Shortcuts on F1 tracks? Bernie Ecclestone’s winding everyone up again

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ecclestone made his suggestion to journalists at Ferrari's event in Italy
Ecclestone made his suggestion to journalists at Ferrari's event in Italy

Bernie Ecclestone’s contribution to the debate over what should be done to improve racing in F1 is another one of his wind-ups:

Imagine a shortcut which a driver can use five times every race. It would stop people getting stuck behind others. It would be good for TV.
Bernie Ecclestone

We’ve had similar ‘ideas’ from Ecclestone before, not least the ‘Gold medals’ plan which was hastily introduced then dropped last year. His ‘shortcuts’ brainwave, reported by Reuters, will surely not be taken seriously.

Unfortunately it may serve to make some of the other poor ideas for “improving the show” hinted at by Stefano Domenicali earlier today seem more palatable.

Predictably Ecclestone didn’t have anything to say about the kind of innovations F1 fans really want to see – like broadcasting more team radio and the long-overdue arrival of HD coverage.

It’s all well and good for those of us who know not to take this kind of thing seriously. But tonight and tomorrow there will be a lot of headlines about the latest crazy, contrived changes being cooked up by F1’s boss.

And that will do the sport’s image no good at all.

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Image (C) Ferrari spa

122 comments on “Shortcuts on F1 tracks? Bernie Ecclestone’s winding everyone up again”

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  1. I have a great idea to keep the lead changing all the time. Each driver gets one blue shell during the race.

    1. And every lap the driver in last place gets a star for 10 seconds

      1. Yes! We can SO sell this idea to the IRL!

    2. Ha! Exactly what I was thinking!

    3. Perhaps the marshals could scatter some Wumpa Fruit for the drivers to collect on their way round

        1. Haha, I was going to suggest you reposted that video. But I still maintain that Crash Team Racing was better than Mario Kart!

          1. Totally agree with you there..

          2. The second most funny thing i’ve heard today Ned! But I do respect your opinion :)

          3. agreed Ned. i guess ctr felt more like you were racing. mariokart was a bit messy. (still amazing tho!)

          4. I love Mario Kart, really I do, and have done for many years…but CTR was on a whole other level. By far the best kart racing game ever developed.

        2. Ha! That’s brilliant…

      1. wumpa fruit to recharge their KERS

    4. Spot On Tommy!!!

    5. just like in mario kart, it seems that Bernie has been speeding on mushrooms. Its the only explanation for his ideas

    6. You have to give the Coin collecting trick Stallone Does in DRIVEN a chance… it would be a great trick to pull off and award the driver points for every coin picked up (but he’s got to catch it)…

      FIA can install coin cams to thrill the viewers…

      that’s all from me…

      some people called Mosley Mad Max, i think Bernie is the one that truly deserves the Mad pre-fix.

  2. Yeah, we could put wings on the cars as well.
    This isn’t Wacky Races, it’s Formula 1. It should be taken seriously.

  3. Oooh, I see potential here. Once the driver has taken the shortcut, the car could automatically crawl at 30 miles an hour for 8 seconds, whilst the driver desperately tries to keep the car he just overtook behind him.

    And if he takes the shortcut more than 5 times per race, his car could mysteriously run out of fuel. Just like in the games!

  4. Oh dear he doesnt do himself or F1 any favours does he.

  5. The sooner F1 cars start flying the sooner its gonna take the world by storm.

    An if the requirement is ray guns on the cars then i am essentially FOR this motion.

    Anyways ecci is know for being in many ways a very hunmourous man, utterly deadpan and dry humour but a wee bit of a joker streak definately presant.

    This plan is obviously stupid and no one should take it seriously. Like Keith said what we should take seriously is this disaterous plan to introudce mandatory numbers of pitstops.

    1. I long for the days when F1 becomes F3600…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wipeout_%28video_game%29

  6. This would mean a possibility for the least spectacular, the most boring, the most lame “overtaking” manoevers known to mankind.

    1. Wouldn’t that be fun to watch… Anyway if someone was lining up the car in front of them, they’d both just take the shortcut. One of the worst ideas ever. Bernie thinks F1 is just for TV: “It would be good for TV,” but its actually a sport and there is more to it than just providing a spectacle for those who don’t actually like F1.

      There is already sufficient technology to improve the show for fans without changing the rules of the actual sport, only there isn’t sufficient brainpower to implement any such improvements…

  7. They may as well just let them cut chicanes, 5 times a race, and keep the stewards out of it. That idea doesn’t sound HALF as crazy as Ecclestone’s.

  8. How about the cars can spray oil or tacs from behind the cars once a race.

    Bernie will love that one.

    He must have gone clinically insane

  9. I have an idea that will revolutionise F1.

    I suggest adding an extended cockpit so cars can carry a passenger, this passenger can then man a rear mounted mini gun with a limited amount of rounds for the duration of the race.

    Also I suggest that all cars have front mounted machine guns that the driver can use when chasing down another car.

    I would allow a select amount of fans to enter a bidding process where a few can gain access to sniper rifles at select points in the race to take pot shots at anyone they like.

