Szafnauer fears F1 will lose its appeal


While Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton were rubbishing the idea of reverse grids, Racing Point boss, Otmar Szafnauer, was expressing his fear that the proposed 2021 regulations overhaul could leave F1 cars slower than their F2 counterparts.

While F1's powers that be seek to significantly reduce the amount of turbulent airflow the cars will produce, in a bid to allow cars to follow one another more closely, Szafnauer fears this will seriously impact speeds, and thereby harm the sport's long-held appeal.

"My main worries are the cars are going to be heavier, the downforce is going to be a lot less," he said, according to Motorsport Week. "So we're going to be what, five, six or seven seconds a lap slower depending on where we are.

"We're going to be spending $175 million if you spend up to the limit," he continued, referring to the budget cap, of which his team, in its various guises, has been a major proponent. "And then there's something excluded as well so you'll have spent $200 million to have a formula that's barely quicker than Formula 2. Where the cars look the same. And that's the risk.

"Although I work in the sport I was a fan before," he added, "and one thing that I really liked about Formula 1 before I started working here is they are the fastest cars on the planet.

"That was one of the differentiators. Once we're not that anymore then it takes a little bit away."

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Published: 22/09/2019
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