Four mistakes F1 must avoid

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FOTA are looking at how to improve the action at F1 weekends

The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) is looking at making radical changes to how Grand Prix weekends are structured.

So far they’ve come up with the oddball of idea of having a million-dollar prize for fastest lap on a Friday, which seems a bit… irrelevant. Ollie’s comment that it’s “just plain silly” is about the nicest reaction to it I’ve read.

The team bosses should exercise caution if they’re going to start tampering with the DNA of Formula 1. Here are four ideas, which have been tried in other championships to make racing more entertaining, that don’t belong in F1.

Success ballast

Success ballasting makes political lobbying more important than car development

Series: World Touring Car Championship, British Touring Car Championship, German Touring Car Championship

‘Success ballasting’ is a polite way of saying ‘handicapping the winner’. It is anathema to anyone who wants Grand Prix racing to be about the fastest driver/car combination winning.

My concern that such a lousy idea might be given serious consideration in F1 is that it is often popular with car manufacturers. In touring car series, where the cars are based on stock shells, it is used to ‘help’ carmakers whose creations are less suited to racing to win races.

Thus halfway through a season the championship leaders are ballasted up to their eyeballs, struggling to pick up the odd point here and squabbling over the minor placings instead of fighting for race wins. The effects are particularly strong in the FIA-administered World Touring Car Championship, where the weight penalties are the most swingeing.

I can’t imagine the likes of McLaren and Ferrari giving serious consideration to performance handicapping just so Honda and Force India can win the odd race.

But when it comes to Formula 1 you must never to be too quick to say, “they’d never be stupid enough to do that.” Pitpass raised the spectre of performance handicapping in this article.

Mandatory pit stop windows

A1 cars must make two pit stops per feature race whether they need to or not

Series: A1 Grand Prix, German Touring Car Championship

It’s bad enough F1 has de facto mandatory pit stops in dry weather conditions because of the rule forcing each driver to use two different compounds of tyre during the race.

In A1 and the DTM, for reasons I cannot fathom, someone decided it would be good to force all the cars to make pit stops within a set time frame (‘window’) during each race.

For pity’s sake, why? All it does is give all the disadvantages of pit stops (drivers waiting until the pit stops instead of passing on track) and none of the benefits (drivers using alternative strategies to move up the field).

Unless you get your thrills sat outside Kwik-Fit watching people change tyres on cars, this is a dismal spectacle that ruins real racing.

Reverse grids

The F3 Euroseries uses reverse grids on Sundays

Series: GP2, F3 Euroseries, World Touring Car Championship

Reverse grids are fine for lower category series which hold multiple races at one event. But do we really want something as artificial as this in Formula 1?

Some of the best races I’ve seen have been ones where the top drivers have found themselves stuck at the back of the grid – think Suzuka 2005 and Hungary 2006. But if we had this every race weekend the drama would wear off very quickly.

Motor sport is exciting when it’s unpredictable. Reversing the grid all the time would make the unpredictable predictable, and it would stop being entertaining.

Points for pole position and fastest lap

Lewis Hamilton won his GP2 title after a fastest lap mix-up

Series: GP2

A classic “nice in theory, flawed in practice” idea.

I doubt Bernie Ecclestone would approve of it: Firstly because he’s in favour of getting rid of points and awarding the championship to whoever wins the most races (which is an excellent idea); Second, because he wouldn’t want the world championship to be decided during a qualifying session.

Giving a point for fastest lap would also be fraught with problems: a driver needing only one point to win the championship could use a low-fuel qualifying setup in the race to bag the point he needs and then park up.

Lewis Hamilton won his GP2 title in 2006 by gaining a point for fastest lap after Giorgio Pantano was stripped of his having passed another car under yellow flags at the time. It would be a shame to see an F1 title decided in the same way.

Better ideas

Of course, all this doesn’t mean F1 has nothing to learn from other championships – far from it. Here are five things F1 can learn from other racing series and what F1 can learn (and forget) from NASCAR.

