F1 supremo Chase Carey sees good future of the sport after Lewis Hamilton with a set pyramid and good mixture of youngsters.
Talent on the grid plays a key role in success of F1 on the global level, as it improves the spectacle drastically, by not only increasing the level of competition, but also making the racing more impressive.
F1 has enjoyed plenty of talent over the past few years, particularly with Hamilton in the last decade alongside Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, etc. However, as the Brit begins to toy with the idea of retirement, the sport will be left without a popular name.
F1 supremo Carey, though, feels this will be okay due to the wealth of rookies the sport has received over the past several years, with drivers like Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon coming through.
“First, I hope Lewis races forever,” said Carey. “He’s obviously an incredible F1 champion, his success speaks for itself, and he’s second to none in our sport, and again, I hope he races forever. He probably won’t, but I think he’s got some challenges still ahead of him, and we’d like to see him tackle those.
“In 2019, we had an incredible array of young talent in F1. The breadth and depth of the young talent coming to the sport couldn’t be more exciting. Since Max has been racing for a few years, we forget how young he is, but whether it’s Max or Charles or Lando, I think we’ve got an incredible and exciting future.
“And to those drivers, I hope they get a chance to battle with Lewis.” Carey, in fact, pointed out how the set-up of the lower formulae plays into the talent entering F1. Since taking over, they got converted GP2 to F2 and brought GP3 and European F3 together.
“We tried hard to create the ‘proper pyramid’ of F1 with F3, and F2. When we came in, there was a GP2, a European F3, a GP3, we had a fragmented, not-well coordinated sort of races feeding into F1. I think we tried to create a more proper pyramid.
“Now we want to strengthen that pyramid, make sure it provides opportunities for young drivers to continue to emerge, for drivers that become champions to continue to compete, but for young drivers to get into it. We can’t think of a year that’s had more exciting breadth and depth of young drivers coming into the sport.”
The revised F1 feeder system is also something Mercedes’ Hamilton is quite pleased with, although the 32-year-old did mention that he wishes more diversity existed within the program and it becomes cheaper as well. ‘I think it’s important,” started the Brit.
“I’ve been really racking my mind and having long discussions with people that I work with just trying to figure out what it is that I can actually do in this sport, and within this business when the business has a certain goal, and that’s not generally aligned with mine.
“But that’s natural because it’s a business and I’m an individual. I think where motorsport has gone, if you look at F3, it is not the same as it used to be, Formula Renault, for example, isn’t the stepping stone that it used to be and that’s now GP3, GP2, those things are continuously getting more and more expensive, and they don’t generally need to be.
“Karting is getting more and more expensive when it doesn’t really need to be. But again, it’s because the business heads, they’re not aligned with my thought process. And so I’m just trying to think of what I can do. But of course, diversity is a continuous issue, and will continue to be an issue for a long time. And there’s only a certain amount that I can do.
“So I am trying to think of what it is that I can actually do and work with and how I can work with F1. Rather than that it just be a tick on their list of things to add to we also do, you know what I mean? Which businesses often do.
“And actually have something that’s actually really implemented and there is an impactful difference being made. So I’m still trying to understand that and, but it is at the top of my priorities in terms of what I want to do long term.”
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The story was edited by Darshan Chokhani