Top ten: Ridiculous rules F1 doesn’t have (yet)

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Formula One gets it in the neck sometimes for its silly rules changes. And it’s often deserved – such as when the despised double points system was introduced last year.

But it’s far from being the only form of motor racing which has given up some of its sporting purity and opted for gimmicks in the name of ‘improving the show’.

So we should celebrate the fact that Formula One hasn’t borrowed these ten artificial means of spicing up the racing from other championships. At least, not yet…

Chase for the Cup


The great strength of the points systems F1 has used since 1991 (with the exception of last year) is that all races are given equal value.

Each championship can therefore tell its own story. Sometimes two or more drivers will be neck-and-neck all season long (2007), or one driver mount a comeback bid which ends with them seizing the title (2012) or falling short (2006). And, yes, sometimes one driver will crush the opposition and wrap up the title well before the final race (2013). Such is the way of sport.

But a final-round showdown is what everyone wants to see, especially F1’s promoters, and so it is perhaps only a matter of time before someone brings up the idea of copying NASCAR’s playoff-style Chase for the Cup.

If it happens, forget about watching each season unfold naturally as the balance of power tips between different drivers. The complicated Chase for the Cup format (explained in detail here) guarantees there will always be four drivers capable of winning the championship at the final race, even if one has vastly out-performed the other three over the preceding 35 races.

But a contrived showdown could never match the thrill of F1’s tense and unpredictable last-race thrillers, such as those of 2012 and 2008.

Points for fastest lap

GP2, others

Smart rule-writers ask “how do we encourage drivers to do this?” Dumb rule-writers ask “what if we did this?” Points for fastest lap, like points for pole position, is the latter: a result of tinkering with the rules with no worthwhile aim in mind.

Awarding points for fastest lap discourages drivers from racing for position. Time and again in GP2 we see drivers give up on fighting for position so they can drop back and try to set a fastest lap time, turning what was supposed to be a race into another qualifying session.

This kind of slapdash rule-making invariably has unforeseen consequences which requires the creation of further complicated rules. For example, to stop drivers near the back of the field sacrificing their position entirely by dropping back into clear air or pitting for fresh tyres, additional rules were written to limit which drivers are eligible for fastest lap points.

All of which serves to make the championship more difficult to follow and can seriously detract from the on-track action. At Monza in 2006, the GP2 feature race ended with title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Nelson Piquet Jnr separated by six points. An exciting final-race showdown the following day was in prospect – until it was discovered Giorgio Pantano had set the fastest lap of the race under yellow flags, his points were handed to Hamilton, and the championship was over.

Surely no one wants to see an F1 title fight decided that way.

Success ballast

BTCC, others

Success ballast – a polite term for handicapping the top drivers by making them carry extra weight – has unfortunately become an established feature of most forms of touring car racing.

Even the BTCC, which boasts a vast, diverse and healthy grid (and already uses other means of performance balancing), can’t bear to wean itself off artificially-induced close racing. The result is a hollow spectacle where each front runner takes it in turns to collect wins.

When the BTCC first introduced success ballast each car was clearly marked to show how much weight each driver was carrying. That didn’t last – it now prefers to disguise how success is penalised in the name of ‘improving the show’. It and other series should take a lesson from Australia’s V8 Supercars series, which doesn’t use success ballast and produces spectacular racing.

In the GPDA’s recent survey, almost three-quarters of F1 fans rejected the idea of introducing success ballast – an overwhelming vote against this gimmick.

Fines for technical infringements


Sebastien Bourdais stormed to victory at Milwaukee on Sunday’s 12th round of the IndyCar championship. But after the race his car was found to be under the minimum weight limit.

In Formula One, the consequences would be disqualification. If you gain a sporting advantage by breaking the rules – and running underweight undoubtedly is – the punishment is exclusion. In qualifying for the British Grand Prix two years ago Paul di Resta was stripped of his times having been just half a kilo underweight.

F1’s rules are tough but fair. IndyCar, for all its other qualities, ducks the hard calls and levies minor fines instead – in this car $5,000. Bourdais is the third driver in four years to win a race despite his car failing a technical inspection.

No one likes to see race winners being stripped of their victories long after the race has finished. But given a choice between keeping the crowd happy and keeping the competition fair, F1 gets it right and IndyCar gets it wrong.

Split qualifying

Formula Renault 2.0, others

The possibility of splitting the field in half to run qualifying was raised at Monaco five years ago when the F1 field rose to 24 cars. A persuasive case was never made for why this should suddenly be necessary on a track which had previously accommodated as many as 30 F1 cars.

Nevertheless this is a common practice in other series. The potential for unfairness here is obvious, as it makes it possible for a driver to beat all the rivals he shares a track with in qualifying, yet not take pole position.

Besides depriving spectators of the excitement of seeing all the top drivers going-head-to-head, the blatant unfairness of this system is the most obvious reason why F1 should continue to steer clear of it.

Car changes

Formula E

It sometimes feels like rival championships to Formula One get an easier ride from critics, and the adulation heaped on Formula E recently was a good example. It’s a championship with much to commend it, but allowing drivers to do something as wasteful as discard an entire car mid-race harpoons the green credentials of a series intended to promote environmentally-friendly technology.

Meanwhile Formula One received only minor credit for the leap forward in efficiency it made with its 2014 power units while sacrificing little in the way of performance. Of course it only has itself to blame – Bernie Ecclestone was too busy slating the sound of the new engines to draw attention to their incredible blend of performance and efficiency.

Even so, F1 now has power units which can last up to five race weekends, and the detractors would have the knives out quickly if drivers needed use two entire cars per grand prix.

Joker lap


In Rallycross, drivers are typically required to use an alternative route in the track layout once per race, which may either shorten or lengthen their lap time. That may make sense in a series which is geared towards short, explosive races lasting mere minutes, but it would be wholly unsuitable for Formula One.

Remarkably, this very idea was proposed by one senior team figure in the mid-nineties as an alternative solution to the difficulties of overtaking. All the mundaneness of a pass in the pits without the minor interest of a pit stop? Thankfully that brainwave failed to win support.

Reverse grids

WTCC, others

Having pole position for a race is a major advantage, so it should surprise no one that when championships start offering it as a reward for finishing low down the running order, some drivers will give up trying to lap quickly in qualifying.

