Start, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014

Drivers say cutting costs will improve racing

2014 Austrian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2014F1 drivers say bringing costs down will help achieve the wider aim of making Formula One more attractive to viewers by improving the racing.

The FIA, Bernie Ecclestone and team bosses have been discussing how to steam the rapid decline in viewing figures F1 has experienced recently.

Sergio Perez, who moved from McLaren to Force India this year, said that reducing costs would make it easier for smaller teams to compete with the front runners and create more variety among race winners.

“There is a big room for improvement, to improve the show,” he said. “There is one team dominating, normally every year I’ve been in Formula One there’s always one team winning pretty much every race, so that’s a bit boring for the fans and also for the drivers, if you’re not in that car.”

“And I think there’s not much we can do. I think reduce the costs to give an opportunity to the smaller teams to try and be competitive. I come from a big team to a smaller team and I see the reduced amount of budget and with this limited budget is very difficult to compete against the big teams so I think that would help to reduce the costs to be able to have more equal chance of fighting big teams.”

Esteban Gutierrez added that some of the changes in recent years intended to make the races more exciting may have made them harder to follow.

“I think everything is more related to the cost cutting which is probably the most important topic at the moment in terms of the show,” said the Sauber driver.

“It has been very mixed in the last years with more degradation of tyres, more pit stops, everything has been probably more interesting but at the same time in some way a little bit more confusing. And I think the more information is given to the fans about what’s really happening in the race can improve the understanding and it can directly improve the entertainment.”

The point about costs was also made by Max Chilton, who said the situation could be improved if teams were rewarded more fairly.

“I think cost cutting has a huge part to do with it. I think it has to be more efficient, the winnings have to be spread more fairly so that the smaller teams have more to play with so then the cars are closer in comparison so then the racing will increase.

“I think that’s one which will definitely help the spectators, instead of having two seconds between some cars, if there’s only half a second it’s going to make the racing better to watch.”

However Fernando Alonso pointed out that introducing more changes to improve the racing could compromise efforts to bring costs down:

“Probably as we all said the costs are the biggest thing here. All the ideas you have are closely related to the cost as well so that’s not an easy thing.

“Probably in my opinion the KERS should come back to our cars. We have now the electric helping us on the straight but we cannot decide, we don’t have the extra boost that we had last year. It helped overtaking because you can use in different places compared to other cars. Now we all use the same more or less energy in the same places so it’s impossible to overtake.

“And then the tyres are a big thing so maybe getting a tyre competition or whatever will mix things. We could help the small teams that they do in Moto GP, giving them a different spec of tyres or different fuel quantity or whatever to use in the race. There are some ideas that we could take from other sports.

“But as I said it all needs take care of the cost as well that’s the main priority.”

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