Technical Draft: They have killed technical innovation in our sport

2022 F1 Car Silverstone Grid technical

Adelaide, it conjures memories of green parklands, very warms days in excess of 30 degrees, the smell of jungle juice and the scream of a 3.5 litre V12 Honda RA122E on full legal traction control, right?

If only!

Today on my piece of our wonderful globe I remain locked up at home on the second day of a weeklong compulsory and blanket lock down due to the COVID-19 delta variant on a day that has barely reached 7°C ambient outside and the rain has not ceased since I arose at some ungodly but ever increasingly earlier hour.

Didn’t Formula 1 bring COVID into Australia in the first place back in March 2020, anyway?

And before anyone asks the obvious, no, I am not working from home.

You see, in South Australia, apparently, we have been in such a blessed (no Hamilton pun intended) position that forward planning such as having remote server access for me set up in advance as a contingency was not warranted.

The resultant action being me sitting here in an abnormally dark and heated room transcribing my thoughts to the GP247 community whilst on annual leave, however long that lasts for.

Graciously, in the background I am sustained by the wonderful Patricia Routledge performing as Mrs Bouquet, or is it Bucket, in a delightful re-run on the box of Keeping Up Appearances, Thanks To the Lord!

So, whilst I am unsure which is the digression, I return to F1.

It was with great anticipation that I tuned in to F1TV last week to watch the launch of the 2022 car, and I certainly was not disappointed.

Well, that is not quite the truth because as I sat there listening to Nikolas Tombazis answer questions about the future of innovation in F1 the reality smacked me in the face.

Do you remember my recent article demanding that technical innovation in F1 not be exterminated?

The crux of what Tombazis said was that technical innovation in F1 was no longer relevant and that F1 and the FIA want the innovative focus to be biofuel and finance from 2022 onwards.

My heart sank and I felt empty and numb.

Yes, that is right, one of the most highly regarded technical leaders in our sport, an ex-Chief Designer for the Scuderia, and one we trusted with ensuring our beloved sport stays true to the fundamentals on which it was founded has willingly had a hand in turning F1 into a pseudo single make clone series.

How can this happen?

Is it really valid for F1’s greatest mandate to now be sustainability, be it environmental or financial, at the expense of the very reasons the sport was founded on in the first place?

How can it be that F1 has now openly and strategically moved to a point where technical micro regulation will prohibit the pursuit of that competitive advantage that has always been so highly valued in the sports heritage?

Bernie is not a man that everyone likes, and his reign as the owner of F1’s commercial interests is not one that all celebrate, but regardless of how much money he took for himself, and contrary to some of the more bizarre ideas he had for the sport, he always kept the fundamentals on which the sport was founded true to the cause.

Now that F1 has the hands of a publicly floated global media company with shareholder returns to answer for around its neck, I fear the sport is choking and forgetting what it is and where it came from.

Technical Innovation in F1. 13 May 1950 – 31 December 2021. Rest In Peace. You will be dearly missed.