from 30 November 2011 by Andi Gröbl

Riccardo Patrese is the record starter in the premier class of motorsports. He talked with about his former team and the Formula 1 of the future.

Your former Williams team had great problems this season and are facing a very uncertain situation next year with the new Cosworth engine and an inexperienced driver pairing. Where will the team be in 2006?

In this situation it is very difficult. You have a new engine and a new car. Williams will probably not be able to compete in the coming year, but rather in the midfield. A new driver such as Nico Rosberg, who is a very good driver with a lot of talent, must still gain his own experience in Formula One. For the future of Williams I see the coming years being not so black.

Mark Webber appears a future world champion, but has had some difficulties last year. How do you rate him?

Quite honestly, I do not see him on a level with Alonso or Raikkonen - at least not at the moment. He did not have the best material to show his talent, so he's not on the same level as the other two.

What would have to be done to make Formula 1 more interesting and to see more smiling faces in the pits? As with the GP Masters ...

The big difference is that the atmosphere at the GP Masters is much more relaxed. We have no pressure here, while the drivers in Formula 1 fight for points, victories and the championship all year round. It is not a fair comparison.

Next year, some things will change in Formula One. Who are they most likely to benefit?

The top teams will always bring their performance. Ferrari, McLaren, perhaps also one or two other teams which could surprise. I am glad that there will be tyre changes again, because this will make the races more exciting.

Is Michael Schumacher's time gone?

No, no, he's still at his best. He was slowed by the tyres this year. He still has the power to win races.