On the back of Max Mosley's declaration that the espionage scandal that erupted within the sport in 2007 was good for Formula 1, other leading figures have added their voices to that of the FIA President to argue that so much publicity was not necessarily such a bad thing.

Mosley had suggested the public was enthralled and pulled in by the 'human aspect' of the whole 'Spygate' saga involving McLaren, Ferrari and Renault, and now a brace of former world champions have aired their views to dismiss fears the affair has badly damaged F1's reputation, particularly given the intense media exposure afforded to it over the latter part of the season..

"You might think it hurts credibility," 1978 champion Mario Andretti told American AutoWeek magazine, "but you know what? It brought a lot of attention, and it's not all that bad."

"It was a very good year for F1 from a publicity point of view," triple title-winner Niki Lauda concurred, speaking to Business 24-7 magazine. "There was so much bad news, but then any news is good news."

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner, however, acknowledged the fact the sport had much repair work to do next year if it is to win back some of its disaffected fan base, by doing its talking on the track rather than away from it.

"2007 I think has been one of the most classic years of Formula 1 racing," the 34-year-old underlined, in an exclusive interview with Crash.net Radio, "with three competitors all going into the last race [fighting for the championship], and the underdog stealing it at the final whistle. It's been a classic year on-track, and off-track it's obviously been highly politically-charged, with a lot of things that haven't been so positive for Formula 1 going on.

"It's a competitive business and obviously a lot of money is involved in the sport and the regulators sometimes have difficult decisions to make, but hopefully for the benefit of Formula 1 and all the fans across the world, we can move forwards into 2008 with all the focus on the race track rather than in the courtroom."

TO HEAR THE HORNER INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE

 

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