Former Scuderia Ferrari driver Nigel Mansell thinks that modern Formula One is lacking in depth of competition due to the fact that several talented young drivers are not getting an opportunity. This season just 20 drivers will line up on the Formula 1 grid despite its maximum number sitting at 26. The reduced number of teams means places on the grid are extremely difficult to come, which has not been helped by drivers having longer careers than ever before.
As a results, just two rookies, Charles Leclerc and Sergey Sirotkin, will be competing in the 2018 Formula One championship: “No disrespect to Formula 1 but the depth of competition is not there like it was in the 80s and 90s,” – Nigel Mansell said, as reported by Autosport – “We want to see 26 cars on the grid. There is an awful lot of worthy drivers who are backlogged and have nowhere to go. Through the years, there were drivers being injured out of the sport and being replaced. There was always a new influx of blood every year, always cars to get into. That has dried up. The FIA have done an incredible job with safety, the manufacturers have worked closely to make the cars safer. A driver almost has twice the career span which is good for them, but the drivers waiting to break in will never get the opportunity.” – Nigel Mansell concluded.
The future of F1 has been strongly debated during the last weeks, as Toto Wolff admitted that he misses F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s ability to get things done. The Mercedes boss says Liberty Media has been in a “honeymoon period” since succeeding the Ecclestone era, but many are now predicting a fiery showdown with top teams including Ferrari. On the other hand, Toto Wolff pointed out that Liberty has made many plans and ideas public, but the real test will be putting them into action. “We’ve heard many interesting things,” he said. “But the difficulty is not having good ideas, but actually implementing them.”
For instance, Liberty Media has unveiled plans for new engine rules and a budget cap, but Ferrari is already threatening to quit. “Right now, many in formula one are moving in different directions,” former Scuderia Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger added, as reported by Auto Motor und Sport.