Over the past few years I have become increasingly disillusioned with Formula 1 as a sport, more so this season. We are only eight races into the season and my will to sit down and watch races live has all but disappeared, in fact I completely skipped the Canadian Grand Prix, which turned out to be a complete snooze-fest as it happens, if Canada does not provide good racing, we know that F1 is in deep trouble.
I think that the direction that F1 has gone is a mistake, fast degrading tyres plus the requirement to use both tyre compounds during the race, the drag reduction system and the new 1.6 hybrid V6 turbo formula with fuel usage restrictions all make the sport feel so incredibly artificial. Many drivers have been complaining that they are not being challenged because they can not run flat out most of the race because of tyre and fuel conservation and the fans of F1 have picked up on this and switched off.
There has been talk about having 1,000HP engines which could be achieved by relaxing the fuel-flow regulations, free choice of tyre compounds, although both compounds would still need to be used, refueling was slated for a return but teams pooped on that idea citing cost and safety concerns.
But I think the biggest issue with F1 is that it is run by committee, i.e. the top six teams, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Williams plus the team that finishes sixth in the constructors championship, leaving the bottom four teams out in the cold. Each team is going to want rules that give them the best chance of success, e.g. forming rules based upon their own personal agenda, which I find crazy!
The sport’s rules should be set by the governing body, the FIA and teams have two choices, either compete or not compete under those rules. Half the time teams can’t agree on a way forward because it does not suit their personal agendas. And while they squabble over the rules, the sport loses more and more of its fans, even the long term hardcore fans that get up at ungodly hours to watch races live.
I am not saying teams should not have a say in the structure of the sport, but it should be a “say”, not a blocking vote and all teams in the sport should be allowed an equal say instead of just the big six teams.
The funniest thing I have heard is that the FIA has opened up entries for new teams 2016/17, I don’t see a lot of teams wanting to risk F1 with costs being so high and the instability in the rules. Many of the lower rank teams, from sixth down are struggling to survive, Marrussia/Manor barely survived to make it onto the 2015 grid while Caterham and HRT have fallen by the way side and USF1 never made it to the grid.
My personal view is that massive changes need to happen to rescue F1 from its current self destructive path. Will it happen? Probably not! But it’s clear that the current regime is not working, drivers are unhappy and unchallenged, fans are disillusioned, it’s definitely time for change, no question about it!