Well this is going to be a tiny update, mostly because all the news coming out of F1 right now is tiny. On a side note, this blog was not intended to become mostly about F1, but seeing as how I really like the sport, that is what I am focusing on for now. Anyway. First up for this update is a little blub about shorter races. It seems that in an effort to cut costs, the FIA may be prepared to shorten the length of the races. In essence, this would take the normal F1 race and turn it into what the GP2 series does, which is have a sprint race. With 15 or so laps lopped off the tail of the race, this would take the strategy of the teams to a whole new level and really turn the racing on its head. Even Felipe Massa has been reported as saying that nothing really happens in the last 15 laps of the race anyway. Uh huh. Maybe Felipe is forgetting about Brazil, Hungary, Spa and Singapore, just to name a few races out of the year. Whatever is done in the future however, lopping 15 laps off the race won’t be that big of a difference in my opinion, considering that the teams will still burn fuel and tires and use their money in other places. The only thing that less racing does (in my opinion anyway) is take away from the racing that spectators pay for.
The second bit of news coming from the F1 world is that the FIA has told USF1 to change its name. Apparently F1 cannot be used (unless you are WilliamsF1) and so the name of the team is going to become, at least for now, USGPE, which is stupid. It stands for United States Grand Prix Engineering and rolls off the tongue like a cold metal pole – that is to say that it doesn’t. Imagine asking someone who they root for in F1.
“Who do you root for in F1?”
“Oh yeah I’ve heard of them.”
Simple right? Now try this.
“Oh, you like F1? Who do you root for?”
“I really like U.S.G.P.E.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Oh it’s that new team from the US and it stands for United States….”
“Yeah I don’t care anymore because I like McLaren.”
BOOM! Shot down because the name is way too long. I mean take a look at the paddock now. Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes, Renault, Toyota, Force India, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams, BMW, and Brackley. Now you want to add United States Grand Prix Engineering? Please USF1; go with a good name that is easy to say so that you don’t need to be constantly telling everyone what the acronym stands for. That’s just like me telling people that I like MST3K and then having to tell everyone what that stands for. It makes people look like geeks for knowing and really turns other people off when you start to tell them. It’s stupid. Either the FIA needs to loosen it’s strangle hold on a letter and a number, or the team needs to come up with something better than USGPE.
Finally – dark horses. Every year there are a few teams in testing that start to really shine and surprise a lot of people. Of course the two big names are going to be at the top (most likely), but of the fastest teams in testing so far, Toyota, Renault and Red Bull seem to be doing the best of the “not quite up there with the two big teams yet” runners. What does this mean? Well, actually it means nothing until we get to Melbourne. Sorry for the let down, but it is nice to see that Toyota may finally be on to something after spending umpteen gazillions of dollars on their F1 program to this point (though early on much of that money went to a lesser Schumacher – sorry Ralf but you know it’s true).
And as a final, final note, Renault has come out and threatened to quit F1 if they do not see more of the revenue sharing money that is split between the teams. Good for them I say. Take that Bernie. And in case you were wondering what Mr. Ecclestone’s response to this news was, it happened to be, “I’m surprised [Patrick Pelata] would come out and say something like that. We’ve got an agreement with the teams until 2013 and we’ll stick with that.” Not, ‘oh we’ll talk about it and see what is up,’ just a complete dismissal as if he is the god of all that is F1. A question Bernie: Where will your F1 empire be when you finally realize that the teams don’t want to put up with your ways anymore and leave? I’ll leave that as it is for this week and try to keep tabs on this story…seems like it might come to a head sooner, rather than later.