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A learning experience

NEWS STORY
19/03/2016

As children, our parents responsibility was to provide us with the tools with which to lead a successful life. Our parents were there with a steady hand to guide us, subtly, though the trials and tribulations that face a young life; helping us tie our shoes, dropping us off at football practice, washing our mouths out with soap when we learned a new word. That is only part of a parent's job. The easy part. The hard part is letting children make their own mistakes.

In qualifying, Formula One made a mistake of running with scissors proportions. As so many in the sport stood back the sport missed a step and fell flat on its face, all while under the gaze of the watching world.

The new qualifying format was farcical. From the moment it was announced it was painfully clear to see that teams would not run if they were satisfied with their position.

That was for two reasons. Firstly, if they were satisfied there would be no need to attempt to improve, especially when the cars behind have been eliminated. Secondly there is no incentive to chase as it burns tyres.

The new format encourages increased use of tyres. When forced to make a decision teams will almost always opt to protect their rubber for the race at the sacrifice of qualifying, knowing full well that an extra tenth over a single lap on Saturday counts for nothing if you run out of grip on lap 3 on Sunday.

Of course on top of that is the wear and tear on the gearbox and engine, and while it may be comparatively minimal (certainly if you've something as seemingly bulletproof as the Mercedes) it's a factor that would be weighed in. Risk versus reward.

And this new system has come at the expense of a format that was popular, that had proved itself successful and was already complicated enough, thank you very much.

What we had fit the television format, it told a story as it progressed and had predictable and meaningful breaks as if chapters in a book. The tempo was good and it all culminated in a satisfying result in which the fastest was challenged for his mantle.

There was no need to change it. The spectacle has not been spiced up because of it. If anything there's less interest because the intrigue of the final moments of qualifying simply didn't exist. Nor does it look likely to exist.

The guardians of Formula One have today allowed the sport to make a mistake. It's now their responsibility to pick it up, dust it off and make sure it learns from the sordid situation.

Mat Coch

Check out our Saturday gallery, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by cricketpo, 20/03/2016 1:48

"Today was a real shame. To show the sport up like it did was un forgiveable. Shame on them"

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2. Posted by NVexplorer, 19/03/2016 22:52

"I am afraid that F1 is slipping into the realm of fantasyland, being lead by idiots, rather than fairies. That was a farce, and most drivers were afraid to even say they disagreed with the proposal, before and after the race, not that they were actually asked. I know that the drivers are incredibly brave, but they seem spineless at times. If I had been at the track as a spectator, I would still be booing!"

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3. Posted by Tweek, 19/03/2016 19:06

"During practice 2 the American pit correspondent bragged about power unit efficiency. He proudly proclaimed that a modern f1 car has more thermal efficiency than a Prius...... A large part of my soul died........ Will Buxton, I hope you read this. "

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4. Posted by Ro, 19/03/2016 16:32

"Watching qualifying made me wish there was a driver like Mansell or Graham Hill who were never shy of speaking their minds. "crap" and "shite" would be used quite often by them, Im sure ! Its a pity that today's drivers are gagged."

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5. Posted by Accomac, 19/03/2016 15:59

"I waited all this time for the start of F-1...only to find yet another " answer to a question that no one asked !" What a boring stupid way to qualify, 3 mins left and no cars on the track. Brilliant, who was the genius that thought this was a good idea? I won't ever watch qualifying again on TV let alone ever go to an F-1 event. You took away the larger engines, the cars sound like lawnmowers, you made them hybrid and now this! I thought this was the highest level of motorsports, not the old " Mobilgas Economy Run" from the 1950's. Keep it up and you'll be losing fans right and left and I'll be one of them!"

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6. Posted by F One, 19/03/2016 14:04

"Yes the new quali failed miserably. Still wish they'd go back to 1 hour and 12 laps. I still think that any kind of knock out is horribly contrived."

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