Chandhok: Today's 'perfect' F1 cars not 'scary' like V10 era

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While impressed by today's "close to perfect" cars, ex-Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok says they lack of the fear factor of previous eras.

Right now the sport has the fastest cars in history, with Kimi Raikkonen breaking the record for the fastest ever lap at Monza in qualifying back in 2018.

But at the same time, young, inexperienced drivers are now able to step in and set competitive lap times almost immediately, as noted by Nikita Mazepin going less than three tenths slower Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes during the Barcelona test last year.

Chandhok himself has driven the Silver Arrow, describing it as "close to perfect" with "nothing to fault", but compared to the heritage cars he also drives for Williams, the Indian was left with one question.

“If you take a step back, you wonder is that good for Formula 1?" he told Crash.net of the flawless performance of the Mercedes. 

"I remember driving Juan Pablo Montoya’s 2004 car and in many ways, I still believe that was the peak of F1 performance.

Image result for Chandhok 2004 Williams

“It scared me at every corner. Every time I turned the steering wheel or hit the throttle, I thought this thing is about to kill me!

“And actually, when you take a macro-level look at Formula 1, I thought that’s maybe what it should be. It should be scary, it should be terrifying, it should be a category where the best drivers in the world, and also the rookies who come up from Formula 2 or Formula 3, get in there and think wow, this is terrifying."

Asked what he thought was the reason for the lack of fear created by today's F1 machines, Chandhok explained...

“Nowadays, the cars are so heavy, they’re up to 743kg. The 2004 car was 605kg, you’re talking 138kg of weight, which is about five or six seconds of lap time and you feel it, you feel the car is lazier in the corners, you feel it reacting slower. 

“To compensate for lap time, all they’ve done is ply more downforce on and put bigger tyres on it. So they’ve made it easier for the drivers.

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“I’m interested to see where we go for 2021 because a big part is raceability, making it easier to race, but I think they’ve also got to make it harder for the drivers," he suggested.

“When you look at the Singapore Grand Prix, the drivers are sweating as much as we are. They don’t get out of the car any more looking spent, they don’t look destroyed, it doesn’t look like a physical challenge that it should be.

“I think I’d like to see a bit more of that.”

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