Technical Draft: Do you want racing or contrived competition?


Here in Adelaide, South Australia, we are in the first day of an automatic blanket seven-day COVID-19 lockdown.

I know that in this day a COVID-19 lockdown might seem to be a thing of the past, something that we have well and truly progressed beyond, but Australia is indeed quite unique from the perspective that it is a sparsely populated isolated island nation, and sovereign border policies need to be treated with that as a priority.

Ever since Red Bull Racing seemingly ascended to the apex of current Formula 1 performance over Mercedes since Baku my opinion has been sought on the reasons behind RBR’s performance curve slope and the current and potential strategies both parties might execute in their pursuance of both the championships that are at play.

Contrary to my recent torrent of centric F1 ramblings, I had deliberately taken a self-imposed hiatus from contributing to the GP247 narration in the aftermath of the recent triple header because I did not want to be perceived as obnoxiously authoritative and patronising on contemporary F1 issues of which most are not entirely objective.

And yet, in the aftermath of this Sundays 2021 British Grand Prix, my reluctance compounded. However, I am bored.

As many of you know, I have served a laborious and fulfilling apprenticeship in motorsport, the interest that we all seem to have such a passion for.

Having experienced the agony and ecstasy that F1 can provide over the last 35 years (please do not make me feel old), my sole observation on the last two months is that everything that has happened has certainly been in the very spirit of motorsport.

Established performance dominance being challenged, controlled or discretionary material failure, driver error and sporting transgression, they have always been issues needing regulative attention.

Whether the context of an issue has been technical or sporting, the consequence must always be relative to the degree of malicious and /or pre-meditated intent, and the consequential determination must always be based on such undisputable data that any reasonable element of doubt has been eliminated.

This is what the very essence of the FIA Race Director/Race Steward System is based on.

In every instance in recent history, be it technical or sporting, the FIA has always been provided with such adequate data that has resulted in the decision being handed down being nothing but rational.

F1 is a highly technical and dynamic sport, and as a result, the determination of the sporting aspects must always be treated in with the utmost objectivity possible.

At the highest level there are going to be issues that even the greatest team principals, engineers, drivers, ex-drivers, media pundits or fans will not be able to definitively apportion full responsibility for, and as F1 aficionados, we need to accept that.

The sport is never going to be binary in its disciplinary perception.

It is no secret that the biggest criticism of contemporary F1 has been a perceived lack of wheel-to-wheel close competition.

If that indeed is what the F1 community truly wishes for, then in light of the 2022 technical regulations and the absence of malicious intent, racing incidents are what need to truly be accepted as the norm, by the drivers, by the teams, by the media, and most importantly by the fans.

That is my opinion.