NO FUN AT ALL: Mercedes’ Nikki Lauda (above) agrees with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen that F1 should be more risky. Image: AP / Kerstin Joensson
PARIS, France - F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda has agreed with Kimi Raikkonen that F1 would benefit from a tad more danger.
2007 F1 champion and Ferrari driver Raikkonen was quoted earlier in June as saying one thing that would improve the modern face of the sport was if F1 was "a little more dangerous".
"It (danger) is part of the game," Raikkonen told French broadcaster Canal Plus. "We don't want anybody to get hurt but it does make it more exciting."
'TOO MANY RULES'
Lauda agreed, though said he would choose "risky" rather than dangerous. Laying out his main criticisms of the sport today, the triple champion said: "There's too much control, too many rules and no more characters."
And the cars, Lauda told Bild am Sonntag newspaper, should be faster.
"I'm not saying we should neglect safety," said Lauda, who in 1976 almost died and was left with lifelong scars from a fiery crash at the fearsome old Nurburgring. "If the cars were faster, the thrill for the drivers and the spectators would automatically increase."
He wanted the grid to be occupied by "real men driving, not youngsters playing with their buttons on the steering wheel".
'JUST PUSHING BUTTONS'
F1, argues Lauda, should be about "drivers with the highest driving skills; and, I emphasise, driving skills".
"You cannot turn back the clock," he acknowledged, "but the driver should again have the car in his grasp, not as now where he is just pushing buttons."
And as the sport considers spicing itself up with rule changes for 2017, Lauda said F1 must resist gimmicks such as reverse grids or success ballast.
"Any kind of manipulation is the worst thing you can do to a sport," he insisted. "This must not happen."
Fellow Austrian and ex-F1 driver Gerhard Berger agreed, telling German broadcaster Sky that it was difficult for the public to simply "turn on the TV and understand" the sport. "DRS zone 1, DRS zone two - it is just too complicated," said the Austrian, a conspicuous paddock presence at recent grands prix.
"We need to have motorsport in which the driver is primarily the determining factor. Not technology that, in the worst case, no one understands," Berger told the .
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