Friday, 25 March 2016

The future of formula 1...

...TV coverage, driver mentality and teenage tantrums.

1) Bernie's response to F1 drivers' concerns

This week the Grand Prix Drivers' Association wrote an open letter to the sports' rule-makers expressing concerns about the future success of formula 1, and criticising its decision making process as 'obsolete and ill-structured'.

In response, Bernie Ecclestone replied...

"You are correct. We must, as you have stated, urge the owners and all stakeholders of F1 to consider restructuring its governance."

Bernie, being his usual obtuse self, seem to have missed the fact that he's part of the problem!  He's the one who pushed for double points at the last Grand Prix of the 2014 season. #fakeexcitement  He's the one with an obsession with reverse qualifying grids to artifically mix up the grid. #artificialracing  He's the one who wanted to introduce a two-tier engine formula. #hollowthreat #politicalmanoeuvre 

Bernie, the letter is clearly aimed at you! #ostrich #headintheground

2) New Sky TV coverage deal

The announcement that from 2019, formula 1 will be shown in the UK exclusively on Sky, was another decision which highlights the short-sightedness of the F1 decision makers.

I first got into formula 1 back in the 1990s and my love of formula 1 only occurred because the races were shown on terrestrial TV.  It all happened pretty quickly - in 95 I had very little interest in formula 1, at the start of 96 I would have the races on in the background on a Sunday afternoon, until by the end of the 96 season I was a fully fledged formula 1 addict.

The point though, is that my love of formula 1 would never have developed without the opportunity to actually watch the races! #statingtheobvious  That may seem like an incredibly obvious point to make, but it appears to have been overlooked by those who agreed the latest TV deal. #shortsighted

3) Driver psychology at Mercedes

At the end of last season there was some disagreement within Mercedes with regard to race strategies within the team.  Lewis argued that the driver in second place should be allowed to try a different strategy to try to get past the driver in the lead.  Nico on the other hand argued that both drivers should be kept on the same strategy in order to be fair to the leading driver.

The fact that Nico was arguing for the hypothetical lead driver suggested to me that Nico was beginning to see himself with a new confidence. #reversalofform #6consecutivepoles  Of course the turnaround in form occurred more or less after Lewis had wrapped up the title, so it's possible #somewouldsayprobable that Lewis simply lost some of his focus once the championship was wrapped up.

The Australian Grand Prix didn't really give us the opportunity to see Nico and Lewis fighting each other in an on-track battle, but nonetheless Nico's season opening victory at Melbourne extended his winning run to four consecutive Grand Prix, and showed that Rosberg appears to have carried that winning mentality from the end of last year into the new season.

4) Kevin Max the Teenager

No-one doubts that Max Verstappen is an incredibly fast driver, but his maturity has previously come into question, and at Melbourne he did little to answer that question in a positive manner.  You could argue that his petulant outbursts on the radio when following team-mate Carlos Sainz highlighted his desire to win at all costs, but his spin a few laps later also highlighted his fragile composure. #teenagetantrums

The following tweet from @pitflaps probably sums it up best...

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