Esteban Ocon believes Formula 1 has the potential to become more interesting and engaging than football if it continues down its current path.
Ocon was a new winner in 2021 during a season in which the world championship was only decided on the final lap of the final grand prix.
Formula 1 has enjoyed a growth in recent years, facilitated by the success of the Drive to Survive series, and next year’s calendar will feature a record-breaking 23 events.
“I think it’s fantastic, the way it is evolving,” said Ocon. “Of course there are still things we could just clean up or have better, but I think the way we are trying things, the way the races were interesting, the way there is opportunity nowadays, it’s just crazy until the last lap.
“That last lap in 2021 really sums up the whole season because it has been like that in 2020, it has been like that in 2021, and if we have the cars closer together, it probably will overtake football in terms of how interesting it is going to be, the sport. I would be really happy if that’s the case.
“I think everybody talks about Formula 1. I had some friends who were not really into the sport and now they are completely watching. Yeah, it is just great.”
Ocon is hopeful that the sport can become even more competitive in 2022, under new regulations, and continue to experiment where possible.
“All these kinds of things it’s just cool to try them and just cool to have new excitements and we have lots of different tracks that we go to, different characteristics now with the new Abu Dhabi, all of those things,” he said.
“I remember 2017, 2018 well; if you were finishing P6 it was like a win, you never had an opportunity, never, to be on the podium, to be on the lead.
“Now you’ve seen Daniel [Ricciardo], you’ve seen Pierre [Gasly], you’ve seen myself, you’ve seen many different cars on the podium, that’s amazing, it’s what we want, all, I think the whole sport.
“If somebody would say they are against that they would be crazy, so it’s great.”