Aston Martin reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg has given his thoughts on why F1 is coming back to life after some relatively processional recent years.
Liberty Media took over the running of the sport in 2016, and in Hulk’s words has given the championship its “glamour & star factor that has always made F1 special.”
He wrote in a column on LinkedIn: “There was relatively little excitement on the track, sponsors were reorienting themselves, TV numbers were falling and in general the product was no longer as strong as it once was in the really great days around Prost, Senna or Schumacher.
“Since the takeover by Liberty Media in 2016, however, things have changed. The Americans are simply experts when it comes to entertainment and know exactly which levers to pull. They left no stone unturned, and gave the series a new, much fresher look.”
The 2022 season is hoped to be one of change, with closer racing to be expected and a new crowd of fans from all over the world after last year’s dramatic finale.
Hulkenberg added: “Formula 1 races over the past 10 years have often been characterised by boredom and predictable results for viewers.
“The big teams spent ever-increasing sums to drive the development process forward on a massive scale. Smaller teams were not able to keep up, so logically a large difference in performance arose.
“The goal was more equal opportunities for all and thus a narrower field, more battles and, of course, more entertainment. It will be interesting to see how close the teams will race from this year on.”
Some of the 2022 cars have already been launched, with focus shifting to the sport’s new era of regulations and new measures to put the sport at the cutting edge of technology, with a focus to becoming more sustainable with it.
Sustainability. Equality. Representation. As individuals, we choose our own ways to support the causes. As a sport, we are united in driving for change.#WeRaceAsOne @GlblCtzn pic.twitter.com/S4yixUnNeX — Formula 1 (@F1) March 28, 2021
F1 have also made a conscious effort to make the series more sustainable and lessen the effect on the environment.
The championship is aiming to be net carbon zero by 2030, and is deriving 100% sustainable fuel for the future of the sport.
Writing about the sustainability plan of F1, he said: “As one of many measures, starting in the 2026 season there will be power units that do not use conventional gasoline but instead run on synthetically produced fuel. To bridge the gap until then, E10 biofuel is increasingly being used.
“In addition, the electrically powered part of the units is getting more efficient over the years and provides important information for the technology in road cars.
“Last year, the organisers of the Grand Prix in Zandvoort created a good case. On the race weekend, spectators were simply not allowed to travel by car and arrived at the track by bicycle or train.”
The 2022 season begins in Bahrain on 20 March, with a further 22 rounds to follow that – the largest schedule in the sport’s history.