Stewart says F1 ‘not in crisis’

Mar.30 (GMM) F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart has played down suggestions the sport he has been involved with for over five decades is broken.

“Look, everyone only sees the bad,” the triple world champion told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

“I have to say the field is too far apart — there is too little competition,” Stewart, 76, said. “But the sport is still attractive for plenty of reasons.”

Today, Stewart is still involved in F1 as an ambassador for Rolex, the luxury watch company he says he introduced to Bernie Ecclestone.

“I signed my first Rolex contract in 1968,” he recalled. “And I’m still with them.

“Four years ago I proposed that they support the entire series and it was one of the best choices they could have made.”

The Scot therefore played down suggestions F1 is now in crisis.

“If there are a few problems at the moment,” he said, “we have seen it before when Michael Schumacher won everything. But the sport is still healthy.”

Stewart said even the current qualifying format debacle can be looked at from different perspectives.

“Our generation says ‘Too complicated, back to the old system!’ But the kids understand it immediately. We always compare with the past, but they accept it as something new.

“I can tell you one thing,” Stewart continued. “Very soon, a large, internationally renowned company will come into F1 as a global sponsor, and they wouldn’t do it if they were of the opinion that the sport is on the way down.”

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