First of all, I love Formula One. I love the sport, the competition and the thrill of seeing the worlds best drivers wrestling the worlds best racing cars around the greatest racing tracks in the world.
Over the years a lot of the above has been diluted all in the name of progress with a higher degree of drivers making it on wallet size rather than talent size, and large soulless Tilke built autodromes in far flung places which have little or no interest in the sport replacing some of the great circuits in F1 history.
However this is not a great challenge as F1 needs to be forward thinking and needs to innovate. Of course to be a World Championship it needs to visit new lands and include as many nations as possible.
The title of this article reflects my feelings towards the current attitude of certain teams, drivers and heads of the sport. Not the new regulations.
Clearly F1 needed change and this year we have amazing new power units with stunning hybrid technology which is going to drive the next generation of road cars, we have a new formula which has already attracted Honda and will undoubtedly cause other manufacturers and companies to commit sponsorship $$ to a sport which is driving real-world change. However the headlines in the papers are not of that tone. With Bernie Ecclestone seemingly leading an ever louder grumble about these regulations and power units. 'They're not loud enough' 'They're always saving fuel instead of pushing all-out' the arguments are ridiculous from someone who's job it is to sell the sport to Circuit promoters, TV Companies, advertising executives and potential new team owners. Slagging off your product to the media is surely a terribly dangerous game to play. As if everyone reads and agrees why would they invest? Why would they sign a multi million dollar TV contract if they think everyone is switching off?
Then you have Ferrari who placed a poll on their own website in which they believe that 90% of people don't like the new formula. Of course the result would be vastly different had they won the first couple of races or indeed had the poll been on a neutral website. Its clear that the result might have been different if asked to fans of Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg! Ferrari Chief Montezemelo has been vocal about F1 now bing about 'taxi driving'. This certainly feels like sour grapes from a team that has't been able to build a good enough challenger to race against the pace setting Mercedes.
Red Bull have been also throwing the toys out of the pram, making a stand against the FIA in Australia by ignoring the fuel flow metre and constantly using every opportunity to make it clear how disappointed they are with the new regulations. Sebastian Vettel told the media he thought that the new engines were 'Shit' and the words of the four times world champion sadly travel and filled many column inches.
Everyone can see that Mercedes have done a better job than everyone else with the new regulations. Of that there is no denying, just as Red Bull did a better job with the blown diffuser aero led formula of the previous 2009 - 2013 generation. Formula One has always swung in cycles as regulations have changed and different teams have made the most of it. However it feels that an alliance of Ecclestone, Di Montezemelo and Horner are combining to try and force Formula one to make changes that it really does not need. What it needs is positivity and good press about the impressiveness of the new technologies. After all, why should Mercedes be punished by making the most of the regulations?
Formula One also has a problem with driver safety. It was being reported in Malaysia by SkyF1 that a driver had collapsed due to the ridiculous diets they are forced to embark on to get themselves down towards the minimum weight limit. This morning it seems that it has been confirmed that Jean Eric Vergne is that driver. Also Adrian Sutil has confirmed that he will be driving in one of the most challenging grand prix of the year this weekend in Bahrain without a water bottle to save weight, meaning he cannot take on any fluid during the race. This is a shocking issue that the FIA do need to make a move on immediately on safety grounds. A simple raising of the minimum weight will suffice for this season but serious discussions need to be had over reviewing that regulation for next year. Sadly there is no sign of the FIA taking any note of this issue. Maybe they need to see a driver run into trouble in a race and cause a massive accident before they take note? I seriously hope not, as that accident is going to happen sooner rather than later.
Whilst Formula One is embarking on its most intriguing season ever, it needs to not make knee jerk reactions, stop allowing those in a position of power from ruining the reputation of the sport and bringing it into disrepute and immediately issue a safety rule regarding the minimum weight of the car as currently, all of this going on IS a farce and detracting from the fantastic spectacle on track on Sunday afternoon.
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