A Plea for Better Coverage, not Rules

A Plea for Better Coverage, not Rules
by Dion van de Nes

Overtaking in Formula One is a big problem according to a lot of people. Solutions like using metal brake discs or lowering the car have already been suggested. Ken Tyrrell said in a interview with Formule 1 Magazine (Holland): "We shouldn't be concentrating on the cars but on the circuits. Make longer straights with first gear corners at the end and there will be a lot more overtaking." Some corners like that currently exist. Adelaide hairpin at Magny Cours, La Source and Bus stop chicane at Spa Francorchamps are several examples where it is possible to overtake. But, there needs to be a greater number of long straights which end with first gear corners.

Another problem is the vast difference in speed of the cars at the back. What can be done about this? Of course, Forti's budget is not as large as a major team like Williams which results in a lower level of development in their cars. Being at the back, their cars don't get much air play and become even weaker in the sponsorship market (except when they spin off -- not the kind of action a sponsors is waiting for).

Often when the race gets boring in front, there are big position fights in the back of the field. But, it seems that most television directors decide to show, for example, Villeneuve all by him self at the British Grand Prix instead of some of the thrilling fights at the end of the field. I feel that sponsors would be more attracted to Formula One if smaller teams got more air play on tv which, in turn, would result in more money to test and develop the car and eventually lead to lesser teams being more competitive. The field would get closer, more competition would take place, and a lot more overtaking would exist.

Changing the regulations, which has been the main medicine Formula One administers, won't solve every problem. The teams with the biggest budgets will always be in front, adapting to the new rule changes quickly. Teams such as Minardi and Tyrrell get trapped in a vicious cirlce of lacking funds, not being able to adapt quick enough, loss of airplay and thus, loss of sponsorship.

I say that watching Formula One on television is, indeed, a disaster. Directors in Britain, Germany, Canada and Italy only show their national heroes or cars. Bernie Ecclestone should point out one director who covers all races and show people that Formula One racing is about courage, determination and technology, not (place your country here) is better than (place other contry here). Let us see the cars in back as well as in front! Directors should not zoom in on Schumacher sitting in his car in the pits, but show other very talented drivers who are making their run for grid positions.

Unbiased television coverage along with track changes such as Ken Tyrrell suggests will lead to a heathier brand of Formula One racing.

Dion van de Nes
Send comments to:dionalfa@worldaccess.nl