Author information

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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46 comments on “Four mistakes F1 must avoid”

  1. You are absolutely right that none of these ideas belong anywhere near F1 or any other form of motor racing. If someone excels it is up to the others to do a better job and catch them. Success ballast is a complete insult to the point of racing and the very idea of reversing the grid or worse still part of the grid just fills me with dread. We have cars that can’t overtake racing on circuits you can’t overtake on. Imagine the Trulli train with a reversed grid. All the best drivers stuck behind him while Force India and Honda disappear into the distance.

    Racing is about racing and points should only ever be given for that. Pit stops should be completely banned and any idea that fixed windows would help is horrifying. I hate the idea that a driver in the junior formulae can have his career influenced by something as irrelevant as a pit stop or the abiltiy of some non-entity to find one quick lap in a whole race.

  2. Apart from the point for pole and/or fastest lap — the latter having been an F1 fixture from, IIRC, 1950-1960 — all these ideas are artificial. And to ‘spice up the show’ with this type of measure, is just plain silly.

  3. Success Ballast doesnt have to follow the WTCC model, the BTCC apply ballast for the next race only which works well.

    The only problem is, we could see a situation where the car from the top (x) teams that finished lowest last race will almost always win the next.

  4. Success Ballast; awesome, you’d get Ferrari purposely losing two races before monaco to load up with 50kg of extra weight, giving an advantage at such a track, then you’d get a place like monza where the suspension breaks on the kerbs because of the extra wieght.

    Reverse grids; nope, teams would suddenly “park it at the last corner”, much like Rallying people do (the ford of Hervonoun did that recently in order to get Loebs Citroen to clear the dusty track for him, subsequently beating him at stage 3 of the course.)

    points for pole; the second in command would play the muscle man in that case, getting points for the team, and holding the pack up with a disadvantaged pitstop schedule to allow the number 1 a chance.

  5. schumi the greatest
    2nd October 2008, 13:11

    i want them to just go back to the old ways, no race fuel qualifying crap, i dont mind the refuelling during a race as it can add abit of spice to races, think of turkey this year, hamilton on his 3 stopper was great to watch him flying around the track trying to make up time.

    i dont want to see reverse grids or any of that either, just reduce the aero dependency of the cars so that they can overtake more and then it would be fine in my opinion

  6. The friday million-dollar shootout sounds a bit random to me, largely because they won’t tell you what the equivalent reward is for winning the actual GP on Sunday. So it maks it sound more like Friday is the important thing and the race is the side-sho, which is daft. I’m sure the prize for 10 points is bigger than a million dollars, but I don’t know how much by.

    Besides, I do tend to think they get too much practice time on Friday: two 90-minute sessions is too much I think. If they want to pound round the track then they can do it as soon as the light turns green, and none of this “go out, do an installation lap and then come back and sit in the garage for 40 minutes”. So my plan for the weekend would eliminate the second Friday practice. The first one is kept, either as one 90 min. session or split into two 45 minute sessions separated by 30-60 minutes. Besides, more time just gives the cream longer to rise to the top and reduces surprises.

    With this time saved something new and interesting could be done – though exactly what I don’t know. You could either go conservative and keep Saturday/Sunday as they are and do something different on Friday afternoon, or if you wanted to be daring (and probably controversial) move qualifying to Friday afternoon, change the whole weekend format and do something totally different on Saturday.

    The former would be fairly safe as the reason Friday practice isn’t talked about is that everyone’s at work, so arguably it’s mostly about entertaining those at the track and giving TV companies highlights of it for the evening. The latter option would be a complete rethink and would probably involve some sort of GP2 format of two races which would probably fall under the category of “mistake”, for the hardcore fans anyway – I suspect a short race on Saturday (with the “feature” on Sunday as usual) would get more viewers than quali would, which is basically watched by the hardcore no matter what the format is.

  7. I agree that rather than forever playing around with formats, rules, and points systems, they just need to fix the fundamental flaws as to why a faster car cannot pass a slower car.

    The whole Firday thing seems so random to me too, it’s there for the teams to get the best setup possible for the weekend ahead, ultimately (theoretically) giving us the best spectacle with the cars in the best condition when it comes to the actual racing.

