THE EDITOR F1’S CHANGE FOR THE BETTER?
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hotos of Fernando Alonso looking
miserable have become common memes
on racing’s various social media platforms,
but they speak to a situation that
motorsport worldwide has found itself in.
Critics of the Verizon IndyCar Series
often call for a “less spec” racing formula,
but the other side of that coin is what
we’re now seeing in Formula 1. Grand prix
racing’s rites of spring – the car reveals,
the upbeat talk, the storylines from testing
– build anticipation, yet it’s hard to silence
the voice in the back of your head
reminding you that, if everything plays out
to well-defined form, the majority of the
teams will be fighting for crumbs.
There’s a tremendous depth of talent in
F1 at the moment, spread right through
the field. Yet by definition, drivers have only
so much ability to influence their results.
What we’d love to see is Alonso braving it
out, wheel to wheel with Lewis Hamilton’s
Mercedes, Sebastien Vettel’s Ferrari, or Max
Verstappen’s Red Bull on a regular basis.
But what we’re more likely to see is one of
this generation’s finest talents watching
the clock ticking down on his career while
he waits for Honda to get up to speed.
The 2017 season is one of massive
regulatory change in F1, and that often
means a changing of the guard at the top:
Brawn GP capitalized on a new rulebook to
win in 2009; Mercedes gained the edge
over Red Bull when V6s replaced V8s in
2014. But Ross Brawn, who’s switched
from exploiting such changes to ruling
over them in his new role as F1’s sporting
head, believes that the current overhaul
(introduced before his arrival) will actually
play to Mercedes’ stability and resources.
The powerhouse will get even stronger.
Much of the thinking behind the new
F1 regulations was to restore some of the
spectacle that had been stripped from
the cars by previous changes. On that
front, they’ve possibly succeeded. Here’s
hoping the sport hasn’t missed an
opportunity to fix a bigger problem.
“There’s a tremendous depth of
talent in F1. Yet by definition,
drivers have only so much
ability to influence their results”
Pre-season testing isn’t just a chance for the teams to get up
to speed, it also gives photographers the time and space to
play with locations and light. The results, as evidenced by this
shot of Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes, can be spectacular.
on some of the
working in the
shows that there is