Webber claimed the sport is failing to stimulate drivers and criticised changes brought in by the sport’s governing body in recent years for leading to the racing itself becoming more artificial.
World champion Lewis Hamilton was quick to rebuff the remarks, insisting that the challenge of Formula 1 racing remains “massive” for him, but Webber is not alone in feeling that the competition would benefit from a shot in the arm.
Two horse race
During a season in which Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, are cruising ahead at the front of the pack, 39 points clear of Sebastien Vettel in third place in the Drivers’ Championship, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has also spoken out about how the competition could be improved.
Horner called for new blood to be brought in to re-write F1’s rules, pointing to former motorsport engineer and F1 team principal Ross Brawn as a possible candidate to reform and revive the sport.
I've been half-jokingly saying for years that Ross Brawn should write the #F1 technical regs, but now Christian Horner apparently agrees!
— IndyCarMathGuru (@IndyCarMathGuru) June 22, 2015
As well as criticising regulations around in-race penalties and drive-throughs, Horner claimed that current cars are “too easy to drive”, and pointed out that drivers rarely complain about the physical impact of the sport these days.
Strategy Group blasted
He also had harsh words for Formula 1’s Strategy Group, which is responsible for compiling the sport’s rulebook.
Brawn has been out of the sport since leaving Mercedes at the end of 2013, but Horner pointed to his intimate understanding of F1 technology as one of the factors that would make him an ideal candidate to overhaul the rules of the sport.
Horner is doubtless frustrated with the performance of his Red Bull team this season, particularly after the humiliation of its drivers finishing 10th and 12th in the Austrian Grand Prix, but his comments about the sport having become too complicated and requiring a return to basics will resonate with many motorsport fanatics.
Global F1 viewing figures remain as stratospheric as ever, and Formula 1 betting in the UK and around the world continues to attract punters in their droves, but it is hard to argue against Horner’s assertion that a return to the intriguing spectacle of the sport’s past would enhance the entertainment and excitement for all concerned.
It seems likely that change will come in some form, although whether Horner’s call for Brawn to be involved in any overhaul remains to be seen.
Formula One’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone spoke out last week, appearing to fire a broadside at the sport’s engineers by implying that the technology at the heart of the sport fails to make it competitive enough.
However, he later poured cold water on the comments, claiming that there was no more wrong with the sport now than in the past, although his earlier assertion that everyone knows Lewis Hamilton is going to win each race won’t have gone unnoticed by others in the sport.
Until any changes are made, it would seem fans and motorsport betting enthusiasts will have to settle for watching the two-horse race between Rosberg and Hamilton – a race that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reckons will go down to the wire this season.