Jimmy Croul – A 16 Year-olds View On Formula One 4/6/2014
Today in F1 we hear that a selection of drivers have encouraged Pirelli to produce softer tires. I agree very much with this sentiment like I agree when being offered a slice of black forest cake. There is only one answer, yes I do agree. If it was up to me the tires on f1 cars would be made out of rubber bands, but spontaneous rubber bands. These tires can perhaps have large inconsistencies. For example, one car may put a set of the option tire on with 10 laps to go hoping that it’s the faster option to pin back the competition. The tires may last 7 laps and then without any kind of warning hit a cliff, causing the car to lose three seconds per lap. They have to stay out on the track, despite falling down the order like a skydiver without parachute. Or better yet, reach the final lap with a good position in the bag, only for the left rear to spontaneously explode. Now you may be thinking that all this talk is ridiculous and I do guarantee you that I am exaggerating. But honestly, we all want excitement. This is why we love wet races because they’re largely unpredictable. If rain is forecast a viewer will often continue to watch in the hope that the rain will eventuate. They just want some kind of unpredictability in the sport. A prime example of this is the lack of viewers in F1 or should I see the decrease in the number of television viewers. If Vettel wins every race even the most die-hard of fans will be repulsed. However, if there was a 50% chance that his tire would explode in the last three laps people would sell their shirt to be able to watch it. This is why Formula One got that little bit more interesting when Pirelli arrived in 2011, they made tires that were more difficult to read and that wore out more drastically. The Bridgestone tires that we had before that would definitely last a certain distance and that distance was usually a long way. I don’t think it’s just me, but I find a race with three or four pit stops much more interesting than a race with only one. It adds to everything. More strategy play, more capability of an undercut, more opportunities for the pit crew to do a Red Bull and send the wagon out with one wheel less than necessary. It just makes everything better. Now there are several ways to make the racing more interesting, one of these ways expressed was through tires. Pirelli has been hit and miss to say the least, when they were aggressive the racing was usually good in my opinion but after Silverstone something had to be done. In the most recent race a one stop strategy was the way to go. I don’t like this, yes it encourages actually overtaking someone on the track but strategy play interests me and taking it out detracts from the spectacle. Another of these devices brought in to improve the racing is the DRS. Now I despise of this thing, you get close to someone, you get to open the wing in order to reduce drag, you drive past with a straight line speed advantage. This is rubbish and artificial, imagine Imola 2005. A whole portion of the race was spent with an impressive dual between Schumacher and Alonso, Schumacher was probably faster but he couldn’t get past. If he had the DRS he would have activated it, drove past and won the race. Incredibly exciting. Another way of doing this which we have seen at play this year is to reduce the mechanical grip, a good thing for viewers but not so good for drivers, especially Pastor Maldonado. Now with a lack of grip, the cars are harder to drive. In the past it had looked as if an F1 car was easy to drive at high speed. This season the cars look like they’re about to crash all the time, Maldonado’s car more often than others whilst Chilton’s car often just looks slow. The racing has improved dramatically, as long as you consider 3 rd to be 1st and forget the other two. In fact, if you discount the Mercedes’ the only driver to have finished best of the rest more than once is Ricciardo. This means we would have had 5 winners from 6 races. That statistic is fantastic. In all honesty though I 1
Jimmy Croul – A 16 Year-olds View On Formula One believe that the real recipe for entertainment is to remove all of the wings from the car, imagine them driving around with no down force. It worked well for Jack Brabham don’t see why it wouldn’t work again. My ultimate dream however, is for the F.I.A to scrap the whole rulebook for just one race and let the teams bring whatever creation they could think of to the circuit. The teams could bring cars with any engine capacity, no down force restrictions and active suspension. We would then finally be able to see just how quick an F1 car could be.