Triple world champion and trusted opinion leader Sir Jackie Stewart has shrugged off claims that Formula 1 is in trouble.
In an interview with German publication Auto, Motor und Sport, while acknowledging that some of F1’s current aspects need correcting, Stewart also explained that there was too much focus on the negatives of a sport which remains, in his view, highly attractive.
“Look, everyone only sees the bad,” said Sir Jackie.
“I have to say the field is too far apart — there is too little competition, but the sport is still attractive for plenty of reasons.”
The 76-year-old former driver has retained a close link with Grand Prix racing, endorsing many brands over the years and currently acting as an ambassador for long-time sponsor and official F1 time-keeper Rolex.
“I signed my first Rolex contract in 1968,” he recalled. “And I’m still with them.
“Four years ago I proposed that they support the entire series and it was one of the best choices they could have made.”
In spite of facing the cross winds, Formula 1 is still a good business to be involved in the great Scot believes.
“If there are a few problems at the moment. We have seen it before when Michael Schumacher won everything. But the sport is still healthy.”
As for all the rage over the new qualifying format, Stewart thinks that much of the debate boils down toa generation conflict.
“Our generation says ‘Too complicated, back to the old system!’ But the kids understand it immediately. We always compare with the past, but they accept it as something new.
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“I can tell you one thing. Very soon, a large, internationally renowned company will come into F1 as a global sponsor, and they wouldn’t do it if they were of the opinion that the sport is on the way down.”
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