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Drivers stump up ideas to improve Formula One

By Peter McKay, 28 Mar 2017 Motorsport

Nicole Kidman at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix

Topping the list: more women in the paddock, more grands prix in the US, and no EVs

Asked the question at a press conference last Thursday, Daniel Ricciardo quickly fired in his suggestion: “A race in Las Vegas.”  

Hopefully not around the car park, like last time.

Lewis Hamilton opted for a US Grand Prix in Miami.

Sebastian Vettel, clearly missing a home grand prix, said he wanted to see F1 return to Germany.

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Grinning like cheeky schoolboys, the group then went a little manic. With a grin on his face, Hamilton then brought up another point.

“More ladies in the paddock,” Hamilton said, accompanied by giggling from his fellow drivers.  “More paddock access to some women. There’s too many dudes in the paddock.”

Then Vettel, who has been no great fan of the current V6 hybrid power units, put forward a return to a V12 engine.

Silent until this point, Fernando Alonso was asked to proffer his thoughts on potential power unit changes.

“I agree with everything,” Alonso said, before making his own suggestion: “Equal engines for everyone.”

Hamilton, a happy beneficiary of dominant Mercedes power, responded: “I don’t agree with that one.”

Ricciardo assertively agreed with the engine equalisation idea, saying, “Yeah, but not electric [power].”

It got messy when Hamilton chimed back in. “And not Honda,” he added in a shot at the under-fire Japanese car giant.  “I’m kidding,” he thoughtfully post-scripted, but it was way too late!

Former F1 driver Mark Webber also had a chance to grill Liberty Media supremo Chase Carey in the paddock at the weekend, asking if the sport’s new owners would continue to support up-and-coming drivers ahead of those paying for their seat – a view Carey seemed to support.