It seems to me that reading comments from FIA president Jean Todt adds to my confusion rather than removes any Vaseline from the camera lens trained on the Formula 1 series. I’m not sure what to make of much of it and today’s article was not as helpful as I had hoped.
“Overtaking has always been a problem in motor racing,” said Todt.
“I remember races 20 or 30 years ago, when a car with fresh tyres that was three or four seconds quicker could not pass a car with old tyres because overtaking was difficult.
“Clearly we can figure out that overtaking will be even more difficult this year.
“But we have tried to find ways to make overtaking easier with DRS and other technologies.
“Maybe the new regulations will make overtaking more difficult, but maybe it was the price to pay for having wider cars with more aerodynamics.”
Sure, I put a happy face on the first race’s lack of passing as it’s a unique circuit and time is needed to really sort out the 2017 regulation changes and the impact it is having on the sport. However, I’m not quite sure about this “price to pay” and how that reconciles with the fans of F1. Surely it was not we fans storming the keep demanding faster, wider cars at whatever cost? I don’t recall the fans even being engaged in the technical regulation discussion and therefore, I’m curious as to why it should be a price we must pay for the 2017 cars?
In fact, I recall vividly our applause for wider, more durable tires that could be pushed coupled with a call for reduced aero and increased fuel flow. If I had a Red Bull for every time I have read a fan say that, I’d be Dietrich Mateschitz but without the cool, grey hair.
Here we are, rending judgment on the season as a no-passing affair after one race and suggesting that it’s the price we must all pay for the super cool cars we demanded. That’s not how I recall the discussion, Jean. The knee-jerk reaction (how Ross Brawn hates those) to this issue and price we’re ALL paying? Lengthen the DRS zones of course. At least that’s what the FIA are considering at this point.
“It’s something that we need to address when we are going to speak about future regulations, about whether it is a good compromise,” he said.
The unvarnished truth is that F1 has been kicking this “long-term” can down the road for a decade or more. Let’s play devil’s advocate, shall we? You had a major regulation change for 2014 that put three teams out of business over this comprehensively intricate hybrid engine that is engineering genius but completely outrageous in expense. When things weren’t panning out and fans began to find other forms of entertainment and interest, you tacked and set about writing a new set of regulations for 2017.
Why, now, would you suggest that we’ll have to take a look at it down the road for the long-term when you just had the opportunity to look at it for the long-term? You just re-wrote the regulations last year and could have taken a long, hard look at the long-term but it seems you didn’t and now, once again, it’s a case of, “yeah, we need to look at that the next time we change the regulations” type of thing when you just looked at the regulations.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m not thinking straight here. As the cars, not 48 hours ago, celebrated their new looks and the big 2017 regulation changes, the FIA are now saying that passing is something they’ll have to think about whenever they get around to changing the regulations. Until then, we will all pay the price for these nicer looking cars…that weren’t 5s per lap faster in the first race and something tells me that may have to do with the fuel flow rate but whatever you do, don’t mention that because clearly they’ll have to consider that if they change the regulations sometime in the future. SMH.
Hat Tip: Autosport