Monday, April 14, 2014

FIA and this year's F1 races

I'm a big Formula 1 fan but what I'm not a fan of is the constant meddling by the FIA. The most obvious evidence of this is the engine change this year - Renault lobbied the FIA for 'greener' engines this year which is how we ended up with the V6 turbo monstrosity they're racing with now. In a quirk of karma, Renault are the engine suppliers having the most difficulty with this regulation change. Frankly this is total nonsense. Since when was the cutting edge of motorsport supposed to be 'green' or 'fuel efficient'? That's a pointless exercise. The only way for F1 to be green is to disband the organisation and not race at all.
But there are dozens of other changes - slight aero tweaks here and there, the new penalty points system, the inability of the stewards to ever make the right decision. These are all things we could do without in F1 but I suspect they're here to stay.
One thing I think should have been done better is the 'safety' regulation surrounding the new lower noses. It seems the FIA didn't give any consideration to 'submarining' - where in the event of a crash, the lower nose now acts like a giant scoop, forcing its way under the other car. We've already seen two good crashes caused by this new design (most notably in Bahrain where Esteban Gutierrez was flipped over like a pancake). I don't see how this design is making anything any safer.
One thing you can be sure of though - teams on the losing end of new regulations are always the first to complain. Right now, McLaren, Renault, Red Bull and Ferrari are all very vocal about regulation changes, whilst the head of Mercedes (Toto Wolff) is quite happy with everything as it stands, and can't figure out what all the fuss is about. After all, Mercedes are getting awesome race results right now. Contrast this to a couple of years ago when Mercedes were complaining about Red Bull's blown rear diffuser, and they couldn't get the speed to compete, and you realise that it's always one big merry-go-round.