Romain Grosjean has questioned whether Formula 1 can consider itself a sport, given the competitive disparity that has existed for several years.
Formula 1’s ‘big three’ teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – have won all of the races since the second round of 2013, with just a trio of midfield drivers making the podium in 2019.
Haas, which joined Formula 1 in 2016, has yet to mount the rostrum and has finished eighth (twice), fifth, and then ninth in the standings.
Formula 1 is poised to introduce a budget cap in order to limit the spending of the leading three teams but the figure of $175m remains above the annual outlay of several operations.
“I think we call F1 a sport. Is it a sport? I am not so sure,” he said. “It’s a show. But a sport is supposed to be fair and Formula 1 is not fair.
“It’s very physical to drive a Formula 1 car, I did 160 laps in one day, and will probably be in pieces for a few days. It’s hard, it’s demanding, a lot of effort going from everyone.
“But it’s like asking Roger Federer to go to Roland Garros with a ping pong racket – he won’t stand a chance.
“And would you call tennis a sport if they weren’t coming always the same rackets, or if the court was wider one side than it would be on the other. You judge it.”
Grosjean pointed to the fortunes of Daniel Ricciardo as cause for his opinion.
“It could happen [that] I won’t win a grand prix,” said Grosjean, who has taken 10 podium finishes, all with his former team, Lotus.
“I will do my best to get some opportunity in the future.
“But look at Daniel Ricciardo, if you only take his time at Renault he hasn’t even scored a podium but he’s been winning races, he is a great driver, and he’s been on the podium.
“It all depends what you’ve got between your hands.”