Derek Warwick says Formula One has become “too vanilla” and needs to get back to “harder, harsher racing”.
The BRDC president and former F1 racer turned FIA steward believes that one of the issues currently is that a lot of the rules and regulations are influenced by the top drivers to the detriment of those further back and ultimately that is not only hurting them, but the other drivers on the grid and the sport as a whole.
“It [F1] is too vanilla [today]. It is too 'health and safety',” said Warwick at Autosport International this week, where he confirmed he will do four F1 races this season as an FIA steward, including the season opener in Australia.
“We don't want to make the cars less safe,” he stressed. “A lot of people say we want it to be more dangerous. We can't do that, but what we can do is we have got to allow them to race more. We have got to allow them to make mistakes and that fundamentally is my idea as a steward.
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“Also we need to try to convince the drivers because I always think that regulations are made for the front end of the grid,” he continued.
“The people that talk in the drivers' briefing to Charlie [Whiting], like [Sebastian] Vettel and [Mark] Webber when he was there, [Fernand] Alonso, [Jenson] Button, all the experienced guys, they want the best for them to make their race perfect. So it is them that have really pushed the blue flags and people being penalised and allowing cars to overtake and all that sort of thing.
“We need to come back and help the back end of the grid, I think. Take away blue flags. Take away all these penalties. Let's get back to harder, harsher racing.
“Let people work out how to overtake them when they're coming to lap a slow car like we used to. These guys will enjoy Formula One more if all of a sudden the great drivers like Lewis Hamilton, who will be unbelievable in traffic without the blue flags, will be even more unbelievable, and that will bring the fans to Silverstone and watch the British Grand Prix.”
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