Mark Webber says F1 needs to rethink its racing balance
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, May 22nd 2013, 17:59 GMT|
Mark Webber thinks Formula 1 needs a deep think about whether or not its quest to deliver entertainment has gone too far.
Webber has been one of the most outspoken drivers about the impact that tyres are currently having on the sport, and reckons the whole sport needs to take stock of what is happening right now.
In the wake of fans being unhappy about there being too many pitstops, overtaking being devalued and not enough real wheel-to-wheel battles, Webber suggested that F1 needed to bring back some more proper racing.
"You ask any F1 driver, yes it's frustrating to sit behind a car for a full grand prix distance," he said. "I've been there, a lot of guys have been there, and that's not much fun.
"But also my race in Shanghai 2011: I'm arriving on guys like Fernando [Alonso] and Lewis [Hamilton], I'm creaming through them at about 2.5s per lap because I'd saved tyres from qualifying. That's not right either.
"Lewis Hamilton getting lapped [at the Spanish Grand Prix], having been with Alonso until lap five or six, that's not right for me. So it's gone a long way out the other way.
"Barcelona is a tough circuit but it's a racing track, these are Formula 1 cars. The writing was on the wall in winter testing.
"We have to drop down a little bit to more of the racing side of things.
"Fernando passing Kimi for the lead of the Spanish Grand Prix wasn't much of an event; Sebastian and Fernando racing each other in Shanghai wasn't either.
"We have to find a better balance for the fans and the drivers, because at the moment I think we're too far the other way."
JUNIOR RANKS ALSO A CONCERN
Webber suggested that junior categories also needed to think about what their aims are, because tyre management has become so important that pure speed is no longer shining through.
"Young drivers now are not getting the chance to show what they are capable of doing, which is the absolute basics," he said.
"We need to find young drivers pushing the car and themselves to the absolute limits, consistently having a strong baseline. That's important.
"Alex Ferguson wants to see a consistent young footballer at 16 or 17.
"To sort the wood from the trees in the junior categories right now is very, very difficult, so that needs to be addressed as well."