In the World Touring Car Championship, the grid for race two is set by reversing the order of the top ten qualifiers for race one. So at the last round in Portugal, Citroen had two of their drivers set fast times to lock out the race one front row, and two others set deliberately slow times to qualify on row five – which became the front of the grid for race two.

Citroen’s tactics couldn’t be faulted. The same could not be said for a dubious qualifying system that rewards poor performance and discourages the flat-out fight for pole position we all want to see.

Random grids

BTCC, others

Other championships take the idea to even more dubious extremes. In the BTCC numbers are drawn from a bowl to decide how many places are reversed for the final race. The drivers no longer get to do so themselves after, predictably, during one draw a driver spied his own number and grabbed it to ensure he took pole position.

Worse, at one IndyCar race in 2011 the entire grid was drawn by lottery in an excruciatingly embarrassing made-for-television feature. Thankfully everyone had the sense not to repeat it:


Formula E

Formula One’s DRS contagion has already infected other championships, but happily so far they have all proved resistant to Fanboost: the toxic strain of gimmickry for which Formula E is Patient Zero.

Never mind Formula One, even WWE would be diminished by something as tawdry as handing a special advantage to its most popular competitors. To the list of reasons why Fanboost is appalling, we should add the condescending hypocrisy of the championship’s organisers, who urge the public to join in Fanboost polls while not giving them an option to get rid of it.

Over to you

As long as other championships using reverse grids, success ballast and Fanboost to engineer more excitement, can F1 afford not to?

Or should the ‘pinnacle’ of motor racing be a cut above this sort of thing – and not care about those who complain if it makes for ‘boring’ races?

Have your say in the comments.

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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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91 comments on “Top ten: Ridiculous rules F1 doesn’t have (yet)”

  1. Except for fanboost and switching cars during a pitstop most of these rules do work for the targeted audiences and series. The American folk want to see everyone win whilst success ballast, points for flap and pole, reverse grids work for GT and GP2/3 racing. I would not want those in F1 but can you imagine the WTCC or BTCC without succes ballast, it would be even more predictable than F1 is now? Or the GP2 race without reverse grid for the sunday sprint race, it would just be a repeat of saturdays race? Especially the Joker lap is something really great in Rallycross as it basically gives the drivers one chance to overtake as otherwise that chance isn’t very big. I think those particular rules work to their purpose in those series but are not wanted at all in F1.

    1. I cheered for Jason Plato last week for winning a BTCC race with maximum success ballast on-board.

      But the phrase “success ballast” is just another way of saying “Don’t win too often”, and as such, is the work of Satan.

  2. This article is a huge jinx, take it down as fast as possible before Bernie sees it! :)

    1. Mustavo Gaia
      17th July 2015, 14:37

      Given the last batch of Bernie proposals, he would reject the rules above deeming them too sensible.

  3. Honestly Keith, do you even like motorsports? This just comes across as a targeted whinge against several decent series. (and WTCC, which is the worst motorsport series on the planet…)

    1. Of course I do. Especially the ‘sport’ part.

      1. This whole article is riddled with flaws and untruths. For starters, Formula E only has mid-race car changes because the technology is still relatively youthful, not to spice up the action. It’s a stop-gap measure. They’ve made BIG noises about improving the battery tech to the point where they can run an hour long race with one car. Surely you must know about this, or are you just padding out your article for more views?

        Yes, the Chase might be a convoluted solution, but it means drivers have to constantly be on the top of their game in order to win the Sprint Cup. That’s the same for awarding points for pole and fastest lap. It gives drivers an incentive to continue pushing. Look how thrilling the Formula E finale was last month, with Piquet and Buemi swapping fastest lap between them for those extra points.

        Success ballast would never be considered for a single-seater series, but it’s fantastic in touring cars (the BTCC solution is the most ideal). Last time I checked, ITV always announce which cars are carrying ballast and how much of it, before and during the races. It’s completely transparent. Last time I checked as well, Jason Plato won two races in a row with max ballast at Oulton Park…

        1. it means drivers have to constantly be on the top of their game in order to win the Sprint Cup.

          While the new rule indeed rewards consistency, I could never support a points system that does not guarantee the title for the driver, who wins 35 of 36 races.

          1. That is an impossibility, 35 wins in a season. Not a chance of it happening. No where near that. I believe that the NASCAR rules makers realized that as well.

          2. For sure, the probability of that scenario is 0.01% or even lower. But it is a matter of principle. The point is that a driver, who has been way better than all his competitors throughout the whole season can lose the championship in the final race because of some small mistake or a technical problem. That is not fair.

        2. untruths. For starters, Formula E only has mid-race car changes because the technology is still relatively youthful, not to spice up the action. It’s a stop-gap measure.

          It is not ‘untrue’ that they have mid-race car changes in Formula E; nor is anything else I have written untrue (to the best of my knowledge, as always). The car change may well prove to be a stopgap measure (and I hope it does), but the fact of that matter is right now it’s the way it is, however much of Formula E’s PR gets regurgitated as gospel.

          the Chase might be a convoluted solution, but it means drivers have to constantly be on the top of their game in order to win the Sprint Cup.

          No they don’t. When Kevin Harvick took his second win of the year in the fourth race of the season he guaranteed himself a place in the Chase. That doesn’t begin until the 27th race. What he does in the meantime makes very little difference – you certainly cannot argue he needs to be “constantly be on the top” his game during that time until the Chase begins.

          Success ballast would never be considered for a single-seater series

          Except it has been considered in the past for Formula One (during the Schumacher years). Thankfully they haven’t been daft enough actually go through with it.

          1. @KeithCollantine

            When Kevin Harvick took his second win of the year in the fourth race of the season he guaranteed himself a place in the Chase.

            I believe he still needs to be in the top 30 in points right before the Chase starts and he also must participate in every event. That is why Kyle Busch has still not made the Chase – he was injured (in that case you are allowed to skip races) so now he has to catch up with the other leaders:

            But even though one cannot simply go home or afford to finish 40th in every race after two victories, he can still feel pretty relaxed so I agree with you that ‘consistency’ is not really required before the Chase.

          2. Oh Keith, you say it’s not an untruth that Formula E does car changes and it isn’t untrue, they actually do car changes. However this article IS ABOUT GIMMICKS! It is actually a matter of neccesity, in 2-3 seasons time we will not see this. Car changes is not a gimmick and instead because they don’t have the battery capacity to do a full race.

