Formula One. The pinnacle of motorsport. The best drivers, racing in the most advance racing cars in the world, on the best racetracks we have to offer. And this season, wow – what an exciting prospect. 4 former world champions; 2 of them racing for the same team! Michael Schumacher coming back after his short break. New teams, new rules. What more could a fan ask for?
3 and a bit years ago I bemoaned the lack of excitement in Formula One, and offered a few ideas to jazz things up a bit. Maybe someone read my blog back then afterall, as most of my ideas seem to have found their way into the rulebook (except the reverse grids… is that just BTCC?) Bernie even stole my ‘one point for a win’ idea and rebadged it ‘medals’, before he ran out of brave pills. And it got better. The racing did seem to improve. There were proper exciting races and tight championships going down to the last corner of the last lap of the last race of the season.
And now they’ve gone and broken it again. Just one race into the new season, Alonso says races are going to be decided in qualifying and on the first lap of the race. Schumacher says the first race was fun but dull, and he’s right about the dull part. Apart from a couple of glimmers of overtaking from the new boys, Webber’s overfilled oil tank, and Vettel’s cracked exhaust, nothing happened. The Ferraris held together, Hamilton picked off the lame Vettel, and 49 laps of mediocrity passed in a little under 100 minutes.
So, what to do? Well, I’m afraid I’m out of ideas (sorry Bernie). I suppose things might get better in Australia – at least there might be some discernible crowd in attendance to give things a sense of occasion. Maybe a shorter track will mean more racing opportunities. Maybe Webber will put a show on for his fairdinkum mates. Maybe Lewis and Schumacher will get to go at it hammer and tongs, wheel to wheel.
I remain hopeful, but can’t help feeling that we’re in for a pretty yawnful year on the track. It’s a sad state of affairs when you find yourself hoping for some off-track scandals just to keep the interest levels up.
So, come on you clever F1 guys. Please think of something to keep us watching.