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Here's hoping Formula One gets even more boring

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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-10 10:39 AM
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Here's hoping Formula One gets even more boring
PARIS With luck, the deadly dull Bahrain Grand Prix was not an unfortunate one-off but the first in a parade of mind-blowingly boring races that will ruin the Formula One season.

Because a complete lack of racing spectacle could be just what is needed to finally force the remarkably conservative sport to swallow its medicine and accept radical changes that would a) enable cars to actually overtake each other and b) give fans what they want, which is races consistently worth watching and not the bus-like procession of vehicles seen in Bahrain.

Of course, not all races this season will be quite that bad. Occasionally, there will be rain, which makes things more interesting. But, one hopes, not too interesting.

"It's like climate change, it's got to be bad before it can get better," says Peter Wright, a veteran F1 engineer and consultant to motorsport's governing body, the FIA. "It's got to get bad enough for people to actually have the real will to do things that they wouldn't normally do."

Fundamentally, F1 lacks the essential ingredient for an absorbing spectator sport: unpredictability. The sad truth is that many people within the F1 industry have long known that the cars, as they are now designed, are not really very good at overtaking each other. But they've been reluctant to do much about it, mainly because the teams spend so much money on their cars that they don't want to shake things up too much.

F1 has long talked about the need to make overtaking easier, it has even had groups studying the problem, but it has not made this its absolute priority. The boredom of Bahrain was no fluke. It was another sign that the F1 emperor has no clothes, that having the fastest, most expensive cars does not make the formula the pinnacle of motorsport, as it claims.

"The root cause is that the cars are not good racing cars, the formula is badly designed," says Tony Purnell, who led the former Jaguar team and helped devise last year's failed FIA attempt to cap F1 budgets. "The will to please the public really isn't there."

"The sad thing is that there are solutions but no one is really brave enough or forceful enough or probably convinced enough that they will do anything about it," he says. "When they look at the politics of change they all just groan and say 'Well, I don't want to fight that battle.'"
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