    As a side, does anyone know why they used to only count the best however-many results in a season to work out the points tallys, rather than the whole season like they do now?

  8. It wouldn’t be a popular idea with the teams, but after watching the GP2 reverse grids, I wonder what it would be like if each race began in the same order as the previous race finished – not reversed.

    This would add a certain momentum factor to the race, someone at the back might take several races to get to a race winning position; and Massa/Raikkonen mistakes would be punished twice.

    Just think, if this was in place the next race would start with Alonso on pole and Rosberg also on the front-row with all the championship contenders further down. It would be great…

    …until you remember the Shumacher years, it would have made them twice as bad!

  9. The only one of these ideas I would entertain is a variation of the point for pole position, where the driver who sets the fastest lap time in the low-fuel Q2 gets a point. At least then we would actually see who is the quickest on a low fuel run.

  10. Is there a problem with the racing at all?

    Next year they’re taking the emphasis off aerodynamics so the cars need more mehanical grip and will be able to slip stream.

    To suggest that changes are needed in turn suggests that there’s a problem. Even before next year’s changes come in.

  11. Here’s another popular mistake: awarding points to every finishing position. Usually justified by the racing series as a way to increase overtaking further down the field. But also makes it impossible to follow the championship.

  12. Well, you’ve said it.

  13. The main problem with F1 is the constant tinkering with the rules. They should make qualifying simpler, sort out stupid rules like the safety car/pit lane and the overtaking-one-corner-after-cutting-a-chicane ruling that appeared out of nowhere.

    But of course, they won’t do that, because it would mean Max giving away the merest atom of power over the sport.

  14. Well, I think F1 is suffering of an excess of rules and burocratics…

    Return back F1 freedom to built and put in place new ideas. Some years ago, F1 was sending technology to customer cars. Now, technology from customer cars are coming to F1!

    Overtaking is the big problem of current F1 and the way to solve it is work on the aerodinamics. I think next year we will see if the new system is good enough.

    And to promote overtaking, give extra points to the driver who overtakes taken from the driver who is overtaken.

    So, if you are in 3rd, and the driver in 4th position take your place, this last one will have his 6 points plus one additional from the other driver who will not have just 5 but 4.

    For all drivers just out of the points, give them 1 point for all places they achieved to gain racing on track, not because DNFs or whatever. So, if a Force india is capable of making 4 overtakings on the track he will have the same number of points of a driver starting and finishing in 5 place. Surely this Force India will not win the championship that way, but we will see a lot of action behind the big teams!

    All F1 aficionados, want to see action on the track, give a prize for this, not for being quite quick in one lap, and quite conservative the rest of the weekend.

  15. No comment necessary Keith – other than to say that you are absolutely 100% right.

  16. I don’t like most of these ideas either but I would like to see some variant of the Friday race and here’s why…

    The argument we have forever is which F1 driver is great and which one’s are great but stuck in cars that aren’t or don’t suit them. Inevitably this is a very difficult argument to settle because even if the same drivers share teams somewhere in their careers, the teams’ fortunes change so much from year to year that it is impossible to say how they would have done if they were in the same team at the same time.

    Why not have a Friday race that uses the reverse grid idea (based on the standing from the previous race)? That will mix things up a bit for Friday and make it interesting enough to watch I think, even if the race is under an hour, particularly with the supposedly easier to pass with cars of 2009.

    Or how about having a Friday race with the F1 drivers but with the chassis from another racing series like GP2 or A1GP?

    Basically I am dying to see the F1 drivers race each other in cars that are similar enough to where I can compare them :)

  17. michael counsell
    2nd October 2008, 18:53

    Success ballast is inherently fair in the long run, but many people aren’t capable of perceiving this. Considering attitidues of many F1 fans who complain about everything, it wouldn’t be worthwhile…

    Mandatory pitstops aren’t needed but a pitstop creates excitement more than watching cars driving around a track and gives visibility to hard working mechanics. F1 doesn’t need to make it mandatory, teams do it because it allows them to complete the race distance in the shortest possible time.

