You are here’s guide to fixing Formula One

  1. F1’s summer season kicks of this weekend in Barcelona, bringing with it the seasonal dilemma of what to do with your Sunday afternoon.

    Pub? Chores? In-laws? Nah… you’ll be in front of the telly this Sunday and every Sunday after that. And to slide you in to the habit, the whole weekend is live on the BBC. The race in Monaco in a fortnight is only on Sky.

    Lewis Hamilton was quickest in first practice this morning, fastest by almost a second from - surprise - Jenson Button and Daniel Ricciardo. Both McLaren and Red Bull have brought updates to Spain, but Lewey’s form (a small grouch about rear tyre-wear aside) suggests Mercedes will again be the team to beat, as they have in the four races that made up F1’s 2014 prologue.

    But is it the prospect of Hamilton doing a Vettel, or is it the noise thing that’s sent has F1 in some kind of existential funk? We’re told the sport’s own ‘Jedi Council’ got together after the race in China to discuss ways of ‘improving the show’, with suggestions apparently including ‘megaphone’ exhausts (Merc will test one next week), titanium skid plates and vortex-generators.

    Hmmmm. Small wonder an amusing conversation ensued on Twitter with alternative ideas, the best of which was ‘musical pit stops’: cars all have to enter the pits when the music stops and find a garage - any garage - to change tyres. For each stop, of course, there’s one too few garages available.

    You might want to use the space below for your own less-than-serious suggestions. Here, however, are’s rather more serious remedies for the sport we love.

  2. Ditch the new circuits

    It’s easy to forget that in Bahrain, just two races ago, we witnessed one of the very best F1 races in a long time. Why have we forgotten? Because it was held in a car park in a desert. Holding the race under floodlights made no difference. The best film you ever saw would leave you cold in an empty cinema. Races need spectators. As we said at the time, imagine if Hamilton and Rosberg raced like that at Monza.

  3. Make it an energy formula

    Crowds at the WEC races held at Silverstone and Spa have been considerably bigger than last year. Fans are engaging in what might be a complex formula, but yet one that has produced three pretty-evenly matched cars of wildly different specifications - the Audi, Porsche and Toyota. When turbos were first introduced to F1, blown V6, V8 and in-line fours raced against V8s flat-12s and V12s. Be great to see that again, wouldn’t it?

  4. Limit paddock space

    Petty it seems, but the battle as to who can have the biggest ‘brand centre’ (otherwise known as a motorhome) feels like a metaphor for all that’s wrong with F1. When good drivers get left at the paddock entrance so wealthy drivers can subsidise the budgets that pay for these blingy eyesores, you have to question whether F1’s managers haven’t got their priorities arse-about-face.

  5. Let drivers wear what they want

    Is it any wonder we miss James Hunt so much, when the teams go out of their way to squash the personalities of the drivers? Outside of the car, drivers should not be allowed to wear team gear, and even when they’re driving they should be able to choose their own design of flameproofs.

  6. Smaller wings, front and rear

    Old F1 cars had smaller wings. Less effective aerodynamic packages slide more, race closer and generally look more spectacular. They also travelled, relatively speaking, faster in a straight line. All this made for better racing. Surely the FIA can find someone as clever as Adrian Newey to draft regulations that would dramatically reduce downforce? If it can’t, it should hire Newey.

  7. Let the teams sell customer cars

    The good teams, that is. Let’s face it, Caterham and Marussia are never going to get there. The US-based Haas team will be no better. Why not let them buy a Ferrari or a McLaren? Ferrari raced Lancias in 1956 and Ron Dennis’ Project Four Racing ran Ralts and Marches in F3 and F2 before being handed McLaren by Marlboro. Honestly, would you rather look at that Caterham than an old NART-liveried Ferrari?

  8. And on the subject of liveries...

    Teams should register their own colours and be obliged to race in variations of them, regardless of sponsorship requirements. This isn’t as silly as it sounds: Ferrari, the most famous team in F1 is the only one with its own ID. In the past, the Scuderia has obliged brands like FedEx to alter their own corporate ID if they wanted space on the car. With sponsors rotating ever more quickly, F1 teams risk losing their identity.

  9. A better day out

    There are fewer supporting races on the bill at an F1 race and those that are - GP2, GP3, Porsche Supercup - are F1 MiniMes. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Bernie was looking at a historics series. This would be good, if maybe a little embarrassing for the main event, but we need more and we need to see the F1 drivers compete, as they did in the BMW M1 Procars.

  10. Funding for new drivers, new teams

    F1 makes a few people very rich indeed. Eddie Jordan’s just taken delivery of a £32 million yacht. We’re not coming over all redistributionist here, but maybe, if F1’s team bosses really do want to improve the show, this could be something to look at? 

What do you think?

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