Driver rotation is another bad idea

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Driver rotation could put Alonso in a Brawn and Barrichello in a Renault

In a recent column for Autosport Tony Dodgins argued that F1 drivers should swap between teams at every race. Max Mosley has suggested a similar scheme many times before. Dodgins is so convinced this radical idea has potential he declared:

Sorry, but I can’t really see the downside. Never have done. If anyone wants to tell me properly, I’d be all ears. If it’s time to fix F1, let’s fix it properly.

So, as requested, here’s why driver rotation is a bad idea…

As radical as it may sound driver rotation has been considered seriously by the FIA. Here’s how Mosley explained it could work when he wrote about it in 2006:

If it were up to me as an enthusiast, I too would introduce a system you might think impractical or even fairly mad, but don’t worry, I’ve been suggesting it without success for 20 years and it would probably not get through the FIA democratic procedures.

Let’s assume that there are 12 teams and 18 races. Each driver would drive each car once so that after the first 12 races all 24 drivers would have driven the cars of each team owner.

At this point, the leading driver would nominate the six different teams for whom he would drive in the last six races. The driver laying second in the championship would then make his choice, and so on. The order in which each driver drives for each team would be decided by lot.

Turning that idea over in my head, the first thought that came to mind was the conclusion reached by the F1 teams after surveying F1 fans and casual viewers at the start of the season:

F1 isn’t broken, so beware ‘over-fixing’ it

Driver rotation has ‘over-fixing’ written all over it.

The good: equal competition

The reasons given for it are that it would give each driver a (roughly) equal shot of winning the championship, as everyone would get to drive the best and worst cars on the grid on different weekends.

That has an obvious appeal: it’s clear Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello’s talents have been wasted in poor cars in recent years but are finally getting the equipment they deserve in 2009. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, can kiss his world championship goodbye because the MP4/24 is plainly not up to the job of defending it.

The bad: complicated and unnecessary

But despite that attraction driver rotation would do more harm than good.

Moving the drivers between different-liveried cars each weekend would create a lot of unnecessary confusion, particularly among the casual fans the sport is desperate to court.

Dodgins reckons the huge complications it would cause for sponsors and merchandising would be surmountable – I’m not convinced, and in the present economic climate anything that might scare sponsors away should be avoided like the plague.

The relationship between driver and team is a vital part of F1 history: Clark and Lotus, Villeneuve and Ferrari, or Senna and McLaren. It would be a needless waste for F1 to toss aside another link with its history, as it did when it scrapped proper qualifying at the end of 2002.

But perhaps the most convincing argument against driver rotation is that it’s unnecessary.

As the technical rules become ever more restrictive, the designers’ freedom diminishes and F1 cars become gradually closer in performance. Like it or not, the imperative to cut costs will lead towards more customer parts (engines, gearboxes, KERS and more) and less room for innovation.

As the cars become more closely matched, driver rotation becomes an irrelevant concept.

The ugly: F1’s crisis of confidence

I hope Mosley doesn’t give driver rotation any further serious consideration. The mania for rules changes that has gripped the sport in recent years signals a crisis of confidence in the running of the sport that many fans find worrying.

It’s early days, but so far the technical changes introduced this year seem to have had a genuinely positive affect on the racing. Can we please now have stability in the regulations and forget this obsession with pointless gimmicks?

More bad ideas: Four mistakes F1 must avoid

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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93 comments on “Driver rotation is another bad idea”

  1. What the %$*& is that senile old man thinking?

    1. What is he thinking indeed.

      This would not work for the main reason that it is just stupid, but for the second reason that some cars preform better at different places so it could advantage some drivers if they get the right draw.

      If anything like this was to happen it would be a same parts car for everyone, similar to what the A1GP has done.

    2. Mussolini's Pet Cat
      16th April 2009, 17:46

      15 days ago, I might have thought this funny.

    3. Sounds like a crazy, senile fanatic. Even Max acknowledged that the idea is not popular, but this columnist? Ugh.

    4. ‘Senile’? Steady on, he’s a bloody good writer, I just disagree with him.

