Yesterday, Autosport relayed that the Formula 1 teams are pushing the FiA to make the races more exciting by enhancing the visual aspects of the sport in a few ways. Currently, Formula 1 has been marred with the perception that the racing is boring, nothing could be farther than the truth, but many critics believe that this new era of Formula 1 cars and regulations are contributing to the decline of the sport, and these detractors want something done in order to "save" the sport. While I believe that this is very premature to be talking the death of Formula 1, I do think there is room for improvement. Noise obviously has been the biggest issue with this current crop of Formula 1 cars, largely due to the limited fuel, the limited rev range, and how energy is recovered when it's lost through the engine, which is usually manifested as noise. This although has been already covered in great lengths, what hasn't been covered are some of the proposed changes to make the sport more spectacular.
These proposed changes are led by the need from some teams to reduce the cost of the sport. Things such as moving away from the brake ducts currently being employed. Right now the ducts act not only as scoops to shovel air into the carbon brakes to cool them more efficiently, but also act as aero elements. A shift to a more simple brake duct system could revisit the age where you could see the glowing brakes from the cars, and bring the cost down. Another possibility is returning to active suspensions which created the sparks once seen on the tracks. "The spectacular sparks, which were caused by titanium plates rubbing on the ground, became non-existent when underfloor planks were introduced during 1994 to stop teams running their cars too close to the ground for aerodynamic benefit." Lastly many want aerodynamic changes, to both reduce the costs of creating the slipperiest car, and spending the most money on down force, but would also return the sight of contrails coming off the cars.
Granted these solutions sound like they would provide a great spectacle for the fans, however it doesn't help the detractors in their quest to put Formula 1 back to the pinnacle of motorsport once again, if anything, these proposed changes decrease the likelihood of that. What Formula 1 needs is to be the pinnacle of technology and driver performance, that apex needs to be gained through advancing the technology within the cars, not returning to less efficient and more inferior technology, otherwise the sport becomes compromised. Both drivers and teams must strive to create the best car they can, to dive into corners harder, push faster through the straights, and fight for the win. In creating more of a spectacle, you run the risk of creating another racing series like NASCAR, where the spectacle of crashing is more important than the actual racing. Over the next few weeks the teams will be meeting to discuss a proposal for changes in the sport that will be first given to the F1 council and then presented to the FiA for a final decision.
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And check out when a possible fix for the noise could happen!
Photos via F1fanatic