Emerson Fittipaldi has praised the concept of A1GP as the World Cup of Motorsport races towards the conclusion of its third campaign - and fired a broadside at Formula 1, claiming the sport has been ruined by the proliferation of and over-reliance upon driver aids.

The Brazilian is a double former world champion in the top flight, but his focus now is very much on A1GP, as seat holder for the national team. Though it may not be enjoying a particularly noteworthy season in the series in 2007/08 - with just 40 points from 14 races so far leaving the squad eleventh in the title standings with three meetings remaining on the calendar - Brazil did have a particularly strong weekend last time out, courtesy of Champ Car star Bruno Junqueira's impressive qualifying form in Durban.

"I like the concept very much," Fittipaldi enthused. "It is great for Brazil to have a team, and I am enjoying being part of [that]. I love the concept of A1GP as compared to Formula 1, which is not a balanced form of racing.

"It is very difficult to evaluate drivers in F1 since there are so many electronic driver aids that are available now. It is a very different thing to drive with things like traction control, but in A1GP the real talent of the driver comes out. I can tell you it is going to be big when A1GP begins using Ferrari cars from next year."

Looking back over his grand prix career - which saw him clinch the world drivers' crown in both 1972 and 1974 - the 61-year-old reflected on the sport's true greats, and tipped both 2007 star rookie Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari ace Felipe Massa as men who could potentially join that group in the years to come. He also espoused the virtues of beginning motor racing at a very young age.

"It is difficult to say [who is the greatest of all time]," 'Emmo' underlined, "because technology keeps changing. There were many good drivers.

"There was my good friend Juan-Manuel Fangio, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and others.

"Hamilton is an outstanding driver. His first year has been fantastic; he had a good car and did very well. He could very well win the championship in a year or two. Massa is good and capable of winning the world championship too.

"The main reason Brazil produces so many drivers is due to the fact that there is a lot of karting there. Young kids should do a lot of karting - that is the way to come up."

 

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