    Reverse grids aren’t even applicable as there is and will only ever be one race a weekend.

    Drivers used to get a point for fastest lap in the 50s even when the timing was only accurate to the nearest second or if you were lucky a tenth. May keep a race setttled early interesting. Points for qualifying adds little but in other championships it adds extra interest to qualifying.

  18. Michael – How is success ballasting “inherently fair in the long run”, then? The way I see it, the most capable car/drive combinations have to carry more weight in total over the course of a season. That doesn’t strike me as fair.

    Besides which if it success ballasting is “inherently fair in the long run”, isn’t it by definition pointless? Surely the aim of success ballasting is to help the slower cars/drivers to win occasionally, therefore it has to be unfair in order to have the desired effect?

  19. Ollie’s comment that it’s “just plain silly” is about the nicest reaction to it I’ve read.

    Heh. Often, when I’m writing posts the original language is quite different to the language that eventually gets published. This was one of those cases.

    Good post Keith, I can’t add much really, but just wanted to say I hadn’t even thought about how some of these ideas may actually end up becoming a part of the F1 weekend if Whitmarsh’s idea is anything to go by. Let’s hope FOTA see sense though and don’t turn F1 into a Whacky Races show.

  20. There are a few things I’d like to see

    1) an American-style points system that applies to every position. It cannot be fair to finish in 9th place and score the same as people 50 seconds behind you and score a point less than someone 1 second ahead.

    2) a sole engine manufacturer

    3) Single-lap qualifying runs without race fuel. Unlikely to produce many wild grids since it wouldn’t take long but would certainly put the drivers under incredible pressure. Qualifying at the moment is duller than it should be.

    There are many changes that could be made (as Keith has outlined) that I would hate but could live with but if they even consider introducing speed boosting I’d be out of here.

    If they do that they might as well go the whole MarioKart hog and introduce giant banana skins and a button to hit all the other drivers with a bolt of lightning.

  21. Airborne Williams Cap
    2nd October 2008, 21:01

    With respect to the current 2 sesions of 90 mins, I have been to the Spannish GP for the last few years and it really adds value having an opportunity to go to any grandstand on the Friday and watch the cars / take photos from a number of different viewpoints. Its also good to see what kind of times the cars are doing so that you can get a feel for qualifying and race performance.

    I guess its also a good way of saving the teams money as these sesssions greatly reduce the need for private testing.

    Changing things for the sake of it is pointless. If they want to spice up the show, just make the actual racing more exciting (which will hopefully be the case next year. Always next year…)

  22. Success ballast is inherently fair in the long run, but many people aren’t capable of perceiving this. Considering attitidues of many F1 fans who complain about everything, it wouldn’t be worthwhile…

    As Keith says, success ballast is deliberately designed to be unfair. Equal, yes, but fair, no. A handicap by definition is not fair.

    Mandatory pitstops aren’t needed but a pitstop creates excitement more than watching cars driving around a track

    Interesting. I’d have thought the whole point of a motor race was to watch cars go round a track – but apparently that’s the least interesting aspect of it? That’s a bit like saying we only go to football games to see the queue for the pies at half-time.

    Reverse grids aren’t even applicable as there is and will only ever be one race a weekend.


    Once F1 is well and truly run by the bean counters, anything will be possible.

  23. there was an interview with bernie on croatian national television. among other things he said, probably under the influence of olympic games, that podium finishers would get medals. and no points systems… most wins gets you the title. i think that would be most fair.

  24. They could do the reverse grid for maybe 2 or 3 races a year, selected at random and announced after qualifying to stop people perposefully qualifying badly. This would eliminate the problem of it happening too much and could be quite interesting.

    Though, one way perhaps to spice up racing is to give the drivers a reward for overtaking, maybe points or money or sometihng and then they will be more encouraged to overtake other cars.

  25. Amy

    Surely if you are prepared to sacrifice the integrity of the contest for entertainment (by reversing the grid) then why bother even having winners or points.

