Michael Andretti has become the latest critic of the spiralling costs that are currently marring Formula 1, saying that the sport is “a mess right now”.
Andretti expressed his thoughts about the current state of F1 in an interview with Top Gear at the launch of the Amlin Andretti team ahead of the second Formula E season in London earlier this week.
“It’s a mess right now, I’d say,” Andretti said. “They made a mistake allowing engineers to come up with all the rules and everything.
“I mean, it’s still the biggest racing sport in the world, and it has a huge following, but they need to make some changes.”
F1 is currently in the midst of a cost crisis that has caused two teams to fold in the past three years. Four active teams have also faced some kind of financial uncertainty in the past 12 months, prompting many to warn against the spiralling cost of racing in the sport.
Andretti believes that the sport should focus on returning to its roots, making the cars difficult to drive and exciting for fans to watch once again whilst also pushing to drive costs down.
“They need to go back to the rules,” the American said. “They’ve made these things way too expensive.
“With this new engine, they’ve basically doubled the leases for what it costs customer teams to run these things.
“It’s stupid money, and for what?
“Then of course you continually hear the complaints of the cars being too quiet, and that they’re too easy to drive.
“They need to change the rules, get it back to where a Formula One car is hard to drive, and it’s faster than anything out there.”
Andretti raced in F1 for McLaren back in 1993, and believes that the British team will bounce back from its current struggles with power unit supplier Honda, who also powers Andretti Autosport in IndyCar.
“I think Honda is putting in a big effort and I would never count them out,” Andretti said. “They’re our partners in IndyCar and they’re very aggressive and don’t like losing. I assume they’ll turn it around.”