Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Thursday Thoughts - Cheeky changes // Focusing on some of the support races in an F1 weekend

Published by Christine

This week, the Thursday Thoughts question comes courtesy of Karun Chandhok's mother, who suggested this via Twitter.


chitrachandhok chitrachandhok

This continues on from the tweaks to our least favourite tracks last Thursday, but this time we are looking at F1 as a whole. I have a few ideas to brighten up a race weekend, starting with the support series'.

Your fancy pitlane exit doesn't look so clever now

At each track, there are various support races, depending on what is popular and local to each circuit. I find it quite hard to follow any support races, partly for that reason, and also because they are invariably not shown on the TV. I propose that we introduce a race for the truckies. They can guide their transporters around the track, and even take part in a quick pit stop. I say quick, it is likely to take more than a few seconds. We'd get to know some of the team members outside of the drivers and engineers, and they could hold their own championship with points given for winning and perhaps for not tipping over.

There are some tracks this wouldn't work on. I can't imagine big lorries handling the Monaco hairpin particularly well, and the pit lane exit in Abu Dhabi would cause a few issues as well. There's the crossover bit at Suzuka that may be a bit problematic. I possibly haven't thought this through completely.

Call that a formation lap?

With that race out the way, it would be time for F1 to take to the track (goodness knows how the grip would be affected after a load of transporters had been screaming round corners). One of my favourite bits of the weekend is when the grid is cleared and the cars pull away for their formation lap. The mechanics have a limited amount of time to get back to the pitlane and their respective garages, so you often see them running.

I reckon we should move the gaps back to the pitlane between the mechanics going in, and them having to come back out again. They would have to run, run, run to the side of the track, and then spend a minute or two locating the exit, before more running. This should be given more screen time, as no one cares about a formation lap, unless someone is doing something silly like crashing out in it.

There could even be a bonus point for the team who get their mechanic back to the garages first.

We won't get foiled again

Talking of points, winning a race gets a driver a lot of points these days. They get to go up on the podium, with the second and third place guys, drink champagne, and shake hands with some very important people. Occasionally, when it's a very special occasion, you'll find there will be champagne spraying, and lots of that glittery paper stuff flying up in the air as well. Sometimes it gets stuck in people's hair and faces, and it's all quite distracting.

Fernando Alonso wears some unusual headgear whilst celebrating in 2005
Fernando Alonso wears some unusual headgear whilst celebrating in 2005Credit: Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic

What I would like is if that glittery paper was actually part of some kind of Crystal Dome competition. The three winners could show just how fit they are by entering the dome after a full race distance, and whoever manages to collect the most gold bits of paper could be the winner of the race. They could collect the gold in their trophy cups - ensuring that the trophies are both sensible, and actually have a point.

If there could be a little bit of Richard O'Brien standing around making sarcastic comments, as well, that would be about perfect. Actually, no, if there was a Travelator up to the podium that leads to the Crystal Dome, then you've got the best of all worlds.

Those are just a couple of tweaks that I would make to an F1 weekend, and I know they would be very popular with me, but probably not with anyone actually in the paddock or taking part in races. Oh well. I can't wait to hear what you've come up with.