Formula 1 needs 1500bhp so drivers are 'kings' - ex-Pirelli boss

Pirelli's former Formula 1 boss Paul Hembery says the championship should consider a future with 1500bhp cars that he says would make the drivers proper heroes again

Formula 1 needs 1500bhp so drivers are 'kings' - ex-Pirelli boss

Hembery was motorsport director at Pirelli when it returned to F1 in 2011, but moved to a new role as CEO of its LatAm operations in '17.

Having recently parted ways with the company after more than 25 years' service, he is now looking at fresh opportunities to stay involved in motorsport - and has his own ideas of where F1 should go.

"What really needs to happen is that the drivers need to become the kings of the sport," Hembery told Autosport.

"They need to become the superstars because people today are very much personality focused.

"We often talk about exciting racing when there has been rain or safety car with 10 laps to go and that is a message.

"We need unpredictability, or the concentration of vehicles when there is a safety car allowing people to race flat out. That is where the work needs to be."

Asked what his vision for F1 would be if he started from a blank sheet of paper, Hembery said: "It would be simplified in the sense that power is relatively cheap to get and provides a greater challenge for the drivers. So why not have 1500bhp engines?

"That may not equate to what the car manufacturers might want in their desire to sell or market technology, but horse racing is still popular despite the arrival of the car.

"F1 could be the escapism. That is where my blank sheet would go: trying to put more money to the drivers, so a super F2 with huge power, less technology and hopefully 10 teams that are profitable and have viable businesses."

Hembery believes F1's owner Liberty Media should be more forceful in pushing through the change it wants to see, rather than trying to appease all the championship's stakeholders.

"You won't please everybody," he said. "Whatever you say or do, there will be someone saying something negative, and that is where you need to have a strong vision.

"That is the challenge for the owners of the sport now, describing that vision, believing in it and going forward. You may decide to do nothing but then you have a real risk of a gradual decline."

Currently working on "a few projects that I have had going for quite some time but haven't been able to dedicate myself to" that have "nothing to do with racing nor automotive", Hembery is still keen to return to motorsport.

"It has been well over 20 years I have been involved in all forms and all levels, and I feel that I have something to offer," he said.

"So if the right opportunity came up and somebody feels I can contribute then I would consider it."

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