Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Dream Formula 1

F1 is nothing like it used to be some handful of years ago. Between the schedule, engines specs, drivers, and other minor details, the sport has really gone to shit. Some races are good, but on an overall basis, the racing really isn't all that grand anymore. Clearly, some of the things I suggest aren't possible in the new economic era of the world, but I don't think what I suggest is too wild or obtuse. Here are some of the things I would love to see:

Let's start with the schedule. Fricken Bernie Eccelstone, head hancho in charge of F1, needs to stop going to places that a) 99% of humanity can't point out on a map and b) places that produce boring races. So, here is my dream schedule (dates used in 2014 calendar):

  • March 16 - Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia
  • March 23 - Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • April 13 - Istanbul Park Circuit, Istanbul, Turkey
  • April 27 - Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, Magny-Cours, France
  • May 11 - Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
  • May 25 - Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • June 8 - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Canada
  • June 15 - Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, England
  • June 29 - Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria
  • July 6 - Nuburgring, Nurburg, Germany
  • July 13 - Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, San Marino, Italy
  • August 3 - Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany
  • August 17 - Sochi International Street Circuit, Sochi, Russia
  • August 24 - Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Francorchamps, Belgium
  • September 7 - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy
  • September 28 - Marina Bay Street Circuit, Marina Bay, Singapore
  • October 12 - Fuji International Speedway, Oyama, Japan
  • October 26 - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • November 9 - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, USA
  • November 16 - Autodromo Jose Carlso Pace, Sao Paulo, Brazil

I don't know about you but that's a schedule I would tune in to. All of those tracks are straight up gems. Some great races are to be had. Tracks taken off the schedule include Korea, India, Suzuka, Shanghai, Hungary, and Bahrain. Tracks added include both German races every year, Turkey, Magny-Cours, Austria, San Marino, Sochi, and Fuji. Time to put the series back to great tracks with a greater portion of them on Continental Europe.

Imola (San Marino) is easily one of my favorite tracks in the world (Photo credit not listed)

My next beef is with the engines. Not only was it a travesty to move from the V10s to the V8s following the 2005 season, but it is even worse that next year, we are going from V8s to V6s. How lame is that? F1 is supposed to be the premiere sport in engines and sheer power. Every time I heard a V10 engine fly by, I had a crisis. It makes logical sense to downgrade again due to the refueling ban the sport now has, but on an overall basis, I hate the idea.

Another thing I would like to see is a switching back to the old chassis that was wider, and frankly, better looking. The switch was made to save money and improve overtaking. But I feel as if regulations were put in to only make changes on certain elements of the cars and not every inch of the car, thus ruling out the same spending war that happened during this war. To say overtaking was rare before the chassis switch is nonsense, considering the greatest seasons in Formula 1 history happened between the years 2006-2008 (just my opinion). So many great races. Couldn't regulations have been changed rather than switching chassis altogether? 

Lewis Hamilton in 2008. before change Very much not ugly (Photo credit not given)

McLaren MP4-24
Lewis Hamilton in 2009 after change. My eyes hurt (Photo: Haug)

NEXT, GET RID OF THAT TERRIBLE CONTRAPTION CALLED DRS aka the worst decision in the history of Formula 1 other than deciding to not comeback San Marino. I would love for KERS to remain because the drivers get an equal shot at it and it requires strategy with about being too gimmicky. I love the slick, non-grooved Pirelli tires and wish to see those remain. 

Next, refueling. I am actually on the fence about this one. I can see the pros and cons of banning refueling. The pros are it takes away from winning races on fuel strategy, saves teams money, and makes crew members safer in the pits. Cons are it takes away from a crucial strategical area used in Formula 1 since its inception, as it can create some exciting on track racing with cars with heavy fuel loads struggling early on.

Now the drivers. Raise your hand if you enjoy watching drivers like Max Chilton, Jules Bianchi, Charles Pic, Giedo van Der Garde, and Pastor Maldonado. Christ, I know I don't. Some of the drivers that should be in the sport are on the sidelines because they don't bring enough funding to bring to the table or commitments elsewhere due to bad circumstances. Some of these drivers include Robert Kubica, Timo Glock, Heikki Kovalainen, Ralf Schumacher, Bruno Senna, Kamui Kobayashi, Nick Heidfeld, Jaime Alguersuari, and others, These driers are exciting to watch and produce some great on track moments. Adding them would make for some great racing.

The qualifying format is very favorable and I enjoy it. I would like to see another team jump in to make it 24 cars again. But the most important thing is that the team should know what they are doing before entering the sport. Marussia and Caterham have been a joke since entering the sport.

Marussia (left) and Caterham (right) both have not scored points since joining F1 (Photo: Planet F1)

But obviously none of this will ever happen because head honcho in charge, Bernie Eccelstone, and I differ in some areas. I, for one, actually have brain. Can't say Bernie does. Some of the things he has done in the past decade are quite baffling. So clearly this won't happen anytime soon. But hey, it is wishful thinking. 

Let me know what you think!

-Matthew Hickey


  1. Let me address your points one by one.

    The schedule: If by the Nurburgring you mean the
    Nordschleife; I can't see that happening. The track is too long, has limited amenities-very important for Bernie-and is not safe to host modern F1. Fuji instead of Suzuka? I don't see that either. Another factor: Europe as a continent these days is in no financial position to pay Bernie's exorbitant fees to host races.

    Engines: I understand your desire to have V10 engines. However, the automotive industry is going to smaller engines in a lot of cars these days, and manufacturers don't have money to do activities which aren't completely relevant to their road car technology. It's called economic reality.

    Agree somewhat on the chassis; disagree on DRS. Yes, DRS is a gimmick; so are two sets of tire compounds per race. Racing is entertainment, and there are many ways to be entertained these days outside of racing. I actually like F1 more these days because of the fact that drivers can actually overtake each other.

    It would be nice to see refuelling again. But I also understand why it's not allowed anymore.

    Re: the drivers you mentioned. Drivers having to bring money is not a new thing; it's been going on for at least as long as I've been a racing fan-more than two decades-and likely even before that. There is no good answer to that issue. Kick the drivers out, their teams go with them.

    As for the comment that none of this will happen because you have a brain and Bernie doesn't, I find that's an out of line comment. My opinion; if a person has to resort to childish personal attacks, then that diminishes the parts of their statements that have value, if not eradicates the value entirely. You're usually above that sort of behaviour. It's sad to see it in this article.

    I understand as you stated at the beginning that this is a fantasy wish and not a "I'm right and you're a fool if you don't agree with my brilliant ideas" piece, but the last comments sure make it feel like that.

    P.S. I have a suggestion for your INDYCAR "Winners and Losers" posts. Let's just rename the Cone of Shame "The ABC/ESPN Cone of Shame." You can just cut and paste comments from previous posts, because I believe that you and I can both agree that as long as the current people that staff their INDYCAR broadcasts are in place-both on air and in production-it's not a question of whether ABC/ESPN's INDYCAR coverage will be bad, but just HOW bad will it be?

  2. There's a lot to address here! 1) some of the specific things you point out is covered under the basis of I know it won't likely happen but hey, here's to hoping" like drivers, engines, and schedules. Sorry if I make it sound like it comes off as I'm right and I know it, that was not my intention. Maybe one of those instances where my words were taken out of context. And as far as my comments about Bernie, I call it like I see it, and I think Bernie is an incompetent oaf. I could give and elaborate, dull way of saying it, so I just sum it up with something that might get a chuckle. Not trying to be childish. Thanks for reading!