So, the new season of Formula One. The 60th Championship year. The year with several previous champions still running, loads of new rules instated, more teams, more points, and the return of Michael Schumacher. Everything about Formula One 2010 seemed poised to give us the greatest year ever.
Then, after a lacklustre Bahrain Grand Prix which many called “Processional“, “Boring” and “Why the heck is Bahrain the opener anyway?“, only exacerbated by the extended section making laps a 2 minute humdrum affair with little opportunity to overtake, many people felt that this year was going to be a disappointment. Not only did they forget that you can’t judge a year on the first race of nineteen, but they also forgot that Bahrain should never be a season opener, and these people switched off quickly, writing off a season that hadn’t even gained any steam.
Australia came up, and thanks to the rain, gave us one of the most interesting and greatest races in a long time in Formula One. But most people just attributed it to the rain, and still tried to write off the season. Malaysia came along, and gave us just as interesting a race (although I’ll concede that Red Bull did nothing interesting the entire race) and people still tried to write it off because of the weather. Now, at the time of writing, the Chinese Grand Prix hasn’t happened yet, but that’s not entirely the point. The teams are already discussing new rules they can enforce partway into this season in order to try and spice it up.
Well, I’m not one of the bigwigs at Formula One. I’m not even any kind of wig, but I’ve been an avid watcher of F1 since 1998, and I write for websites, which gives me more than enough authority to talk about this subject in-depth like what I’m saying will make a difference. I personally think it’s too early to judge the year at this point, and there may be nothing to worry about, but some people are crying out for change to improve the season. Though those people probably won’t read this, I and a couple of my friends who are also massive fans of Formula One have come up with a list of ideas both serious and humorous (though mostly serious) in order to “Improve” Formula One this year, and in future.
Also, we demand our fair share of the money if any of these ideas are actually used. We’re poor students who are in desperate need of money. Please help us.
Jenson Button will never read this. If he did, however, this would be his reaction: Cheering and thumbs up.
A Separate Championship for the Lower/Starter Teams (Suggested by Lewis Glynn):
It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that the newest teams aren’t really going to amount to much this season. They struggled with money, getting drivers, supplies, getting in in the first place, and it’s a wonder they’re even on the grid as it is, Chandok for example getting his first ever laps in Formula one driving for Hispania Racing in the first qualifying session. Some teams never made it. USF1 for example collapsed under the weight of their own ambition and never produced a team, and Stephan F1 didn’t get the drive instead, meaning we only got 24 instead of 26 drivers.
Getting back to the point: It’s extremely unlikely that the starter teams will even compete on a similar level to the other teams for a while, so as Lewis suggests, why not give them a separate Championship? Different points structure, no official titles, but give them a reason to stay in the sport and a reason to try to develop the cars even more. Plus, it’ll give us a reason to care about them when they’re not just being lapped over and over again.
V12 Diesel Engines: (Suggested by Nick AlexisWebb)
With each year requiring the engines to last longer and longer, this year only giving each driver eight engines for nineteen races before they incur penalties, as well as the refuelling ban meaning the cars have to last the entire race with the fuel they have on board, it’d make sense to bring in V12 Diesel engines, which would be more reliable overall, lost costly, and have a lower rate of fuel consumption, which would be pretty important for car design. Someone suggested it’d make the engine noises sound terrible, but in my opinion it’s not like constantly blaring engines is exactly a pleasurable sound to everyone, and you’d get used to it or tune it out sooner rather than later.
Nick also suggests that each team should be able to have a choice of compounds, so some could take the hardest of the hard compound, and some the softest of the soft compounds so we can see faster but more volatile soft tyres versus harder but more stable ones, meaning more possibility of more varied pit stop strategies.
Sprint Races (Suggested By Lewis Glynn)
Other motor sports do it, and for the most part, you can’t argue it wouldn’t work well in Formula One. If you were that desperate for a shake up to qualifying, you could even use the sprint races to decide the running order for the next race: Have a sprint race with the grid set up as the (reverse of) the last race’s results. Run the sprint race with the grid set up as qualifying dictates, and whatever your result is in the sprint race is the grid position for the real race, so you’ll be encouraged to take more risks in the sprint race to make up for poor qualifying sessions. A sprint race could be employed in a lot of different ways, and there’s too many ways for it to be employed that it simply makes too much sense for them to not employ it.
