We are about half way through the Formula 1 season and I am feeling a bit underwhelmed.
I was expecting a more competitive championship but at the moment it seems to be heading the way of Sebastian Vettel again.
With Mercedes unable to convert their pole positions into wins, I don’t see much of a challenge from anyone else, but with Alonso and Raikkonen, there is always a chance of an upset.
If Vettel wins his 4th Championship in a row this year, does it make Formula 1 less interesting to watch because one driver is dominating the sport? Is this turning out to be Michael Schumacher 2.0 when he was at Ferrari?
This got me thinking about what changes could be made to Formula to make it more fair and exciting.
Some of my ideas will never be implemented but they can’t be any worse than Bernie’s fake rain idea and having sprinklers randomly turn on during the race!
1. Reliable Tyres
Tyres have been the big talking point this season with many drivers being more concerned about saving their tyres than racing flat out. It was most evident at Silverstone of the state of the tyres, with numerous failures and drivers being concerned about their safety.
To be fair Pirelli were asked to make a tyre with high degradation, to force more pit stops and to make it racing more “interesting”.
I think Pirelli should just make the strongest tyre possible and if that means no pit stops for some races, that’s fine, because drivers would be driving to their limit and not be concerned with saving their tyres, giving us real racing.
2. Remove DRS
I think DRS is too much and makes overtaking too easy. The problems is that there is nothing you can do to defend against it but watch as the car passes by.
Is it real racing? No. I think fans would love to see wheel to wheel action and surely it is the challenge as a racing driver to find a way to overtake.
You may say there is the same issue for Kers, but as both drivers have it, one driver is not hugely disadvantaged. So it would be up to the driver to use it at the correct time, whether they are attacking or defending.
3. Bring Back Refuelling
Refuelling was banned mainly for safety reasons as there were occasions where there would fires or cars driving off with the hose still attached.
I think by adding refuelling it adds another element to the strategy like tyres are having now. Cars would be going faster with lighter fuel loads and they would also be easier on the tyres making them last longer.
I think in this modern day, I’m sure teams can create a safer refuelling system with the advancements in technology. Drivers would no longer need to drive slowly to save fuel and thus making racing more exciting.
4. Remove the Boring Circuits
I think we all know which one I mean. Yes, Monaco. I understand the tradition of the circuit and drivers love to drive around it, but as a spectacle to watch, it is terrible.
There is really no opportunity to overtake, unless you’re Sergio Perez and like to force your way through! But more often than not, it is essentially just a succession of parade laps. The only excitement comes from crashes and is it bad to wish for this to happen?
Other tracks like Singapore and Abu Dhabi are great concepts but don’t really provide any exciting races. New tracks need to be designed with fast corners and many overtaking opportunities.
Another idea would be to bring some of the classic tracks back into the calender but this would never happen as F1 is now influenced by money.
5. Bring back 1 Hour Qualifying
The qualifying format has changed numerous times over the years from the 1 hour session, to the single lap qualifying, to the now knockout qualifying in 3 sessions.
Qualifying with this 3 session format has become very predictable. We all know which teams are definitely being knocked out first and which teams are more likely to be knocked out in round 2.
Another issue I have found, is that on occasion some drivers in the final round do not set a time to save their tyres. This is one of the reasons why I think that the 1 hour session should come back.
This 1 hour session would force drivers to set a time and keep trying to beat it because there is no guarantee of a position with other drivers constantly trying to move up the grid.
You may argue that there would be long periods without cars on the track, but isn’t this the same as we have now?
Ultimately I would like to see more wheel to wheel racing and more competition, where one driver doesn’t dominate.
Hopefully we get to see some exciting races for the remainder of the year and maybe next year with the new rule changes, teams will be closely matched.
Let me know in the comments what you think needs to changed about Formula 1.
- Formula 1 decide not to force resignation of Bernie Eccelestone (thetimes.co.uk)
- Pirelli tyres to be softer in Hungary (bbc.co.uk)
- Gary Anderson: pit stops should be slowed down (bbc.co.uk)