A1 Grand Prix takes radical step to level playing field (A1GP)

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A1 Grand Prix has taken further measures to help its less experienced and less capable teams narrow the gap to the front runners.

In the 2008-2009 season it will make the telemetry available from the car that sets the fastest lap in practice and qualifying.

But will it actually help the teams at the back of the grid get on terms with the leaders?

If I were in charge of one of the front-running A1GP cars I would be thinking about instructing my driver to back off on one sector per lap to avoid setting the best time and having to share my telemetry.

The best drivers in the series are certainly not going to want everyone else knowing how they’re approaching every corner on the track.

But as a device to help A1’s new teams like South Korea get up to speed more quickly – with teting being strictly limited – on balance I think it’s a good idea.

However I’m not a fan of A1’s horrible and contrived pit stop rules which are set to get even worse this year. As well as the two compulsory pit stops in the feature race, which have to be made within certain windows, there will be a compulsory stop in the first race as well.

I think the DTM has proved that artifical, compulsory pit stops make racing more confusing and less entertaining. Let the drivers make pit stops only when they choose to. Some of the best races I’ve seen have been ones where some drivers have tried to make it to the end of a race with one fewer stop for tyres, clinging on with worn rubber, while freshly-shod rivals home in on them.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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2 comments on “A1 Grand Prix takes radical step to level playing field (A1GP)”

  1. I don’t mind shared telemetry if they share the information with the television viewers or spectators in some way too, making the knowledge almost completely universal.

    Just because you know what the driver -did- to set the fastest lap, it doesn’t mean that your car is set up to do it, too. This is particularly true if the driver in question used the “pass” button.

    I agree with you completely that compulsory pit stops are stupid. If a team want to try to go the whole race on worn tires, let them. I’m sure the compounds are chosen with the pit windows in mind, anyway.

  2. If A1GP think that the lower nations need that much help, it rather begs the question of what they are doing in the so-called “World Cup of Motorsport”.

    And how frustrating to see a pitstop in the sprint race. The whole point of a sprint race is that you do not need new tyres and more fuel! Daft. Pitting between laps 4 and 8 (I think will be the window) is just ridiculous – a step backwards for the series.

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