Did you see the Grand Prix yesterday? You did? What, all of it? You didn’t slip into a coma after 20 minutes? Well, congratulations…
What’s happened to F1 then? The last 2 races really have been dull as ditchwater. Cars only overtake in the pits because it seems that every track is “notoriously difficult to overtake on”, yet other series don’t seem to have the same problem. Drivers are encouraged to turn their cars down because to actually try to race might jeopardise their car’s performance at the next meeting. Everyone seems to have forgotten that the main point of racing is to race, to duel, to be better than the other guy. Now it’s all about not risking the points you have for the chance of a few more. It’s about hoping your pit crew, strategy, or reliability is better than the other guy’s.
It’s not about racing. It’s about boring the proverbials off of spectators.
So what can they do? Garry and I were having a bit of a discussion (or moan, rant, call it what you will) yesterday, and came up with a few (semi serious) ideas:
- One point for a win. Zero points for losing. That’s it, none of this “saving the engine and taking 2 points” rubbish, you win or you don’t. You score or you don’t.
- Bring back slick tyres. F1 cars can’t overtake because they rely so much on downforce, and the aerodynamics go all wafty when you’re in the car in front’s dirty air. They rely so much on downforce because they have to use those silly grooved tyres. Scrap the grooves, reintroduce slicks, outlaw most of the downforce devices. You’d get closer racing and real overtaking.
- Let the teams do whatever they want between races. If they want to rebuild the engine between weekends, so be it. It just means they’ll be too busy doing that to spend time on R&D. Penalising a team for dropping an engine is just silly.
- Grid = reverse of last race’s result. Let’s see just how good those drivers are. If you win race 1, you start race 2 at the back. Cue lots of overtaking, lots of swerving (“who left that Stupid Aguri Honda there!?”), and all round merriment. I can see the drawbacks of this, but it’d be a laugh.
- Ban electronic driver aids. An actual serious suggestion. Things like ABS, Traction Control, and Electronic Stability Programs reduce the amount of skill required to get the car round the track, and remove some of the opportunity for driver error (replacing it with the opportunity for malfunctions, of course). Let the cars wheelspin and lock their brakes – it looks better (we like smoke), and you never know, the guy in 2nd place might just get up to 1st when the leader out brakes himself.
I’m sure there are more, but that’s about all I can remember for now.
I realise that F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport, and that a lot of the rules we’re moaning about are there to help ensure that there is a series to watch and moan about, and that the series has more than just 3 teams, but things are getting silly. I didn’t see a single overtaking manoeuvre yesterday, and that’s absurd.
Oh yes, and as for those 4 hours… If a certain Mr B. Ecclestone would like to offer some recompense for the time spent enduring the “spectacle” of the last 2 Formula One Grand Prix, then I think a suitable rate would be something like Â£100 an hour. Many thanks…