About time too.
Being the avid motor racing fan that I am, you’d think I would be one of these people that tells you that Formula 1 Grand Prix are the best they have ever been and that we’ve never had it so good. The truth is really quite the opposite, and for the past 10 years or so, it has slipped into a decline of “Schumacher gets pole, Schumacher leads race, Schumacher wins race.”
Now, some people (mostly German accountants) will argue that this is because Michael Schumacher is the best driver Formula 1 has ever seen. I feel differently, in that I think the reason he was always winning was because no one else was even slightly close to the calibre of older more experienced drivers. Think back to the days of the mid eighties, where you had the ongoing battles of Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, and Nelson Piquet. Every race had a different winner, with some truly momentous battles between 2, 3 or even all four of these drivers. Who can forget the delightful coming together of Prost and Senna in 1988 the last bend of the last lap, and both losing first and second place?
Well this year the FIA have decided to change the rules considerably. They have now made it illegal to change the tyres anywhere in the race, unless in exceptional circumstances. They have also changed the amount of downforce by reducing the size of wings and adding a large ‘diffuser’ to the back end of the car. And most importantly, they have made it compulsory for an engine to last 2 races. The drivers have to nurse the car more, something Schumacher’s never needed to do, and this has shown in the overall results.
I found myself a fortnight ago, unable to sleep, and so I stayed up to watch the race. Admittedly I looked like Keith Richards for the next few days, but I was so enthralled by the race that I couldn’t actually fall asleep. I thought this was a one off, but again I stayed up late last night, and when I awoke at 6:52 this morning, and realised I was awake enough to watch the grand prix live, I put on the telly. I was not disappointed.
A battle for third place causing a car to get airborne. A blow out leading to a car driving almost an entire lap on 3 wheels, and then continuing in the race to finish in ninth place. Promising drivers on the podium.
And Michael Schumacher looking old, dejected, and quite frankly the crap loser he really is walking away with seventh place.
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