          3. Actually @keithcollantine @dal1189‘s got a point. We see car changes in formula E, it’s not a good thing, but……’s not quite as much a gimmick as it is a result of technological limitations.

            Agree with you about Chase for the Cup though.

          4. @girts Ah yes I’ve got the two bits of the Chase mixed up there. So I stand by my point that it’s a confusing system!

    2. I know some people will hate me for saying this, but some of those rules had actually crossed my mind, so I am actually pleased Keith posted this because it does give us the opportunity to see how those sorts of rules affect a championship result and to debate whether rules such as handicapping are appropriate in F1. Do we want to have a Mercedes cars suddenly performing badly simply because they were too fast at the start of the year, or do we want Renault and Honda to improve their engines?
      There is something special about owning a genuine premier brand item that you don’t get if you buy a fake. Isn’t that the same with motor racing? Wouldn’t you rather have a series where the winner won because they were the absolute best, rather than a winner who won by how they played the rule book?
      F1 is the premier motor racing series, and as such it should be the fastest car with the best driver wins fair and square. Every car on the F1 grid complies with the same set of rules. If the championship title has been decided by August is that wrong? No, it isn’t wrong, it is life, the best performed better than every other competitor, and it means everyone else has to catch up.

  4. I don’t see the car swapping in Formula E as a gimmick, rather a simple technical necessity from using technology which is still in its infancy. I don’t think anyone believes that they are literally ‘using up’ two cars every race – they’re not being slung in a skip out the back of the paddock. It’s simply because there’s no practical way to ‘recharge’ the cars mid-race and it’s a pragmatic (and temporary) solution. Once the energy stores are sophisticated enough to carry the cars for the whole race distance, it’ll be dropped. And it does give a bit of strategic variance to the racing as well, so for me it doesn’t really gall too much

    1. Why swapping cars? Why not run the race at 60% of the number of lap they do now (since the battery is not dead set only for half race) and increase the lap number every year as they improve it? Or why not make it like a real pitstop where they swapping the battery only? The pitsotp doesn’t need to take seconds like F1. A 3-5mins pitstop I think is acceptable as long as you don’t have pit window so there always car running on the track. My suggestions arguably pushing the team more to do development on electric car operations (which is the true goal of Formula E btw) rather than swap the whole car.

      1. I see your point, but the races feel like the right sort of length and significantly shorter wouldn’t be brilliant. Regarding replacing the battery, it’s a possibility but it would mean developing systems to do it. It’s a bit of an unnecessary development dead end since ultimately the goal is to have power units which can last the whole race duration. The batteries are big heavy things weighing tens of kilos, and moving them around is very dangerous – a dropped battery could go up in a fireball.

        I just don’t know that there’s a really compelling argument against doing a car swap which would make it worth the effort to come up with a viable alternative.

        1. Well I just presented 2 alternatives for car swapping. I just try to present my argument a bit more :)

          1. Reducing the race length. Current race is completed in around 1 hour which is on par with other series. However if we probably reduce the race into around 40mins without pitstop I think it’s still acceptable for a young experimental series like FE. Or we can push it into about 45mins race (75% of current race) with using a bigger battery (maybe 10% more capacity than current ones) but still with a goal of getting the cars can do 100% race length with current battery size in 5-6 years from now. It’s like F1 reducing the engine tokens and parts allotment each year until we have the ideal efficient and reliable engines (hopefully).

          2. Changing the battery packs. This will solve the battery capacity limitation but the problem is how to change the battery quickly and safely. I think it’s still relevant because the problem of electric cars is they can’t be refilled instantly like petrol cars. Battery changing stations is actually proposed to solve this problem and FE can push development in this area. So instead of trying to maximize battery capacity/volume the goal is how to make the changing the battery as fast and safe as changing the battery on your smartphone.

          Btw, I don’t think dropped battery will go up in fireball that easily otherwise every electric car out there have a risk to give you flaming death just by speed bumps and potholes.

    2. ya calling “swapping cars” a gimmick is “gimmick” of this article.

  5. @keithcollantine
    I completely agree with this article. However, I feel like your reasoning on “fines for technical infringements” slightly contradicts with your opinion on gear box penalties since, if I remember correctly, you have in the past argued against drivers receiving penalties for gear box changes. Have you changed your opinion on that matter? : )

  6. I think this is a pretty good set of views. All the various fixes have big downsides. In tintops they should have success ballast based on the source car not race-by-race results, and in Race 2 IMO they should have the grid the reverse of the entire finishing order of Race 1. I agree with @xtwl that the joker lap in rallycross works pretty well though.

  7. If anyone from the Strategy Group is reading this, then let us make one thing absolutely clear: This is an article about silly rules that bored and uncreative people have come up with, NOT the agenda for your next meeting. Got it? Not agenda, just bad rules.

  8. I agree with all of the ones Keith mentioned. There’s a few which I would like to add though:

    Points for poleGP2, GP3, IndyCar (points awarded to all for Indy 500 qualifying) etc.
    Last year in GP3, we had this ridiculous situation where a championship was decided because a particular driver failed to secure pole position. Just ugh.

    Multiple class fieldsWEC, ELMS, USCC, 24H Series etc.
    Max Mosley’s idea of having a two-tier system would have brought a multi-class field to every race. Whilst this rule is not necessarily ‘ridiculous’ and F1 has had it before many years ago by running F2 cars in the same race, it’s not a rule which I am fond of in single seater racing at all.

    Independent/Privateer TrophyWEC (LMP1), BTCC, WTCC etc.
    Want to make explaining a series to somebody new even more confusing? Just add an independent or a privateer trophy. It’s one of the easiest ways to do it.

    Points awarded to the entire fieldIndyCar, NASCAR, Indy Lights etc
    Whilst IndyCar’s points system is nowhere near as confusing as NASCAR’s, it’s still pretty bad, and it makes it near enough impossible to work out the championship permutations towards the end of the season. Whilst it has proven to deliver a championship showdown every year since 2006, I believe that earning points should be something special, not something awarded for just turning up.

    The ‘Month of May’Indianapolis 500
    IndyCar’s main event is obviously the Indianapolis 500. However during the month of May, the only on-track action takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Seven entire days of practice, two days of qualifying and the race itself (not including the one day of practice, qualifying and race at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis held on the road course) make up the entire month. Would we really like to see F1 cars practice around the same track for that long towards the beginning of a season? I wouldn’t.

