are plenty of avenues F1 can explore to energise interest back from dwindling audience figures and is a firm supporter of any changes implemented to add excitement.
With Liberty Media taking over Formula 1 this month and expressing plans to bring the sport's profile up in digital media, as well as expanding into the US market with focus on bringing races to major cities, Massa hopes strong hopes for the future of the sport fter he retires at the end of the season.
“I think there are so many things to do and improve, so many things maybe ideas for the race, ideas for the rules, maybe ideas for the media social network, ideas for the paddock, ideas for the fans,” he said. “If you can try to improve in all areas and make it interesting, it will be more interesting for the people, that's what Formula 1 needs as well.
“To be honest I have no idea how it's going to be Formula 1 now that they're changing the people, if Bernie will stay or not I have no idea, you're just not sure what's going to happen.
“I just hope the best for Formula 1, I hope that it can improve and I hope that they can make the sport like it has been for very long, as I said before, whatever they can improve on making it more interesting is what Formula 1 needs.”
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst