x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

More cars mean value for money

I think that Max Mosley has been very shrewd with his plans for the cost cutting and it will be good for the sport in the long run.

bviously it was very pleasing to hear that the teams had come to an agreement to race in Formula One again in 2010, which is a relief after the threats that had come from the teams about pulling out. I think that Max Mosley (the FIA president) has been very shrewd with his plans for the cost cutting and it will be good for the sport in the long run. It will help the teams currently competing by lowering the costs, while encouraging and allowing new teams to compete. It will help the drivers as there will be more race seats available for them, and it will be good for the fans and spectators as there will be more cars and more action on the track, giving them better value for money.

More cars will equal more noise and more action. Back when I first began racing in Formula One in 1989 with Benetton there were 36 cars trying to race, with 26-car grids, so it was not guaranteed you were going to qualify for the race. There was pre-qualifying as well. I was fortunate enough never to race for a team who had to take part in that session which, if I remember correctly, would start sometimes at six or seven in the morning.

It was pretty tough for the guys and the teams who had to take part in those sessions as you'd have to get up at three in the morning just to get the car ready for the session, and then if they got through that session then they would have to do it all over again soon afterwards in first qualifying. It was tough but it was usually the same teams who got through. It was generally a good quality of teams competing, but there were some really bad ones as well. The Life team stand out as being pretty bad, and Andrea Moda weren't great either.

I think the standards of the teams planning to enter next year's championship will be pretty high. There seems a strong willingness from these people to do well and a lot of them already have plenty of experience in the sport. Looking ahead to this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix, it will be interesting to see how Ferrari get on at a track they have won at for the last three years, with Felipe Massa winning each time.

Ferrari put in their best showing of the season to date in Monaco, and Istanbul is traditionally a track they do well on, but then admittedly so was Melbourne and we saw nothing from them then, though they have improved their performance since. It will be intriguing to see how they do. Massa obviously goes well there and Kimi Raikkonen will be looking to build on his good performance in Monaco where he did the better job of the two Ferrari drivers.

With Red Bull also having a new floor on their car this weekend we could be seeing a big step forward from Brawn GP's biggest rivals. Brawn, though, have such a big advantage that it will be difficult for them to be caught in either the constructors' title race or the drivers', with Jenson Button out in front. But Ross Brawn will know that his team cannot afford to sit on the fence and allow the other teams to catch up as things can change very quickly in Formula One, and it only needs a bit of bad luck for the title race to be blown wide open again.

But despite Ferrari looking strong, I still expect Brawn to be the team to beat in Turkey. sports@thenational.ae