Abu Dhabi

Last Race: 23rd Nov Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

Seven Ways to Improve F1

Tuesday 5th August 2014

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Challenging team principals to fights has only limited appeal

Challenging team principals to fights has only limited appeal

PF1 suggests a magnificent seven ways to improve F1 - by making it fairer and introducing more jeopardy.

Niki Lauda is right when he says that F1 doesn't need (a 'worthless wrinkled old has-been' to quote Heidi Klum's aunt) Flavio Briatore to work out what F1 needs to do to improve the show. It's pretty good as it is. But increasing the jeopardy drivers are in, is always going to spark some action.

1. Increase the weight limit for cars, so that heavier drivers aren't penalised. At the same time limit the areas where ballast can be used. Ideally it should only be placed around the cockpit area, so that means lighter drivers don't have the distinct advantage they have today.

2. Aim to get 26 cars on the grid. It used to happen! Incentivise new entrants to the sport with a more even distribution of the prize money so that we have more drivers, and potentially more nationalities on the grid. The difference between the winning team and the last placed team should be no more than £50m. At the moment the top payout gets 10x more than last place.

3. Banish the Blue Flags for backmarkers. In future leaders will have to scramble their own way past lapped cars, thus increasing their jeopardy by going off line and onto the marbles.

4. With fuel consumption becoming more critical, the Safety Car is seen as a relief to heavy-fuel users (or even light fuel users who are gambling on running less fuel than they need to). In future, when the Safety Car comes out, those laps should count as zero laps. Thus cars have got to make sure they have fuel onboard for every eventuality, or risk running slower towards the end. This means that runaway leaders like Mercedes will have to build more of a safety margin into their calculations, whereas teams willing to run a risk could take advantage.

5. Red Bull's Christian Horner says that drivers aren't seen as heroes any more because they spend a lot of the race on team radio taking instructions from their teams on what to do next. Even the really good ones. And he's right. Banish team radio for the second half of the race. This means that drivers will be able to get messages to keep the cars reliable up to half distance, but after that they're on their own, with just pitboards for information.

There would be an exemption for Safety Calls. Nobody wants to be fined for telling their driver the front wing is coming loose.

6. Those cars that qualify in the top 10 cannot pit for new tyres (unless it rains) for the first 20% of the race. In Hungary, which was a 70-lap race, that would mean no car could come in before the end of Lap 15. This could make cars adopt different tyres in Q3. In the past it was thought that teams would vary the tyres they run in Q3 but in practice almost all Q3 runners opt for the same tyre.

7. Eliminate eight cars in Q1. Quite often it's the cars that finish in P15 and P16 in Q1 that finish in P15 and P16 at the end of Q2, but widening the net adds that extra bit of jeopardy to the session.

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