    5. A good saying is “no one should ever be criticised for having an idea”. This to me is true. Criticise the idea, but not the person. In fact, here’s another (simpler) one. In the off-season, run a short series using all F1 drivers with spec cars, preferably the closest in handling to F1. Probably GP2 at the moment. They can choose their mechanics/engineers, finally giving those guys the notoriety they deserve. Then the F1 teams will get a better idea of who’s who. Maybe throw in some rookies to spice it up. No need to mess with F1 itself.

  2. Possibly the most stupid thing i have ever heard regarding F1, I hope it remains a pipe dream.

    1. POSSIBLY???? IT IS the most stupid thing i have ever heard regarding F1

    2. Yep definetely the MOST STUPID thing I’ve ever heard!

  3. Things are getting weird, imagine Alonjo on a Mclaren Mercedes again ???? He will either crash it on the first corner, or Mclaren will place NAILS everywhere in his COCKpit.

  4. Lol, that’s just utterly ridiculous. How out of touch with reality can you be to assume that these guys can just swap teams every race and be completely on the ball.

    Apart from the confusion that swapping drivers brings. it’s just not likely that drivers will get the maximum out of the cars or that it won’t still introduce some form of lottery effect.

    Cars are developed with the drivers style in mind. Some like the cars understeering, some oversteering or maybe even balanced neutrally. It would not be fair to move drivers around.

    They spend months and thousands of kilometers testing how to set up the car to their liking. How do you do that when you step in the car for the first time every weekend?

    Last season it took Raikkonen 3 races to determine that Ferrari messed up the car for him when they changed it.

    How are they going to deal with development? They stop development from race 1? I doubt the teams would like that. They want their car to win most points. So a driver endig up in a car just after it installed some major updates would benefit more.

    The idea sounds like fun and indeed it works for a fun event like the “race of champions”, but for a serious competition like F1?

  5. Driver rotation is a great idea, if by great I mean even worse than spec cars. It sounds all well and good unless you actually think about it.

  6. Not to mention the obvious safety issues and costs around renegineering the seat for every car for every driver etc etc

    1. & the drivers having to get to know all the buttons and dials on a new steering wheel every week, this is just a thick stupid idea…. die Max die…..

  7. Is it the 01-April or have people being inhaling exhaust fumes?

  8. Has Mosley not thought of the safety aspect? Putting a driver in a car they don’t know the handling characteristics for (through extensive winter testing) is a recipee for disaster.

  9. F1 is absolutely obsessed with constant changing of every rule imaginable. The never-ending tinkering with the format of qualifying, the changing technical regulations, throwing away the points system for most wins = world champion, banning refuelling and tyre warmers from next year etc etc etc.

    All of these constant changes will cause casual fans to drift away from the sport bacuse they simply can’t keep track with what they are watching (and with them the sponsors and their money).

    Compare this with the rules in a sport like football. The only major rule changes I can think of in the last 30 odd years are the change from 2 to 3 points for a win in the 1980s (I think) and goalkeepers not being able to pick up backpasses in the early 1990s. The footballing authorities have realised that no matter how much football has changed over the last 30 years off the pitch (money, SKY TV, multi-million pound players etc) the sport itself is still pretty much the same!

    If driver rotation goes ahead it will change F1 into a complete and utter joke – one rule change too far for me. I despise the idea of most wins = world champion but I will still watch if it goes ahead. If driver rotation comes in then I simply won’t watch F1 at all.

  10. I completely agree with article. Driver rotation is the worst idea for F1 I have heard, even worse than making it a spec series, reverse grids and any number of other gimmicks that have been suggested over the years.

    A lot of these ideas may generate headlines but they just aren’t Formula 1. It would be like in athletics saying to make the 100m more interesting they should make it longer, oh wait that’s the 200m, a different event, or how about putting obstacles in the athletes way to jump over, oh we can’t do that either as that’s the hurdles.

    The only argument for the idea doesn’t even work either, that by putting each driver in each car it gives every driver an equal chance at the championship. It assumes that a team’s relative performance is the same at every circuit, but we know from experience that some circuits and conditions favour some cars more than others and that different development rates mean the fastest car at the start of the season is not always the same one at the end of the season.

