Jul.15 (GMM/Inautonews.com) The return of a ‘Procar’ series would be one way to make heroes of today’s F1 drivers.

That is the view of Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, who acknowledged that the modern era makes it difficult for the grand prix stars to show their true characters.

“With all these social networks, they’ve become very reserved and taken a defensive position,” the Briton said during a wide-ranging interview with France’s Auto Hebdo.

“Whatever they’re doing, there will always be someone with a phone ready to upload it to social media, so I understand that it’s difficult to be a James Hunt these days.

“But I think the teams should encourage the drivers to be more accessible to the fans, talk a little more about their character. Everyone should know who these ‘gladiators’ actually are.”

In the past, one way the public became to idolise their motor racing heroes was by seeing them jump between categories, like F1, F2, Indycars and prototypes.

When asked about that, Horner said: “I would like to see something like the Procar championship of the late 70s.”

In 1979 and 1980, F1 drivers went head-to-head with rivals from other top categories in identical BMW M1 road cars, with the inaugural championship supporting grand prix weekends won by Niki Lauda.

Horner said: “I know that today there are commercial obligations and other factors to consider, but it’s an interesting idea nonetheless.

“Why not invite former drivers to take part? It would be interesting to see the battle between the old and the new generation of stars.

“The drivers today have never had so much time on their hands on the race weekends, and it seems to me that the fans and the promoters would like to see it,” he added.