Horner: F1 needs drivers to be 'modern-day chariot racers'
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner thinks that the upcoming 2021 regulation changes need to put the focus back on the drivers rather than who has the most powerful engine, and has urged the sport to make the drivers like “modern-day chariot racers.”
In two years, rules within the sport will change and will address such issues as engine standardisation and the more even distribution of revenue among the teams, in order to level the playing field.
A simpler engine is also desired, which will allow midtable teams to close the gap on the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull.
Horner wants drivers to be the stars again, and emulate the popularity of chariot racers from Ancient Greece and Rome.
"The concept of what they are looking at should put more inference on the driver to be a bigger variable than he or she currently can be," Horner insisted.
"That’s what Formula 1 desperately needs. It needs the drivers very much to be the stars, to be modern day chariot racers.
"We [must] have wheel-to-wheel, exciting, and to a degree unpredictable racing, because serial winning like we have at the moment [isn't what people want.]
"The teams in many respects are getting too good at predicting the outcome of a weekend with the updates they introduce.
"Hats off to Mercedes, they’ve done a better job than anybody to be in the position they are, It’s up to us, the teams competing against Mercedes, to close that gap down.
"But hopefully the technical regulations will be the biggest driver to shuffle that around and change that, and hopefully introduce more variance.”
Horner thinks the timing of the announcement of the regulations is important, as if they come too early, the larger teams will have the opportunity to focus on preparation with significantly more resources early on than the smaller outfits.
"I think for 2021 it’s a clean sheet of paper, it will be a big regulation change and I think one of the things that we debated is that you need to be a little bit careful,” he stressed.
"If you release very early regulations then quite the teams that have more resource quite simply put that resource earlier on than the smaller teams.
"It’s about finding that balance of when is the right time for full regulations to be released.
"I think the cars will be a lot simpler. Inevitably teams will get it right and teams will get it wrong," he added.
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