Formula 1 teams must stop trying to control their drivers so much if the sport is going to make them heroes again, reckons Red Bull boss Christian Horner.
“We need to allow the drivers to express themselves more without them being hit by criticism,” said Horner, who faced his fair share of controversy in recent years when former team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber hit out at each other.
“We need to allow their personalities to come out. They have opinions, they have personalities and we should encourage them to see more of them.”
Horner also reckons that an over-reliance on team radio information is giving the impression that drivers are simply following instructions rather than being masters of their own destiny.
“Sometimes it feels that the races are a bit too managed,” he admitted. “In conditions like we had in Hungary – just look at [Fernando] Alonso and how fantastic he was. [Lewis] Hamilton came from the back and look at Daniel making his passing around the outside and doing incredible things”
Horner stands by his comments about the media, though, because he says the focus has to be on promoting the drivers.
“I said some things earlier in the weekend that I stand by – because when we focus on the racing we have a great sport. F1 needs to be about the drivers being the heroes, and in Hungary they were. That is F1 at its best, not just in Hungary but in Germany as well. For me that is what I enjoy, what I love to see, and that is all part of competition. We need to keep going down that route and make sure that happens”, he said.