|© AP Photo/Luca Bruno
Formula One will race with more preposterous gimmicks next season in a bid to improve the show after changes were made to the sporting and technical regulations following a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Munich on Thursday.
Restarts following a safety car period will now be a standing start from the grid starting next season, replacing rolling starts, in order to give trailing drivers more opportunities to make up positions in the race.
"Standing starts will not be carried out if the safety car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining," read a statement from the governing body, with the exceptions inculcated to ensure that the results of the race are not too random.
The purpose of the safety car is, as the name suggests, to ensure that the drivers are lapping safely shortly after on-track incidents such as resulting wreckage after collisions are damage to barriers that need repairs.
A standing start, however, raises the possibility of more collisions in addition to the likelihood that some cars may stall with clutch problems, increasing the danger on track and raising the risk of drivers getting hurt.
This is just one of the recent changes that is bringing the sport into disrepute with what can be best described as "fake" measures to "improve the show".
Here are some that tarnish F1's reputation:
During practice at the Austrian Grand Prix, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen had titanium skid blocks fitted underneath their cars to create sparks. As the cars sped on the straights, the downforce created pushed the car closer to the track surface with the attached skidblocks creating spectacular sparks. This used to common in F1 in the '90s when ride heights and downforce levels created, according to the regulations then, created the sparks naturally. Changes made to the 2015 rules make it look contrived.
In order to increase overtaking, F1 introduced the Drag Reduction System in 2011 in order to assist the trailing driver to pass the car in front by pressing a button that opens up a flap in the rear wing. No longer do we witness bold moves or strong defensive tactics, (albeit there have been a few exceptions) and also further eliminating the chance of weaker machinery of holding back a driver in a stronger car as the trailing driver now just breezes past the car ahead in the pre-assigned DRS zones.
QUICK DEGRADING TYRES
In order to further facilitate overtaking, tyre longevity has been limited as such that a driver cannot make a strategy work as the rubber starts losing grip soon. First pit stops are usually around lap ten of a race eliminating the possibility of drivers passing another competitor on track. It also makes Pirelli's life difficult as it isn’t easy to produce tyres that have a limited life, resulting in the fiasco that unfolded last year when tyres exploded in several races.
Perhaps the vilest of all changes is the double points to be awarded in the final race of the season. It’s a ploy to keep the closing stages of the season more "interesting" as win in the finale will now be worth 50 points, with the gap to the second place worth 14 points. This keeps the championship open at the expense of random results wherein the efforts of the entire season could be wiped out in a single race.
Instead of focussing on other mediums, like social media to connect with fans, F1 is instead tinkering with rules no one complained about. It would be no surprise should the demented Strategy Group - comprising Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and Lotus – convolutes the sport with the FIA and the Formula One Group and come up with more inane rules and disconnect with the fans completely.