    If a sport needs to handicap its best practitioners to tempt people to come and watch then it can no longer call itself a sport

  26. Great article Keith. Totally agree with all of your points.

    Interesting to see many people doing exactly the same as FOTA and coming up with alternative ways to spice up the race weekend. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to let Max’n’Bernie run the show after all! (joke)

    I have one suggestion myself, however. Let the teams and heirachy try to fix what’s wrong next year. You never know, they might get it right this time. What I would like to see (similar to Armen) is a truer ability indicator of each driver. Maybe a Winter Cup that runs for a fortnight or so in the off season. Drivers in equal machinery, chassis’ made by whoever, engines by Cosworth and only minor setup changes allowed to suit driving style. Base it all at Silverstone (close to base for most teams), short races, two or three a day, no pitstops, just pure racing between (apparently) the world’s best. This could help teams and fans to get a better idea of the pecking order, especially if there was a rookie leg to the Championship aswell. Football has intra and inter-season cups, Aussie Rule Football has a pre-season cup, cricket with 20-20 and the one day game, the list goes on – why not a cup for current and potential F1 drivers?

    Leave the race weekend alone, it doesn’t need to be any more farcical at the moment.

  27. David Gleeson
    3rd October 2008, 2:31

    To: David Watkins
    2) a sole engine manufacturer

    A sole engine. Isn’t this the same as the engine freeze? Good theory but politics will always get involved to put holes and grey areas into the rule.
    You could possible lose some/all of the car companies. BMW doesn’t want to have a Toyota engine in it, Ferrari would want a Mercedes enging in it. Ferrari, BMW Sauber, Renault, Toyota, Honda. You could put McLaren-Mercedes in this group as well. Anyway Bernie could get as much money.

    On the qulaification side of things why not just have 4x10mins qualification sections where you have 5 cars on at a time. Have some way of trying to get the cars that are closest together to ensure that there is a smaller chance of overtaking. This would be on empty tanks.

    This is the pinnacle of the motoring sport. Why would you want to make it easy for any team to win. They may just want to select first place via a chook draw or have see who did the best drive of the day and give them first place. This is a competition of the highest order. Any restriction just moves it closer its rivals.

    By the way Keith, great work.

  28. Car numbers are put into a hat. Drivers draw a number each out of the hat for which car they will qualify with. They keep their qualifying place but redraw a car for their race car.

    Sprinkler systems are installed at all tracks and turned on randomly.

    and most importantly…. bring back the traditional Le Mans start!

    Let’s go racin’ :)

  29. Toby, I think that an off-season “cup” race in equivalent machinery is probably an even better idea than the one I threw out which adds that event to the race weekend.

    I like the race weekend as it is right now, although I don’t often watch the Friday sessions.

    I think it would be lots of fun and pretty informative for fans and teams alike to see the drivers competing in similar cars. Right now picking/hiring the drivers involves a lot of guesswork and assumptions.

  30. Crap…. Idiotic… Horseshyyt…
    apart from the “fastest lap – pole” idea… all are idiotic…

  31. The soon-to-be-relaunched Formula Two has a new twist on the ‘mandatory pit stop’ nonsense:

    In another effort to style the F2 series as an F1 proving ground, the second race at each round will feature mandatory pit stops. However, there will be no tyre changes at these stops, and the drivers will simply remain stationary for 10 seconds before rejoining. Palmer explained that the idea behind this rule was to train drivers in maximising their in and out-laps, and positioning their cars accurately at pit stops, but that he did not want external factors like fumbled wheel changes deciding race results.

  32. The soon-to-be-relaunched Formula Two has a new twist on the ‘mandatory pit stop’ nonsense:

    In another effort to style the F2 series as an F1 proving ground, the second race at each round will feature mandatory pit stops. However, there will be no tyre changes at these stops, and the drivers will simply remain stationary for 10 seconds before rejoining. Palmer explained that the idea behind this rule was to train drivers in maximising their in and out-laps, and positioning their cars accurately at pit stops, but that he did not want external factors like fumbled wheel changes deciding race results.

