Clip The Apex
The terrible accident at Suzuka has lead to many a discussion about what safety should be put onto the car. However, in the wake of Charlie Whiting's portrayal of the Race Control reaction as textbook, is it now time to consider what could become of the F1 textbook for future races?
It seems that it is absolutely vital that heavy machinery should not be allowed out onto the track without the drivers slowing down to a long way below race speed. It seems F1 is to experiment with the virtual Safety Car for a section, which is absolutely fantastic.
However, I don't believe I am the only one disenchanted with the Safety Car rules. The necessity for lapped runners to overtake the leaders then practically join up with the back of the field extends Safety Car periods unnecessarily, and is open to abuse as lapped Nick Heidfeld proved in Monaco 2008 by supporting team-mate Kubica's attempt to hold onto second place by failing to overtake. It can provide a 10 minute wait - and all of those laps coming off the race count.
One idea I have is to bin the idea of a Safety Car period. If the virtual Safety Car/slow zone procedure is successful, then it is less likely that the Safety Car is deployed. Anything too serious for the slow zone should thus be covered by a red flag.
There are many famous names in F1, some of these names appear throughout multiple generations which has got me thinking, does the ability to race in F1 come down to genetics?
The first names that spring to mind are usually the ones where the children emulate the success of their Father, Hill, Villeneuve & potentially Rosberg. All sons of champions & legends in the sport.
Damon & Jacques had their greatest success with a hugely dominating car but have shown that having a winning father meant the racing instinct was passed down through the genes. Rosberg has the speed but again he is driving a dominant machine only time will tell if he was a born racer or just lucky enough to have a father who both had the funds and the connections to make sure Nico got the opportunity to compete with the best.
For the argument against genetics three names spring instantly to mind. Brabham, Piquet & Senna, all multiple World Drivers Champions yet their offspring failed to make the cut when it came to F1, Ayrton Senna famously quoted "If you think I'm fast then you should see my nephew" Where that speed is? No one knows.
The less said about Piquet Jr the better.
Although David Brabham had considerable success away from Formula 1 his results in the top tier of motorsport showed he didn't have that little bit extra that a driver needs to be the best although a lot of that could be down to the machinery he was stuck with.
F1 is dangerous, maybe the reason we don't see more generational racers is that many parents don't want to see their children go through the same risks that they put themselves through for the sport they loved. Emilo de Villota isn't a household name but everyone knows his daughter Maria who died due to complications after crashing while testing an F1 car. Henry Surtees was on the way to follow in his grandfathers footsteps but died in a GP3 race. The latest tragedy is Jules Bianchi, currently fighting for his life after a horrific accident in Japan, racing is in his blood though with both his Grandfather & Great Uncle who both competed & won at the top of their fields.
In light of Mercedes season long domination as a constructor I thought it would be interesting to look back at every constructors title since its inception in 1958 a run some numbers.
Given the different scoring systems used in F1 and the different ways that the constructors championship has been calculated, I though the best method of general comparison was to calculate the percentage of points of the champions total scored by the second placed team.
Especially in view of the last 14 or so years containing many seasons which have been dominated by a single team, over all the results were quite interesting.
I have used the official results after any dropped points if they were used to calculate the championship. The result for 07 is as published i.e. with BMW in second.
The constructors championship has been calculated using 3 main methods. Firstly, from 58 until 67 only the best car finish was used to accumulate points and only a percentage (normally 5 or 6 out of the total) of the races per season counted. From 68 until 78, still only 1 car could score but the season was split in to two halves and the worst result from each half was dropped. Finally from 79 onward both cars scored points and there were no dropped races or results.
To that end, the top 10 most dominant seasons for a winning team were as follows:
1988 - 32% (Winners - McLaren)
1984 - 40% (Winners - McLaren)
1996 - 40% (Winners - Williams)
2002 - 42% (Winners - Ferrari)
2004 - 45% (Winners - Ferrari)
1971 - 49% (Winners - Tyrrell)
2007 - 49% (Winners - Ferrari)
1993 - 50% (Winners - Williams)
1989 - 53% (Winners - McLaren)
1980 - 55% (Winners - Williams)
1987 - 55% (Winners - Williams)
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