Felipe Massa has cautioned that critics of current F1 have forgotten that the racing was not always close in the past.
While discussing possible future rules changes the Williams driver cited the Ayrton Senna and McLaren Honda era as an example of people looking back with rose-tinted spectacles at a time when one team was dominant.
“When it was 20 years of Ayrton’s crash I remember in Brazil they were showing all the races,” said Massa. “And I was watching most of the races he did, it was a lot worse than how it is now. The difference in the qualifying was maybe 1.5 seconds to the third [place], they were lapping the third every race. So the difference was a lot bigger than it is now. But when you speak to the people everybody says the past is amazing.
“So go back and watch, and then compare to now. So I think this is something that people need to do, not looking in the past without remembering so well, and just saying the past was amazing. The past looks more interesting also, because the tracks were a lot worse, they were a lot more bumpy, so when you see the cars driving with the bumps it looks more difficult. But now everything is more for our world, everything is more safe, the tracks are different.”
Massa is adamant that any rule changes for 2017 should be properly thought through.
“When I see Kimi [Raikkonen] or Niki Lauda say that it needs to be more dangerous, I don’t agree it needs to be more dangerous, I just agree it needs to be better, it needs to be more intelligent. There needs to be a very important study to make things more intelligent, not just to change. I think in F1 we always had a lot of change, but maybe some times change is not changing anything, so I think that’s important.
“I don’t believe the FIA will change the tracks and make [them] more dangerous, because I don’t think it’s correct, I just believe we need to think about the changes, and be more intelligent, to see where we can improve. So maybe this is something we need to understand.”