Sebastian Vettel has warned that Formula 1 is at risk of getting 'lost' with overly-complex rules that are causing fan interest to drop.

By: Jonathan Noble, Formula 1 Editor

Sebastian Vettel has warned that Formula 1 is at risk of getting 'lost' with overly-complex rules that are causing fan interest to drop.

With many hoping that his Ferrari team can deliver the step needed to make 2016 more exciting, Vettel believes that F1 has gone in  the wrong direction. 

Looking at the role F1 has to play in leading an environmental push, Vettel is adamant that the importance of the driver should not be negated by too many regulations.

"In short, I think the sport should be in the spotlight and it should be about which driver is the fastest," said Vettel in an interview published on his official website on Monday.

"Today the car plays an important role, like it did in the past. But we shouldn't get lost in over complicated rules.

"Our audience has to be able to identify with our cars again. At the moment F1 is just too complex and we're lacking sound."

Mercedes dominance a factor

Vettel thinks that the manner of Mercedes' dominance since new turbo hybrid rules came into force have also not helped in winning over fans, but says it is not the only factor that has led to a downturn in interest.

"The dominance of Mercedes in the past two years took away a lot of excitement for the fans," he said. "Plus the new rules focus too much on details.

"I think we have to be careful not to lose the roots of motor racing and I certainly hope the cars of the future will be more within their grasp."

Title chances

Although Vettel is being touted for a title challenge, he has drawn short of making any firm predictions ahead of the new campaign.

"It's no secret that we are not still there where we want to be, and there are things we need to improve," he explained.

When asked what the shortcomings were, he said: "It was the sum of many. We know that our package was not strong enough to close in on Mercedes or overtake them, but we are working on it and we are on the right track."

Ferrari last team

Vettel has also suggested that Ferrari could be his last team in F1, as he rules out the possibility of a move to Mercedes in the future to create a German super team.

"I'm very comfortable where I am now and I don't think about other options," he said.

When asked directly about if Ferrari could be his last team, he said: "It could be. I'm that kind of person who doesn't jump ship after just one year. I've never done such a thing before, in no area of life.

"I'm happy where I am at the moment. We have a common goal which we want to achieve together. Ferrari is special to me. Even as a small kid I dreamed about being a race driver for Ferrari in the future."

Gallery: Vettel: F1 risks "losing roots of motor racing"