All things wrong with F1 now

We discuss all things wrong with F1 and if there are any workarounds.

When Valterri Bottas took a commanding victory at Australia, we feared the writing was on the wall for the championship in 2019. Bahrain promised some light at the end of the tunnel. But China solidified whatever little doubts that were left, about whether or not Mercedes will run away with the championship.

With three consecutive 1-2’s in as many races, Mercedes look to be favorites to win before the summer break. Ferrari cannot be blamed for trying today although they sacrificed Charle’s race. For all the noise about being the fastest car, barring Bahrain, they have thrown no challenge towards Mercedes.

Can we blame the big 3

The short answer is No. They are within the rules, and having a big budget isn’t really illegal. They are well within their rights to be ambitious and have the technical know-how and capability to stay ahead of the field.

I was watching a youtube video by @ChainBearF1 who made a lot of sense in pointing out how the positive feedback loop has managed to keep the top 3 ahead of the rest. It is quite sad in a way that 14 drivers fight for last 4 slots in a race.

Where does FIA come in

FIA has been, for its part, has been constantly trying to change rules to make it an even playing field for all constructors. But it is easier said than done. They cannot afford to piss off the big names since they pull in the crowd and viewers. Teams like Ferrari and Mercedes have so much history and money in this sport, their claws so very deep into F1 which leads to FIA wilting under pressure.

Having said that, no one is bigger than the sport. Rules have to be made in terms of bringing some parity in distribution of prize money and also how the race and qualifying can be made more challenging for the top teams giving the lower ranked teams a chance to fight. In the video above, the creator also suggests some good ideas as to how things can be made more even. I suggest you check it out. He has other great F1 educational videos.

No amount of social engagements and PR events is going to save the sport if the day that matters the most is a borefest and a parade of cars. All the social media shenanigans are meaningless if there is no one looking at it. Listening? Liberty Media !!!

The fact that a team like Williams is on the verge of extinction and big budget manufacturer like Renault can only dream of 7th is all that is wrong with F1 now. 7 teams scraping for 10 points does not give them a whole lot of prize money which is absolutely the key to get good technology, attract better drivers. Without it, those teams will just go round and round in the same circle every year and status quo remains.

Rule Book

FIA also has a very flexible rule book, where it feels like they make up rules as they go. What can be a racing incident to one race official, can be a punishable offence to another. Then, there is the question of how much penalty to be applied. This aspect has faced so much flak over the years. Lower drivers seemingly get the shorter end of the stick or drivers getting arbitrary time penalty awards.

Legacy Tracks

Some tracks are just not good for Formula 1 races anymore and are just there because of money or history. Better tracks have faded into oblivion for lack of that. Monaco for instance is a nightmare for passing and haven for crashes. Canada, Hungary, Australia, Spain are all such tracks that do not provide great overtaking spectacle. Still we persist with them. We need better tracks like Bahrain, Baku and COTA to retain the interest of viewers.

Let me know your views in comments section.

1 thought on “All things wrong with F1 now”

  1. nicely summarised. I also think the cars are too big and reducing their weight will be better for racing perspective.

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