Reinventing Formula 1 RACING


Formula 1 is the pinnacle of competitive motor-sport. With millions of dollars being spent on research and development to find every tenth of a second on track, it is extremely competitive and even the slightest advantage can translate into wins and ultimately championships. However, ever since Alain Prost retired, and Ayrton Senna passed away, F1 has lost that element of surprise and excitement to keep viewers hooked on to the television. The only excitement comes from charismatic drivers, and thanks to corporate sponsorship deals, even that charisma is being suppressed. Formula 1 is simply too boring.

Hungary 2007

But if you venture to the lower levels of motor racing, such as GP2, Formula Renault 3.5 World Series, or even GP3, there is a lot of excitement. In these low costs series, the cars are standardized, and thus driver talent and team strategy can be seen. 21 laps of GP2 on a drying Silverstone circuit was more exciting than 52 laps of the Formula 1 race that took place later that day. Because the drivers are fighting for the prize money and attention from the bigger Formula 1 teams, they really fight tooth and nail for every position.

In this 21 lap race you clearly sort out good drivers from the bad ones. Luiz Razia had a brilliant start, and snatched the lead with a few laps. He pulled out a good lead, and started preserving his tyres. Giedo van Garde had a horrible start, and then ruined his tyres within a few laps, and started dropping back. Davide Valsecchi had a bad start, but he refrained from attacking as he preserved his tyres. He only went fast enough to hold his position. But in the final 10 laps, he really put the hammer down, and nearly caught Razia. Simply superb driving from Razia and Valsecchi.

Here is the Formula Renault 3.5 World Series Nurburgring race.

This was a gripping race, proper edge of the seat stuff. With changing conditions and the compulsory pit stop, this was probably one the best races I've seen in a long time. Predicting the weather conditions, and making the necessary tyre choices was the key here, and this made it very exciting to watch.

The reason why these races are so exciting is because every driver has the same car. So the driver can't make any excuses. Formula 1 cannot have have standardized equipment because innovation in technology and design is a major aspect of the sport, apart from the wheel to wheel racing. However, with rising costs, and with bigger teams pulling away from the smaller teams on the track, there has to be some level of standardization. DTM, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters now has standardised rear wings. Not only does this level the playing field, but it also forces designers to work on the other parts of the car, hence forcing them to become more creative. You can't standardised any aero parts on a Formula 1 car, as the aerodynamic package is what differentiates a McLaren from a Sauber. So there has to be a good balance in creating more exciting racing, but still encourage technical innovation.


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