Well, I don’t think the sense of nostalgia is false at all, though I understand the point you were getting at. And I agree for the most part with Rampante, as he is one of the “oldheads” here whose views I most often do agree with.
And while Hunt’s comments indicate that overtaking was more difficult with the new package introduced that year, it was only more difficult, not all but impossible as it is now.
But, as to venues, no, Formula 1 certainly isn’t what it used to be, as the title of the thread indicates. Of course, it was inevitable that time would change things, mostly in the name of ‘progress’, but sometimes change isn’t always a good thing.
There are but a few circuits still in the line-up that have true class—Spa, Interlagos, Monaco … okay, you get the idea. Circuits like Bahrain and Abu Dhabi may be fancy, but simply lack the character of the older cicuits. And they, and other more recent circuits or older ones that have been changed in the name of safety, lack the challenge, as well, with their slow corners and chicanes in the middle of a fast straight. And while I’m halfway on the subject of altering existing circuits, I think FiA/Tilke/FOM should all be charged with murder, for they surely have killed what was Hockenheim.
And there were circuits that most here have never seen–Aida, one of the most beautiful venues ever … Clermont Ferrand, barely had a straight at all, but what racing we saw on that hilly twisting course … Dijon, with it’s drop over the hillside and through the hairpin …the original Spa, what a layout that was … Paul Ricard — oh, I could go on all day, but the point is this: Most of the fine old circuits fell to progress in the name of safety.
Now before you slag me off, I’m all in favor of changes for driver safety. But I feel too much has been done in the name of safety in changing venues, and in regs for brand new venues. As Stirling Moss says, they’ve “rolled the circuits in cotton wool”, which takes away a very real element of motorsport-the inherent danger, or at least a sense of danger. And FiA & FOM both are hypocrits, keeping Monaco on the schedule and all the whle stumping for ever larger run-off areas at newly constructed circuits, and changes along that vein at existing circuits. But Formula 1 needs Monaco, needs it’s tradition and heritage. Formula 1 without Monaco wouldn’t be Formula 1.
So, F1 and FiA realize that tradition and heritage are needed. So, why then do they force Tilke to design such mind-numbingly boring tracks? Safety. B@ll@cks. You have safety already, have had it for years. It’s in the cars. They force the circuit design because it’s all a lovely PR exercise. Look at us, how safety conscious we are. Just like the F1 ‘green’ initiative, but that’s a different painted pony to ride, altho both are a load of pap.
Since we are going to Canada this weekend, let’s take it as an example. Robert Kubica can tell you about safety, and attest that it was the car that saved him, not the track’s safety features. This is true in practically every crash we’ve seen in the last umpteen years. Can’t think of the last time a runoff area large as a football field saved a driver’s life.
Frankly I’m amazed there wasn’t a hue and cry for cutting off the hairpin in Canada, making a sort of double dogleg, and paving the entire area of what used to be the hairpin for runoff area. Well, perhaps I’d best not mention that too loudly, lest FiA be listening.
When us old guys say it ain’t what it used to be, it’s true. And while it’s also true that some circuits did need some changes, more changes have been made over the years than were really necessary, IMHO.
Well, this went rather longer than anticipated. Sorry. < /rant > thanks for listening.