    The only way an idea of this sort would work in motorsport would be if the cars could not be changed throughout the season and every race was at the same circuit, so why not just have a spec series.

  11. i’m not even going to entertain the idea.

    F1 has come a long way, but in the recent few years a lot of regulations to Quali and other details have rendered the sport less pure i believe.

    if it were up to me, i would

    re-instate 1 hour qualifying with a 12 lap maximum tries/driver.
    one Tyre type to be used in limited quantity and a limited quantity of fuel to be used and cars should start with a full tank albeit a little smaller than they have today.

    other than that, aero should remain as it is now, and the points system should award the driver at lease 1 extra point over second place or even two (would be better)

    other than that i think drivers should keep their ass where they get paid because if you want to engineer 22 cars to fit Robert Kubica, the poor Pole will end up without a seat, or the cost to doing so would be ridiculous.

  12. Toby Thwaites 93
    16th April 2009, 12:54

    Its the most retarded idea i have ever heard of in my whole life. Even more stupid than giving all the teams the same drivetrains and engines etc. The sport needs to have individual teams + drivers and thats what makes it Formula One. This is another screwed up idea from idiots who dont know where Formula One should be pointing for the future.

  13. “This week, I’m banking with Santander!, but next week i’ll be looking forward to a high yield account with ING. And in two weeks time I’ll be drunk on Kingfisher”

    I doubt Vodafone would like Hamilton to hide his Storm phone every other week due to complications with other sponsors.

  14. Maurice Henry
    16th April 2009, 12:56

    Perhaps the new F1 slogan should be “Powered by stupidity”. This idea ranks up there with: (1) everyone using the same engine (2) Shortening races (3) Making Fridays count for points or splitting the weekend into sprint and feature races. The biggest problem at the moment is Max and Bernie’s insistence that there are major problems with “the show”. The money side needs sorting out but the racing is fine. Let’s just have stability with these rules for three or four years then we will know where we really are. Swap drivers? This guy should swap his dodgy brain.

  15. Next step should be running F1 Championship in a Playsation:

    Cost cutting, aerodynamics, engines, kers, wheather, race schedule…

    Everything under control.

    You can place a “Thunder system” burning cars and drivers randomly, just to add more emotion.

  16. Hugo Bourgeois
    16th April 2009, 13:19

    Another hugely good article by Keith Collantine. Thanks!

  17. what a load of rubbish!!

    this is the worst idea i have seen in F1. What’s is in there for manufacturers if such a rule is passed? don’t drivers play a huge part in the development of the car during the season? What will happen to young driver’s program the teams run?

    1. where’s the incentive for new drivers? they can’t come in to show their talent in a bad car and work their way to a top team. surely salaries would then hve to be standardised so seb buemi would be paid the same as kimi or alonso and given the same oportunity. even those champs had to start at bad teams and prove themselves in the big league.

  18. probably the worst idea i have ever heard. bless him, the poor old man has lost his marbles.

  19. Actually, I think it’s a great idea in principle.

    The practicalities, as have been pointed out, would make it impossible. Sponsors would need to be centralised with the governing body, as would the drivers contracts. It would be confusing for the general public, although arguably the general public find current F1 confusing enough in many respects anyway.

    And it’s unarguable that it is definitely over-fixing the sport – if you want all the drivers to drive in more equal machinery then just properly spec-series it.

    But on paper I’d love to see it happen, even if it was just some mini winter-series as opposed to the main championship.

  20. This idea is from someone who demonstrates a complete lack of understanding for everything F1.
    Quite disconcerting considering who it comes from…

  21. Perfect idea! Driver has the three free practice sessions to set-up his car for the weekend. Everybody has a fairly clear shot to the title. Teams stop developing their cars from race 1 (cost-cutting measure). I would pay to see where Massa would finish a championship like that!

    1. Is that cos you think he’s actually great and you want to see him succeed, or do you think he’s terrible and you’d like a good laugh when he gets shown up?

  22. I can’t think where to begin on shooting this idea down, Keith, I’m a bit disappointed that you even gave this any credibility by posting an article about it!

