The last lap redux

Last week the FIA met to discuss changes to F1 for 2015 and beyond. A number of the changes address issues that I raised in my article last month. I thought it would be a good time to take a brief look at where things have been changed and how.

 

The problems

Poor attendance at tracks (ongoing) – A number of poor tracks exist as pet projects that have poor layouts, oft poor racing and nobody watching… the FIA has now reintroduced one of the more boring races, Korea.

Ever younger drivers (2014) – For F1 to claim it is a sport for the best drivers, those drivers should have a certain amount of experience and therefore Max Verstappen with this one year of single seater experience should not be allowed in. The FIA have agreed, from 2016 (so after Verstappen), an F1 superlicense will only be granted to over 18s with at least two year’s single seater experience. This is a good move that should have been in place sooner.

Financing (ongoing) – The teams are meeting on 18th December to discuss F1 costs, the big teams will need to give the small teams some rope.

Double points (2014) – I threatened to stop watching Formula One if double points affected the championship fight and the prospect loomed large over the season finale. Fortunately Lewis Hamilton had everything under control and I didn’t need to worry. In addition, the FIA have now dropped double points for future seasons.

Poorly thought-through regulation changes – I came up with a few examples (including DRS) of gimmicks to improve the show, fortunately a number of new ones planned for next year have been dropped including standing starts after safety car periods.

 

Most of these changes are common sense and it is good to see that the FIA have made these changes. In addition, despite Bernie’s comments about F1 not being for young audiences and saying the sport will not embrace social media, there are plans in the works for the sport to increase its social presence with youtube and facebook being added to the existing twitter offering. Hopefully the sports leading teams and the sports owners can agree to lower their slices of the revenue pie and give the small teams more of a chance to succeed when they meet later this month.