Leave Schumacher Alone:
I’m a massive Schumacher fan, so this might come off as a bit biased, but is it okay if we all just leave him alone? Yes, we are dealing with a Seven time World Champion who came back after a three-year absence, and no, he’s not doing the best job in the world. But that’s because everyone’s expecting him to come back after three years away from a sport where the rules change wildly every year, and expect him to do as well as he was doing before in a car which isn’t as strong or advantageous as the cars he used to drive with rules he isn’t used to and to be right up the very top as he was before. If any other driver came back after three years and drove anywhere near as well as Schumacher is still driving now, we’d all be impressed. Yet Schumacher after three races, still improving, is being criticised endlessly for coming back. Can we all just leave him alone, and wait until at least the season’s halfway point before you restart demonising one of the greatest drivers ever?
Also, can we do something about Legard’s stupid need to criticise someone one race, then love them the next, then criticise them to hell and back the next? It’s schizophrenic commentating, screams “trying too hard”, and it annoys the heck out of me.
Don’t forget, Top Gear fans: Schumacher is the Stig. For the purposes of this article, feel free to insert your own Stig joke here.
Guest Legend Drivers: (Suggested By Lewis Glynn)
Ferrari’s owner once suggested the idea of having 3 drivers to a team, with the possibility that one of the drivers wouldn’t get points. Now, as Lewis suggested to me, maybe it would be a good idea to have a third driver, but this idea was to restrict the third driver to occasional performances by Legend Drivers. Previous Legends, Champions, or figures in Motor sport could come back for occasional races for top teams. It could help celebrate legends of the sport, attract more people to certain races, and add a bit more fun to the proceedings.
Listen To The Drivers: (Suggested By Nick Alexiswebb)
This seems like such an obvious one to say, but it bears repeating. The GPDA (Grand Prix Driver’s Association) should be given more authority to communicate their ideas and questions about the rules. It will not only lead to better clarification of the rules to them, but means that they’re able to better communicate with the FIA. It’ll also help if the drivers are also allowed to give ideas for rules, or their opinions on rules before they’re passed. Sure, it may mean that some of the drivers may get a bit too elite and uppity, and they may try to suggest and enforce rules that’ll solely benefit them, but that’s why it’d have to be passed with a majority in the GPDA before that could approve it or take it to the FIA, who would be a lot more open to it now that Mosley’s not in power.
Speaking of which…
Burn Max Mosley As A Witch
The last few years Max Mosley was in power, he did a lot to try to “save” F1 which only helped to compound most of the main issues with it, which I’ll get into in my next point. However, due to Max Mosley suing the News of the World for Libel, it’s inadvisable to make any wild, sneering accusations. Especially because he won. So, in the interests of me not being sued, I’m not going to come outright and say he is a witch. But, I won’t unsay that he definitely uncertainly isn’t not an unwitch, and therefore, mustn’t not be unburnt. As well as Trulli and Kovalinen. Not because they’re witches, but because they annoy me. And Legard too. And Barichello for being a miserable whiny jerk no matter what. Actually, if we stay here and listen to me go on about everyone who should be burned as witches, we won’t have enough time to watch the races or read the rest of this article. So we’ll move on.
Max Mosley, shortly before during or after possibly casting a spell or cursing someone. Don’t sue.
Stop Trying To Force Overtaking Measures, Then Allowing Things That Prevent Overtaking
Here’s how I tend to imagine the average speech at an FIA meeting when it comes to the subject of what to do about overtaking:
“I reckon we should try to increase overtaking as much as possible! For this end, we’ll make the tyres different sizes, only allow a few engines a year so cars will have to protect engines, make the wings large and with less down force so they’re easier to overtake, and make the difference between hard and soft compounds much more pronounced so that there’s a lot more strategy. Then, we’ll introduce a new points system with more pronounced points differences between positions to encourage more attacks for position.
