NA HABITUAL coluna para a Sky, Martin Brundle fala do futuro da F1. Deixa pistas, reflecte e parece-me que, como muitos, confunde um poucos as coisas. Mas está aberto o debate.
There was a lot of tension and vitriol in the paddock between some of the teams and The Three Wise men at Liberty who took over from Bernie Ecclestone. The new template for the future of F1 cars and budgets is being laid out and the big teams don't like it because they see their significant advantages being eroded.
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Blinkered team bosses annoy and impress me in equal measure. They are hard-wired to win for their team and they don't much care about the bigger picture even if they pay lip service to it. The last team boss who tried to consider what might be best for the overall sport was Martin Whitmarsh at McLaren and look what happened to him.
Teams need protecting from themselves because they don't seem to realise that a fragile grid of horrendously expensive cars in effectively three classes can only lead to extinction. There should be at least 24 reasonably matched cars from 12 teams on the grid who all make a sustainable profit and are building a valuable franchise. There's already enough money in the system to do that.
Let me simplify that even more. Give us 24 well-matched, visually and aurally scary F1 cars with the fastest, bravest young drivers and we'll give you copious trackside fans and an audience. All the tools are there, please deploy them.
I think once Bernie lost Max Mosley from his side, as much as I thoroughly disliked being around F1 politics at that time, the teams and especially the manufacturers became too strong thereafter, and we've ended up with an F1 today which is not as engaging as it needs to be in a fast-changing media, sporting and technical world, and is far from future-proof.
It's time to make up the right rules for F1 with a more level playing field, the right finances so we ensure the fastest and not the richest kids are filling every seat, and a mix of iconic and historic venues along with accessible and dramatic new tracks. All at a price the fans can justify.
Spending billions on cars which become obsolete every few months, and parts and systems which even the drivers don't understand let alone the media and fans, and which only serve to spread the cars out around the track and ensure they are unable to follow each other closely, doesn't make sense to me.
But when I have these conversations in the paddock I realise I must be really stupid and have had too many hits on the head it seems.
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Once a common sense template is in place, simply open the entry process up for a couple of days and see who joins up. The teams know only too well how American single-seater racing permanently damaged itself with a split, and manufacturers make cars spectacularly well, but they are not race track promoters, global media specialists or sporting governing bodies able to compete with the 67-year global momentum of F1.
Who would want 'I took Ferrari/Mercedes out of F1 because they wouldn't let me dictate the rules to our clear advantage' on his CV? Before going on to explain to the profit-hungry shareholders that they also refused new regulations which would turn F1 into a profit centre rather than a cost.
What frustrates me is that all the necessary ingredients are in place for a dramatic new F1 to emerge in the next three years, but egos and greed might well get in the way of that process. The process we now face could make Brexit look like a convivial meeting of like-minded people eager to agree.