Outspoken Irvine slams current state of Formula 1

Former Ferrari driver and four-time race winner Eddie Irvine has slammed the current state of Formula 1, slamming the rules and criticising the way it's being run solely for profit.

The 49-year-old also accused F1 bosses of "destroying the history" by replacing classic European events with races in far-flung countries where they struggle to draw a crowd purely because that's where the money is these days. 

"All that history is being completely wiped out when they get rid of races like San Marino to go to some crappy Arab country that doesn't give a damn about F1", he told the BeanBagSports Podcast.

Irvine also revealed that he doesn't pay much attention to the sport because the rules have become convoluted, making it hard to understand what's actually happening.

"They've just messed with it so much. I don't even know the rules anymore and I rarely watch it to be honest," he admitted. "They've just bastardised the whole of Formula 1 for the sake of chasing viewers that never arrived.

"They didn't care about the fans who knew the history and the circuits and those who really worshiped the way it was. Instead they went off chasing the latest fad."

Irvine, who also drove for Jordan and Jaguar during his nine year F1 career, says the sport is too easy now, with excitement levels drained because the skill involved has been watered down excessively.

"They've made overtaking easier. What's the point in making it easier because now it's not as valuable. In the past, when someone made an overtaking manoeuvre people would think to themselves 'wow, that was amazing'.

"I remember when Lewis Hamilton first came into F1, some of the manoeuvres he pulled off were quite incredible but that's all gone now as everyone is overtaking.

"I don't want to see Hamilton slide slightly wide because he made a mistake and come back on leading the race. I think he should either hit something or end up in the sand trap," he said, adding: "They [fans] want to see them get punished for making mistakes."