The recent history of Formula One rule changes is bleak and quite honestly embarrassing. An engine formula re-write in 2014 has so far been a disaster as far as the competition is concerned. The shambles surrounding the qualifying rethink at the beginning of 2016 was nothing more than a joke. The radio ban fiasco that was and then wasn’t in the middle of a season was the kind of thing you could expect from an amateur organisation who didn’t fully understand their own product.
You don’t get this kind of mayhem with other sports. Granted, the very nature of Formula One will demand evolution of the technical regulations as technology advances and safety standards rise, but some of the rule changes that have been made over the last few seasons have been fundamentally flawed and horrendously under prepared.
For a sport that prides itself on technical excellence and extensive intelligence, there doesn’t seem to have been any evidence indicating the use of brain power since the return to slick tyres back in 2009. The recent changes to the nose cone were understandably required due to safety concerns. But they were written in such a way that spawned what were arguably the ugliest looking cars to ever stand on a Formula One grid. Surely someone, somewhere within the sport could have seen that coming?
Yet another change to the regulations set to be introduced for the 2017 season. This a big year for Formula One’s decision makers. They simply have get this rule change right. If they don’t, and the aerodynamic alterations don’t have a positive effect on the racing, questions must be asked about who is employed to make those decisions.
There have already been doubts raised by the experts that this new aerodynamic package will not do any of the things required of it. Those requirements being an actual competition on the race track this year. It has been forecast that this new breed of car will actually prove even more difficult to follow than last years. Race cars that are fundamentally unable to race each other is virtually as bad as it can get. We need to have that competition, the racing has to be exciting.
With this regulation change, there is a genuine opportunity to have the cars built in a way that will generate competitive racing by default. Looking at early concept designs, the cars are definitely going to look exciting, and that is always a good start.
Various other changes to the regulations including tyre compounds and increases in overall tyre grip will be of huge help to the cause. The whole idea is absolutely a step in the right direction, and as a huge fan of this sport, I am living in real hope that the people behind these regulations have done their homework for a change.
As always we will have to wait until the cars hit the track for the first time before can get any definitive information. The first race in Melbourne is going to be heavily scrutinised. Formula One needs a positive end to this story. I’m not sure the sport can afford any more embarrassment.