Former McLaren driver Stefan Johansson continued his scathing rant against F1, saying that it is moving away from what makes it appealing.
F1 saw politics rear its ugly head on the last day of the season when the result of the Abu Dhabi GP was manipulated. The rules of the Safety Car were interpreted in a different manner, and it ended up influencing the race result.
The grandstand finish was not exactly by the book, with it dividing opinion. Many fans opposed Race Director Michael Masi’s executive decision and called for him to get fired after the shambles of a race.
Having earlier verbally attacked Masi for his incompetence, Johansson continued his scathing rant against F1, and said that it was prioritising entertainment over racing.
“In the end, I think both Max (Verstappen) and Lewis (Hamilton) deserved to win the title this year,” he said on his blog.
“They both drove at such a high level and both their teams operated at equally high levels, and it would have been such an incredible ending to the year to have it decided fair and square on the racetrack.
“Instead, we now have this endless controversy and polarization. I’m sure the folks at Liberty are not complaining as this has lifted F1 to a whole new level in terms of people following.
“But, if this is the direction it will continue, where the entertainment comes before the sport, I think we’re getting into a very dangerous territory, I would hate to see F1 turning into the Motorsports version of the WWF, where it’s just a show and the sport is secondary to the entertainment.”
“The Netflix show has obviously helped lift the profile of F1 immensely, especially in the US,” he continued.
“I know how many of the teams and drivers feel about it, but you still can’t deny the impact it’s had. Personally, I had to tune out after 15 minutes.
“I think it’s important to find a good balance going forward, I appreciate social media and marketing from every possible angle is important, but I would hate to see the drivers turning into some sort of comedians and clowns rather than brave young men doing their thing on Sunday afternoons.”