Motorsport | Alesi: Formula 1 'needs' dictatorship

CONTROVERSIAL STANCE: Former driver Jean Alesi says Formula 1 needs a strong ‘dictator’-style leader because the teams make decisions based on their plight. Image: AFP/ Jean-Francois Monier

London, England – Jean Alesi says the latest events in Formula 1 show that the sport needs a “dictatorship”.

The former Ferrari driver spoke to the French broadcaster Canal Plus about F1’s u-turn over the new ‘musical chairs’ qualifying format, which will be scrapped after just a single race in Australia.

The 51-year-old said: “Personally, I liked qualifying.”

Alesi added: “Perhaps it is necessary to change the third part (Q3) of the session, but to fully restore the old format, in my opinion, is ridiculous.”

‘Musical chairs’ quali scrapped

He said the team bosses voting unanimously last Sunday (March 20) to scrap ‘musical chairs’ and revert to the 2015 qualifying format is proof of who should really be running F1.

Alesi said: “I’m a big fan of Bernie Ecclestone, but I like (current FIA president) Jean Todt even more.

“They are trying to find ways to ensure that the interest in the sport is high, but they also need to take into account the positions of the team bosses.

Alesi explained: “It seems to me that these people (the team bosses) are harmful to F1.

“Unfortunately, in this sport you need a dictatorship. It is something that worked in the past but not anymore. Why? Because everyone has the right to express their opinion now and yet all they really care about is their own interests.”

Alesi said F1 fans can at least look forward to a competitive world championship in 2016, after Sebastian Vettel came close to beating the normally-dominant Mercedes cars in Australia.

He said: “”They (Ferrari) have a fast car.

“Once in the lead, Sebastian held his position without any problems and only lost the victory due to a strategy error.

Alesi added: “I think it means we will have an exciting season.”

The F1 driver and constructors standings thus far:

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