Wolff: Let’s not romanticise F1’s past

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says F1 should not linger on its past, arguing that fans and observers often have a skewed vision of these so-called glory days.

The sport has been bogged down in negativity for several years amid declining TV audiences, fan frustration at the current 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged cars, lack of overtaking, and costs reaching unsustainably high levels.

Some have been keen to revive F1’s heydays in the hope of finding the cure to the series’ woes, asking for wider tyres and bigger engines. However, Wolff, whose Mercedes team has also been blamed for its current domination, warns against romanticising what happened in previous seasons.

“We tend to see the past through rose-tinted glasses and I think that Formula One there are many issues we can improve, like in any business or any sport,” he said.

“[But] when we talk about the glory years in the 1980s or 1990s, I remember years when there was no overtaking, I remember years when the same teams won five or six years in a row.”

“Now, us being where we are over the last two years, made it a little bit less variable and a little bit more predictable. This is a fact, but we are stakeholders of the sport and so is Bernie [Ecclestone], so we should bring the message out what is good about the sport.

“Talking it down is not the right message. Nevertheless, a good show is essential for the sport with lots of fighting on the track. Probably Ferrari catching up is good for the sport and so is the rivalry between [Hamilton and Rosberg].”

F1 is set to be given a major technical overhaul in 2017, with radical bodywork changes already ratified following recent meetings of the Strategy Group and F1 Commission. The sport’s chiefs have until April 30 to finalise next year’s regulations.

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