    1. Keisoglou Alexandros (@)
      17th July 2015, 14:25

      Um, what about awarding some minor pts. for Pole and Fastest Lap in each race,
      as they’re some sort of achievements?

      1. @keisalex No. Because they can still have a dull effect on the championship. Just keep to the pointless FIA pole trophy and the pointless DHL fastest lap trophy.

      2. There is already an award for winning pole position — it’s getting to start at the front.

    2. “Points awarded to the entire field”
      This basically happens in F1 as well. Just in a more convoluted way. It would in fact be much clearer if they actually gave points for every position rather than using the highest finishing positions as a tie breaker for drivers on equal points.

      Especially the performance of teams who rarely finish in the top 10 would be much more fairly measured with points.

    3. @craig-o @keithcollantine Technically, F1 did award points for fastest lap for the first ten years, so in this respect points for pole is indeed the one that hasn’t happened (yet)!

      1. @fastiesty Then again, it’s an article on what F1 hasn’t got in the present, not what it’s never had.

        1. @davidnotcoulthard Technically, the ‘(yet)’ implies rules F1 has not yet ever had, else double points could also be included, although I may be inferring it wrong of course!

    4. @craig-o – On your “Month of May” point, the Indy 500 race is just one part of a week-long motorsports festival. It’s a giant party, a bit like Mardi Gras. If F1 could get that level of interest anywhere but Monaco, we would be doing really well.

  9. I don’t agree that the success ballast in the BTCC is necessarily a bad thing. The big attraction of Touring Car racing is that there is close racing, and by and large I think they get the balance right with the ballast. They may not write the ballast on the cars any more, but it is transparent and known which drivers are carrying weight and they mention it all the time during the commentary and the coverage. It’s hardly hidden. But it should never, ever, ever be introduced to F1. Or any single seater category for that matter. I however don’t like the reverse grid feature they have in the BTCC though, and this year they’ve introduced a new rule where the grid for race 2 is settled by the fastest laps set in race 1, which again I don’t like.

    It’s not cars, but British Superbikes has a similar system to Nascar, in that they have a dramatically titled “Showdown” for the last three rounds of the season between the 6 riders who accumulated the most points during the preceding rounds. Each rider is given 500 points, and then extra points based on how many wins and podiums they scored previously in the season. They introduced it because in 2009 Leon Camier won 19 out of the 26 races, and absolutely dominated the championship. The organisers panicked, and made a knee-jerk change to the points system to stop it happening again. I don’t like it one bit, and it taints a little what is a fantastic series for racing and entertainment.

    1. how much ballast would it take to slow Mercedes from the front row?
      then how much to bring Ferrari inline then Williams?

      at a quick glance Ham would need more than Rosb and Vet more than Kimi,
      F1 could never go down this road surely, mainly due to development is ongoing per race and not every car uses what might be a new add on.

  10. They might not work in f1 but it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with all of these rules.
    A joker lap is a key part of strategy and racing in rallycross rather than a tacked on rule and points for fastest lap is divisive but it is fair. In the example of it being unfair given it’s only the same as someone being disqualified for overtaking under yellows.

    Of course there are also many terrible rules but motorsport is interesting because of the variety of rules and series.

  11. I think the Joker Lap could work; you could just have a lap counter on the dash display and say have 8 out of 50 laps must be a Joker Lap. It might mix up the field a bit and it would complicate strategy for some boring ‘parade races’.

    Additionally, it could bring back the high speed corners of older tracks that were given chicanes. Some big new tracks also have those fun little kart tracks in the middle; it would be fun to see those being used. ;)

    1. I was thinking: if we made the joker lap a shorter version of the standard lap it could be used as an alternative for DRS.

  12. I don’t agree with the statement that a jokerlap is a ridiculous rule. Granted, I agree with the point that it works better with short races, but it is important to remember that every participant has to take the joker lap. It’s not like with succes balast or fan boost which are “awarded” to some of the participants.

    I think it is more comparable with the mandatory pitstop which is already in use in F1. That enable the team/driver to use strategy and makes the current situation of ‘trackposition is king’ less relevant.

    1. the slower car instead of being laps could have a few extra short circuits added to their race so they get to stay on the same lap.
      stupid idea..

      1. What will withhold the car that is trying to lap the slower car to also take the short circuit? Since everybody gets the same amount of short circuit laps it is in mine opinion a more fair system then DRS.

        Image a Trulli-train situation. How fast could that problem be resolved with a joker lap.

        1. @felidae And that’d be unfair to the driver right behind TRU since he’d have such a small chance of spotting whether TRU takes the joker compared to the drivers behind him.

          1. @davidnotcoulthard

            Good point, but I think that such problem would vary per circuit. In Monza and Bahrain it is reasonable easy to see if someone will pit. At some circuits you notice it sometimes when it is already happening. Such varation can also be used with the joker lap.

  13. You say points for fastest lap is a ridiculous rule, but you fail to mention how much it adds when it works. In the Formula E finale, the two contenders were aiming for the fastest lap, so they were pushing as much as possible. I can’t see why rewarding the fastest driver in a race somehow makes the event less pure, if anything it’s the purest aspect of the sport – going as fast as you can.

    The only time a rule is ridiculous in my opinion is when is doesn’t apply to everyone equally. If anyone can get the point for fastest lap, then I think that’s great. I’m not a fan of DRS, but only because the defending driver can’t use it. Give them a number of DRS activations during the race instead and I’d be happy. Fanboost is stupid because not everyone can use it during the race, it should be push to pass for everyone instead.

    You could even go as far as saying that having any points system is a ridiculous rule, should a win be worth x amount more than second? Perhaps the championship should be decided by adding up the total distance each driver covers in each race over a two hour period – whoever travels furthest is the champion. That’s less arbitrary than a points system.

    1. @mathers

      In the Formula E finale, the two contenders were aiming for the fastest lap, so they were pushing as much as possible.

      From what I sw they were both pushing anyway to move up the field – notably Buemi, who was going hell for leather at the car in front of him.

      I’ve nothing against seeing drivers push for a fast lap time as such, but to me that’s what qualifying is for. I want to see racing in the race, and giving points for fastest lap clearly mitigates against that.

      1. @keithcollantine

        From what I sw they were both pushing anyway to move up the field – notably Buemi, who was going hell for leather at the car in front of him.

        Very true, that was definitely the reason they were getting the fastest laps as they needed to move up the field, though having the fastest lap as an extra element to look out for made it extremely exciting in my opinion, it was a nice addition to the title fight. I can see where you are coming from regarding drivers letting a gap build ahead to then go for fastest lap though.

