F1 / Form (t) and Job: A proposal for an alternate weekend – Carlo Platella

Stefano Domenicali’s recent proposals were discussed, with the Formula 1 CEO outlining his vision for the future shape of the Grand Prix. Among the ideas on the table, it was the most discussed Assigning points in Friday free practice and race odds with an inverted grid startBoth with regard to the championship standings or the result of qualifications. Although it is difficult, it is necessary to evaluate what is proposed without allowing oneself to be influenced by prejudices. Formula 1 is actually a dynamic in itself, is constantly subject to change and is never equal to itself. Not for this reason, novelty should never be an end in itself, but only if it is able to enhance the current technical, sporting and economic dynamics. Therefore, if the senior management of Formula 1 considers the changes to be indispensable, then at least the most correct alternatives are evaluated from a purely technical point of view and consistency with the current motorsport panorama and even more so in the automotive industry.

In the vision of the Formula 1 CEO, attention is drawn to a factor that is in sharp contrast to one of the proposals on the table. In fact, Domenicali emphasized how The conclusion of the 2021 World Cup was one of the most satisfying things for this category, not because of the dynamics of the controversial final in Abu Dhabi, but to reach the final race with the title contenders in the standings and a direct duel valid for the championship. A unique event in the modern world of Formula 1, where The gradual extension of the calendar makes it more and more likely the early closure of the battle against the iris. The more points at stake, the more the team will be able to make the most of its sporting technical edge. In other words, by significantly increasing the attribution of scores, the impact of offending episodes of the highest category such as accidents or technical withdrawals is increasingly attenuated, limiting variables capable of preventing championship rankings with honesty and always respecting power relations. path.

The priority for a successful championship is to be able to strike a fundamental balance of values ​​on the field, as was generally the case in 2021 between Red Bull and Mercedes. Formula 1 has been shown to enhance mesh compressibility, and the introduction of mechanisms such as budget ceiling, aerodynamic deficit, and aerodynamic regulation of different perceptions, which in the long run will increase the chances of watching the duels on an equal footing. However, when the balance of power at the top is out of balance, it is precisely the extraordinary loops, which may be somewhat coincidental, that can slow the pace of the most competitive pair of drivers, preventing it from flying away and shortening the championship fight. Increasing the assigned score, for example by assigning points during free training as suggested by Domenicali, will only lighten the weight of fate, thereby weakening the possibility of a repeat of the fight in the last race to which Formula 1 itself aspires.

It should also be added Awarding points for free practice will make the sessions competitive in all respectsIt contradicts the very concept of “evidence”. Although at first glance it may seem outrageous, the possibility of reducing testing sessions over the weekend should not be ruled out in order to fully coherent with the current industrial context. Formula 1 has long been identified as the highest technical expression of motoring, a vision that not only stops at solutions in the car, but also extends to the design approach. In the field of chain production We are moving more and more towards a less experimental designwhere tests on prototypes are only the last validation step, More focused on virtualization. Formula 1 itself has gradually moved the testing work from the track to the simulation, while in the next decade we move towards the complete abolition of wind tunnels, which also goes against the principles of energy-saving, giving more and more weight to computerized simulation, whether CFD or otherwise. . From this point of view, the Manor-Virgin racing of the early 2010s, which designed its single-seater without the aid of a wind tunnel, was a stability far ahead of its time, its failure attributing to techniques, financing and tools. It’s still premature. For Formula 1, it would be quite consistent for you to drive and anticipate the increasingly massive shift from the real to the virtual in the auto industry. Reducing the hours of on-track testing on race weekends would give added importance to the representation and forecasting of the simulation work that is done at the factory. Moreover, this would not rule out the cancellation of the parc fermé at the end of qualifying, with teams still able to correct the setting in light of the race using information returned through virtual simulations.

In the event of a change in the current Grand Prix format, the most coherent and effective method is this Moving towards more competitive sessions compared to test sessions, as long as there are no points at stake other than those already decided by Sunday’s race. A difficult compromise, in which idealistic ideas come to mind. Given, for example, that traditionally on a Friday afternoon, teams’ work is focused on race pace, it wouldn’t be crazy to run a real race simulation, complete with a starting grid and checkered flag, without assigning any points. will pass From test race to test race, with the much-discussed inverted network possibility for regulators to implement. Incentives outside of World Championship Points may be needed to encourage teams and drivers to compete at their best, but these may also be unnecessary. Instead, it is recommended that the starting grid for the Sunday Grand Prix continue to be decided individually and exclusively by Saturday’s qualification, whose current format is one of the most successful and healthiest elements in current Formula 1.

However, the need lauded by the organizers to change the function of the display can only lead to reflection. The dynamic and unpredictable display designed for TV is A reflection of an increasingly hectic presencewhich is controlled by A Void horror Where every pause moment and every empty moment must be filled. A system in which there is no space for rest, reflection, or simple contemplation.

FP | Carlo Platilla

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