F1 has recently been obsessed with attracting the elusive ‘casual viewer.’ This is often sited as part of the reason for the following developments:
KERS- a little boost button, much like NOS in games like Need for Speed.
DRS- a form of boost that you would find in racing games, where the cars at the back are able to lap faster. Like in some online races.
But the problem is, whether these work or not, they will no longer do the job. With F1 switching its UK coverage to sky for half the year, its going to take some pretty big video games style gizmos to get back those casual fans that we thought F1 loved so much.
So what slightly nonsensical video games related suggestions do you have to improve the show and snare back those viewers who will be turning off?
My first one is extra lifes- 2 spare cars would allow drivers who retire in a race or qualifying to sprint back to the pits and get in their spare car, thus giving them an extra life (ignore that this used to happen anyway).
I think to spice things up and give the race engineers a more important role, at a random point in race for a single lap control would be give to the race engineers, sitting in the back of the garage in a simulator.
It’s easy: a competition between the viewers to win a race drive at HRT for the season finale. A trivia question is asked half-way through the race every race, and between the people that answer correctly, three are chosen to win a paddock experience at their home country’s gp the following year, and between those three winners per race one is chosen to drive the second HRT at the season finale.
I also like a lap knock-out idea. Each wheel on each car is fitted with a tiny explosive, just large enough to blow the tyre. In a 70 lap race, every 3 laps or so the driver who is last is ‘eliminated.’ This means that at ANY random point on the next lap, any one of the tyres will be blown. Excitement and tension in spades.
The actual lap when somebody is decided as being eliminated will vary- for instance, in a 60 lap race it could be that on laps 34 and 35 somebody is eliminated, but this will likely mean a longer gap till the next elimination.
How about a need for speed style race where half way through a police car joins the track and tries to take people out!
Or maybe just do something totally stupid. How about every time they pit having to get out of the car and sit in a desk chair situated in each pit. Then they have to be spun around 20 times before getting back in the car!