F1 has changed dramatically in the past few years more so than ever before, whilst some of the new moves are certainly beneficial to the sport, I would argue that many of them are just spoiling the natural spectacle of F1 racing that we all loved and continue to love even today.
Firstly I want to start with the main ones which were introduced what seems like an age ago, DRS and KERS, both designed to increase overtaking which in turn would add more excitement to the sport, for me I believe that they are just about right, in most cases they do liven things up a bit without making everything too fake, some would argue that it isn’t real racing because of the way in which these aids allow a driver to simply get in front due to superior speed, but in the most part I don’t have much problem with it.
Other slightly smaller changes that I agree with are things like the driver numbers, some may call it a gimmick, I like it because I see it as a way for fans to recognise their favourite driver and it can connect a driver forever to a particular number which is quite cool, think Villenueve and 27, more so with MotoGP with Rossi 46 and in recent times Marquez 93.
Plenty of steps have been taken that I won’t go into that I agree with but its a shame as they are massively outnumbered by the negative moves by those in the F1 positions of power led of course by Bernie Ecclestone, I want to take note of some of the crazy and ridiculous ideas that could have and may one day make F1 a laughing stock.
Sprinklers, yes you read that correctly, sprinklers. It may have been a joke but it sums up how little Ecclestone actually understands about what the fans want, I know my idea of F1 is that it is real racing, proper close and natural racing, whereas he said he would introduce sprinklers to turn on to soak the track which would cause more excitement, whilst it may have increased TV figures and what not, it would make F1 look incredibly stupid, fake and most importantly, it would destroy any hopes of natural racing.
At this weeks in-season testing at Silverstone, Lotus showed off new 18 inch wheels and from what I have read, the opinion is split, some say they look good, personally I am not a fan, they look a little unusual, almost a little tacky but it is only a trial run of course but they just don’t look right, perhaps it is a case that it may take time to get used to but at this moment, it is something I hope they don’t proceed with because they don’t need to as the current size is fine.
Now, for any of you reading that have attended a Grand Prix weekend, I’m sure you would agree that of course the main attention goes to the race day but the on-track spectacle starts on a Friday with the opening two practice sessions, earlier this season there had been some speculation that F1 would scrap Friday practice sessions altogether, of course it may have meant cheaper costs for the teams as they wouldn’t have to run cars an extra day but for fans of the sport it is just ripping them off somewhat, the loyal supporters deserve to see as much F1 action as possible and taking away FP1 and FP2 would be wrong in my view.
It has been a topic whispered around the F1 world for a while now, Customer Cars, whilst it may sound good to some of you, it would be a tragedy for the sport if it were to come into play, fortunately though it hasn’t yet, but if it was then it would be bad news for small teams as they already struggle to compete due to financial problems but surely if customer cars came in then it would hit the small teams hard.
Speaking of the new teams, yes they may be lapped every race and may not provide much to the sport but the fact is that F1 needs them, after the demise of HRT at the back end of 2012 only Caterham and Marussia remain of the new teams that burst onto the scene in 2010, both have had contrasting seasons, Marussia scored their first ever points at Monaco with a 9th place finish from Bianchi, whereas Caterham have struggled and recently changed their ownership after Tony Fernandes sold up, some people see the backmarkers as bad for the sport and want them to go as they could be replaced by third cars for frontrunning teams like Ferrari or Mercedes, but the fact is we need these teams, every team is needed in F1 and it would be a shame if they were to go or be pushed off the grid.
Double points, quite possibly the worst thing to hit F1 in years, the idea comes from America with the likes of IndyCar and Nascar, as far as I am concerned, it is a joke, what is the point in it, of course Bernie only cares about it benefitting the TV audiences and interest from sponsors, in a sporting degree it is fully unfair, if a driver wins the title purely because of double points then it just means they would not have won it if this ridiculous ruling didn’t happen, I’d almost go as far as to say they should have a little * beside their name to highlight the fact that they won it because of double points and nothing else, also it may increase interest in the season ending grand prix, but it also may make the organisers of the other races see their event quite literally as half as important which isn’t fair.
It was tested during the Austria GP weekend, Fake sparks, designed to improve the show that is Formula 1, it looked great back in the day when the sparks would fly out of the rear end of the cars, but that was then and this is now, what is the point in producing artificial sparks, it just doesn’t make sense to me.
We see on social media most sports able to connect to the fans, F1 teams in the most part do a superb job with interacting with the supporters through the likes of Twitter and I like so many others appreciate their effort, but compared to other sports like Football, F1 is nowhere near as strong socially, of course you may say that the fact is that Football is a more popular sport but really F1 whilst it uses social media to some degree, it misses out on a lot when it comes to attracting new fans with the power that social media has.
FOM, where do I begin with this, it really is a pet hate as far as I am concerned, whilst it is small, it is annoying and I can’t help but point it out, the virtual advertising and text that is plastered all over F1 coverage, it can be advertising for Rolex or Emirates to name a few brands, it can be random phrases, from ‘Bernie says think before you drive’ or ‘F1 the worlds fastest brand’ to the more ridiculous as was noticed by eagle-eyed viewers with the ‘Thank you Mr Mateschitz’ message as the Red Bull supremo helped bring F1 back to Austria, I just think it looks unbelievably tacky and it is not needed, there is space for advertising on near enough every corner of a track, why should we have to see more of it through graphical advertising, as well as that it is distracting from the actual racing.
I know for a fact that people will disagree with me on some of these issues, don’t forget this is just my opinion, I just feel that over the past few years F1 has changed and is getting to a point where it is becoming more of an advertising platform rather than a sport that is followed by millions across the world.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!