Monday, March 15, 2010

My thoughts on the 2010 F-1 season opener

This is culled from an email exchange with one of my close friends Karan.

Every time the FIA come up with new regulations, it does little to change the trend started by Schumacher. Once a person takes off at the start, it’s well nigh impossible to overtake at the front unless the leader has a reliability problem. The new breed of *good* drivers is very accomplished, and there is very little that separates these drivers from one another. Mind you, I am only talking about the cream of today's crop - Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Massa, and their ilk. In other words, it has boiled down to the car – how else would you explain Jenson Button winning last year after 10 years of stagnation, and Alonso’s win after a season in which he didn’t win a single race or sit on pole? The argument that changing regulations help with lowering costs is specious at best. Take KERS for example – billions of dollars were spent by multiple teams to integrate KERS and test it in the cars last year, to what end? As regards Schumacher, it’s only his first race back. It would be fool-hardy on anyone’s part to expect him to return to his form of yore immediately upon locking his seatbelt into a new formula-1 car. Comebacks are hard for a reason!

Speaking of trends, a similar trend is emerging in MotoGP races – the Ducati bike is so much more superior than the rest of the pack that if their main driver, Casey Stoner, is healthy, he almost always wins. Rossi wins by the sheer force of his indefatigable will and some good fortune. Be that as it may, some races are still very close; two come to mind immediately – 2008 race at Laguna Seca and the breathtaking battle at Catalunya last year. I do foresee a day when the MotoGP races will become as boring as today’s F-1 races, but that day isn’t here yet. You know the lack of overtaking is one of the biggest reasons for the sport waning in popularity, especially in markets like the US where people want to see real competition and no holds barred driving. Hate it or love it, stock car racing has a surfeit of both those elements...

No comments:

Post a Comment