Jarno Trulli says the excellent finishing record that modern Formula 1 cars are displaying is reducing the level of excitement in the sport.
All 24 starters made it to the checkered flag in Valencia last weekend – only the fourth time in F1 history that the entire starting field has made it to the finish.
"We've broken a new, previously unthinkable record in Valencia – all the 24 cars that started the race got to the finish: no failures, no retirements, no crashes," Trulli told Italy's Repubblica newspaper. "[Narain] Karthikeyan is the first driver in F1 history to finish 24th. Whether this is a positive or negative record, it depends on the driver and his ambitions. Perhaps I wouldn't like it."
Trulli argued that the perfect reliability was taking another human element out of F1.
"In any case, this record is a bit paradoxical and has a precise significance: the Valencia race in my opinion has indicated another winner, besides [Sebastian] Vettel as usual. That winner is technology," the Lotus driver continued. "After having won hands down, in the last few years, the battle against the human element, ever less important in F1, it has ended up winning the philosophical battle against the unexpected and more generally against the unpredictable. Something that in our world is called 'mechanical failure'.
"Between 10 and 15 years ago, when I started racing (in F1), a driver knew how he'd start a race, but wouldn't know how he would finish it. In fact, he didn't even know whether he would finish it. Nowadays, instead, reliability has become ordinary: cars have four wheels and are reliable. I can't remember the last time an engine broke down in an F1 race. Constructors have become excellent at quality control and no detail is left to chance."
He believes this is having a negative effect on F1.
"This implies two things: the first is that the chances for a small team to get in the points have sensibly reduced; the second is a further loss of appeal for F1," he said. "It's no coincidence that the Valencia race has been the most boring of the year."
Trulli qualified and finished 20th in last weekend's race.