Tis the time of the year when I commence the watching of sport with the return of Formula 1 to our screens, and best of all it’s back on the BBC! I’m looking forward to the beeb’s ‘new’ viewing experience, because as well as the obvious no adverts, there’s going to be lots of red button action, including the option of having an in-car feed and alternative commentary. Plus the return of Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz won’t make the transition too strange. One disappointment this year is that there will be no HD coverage, but this is apparently more to do with FoM than the BBC.
I’m waiting to see the rule changes with trepidation – it worked quite well last year and was an exciting season, so I’m hoping that things won’t go too far awry with the new rules.
Kers (Kitentic Energy Recovery System) – should be an interesting system to see – being able to have a ‘turbo-boost’ each lap, but with the added weight should make for interesting viewing.
Wings – the front wing now lower and as wide as the car have been fitted with adjustable ‘flaps’ to allow upto two adjustments per lap by the driver, and the taller much narrower rear wing which will reduce the amount of wake might make cars more competitive. It will be interesting to see how the diffuser argument pan’s out.
Slick Tyres – Finally, slicks reappear for dry races which should create more grip and give a more entertaining spectacle, provided the teams can manage their tyres effectively. The only disadvantage is that it will be more difficult to visually see the wear on the slicks compared to the grooved tyres of the last 11 seasons.
Management – FoM have really tried to reduce the cost of competing this year (Quantitative Easing anyone?) so have introduced a number of cost saving measures. No ‘off track’ testing, 6 week factory shutdowns and the sharing of fuel and tyre data between teams will all help to save money and help the smaller guys compete with the big bucks teams of old.
My big fear is that they’re going too far with these cuts and turning it effectively into a 1 car formula, just with different stickers on each motor. And part of the magic of F1 is the crazy technology that the brains behind the scenes come up with to eek out those few tenths of a second to get their guy a bit further up the grid. Whilst the new season should open it upto the smaller guys (you only have to look at the speed from the Brawn GP team), I really don’t want to see it ruined for the fans. I don’t want it to become A1GP, because that already exists – F1 needs to remain the pinnacle of world motorsport and I hope this season will demonstrate that that mix of technology and team/driver skill still exists.
I’ll try and post some regular updates of how my Fantasy F1 team that we’re running here at George Road is doing – I suspect it may also be an also-ran, but I’ve hedged my bets a lot better this year.
And for future reference, the current F1 Calendar is as follows:-
|Round||Grand Prix||Date||Time (Local)||Time (UTC)||Laps|
Good Luck Everyone!