What has been the biggest talking point on the Live Blogs during the past three races?
Plenty has been said about the state of Lewis Hamilton’s driving and Max Mosley’s libido, but I think the most popular question is this:
“Is it going to rain?”
We’ve had three race weekends of uncertain weather: brief drizzle at Magny-Cours yesterday, the thunderstorm that came too late at Montreal, and early shower that without doubt made Monaco the race of the year so far.
It seems almost everyone wants to see wet weather during Grands Prix and it’s no secret why. Rain equals action. Rain equals drama. Above all, rain equals racing.
When the track got damp at Magny-Cours yesterday we could see a procession transform into a real race before out eyes. Suddenly Heikki Kovalainen pounced on Jarno Trulli, and Robert Kubica caught up to within a second of them.
As the track dried, that exciting three-car battle stretched out into the familiar, dismal sight of F1 drivers stuck one second apart from each other, unable to get close because of the aerodynamic disturbance from the car in front.
The effect that a few drops of rain has on reducing grip levels and allowing cars to race more closely is so dramatic that some have even suggested – with varying degrees of seriousness – the F1 should look into artificially dampening tracks.
Although it would make the racing better I don’t think it would be good for the sport. Never mind the unnecessary cost and questionable environmental implications, other racing categories prove that it is possible to have good racing in all conditions, and for an example of that once again we need look no further than GP2.
F1’s attempted solution to the difficulties of racing in dry weather is slated to arrive next year in the form of massively reduced wings and other aerodynamic devices, proper racing slick tyres to replace grooved tyres, and a ban on tyre warmers.
Yesterday’s race, which was five more minutes of rain away from being a thriller, was a reminder of how badly these changes are needed.