F-1 this year and years past.

Hello, thanks for reading. I am a long time F-1 fan ,circa 1975, which equates to 39 years of following the various developments, politics, un-timely death’s of some great talent and every now and then a good race or two. 

Looking back at historic photos and old video of F-1 drivers and their machines;the driver was such a vital element to the team. These were the days before telemetry, simulations, and in general the tech side of F-1 really changed the sport, the driver provided a human factor to getting the car set up from testing in the off season to the actual races. Drivers honed their skills just like today ,most starting in karting, then slowly moving up the ranks. The cars were mechanical beast that could be tinkered with almost without end to the possibilities to suit a drivers needs.

Now we seem to have the proverbial cart before the horse in F-1. The driver now has to adapt to the car. The driver is told when , where and how to change almost right down to the mm of track. Shift earlier,brake later, adjust brake bias, use less, use more; it’s just and endless and tedious beast of a sport now that almost completely disregards the years that the driver has put in developing his or her driving skills. 

Looking at the current season and the last four with Seb and Red Bull dominating. The cars are absolutely designed for the new Tilke tracks. They fall apart when they hit Canada, Spa, Monza to name a few of the old venues. I really wonder how many of the old venues were changed because of car design needs vs safety? Catalunya sure comes to mind with that awful chicane before the front straight. Look at what they have done to Silverstone and Spa’s bus stop chicane.

We really really need to give the drivers their cars back. Technology is great and it saves lives and helps us conserve energy and a myriad of positive things but, when it comes to racing, I don’t watch a race to see who can get the best fuel mileage. I watch a race to see a man will his machine and lead his team to victory.  Not an bank of engineers and data analyst telling the driver what and how to drive the car every step of the way. If they want cost reduction get rid of the NORAD sized computer systems and the engineers that develop and analyze every micron of data that can come off of a car.

So, I hope it will change eventually. I think everyone is fairly sick of status-quo. I seriously doubt they will scrub the micro-chips but one can hope !

 

Anthony Acosta