Formula One’s new leaders need to start afresh, quickly.

So Renault have completed a deal with BP and Castrol to supply their fuel and lubricants for this season. Good for them, hopefully it will provide a performance boost to their lacklustre power unit. While this news may enthuse the hardest-core fans who get far too excited about the thought of a 1.5 litre V6 engine running super smooth, it’s hardly going to add to the show when the lights go out. So that’s all I have to say on the matter.

There are more pressing matters in the wake of what is possibly the biggest Formula One news story ever. Formula One has been hit by another bombshell. And the need for change has been highlighted yet again.

Fundamental change is required.

Manor have now officially folded following fruitless attempts to find a buyer came to an end. This is a disastrous conclusion to an extremely unfortunate story. Back in 2010, three new teams were introduced into Formula One at the beginning of what was promising to be an exciting era in the sport. Now, three years later, those three teams have all disappeared into a sea of red numbers.

This is a huge failing on the sport’s behalf. Promises were broken – the budget caps never materialised – and the ridiculous costs coupled with the farcical lack of financial parity in Formula One ensured the downfall of those three ill-fated companies.

Manor started out as Virgin Racing, then Marussia.

Ross Brawn has said this week that he wants to create a fair situation where any team has a chance of achieving podiums and victories. Based on today’s evidence, there is an awful long way to go. I can’t see that vision becoming a reality for a while. Before teams can have a chance of winning they need a chance to be able to afford to race in the first place.

This is a very serious problem. Not only has the field been reduced yet again to ten teams, but the chance of any prospective entrants lasting longer than two years seems virtually impossible. The situation needs to change, soon. Maybe then we will finally begin to see improvements in this aspect. It has been ignored for too long.

For me, the power needs to be taken completely from the teams’ hands. Personal gain takes far too much precedence over the current running of the sport. Selfishness and greed among the biggest names in  the paddock has contributed directly to the fall of Manor.

Whilst on the subject of improving Formula One…

While run-off areas have become a necessary safety feature of all Formula One venues, they have been a large factor in the recent watering down of the sport. Mistakes are no longer penalised. But worse for me is that the more precise and skilful drivers are no longer rewarded. Pushing the limits of the track has become less of a risk.

I was thinking about the images I remember from Formula One in the 1990s. What sticks out most is the tracks that were lined with grass. Not only did it put another colour on the screen, but it also acted as a very credible deterrent.

Would it not be an option to line the limits of the circuit with what is effectively a grass verge? Only six or eight feet wide, but wide enough to cause a car a tangible time loss. Then beyond that strip of grass there is the customary run off tarmac to provide the necessary safety net.

That way, there is no need for yet another ridiculous rule, enforced by discretion. There can be a clear can consistent consequence for making mistakes.

(Morio CC BY-SA 4.0)

(Morio CC BY-SA 4.0)

Simon Ostler

I am currently training to become a Journalist. I write best when my subject is something I enjoy. I have spent time working with CAR Magazine and Parkers.

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