Formula 1

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Haas boss Gunther Steiner warns that major potential change would bring 'the end of F1'

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Formula One looks set to undergo some serious changes over the next few years - even if it's unclear exactly what those changes will be.

Liberty Media's purchase of the F1 business in January 2017 was immediately met with questions about their plans for the sport and a year later we're beginning to get a taste of them.

The dominance of Mercedes over the past four years has led to an apparent desire to increase competition and 'excitement' - with more overtaking and a reduction of the gap between the top and bottom being high on the agenda.

Finding a happy way of 'fixing' those issues looks certain to be tricky, even impossible, with Ferrari, in particular, threatening to withdraw entirely if Formula One becomes more about 'spectacle' than sport.

It's a balance that Liberty Media will have to work hard to find if F1 wants to continue as the pinnacle of motor racing, needing to find changes that open things up just enough while still allowing for the depth in the sport.

Other forms of motor racing have already moved in the direction of 'spectacle' in an attempt to attract more eyes to their product, presenting the F1 bosses with a lead that they may follow.

Haas Team Principal Gunther Steiner, however, has issued a warning against such moves, suggesting that the sport could be on the verge of 'dumbing down'.

IndyCar recently moved further towards spec cars with their introduction of a common AeroKit for 2018 - something that is already proving to allow more overtaking - but Steiner believes spec cars are far from the answer.

"If F1 goes to spec cars I think it is the end of F1," he claimed. "It's the pinnacle of motorsport, technology is still important.

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"We need to be very careful not to dumb down F1.

"As much as we don't think people are interested, a lot of people are interested in technology, not only in racing, and I think F1 is a good showcase for technology."

Instead, Steiner suggests F1 should double down on what it already does.

"We need to make it more, I would say, accessible then at least people know what we are doing." he suggested.

"That is one of the goals we should try to achieve but we should not dumb Formula 1 down like IndyCar, because then you have got 'GP1' and we know where that one is going.

"As great as we think IndyCar is, if [other] series like what it's done, it's not like we should focus on that one, we should focus on ourselves and make our sport better."

Topics:
Mercedes
Ferrari
Formula 1

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