        1. You also had Piquet’s teammate Oliver Turvey trying for fastest lap at one point too, to try to take the points away from Buemi. I thought it was a really cool bit of drama.

  14. some drivers will give up trying to lap quickly and start trying to lap sl

    I think this sentence needs completion

  15. While I generally agree to the article there are couple points that I disagree with:

    Points for fastest lap
    I think this is fair rule. Not necessarily need to be implemented in F1, but the rule itself is not harming the sport. I think the example of it ruining the championship result is not the whole page. Without the rule throughout the season, will the championship itself will still alive until last race? Also, if it only give 1 point with the winner get 25 point, it actually won’t change the result unless the championship is pretty tight even without the rule. So effectively it only acts like a tie-breaker and the driver is actually “earning” it.

    Random grids
    I think its a valid solution for an often overlooked problem: If the cars started according to how quick they are, then how you could hope for any progress (overtaking) in the race at all except something unusual happened? Ideally the grid should be reversed (slowest car in front) but that is too easy to manipulate (just like your case in, well, reverse grid). You can try to give points to qualifying then reverse grid but then you got the problem of how much points awarded before the main race is not that special anymore or the qualify in front is still more beneficial and the teams will still deliberately slow to get front starting position.

    Random grid is actually fair as long as its actually random enough, or its randomized at once for all season and set up so its truly fair (e.g. 20 driver in 20 race season got each position exactly once) and announced just before the race. But of course this means no more qualifying and many people will blame luck if their preferred driver not win (even though it’s probably fair if you look at the big picture).

    Also @keithcollantine, you forget something that Max Mosley has suggested before (I read it in F1 Racing magazine long time ago): Each driver get random car for each races, so a driver is not contracted to any team. I personally think this is an interesting idea. Probably they should test it first in junior formula. ;)

    1. Sleepy Will
      17th July 2015, 14:37

      Just not a random car, have each driver rotate through each team an equal number of times, decided well in advance of when we know which car will be good at which circuit. Employing the drivers by Fom directly will eliminate the problem with pay drivers too

      1. Yeah, I think he phrased it something like “let’s toss all the car keys from every teams each race and let every driver pick one at random.” It’s an interesting approach and I really want to see how it goes actually, preferably in lower formula where the performance gap is not that big. However, this approach means slower car development and no good relationship between the car mechanics and the driver resulting in poorly set up car.

        1. Sleepy Will
          18th July 2015, 10:45

          I understand that the relationship between drivers and mechanics would be more difficult, and of course some drivers and mechanics would plain get on better – but if you see the team as an extension of the car, this is much the same as a driver just getting on with the car better.

          I do see why the car development will slow down, but the team championship will be completely divorced from the drivers championship, which means that we will get a much fairer competition between them, but the teams will still be wanting to produce the best car possible and that sponsership money will still be there, so while development will be slower, the competitiveness will still be there and, I don’t know about you, but that is what is really important – especially if there is a lot more equality in team funding.

    2. @sonicslv I think random grids and even a rally type delayed start were commonplace before the 1932 Monaco GP! The earliest races were akin to the Le Mans 24 hours before that race had started.

      1. @fastiesty But F1 championship officially started in 1950 though :)

        I think starting grid position is tricky because it could make or break your race before it even started. But having a grid that ordered from the quickest cars in front then hoping for a fight in race is also stupid. At least in refueling era how much fuel the front drivers has still can give something to watch in the race (but I’m not going to discuss refueling pros and cons again).

        1. @sonicslv True, but the formula actually started a few years earlier, yet 1950 was the first year the FIA awarded a championship title. F1 the name was introduced in 1949 :P. I now see it as similar to the Bernie era, when FOM gained control (from 1981-).

        2. @sonicslv The World Championship :)

  16. Being American, I’m a bit biased towards the chase. But just look at last years last race. It came doen to the last laps. Just reset the top 4’s points for the last race, and it’ll come down to the wire.

  17. Michal (@michal2009b)
    17th July 2015, 14:36

    I agree with Keith that these ten rules F1 should definitely avoid. However some (random grids, success ballast) can work in other series such in WTCC and GP2.

    Also regarding penalties issued for things outside driver control. I remember there was a poll here some time ago and majority were against it. I disagree with that. What is the alternative? Of course, last year’s stupid stop-and go plus 10-place drop or this year’s engine penalties are ridiculous. If driver is released into the path of other driver and gain a position thanks to that the team will get a fine or lose constructors’ points?! It won’t be fair as a driver gains two or more points. Same for engine and gearbox penalties. Remember Ferrari in 2010? They had one driver in WDC contention and could have put new parts for every session, escalating costs and many fans would not understand it. Dropping points for a driver is even more stupid as it gets very complicated. So unfortunately 5-place/10-place drops for gearbox/engine changes are not perfect but I can’t see better way to handle it.

  18. This is great, I agree with almost every word of it. Especially the “Fines for technical infringement” bit.

  19. Joeri Marcelis
    17th July 2015, 14:45

    I remember Belcar several years ago. They banned the old GT1’s, because they were too fast and too few. they replaced them with GT3’s which were pretty new at the time. So, in GT they had GT3 and GT2. And they wanted them in that order. So, they imposed minimum lap times for the GT2 class, which they were not allowed to go under.

    1. That is absolutely crazy. Never heard of that before!

  20. F1 already has Joker lap, it is just called a pit-stop in F1.

  21. Thank you @keithcollantine for this article. It’s an interesting read but more importantly it’s an article pointing out stupid f1 gimmics, which are ruining the spirit of f1, and still showing f1 in a positive way. In the face of a large negativity around f1 lately, we need more articles like this.

  22. I like the idea of giving a point to fastest lap as well as pole position I think both of those achievements should be worth something and not nothing. I also like the idea of maybe awarding points for laps led and the most laps lead like they do in NASCAR but it is my favorite sport NASCAR so I’m biased in that regard I know that. I really like the idea of reverse grids and this is how you make it work don’t tell the teams which races it’s going to be obviously won’t be Monaco. The teams won’t know untiI the morning of the race I think that makes for a very interesting race it could be for 4 or 5 races a year but not the last race of year since it might affect the championship outcome.

