Fans will lose interest if Formula 1 becomes 'too safe' - Niki Lauda
Niki Lauda claims Formula 1 fans will begin to lose interest in the sport if the FIA's push for safety continues, claiming fans like an element of danger.
Lauda, who was involved in a near-fatal accident at the 1976 German Grand Prix, is a strong critic of the Halo head protection device, claiming it is a step too far and one that will deter some of the sport's fan from tuning in.
"Don’t continue trying to make Formula 1 completely safe, because people will lose interest in the end…" he said in an interview with Graham Bensinger, which is due to be aired in the US over the weekend.
"These Formula 1 drivers should be the best drivers in the world. This is what people aim for… People sometimes like to see accidents to see where the limits are… If we go too far, I think Formula 1 destroys itself," added Lauda.
The Austrian believs the sport has reached a point where it is already safe enough and had he had his accident in the modern era, he would simply have walked away from it without a scratch,
"The drivers of today they come with their wife and kids, with the dog, and watch the race because there is no more this danger.
"We were always alone, basically, because we didn’t want our wife to come to the race and bring us home in a coffin. This was a different era and thank god Formula 1 got much safer, that this problem is reduced to nothing and I think it’s good for the sport.
"[Today] I would not have burned my ear, I would not have damaged myself at all, and I would have 50 times more money. I would prefer to race today if I had the option, but I don’t have the option."