Believe it or not, there are race fans in America that can think beyond the 'go fast, turn left' mentality of the NASCAR Hillbilly (of which I grew up one). The sport of NASCAR, once the fastest growing major sport in America, and a sport that rivals the NFL in total fan base as well as popularity. NASCAR is a uniquely American sport. Born out of the South, and escaping the snares of the revenuer, is is not just auto racing. NASCAR is an expression of the American spirit. It is the American car junkie's way of thumbing their collective noses at "the man".
But, the American auto racing fan is not fully without culture. We have some great road courses here at places like Watkins Glen, Sonoma, Mid-Ohio, Road Atlanta and of course our lone F1 stop, Circuit of America in Austin, TX just to name a few. Heck, we even ran F1 on street courses here in Long beach and Phoenix with winners having names like, Senna, Piquet, Lauda, Villeneuve and of course Andretti.
So while Americans are admittedly less "in tune" with the finer points of Formula racing in general, we have produced some great drivers, hosted great races, and do know a thing or two about the preferred school of motor racing for the more sophisticated. We have opinions about Formula 1 that deserve to be heard. Having made running illegal whiskey into a multi-billion dollar motorsport, we have a pretty good idea of how to make racing more exciting. As the (un)official representative of all F1 fans in the USA, here's our list of 4 simple things to improve Formula 1:
1. BRING BACK THE V8! And for that matter, the V10 and V12 too. Here's how we do this. Limit the maximum displacement to 5.0 liters or whatever everyone is comfortable with, and let them get to 5 liters with 6, 8, 10 or 12 cylinders. However they want to displace the power is up to the engineers and teams. But no more turbos. Not only do we want naturally aspired engines, we want a more reliable package - therefore turbos have to go.
2. RAISE THE FUEL CONSUMPTION: Less reliance on the hybrid systems will bring more engineering back into the internal combustion theater - where we Americans want it to be. Come up with an arbitrary fuel consumption limit of some sort, be it a maximum number of gallons of fuel per race, minimum number of miles per gallon, or a fuel per minute system. Example, raise the fuel consumption to no more than 125kg of fuel in each race (up from 100), no limit on fuel consumption or flow rate so teams and drivers can choose to use more fuel now and less later, or vice versa. This adds strategy and can help level the playing field for some of the lesser teams just through strategy.
3. WIDEN THE TIRES AND THE STANCE: . This seems to be a direction they are headed now, but these tiny tires that keep blowing out or need to be replaced so often is silly. Give the cars more traction, makes for safer faster racing. The DRIVERS will tell you when things are too fast. They wouldn't have 50 years ago, but these young kids will tell you that now. These drivers have not seen fear the likes of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda - they get scared easy.
4. MORE DOWNFORCE THAT IS MORE CONTROLLABLE. Provide through the rules a maximum number of square inches outside of the cars torso (i.e. through the use of spoilers) and let them design the spoilers anyway they like. Tell them 60% in the front, 40% in the rear, and let them go back to the drawing boards and build us some exciting looking cars. The sport now currently lacks sexiness and innovation on this area. Americans do not want F1 cars with phallic or walrus front ends. We want them to look like fast race cars.
Now is this too much to ask? Any other Americans want to add to this list? What are your thoughts?