  23. I used to read computer magazines and reviews of games therein, and I found the reviews of rubbish games just as enjoyable to read as those of good games, sometimes even more so. I think scornful critiquing is an art, and sentences like “the toxic strain of gimmickry for which Formula E is Patient Zero.” simply bring a smile to my face.

    1. @adrianmorse Thank you :-)

  24. But given a choice between keeping the crowd happy and keeping the competition fair, F1 gets it right and IndyCar gets it wrong.

    I’m going to go off on a tangent here, because I’m not sure that’s always the case. For the races, sure, F1 never shies away from punishing a winner, even if it means he loses his victory. But what about the world championship? If a driver won the world championship but did so through cheating, would the FIA have the guts to disqualify them and suffer through the negative publicity? I don’t think so.
    Without sounding too much like a tin-foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist, I reckon there has been some occasions where the FIA should have stripped a driver of the championship but chose not to. I can think of 4 well-known instances of a driver deliberately crashing into his championship rival in a decisive race in order to guarantee the championship as his. Obviously, these are 1989, 1990, 1994 and 1997. In the first 3 incidents, the driver was successful in wiping out his rival and securing the championship. Despite it being obvious to almost everyone as foul play, they went unpunished.
    However, the one occasion in which a driver was punished for this was in 1997, when Schumacher was unsuccessful in taking out Villeneuve and lost the championship anyway. If Schumacher had taken him out and won the crown, would he have been stripped of the world championship? I don’t think he would have.
    Another similar but different incident was following the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix, where the Williams and BMW cars were found to have irregularities in their fuel. Their disqualification would’ve elevated Lewis Hamilton 3 places, meaning he would have won the world championship instead of Raikkonen. The FIA are usually ultra-strict on things like this, and you’d imagine that on any other occasion they would’ve been excluded – but they weren’t. The official line was that there was a lack of conclusive evidence, but could it have been because nobody wanted to see the new world champion stripped of his title due to something that had nothing to do with him? Just a thought…

  25. i don’t mind “gimmicks” as long as they work.

    The BTCC is currently one of the most exciting racing series in the world. fair enough there is gimmicks but the racing is incredible. it shows that the drivers can drive in different conditions (with ballast, without ballast, from the front or from the back).

    i like racing and i don’t really care about the sci-fi technology that produces boring racing. the problem with F1 is that it is trying too hard to be a show instead of a racing series. it is debatable if it can be considered a “sport” per se.

    things like the DRS would be good if they actually contributed to the racing. it clearly fails because more overtaking does not mean good racing.

    even the old mini series that Motors TV show in the UK is more exciting than F1.

  26. Robert McKay
    17th July 2015, 18:25

    Interesting article Keith – mostly agree on everything, albeit that everything has its place in each individual series to some extent. Joker laps particularly annoy me. RX races are by design a quick blast, but then they add in the joker, and obviously everyone tries to take the joker at different times for the strategic element, so you barely have the whole field all racing on the same bit of tarmac at one time throughout the full race. Almost might as well have a time trial format for it instead.

    Slightly disagree on the reverse grids. WTCC’s is in a way necessary at the moment as it makes the second race vaguely challenging for the main Citroen drivers, albeit the way they decide the race 2 grid is flawed. I don’t mind GP2’s reverse grid that much, I think it adds a lot to their weekend, and noone is giving up wins to ensure they get a better grid slot in the sprint race.

    But it would be interesting to write the sister article “Gimmicks in motorsport…that work!”

    Off the top of my head…F1’s knockout qualifying (definitely a gimmick, but it does work), FR3.5’s DRS system (a much better and fairer system than F1’s), ummm…

    Probably a shorter list, but I think there’s a few more out there I just haven’t thought of yet!

  27. pxcmerc (@)
    17th July 2015, 18:36

    I watched SuperGT and some JGTC, and that series had a pretty good ballast system, and you didn’t have the same people winning, although the really healthy teams always got some good points finishes. A ballast system can work for F1, it might not sound right, but all things being equal, and the limited number of variables, Mercedes will keep winning until the FIA asks Pirelli to make the tires dangerous or unfairly changes the rules in order to disadvantage Mercedes.

    The real hypocrisy is not seeing how the rules are used as ‘success ballast’, when a ballast system could be used openly and ‘fairly’.

    One rule change that should be considered are the points distribution, right now the championship, is decided by one factory team and could be known as early as a few races in to a season depending on who the team chooses to support. Using a logistic curve instead of an exponential one keeps the top finishes closer to the mid pack and rewards the midpack and lowers for scoring points. Because the midpack is where most of the variability is in F1. Everyone knows who will win this year, and everyone has known who will win since 2011.

    1. pxcmerc (@)
      17th July 2015, 18:38

      even a logarithmic curve would work, but that might seem too odd or artificial.


  28. Andy (@andybantam)
    17th July 2015, 18:54

    Just imagine how much success ballast Mercedes would need to carry to reign them in sufficiently. They’d probably have to tow a small trailer.

    I enjoyed this article, but I think, as already stated elsewhere, you can argue the case for success ballast in touring car categories, particularly the BTCC. Without it, the BTCC would grid would revert to natural order in a few laps. I know that it’s a little manufactured, but it means you can come in as a new team and, as long as you have a sensible budget and a decent driver, you can be competitive straight away. That’s great. But it’s not for F1.

    The BTCC deserves credit for getting the balance right, with regards to success ballast. I can’t claim to like the other ways it tries to generate ‘randomness’, but I do like the success ballast.

  29. Wow. I feel like this was less a well thought-through article and instead just targeted hate towards other series. You forget to mention that most of these are not to “Spice up the action” and instead do something like stop crashes. You say that the split qualifying is a bad idea at tracks. “Nevertheless this is a common practice in other series. The potential for unfairness here is obvious, as it makes it possible for a driver to beat all the rivals he shares a track with in qualifying, yet not take pole position.

    Besides depriving spectators of the excitement of seeing all the top drivers going-head-to-head, the blatant unfairness of this system is the most obvious reason why F1 should continue to steer clear of it.”
    Most of these series do this specifically at tracks like Monaco because of how cramped it is. For F1 this shouldn’t be a problem and most of the drivers are intelligent enough to navigate the track without bumping into people during qualifiying because they are the best. When you add in a field of usually 25+ young driver each probably not having much experience at that track your just asking for a massive crash and a disaster. I could go on all day about the problems with this article but I will keep it short and sweet
    This feels like your annoyed at people speaking badly about F1 because of it’s gimmicks. You then proceed to state several non gimmicks, and some actual gimmicks. Most of these gimmicks work well for the series and no ones complaining, so how about you do an article on the problems of F1 and the gimmicks the fans DON’T want rather than focusing on the gimmicks that people actually like, for example the Sprint Cup chase, works for NASCAR and the fans seem to like it.