    For the love of God…

  33. Cynic inside me says the Formula 2 pitstop is to get drivers ready for F1 stop-go penalties.

  34. Boy ow boy… what next!!
    A drivers helmet change and a car wash?

  35. I have heard some crazy ideas but Amy that is the craziest ever. 2 or three random races a year you reverse the grid. Apart from the fact that should one of the faster guys have a problem and end up on pole everyone would think it was fixed the whole idea is grossly unfair. Imagine you are a driver and get the only pole of your career on the day that someone randomly decides to reverse the grid.

    Pit stops do not spice up anything. How many times have you heard a driver say that he decided to wait to see what happened at the stops rathe than just try and overtake the car in front. Pit stops should be banned in all races in all clasees that run for less than 3 hours. Let the drivers sort things out on track rather than let the pit crew/strategists/statiticans decide who wins. Think of it being kinda like a race. That works for me.

  36. I had to laugh at your spin off article from this one Keith about the Daytona 500 and how annoying Darrell Waltrip is. If you want real annoying, listen to his brother Michael, he has an ego the size of Texas and talent the size of Rhode Island.
    To the point at hand, the basic structure of Formula One races is good, but I would like to see more incentive for rewarding drivers who lead laps. Maybe a points system for the driver who leads the most would not be a bad idea, and rewards the spirit of the enterprise, which is to come first!
    On the odd occasion when a team that would normally not be a contender leads a race, such as Renault did recently with Alonso, then that would indeed spice things up in the constructors championship aswell as the drivers.
    Also, a cash prize to the winner and the team should be introduced, with a cut in driver salaries so there is more incentive to actually race than just sit at the back of the field, ala Ralf Schumacher, and collect $30 million for doing sweet f.a.

  37. I used to enjoy the series that was, at the time, called “Toyota Atlantic Series,” now I think it’s just “The Atlantic Championship” (a CART orphan) but was once “Formula Atlantic,” in specification and principle it’s like F3 with spec cars.

    The reason I used to enjoy it was because the crews would make very basic mistakes that made the races completely unpredictable, like, sending the driver with loose wheel lugs, or sending a car while the fuel is still filling. It’s a bit sadistic but at the time I was 13 years old.

    Mandatory pitstop windows are stupid, not just because someone should have the right to dare to run on spent tires, but you should also be allowed to change tires if you get a puncture before the “window” without being forced to stop again for no reason.

    Success ballast is stupid, not because it is unfair to the winners, but because it is a road to hell paved with a good intention. You see, ballast makes the car heavy, but it also can be used to adjust the balance of a car, and if placed strategically, it can give a tall car, like a touring car, a big advantage. If success ballast was installed in Formula 1, the ballast weight would have to be negligible because of how razor’s-edge sensitive the cars are, and I assure you, the engineers would use a weight-jacking system to create a sort of active counterweight suspension with the success ballast.

    I have nothing against the bonus point for qualifying, though I agree it doesn’t really add anything to the competition. Best qualifications would make for a good tiebreaker following the “most wins, most seconds,…” if it was ever necessary to use it. The bonus point for fastest lap, like Indianapolis’ “leading at halfway” prize, seems a bit meaningless, however. Such prizes should earn drivers and teams money but not be worth points towards the championship.

    I like the simplicity of F1’s point system as well. The only reason American series will give points to any competitors is that it serves as incentive for teams that cannot show at every race.

  38. I think people are mistaking the purpose of this idea. I think the idea is not meant to intervene with any of the normal racing or even really meant to “spice up” the show. The idea comes from FOTA not from the FIA so I don’t think it is meant to intervene with the racing.

    The idea is properly more aimed at hardcore F1 fans (to give something extra back to the fans) and perhaps more for the spectators at the track. At many races there are sometimes still very few people on Fridays, so it would perhaps also make Fridays a bit more interesting for the not so hardcore fans.

    But it might even be more interesting for the hardcore fans, we are always discussing who was really faster, tyre and fuel strategies saving the engine at the end or how well the track is rubbered in, or traffic; we are always speculating about these things. So something like this would perhaps provide us with some more definite answers. The truth of matter is even if we think it is a silly idea, I bet everyone would watch it in any case, and everyone would soon be debating that their driver has the most raw pace.

