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F1 becoming unsustainable - Richards

ESPNF1 Staff
December 20, 2009 « Ferrari boss had concerns over Alonso | »
David Richards is concerned about the future of Formula One © Sutton Images
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Ex-Formula One boss David Richards has said large levels of expenditure on irrelevant technologies in F1 could lead to the sport's demise.

Richards recently made a bid to buy into the Renault F1 team with his motorsport engineering company Prodrive. However, the French manufacturer turned down his offer in favour of one made by investment company Genii Capital. Having seriously considered buying an F1 team, Richards now believes the sport needs to change dramatically if it wants to survive.

"The last year has made me have a very careful think about our business and there were times during those 12 months that I had to seriously question the role of motorsport," he told The People.

"The last few weeks have brought that into sharp perspective with the withdrawal of BMW and Toyota from F1 and with question marks still remaining over Renault. But as I looked at our organisation and at the way we have constructed ourselves, I really came to the conclusion, that not only will motorsport still play a valid role in the future, but it will, by necessity, have to change. We are at a point of time when we are starting to look at a complete new environment for motorsport."

Richards added that the recently-elected FIA president Jean Todt will have to ensure F1 spends more money on technology that can be transferred to road cars, rather than irrelevant technology such as aerodynamics.

"I think it's very appropriate that Jean Todt has taken over the reins of F1 just at this turning point, because I don't think we can carry on the way we have in the past with the excesses we have seen in various fields," he said. "Probably one of the best examples is in aerodynamics, where we talk about relevance of motorsport technology and yet, today, I can't think of anything less relevant than aerodynamics to the general automotive industry. Sure, it has a minor part to play, but when one compares it to efficiencies in other areas such as the drive toward the electric vehicle and generative braking systems, I think motorsport has to take a very serious look at itself."

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