Sunday, 4 November 2007

A New Era Dawns

In a move that is sure to surprise almost no-one, Fernando Alonso and McLaren announce that they will not be together next year. The only real surprise was that it took this long for the press release to arrive.

So the guessing game begins, where exactly is Alonso going to end up next year? The guesses seem to include all the major teams, but the ones that strike me as funniest are Toyota and Honda.

Can you imagine the ex-world champions delight at being offered a drive at Toyota? "I can't drive there, they wouldn't win if they were actually running a Ferrari, but look at the size of the cheque!" A tricky decision indeed. Then again Honda isn't that much better. For some reason though I just can't imagine that Barrichello will just get dumped in the off season. At least I hope not, it seems poor reward for an entire career as a number 2 driver.

The FIA seem to be doing their usual job of trying to screw it up for everybody by removing small parts of the competition every few months. An engine freeze for 10 years seems at odds with the whole point of F1 to me. I always believed that F1 is a car building competition. The FIA seem to be forcing it towards being a one make race series. The annoying thing is that its the fans, desperate to see some overtaking, that have pushed it that way. Thats not to say that one make series are bad, some of them have fantastic races. They just aren't F1.

With all this intrigue I feel we are heading towards a new chapter in F1. Some of us, (yes I'm old enough) remember the days of Senna, Prost, Mansell et. al. with fondness. People speak as if there hasn't been any real racing since, which I believe is just plain wrong. I remember seeing some race long processions in those days, not to mention people winning by over 30 seconds. Boring grand prixs are not a modern invention. But in those days you still had some serious drama! There was a great feeling that despite the undoubted class of Senna he would have to go and fight to take the championships he so obviously deserved. And the fight wasn't going to be easy with the people he was up against. There was cheating, there was politics, there was fighting in the teams, there was danger. And now we get the whole same recipe being stirred up for us again.

There is the ex-world champ, kicked out of his team. The new kid on the block who could sweep all before him. The current world champion who will just be waiting to collect the win if others fumble it. Not to mention the new guys, that haven't really had a chance to prove themselves yet.

Things are looking up for the coming year, and I can't wait.

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