Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene fears Formula One has already lost a number of fans because the sport is no longer spectacular enough.
Arrivabene was responding to comments from Niki Lauda that F1 should aim for engines that produce more than 1000bhp in order to retain its fan base. However, the Ferrari team principal fears the move is coming too late, saying he believes the quieter V6 turbos introduced at the start of 2014 has already driven away a number of fans.
“I share Niki’s view that Formula 1 needs to be more spectacular and I believe that the risk he evokes of the sport losing fans is something that has unfortunately already happened,” Arrivabene said.
Arrivabene believes louder cars are required to entice fans back to the sport, but says it has to be part of an overall revolution within F1.
“By 2017, I too would like to see cars that win over the fans, with cars that they can get closer to and that are aesthetically more appealing, maybe even producing a noise that gets your hair standing on end, like that produced by a heavy metal band. That was what it was like back in the day when Niki was racing and I was an enthusiastic fan, clutching my general admission ticket.
“However, I don’t think a simple evolution is enough in this case. Instead, a real revolution is called for, with significant and radical changes. By that I mean more power, higher speeds, not necessarily involving the use of more fuel, but definitely applying a cost reduction to those components that are of little interest to the general public.
“Being closer to the people actually involves taking F1 to the people, possibly holding the Thursday driver press conferences and team presentations of a Grand Prix weekend, outside the circuit in a public area. That way, the cities that host the races could provide the arena for a presentation of the drivers and cars, in a properly managed event.”