It seems Formula One is intent on ruining its own brand through actions it deems appropriate regardless of the impact it has on the entire ecosystem of the series. Friday’s Free Practice 1 session was silent until nearly the end of the session when a few cars made exploratory runs leaving fans sitting in rain anxiously awaiting the sound of an engine.
With the weekend slated for dry wether, limited tire allocations for the weekend and the risk of damaging a multi-million dollar car, the teams felt content to wait it out until Free Practice 2 later that morning. This has angered Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone who told the Express:
“It was disastrous for Formula One,” said the sport’s powerbroker Ecclestone.
“They need to change the regulations to ensure this sort of thing does not happen. The FIA and the teams need to sort it out. People pay good money, and there is a television audience to think about, too.
“I understand it from the teams’ point of view about potential damage to cars, but maybe it should be that they get six sets of tyres to use on a Friday and if they do not run, we take away that number from their Saturday total.”
Is mandatory running or extra tire allotments the answer to get teams to actually use the time they’ve been given in order to entertain the fans? Many F1 personalities continually refer to F1 as “The Show” and often allude to it as being all about entertainment but when it comes to a soggy FP1, then the show is out the window. What do you think? Is there a better way to incent the teams to run in all three sessions? It appears the teams don’t need the extra practice and with last week’s argument about any running of an F1 car being a learning situation, you’d think Friday’s would be a gold mine for them regardless of weather…or would you?
The prospect of tricky conditions does elevate the risk of a crash and serious damage to the car and of course some would offer the grand equalizer of arguments draped in the terms of safety and that’s hard to argue with. Are fans understanding of the nuances that would see teams parked in FP1 on Friday or is there something else F1 could do to spice up “the show”?