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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Racing Drivers Race Drivers

With McLaren now apologising for communication errors contributing to their drivers battling for a place and Red Bull seeing the need to reassure the public that their drivers can still race despite their recent collision in Turkey- a question arises.

Is not the purpose of motor racing for drivers to race?  Under normal circumstances the closest racing is likely to be between drivers with exactly equal machinery.  Team orders are expressly not allowed.

Clearly the teams will always have an interest in maximising manufacturers points.  However the fact that each team has two drivers would be of no interest if they always followed each other in line like ducks in a row.

Motor racing excites as a competition between individuals.  The technology between teams is interesting but with increasing standardisation enforced by the rule makers, the days when a fascinating innovation such as those often initiated by Lotus or Brabham are long gone.  Any variation is persecuted by other teams as a potential unfair advantage.  The diffuser controversy last year is a good example of this.

Now no team can turn up at a race with a new ground effects system, a rear mounted fan, twin front wheels or any other similarly exciting innovations from past years.  These innovations were once what made F1 such an interesting sport for those fascinated by mechanical engineering and design.

For these reasons racing between individuals must continue and the teams have acknowledged this with the caveat that neither driver should compromise the other.

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