    There are perhaps better variations on the idea around(like letting the test drivers race on Fridays), but in principal I don’t think it is a bad idea.

    The fact that they are offering prize money, means that it isn’t something that should get into the way of the actual grandprix’s or even qualifying. Besides I don’t think the FIA would approve of something like that in any case.

    F1 should never even consider things likes ballast and reverse grids, things like that are just gimmicks, with different manufacturers it would be unfair to “award” mediocre type performances. Although it wouldn’t be so bad to give points for pole and for the fastest lap, many other racing series’s does this.

  39. Let’s just go all the way:

    Every driver in the top 10 has to make a pit stop in the last 10 laps.
    They get out of their cars and run around them 3 times, get back in and rejoin the race.
    No fuel can be added or tyres changed in this pit stop.

    That should let the back markers win a few.

    If any driver gets more than a 10 point advantage in the championship then they could start the next race once the field had finished their first lap.


    Get rid of most of the aerodynamic devices and give the teams some massive slick tyres instead, ban carbon brakes & give us low fuel qualifying for Q3 and let all the teams pick their fuel load before the race.

    If they really want to make us happy then let the teams innovate & don’t ban all of the new technology they develop.
    Active suspension is good racing technology, traction control is not – differentiate between the two, allow the former, ban the latter.

  40. I’ve got an idea that might suit Bernie (most victories wins)and teams that never score points. How about a reverse points system for both Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships? Team and Driver with the least points at the end of the season wins. Everyone gets points (1 for the win, 20 or whatever for last), car failure is punished to the maximum, as is driver error – in fact, the points tally after Brazil really would reflect each team/driver’s season.

  41. Its Hammer time
    6th October 2008, 12:26

    I come from the view point that to change the inherent nature of an f1 weekend is wrong. I for one not only thoroughly enjoy both qualifying and the race in current format (ITV adverts not with standing), but i could not get permission from the missus to allow any more time to be earmarked ‘motorsport’ over the weekend.

    However, fridays could be made more interesting. Indeed, Silverstone was empty on Friday this year despite ‘sold out claims at the time’ and so an effort to pep it up could increase profits.

    What about something similar to the BMW procar. At least one RACE driver from each team has to compete, Renault, Toyota, Honda or BMW could easily provide 20 identical small hot hatchbacks, fill them with cameras and micro phones so we can see and hear the drivers. Include a couple of wild card seats for ex race driver TV presenters/ up and coming GP2 stars and drop the flag. In truely equal machinery we would see how Kimi/ Alonso/ Bruno/ Sutil/ Button/ Lewis compare with each other. Could also be a useful tool for teams to assess drivers true pace. Something like a Type R or a 130 BMW. Wouldn’t cost alot comparibly, the space on the cars could be covered in sponsors to pay for it. Imagine Brundle or Coultard commentating ‘australian touring cars style’ live at the wheel of a Clio Cup 182 hussling up behind Hamilton or Heidfeld.

    There would have to be a suitable ‘carrot’ to stop them piling up in the first corner. $1,000,000 or 1WCP as inital thoughts

  42. Its Hammer time
    6th October 2008, 12:34

    ‘There would have to be a suitable ‘carrot’ to stop them piling up in the first corner. $1,000,000 or 1WCP as inital thoughts’

    Actually, no, when i wrote this i wasn’t sure about it. If you win this race you have an additional engine change for the remainder of the year…

  43. Its Hammer time
    6th October 2008, 12:41

    My other idea centres around ‘why-on-earth-aren’t-the- drivers-allowed-to-burnout-and-doughnut’ but i fear this will come across as a rant, so i won’t…

  44. Would there be any of this talk if cars could overtake each other more easily? Lets try less aero / more mechanical grip first and see how that goes.

  45. F1 as it currently stands is a pointless contest. Determine the fastest car, put it in front and doh, guess who wins. How would this work – get one independent driver to ride all the cars around the track and put the fastest at the back and the slowest in front. Then we may have a decent race and see who the best driver is.

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