Current F1 like ‘taxi-cab’ racing

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I was reading an article at AUTOSPORT which quotes an interview from Autosprint featuring Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo. Basically Luca was lamenting the possible “taxicab” style driving that the 2014 regulations could spawn.

“I don’t like his sort of taxi-cab driving,” told Autosprint.

“What I don’t like is this complexity in the interpretation of the race, both from the drivers’ and the spectators’ point of view.

“Up until yesterday you’d only look at tyres: most of the attention went to tyre management.

“It was misleading to see a driver in the lead, while realising that you can’t consider him really leading because he would soon pit for a tyre change anyway. It was difficult to fully interpret a race.

“These days, on top of all that, you need to add fuel consumption and managing of a race with a limited amount of fuel.

“I prefer the sort of F1 where you need to always push at the limit.”

As an old F1 dog myself, I will admit that I liked the series more when the drivers were driving at the limit the entire race and conservation was left to the driver to determine how much of the car he needed in order to win but it was always capable of 100%.

You could argue that it is always capable of 100% with the new regulations too but that would be ignoring the fact that you need to finish the race and managing tires, ERS, fuel mileage and more is now a part of the equation. Torque control and Control Electronics play a major part in the strategy.

Move on son, the world has advanced. Technology can’t be ignored because we’re bombarded by media message of “innovation” and solving global problems every waking minute of our day through being creative. Meanwhile, someone has to take out the garbage in his or her kitchen. Apparently I like the garbage-emptying era of F1.

Luca doesn’t ignore the fact that the technology in F1 leads to innovative thinking in Ferrari’s road car program and the LaFerrari is a good example of the hybrid technology coupled with the internal combustion engine. So is the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918. Luca said:

“We can’t be among the ones who don’t push for a more technological and innovative F1, because we then transfer this knowledge on production cars,” he said.

“For us it [has been] like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle: some things have gone the way they were supposed to, others haven’t.

“The difficulty has been the balance between the combustion engine and the electrical one; the thing that has pleased me the most was seeing correlation between wind tunnel and track data, which has always been our problem for the last four years.

“These new ‘hybrid’ F1 cars represent an extremely complex project. The difficulties also encountered by the others demonstrate that.

“Reliability will be important; it will be interesting to see how many cars finish the first race.”

He’s right, of course, and perhaps the new 2014 regulations are spot on. Regardless of my romanticizing the old days, Richard Hammond from Top Gear perhaps said it best at 9 minutes into this recent 918 review.

[vsw id=”D_cHky99TNc” source=”youtube” width=”600″ height=”400″ autoplay=”no”]

Perhaps Formula 1 is creating innovation opportunities to safeguard the future of what sports cars can be instead of watching them die in the hands of gray-haired old pensioners. Perhaps it is time for guys like Luca and I to be set out to pasture so the younger generation of Edison plug-equipped cars can silently nip around city streets and thrill crowds with their piercing silence and in-race strategies that no one watching can understand or grasp the importance of.

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