Monday, July 26, 2010

Senna and the death of F1

This weeks Top Gear was a cracker.

The film celebrating Senna ( really brought it home that F1 has slowly been drowning under a sea of technology. (oh and, had Senna lived, that would have been one of the greatest F1 years ever!).

Don't get me wrong. I love technology and I think that for mere mortals it can be the difference between a nice fast drive in the country and a hospital ward. But there is nothing finer than watching a skilled driver tame an F1 car and drive on the ragged edge. Some of the shots of Senna controlling 1200 BHP as the car squirms it's way down the road are amazing. Even Mr Hamiliton (who is no mean driver himself) admitted that it was a totally different driving experience.

I know that F1 is a test bed for new car technology. But to survive as a spectator sport it needs to bring some of the "fun" back. Michael Schumachar, great driver that he is, is just boring to watch. Get him in a good car and he just wins, he is a machine. Well I have a Playstation if I want to watch a machine drive. All the races I have watched recently are just to clinical. The computer is controlling big bits of the car and preventing all the shimmies and squirms. Until the point the driver cocks up or something breaks, in which case it crashes. Where's the skill? (no I am not saying they are not skilled drivers, anyone that can can control a car at those speeds is clearly a skilled driver, and has nerves of steel) I want to see cars scrapping and duelling for position. Wheel to wheel combat. I want the guy at the front to have to fight for it and then defend it all the way to the line.

Currently, who ever has the best technology, gets the best grid position and wins. BOOORRRIINNNGGG!!!

How about randomising the grid? Just pull starting positions out of a hat? or reverse the grid so that the winner of the last race starts at the back? or have the drivers pull a car number out of a hat? (that would make the constructors and drivers championships really mean something!) or simply have a rota so that every driver drives every car (over the course of the year) not sure if the numbers work on that one, but you get the idea.

Get rid of the driver aids! I can see the argument for ABS but surly this level of driver can cope without traction control and launch control? I can see the point of flappy paddle gear box's but lets make them dumb. Press the button and the gear changes, do it at the wrong speed and the gearbox explodes!

Let's make the drives DRIVE not just be passengers is a glorified video game. Actually. We could take the drivers out of the car, make them drive by remote control and then take all the restrictions away so the cars can go as fast as technology (dam!) can make them go.... Hmmmm... Now I am being silly.... Or am I?

It's been said before... The 80's were a great decade. Let's wind F1 back a bit.


Anonymous said...

Navtej Matharu
Senna was my absolute true hero. The best there ever was I cannot see him being touched on that aspect.

The problem with F1 of these days - is that it is 75% business and only 25% (and thats being generous) a sport.
They only drive for 2 hours every other Sunday - but the world of F1 never stops for all those other hours.

Cosma said...

Absolutely. Bring back The Stirling Moss's. Hamilton does some wheel spins on the road and then apologises to the world. Bring back the Playboy drivers. F1 is the pinnacle! It's supposed to be a world and a life style to aspire too. The drivers should be the best. Flamboyant and exciting to watch on the track. With lives to envie off the track. Apart from being a great driver Senna gave a lot to charity and was loved by his people. The latest round of drivers are just boring. Schumacher is a great driver, but he puts me to sleep. Bring back Eddie Irvine and James Hunt. Gentleman racers, playboys. INTERESTING!!!!

Anonymous said...

Navtej Matharu For sure. Naturally talented drivers only come about once every 10-15 years. Most of these guys have been in motorsport in one form or another before they were out of nappies. If you are not karting by the age of 5 - then forget it! They get groomed to become these robots. All the flamboyant/playboy drivers got used by the 80s/90s. There are so many to list from those days - even going back to the fangio's and ascari's..we'll never see that type of driver again...i think

Cosma said...

Sadly I think you are right. But part of the point of my blog post was to say that the rules could be changed to try and make it more interesting to watch and give the drivers a chance to show their true skill. They are all clearly very skilled drivers, but all the "driver aids" make all the cars drive like they are on rails. Booorrrinng!

Anonymous said...

Navtej Matharu Maybe you should have a word with Bernie - he's one person that could influence such things...mind you his gold/silver/bronze idea wasn't the best. The pundits have always said - just reverse the grid when it comes to race day...we'll see eh

Cosma said...

They do something similar in Karting. Sounds like a good idea to me.