Formula 1: I Choose Pistols at Dawn

Formula 1 should consider giving more control to the driver. Had Mercedes given Rosberg the green light, they would been allowing him to decide...

3y ago


Formula 1: I Choose Pistols at Dawn
B. Dailey

Recently Jeremy Clarkson has written an article with some suggestions for the FIA and Formula 1 with hopes of making the sport more exciting. His idea of splitting team mates with the top qualifier in first place, and his team mate in last place is in theory a great idea. I can’t imagine the drivers would ever go for that though. The real point, and he says this very clearly, is that there needs to be a reason and a means for drivers to overtake one another. It is a car race after all.

The defensive and conservative nature of F1 racing was quite evident at the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton’s log jam in the last few laps came close to disrupting Nico Rosberg’s ascent to the Driver’s Championship. While I cannot fault Hamilton for wanting to win, his endgame strategy was nothing short of passive. Clearly he slowed down so others can attack his opponent from behind. Forget for a second that he disobeyed a team order to speed up with the typical arrogance that he exudes. My gripe is not necessarily with Hamilton. It’s the principle of it all.

After the radio transmission where Hamilton refused to speed up, I was hoping that the Mercedes Team was going to give Nico Rosberg the green light to actually go racing. Obviously Vettel pulled up in the final stretch of the race and Rosberg only needed third to take the driver’s championship…. but why not let Rosberg get after Hamilton for a few laps? We know about their rivalry. We saw them battle continuously this season. They are – arguably – the top drivers in the world. The fans want to see them fight, not dance around then concede victory. Where is the sport in that?

"And that's the problem right there. The team has built a computer and then paid someone to 'manage' it for a couple of hours"

Jeremy Clarkson

Formula 1 should consider giving more control to the driver. Had Mercedes given Rosberg the green light, they would been allowing him to decide whether pressing the issue was the best move. Let him drive and not “manage a computer” as Clarkson said. This is where the moonshiners of NASCAR got it right. Their drivers relay info about the car to the team, and they push the loud pedal at their discretion. Obviously the two sports are vastly different, and I am not suggesting that F1 adopt the “rubbing is racing” mentality or allow drivers to slug it out in the pits. But ultimately F1 drivers – like all other world class athletes – are incredibly competitive people. You cannot teach the dog to hunt then never take him into the field.

In the world of motorsport, F1 is the gentleman’s outlet for racing. But gentlemen and disagree. Rosberg and Hamilton do for sure. Let them duel.

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Comments (3)

  • Rosberg was free to race, and wasn't under team orders not to, however he chose just to shadow Hamilton and then got on the radio complaining the pace wasn't fast enough. If he wasn't comfortable with the pace then overtake and dictate it yourself, he didn't and wasn't even prepared to give it a go

      3 years ago
  • Getting rid of most electronics would be a nice step in the right direction. We need to see more overtaking ( you know racing ). Last couple years I didn't even bother watching F1 just this year again I started fallowing due too Max causing drama and showing them what racing is.

      3 years ago
  • I agree. The cars have become more technologically advanced than necessary, and I feel that they should be simplified more to help bring the competition closer together. A big aspect of the issue are the massive differences in budget among teams. If the cars became simpler to make and develop, the big budget teams such as Mercedes wouldn't have such a massive advantage every weekend.

      3 years ago