Formula 1 can learn from simplicity of 1990s cars - Karun Chandhok

Karun Chandhok believes Formula 1 could learn from the simplicity of 1990s grand prix cars as it battles the latest cost crisis

Formula 1 can learn from simplicity of 1990s cars - Karun Chandhok

The former HRT and Lotus/Caterham driver, who is now racing in Formula E and sportscars, drove an ex-Jacques Villeneuve 1996 Williams-Renault FW16 last week.

Chandhok, who has tried a wide range of historic grand prix cars in recent years, suggests that such machinery proves less expensive and complex cars are just as appealing.

"One of the thing the strikes you is how simple it is in many ways," Chandhok told AUTOSPORT.

"Look at the front wing in comparison to a modern one, which looks ridiculous.

"The 1996 Williams is a nice looking car and I don't know a single person who looks at it and says that it's ugly.

"You always want the sport to evolve, but you do get to a point where you have to ask if you are spending too much money on things that the fans don't really care about.

"There's a lot of things that F1 has done right to cut costs and bring F1 into the more logical world, but the 1996 Williams still looks spectacular even though it is far simpler than a current car.

"There is a lesson in that."

VIDEO: CHANDHOK TRIES VILLENEUVE'S WILLIAMS

Chandhok added that greater simplicity of machinery could also allow the cars to be run more easily.

"This particular chassis hadn't run for 17 years, but they wheeled it out, fired it up and away it went.

"It's actually quite simple, just 10 people standing in an easy-up running a car that won the world championship.

"It shows that F1 has maybe got a bit out of control with spending.

"I was told by Frank [Williams] that they spent £70 million to win the world championship that year.

"That's the fun of driving heritage cars, you can speak to people who know the numbers and know all the stories and it really makes you think."

shares
comments
McLaren F1 team parts company with test driver Gary Paffett
Previous article

McLaren F1 team parts company with test driver Gary Paffett

Next article

Small F1 teams demand Abu Dhabi talks amid 'Super GP2' prospect

Small F1 teams demand Abu Dhabi talks amid 'Super GP2' prospect
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021