What F1 can learn from other racing series

Juan-Pablo Montoya, Williams-BMW, Hockenheimring, 2003The other week I wrote about lessons that F1 could learn (and forget) about NASCAR and got a big response.

It got me wondering what other ideas should F1 steal from other sports?

Here are a few of my suggestions. What other motor sports do you watch – and what would you like to see F1 imitate?

Tyres: World Series by Renault

Alvaro Parente, World Series by Renault, Monza, 2007

It’s not just that they’re slicks. Fat, wide, proper racing slicks – not the weedy grooved things F1 has had for over a decade. What I like about World Series by Renault tyres – and this is really sad – is the bulge of the sidewalls. It’s utterly aesthetically perfect – exactly how a single-seater racing tyre should look.

Hopefully F1 will go back to slicks in 2009 as planned as we’ll get tyres that look as good as this on the cars.

F1 teams to test slick tyres for possible 2009 return

Calendar: A1 Grand Prix

Alex Yoong, A1 Grand Prix, Laguna Seca, 2006

It’s fashionable to knock A1 Grand Prix with its ‘World Cup of Motorsport’ pretensions and ugly, underpowered cars. But it does make for good racing and it’s visited some great circuits: Zandvoort, Brands Hatch and Laguna Seca (pictured).

(Unfortunately it also does a decent line in nutty street circuits as well: the Durban street circuit saw shunt after shunt last weekend, and last year’s visit to Beijing was particularly ill-advised – one corner was too tight for the cars to get around…)

2008 F1 calendar

Personalities: Moto GP

Valentino Rossi, 2007

It seems the Moto GP riders have the biggest personalities in motor sport – and they don’t come much bigger than Valentino Rossi. The Doctor particularly enjoys celebrating victory with elaborately choreographed stunts, and dabbles in four-wheeled motorsport such as rallying.

I’m sure F1 drivers would love to entertain their fans in the same way if they were let off the leash a bit. Kimi Raikkonen looked bursting to let rip with a few doughnuts after his win at Spa last year.

Ten videos Max Mosley should watch

Website: Superleague Formula

Website: Superleague Formula

Racing cars with football strips on them? What a terrible idea.

But their website is top-notch: Formula1.com could learn a lot from it. They’ve got a proper blog, videos on Youtube, photos on Flickr, and a blogroll that has F1Fanatic on it. Formula One Management on the other hand even have Youtube delete F1 videos that fans have filmed themselves…

Now FOM bans amateur video of Kubica crash

Aerodynamics: GP2

Bruno Senna, GP2 Asia, Dubai, 2008

After finishing runner-up to Nico Rosberg in the action-packed inaugural GP2 championship in 2005, Heikki Kovalainen did some development work for the championship. His advice to them? Make the rear wing smaller.

They did just that and GP2 has seen even better racing over the last two years – coupled with a switch to slick tyres of course. And you can’t deny the cars look good…

Good ideas on how to improve racing in F1

Photos copyright: Renault World Series | A1GP.com | Surfcologic via Flickr | Superleague Formula | GP2 Series Media

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19 comments on What F1 can learn from other racing series

  1. Nico, I think F1 at Laguna Seca would be a great deal. While I must be a bit selfish and root for the race to be at Indy (or, ideally, Watkins Glen) for the distance factor on my side, i’ll support any return for the USGP, and that track at Laguna Seca looks like a great offering.

    On the topic of A1GP, the series would clearly never be able to compete with F1 head-to-head, but with time and investment I think it can develop into a great off-season attraction for many F1 regulars, and one that can nurture the interests of new fans such as myself. I do enjoy seeing the series visit many of the old F1 stops, and I hope it can continue to gain some steam to fill the off-months of the F1 schedule.

  2. Robert McKay said on 2nd March 2008, 16:04

    F1 should have it’s own alternative to the awesomely cheesy “you wanna go higher, you wanna go faster” Europop theme tune the WTCC has :-D

  3. Lynette Wesson said on 24th November 2008, 22:16

    What is the name and artist of the WTCC theme tune as I like it I’m a little strange as i can’t find it anywhere

  4. Arun Srini said on 3rd July 2009, 3:43

    Why not standardize the aero parts and give complete freedom to the inner parts? F1 will still be the top most innovative sports and not so important aero engineering can be let off alone (Aero is imp,but for a street user, the internals are more, transmissions and engines!!)

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