    I expect Max is assembling a task force now to investigate the feasibility of Alonso’s random tyre allocation suggestion (

    1. I’m a bit disappointed that you even gave this any credibility by posting an article about it!

      Well, he asked for reasons why it was a bad idea and I thought I had a few.

  23. If this happens I will stop watching F1!

    Simple As!!!

    Are you listening Mr. Mosley????

  24. Perhaps Mosley would like all F1 drivers to be as promiscuous(with cars) as himself(with ladies).

  25. What a fantastic idea!

    For someone clearly not from this planet!

  26. Dumb..Dumb…Dumb!!
    What the heck are these fellas thinking of?
    This is perharps the most stupid idea for a very competitive sport like F1!! I suspect, the next thing we’ll hear is a proposition to have cows swap as cheif mechanics yeah??!!!!!

  27. I think shells, banana skins and lighting bolts that shrink all the other cars would be a great addition to a serious, competitive sport also. And oil slicks. Could tigers drive F1 cars? Monkey tennis anyone??

    1. To be fair, I would definately watch that.

  28. Wow that dude needs to lay off the rock!

  29. So teams that invest in a driver at a young age (such as McLaren and Hamilton, or Red Bull and well… a lot of guys!) would loose that benefit, so then they would have no need to support young drivers anymore. that is great for young drivers!

    As Patrickl said, these teams develop a car around a drivers style, to get that extra 0.2 seconds out of the car. They put just as much time and energy into developing a driver as they do in developing a diffuser or KERS… should teams switch engines and diffusers at every race too?

    If anyone wants to tell me properly, I’d be all ears. If it’s time to fix F1, let’s fix it properly.

    Two words – Constructors Championship.

    The way things are going I will have to watch prototype races (LMP1, etc) to see the pinnacle of motor sports.

  30. Whilst it would be interesting to sort out the driving talent from the engineering talent that this concept would provide in principle, the sheer magnitude of what’s required contractually, physically and mentally to achieve this pipedream would be ridiculous!

    The main reason people are getting fed up with F1 is not for the sake or need of these type of ideas! It’s all the off-track politics that are besmirching our sport!

  31. Fantastic idea.

    Now if they can just push this through, decide grid positions with a bingo machine and award points for ‘best hairstyle of the weekend’, F1 will be a truly great sport.

    1. haha that’s brilliant. But I don’t think a bingo machine is nonsensical enough. Hire a special F1 medium to read the tea leaves to determine the grid. Maybe to determine the result as well. And if Mosely decides he fancies it on a whim, make them unicycle around the track instead of drive for a minimum of 5 laps per race. On 2 different tire compounds of course- we have to keep it slightly realsitic after all :)

  32. This is outrageous…

  33. I usually enjoy reding Dodgins commentary. However, his most recent is not very compelling article and is just a plain bad idea. I’m not surprised Mosley proposes something like driver switch, but I’ve always thought Dodgins was a little more grounded. Anyhow, I personally feel the changes implemented this year are good and bode well for an exciting season. Now, lets leave the rules alone for awhile and let stability take hold. This business of shuffling the rule deck every year is crazy. I truly have enjoyed F1 for many years. They almost lost me after the Indianapolis fiasco in 2005. If this crap ever gets implemented I’ll be gone as a fan.

    1. His piece about Dave Ryan in the magazine last week was excellent.

  34. This is way too much!
    What are they doing to F1?
    If FIA wants something radical to F1, then sack Max!
    I think i will stop watching this crap.

  35. I couldn’t agree more with a drivers swap. and why not apply it to all sports. I know i get soooo sick of see Gerrard play for Liverpool, when a few games at west brom is clearly what he needs.

    beyond that, he can’t see the downside. I vote the author the article switch offices every 2 weeks. for 9 months… downside at all……

    do i even need to point conacts/sponsors/promotion and the legal bs behind it all. clears this man is a lawyer. studpid studpid studpid

  36. Keith for president of the FIA!

    1. I second that!

  37. Driver rotation:worst idea ever

    if Max Mosley wants an equal formula where everyone has a near enough equal chance of winning, then he can watch one of F1s one make support series ie. GP2.

