Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has backed Niki Lauda’s call for a more exciting F1 regulations to be introduced in 2017.
Arrivabene, whose background is in marketing, stressed that it is important for the sport to entertain the public.
“I’ve read what our friend Niki has to say. He’s top of the class, whereas I’m sitting about four desks further back,” he told the Ferrari website. “I share Niki’s view that Formula 1 needs to be more spectacular and I believe that the risk he evokes of the sport losing fans is something that has unfortunately already happened.
“By 2017, I too would like to see cars that win over the fans, with cars that they can get closer to and that are aesthetically more appealing, maybe even producing a noise that gets your hair standing on end, like that produced by a heavy metal band. That was what it was like back in the day when Niki was racing and I was an enthusiastic fan, clutching my general admission ticket.”
Arrivabene says that major changes are required: “I don’t think a simple evolution is enough in this case. Instead, a real revolution is called for, with significant and radical changes. By that I mean more power, higher speeds, not necessarily involving the use of more fuel, but definitely applying a cost reduction to those components that are of little interest to the general public.
“Being closer to the people actually involves taking F1 to the people, possibly holding the Thursday driver press conferences and team presentations of a Grand Prix weekend, outside the circuit in a public area. That way, the cities that host the races could provide the arena for a presentation of the drivers and cars, in a properly managed event.
“I have long felt that the real competition to F1 today, in the sense of it being a show, comes from a variety of forms of entertainment, not least from the internet, including racing video games. It is up to us to provide something better and to download a new format for Formula 1 as soon as possible. How likely are we to do it? I know it wouldn’t be the usual way of going about things, but a global survey on the internet and via the TV companies would give us a real idea of what people want. In fact, even in this area of sport as entertainment, we should follow the trend of demand driving what’s on offer.”