To Formula One, the FIA, and Liberty Media,
It is time to get serious about finding solutions as to why there is no overtaking. The past five race weekends have been utterly disheartening. You’re selling me this idea that these are the best racing drivers in the world that are capable of driving wheel-to-wheel.
Instead, I’m watching a procession that follows this particular order: Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, HAAS, McLaren, Toro Rosso, Renault, Alfa Romero, Racing Point, and unfortunately, Williams.
Do we even need to watch the races anymore?
We all know that Mercedes have their act together while Ferrari will shoot themselves in the foot. The mid-field will not fight for a win but claim the sad title of “best of the rest,” and Williams will be two laps down.
Pretty accurate race recap for any Grand Prix this year, I know.
Fans want to preserve the tradition of manufacturers building their cars because that has been woven into Formula One DNA since their inception in the 1950s. I concede to that notion, even though I believe spec regulations would make Formula One teams closer and more competitive. The sanctioning body continues to try and reduce winglets, add or subtract downforce, and even add DRS to promote racing and it has done quite the opposite, especially this season.
So I, obviously in a place to change the rules and regulations within a F1 weekend, will give you the solution(s) that F1 needs to employ to make their racing great again.
Only have two different tire compounds.
Increase the degradation of the tire compounds.
Allow these cars to be refueled.
Make the cars smaller in width and length.
Incorporate some kind of Push to Pass option.
Yes, two and only two compounds. It always boggled my mind as to why Formula One continues to give the teams three different compounds to choose from throughout the race weekend. The strategies typically call for only one pitstop the majority of the time. Even then, teams can take a soft tire compound and manage them to last 40 plus laps, which leads to my next point.
Tire degradation needs to be more profound. Seeing drivers maintain a consistent race pace while being 25 laps into a stint is impressive in terms of technological achievement but for racing, not so much. Having varying degradation between the two tire compounds would add an element of necessary tire management that could be the difference in being within the points or not.
Are you telling me that the pinnacle of motorsports cannot figure out a way to refuel their cars? Yes, I know the potential harm. But we see IndyCar, NASCAR, WEC, IMSA and many more refuel their cars safely with relatively little to no accidents throughout their entire season. This idea would be seen as significant incorporation, as drivers could race flat out or like the tires, try to conserve fuel to stretch out a stint a few laps longer.
I believe the lack of racing could also be contributed to the dimensions of the current cars themselves. The cars have become wider and longer to compensate for the larger fuel tanks, as they have expanded from 105kg to 110kg to allow the drivers to race with “full power” without having to save fuel. Counterproductive if you can refuel, am I right? When you think about it in terms of trying to pass one another, extra inches in either direction at 180 mph might as well be a football field. Shrink the cars, and you instantly create more racing room.
Lastly, does DRS work? For passing yes, for racing, no. I want my drivers to defend from a pass, as well as attempt a pass. DRS is too restrictive. For instance, with Push to Pass, if a driver knows they quicker in sector two compared to the driver in front, why not be able to gain a little boost and push harder in that sector to try and make up some time? Why not push harder on fresher tires to do the same? Or, call me crazy, the attack zone from Formula E makes its way into the pinnacle of motorsports. Either way, give the drivers more control.
What is lacking within Formula One is the strategy, and these components provide not only that but actual racing. Can you imagine if McLaren or Renault sneak their way onto the podium or possibly a win by having a great strategy? If Formula One looked across the pond to IndyCar and took a couple of pages from them, they could see lower-tiered teams like Harding-Steinbrenner Racing winning their first race in Austin, Texas. How about Mayer Shank Racing coming away from the Indy Grand Prix with their first podium because of great a strategic call.
Don’t be like Ferrari and underestimate how important a great strategy can be.