Whilst indulging in our regular Friday treat of fish and chips, Team BPS often has whatever Friday practice session is running on the TV. When a grand prix weekend provides us with our lunchtime entertainment, it is usually accompanied by some light-hearted debate about the future of the top rank of “our” sport. Our team is made up of a few members with direct experience of an F1 weekend, some more used to an armchair view. For this month’s blog we’ve pulled together some of these avec-lunch views to create the “BPS manifesto for F1”. Obviously it comes with the disclaimer that we have an only slightly above average knowledge of the highly commercial and technical world of F1, and this is purely a collection of non-connected ideas that we believe could make the sport more sustainable and entertaining. By no means are we trying to start a political campaign, claim these are entirely unique ideas or making an extremely low-rent bid for a job with the FIA.
Reset the rules (and keep them that way)
The imbalance between the little and large teams within F1 is not going to change unless the slate is wiped clean. A new rulebook would go some way to neutralising the grid again. We’d then keep the rules stable to allow the costs of the changes to be absorbed over a three-year period.
Reuse and recycle
We’d also suggest that there is a three-year cycle for each basic chassis design. Again a cost-cutting measure. At the start of the year each team would have to homologate a low, medium and high downforce setting, to try and prevent expensive and wasteful one-use wings
Give new talent a try
We want three car teams – with the third seat taken up by a rookie. By rookie, we mean they’ve got the mandatory superlicence and have completed less than fifty percent of a F1 season. This car would be eligible points, and could be last-season spec for those teams who are more have more budgetary challenges.
Return to the classics
This one is a unanimous verdict from across the team. We only need 16 races a year, however they need to be at awesome venues with heritage. We want great racing and full grandstands, and to reminisce about battles gone by whilst speculating about the next.
Free the reigns
Too many incidents end up being resolved in race control. Not every bang of wheels warrants a trip to see the head teacher. This attitude is creeping into other parts of motorsport – lets cut down on the penalties and protests and sort things out on the track.
Engage the audience with information
As a motley crew of ex-race team staff, we are used to a plethora of information on a pit wall, which makes racing so much easier to follow. Opening up a lot more of this to the public in an easy to understand way will drive audience engagement. Let the fans see more of what goes on behind the scenes. We think this is the real key to firing up the next generation of engineers.
Embrace sustainability (environmental and financial) where possible
Ditch fuel saving in a race – it is a drop in the ocean, when you consider the huge amount of fuel used in the multitude of trucks, planes, trains and boats it takes to lug the teams around the world. Let’s sort the big stuff first without compromising the racing. Centralise hospitality to cut the carbon footprint. Whilst impressive, these are a huge cost in terms of money, staff and energy. We’re also pro 2-day race weekends; Give the spectators more action for each ticket they buy, and save some hotel money for the teams at the same time. Two free practice sessions and qualifying on Saturday, a warm up and race on Sunday. Yes, bring back Sunday warm up – we aren’t complete killjoys after all!