Four times world champion Alain Prost has called on Formula 1 to improve its TV coverage in a bid to attract a younger generation of viewers to the sport.
Prost, who won three world titles for McLaren in 1985, 1986 and 1989, and one for Williams in 1993, described watching last weekend’s European Grand Prix in Baku via on-board cameras and said he was disappointed with how easy it made driving an F1 car appear to be.
The Frenchman explained that such camera angles would not encourage younger viewers to the watch F1 races because it did not come across as exciting.
He said: “I was on the on-board camera with Lewis [Hamilton] and he was talking at the same time. It’s not a problem to change something but it looks so easy at the same time something is wrong [on the car].
“At the same time [with] the on-board camera, under braking, you cannot see the speed, you cannot hear the noise [or] see the difficulty on the neck.
“If I am a young guy, because I am really thinking about that at the moment [and] I am really aware about that, if I am [from] the young generation that won’t know too much about Formula 1 but I want to see what it is for the first time on TV but I am doing the same behind my PlayStation – it is not difficult.
“I want us to show something very difficult and it is maybe more difficult that we think in the car, but outside it doesn’t look difficult. So the show is not very good [and] I was really bored. I was really upset.”
Prost, who was speaking to reporters at the FIA’s Sport Conference in Turin, also described the coverage of last Sunday’s race in Baku as “a disaster” because he felt the high-speed nature of the street circuit did not come across using the current camera angles.
He said: “I was behind my TV on Sunday, I did not watch Friday and Saturday practice and for the first time I did not look [at] qualifying, I could not do it so I could not see anything, I just followed on social media and everybody was [saying] the track was fantastic.
“I must say, that [it] was a disaster for me because I did not see the track that everybody was talking about. Everybody told me when they got back that the track was one of the best tracks they had ever seen, but on TV, if I am Alain Prost the old racing driver or if I am a fan looking at the show for the first time, I am not happy.
“I think the position of the cameras was not very good, it was really not a good show. Only making the cars in one corner, the left-right fast corners, look ok to get the impression of the speed.”
Prost used a lap he drove in qualifying for the 1990 Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez as an example of how old on-board camera technology conveyed speed and action better than the modern equipment.
He said: “For sure the on-board camera is not exactly the same level of performance of the new ones. [But] if you look at that, that is really something.
“The point is, when you are in the car, like this, you can feel exactly what I do more or less, and if you look at it quietly you will see that in some places when I brake you have the rear wheels locking and you can feel [it] because you can hear the engine.”
What do you make of Prost’s comments? Should F1 change its approach to TV to improve the show for future generations? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.