F1 Indy Debacle

GruntDoc has a pretty good summary of how I, and I hope most other American F1 fans, feel. I think David Hobbs had the best idea on the Speed coverage: Penalize the Michelin runners by docking them all their constructors championship points.

But, all joking aside, I can see both sides of the argument here. Michelin told the teams the tires they brought were not safe to race on. It took them time to identify the source of the problem and under the rules as they exist today, Michelin is not allowed to replace the tires the teams already have. Bridgestone runners, on the other hand, saw it as an excellent opportunity to gain some points on the dominant teams.

I’m fairly certain, sans all this political in-fighting and other various mine-is-bigger-than-yours-isms, a satifactory compromise could have been reached. The team principles, Tony George, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Bridgestone runners are not to blame. The FIA is probably blameless here too, but the chances of it actually playing out that way in the press are nil. Michelin screwed up, plain and simple. Somebody needs to step up and volunteer to fund at least partial refunds to fans.

I’m certainly glad I didn’t take time off to attend the race, pay for tickets or a hotel room in Indianapolis. And I have a feeling very few people will bother next year either.

Formula One rule changes?

With these proposed rule changes, it looks like Formula One wants to become the NASCAR of Europe.
Single tire supplier? Boo.
The return of slicks? Yay.
Standardized ECU with no traction control? Boo.
Onboard starter? Shrug.
10% of current downforce levels? And you thought the Minardis and Jordans were squirrelly already…
A real clutch? But, where are the techno-weenies going to get ideas for bells-and-whistles shift mechanisms on high dollar cars and not so expensive Pontiacs?

No more Jaguar

Jaguar is leaving Formula One, and taking Cosworth with them. Ford is putting both operations up for sale, with a “number of potential buyers expressing interest“. Hopefully someone will buy them, fields with less than 20 cars would be even easier for Scuderia Ferrari to dominate. And if they don’t come back, there will be a wider gap between the haves and the backmarkers that are the have-not privateers. Though, without Cosworth engines, Minardi and Jordan are going to have a tough time getting around the track.

And I will definitely miss hearing “jag-eww-arr” from David and Steve on Speed.