Out of control: Formula One must get back to the basics, says Nigel Mansell

Nigel Mansell, the former British Formula One world champion, has attacked the high level of technology in the sport, insisting it takes too much control out of the drivers’ hands.

Cost-cutter: Mansell

Cost-cutter: Mansell

Mansell, a steward at today’s British Grand Prix, believes F1 cars have not changed since he won the race four times in the Eighties and Nineties.

He said: ‘I’d like to see more things in the drivers’ hands, as opposed to technology. It costs an average of £110million to run an F1 team and the bulk of this is spent on design elements of the cars which spectators will never notice.

‘It shouldn’t cost as much as it does to compete.’

Mansell said it would be better to have ‘a level playing field where you don’t have to spend the amounts of money that you can spend in developing new technology’.

He said: ‘I think it’s very debilitating for a sports fan to watch a team that’s doing fantastic one year and the very next year they’re nowhere [due to a drop in funding].’

This year, refuelling during races was banned and Mansell describes this as ‘a good step forward,’ because it encourages drivers to manage their fuel loads, which in turn affects tyre wear.

‘It puts a bit more input into the driving,’ he said.

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