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Here’s How You Would Fix Formula 1

Answers ranged from soft to medium to hard.
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If Formula 1 is boring, the discussion about improving it is anything but. We asked this week how you would fix F1, and the answers ranged from “it’s not broken” to “get rid of everything.” Admittedly, I didn’t expect such an overwhelming response from readers; clearly, we have ideas about what’s going on with F1 and how to address it. 

Let’s recap yours. 

Simplify and add fewer rules

Michael Alexander’s thoughtful analysis was great. I highly encourage everyone to read it. It’s possible to view other F1 eras with rose-tinted glasses, and while I disagree that some years had better on-track action than others, I do agree that a bevy of rules has made the learning curve too steep for some. Simply put, there are too many rules for casual fans to understand what’s going on, why, and what happens next. Esteban Ocon’s trifecta of penalties at Sakhir is a perfect example. 

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Electrification isn’t the answer

Superduty jumped in with an idea I haven’t heard of yet: drop the hybrid powertrains, go ICE-only using e-fuels, and reduce complexity and weight. I’m not sure that’ll happen, but it’s an interesting thought. The current hybrid era has evolved throughout the last decade to include now a dizzying powertrain unit that includes ICE, ERS, MGU-K, MGU-H, and more. Those major items don’t usually last entire seasons and are replaced at intervals or at strategic races where penalties get involved.

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Fire the tires

Multiple people, including ToyotaMontana and Mike Beranek, mentioned tires as a problem, but not everyone agreed on how to fix them. Clearly, the rate of degradation on tires today isn’t enough or too much. While some argued that the tires should be durable for an entire race, others said the wear wasn’t quick enough. (Oldmaninsaline’s recommendation for treaded tires all the time is perfect.)

Just wing it

Aero came up more than a few times, whether by removing some components to help the cars follow more closely or scrapping the regulations completely and letting teams figure out how to design cars. PatrickH suggested removing wings entirely, which could push the top speed up to 230 mph or faster—or just create 20 or so gliders. Others suggested a single rear wing—no DRS—and simplified front wings. Or, go whole hog like Sean Gallagher and bring back fan cars. Why not? 

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