Remember the good old days, when Ayton Senna would go out in qualifying in the last minute and put himself on pole when he would crash when he got over the line; taking the ultimate risk when there was 20 other cars on track. Then we have the epic battles between Mansell and Pique, where they could weave across the track and stop over taking. We used to have refuelling, which added tactics to the sport and a great deal of excitement. Now we have 1.6 litre engines with a turbo and a limited amount of fuel, which essentially means that the drivers cannot go full throttle for the whole race and have to drop off for certain periods of the race. We have engines, which are quiet and could fit into any road car... why?
If anyone knows then the godfather of F1, Bernie Ecclestone, knows that if you want to compete in the ultimate motorsport then you must have the finances to do so. There is no need to make a sport more efficient, in terms of fuel or number of engines that can be used. The whole idea of F1 has been to go as fast as one can go and to choose the level of fuel and the type of tyres you are using; and not to be dictated on what tyres and how much fuel you can carry.
When Michael Schumacher was winning title after title for Ferrari we did not have many changes to make the sport more competitive, however now Vettel is putting his stamp on Formula 1 there has been a number of changes to the rules to make it more competitive. Without being cynical, which I am, I suppose that this is because Ferrari are not winning so many constructors titles; at the end of the day Ferrari are the most recognised team in F1 who sell sports cars to boost their income - incidentally these sports cars have larger engines than the F1 counterparts (using more fuel, probably wearing away their tires quicker). So why is there this sudden change to make the fastest cars on the planet more fuel efficient and have smaller engines, which do not pur or growl anymore, rather cough and sputter like an old man?
If this new era in Formula 1 is about becoming more economical then Mr. E will tell you that the most effective way of becoming economical is to cut staff. However if F1 really wanted to become economical then they would not have introduced this new engine and would not fly all over the world for races. The majority of spectators do not like this new format and do not like the idea of the knockout qualifying; when we only have ten cars at the most on track in the final ten minutes. Will someone explain how a car cannot post a time in Q3 be placed higher on the grid than a car and driver that has tried to get into Q3 on Q2 but failed by milliseconds?
Refuelling and twenty cars qualifying in the last minutes of qualification brought excitement to the sport. Refuelling increased tactics but also brought an element of excitement or danger - at the end of the day, all working in F1 are paid to take risks and accept the danger. Now we have tarmac run off areas and no sense of risk taking where a driver can take a lunge at another driver to overtake in a corner. This was why F1 was so exciting; because drivers were allowed to take a risk and could drive at full throttle throughout the race - at the end that is what they are paid to do, is it not?
If Bernie really wants to promote competition for the small teams in F1, then why not distribute the income more evenly and reduce the races in areas the world which cost teams more money to travel to? By reducing the engine size and changing the dynamics of the cars it is just costing teams more money in research and development; this is not cost cutting! Spectators do not want to see cars slow down to save fuel and they do not want to see race drivers being persecuted for taking risks in overtaking.
We are no longer watching Formula 1, rather we are watching a hyped version of Formula Ford, but where the drivers cannot take risks and the tactics of refuelling have been abolished. F1 has always been about money, speed and risk taking, so why not bring it back to the good old days? If you want to increase the excitement in qualifying then just reduce the time to thirty minutes, but let all the cars go out on track.
Overall, now we have the same old story but drivers cannot take risks and tactics are limited due to not being able to refuel and everyone having to use the same tyre manufacturer. We do not have a sport where drivers can take the ultimate risk or where teams can change tactics refuelling. Now we have a qualifying session that means that smaller teams have no hope of causing an upset and we have cars with small engines, which can only carry a certain amount of fuel. Risk taking and tactics have been removed from the sport and we are now watching cars with small engines save fuel for what reason?