My Formula 1:
- A signed memorandum by all parts involved, declaring the intention to keep technical regulations largely unchanged for the next 5 years, save for safety issues, and highly extraordinary other reasons.
A major way to contain costs is to keep the regulations relatively stable, by comitting F1 to mini 5 year cycles you also keep F1 relevant by refreshing it every 5 years allowing new technologies, etc.
- Likewise, sporting regulations to remain locked in for 10 years, bar exceptional circumstances.
As important as above. We really need to stop mocking about with points systems and qualifying systems and safety car regulations and penalty systems and whatever, F1 changes so ridiculously often like no other sports, it is losing its identity year after year. We don't need to keep messing around constantly with sporting regulations to "improve the sport".
- Budget cap, policed by the FIA, starting at around 200M€ to be progressively reduced to around 80M€ - plus a number of extras.
Like I've often said around here, I'm not a huge fan of this communist-like rule, but it's just about the only realistic way you can keep the entire field alive and competitive. I'd trim down the numbers to right about the budget the likes of Marussia and Caterham are spending at the moment to fund perfectly professional operations, HOWEVER, I'd like to make a few caveats to still allow the top teams to spend a bit more by allowing a few bonuses:
a) variable bonus of up to 10M€ for employing a certain number of highly qualified technical staff (to ensure an incentive to not lay off massive amounts of people in order to stay within the budget cap - I don't want to force half of an industry into unemployment)
b) bonus of 20M€ for running a 3rd car (more on this later)
d) bonus of 10M€ for running a team in GP2 (to give an incentive for training young drivers), 10M€ for running a team or engine in the WEC (to give an incentive for training young aerodynamicists and other engineers and staff), 10M€ for running a team in the WRC (to give an incentive for manufacturers to jump big time into motorsports joining both F1 and rallying at the same time).
So potentially you'd have the Caterhams and Marussias working under a 80M€ budget cap, and a major team operation ticking all of these boxes working under a 140M€ budget but also having to compete in a lot more things spreading their resources far more. So some minor scope for the heavyweights to still outspend a bit but not to a ridiculous extent, whilst contributing largely to all motorsport.
The numbers are highly flexible, it's just an idea, I don't expect anyone to be able to run the WEC or WRC for 10M€, potentially there'd be a separate allowance of budget for those categories, the 10M€ bonus is just an extra to spend either exclusively on F1 or on shared resources that would be usable by both championship campaigns.
I however remain slightly skeptical the budget cap can be cheated on fairly easily, but it cannot hurt to try. The FIA are trying this already in real life, which is a good thing.
- Now that we've got the money numbers sorted, open up in-season testing - 3 separate weeks of testing at 3 different stages of the season.
This can't possibly hurt. More chances for young drivers, more chances for teams lagging behind to catch up, more chances for the tyre manufacturer to develop their product, etc.
- Open up the 23rd and 24th spot in the grid to a new team, and the 25th and 26th spots for 3rd cars from the top teams, under a rotation system race-by-race.
With the new budget regs F1 should be attractive to a new privateer or manufacturer sooner or later so it makes sense to retain a place for a new team. Meanwhile, I continue to heavily insist on my idea to make 3rd cars a reality without ruining the balance of power in F1. 2 slots open for 3rd cars, no more no less, and all teams interested in running one will be able to do so, just rotate those entries around. So imagine Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull and Merc are the only 4 interested in running an extra car, you'd have Ferrari and McLaren running them in 10 GPs, and Red Bull and Mercedes running them in the other 10 GPs. It'd be awesome, just do it, the downsides to this solution are pretty low. Okay some drivers would have to sit out half the season, but it's far better to run half the season in a top car than to not run at all! And just 2 extra quick cars wouldn't kill the smaller teams, neither turn F1 into a convoluted team orders fest.
- Instruct the control tyre manufacturer to stop building high degradation tyres on purpose, instead we should be aiming loosely at 1-stop races without the drivers having to save the tyres obsessively. Ditch Pirelli if necessary if they are unable to deliver this (but it wouldn't hurt to give them a chance for 1 season or so). Ditch the mandatory use both compounds rule, instead hand out 2 possible compounds per race and let the teams sort them out and use them as they please. Ditch the start-on-the-tyres-you-qualified-on rule.
Time to fix the racing, trying to emulate the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix every race has been a failed experiment. Bring back tyres that allow drivers to push. Ideally you'd still want a mild compromise and you wouldn't want rock hard tyres that last 100 laps like those Bridgestones back then, but if a 0-stop race happens it's not a problem. Stop trying to fix the racing by mandating certain compounds, trust the teams to come up with alternative strategies themselves. Stop trying to come up with more and more pitstops. Real on-track racing, please.
