Monday, March 23, 2009

Last minute F1 rule changes 2.0

Perhaps you’ve heard about the controversial last moment rule changes which could significantly impact the face of Formula 1 in the near and overall future... These being the change to the points system and the budget cap formula.

I am most aghast over the farcical changing of the scoring system, which having been ram rodded thru the WMSC on March 17th, was to see whoever had the most wins during the season being proclaimed the Driver’s Champion... While second place onwards would have been decided by overall points as well as the Constructor’s Championship, as this rule was seemingly brought into farce by Emperor Bernardo decreeing his most absurd “Medals” system for the three podium spots a la the Olympics, as the person with the most gold medals would be champion. Yet, as I posted the link to an online poll over this, I along with the majority of participants were vehemently opposed to the idea, as I believe the poll was running somewhere in the 77% + region AGAINST this... But hey, what do the fans know, eh?

While I’m all in favour of the driver with the most victories winning that season’s title, I don’t think this should be artificially created, I mean if I wanna watch big time wrasslin’ I can simply drop in on some Roundy-round series

Yet, I’m sure this won’t be the last time the FIA tinkers with the point’s structure, as they’ve now changed their tune, deferring the new points system until 2010 after the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) challenged this last minute switch and pointed out two sections of the rules book being breached by the FIA over this matter...

And contrary to popular belief, it’s the FIA, nee Bernardo who got us into this predicament. As prior to 2003 the points were 9-6-4-3-2-1. But with Michael Schumacher dominating that season’s Championship; besting his nearest competitor (teammate Rubens Barrichello) by a then record 67 points enroute to winning 11 Grand Prix’s, the “Schumacher” rule was invoked. With the current watering down of the points to eighth place and being awarded 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1; which almost produced the result being sought, a new Driver’s Champion as the Finnish upstart Kimi Raikkonen looked poised to knock Michael off his thrown with a multitude of second place finishes in only his third season, before ultimately finishing runner-up to Herr Schumacher by a scant two points. Meanwhile arch nemesis Juan Pablo Montoya finished third overall, a mere 11 points adrift, as a three horse race for World Champion existed during the majority of the season. Yet if “The Iceman” (Raikkonen) had won that year’s title, it would have been on the propensity of his runner-up finishes. (7-0) Hmm? Where was Ecclestone then? Isn’t that the exact scenario he’s bellyaching over now, as Schumacher had a total of six wins vs. Raikkonen’s one. Yet, even with the tweaking of the points system, Schuey went onto Throttle the competition in ’04 with an obscene 13 victories...

And if Michael Schumacher is ASTOUNDED! And Fernando Alonso wants to know why they’re constantly changing the rules... Do the voices of two multiple World Champions resonate and does anything more really need to be said? Even Lewis Hamilton has spoken out against this, not to mention two prominent Team Principles... I mean what’s next? Will we return to the era of Senna-Prost deliberately taking one another off the track and out of races to secure Championships... As I’d prefer to leave “The Rubbin’ is Racin’” to another crowd.

And thus, thankfully we’ll hold off from this nonsense for the following season, as I believe that we should either retain the current points system or better yet the FOTA’s proposal of tweaking the points to favour driver’s incentive for winning, i.e.; 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1.

As for the just announced budget cap formula, I’m a bit foggy upon this since first off there seems to be two different figures floating about, as I’ve seen both $30 million and $42m being bantered about le internets, unless that’s the current Euro vs. Dollar conversion rate? (OUCH!) As this new formula devised by the deviant Sir MAXXUM is a new formula for which teams would have nearly unlimited freedom in car design in return for these teams entire season budget not exceeding this figure, and that includes Driver’s and Team Principle’s salaries; as in everything minus the kitchen sink, Err team’s motor home and any subsequent fines.

Interestingly, I’m drawn into the way back machine, when a similar synopsis occurred during a previous struggle between teams and the FIA during the onset of the turbo era in the early 1980’s, when the mostly British Cosworth runners were given one set of rules, most notably a weight break and the upstart turbo chariots were forced to live with a higher weight limit... Although the turbo cars ultimately prevailed until these outrageous horsepower laden vehicles were abolished for the 1989 season... So will history prevail once again or will this become part of F1’s new allure, as sliding weight scales and inlet restrictors in the name of level playing fields isn’t exactly a new concept, yet this doesn’t seem fitting for the pinnacle of Motorsport, nor does the bungled hashing about rules.

Although it’s hard to think that perhaps the achieved effect has occurred, since everybody was talking about it, even RASSCAR just weeks prior to the season kickoff...