  30. I’m going to be bold and just admit it.

    I don’t mind Fanboost

    At first, like everyone on this site, I was worried that Fanboost might be the gimmick that killed Formula E before it even started.

    In the first few races, it was negligible. But as the races went on, the drivers and teams started to get their heads around the idea. It started to affect the races. To my surprise, I didn’t mind. In the last race, I even voted myself!

    But I wanted to explain why I think it is a good idea, because for some reason I’ve thought about it a lot.

    Why not give a small minority of drivers an artificial advantage? I realised that in Formula 1, no driver has an equal playing field – even within a team you often have two sets of different equipment. And imagine if it wasn’t crude capitalism and corrupt backroom deals that decided which cars had the advantage, but the fans themselves…

    And then I thought ahead to future seasons, when Formula E moves away from being a spec series. Annoyed your favourite driver is in a dog of a car? You can help them! Annoyed your least favourite driver is dominating? You can disadvantage them! Amazing!

    Imagine if we had fanboost in Formula 1 this season… votes for Vettel to help get amongst the Mercedes? Votes for Marussia to get them up the grid? What a cool dimension it could add.

    And then I realised something about the whole Fanboost thing – it forces you to pick a favourite driver and feel just a bit of ownership over their story. I feel like most F1 fans don’t tune in each week to see how their favourite driver will do, and many probably don’t even have a favourite driver, it’s not the kind of sport that rewards that sort of spectating. And thus, Formula 1 feels detached somehow from the human aspect of the drivers.

    But the simple act of choosing one driver to bestow your vote upon instantly provides a connection to that driver. You have contributed to their race, or if they don’t win the vote you want them to avenge the loss to a rival tribe. It’s a simple, free way to make fans consider which drivers they like the most and why, and in a way that they can refresh their opinion race after race.

    Or maybe I’m overthinking it all, and it’s just a cheap way for Agag to get lots of tweets.

    1. This is actually quite an interesting topic. I think really my answer here is that I don’t really care about Formula E – so as a result, I don’t really care much about the rules that it implements. I think the series itself is a bit of a gimmick and so I don’t really mind fanboost despite it going against the principles of fairness for racing drivers. Once the series sorts itself out and becomes a proper racing series (i.e. has technology that can last a full race) i’ll probably change my view on this.

      That said, were this in F1, would I use Fanboost? Yes I probably would. I probably would enjoy it too, if perhaps there was a limitation attached (maybe one per season for a driver), to at least make it semi fair.

    2. I agree a lot with this-I think Formula E has hit on a great formula that has a genuine chance of breaking through. Fanboost peaked perfectly with the top two championship contenders getting it for the last race.

      I even think swapping cars adds something – it provides some understandable (for the television audience) strategy gambles as people try to save power to delay their pitstop and have more energy for the second half of the race. If the plans for next years to increase peak power this will create more options for the drivers.

    3. @graham228221 – I’m still against fanboost but your comments are the most persuasive argument I’ve yet seen.
      I watched most of the Formula E and fanboost didn’t often seem very effective, which I thought was a good thing. But maybe you’re right about the fan involvement. Worth considering.

      1. Sorry – “I watched most of the Formula E races and fanboost…”

  31. ”Even the BTCC, which boasts a vast, diverse and healthy grid (and already uses other means of performance balancing), can’t bear to wean itself off artificially-induced close racing. The result is a hollow spectacle where each front runner takes it in turns to collect wins”

    Keith, this is the worst paragraph you’ve ever put you’re name to. The BTCC is a ‘hollow spectacle where each front runner takes it in turns to collect wins’? Really?! That statement is just ridiculous imo, the BTCC is by far the most unpredictable and exciting championship in the world, and in no way are people taking turns to collect wins (Turkington last year and Plato at Croft recently both proved that if you’re fast, you’re gonna win regardless). This article screams of ‘Let’s redirect some of the F1 hate at other series’ when really I think it should’ve been ‘Let’s explain why things work for other series but not for F1’, because you’ve essentially said that the very reasons why certain championships are exciting to most people, are the same reasons you find them mundane.

    Maybe the ‘vast, diverse and healthy’ BTCC grid is a result of, among other things which contribute to good racing and ease of team management, success ballast?

    I don’t understand what you’re referring to when you say they disguise who is carrying what ballast? It’s not disguised, it’s determined by championship standings for race one, race one results for race two and race two results determine the race three grid. The kg amount is always the same and all cars are at the same base weight (except obviously teams who can’t get their car down to base weight).

  32. @keithcollantine,@mazdachris and others, reading the for and against arguments re FE changing cars because of problems changing batteries just re-enforced my hatred for F1s silly gimmick, tyres that have to be discarded midway through a race, just substitute the word “tyre” for the word “battery” in those arguments and it becomes obvious that in this case F1 has the most artificial gimmick, even when you accept that a 20 man pitcrew can change the tyres in a couple of seconds, maybe FE could, with 20+ years of practice and technological development, manage to change batteries just as fast.

    1. They could change batteries now, but it was decided that it was safer to change the cars instead. That should be done away with within a few seasons once technological development happens.

      1. Indeed – changing cars in Formula E is hardly a “gimmick”, it’s just a technical limitation – an embarrassment, indeed, which the FE people want to avoid.
        The two plus points for car changing: One, it gives a “pit stop window” effect for a bit of creative (if artificial) strategy; two, it is great to see drivers running to a vehicle, jumping in and buckling up – evocative if you’re old enough to remember how car races used to start!

  33. Most of these rules work quite well in the series they’re designed for, and frankly I’m disappointed by the tone of this article which seems to sneer at anything which isn’t F1. Are any of these series perfect? Not by a long way, but many of them work as well, if not better than, F1.

    Different series work in different ways – Formula E is currently limited by battery technology, but they should be able to stop changing cars in a few years. It’s not really any different than the F1 days of refuelling, when each team brought several spare cars along as well. The series itself isn’t meant to be “green”, it’s meant to spur technological development in that area. As for Fanboost, you’re right, that has no place in F1, but it does have a place in Formula E – it works there quite well in fact, and the drivers seem to like the idea that the fans can make a difference.