    F1 is different. its more about the car than the driver (although the driver is still important). F1 is not a all-driver series. its a combination of driver and car together in harmony as one. whoever gets that combination right is the winner.simple as.

  38. Haha. This actually made me laugh. I haven’t heard of this idea before, but I can safely say it is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in Formula 1. It’s as though they thought, ‘hm, what would be an even more bizzare, unneccesary, and fan-alientating idea than two formula’s and wins instead of points. We need to come up with something, the fans are enjoying the sport too much!’ I’d love to see them try and implement it.

  39. What a stupid idea. A more entertaining one would be to have the team bosses do a ten lap race in a Go cart before each race. I would love to see Briatore get his big belly in a gocart.

  40. If you want to see more than one driver in a race car.. watch a sports car race not an Open Wheel race. This ranks high on the list of really really bad ideas.

  41. Oh come on,, there have to be some stupider ideas we can think of, for instance:
    testing the fire retardance of driving suits with drivers in them.
    Same for chassis crash testing.
    Actually burning team’s money at the races and skipping any reason for them to compete by car design
    Adrian Newey kissing contests, (I don’t even know what that is,, just that it could be more stupid than drivers switching seats).
    Senile old men couldn’t come up with drivers (paid millions by a team) to switch from their team (that pays millions to develop their car) to be able to randomly trade their race gear on alternating weekend (let alone the complete and utter destruction of any trade in licensed merchandise, or any fan loyalty (a big part of professional sports) on any scale.

    Where is this human so that we can permanently keep them from having any impact on our sport.

    Oh yeah, medals are dumb too Bernie.

  42. Great sport F1 !

  43. I thought we heard the last of this tripe in 2002, during the Ferrari-dominance hysteria.

    If I wanted “equality” I’d watch IndyCar.

  44. Wow. Dumbest idea I have ever heard. Is it really necessary to make F1 socialist?

  45. It still wouldn’t be a ‘fair’ idea – different cars are better suited to different circuits.

    Regardless, I think it’s stupid

  46. It would be such a gimick! It’s like saying Ronaldo and Rooney can play for each team to help them catch Man United in the Premiership!

  47. In Max Mosleys mind there is more than one insane idea floating around:

    -Have a half time race interval where the drivers have to get out, have some lunch, do the funky chicken for 10 mins and theng get in their car and carry on

    -the fasest cars on the grid have to tow caravans to even things out

    -Ferrari are allowed jet power to even it up in their favour

    -cheese eating by spectators will be banned

    -bernie to be god of the sport and he can kill any team or driver he likes

    -the winning driver of a grand prix gets to ‘have a session’ with some of Mosleys female nazi friends

    -straights on circuits must be no more than 10 metres long before a chicane. same goes for any corner that a car can go through above 4mph.

    -all drivers to wear high visisbilty jackets

    -hungarian grand prix to be held at budapest for the next 1o centuries to punish F1 fans for watching the sport with the most dull circuit in the world

    -F1 world championship to run on 2 gravel tracks and one volcanic track each year

    -personality to be banned to all drivers and team members and all drivers and team members to made up to look like walking billboards.

    -any overtaking of a ferrari to result in a 30s penalty. if done twice the driver will be sentenced to death

    1. :D :D :D :D :D :D

  48. I want to do a rotation with Bill Gates and after that week be worth a few billions…………….

  49. hmmm thats a good idea: person rotation

    Ill rotate to jeremy clarkson, then steven gerrard, then jesus, then bill gates, then richard branson, then jenson button, then bernie ecclestone where i am mysetrioulsy killed in an ‘unavoidable’ incident………..

  50. Who will do the testing then…………
    Every car is setup specially for the Driver after lots of preseason testing……
    For example you can see BMW cars this season……

    The idea is a very bad and ridiculous one.Bad for the sport……

  51. Bigbadderboom
    16th April 2009, 18:31

    What a mess Mad Max finds himself in.

    To draw our minds from current calamities, governments and political bodies have to create a diversion that is just as, or even more juicy than that which we are being distracted from.

