With the Williams F1 win, their first since 2004, and the 5th different winner in both team and driver categories in as many races, one wonders just how exciting could this year get? Wow! Five different winners and a tight championship and Williams winning again? Really, this is the kind of Formula One we’ve all been asking for…or is it?
Williams F1 had made grand strides since last year with the shuffle in personell and a new car with no blown diffuser or engine mapping for over-run exhaust. Good on them I say because as a Sir Frank fan, I love seeing Williams back. But are they back?
Michael Schumacher was the first driver to call a spade a spade and has taken heat for his comments about the degradation and persnickety nature of this years Pirelli tire but he’s not alone as James Allen reveals. Mark Webber said:
”Always drivers want to push to the limit, it’s in our DNA, ” said Webber. “The last couple of years it’s changed. There’s a large element of pacing going on and that’s a new trade for us, at this level. Sometimes it can be a bit frustrating, the engineers can get frustrated with how powerful the tyre can be. We can have phenomenal tyres but the racing might not be as exciting. So depends who wants to do what for the sport.”
Romain Grosjean said:
“I think you know what the deg is before the race and then you have to play with it and adapt yourself. For sure you cannot run at 100% for all of the race and it’s part of the game. The driver has a big influence on the tyre. It’s a lot of work with the engineers to save the tyres and see how you improve yourself and if you can make a difference at the end of the race, then good.”
No question the tires have become the dominant factor. Last year seemed a learning curve and perhaps more of a balance and with DRS, the FIA seemed somewhat cautious as to making the tire too impacting on a race. This year it seems they’ve opted for more of an impact from the tires and less from DRS with reduced DRS deployment zones. In one sense they listened to many fans who believed DRS was perhaps too impacting and that the tires were just right in 2011 but they’ve reversed that notion for 2012.
If you look beyond the gift wrap of 5 different winners, is this what you were hoping for in Formula 1? More passing and a closer field due to tire and DRS impact ont he sport or were you expecting something less contrived such as a reduction of total aerodynamic downforce allowed? IS it just the right mix of tire, DRS and team combinations to make for happy F1 fans or too much? Leave us a comment in the box below and let us know what you think of the season so far and what your thoughts on the tire impact on the races to date.