    Please come down from your high horse, and realise that there are different philosophies of motorsport, and they don’t all need to be “speed uber alles”.

  34. Though this is a fun article, i think the title is misleading. Not all of these rules are ‘ridiculous’ or ones which should be derided.

    Certain rules are necessary for a sport – Formula E’s second car, for example, is a technology limitation. Other rules actually work quite nicely – the Joker lap, for example, works well for Rallycross. It’s another way of testing the capabilities of the car which is designed for both on and off road and is equal for all competitors. Some of these rules I don’t have a problem with – random grids for example, where they are truly random. It’s just luck of the draw and equal to all drivers.

    The real issue with rules is when they take away from fairness. Where one driver has an inherent advantage over the over which cannot be overcome (i.e. ballast) or split qualifying (different track conditions). Or those rules which might work well in theory but in execution they don’t work as intended (i.e. points for fastest lap).

    With that said, it’s also not hard to look at certain unwritten rules in F1 and call them ridiculous. Lack of a spending cap, for example. It’s just as unfair to give a driver ballast as it is to spend £100m more on the development of their car. Certainly food for thought.

    It’s also quite refreshing to not see WEC in the above list at all (though it’s by no means a perfect sport).

  35. Martin Boyle (@)
    18th July 2015, 12:01

    Id like to see 5 pts given for pole and 5pts given for fastest lap. I’d also like to see a sprint race Saturday afternoon and a Grand Prix/Endurance Race Sunday afternoon. Half points for the sprint race down to 8th. And have each drivers fastest lap in the sprint race determine their grid position for the grand prix. As this article correctly points out, drivers backing up to get clean air to set a fastest lap has been a problem. If you do that under this format, you risk losing championship points.
    The only section of this article which really annoyed me was the car changes section, both paragraphs, mainly because it doesn’t give a full explanation in either. Yes, they swap cars, fact of the matter is that’s where battery technology is at atm. Would they be better having 2 half distance races? Yes probably. Would I do that? Yes. But then we need to look at modular batteries. I know Mercedes are working this atm with their “Electric Drive” road car. Not sure if it’s ready yet. The other, the F1 hybrids being more fuel-efficient. As an engineer, this is a real bugbear of mine. Hybrid as a whole is already a bugbear because its quite clearly not the future of the road car. Fully electric cars are. Hybrid only exists due to socio-economic and political reasons, not engineering. Hybrids are heavy and slow, and in road cars in the real world, don’t save you that much fuel even compared to a normal diesel. In F1 terms, they are lightyears behind the WEC. Merc’s are the only ones doing 5 races atm. WEC do Le Mans, which is roughly 17 GP distances, and they sprint a vast amount of it. F1 is losing less fuel to set slower lap times, that is not an engineering achievement. Simple as. Efficiency is about getting “more from less,” not less from less.
    Other than that, I agree that these “gimmicks” on the whole, have no place in F1, though I’ve never really thought them of detriment to the series they are in. GP2 is regularly praised for offering better racing than F1. The reverse grid in BTCC is always carnage. The joker lap in rallycross is brilliant. That said, I am and will always be in favour of F1 using its sporting regs to experiment with F1 to keep it fresh, and make it more entertaining. I know a lot of people don’t like the idea of changing the current weekend format. I appear to be one of the few in favour. I’d have less practice, so the cars are less fine-tuned, thus introducing more of the unknown to the weekend. I like 1-lap qualifying, simply because you know the drivers have to be flat-out and if they stuff it up they’re starting at the back, which if they’re a front runner is great for the race. I like knockout qualifying, in that the whole field is on the circuit per session, but, it doesn’t really throw up surprises that often. Maybe they could amalgamate the 2? I’d then have a sprint race and grand prix/endurance race in the format stated previously.
    Last little comment here is in reference to “multiple class fields” as mentioned in the comments section. For me, I am in favour of this as a short-term measure. Max Mosley’s cost-cap suggestion in exchange for greater technical freedom, I feel is a model F1 has to adopt to remain sustainable in the future. The obvious question is, how do you enforce it? The answer is, place a forensic accounting specialist and an internal audit specialist inside each company. The manufacturer teams are rejecting it for fear of the smaller teams building cars which are faster than there’s. Which immediately asks THE pertinent question, why do the manufacturer teams want to commit to a financial vs. performance model which is quite clearly worse? The answer’s simple. Because the smaller teams cant afford it. In short, the manufacturer teams want to secure the F1 World Championship through wallet-splurging complexity, rather than through engineering prowess. And that is fundamentally wrong.
    This has turned into a bit of a rant/dissertation haha, oops :).

  36. I never comment here but I wanted echo others’ thoughts. This is a good list of ideas that wouldn’t work for F1. That, however, is not the case for many for the series themselves.

    BTCC works wonderfully at the moment and is drawing big crowds made up of many hardcore race fans-I was at Brands Hatch and watching the best drivers managing weight and still being at or near the front actually increased the quality of the ‘sport’ element rather than being an artificial show – no one is hiding that and ITV make the situation clear in their coverage. Likewise reverse grids have make GP3 and GP2 better creating very exciting races in many cases and allowing the drivers to show their skill.

    I usually love your website and enjoy your commentary but the tone of this article is condescending and misjudged.

    P.S. If you wanted to protect your journalist credentials you might have mentioned the nonsensical (even they recognised it) Formula 3.5 low downforce set up on Saturday rule?

  37. I actually like success ballast. I think it adds to the spectacle. It’s fair and the same for everyone, and there’s very little room to game it, so I don’t see any problems.

  38. I don’t like the fanboost.

  39. GB (@bgp001ruled)
    22nd July 2015, 3:02

    Keith, your the man! agree with everything you said! and fan boost is the most ridiculous idea ever!!!

  40. I like the Case in NASCAR. It’s just another form of playoffs. Anyone who watches sports is in the US realizes how much more exciting the playoffs are vs the regular season. On the other hand, the “stages” that have been instituted this year make no sense to me. It all just feels artificial.

  41. “but allowing drivers to do something as wasteful as discard an entire car mid-race harpoons the green credentials of a series intended to promote environmentally-friendly technology”

    This, rather laughably, makes it sound as though they throw away the used car at the midway mark! I’ve been to Formula E races, and I have never seen a nose cone sticking out of the rubbish bins out back.

    Batteries can be charged

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