Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel feels Mercedes dominance and complex rules are making Formula 1 boring

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Sebastian Vettel has blamed the repercussions from the change in engine formula for the depleting interest in Formula 1.

The German, who had a run of four consecutive championships from 2010-2013, saw the F1 grid alter massively as the sport moved from V8 to V6 hybrid power in 2014.

The changes have ushered in a quieter soundtrack - something that is still a hotly debated topic as it enters its third season - while Mercedes have taken Red Bull's place as the standard by which the others have to match.


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Vettel has always been one of the more vocal figures regarding his dislike for the current state of F1 and reiterated his beliefs in a Q&A session on his website.

"The dominance of Mercedes in the past two years took away a lot of excitement for the fans," Vettel was quoted by Sky Sports.

"The new rules focus too much on details. Today the car plays an important role, like it did in the past, but we shouldn't get lost in overcomplicated rules. Our audience has to be able to identify with our cars again. At the moment F1 is just too complex and we're lacking sound.

"I think we have to be careful not to lose the roots of motor racing and I certainly hope the cars of the future will be more within their grasp."


While it's true that the new style of Formula 1 does not quite follow the same path it did in previous decades, the fact is the emphasis on where the sport is has changed over the years.

In the past, it was about finding optimum performance. If the vehicles needed more power, more cylinders were added to the engine - that was how they became the ultimate driving machines. But the relevancy question of sticking to V8s, let alone V10s had to come in to keep the sport attractive.

Only the hypercar makers like Lamborghini or Bugatti are using V10 or V12 engines - otherwise, small V6s with turbocharging and an increasing amount of hybrid technology are being used to power the fastest road cars nowadays.

Efficiency is just as important as performance and now Formula 1 is pushing the boundaries in both.

Of course we all miss the screaming through the tunnel in Monaco and hate the current leaf blower-like hum when revving in the pits, but when watching the races you tend to forget the noise anyway - and they still sound great when they flash past at high speed.

Aren't some rules horribly complicated, though? My word, they are - even attempting to explain the new tyre regulations for this year is an arduous task.

That can be a problem when looking to capture new fans, but when it comes to a casual fan tuning in, all the detailed rules about exhaust positioning and wing flex rates etc. don't really matter once the cars are out on the track.


It is the entertainment factor that is hurting the sport the most. That is not to say there isn't action, but it can be very hard to get invested in at times.

Overtaking isn't exciting anymore, as soon as a driver is within a few tenths we know that the next time he reaches a DRS zone he'll be 20 metres ahead by the end of the straight.

The strategy element had been taken out because the tyres became easy to manage and one-stop races with a bit of care became the norm.

That's why, as a fan, I preferred the Pirelli tyres from 2012 and 2013 - when some drivers would struggle, others wouldn't, and it caused some variety.

Hopefully that is something that will return this year thanks to the aforementioned - and inexplicable without a 5000-word essay - rule changes.

And it's hard to stay excited when you know 99% of the time it's a battle between two men in the same cars, trying to beat each other without upsetting the headmaster.

Mercedes battles aren't fun when the tactic of 'hold back and try again later' is deployed every single time. Even sitting at home is not an option as Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe say it won't work because the driver in front will know what the guy behind is doing, and therefore, follow suit.


What Formula 1 needs is more competition at the front of the grid, which will bring more excitement regardless of how many DRS passes there are or how many sets of tyres a driver has left.

The thought of Ferrari catching Mercedes, and a possible three-way battle between Vettel and Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, is extremely mouth-watering.

Hopefully, this will signal in a new era for the sport and see a return to the good old days.

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