It’s so sad that gone are the days when F1 cars were allowed to fall apart as they crossed the finish line.
F1 is not a sprint race any more. With engines and gearboxes having to do multiple races, as well as the qualifying and practise sessions that go with them, F1 is a 12-hour endurance race discuised as a series of sprints.
Sure it’s money saving, which is I suppose what had to happen in order for the series to continue at all, and I guess it’s “greener” to appease everyone who doesn’t give a toss about motorsport in the first place, but it’s lead to a much more predictable set of points scorers and podium positions.
I struggle with the F1Fanatic Predictions Championship game now (so mush so that i’ve stopped doing it) but imagine trying to predict the top 5 in some of the races from the mid-90s (when I first started watching F1)…
1995 Australian Grand Prix. Pole was Damon Hill, and the race was won by Damon Hill. Fair enough, that’s a possibility, but only because Schumacher retired. But then Olivier Panis in his ligier and Gianni Morbidelli in the Footwork 2nd and 3rd?! And followed by Mark Blundell and Mika Salo in McLaren and Tyrrell. Most people would have got 0 points.
1996 Monaco Grand Prix. Nobody would have guessed Olivier Panis would win from 14th on the grid, beating Coulthard’s McLaren and Herbert’s Sauber to the top spot. In a race where only 3 cars crossed the finish line and barely a handful more were classified. And Schumacher stuffed it int othe wall on lap one, with Hill’s engine blowing at half distance.
1999 European Grand Prix – Stewart Grand Prix come from nowhere to score a 1st and 3rd, sandwiching Jarno Trulli’s Prost, having seen Heinz harald Frentzen start from pole (although he and Jordan were on a roll that season).
But stuff like this doesn’t happen any more with these bullet proof cars. Agreed, it would make a Lotus, Virgin or HRT point far more well deserved (although those points do encompass 4 more places, so maybe it doesn’t – Lotus could maybe scrape 10th on a lucky day, but never a 6th)
There used to be one or two shock victories a season, and a few more shock podiums and points scores. But not any more, and as a supporter of the underdog, that makes me sad.