    Lastly I would add 90 degree turns in the track so that cars might pile up and crash out.

    Ohh, I forgot… throw in a few nitro boosts as well Need For Speed style.

    Too much or do you think Bernie might like my ideas?

    1. “Ohh, I forgot… throw in a few nitro boosts as well Need For Speed style.”

      There’s no way F1 will ever have anything like this boost system. Oh wait a minute…

      1. “throw in a few nitro boosts as well Need For Speed style”

        isn’t that what KERS was supposed to do.. kind of

    2. I think we should institute ‘pub rules’. The loser has to run around his car twice with his trousers round his ankles. That’d spice F1 up for us ladies at least ;)

      1. Or instead of switching cars after every race, drink a pint for every lap you lead. Keith, do you know how i can get in touch with bernie?

        1. Turn the lights off, light a candle and say his name three times while looking into a mirror.

  10. HAHAHA! Cue Italian voice announncing “Welcome to-a Mario Kart-a!”

  11. All racing points awarded are multiplied by 12.5 then divided by the size of your underpants, but only after 4:15pm or above 28c.

    1. ummm, thats the V8Supercar point system.

      1. LMAO thats gold!!!!
        As Homer says “its funny cause its true”

  12. People used to say the Earth was flat. People said Fantasy football would never take off. And people used to think the moon was made of cheese! (ok, only loonies thought that) What do we know?!

    My point is mabye in 50 years time people will be sat watching Mario Kart style F1 races thinking: ‘wow, to think F1 never used to have short cuts… madness!!’

  13. People used to say the Earth was flat. People said Fantasy football would never take off. And people used to think the moon was made of cheese! (ok, only loonies thought that) What do we know?!

    My point is mabye in 50 years time people will be sat watching Mario Kart style F1 races thinking: ‘wow, to think F1 never used to have short cuts… madness!!’

    1. Sorry for the unprecedented 5 identical comments, not sure why that’s happened, delete the duplicates

  14. Ive just put a bet on Luigi to become 2025 F1 champion at 1000/1. Marios odds were rubbish at only 50/1 so not worth it.

    1. Nah, you’ll win it! :D

    2. How about Princess Peach and Yoshi? ;)

    3. Luigi never wins though :-P it’s all about Peach!

  15. NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mr. Ernie Becclestone has lost his last remaining marble gone completely bonkers.

    What a ridiculous idea!

  16. This is crazy talk by Bernie.

    The easiest way to improve overtaking is by limiting braking by reduced size steel brakes, and also shortening the cars so they fit on a track

  17. The sooner that lad withers and dies the better, he really needs to clean the crap between his ears!
    The day F1 has “shortcuts” is the day i stop following F1.

    Perhaps the drivers can have banana skins to shoot out the car and whoever is last can have a magic mushroom or a Harry Potter spell!

    I am very worried by this man who is not fit to continue his job.

  18. OK Ned you’ve made your point. ;)

    But seriously, I’m not sure what we can do to prevent races from being dull. Maybe the FIA could ban wings altogether?

    1. without refuelling, the only thing needed now is reduction in aero performance. the fact that it is possible for a trulli train to exist is all the proof anyone should need that something is wrong with the cars.

    2. Not sure Red Bull would vote for banning wings…

  19. I think bernie should stop smoking things before he gives interviews…

  20. At least now we really know that Bernie is too old to run F1 business.

    By the way, Steven, from Checkpoint10 blog, have a good idea on his blog about shortcuts.

    http://checkpoint10.blogspot.com/2008/04/how-to-improve-overtaking-without.html

    Below an excerpt from his post:

    As two drivers approach the “T” split between Turns 9 and 10 [ín Cataluña], they can choose to either turn right or turn left. The slightly faster driver would choose the direction his opponent does not, and try to push hard enough to emerge ahead of his opponent on the exit. Both paths are identical and would result in the same lap time. The section where the paths merge would be designed in such a way as to allow for maximum visibility for the two drivers involved. In fact, if the overtaking maneuver turns out to be incomplete, a driver might have the option of placing his opponent onto the tricky side of the circuit approaching the next corner.

    1. Terry Fabulous
      13th January 2010, 22:53

      I like it! Nice idea.

      Look I think we need to be aware that comment like this are not serious but they do challenge us to reconsider the sacred rules of our sport in order to make it more exciting.

      I’m sure twenty years ago if you had suggested KERS to and F1 fan you would have gotten a similar reaction to what this proposal is getting now.

      After a year in which a clever interpretation of the rules managed to undo all of the hard work that the OWG had done, maybe we do need to think more radically about ways to encourage overtaking.

      1. “twenty years ago if you had suggested KERS to and F1 fan you would have gotten a similar reaction”

        I feel that way NOW. KERS is hardly any better than this, but people shut their eyes and put their fingers in their ears because they don’t want to be forced to realize what a joke the sport has become – closer to ‘professional wrestling’ than motorsport.

        People who support KERS and similar measures should stay away from race tracks and hang out at WWE matches where they belong.

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