Formula 1

F1 Champion Jody Scheckter Blasts Current Rules as “Rubbish,” Praises Verstappen’s Mastery

Former F1 World Champion Jody Scheckter has openly criticized the current state of Formula 1 regulations, particularly targeting the penalty system. Despite his strong critique, Scheckter expressed high admiration for current World Champion Max Verstappen, applauding his exceptional racing skills.

Key Takeaways:

  • Strong Critique of F1 Regulations: Jody Scheckter, the 1979 F1 World Champion, voiced his frustration with the current F1 regulations, especially the penalty system, labeling them as “ridiculous” and “really rubbish.”
  • Penalty System Frustration: Scheckter is particularly critical of the penalty system in F1, highlighting it as a major source of unfairness and dissatisfaction for drivers.
  • Admiration for Max Verstappen: Despite his criticism, Scheckter holds a deep respect for reigning World Champion Max Verstappen, praising his remarkable talent and comparing him to the greats of the sport.

The Formula 1 world was recently shaken by comments from one of its past champions, Jody Scheckter. The South African racing legend, who clinched the F1 title with Ferrari in 1979, has been a keen observer of the sport and isn’t shy about pointing out what he believes are significant flaws in its current state, particularly regarding the penalty system.

During a candid interview with Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, Scheckter expressed his mixed feelings towards the sport he once dominated. “I follow the races and must say I really enjoy it too, even if some of the rules are really rubbish,” Scheckter said. His comments reflect a growing sentiment among many in the F1 community who feel that the rules have become overbearing and detrimental to the essence of racing.

Scheckter went on to criticize the penalty system, questioning its logic and fairness. “The penalty system they have for drivers is ridiculous. You experience a crash, have to replace the gearbox and then you get a penalty. But you’ve already had that penalty by crashing and a gearbox that you had to throw away. So why do they have to put you further back on the grid as well?”

The 2023 season provided numerous examples highlighting Scheckter’s concerns. One notable instance was Carlos Sainz’s penalty at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, where the Ferrari driver was penalized for issues beyond his control, leading to a 10-place grid penalty.

Despite these frustrations, Scheckter’s passion for Formula 1 remains undiminished, particularly his admiration for Max Verstappen. Scheckter regards Verstappen as one of the all-time greats, saying, “I believe he is really very good, one of the best of all time. It’s impressive to see that none of Max’s teammates seem to come close.”

Verstappen’s ability to consistently outperform under varying conditions and his strategic understanding of the race dynamics have earned him Scheckter’s respect. This juxtaposition of criticism and admiration from a former champion like Scheckter offers a unique insight into the evolving nature of Formula 1, blending respect for the sport’s heritage with a critical eye towards its future direction.

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