Formula 1 plans to implement new changes for the 2017 season which will include the fitment of larger tires to all cars, increased downforce and wider tires. These changes are designed to make the cars much faster than the current configuration, but former Toyota F1 boss and current Toyota sportscar racing head Pascal Vasselon thinks the changes will also make the drivers happier.
Vasselon believes fans are currently disappointed with Formula 1 as the drivers aren’t entirely happy either. If the drivers were more excited about the machines they get to drive, the racing would ultimately improve and the fans would get a better experience, he says.
“I think that the general lack of interest in F1 mainly comes from the lack of ‘love’ in F1 from the drivers themselves,” Vasselon told Motorsport.com.”Most of the drivers don’t express their pleasure from being behind the wheels of these cars. This is what I feel, personally.
“The lack of interest from the drivers amplifies the lack of interest from the fans,” he added. “If these new rules being back some fun for the drivers, this will translate in their comments and it may turn things around.”
The FIA WEC is currently home to some of the world’s best racing, and Vasselon believes it’s because the drivers truly love the machinery they get to race. The WEC sportscars and prototypes can be driven on the edge for an entire race with little to no issues, while F1 drivers are cannot run flat out all race as they must save fuel and maintain longevity in the car.
“[F1] drivers who come to race endurance events say, ‘Wow. These cars are great. We can push them from the beginning to the end’, Vasselon said.
“It’s the complete opposite from that they have to do in F1. That’s why I feel that the lack of interest in F1 comes from the comments of the drivers.
“It really strikes me to realise that the F1 drivers and their endurance colleagues don’t express the same feeling of having fun behind the wheel.”
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