The Grand Prix Driver’s Association believes that Formula 1 is focusing on the wrong things to fix or improve their sport, depending on how you look at it. The point is that focusing on small things to liven up the race weekend isn’t really what is needed, it is major elements of the series regulations that is preventing excitement on race weekends according to GPDA director, Romain Grosjean.
“I think the GPDA point is that, and it’s from 100% of drivers, that the problem is not the way the weekends are, the problems are bigger than that,” said Grosjean, when asked by Autosport why drivers did not support the reversed-grid idea.
“We are not trying to address things with a small spoon when a good old pan will do the job.
“It’s tyres; why there is such a big gap [on track] between the cars, because the tyres are just so sensitive.
“It’s money distribution, when the money is spread out like this, how can you get a close championship?
“Then it is weight of the car, which is very much related to helping the tyres, and aero sensitivity which F1 is working on.
“We believe that if those four points are sorted then the championship doesn’t need any tricks of whatever.
“We haven’t seen tennis change the way they do tournaments because Nadal and Federer have been winning, but at the moment we are going with a ping pong racket to a match where Nadal has a tennis racket.”
Weight, tires, aero and money. The four horsemen of the F1 apocalypse as it were. We’ve been talking about these elements, sans money, for a long time here at TPF. I would substitute DRS for the money category. Prize money is a fluid thing and I believe that some midfield teams could cast costs in some areas to assist their operation but more importantly, I believe that the regulations can written to allow for small budget teams to actually compete agains larger titans of the sport.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz agreed with Romain and added:
“Before changing the format, I think we first need to see a F1 with a tight field and with cars that are able to follow,” said Sainz.
“Once we have a 2021 with cars that are able to follow, and a whole grid within one second – which is what I wish for every driver to be able to make the difference – we might not need any of those changes.
“We might have the best F1 ever without any of those changes.
“So why don’t we focus on making F1 how it should be, which is closer competition, more equal money distribution and cars that are able to follow each other?
“Then all of a sudden you have a good F1 and maybe you don’t need all the other stuff.”
Now, I’ve been watching F1 long enough to know that there is no single magic bullet to cure all issues and that it is much easier said than done to simply change the aero, tires or weight but that’s what it would take. A serious re-thinking of the technical regulations and like the ban on traction control and other road-relevant tech, I think F1 needs to consider that it doesn’t have to be space-aged tech that no one can afford. Right now, they need a correction and good fundamental racing. Get that and you can drip feed tech back into he sport in areas that flatter the technical regulations instead of neuter them.
Hat Tip: Autosport