The end of the Formula 1 empire?

LEFT: Evil Galactic Emperor and Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. RIGHT: Bernie Ecclestone, ex-F1 Chief Executive Bribe Taker (allegedly).

As you’ve no doubt heard, the once greatest of all motorsports and now greatest of all money-making processions has unceremoniously deposed its Emperor, belligerent and vaguely distasteful elf-in-charge, Bernie Ecclestone.

Rumours persist that blinding flashes of lightning and howling winds were experienced throughout the world’s tax-havens as the announcement was made. After spending 60 years telling anyone that would listen that it was they who were mistaken, about a great many things, Ecclestone was thrown down the metaphorical giant tube-thing by an American with a truly magnificent moustache.

For those of us that always saw potential in the ostensibly Evil Empire, and that long for the days of carefree and genuinely exciting racing under the previous Republic, this is fantastic news. Maybe now the vice-like grip that this galactic-level Scrooge McDuck held the sport in will be released, restoring order to the galaxy. Or at least to the curves of Imola.

Formula 1? Formula ZZZ more like…

What would the rebels among us like to see? Well, here’s an idea or two:

  1. Share. The. Money. It’s crazy that the distribution of wealth from this sport is so heavily weighted towards a few teams. Effectively, it makes it impossible to have a level playing field or for any small teams to break through. To anyone that says a sport needs the big teams to win to maintain interest, I refer thee to Leicester City in the noble art of British Ball Kicking. Minnows winning = More media interest than you can possibly imagine.
  2. Seriously, ditch the complications. The fastest thing in the galaxy is a hunk ‘o’ junk. Fast, fun racing doesn’t need to be this complicated. We need rules everyone can understand and that leave plenty of room for experimentation and technical innovation. Take Occam’s Razor to the rule book guys.
  3. Let the drivers be themselves. There are some genuinely interesting characters in Formula 1. There’s potential for some genuinely great rivalries, friendships and fallings-out. All things that contribute towards a fantastic spectacle (something F1 should be). At the moment, you get the feeling these guys are kept on a tighter leash than an angry gundark.
  4. Speeder bikes. I’m not kidding.

Of course, there’s always the vague concern that Ecclestone has actually been squirrelling away a few decades worth of (allegedly) ill-gotten gains in order to build some kind of moon-ish superweapon and wreak laser-y vengeance on all who irked him (women, poor people, anyone that hasn’t given him money). If millions of voices cry out in terror and suddenly fall silent, I guess we’ll have the answer. But at least we won’t have to endure another season of F1 where it’s almost impossible to stay awake through a race…

Hopefully, now F1 is under new management, the cars will be this close for more than 8 seconds per race.

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