Legendary Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker has expressed his opinions over Bernie Ecclestone’s idea to introduce fake rain in a bid to spice up races courtesy of an automated sprinkler system, with the 87-year-old dubbing the idea as unnatural and not in the nature of the sport.
“I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist,” Birmingham-born Walker explained on BBC Radio 5 live’s season preview podcast. “I yearn for the days when the driver got in the car and there was a clutch pedal, a gear lever and a steering wheel and he went for it.
“Nowadays there are so many artificial aids, so many buttons for the driver to press – it’s going to be terribly confusing for them this year – but the thought of turning sprinklers on during a race…it’s so artificial and so contrived that it’s not going to be Formula 1 anymore.
“I would far rather have the races with the rain coming totally unexpectedly; when you go to Belgium and Spa, for instance, you can be sure that there’s going to be rain at some time during the meeting but you don’t know when it’s going to be. But I would hate to know that, at whatever race you are going to, there was going to be an artificially induced wet track.”
He added that such novelties would simply not be necessary as long as the audience is well-informed:
“You know as well as I do that there is no such thing as a dull Formula 1 race. There can be a processional Formula 1 race, but there’s always something dramatic and exciting if you know where to look. Formula 1 is a very complicated sport but there is always something dramatic going on.”