28th September 2011, 9:40 at 9:40 am #130151
Before the introduction of the DRS and Pirelli tyres, there was a lot of talk about how Formula 1 could make itself more exciting. It seemed that every year (with such predictable regularity that you could set your watch by it), Flavio Briatore would try and make a case for reverse-grid races. The talk has largely quietened down this year, but one thing that I’ve always wondered about is whether Formula 1 could indulge in unique-format races.
This is something that commonly practices by other racing series. For example, the V8 Supercars have the Bathurst 1000, an endurance race where the cars are shared by two drivers. And Indycar has experimented with events such as the Firestone Twin 275s, which involves two seaprate races at the one circuit over the course of the race meeting. I had largely forgotten about it until I saw this image:
This is a circuit that is going to be built in Rio de Janeiro’s Ricardo de Albuquerque neighbourhood. As you can see, there is no clearly-marked start/finish line on the plan, and nor is there a clearly-marked racing direction. I am unsure as to which way the racing takes place; that tight hairpin after a straight on the right suggests it could be raced in one direction, but on the other hand, the two tight corners on the left-hand side could be used to slow the cars down for the final corner, meaning racing would go in the opposite direction. And then it occurred to me that this circuit may have been designed so that races could take place going in both directions (but not, you know, at the same time).
This year, Indycar introduced the Firestone Twin 275s at Texas Motor Speedway: two races, with two separate grids (one controversially decided by a random draw, but that is to be changed for 2012), and half points on offer for each race. It occured to me that Indycar could use this format in Rio, with one race in one direction and the second race in the other direction. Each race would have its own practice and qualifying sessions. But then I asked myself: why should Indycar have all the fun? The Brazilian Grand Prix could be reformatted to have two separate races in opposite directions, with points being offered under the pre-2010 system to the top eight places. Of course, this would mean giving up on Interlagos (a sacrifice I am unwilling to make).
This idea opened the floodgates: could Formula 1 experiment with individual race formats? It would certainly be a way of injecting personality into some events (*cough*Valencia!*cough*). For example, FOTA could pick our Grands Prix – like Monaco, Silverstone, Monza and Spa – to be “Grand Slam” events, with double points on offer. Or, since the rules dictate that a race must be run “for two hours, or to the first lap over three hunndred kilometres”, a race could be run on a two-hour clock instead of race distance (Monza is over in seventy-five minutes, so why not go for two hours instead?).
So, is this a good idea, or should race formats remain identical?28th September 2011, 9:53 at 9:53 am #179401
just imagine anyone other than yourself started this thread and made that post, and then you will surely find everything that’s wrong with it28th September 2011, 10:12 at 10:12 am #179402
Just imagine if you actually contributed something of value to this thread.28th September 2011, 10:35 at 10:35 am #179403
I’d love some more unique events. A three hour race with a driver change would be great. Each team still fields two cars – the first one with your two race drivers, the second with two younger drivers. The setup would be interesting – do you aim it solely at your best driver, hoping the second driver can cope well enough? Do you aim it at your second driver, extracting his maximum potential whilst expecting your best driver to drive around a setup which doesn’t suit him? Or do you go for a neutral setup to keep both drivers happy but potentially compromising ultimate pace?
There’d be a 20 minute window in which cars had to pit to change driver. They would also be refuelled, but they can only do so if they’re changing driver. Tyre stops can be done as and when necessary.
I do like the idea of running a track in both directions though. Interestingly, Misano now runs in the opposite direction to what it used to in order to host the MotoGP again. Whether or not it can still be run in the other direction – or to host Formula One – I don’t know.2nd October 2011, 10:59 at 10:59 am #179404
Doesn’t anybody else have any thoughts on this?2nd October 2011, 13:12 at 1:12 pm #179405
I think F1 is missing only two things: an oval race and an endurance race (preferably for Monza); one is a different kind of circuit for F1, the other a different length. I don’t feel any need for an actual format change.2nd October 2011, 13:19 at 1:19 pm #179406
It would be a nice idea to do one or two experimental races at places like Valencia and Abu Dhabi. If there was a race with driver changes it should be non-championship as it is very much against the nature of F1 racing.
It would be nice to see Monza being a bit longer, but not necessarily 2 hours. I’m not sure about double points for certain races, although it would be a nice idea to have more prestigious race wins rewarded in some way.
The trouble is although F1 is ‘the pinnacle of motorsport’ it is a specific type of racing. Endurance racing is a very different discipline. If we want to see that perhaps it would be nice to see a winter championship in the style of ROC but expanded with seperate events, open to the top 3 finishers in F1, Nascar, the upcoming endurance/prototype championship, rally etc. It’ll never happen, but it would be nice.2nd October 2011, 14:30 at 2:30 pm #179407
Sorry to bring the cost aspect in, but having a ~450km race at Monza would require most teams to either build a new car for that race. Surely you could sacrifice one race, and do well in the others, rather than carry that extra space the larger fuel tank needs.
I think having “special” events would be pretty nice, but I’d prefer to decrease the number of races, so that each Grand Prix would feel special somehow.2nd October 2011, 15:22 at 3:22 pm #179408
How about a ‘play-off’ for the championship? The two top drivers in the standings in a sprint race on a ROC – style track.2nd October 2011, 15:38 at 3:38 pm #179409
No. I can’t put into words how horrible that would be. One of the reasons I dismiss NASCAR is the contrived race for the championship.2nd October 2011, 16:18 at 4:18 pm #179410
I am not interested in such things…
I love this aspect, that every single race is as important as the others, the small-ish Hungary and the mighty Monaco.
I don’t like one-off events, to me they would be more circus acts than true F1.
Just like the calendar as it is: 18/20 equal races. I’d like to drop some circuits (street circuits and/or glamour things (Sing./Abu Dhabi/Valencia), but that’s all.2nd October 2011, 18:32 at 6:32 pm #179411
I’d like F1 to go to Eurospeedway for a Polish GP (if Robert comes back) and race on the oval circuit. That would be an unique event.2nd October 2011, 21:20 at 9:20 pm #179412
I hadn’t thought about the fuel issue. Oh well, ovals it is ;-)3rd October 2011, 3:04 at 3:04 am #179413
After thinking about it for a while, I’ve decided that I don’t think unique formats are a good idea. It might dilute the sport a little too much.
However, I would like to see a circuit designed so that it could hold races in alternate directions. Possibly with slight changes between the layouts so that the two routes aren’t identical (though this would no doubt trigger a backlash from people who assumed Bernie’s shortcuts idea was coming into effect). That way, the race could switch between layouts from year to year; the 2011 race would go on the ‘forward’ configuration and the 2012 race on the ‘reverse’ before going back to the ‘forward’ again for 2013.3rd October 2011, 7:03 at 7:03 am #179414
@Prisonner monkey : waw, shortcuts ? I didn’t know of that one ! Mr Ecclestone is a source of incredible ideas isn’t he ?
Alternate directions ? Hmm why not, that would surely be quite unique !
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