READ what most people are saying about F1 right now and you’d think the sport is in turmoil.Mercedes is too dominant and nobody can get close to them — except for maybe Ferrari — so it’s not competitive enough.Success depends too much on the quality of the engine rather than the skill of the driver.
The V6 turbo hybrid engines aren’t nearly as good as the V8s because they’re too quiet.
Those are just some of the issues people have with the sport at the moment.
But for one former F1 star, it’s all a load of rubbish. People should stop complaining and get on with it.
That’s according to Nick Heidfeld, the German grand prix driver who raced for teams like Williams, BMW Sauber and Renault.
“First of all, I think Formula One needs to get out of this negative spiral which it is in, which, for me, is not there for the right reason,’’ Heidfeld told Motorsport.com.
“Of course, you can always improve things, but F1 is not as bad as some people try to make out. It still has fantastic cars with fantastic drivers and good racing.”
There’s no question Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are dominating the sport right now. They finished one-two in the Drivers Championship last year as Hamilton claimed his third career world title — and second in a row — while the pair managed the same feat in 2014 too.
But Heidfeld doesn’t think this is a new occurrence that everyone should be worrying about. He pointed out that teams have gone through sustained periods of dominance before, and there was nothing new about what Mercedes was doing at the moment.
“Since F1 has been there, there have always been teams dominating. And you always try to make things exciting by putting the cars together,’’ he said.
“So you will always have a team which is better than the others.”
Try telling that to Red Bull. Or Williams. Or any other team Mercedes has left in its dust recently.
However, in saying all that, the 38-year-old did have a couple of problems with the racing world today.
He claimed the scream of the engines of yesteryear was still missing — though that has been addressed for 2016 with the introduction of a separate tailpipe where wastegate can exit, likely to make engines louder — and he also said overtaking was too bland.
“For me what I miss is the sound, and also that the overtaking is too artificial with the DRS (Drag reduction System),’’ he said.
“At least we have some overtaking, but sometimes you have one car overtaking the other on a straight and even going back in-line in front of the other.
“It should be just on the last part of the circuit, sliding and then just overtaking. This is what is missing a bit, in my view.”
The DRS was first introduced in 2011, and allows drivers to alter the angle of their rear wing flap to provide a temporary speed boost.
Heidfeld’s F1 career lasted 12 years, and he finished on the podium 13 times. While nothing to sneer at, the German wishes he’d achieved a little more.
“I enjoyed my time massively. It was great driving those cars and working with the teams,” he told Motorsport.com.
“But as a sportsperson you want to win. My target when I came to Formula One was to win the championship, but in the end I don’t even have one victory.
“I regret that, of course, but I did the best I could and still enjoyed it.”