Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

FOTA submit future proposals // Wind tunnels, points systems and accessibility

Published by Christine

At a crowded press conference in Geneva today, FOTA presented their idea of the future for F1. There was a raft of possibilities, that will now go to the WMSC to be agreed on, or not as the case may be. Whilst there was nothing extraordinary, there were a couple of surprises.

Wind tunnel

BMW Wind Tunnel Fan

When Frank Williams first mentioned he was unhappy with some of the FOTA decisions regarding wind tunnel useage, we thought this was the first crack in what was going to be an inevitable break up of the teams. They just aren't capable of all agreeing on things. Except, they are. The association have obviously heard what Frank was saying, and paid attention. They've suggested a limit on wind tunnel and CFD testing, but to make it fair for those who have already invested, you can use either, as long as you don't exceed the maximum. This seems to be an acceptable compromise, but are the two methods comparable?

Points

Completely ignoring Bernie's medal idea, FOTA have proposed the points for the top three finishers is increased, to try and encourage overtaking. From 10-8-6, they suggest it be moved up to 12-9-7, with the rest working from 5 backwards as usual. Is this really enough to get a driver challenging for position? Is the points system really the place to make this happen? Either way, we should really just be grateful that they are numbers and not medals.

One of the most surprising ideas to come from the announcement is the idea of offering points for the fastest pit stop. A constructors point could be on offer for the team with the slickest mechanics. I can understand the idea behind this, but it seems like a bizarre offering. Considering the ban on refuelling seems to be discouraging pit stops, this would make them an integral part of the race weekend.

Accessibility

The teams are starting to realise that we want to know more about what is happening during the race, and get better access to the teams throughout the weekend. For a start, they suggest presenting their race fuel loads, tyre choices and pit stop data to the public as the race is going on. FOTA also want to engage with fans more, referencing tennis and cricket as good examples of informative coverage. They also propose mandatory driver autograph sessions, and a team spokesperson available for the media to contact during a race. We saw this at a couple of races last year, where the TV/radio stations had access to someone on the pit wall. It was definitely an addition to be encouraged.

Of course, these are simply proposals at the moment, and the full statement is available to read here. The FIA have final say on all the above, so who knows what will become fact. However, presenting a commitment to make the sport better for the fans and encourage overtaking, whilst still remaining unanimous and in agreement is a step in the right direction for FOTA.