Prost: F1 needs less technology, more human significance

Renault special advisor Alain Prost wants man to prevail over machine in F1 in the future, with less technology and more human “ingenuity”.

Over the decades, Formula 1 has evolved into a global commercial power-house sport but the advent of the hybrid era in 2014 has led to an unprecedented level of technological sophistication.

While Prost commends the outstanding efficiency of Grand Prix racing’s V6 turbo-hybrid engines, the four-time world champion would now like to see the sport put an emphasis on the human factor.

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“We are in a period where we have a lot of technology, a lot of data,” says Prost, speaking in the FIA’s in-house AUTO publication.

“That technology is fantastic, and for the major engine manufacturers, it’s very good, as there is more and more a link between society and competition.

“Having that, if we talk about the future direction of the sport, then in my opinion, we should go towards a Formula 1 where there is more ingenuity, where we have more surprises, more strategic possibilities.

“We need to make the sport more human – drivers, engineers. We need to accent the human side, and maybe focus a little bit less on technology,” adds the F1 legend.

“Of course we need to have that extreme engineering but I think we need to have more of a balance.

“Then I think Formula 1 will be a little bit more understandable for people outside of the sport.”

Legendary Ferrari designer Mauro Forghieri, who officiated at the Scuderia from 1962 to 1987, says F1 was right to move to hybrid technology, but still has it wrong when it comes to aerodynamics.

“I still watch F1 today,” admitted the 84-year-old engineer.

“The move towards hybrid power is correct, but I’d like more real overtaking, and the only way to achieve that is to get rid of DRS (which I detest), reduce aerodynamic downforce and put all the innovation into an area that falls within the wheelbase.

“That way there would be less turbulence and fewer obstacles during the overtaking phase.

“Then I’d remove a lot of the rules regarding engines, allowing for more imagination – a case of live and let live ‘flower power’ more than hybrid power perhaps.”

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