Is boring and predictable F1 Racing headed towards a slow and painful death?
After months of wait, Formula 1 2015 season finally kicked off on morning of 15th March when at 6 a.m. (CET) it was lights out at Albert Park, Melbourne Australia but somehow the level of thrill and excitement same as last year or the years before that.
Seeing only 15 cars start on grid was one of the many reasons behind it. Let us rewind the clock back an year. 15th of March 2014 was a entirely different morning than this year. It was Qualifying sessions for the race on Sunday the 16th. Even though FIA’s new rule had 2.4 litre v8 engines replaced by 1.6 litre turbo charged V6 engine; which was of course devastating but still somehow there was a lot about 2014 season.
1- Can Mercedes finish Red Bull’s dominance?
2- Can Daniel Ricciardo really live up to his potential and challenge Vettel?
3- Will Felipe Massa and Mercedes Engines bring back glory to Williams?
4- Will Kimi give Alonso a tough time as a teammate?
5- Who will it be challenging Vettel on that title run?
and many more. To be honest I was on edge of my seat during qualifying sessions which brought a lot of excitement to the whole show. It was Hamilton who out on a fight to take pole form Ricciardo on his final pole lap by just 0.300 seconds. Sunday had a totally different feeling about it. I watched the whole race with same excitement; form lights out to Rosberg’s victory.
But this weekend I did not have same feeling. In fact I skipped qualifying and watch only first 30 laps of the race. The reason for this pretty obvious in my case. It was widely known that the race will be divided into 2 groups. Mercedes and rest of the pack. This all started last year. Even though Red bull and Williams were able to get good results in some qualifying sessions Mercedes was only defeated in race if there was a problem with the car. That dominance was carried on by Mercedes in winter testing too which made it easily predictable that 2015 is again the season of Silver Arrow.
Although biggest highlight of 2014 for me was Alonso’s switch to McLaren which got me excited about the new era of McLaren-Honda and a possible 2016 title fight by him. Useless to day it all went in dust after terrible testing results by McLaren-Honda and Alonso’s mysterious crash in Barcelona. I have no hope left in new era of 8 times constructor champion team. It was a very strange feeling to see Jenson Button as back marker In that Honda powered McLaren and at the same time both Sauber drivers taking points in Ferrari powered car.
I had an argument with a friend last year who is not into Formula 1 about driver’s ability in this motorsport. His argument was that ‘It is 90% about the car and only 10% about the driver. All a driver has to do is put his right foot down and look in side mirrors’. I did not agree with him but as this season started and the first race unfolded, I’ve been thinking that maybe he is right. Maybe with all the new regulation changes, predictable last half of 2014 season, 16 year old Max Verstappen taking wheel and boring Australian GP 2015 it not about driver’s skill anymore but the car a team gives to him. Are these cars becoming more and more easy to drive by every other season?
Has FIA gone too far with their regulation changes since we’ve seen Red Bull threaten to exit F1 because of these engine regulations?
And if so, Is Formula 1 heading towards a slow and painful death?