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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

windsor's wisdom


for those who doesn't have much knowledge in f1, i think it'll be great to read commentaries from an insider of the business. it really does put things into perspective, when you see how the experts see it.

peter windsor is the guy who asks the post race questions on tv. he's also f1 racing magainze's grand prix editor, and former williams team manager. here, i've picked out two questions he answered with unique insight and interesting point of view. for more windsor's wisdom, you can read it here.

We understand that the FIA has put a new rules proposal to the teams for next year, featuring a revamped weekend schedule, knock-out qualifying and the reintroduction of tyre changing, among other things. Are these good ideas, or is it time the FIA stopped tinkering with the ‘product’?

I think the time to stop tinkering with the product was about five years ago!

The problem with F1 is that everyone keeps talking about “the problem with F1”. What problem?

It is very simple: define the problem and produce a solution, but if the problem is vaguely masked, and a million different people are describing it (the problem) a different way, how possibly can you come up with a logical solution?

Take qualifying for example. What was wrong with the “old” system? Ayrton Senna liked it. Jim Clark liked it. Jackie Stewart liked it. It rewarded talent and speed and commitment.

They changed it, we are told, because TV directors could not be sure of capturing the actual pole lap in the closing seconds of qualifying.

That could have been easily solved by the use of interactive, on-board television.

The teams rejected this brilliant system and instead fell into a bottomless pit of changes and counter changes.

I know I am considered to be the only person who thinks like this – but there you are. I really do think it is as simple as that.

Bring back multi-lap qualifying on light fuel and run the whole thing interactively. Any team or TV network which does not support the finances should be expelled from F1.

As for tyres, I need a proper explanation of why we stopped changing them, and of what is precisely wrong with the current system, before I can offer any judgement.

On the face of it, I would say that the no-change rule has actually improved overtaking opportunities and is therefore working pretty well.

And before too many people suggest too many other “solutions” for things that are supposedly “wrong”, consider that F1 is still the world’s biggest sport.

It is bigger, in terms of annual turnover and audience, than the Olympics (which in my view have become too commercial by far) and that ridiculously boring game they call soccer.

I love F1 and I love progress. What I don’t like is change for the sake of change.
Who has been your driver of the year?
This is another thing I’ve never really understood. What does this mean?

I began asking myself this question in 1966, when, magically after winning the 1965 F1 World Championship and the Indy 500, Jim Clark in 1966 slipped to something like second or third in the Autocourse rankings. That was ridiculous.

Were Jim’s drives at Zandvoort and Brands Hatch in an under-powered Lotus worth anything less than his wins the previous year at the same circuits? Of course not. He was the same driver – perhaps a better driver, given the benefits of experience.

And so it is with Michael Schumacher. Is Michael a worse driver than he was in 2005? Definitely not – and anyone who thinks otherwise in my view has no understanding whatsoever of the art of driving.

On the contrary, you could argue that Michael again broke new ground this year.

Here he was, a seven-times world champion with nothing to prove, driving an uncompetitive car with as much speed and aggression as anyone on the grid.

Name another driver from the past with a similar record who showed the same enthusiasm for racing in the midfield this late in their career.

Of course Fernando drove brilliantly – as did Kimi – but their results are accurately reflected, I think, in the points standings.

If anything, then, accolades like “Driver of the Year” should include a sub-clause which says something like “Awarded to the driver who, for reasons beyond his direct control, has not been acknowledged by F1’s point system”.

I’m not trying to avoid the question here; I’m trying to clear up something that over the years has become a cliché.

Oh yes – and under these conditions my winner of the title (unquestionably) would be Michael Schumacher.
don't agree with him?

previous posts:
japan: japanese gp is the bomb
japan: rain creates havoc in japan
brazil: championship alonso's to take
spa: go back to driving school!
spa: kimi will win spa
mid-season: eddie's words of wisdom
monza: where will the pay drivers go?
monza: kimi will win monza
monza: coulthard speaks his mind
turkey: excellent new turkey experience
mid-season: greatest f1 driver
hungaro-ring: one more pole to go
hockenheim: the rain that never came
hockenheim: pessimism says it all for germany
mid-season: 2006 qualifying hopefuls
silverstone: renault vs mclaren
magny-cours: absolute beauty
indianapolis: michelin farce
indianapolis: indianapolis motor speedway
montreal: post-montreal notes
montreal: canadian gp preview
montreal: lopsided mirrors?
nurburgring: ferrari to make or break
monaco: f1 and star wars don't mix
barcelona: the era is all over
imola: from zero to hero
imola: f1 aero upgrades
bahrain: what a joke
sepang: bring out the new car!!
sepang: toyota f1 rev party
sepang: klcc sauber f1 street demo
melbourne: the wait is over!
pre-season: the viking
pre-season: nose job
pre-season: b.a.r. unveiled a goose
pre-season: sweet sauber
pre-season: evolution not revolution
pre-season: sauber ain't coming

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