    This completley mental idea gives us an insite into how the FIA see their current position. To activley promote talk of such stupidity amongst F1 fans just to distract us from the complete mess that has been made of the 2009 season, tells me that even they know the depths of the current mess they have created.

    The F1 Circus is being overthrown by the clowns… LOL :)

  52. I haven’t read the comments so I might say something repeated, but let me just say that in any other motoring competition even the ones that are spec series, driver rotation is not done!

    They can take a look at whatever series they think its sucesfull, and taht concept is not used.

    It’s such a ridiculous idea, that I’m almost speechless and can’t even argue with someone that defends this…

  53. That is why races should be every week starting from 1st January to Christmas – so they will not have time for those stupid ideas.

  54. This is the worst idea ever, someone needs to take him behind the shed.

  55. The reason behind it is Mosley’s well-published desire for all the cars to be the same…

  56. HounslowBusGarage
    16th April 2009, 20:00

    Erm . . .
    who would pay the drivers, then? The teams certainly wouldn’t. Ferrari aren’t going to bung Kimi $20 million or whatever a year, if he’s off driving for Force India and MacLaren every other weekend.
    Or is that another ‘improvement’ idea; pay all the drivers the same amount out of Bernie’s funds and then assign them to teams by rotation?
    Who would decide that a driver was no longer good enough to do the round of the teams; the FIA? The teams wouldn’t be able to do so.
    Sounds like a great idea to me. Bring it on, just like the proposal to use pedal power instead of engines, and the idea of legalising projectile weapons on the cars.

  57. This idea is perfect for Max – he wants to cap drivers’ pay; thats why he likes this idea: teams will NOT want to pay their driver more than another team’s driver if they are going to spend more time in other cars from their own, so all teams will want to pay all drivers equally, and put all the money ionto a single big pot that would eventually be controlled by Max.

    Well done Max, good idea to get your own way again, but we saw through it…

  58. I know it has been said before but,there is no way the drivers could get adjusted properly to the different cars,they could not get the most of machines that are not fine tuned to their driving techniques……crazy idea.

  59. very stupid idea!!!

  60. Hey, I have better idea…Lets all take turns being the head of the F.I.A.! I haven’t quite worked out the math on how it would work, but…You know it would be great for F1



  62. Expletive deleted!

    This is just getting silly.
    I wish I could get to see V8 Supercars live.

  63. Worst idea I have ever heard for F1- it is bad from nearly every angel. For starters, much of the backing and sponsorship tied up with teams comes with drivers- think Alonso and his Spanish banks. It would drive the sponsor market nuts and have a serious impact on teams.

    Second, and even more important to the on-track aspect, is that cars are indeed developed by and suited to individual drivers- what works for one may be quite the opposite for another. And that’s saying nothing about the personnel aspect- how would drivers develop a good working relationship if they keep needing to switch crews and staff all the time.

    For the fans, it would be a mess. Some say that fans back individual drivers and not the teams, but I disagree to an extent. If someone is a Hamilton or Kimi fan, how would they show support for a whole season- buy 10 or 12 different team shirts in early March.

    The whole concept is crazy. If Max wants to see drivers move between teams, let him push for a driver salary cap that would prevent Ferrari from overpaying Kimi or Alonso or a club like Toyota from really overpaying for a guy like Ralf (Clare, if you’re reading this, that one is for you ;))

  64. This whole idea and the resultant expenditure of keystrokes is a pitiable waste of electrons.

  65. well it seems 100% of f1 fans dont agree with this idea, so i dont think it should happen really :) some good points have been made, this idea has been well and truly bu-bu’d…..i hope mr mosley reads this page, i really do.

  66. Is it April fools again? what a stupid idea!!! A big joke!!!!

  67. This idea is sooooooo MICKEY MOUSE it is unreal.

    Maybe it should just be an option on the new Codemasters f1 game.

    I don’t understand why, if Tony dodgins is supposed to be a respected journalist and should know what he is talking about, is he thinking this is a good idea. He’s not Max Mosley’s love child by an chance????

    I know he’s your friend Keith, or at least a colleague, but i cannot see you coming up with such a daft idea as this rotation thing.

