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Rules and regulations have 'gone too far' - Prost

ESPN Staff
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Alain Prost thinks Formula One is struggling to attract new fans because the scale of new rules and regulations introduced in the last few years make races seem like they are "written in advance".

F1 lost 50 million viewers in 2013 and the fledgling V6 era has been met with varying degrees of criticism from fans, promoters and drivers alike. Prost, an ambassador for F1 engine manufacturer Renault, has been an advocate of this year's greener regulations but is concerned today's races would not be appealing to a person turning in for the first time.

"I was commentating on a race last weekend for the first time this year," Prost said. "You have all the lap times and the number of laps for tyres and fuel, you have all the information. Obviously I know Formula One and with all the information you have you find the race very interesting. But I thought if I don't know F1 very well and I saw it on TV is this something I would like to watch? I'm not quite sure.

"If I have the experience of Formula One I really have enough of all the information we give to the drivers. It's like when [we hear] the drivers say 'he touched me, call Charlie [Whiting]!', that is really too much. If you ask me that is the part I don't like. We have a lot of restrictions, a lot of regulations, a lot of things and maybe we went too far. I say we because I still feel like we are part of the game but maybe we went too far."

Prost believes F1 feels too artificial in certain areas and does not compensate fans for the lowered risk factor of the modern era.

"People don't want to see too much [rules and regulations], because they need to see the emotion as we have no big risk now. We have lost the big emotion of when you are leading the race and thinking something could happen. You need to understand what is happening but not the fact it is all written in advance. In this way I think we went too far.

"Just take the example of the tyres. Why are you obliged to stop for the tyres? If you give instead of two, hard and soft, you have another one, so hard, medium and soft. You start the race with the one you qualified with and then it's open, you leave the freedom. Then you have something different because you have an interest.

"If you remember two years ago Mark Webber was leading the race and he stopped on the last lap or last two laps because he had to stop for it, all these sort of things."

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