An insane idea: Knockout F1
4th July 2010, 0:46 at 12:46 am #127809
Last night, in my usual grab for motorsports news, I found an article on Autosport about the DTM series introducing an exhibition race for next season that will take the form of a stadium-based knockout challenge like the Race of Champions or a super special stage in rallying. The basic idea is that the cars race for three laps, each complete a pit stop, and then race for another three, with the fastest driver advancing to the next round and the other driver being eliminated. After reading the article, I started wondering: could such a format work for Formula 1?
I think it could. And I think it could be very exciting. At the end of the season, the top sixteen drivers (it only works with sixteen or thirty-two … anything in between gets messy) and the top eight teams get invited to this special race. Friday is a practice day, with Saturday being the qualifying runs. Drivers would get five laps to set their best time, with the draw being decided so that you race the next-fastest driver in the first heat. This would be to give everyone a relatively equal chance of progression, whilst still guaranteeing that the fastest driver would always win.
Then, on the Sunday, the drivers would square off: ten lap races (it would be a short circuit), with both having to complete a pit stop at some point. The fastest advances and the loser is eliminated until there are only two drivers left. For the final, both drivers would have to complete fifteen laps, and the pit stop would be fixed, the idea being to apply maximum pressure. You would also be able to have a teams event for the top eight teams in the championship: both drivers from each team take to the circuit, and the first team across the line after ten laps wins. Both drivers must pit at some point during those ten laps.
The biggest problem that I can see with this is the circuit itself. It would have to be short enough to keep the drivers on top of one another at all times, but long enough to allow them to go quickly. If the concept was well-received, I could see it being a regular fixture on the calendar, maybe as the first race after the European season and before the final away leg. The championship pecking order is firmly established by then, so it would apply even more pressue if it were points-scoring.4th July 2010, 7:21 at 7:21 am #142121
I think this a great idea for a non-championship, All-Star format race weekend. No points on the line, but a lot of cash – at least 1M Euros.
Here’s my format:
Friday – free practice, as always.
Saturday – qualifying and a sprint race. Qualifying is a 30-minute free-for-all. The top 8 are guaranteed to race on Sunday. 9 on down will have to participate in a sprint race right after qualifying to determine who will join the first 8.
sprint race time should exceed no more than 30 minutes. tyre stops not mandatory. The top 8 from this race joins the 8 who qualified their way in earlier.
Sunday – Head-to-head, knockout format. Seeds 1-8 are the Top 8 qualifiers. Seeds 9-16 are the Top 8 sprinters. Each head-to-head is 6 laps, with a fixed pitstop for tyres at the end of Lap 3. It’s win or go home. Winners advance to the QFs and so on to the finals. There will be a head-to-head for 3rd as well.
As for the circuit, only one circuit on the calendar now can make this work in a tight weekend schedule – Monza. It also ticks the other requirements (good for overtaking, lots of fans/Tifosi, special low-downforce package means there could be dark horses in the field).4th July 2010, 10:52 at 10:52 am #142122
As for the circuit, only one circuit on the calendar now can make this work in a tight weekend schedule – Monza. It also ticks the other requirements (good for overtaking, lots of fans/Tifosi, special low-downforce package means there could be dark horses in the field).
I’m thinking of a stadium race – like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fB77oJ-U1E – not an actual circuit race. None of the current circuits would actually work because the cars aren’t really head to head. It’s one-on-one racing in a format where the crowd can see both drivers the entire time. Of course, the biggest problem is getting a circuit that is both wide and fast, but I figure you could do it in the infield of an oval in America.4th July 2010, 12:05 at 12:05 pm #142123
The idea is great at would be an awesome event.
Maybe Bernie should read this :)4th July 2010, 12:09 at 12:09 pm #142124
It’s a nice idea in theory, but I think it would be difficult to work in practice. There aren’t really many stadiums which would be able to fit a half decent F1 track inside- perhaps somewhere like the Birds Nest stadium in Beijing could be suitable, or maybe somewhere like the Rockingham oval in the UK.
I don’t see anything like this ever getting a place on the championship, but as a non championship race/ exhibition event it could work. It’d certainly be completely different to anything we’ve ever seen in F1 before, and with FOTA thinking way outside the box these days, maybe this sort of idea could actually happen4th July 2010, 12:52 at 12:52 pm #142125
Some good F1-friendly stadia:
1. Indianapolis (notwithstanding 2005)
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