Where's the Fun of F1?

Atlas F1

Where's the Fun of F1?

by Ric Weeks, England

Being a racer myself and a dedicated fan of the sport for 10 years, the systematic changes which have taken place over the last few years have taken the sheer essence away from a game of raw passion, dedication and emotions unmatched by anything anywhere near the scale of F1.

1997 was of the greatest years ever of modern F1 - Williams technological grip had slipped and 3 teams were constantly winning races with previous success-starved teams like Jordan, Arrows and Prost all moving into the limelight more often with close top three finishes, but more importantly than anything else the cars were still racing cars with a raw power unmatched by any other and a cornering grip thanks to slick and a certain aerodynamic factor that gave a form of racing only tamable by those who could face 190mph flat thru aquamiliria.

That year's racing gave us one of the closest finishes ever to a F1 championship with Jaqcues Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher competing in a final ragged dual which, thanks to the technology provided, allowed both to compete on practically equal terms in an environment which is the sheer essence of Formula One - and every racers dream - and as the results showed, gave us the true and rightful champion, a man who could approach the edge in only his second season, face F1's current greatest driver and outdrive him, get crashed into, and still claim the championship.

With a season like this ripe with passion, emotion and unequaled excitement, a level of technology and driving which gives drivers a rush unequaled by any other emotion possible to achieve alone within a two foot refinement, and to the fans the sort of on-the-edge racing they have been demanding, the FIA chose to destroy all this and introduce a form of racing so unstable and dangerous it produces drivers incapable of considering even approaching a limit with a margin of uncontrollable lack of stability and possible death from being impaled into wall.

These sorts of conditions only produce dangerous crashes (the opening laps of spa '98 and its qualifying) and can only kill off the future talents brave enough to approach the life or death limits, which the world has so desperately sought for ever since the Imola tragedies.

Why can't the FIA simply consult the teams and drivers over future changes and limitations to performance related technological advances? Many drivers, if given the choice, would opt to sacrifice aerodynamic benefits in favour of the benefits provided by slick tyres which makes possible increased cornering speeds and removes the problems created by aerodynamic drag. And drivers are, after all, the only people actually capable of commenting from a hands-on point of view on issues concerning safety and improvements to the quality of racing.

Ric Weeks 1999 Atlas Formula One Journal.
Send comments to: 93.R.Weeks@oldfield.bath.sch.uk Terms & Conditions
Ric Weeks is a 17 years old kart racer from Bath, England