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.”