Now, I also believe we should ban refuelling, meaning every car has the same fuel load, meaning there’s barely any strategy apart from ‘Get the best qualifying time‘. Then, we should allow double-diffusers which prevents cars getting into slipstreams because the dirty air from the car in front because of these diffusers kills the overtaking car’s tyres and engines. Afterwards, we should let the teams agree to not use KERS, despite it being an interesting system which will increase overtaking a lot more. Finally, we should kick a small frightened puppy and laugh at it every time someone does overtake so they have that on their conscience, just because we can.
Finally, I have this gun I just bought. I see you’ve all bought some too. I believe we should aim them in the general direction of our feet, and fire wildly!”
Another successful meeting at the FIA.
Sort it out. Which leads me onto this…
Don’t Change The Rules So Often
There’s a joke I make about how often the rules change in Formula One. It’s not a very good one, but it serves the point that I try to make along with it. It basically goes after I criticise football fans for criticising Formula One for being cars going around a circuit over and over when they idolise a sport which literally anyone ever can do, involving 22 men ambling around a pitch, maybe kicking a sphere into a net. I then say something along these lines:
What they don’t seem to understand is that Formula One is not only a sport only about 40 people can do, but they have to cope with rules that change yearly and sometimes in the middle of a year. The Football equivalent to the F1 rule changes would be something like this:
“We beat you that season and you know it!”
“Yeah, only because that was the season you had to hop while in the penalty area!”
“To be honest, I thought it was stupid that they told the keepers to do it, too.”
“Well, they changed the rules halfway through the season so they could stand normally.”
“Still, not as bad as the season when they made the goals smaller and reduced the amount of defenders you could have because they thought it’d increase goal-scoring.”
“Aren’t you getting those seasons mixed up? It’s like when they banned you substituting players unless they were injured.”
“I don’t even know how they thought that could ever work. Did you hear they’re changing the points for next year?”
“They’re just doing everything they can to make these rule changes an own goal.”
“Speaking of which…”
I never said it was a good joke.
I hope the point got across though:
Changing the rules so much is really confusing, doesn’t help, and most of the rule changes are either stupidly ill-advised, or are good ideas that never continue past a season because the rules seem to be dependant on Knee-jerk reactions a lot of the time.
Sort it out.
In Formula One, drivers risk their lives and can potentially crash at 200mph and walk away from the wreckage without complaint. In Football, people are paid ridiculous sums of money to crawl into a ball and cry when they’re tripped up. Explain to me why the latter sport is the most popular one?
Change The Rules As Often As Possible!
An alternative stance could be that the rule changes don’t work because there aren’t enough of them. There should be rule changes as often as possible, to keep all the teams on their toes. Make this even bigger a deal by enforcing deliberately wacky and pointless rules for one race, and banning them the next. One race could have qualifying be a random lottery, one could have all the tyres bathed in grease to decrease traction, have races where all the driving has to be from the pit lanes by remote controls! Enforce as many silly, wacky rules as often as you can, and that’ll totally get the people watching. Or, render Formula One a cartoonish and cynical attempt to keep people interested.
Which leads me onto the final suggestion.
Mario Kart Items.
This idea was suggested by everyone I asked for ideas. Little did they know it was the first idea I thought about when I came up with this article.
And why wouldn’t it be?
Formula One is awesome.
Mario Kart is one of the greatest game series around, and the greatest Racing Game series.
They’re clearly destined to be a match made in heaven.
Formula One is the pinnacle of motor sport, so much money is put into it that it seems ludicrous that the teams wouldn’t be able to develop Mario Kart weapons, and item boxes to store them in. It’d turn the greatest sport into the greatest thing ever.
Everyone unanimously agreed F1 became a whole lot better when we started letting plumbers and Koopa Kings race, too.
Just watch out for that blue shell.
Special thanks to Lewis Glynn, BenjaminRees, and Nick Alexiswebb.
BenjaminRees can be found at www.twitter.com/benjaminrees
Nick Alexiswebb is a member of the band Symmetry, who can be found at http://www.myspace.com/symmetry4321
Edward can be found here at https://jokesound.wordpress.com, as well as www.twitter.com/jokesound, www.plusxp.com and www.gaminglives.com