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Villeneuve: F1 must restore past glory and credibility

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1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes that Formula 1 must make swift changes if it is to rediscover its former glory and restore its credibility.

A number of steps have been taken in recent years to try and improve the ‘show’ in F1, with the latest move being to introduce a controversial new qualifying format for the Australian Grand Prix that faced widespread criticism.

Other decisions such as introducing easy-wear tires and using devices such as DRS to increase overtaking have also been controversial while failing to boost the declining global TV audience.

Villeneuve believes that F1 should not be trying to spice up the show and be chiefly about entertainment, with other championships taking up that role.

“First of all, we are picking the wrong fight if we want to spice up the show,” Villeneuve told French newspaper Le Figaro.

“We are trying to make F1 the equivalent of the X-Games. We want to cater for the teenagers who spend their lives on the internet and like something different every 10 minutes.

“But that will never be F1. You won’t see cars exploding during a race or rolling 20,000 times or making 10,000 overtakes all the while drifting and spinning.”

Villeneuve thinks that making F1 artificial goes against the principles of the series, undermining its credibility.

“We should not try to seek that level of excitement. Any time a decision is made towards that goal, F1 destroys itself,” Villeneuve said.

“We need to restore F1’s past glory, but above all its credibility.

“It is not an artificially manufactured Hollywood show. Any time we head in that direction, the sport becomes less interesting.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”