Former Steward Blasts Current State Of F1

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 03: Ed Sheeran poses for a photo outside the Oracle Red Bull Racing garage prior to Sprint Qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 03, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405030764 // Usage for editorial use only //
MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 03: Ed Sheeran poses for a photo outside the Oracle Red Bull Racing garage prior to Sprint Qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 03, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202405030764 // Usage for editorial use only //

A former FIA steward has slammed the current state of Formula 1.

On the surface, the sport is actually thriving in popularity, with F1 declaring that last Sunday’s Miami GP was the largest US television audience in F1 history.

But Joaquin Verdegay, a regular F1 steward in the past as well as a high-ranking Spanish motor racing official, thinks the sport has actually lost focus.

“The races now are more intended to be a party than a sporting spectacle,” he told A Diario.

“I got the impression that the Miami GP was a happening organised to sell trays of nachos.”

Verdegay was also asked about Fernando Alonso’s suspicion in Miami that he was being unfairly targeted for penalties by F1 stewards because of his Spanish nationality.

“I don’t see that there’s a persecution against Spaniards,” he responded.

“What there is, is a loss of control and loss of direction that worries and saddens me,” Verdegay added.

“For example, why has racing in the rain stopped? Now there are all these absurd races behind a safety car. But where are we headed?

“Drivers seem to be much more satisfied if a machine sanctions them racing than an official because they think the machine has no preferences. But I get the feeling that we are ruining the sport.

“I believe no one really enjoys the races anymore,” Verdegay insisted.

He also thinks Alonso is basically right to be railing against the festival of penalties that now seems to bombard drivers at each grand prix.

“Alonso’s complaints are legitimate,” said Verdegay. “It is possible that the regulations are difficult to interpret, but he just doesn’t want everything that happens to be sanctioned.”

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