F1 must free the ‘artist’ in drivers – Zanardi

Fri, 3 February 2017, 09:35

Feb.3 (GMM) F1 must liberate the drivers if it wants to improve the on-track spectacle.

That is the view of former driver Alex Zanardi, who said restrictive rules and over-zealous stewards are damaging the sport.

“Formula one today? A bit too boring,” the 50-year-old Italian and paralympic champion is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Now it is stewards who have delusions of being the stars.

“Everyone remembers me for the (Indycar) pass I made on the limit at the corkscrew at Laguna Seca in 1996,” said Zanardi. “But today, such a move would be impossible (in F1). It would be immediately punished by the race director.

“The rules have changed and so have the cars,” he added. “In the 90s, the tyres and the power really put on display the ability of the drivers.”

In contrast, he says that while today there are “many talented performers” in formula one, “those of my generation were real artists of the steering wheel”.

“But today they are punished so severely for overtaking or driving even vaguely riskily, making the drivers afraid of penalties and having the will to risk something.

“The show suffers as a result,” Zanardi added.

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