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Reader: 'F1 broke my heart'

2014-02-04 08:52

READER'S F1 HEARTACHE: Wheels24 reader QUINTIN SMIT believes that unless organisers make grands prix more exciting, the sport risks losing fans.Image: AFP

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Author: QUINTIN SMIT

 

Wheels24 reader QUINTIN SMIT writes an open letter to his lost love:

I loved her, but she broke my heart; and still does without even knowing it. Every weekend brought excitement to my life as I knew that soon I’d be able to sit back and stare in amazement at all she can do.

She didn’t mean to, but I can’t believe that she has changed so much, and betrayed the faithful so badly. I am of course talking about my secret mistress – Formula 1.

NEW RULES CONTROVERSY

The 2014 season brings a host of new rules and regulations to a sport, already so complicated, that no-one even knows what they are legally allowed to do to their cars anymore.

We still don’t know if Lotus’ new nose is legal or not, and I’m sure this will not be the only point of controversy as the season kicks off later in 2014.

Many of F1’s most loyal fans have been calling for years for strict rules to limit the amount of technology on the cars – get rid of the wings and fancy gearboxes, the driver aids and remote diagnostics equipment.

Their argument being that the racing was more exciting when the cars were less complicated and the outcome was determined by the size of the drivers’ ‘kahoonahs’ rather than the engineering on his car.

My view is quite the opposite – I also miss the golden days of F1, but I don’t believe the complexity of the cars is to blame, but rather the complexity of the rules.

F1 was always going to change and evolve with the introduction of new technology; that was kind of the point, to see what they could come up with next.

Now that spirit of innovation and exploring new technology is gone, and what we end up with is rules so tight, that the top teams end up with virtually identical cars, because that is physically how fast you can go within the rules.

'THROW IN A DIESEL'

If you limit the amount of ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking the engineers can do, you end up with an entire season of parade laps where the only over-taking is either done in the pits lane or by steward’s inquiry after the race.

Rules won’t encourage overtaking or more exciting racing, the only way to achieve it is to allow for technical differences between the cars to give one an advantage over the other in certain situations.

I appreciate the need for rules, the massive reduction in driver fatalities speaks for itself – but no-one is going to watch F1 if they don’t make it more exciting.

Open up the rules, allow for small capacity turbo engines, bigger naturally aspirated V8’s and maybe throw in a diesel!

Allow some active aero or alternative fuels? F1 is supposed to be the absolute peak of what is possible in motor racing, but deliberately designing tires to wear out quicker, or limiting fuel loads, means the drivers cannot give 100%, all of the time and still finish.

I really loved her, but she’s not the sport I fell in love with any more.

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