The way the sport of Formula One has been revolutionized is a phenomenal story in the last two decades. From having 12 races in Europe of the 17 total races in the 1995 calendar to having only 8 races in Europe out of the 19 races in 2015, the sports has taken a stride forward. The man who has led the charge and who has been the prime reason for this change is Bernie Ecclestone. Bernie Ecclestone has clearly understood the importance of Formula One as brand and its valuation of this sport in terms of globalization and has made the sport reach worldwide in various continents Australia (1), Asia (4), Middle East (2) and North America (4). Now you see numerous unfamiliar but powerful brand logos on the cars, as F1 has become a straight promotional market for various product commercialization for people following the sport.
But, the essence of sport shouldn’t be compromised for the commercial promises. Formula One as described by many former great driving legends use to be about going out on a Sunday afternoon enjoying wheel to wheel racing, where fast loud cars made by leading engineering brains and teams lead by ordinary but courageous team personnel in all giving the fans an anxious adrenalin rush to cheer for the fierce of battle and finish for the best man to win.
A General discontent among the people following the sport are related to fundamental progress of the sport is reverting back to the V6 turbocharged engines which has left the fans missing the loud piercing speeding sound which served as the heart of the sport. At the beginning, going into the unknown about new engine’s efficiency and reliability was an intriguing part but since then the enthusiasm among the fans saw a dip with the durability of the tires adding fuel to the fire.
Having more flyaway races has made it tough for all the team personnel , as majority of them are based from UK and Europe and travelling all the time has taken a toll on them. The cost of logistics has shoot up, which slowly in an arithmetic way has totaled up to rise in running cost of Formula One.
The Strategy Group members have debated a number of levers aimed at improving the show. An initial series of measures has been voted (Extract from Formula1 Strategy group Press Release)
Formula One 2016:
- Free choice of the two dry tyre compounds (out of four) that each team can use during the race weekend.
Formula One 2017:
- Faster cars: 5 to 6 seconds drop in lap times through aerodynamic rules evolution, wider tires and reduction of car weight
- Reintroduction of refueling (maintaining a maximum race fuel allowance).
- Higher revving engines and increased noise.
- More aggressive looks.
A few other measures have also been discussed but require further investigation before they can be implemented:
- A global reflection on race weekend format.
- Measures to make starts only activated by the driver without any outside assistance.
The above is definitely going to be assessed and analyzed by all teams and finally confirmed to what will be implemented and when, along with their individual modifications and inputs which obviously will be favoring their sporting and financial interests.
Some say the initial problem of the sport being very expensive to get involved and able to sustain hasn’t been addressed. For instance, What about Pay drivers ?
The successor of Bernie will have some work to do if the above points aren’t succeeded in the near future while keeping in mind the sporting and financial future of the sport.
The more reviews I read and more comments I follow on various sport websites, I slowly can feel the fans are falling out love for this sport, they are not here to watch a driver saving his tires , saving fuel, saving his engine and above all everyone is expected to be politically correct. Where is raw talent that we used to see when these same drivers were battling in lower series holding the cars by their necks and driving to limit…to the edge of the machinery possible perimeters.
The Sport has to been to re-incarnated for its own survival and countless passionate-love stories it has generated between man and his racing machinery.