Friday, August 12, 2011

Disillusioned...but not for that long

Over the past year plus I grew disillusioned with the path that the sport was taking. However, I continued to watch and follow the sport. What can I say, racing is like a drug. I grew further pushed away as the rules for 2011 came into force and I thought F1 has lost its true meaning; but again I can not completely get away.

As we are currently in the summer break before F1 goes to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit little more than 2 weeks away, I must stop denying the reality. F1 has been pretty entertaining this year even with the domination of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

The 3 biggest changes in the sport were:

1. The addition of Pirelli as the sole tire supplier in F1 replacing the bulletproof Bridgestone product.
2. Drag Reduction System or DRS, an adjustable wing flap system that reduces drag, increases straight line speed and encourages overtaking.
3. Reuse of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems or KERS. A system in which energy is recovered during braking and stored. Think of regenerative braking that you might find on a Toyota Prius.

I always like the KERS system but poorly implemented by the FIA, I was in different to Pirelli, and thought DRS was heresy. Well, Pirelli did exactly what was asked of them by the FIA in producing a product that would wear out and have bigger difference between tire compound and DRS has allowed drivers to be in a better position to overtake, although there is room for improvement on implementation. For example, multiple DRS use zones.

These changes have allowed for more overtaking opportunities ( hence more excitement. Although I still bristle a bit at the changes F1 has made in the past few years there is no denying that it is a better viewing product.

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