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Negativity over 2014 rules still hurting Formula 1 - Alain Prost

Formula 1 is still paying the price for the negativity fuelled earlier this year by senior figures within the sport, reckons four-time champion Alain Prost

The start to the 2014 F1 campaign was overshadowed by criticisms from leading figures including Bernie Ecclestone and Sebastian Vettel about the new rules and the lack of sound from the cars.

Although a spate of great races, allied to a thrilling duel between the Mercedes drivers, has quietened down many of the complaints, Prost thinks that the damage has still not been fully repaired.

"What I did not like in the beginning of the year was all the criticisms, even coming from inside F1," said Prost, who is now an ambassador for engine supplier Renault. "That was a very, very negative message to F1, from some drivers and some team owners.

"The decision [to have new rules] was made many years ago and I think it was the right way to go, even if the cost has been a little bit more [than expected].

"The economic situation four years ago was not the same as the one today. But you have to accept it - and even if it is not perfect everyone has to get behind the project."

Prost suspects that fans have not been won over by the new turbo and hybrid technology - which he finds strange considering in the past such advances were raved about as an inherent part of F1.

"I was a little bit disappointed that we were not able to explain enough why this change has been done in terms of engines, and how it worked," he said.

"The perception of the public and fans is not what we are expecting. That is a sign, and something that we still do not understand: why people are not as interested in technology as they were before.

"If you remember 30 years ago, when we had ground effect cars, turbo engines, and carbon fibre, everybody was going into the mood of 'we are improving things, new things and it is interesting'.

"Today, I am disappointed by it: I don't know if it will come back. Maybe it was because there were negative signals. It could be only that. I think it [the rule change] was the right move, even if it is not all perfect."

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