Alain Prost has revealed that fans regularly come up to him to tell him that they think Formula 1 was better and more exciting in the days when he was racing, and said that it's not a belief he shares with them.
The three-time Formula 1 World Champion, who nowadays serves as a non-executive director with Renault and an advisor to the Alpine team, was talking on the Prost in the Paddock podcast when he explained that he has spoken to fans of his to try to understand why they think Formula 1 was more exciting during his era.
"We have much, much more overtaking than in my period, for example, for sure," Prost commented.
"But again, you have to look at the overall picture. Sometimes, as with life, the perception is more important than the truth. The perception that the people had, I know because I asked questions sometimes to the people that they were watching in my period than they are watching now, and they may be less interested about our sport today.
"[I said] 'Tell me what was different', and I remember a few answers. One of the answers, for example, recently was very interesting. The person said, 'When you were racing, we were in front of our TV from the beginning to the end. And we knew that everything could happen. For example, reliability, and very often, you had big smoke behind you, [from the] engine and we could understand what happened. We were sad. We're waiting for the next one. But at least, we do not need any explanation'."
Prost said that modern-day inventions, such as the DRS, have added to the complexity of F1, but doesn't believe that simplifying the sport would actually make much of a difference.
"That's the first thing, so today, everything is complicated," he said.
"And we're talking about the DRS, and it's artificial. OK, DRS has a good utility, because without it, maybe we will [have] much less overtaking. But if we would go back to the sport we had in the past, I don't think that the people would be more interested or less interested, it would not be a big difference, because sometimes you can see some overtaking where it's so easy that it's not racing anymore.
"We get used to that, but it is very difficult to make all the people happy."
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