    I believe a track rotation might work, but never drivers and teams.

    Oh and by the way i agree with having KEITH as president of FIA. I see another poll on the way.

  68. Good God! Horrible idea.

    1. I think keith for President is a good idea DC


  69. I’ve just had a great idea.

    Why not have formua one races like some big LE MANS event, so every 10 laps they all come in the pits and change cars and each pit they have a lottery to see which cars they will change to.

    Or maybe i’ve gone alittle too far now.

    What do you think Guys n’ Gals????????????????

  70. everythin is question is who is goin to pay the drivers if they r drivin 4 all the teams.max is gonna to pay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. some circuits are better suited to certain cars. therefore it would be a lottery over whether you have a good car or not. ii you as a driver where hoping for your ferrari race only to find its silverstone and raining then your gutted. given recent years peformance.

  72. HounslowBusGarage
    17th April 2009, 21:10

    I’ve changed my mind. I’m in favour of drivers being assigned to random F1 teams – as long as it’s randon drivers too.
    I hereby apply to be a Ferrari driver for 2010 on the random assignment basis. One week Ferrari, next week Red Bull; y’know.
    As I am fifty, fat and myopic, I should be awarded an excellent handicap; for every one lap I drive, a half decent driver should do three. And of course, I look forward to receiving my pay at the median point of all current F1 drivers – about $5 million per season, paid to my off-shore bank account, and for god’s sake don’t tell her indoors.
    So there we are, a perfectly even and balanced F1 field which should all work out nicely as a dead heat for all drivers and teams at the last race of the season. New Labour would be proud.
    Only, it’s not racing, is it?

  73. There may be some very good reasons why driver rotation is a bad idea. But this article doesn’t present very many of them.

    One of the main arguments given is that it is unnecessary because more restrictive rules and the greater use of customer components is making the cars more closely matched.

    This is patent nonsense. Frankly, you’d have to be spectacularly myopic to make this argument in the current content – it’s the rules that have led to the ex-Honda Brawn outfit suddenly jumping to the front. At the same time, McLaren, who use the same Mercedes engine, are nowhere. Even sharing as important a component as the engine is clearly not bringing the Brawns and McLarens closer together in performance.

    I’m not saying driver rotation is something that most people would accept or want. But if you want the best driver to win the championship, it is clearly a much better system than F1 currently runs. But F1 has never been about the best driver winning. The competition between the teams is just as important. What’s more, the politics and intrigue between the teams certainly adds colour and texture to the world of F1. Driver rotation would inevitably compromise that.

    Personally, I’d be happy to see driver rotation. It would cut down on the hype and bullshit that surrounds F1 drivers, most of whom are either grossly over rated or grossly under rated, largely due to twists of fate in terms of the cars they have been given to drive.

    It wouldn’t be the same F1 we have now. But it would be more of a sport and less of a freak show / circus, I reckon.

    1. it’s the rules that have led to the ex-Honda Brawn outfit suddenly jumping to the front. At the same time, McLaren, who use the same Mercedes engine, are nowhere. Even sharing as important a component as the engine is clearly not bringing the Brawns and McLarens closer together in performance.

      I don’t disagree that this year’s rules have created different variations in performance to what we had last year. But this is all quite temporary and it’s against a backdrop of ever-increasing encroachment on technical freedom. Can anyone honestly say that F1 designers these days have looser regulations to play with than they had 1, 5, 10 or 20 years ago? No.

      The present rules have shaken up the running order because (a) we have such a radical change this year and (b) a disagreement over interpretation (diffusers). But now we see everyone is rushing to stick ‘double decker diffusers’ on their cars and all the rest of it. Engine performance has been standardised and many other components are heading that way. Rules stability always leads to design convergence. With less design freedom and increased standardisation of parts, that convergence will be closer than ever before.

      The performance gap between F1 cars is going to get smaller, not wider – this is why the likes of Adrian Newey have said they won’t stay around in F1 much longer because they haven’t got enough freedom to exercise their talents.

  74. HE seems to have got the response he was after – publicity
    I have checked out some of his articles now – had never heard of him before

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