Also, it's really important to make qualifying independent from the races, so no more start on the tyres you've qualified on. I want to see 110% full pushing, spectacular qualifying laps. I'd even be up for bringing back qualifying tyres. We have a control tyre manufacturer, so why the hell not? They can make a safe supersupersoft tyre that lasts 3 laps. It would also make the grid order different from the race order which again, is really important for the race to be interesting.
- Reduce the DRS opening in the rear wing to about half of its current size. Research safety-proof mechanisms to allow DRS to be used safely all track long instead of in designated zones.
DRS should be about negating the disadvantage of running in dirty air, not about giving you a massive advantage of a super massive draft that makes passing really easy. The DRS effect should be toned down. I also think it would feel a lot less convoluted and more natural if it was spread all over the track, instead of massive bursts in FIA-mandated overtaking zones. However that is not entirely safe at the moment as proven by why they limited that in qualifying.
- Experiment with limiting some telemetry data collection during the race.
I'm a little torn on this one, some people want telemetry completely banned as well as pit-to-car radio, etc, and I can definitely see the benefits, it would make racing a lot less micro-managed by the pits therefore a lot more would happen. However, I am really concerned about safety. What happens when a tyre or a mechanical component is about to explode, it's not visible by the naked eye, the driver cannot feel it, but the telemetry would catch it? So maybe experiment by limiting telemetry a bit but not completely.
- Now we've established budgets are going down and the tech regs are going to stay for 5 years, start working on a basis for the next regs in 2019 to reduce downforce without losing too much laptime, and make cars easier to overtake without DRS. Maybe even mandate spec front and rear wings, opening up the rule book in other non-aerodynamic areas. Potentially further increase power generation from non-petrol sources.
Obvious really. I'm not technical enough to understand how could this be done exactly, but research by highly competent people with a 5 years advance should bring results up to some level. I don't want to put all aerodynamicists out of a job but F1 needs to be less aerodynamics dependent. Maybe one day we can ditch DRS although I am skeptical, I'm dead sure the dirty air problem is nowhere near as easy to solve in the regulations as everyone around seems to think.
- Intensify the research on canopies with the intention of introducing them in the 2019 tech regs revamp, if the technology is deemed ready.
We've had drivers nearly beheaded a multiple times in recent seasons (think Wurz vs Coulthard, Schumacher vs Liuzzi, Alonso vs Grosjean, etc), a driver hit severely in the head due to a mechanical piece dropping out of a car (Massa), a feeder series kid deceased due to a tyre landing on his head (Surtees). This is one of the main remaining dangers in Formula 1 and we cannot wait for the next driver to get killed to get this done. I'm sure the cars will look funny but it's for a good cause.
- Intensify the research on track surfaces, with the objective of one day having all tarmac runoffs separated by a car-wide strip of an abrasive surface that punishes tyres for going wide. Until that is possible, introduce automatic penalties for drivers that go a full car width wide, such as the pit limiter being automatically activated for 5 seconds - regardless of whether the driver had a good reason or not for going wide.
The runoffs are not the track, this needs to be clearer and we need to stop drivers using and abusing them. Unfortunately those tarmac seas need to stay for safety, so the best way to counter that is to give a big, consistent, incentive for drivers not to run wide. Stop and go's, drive-throughs, time added at the end of the race are not good solutions, they are controversial, convoluted, fallible as they need human input, no we need something instant and crystal clear.
- Make F1 mostly free-to-air again, at least in all major markets. Also allow relatively cheap premium access by the internet to official online streaming, and downloads of footage including full races.
I reserved perhaps the biggest wishful thinking, unrealistic idea of the lot for the end. Pay TV is absolutely murdering the popularity of F1 in so many places. I know it gives the sport big bucks but in the long term you risk killing the sport's fan base. Without widespread, easily accessible coverage, the sport will struggle more and more to capture the imagination of the next generations. It's time to wake up to this problem.
And that is all, a very long list. As for the things I don't like and should go in the garbage bin, that includes reverse grids (god no), less races (I thought we were racing fans and enjoyed watching races?), a F1 draft (this one is totally daft, for a starter which series do you draft from, and then you'd also end up with the few better talents stuck with the shittier teams), and a promotion/relegation system (there's nowhere to promote from, all other open-wheel series around are spec).
Edited by noikeee, 06 January 2014 - 13:46.