- Maybe this year I'll nail my graphic design skills? Maybe?

Resolutions: Looking Back and Forwards

Last year I lined up three big names in my sights, now it's time to see how they did.

Last year I wrote a short resolutions piece for the automotive world. I aimed my spite-filled diatribe at BMW, Scuderia Ferrari and the FIA. And now that 2021 has well and truly wrapped up, it's time to have a quick look back before we look forward.

Scuderia Ferrari

We'll start with a positive note and Scuderia Ferrari. Their 2020 season was abominable. Their worst since 1980 I lamented their team direction, chassis works and an engine that was a one-trick pony that had had its trick taken away. This year the red F1 team has picked themselves up, had a long hard look in the mirror and put on a proper effort.

Carlos, a huge part of Ferrari's redemption this year.

Carlos, a huge part of Ferrari's redemption this year.

McLaren were looking to be competitive this season. They came out of the blocks hard and were ready to challenge Ferrari for third place or even higher in the constructors' standings. But what they weren't prepared for was Ferrari's consistency. The papaya team were also shown up by underestimating their former driver Carlos Sainz. With the combination of a tolerable chassis, an evolving engine; and a team that seemed to be far more cohesive and a healthier working environment than previously; McLaren soon turned out to be outclassed.

Charles doing his best at Silverstone, where he'd earn his only podium finish this season.

Charles doing his best at Silverstone, where he'd earn his only podium finish this season.

One could argue that much of Ferrari's success this year is down to McLaren and crucially Daniel Ricciardo struggling. And you wouldn't be wrong. Carlos and Lando were pretty much toe-to-toe all season and Daniel Ricciardo and Charles both scored a sole podium to their name but the Monegasque beat out the Australian. The Ferrari arguably seemed to be the better car this year and far easier to adapt to, Carlos being the evidence here.

It isn't the massive leaps and bounds clear that I would have liked to have seen from the Scuderia. But the improvement was there and crucially, I feel this will pay off when the 2022 season starts up. The Scuderia are more settled, Carlos is well integrated and by all means putting in biblical amounts of work to ensure his chances of success are as high as possible. Compared to McLaren who've floundered a little, Ferrari are starting this year on a strong footing. We like to see it.

BMW; Their Styling Department and Marketing Team

A good looking BMW. Unlike its modern counterparts.

A good looking BMW. Unlike its modern counterparts.

What we don't like to see is BMW still consistently making terrible looking cars. Last year I called out BMW for styling the then prototype iX on Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Then they released it.

Their marketing department, credit where it's due, haven't had any of the massive howlers that they did last year. But the styling department is still pretty shonky. If I'm honest, I've not much cared for modern BMWs for a while. So I'm not blood-boilingly irate at this, but I'm just disappointed.

*deep sigh* The FIA

The last group to face my written wrath were the FIA. Last year it was for seemingly having a vendetta against their "We Race As One" mission. Their own thing. And while this year they seem to have had no qualms with their own ideas, they have been laughably inconsistent in pretty much everything they do across the series they control, not just F1. It's something I'll get into fully in the season recap edition of Winners and Spinners, but it's a good place to lead into my 2022 resolutions.

In this coming year, I would like to see the FIA get their act together and prioritise racing action on track over drama after the race. How many iconic podiums have we had that were also marred by FIA meddling. Abu Dhabi? Hungary? Silverstone? Brazil? So many races this year have had steward investigations that have impacted the final result or the racing in a negative way. This isn't to say that many of these incidents didn't deserve an investigation to ensure a fair result, but many of them stem from FIA ineptitude.

The FIA and the stewards have lost their ability to lay down the law in F1, which has seen drivers and teams pushing the limits of the law. Historically when this has happened, we've seen exciting evolutions of the sport in six-wheeled cars, ones that suck themselves to the road, water injection, frozen fuels, dual brake pedals. While they offered people an unfair advantage, they were stemmed from invention and intellect. Not policing track limits. One advances the sport and makes it enjoyable as teams look to balance the fight with their own inventions, not teams just knowing they can run wide through certain corners and not have stewards breathing down their neck.

Hopefully in 2022 stewarding teams will be looked at and refined in a manner that adds continuity to decisions as well as pace. No one wants to be waiting until after a race to ratify the results unless you're Carlos Sainz where you can often pick up a podium if the cookie crumbles in your favour. As the sport moves into a new generation with new car design languages, I write this with my fingers crossed hoping that we'll see a revelation in the world of stewarding too.

So that's my resolution for 2022. The FIA and F1 stewarding just become better. But if you could set some resolutions for the automotive world what would they be? Fewer SUVs? Cheaper electric cars? Let me know in the comments.

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