Today was a great day for motorsport fans. The Malaysian GP was on BBC followed by several hours of BTCC and various support races (Carrera Cup, Formula Renault, Ginetta, and Clios, to name a few) on ITV4.
I've been following a discussion on Twitter between several fans of F1 about the ban on refuelling and how this has made F1 boring. It got me thinking about how BTCC could teach F1 some lessons and garner excitement without reintroducing refuelling.
BTCC and support races do not have refuelling. In fact, cars do not need to pit at all during the race, unless they have a puncture or mechanical fault. Of course, races last for about 20 laps, so the cars should easily manage their tyres for that distance.
Also, in BTCC, there are 3 races every weekend. The finishing order determines the next race's starting line up. However, after the second race the top 10 finishers are reversed at a random point. For example, today, the top 9 were reversed, so the driver finishing 9th in the previous race started in pole position in the last race.
So, here are my ideas.
First, the FIA brings in a "no pit stops required" rule. The tyre manufacturer brings every driver a set number of tyres as usual. It's up to the team to decide which compound they use and think they can make last all race. If they can't make them last, they have to pit. So we would see drivers looking after their tyres so they don't have to pit versus those who can't manage them as well pitting once or twice, who could still win because they are on fresh rubber and might set the best times.
Second, the races could be shortened to 25 laps each and two could be run on a Sunday. The second race could be run with the top 10 finishers starting in reverse order, so the incentive to overtake would be very prevalent.
Personally, I enjoyed today's Grand Prix. Although the Malaysian rain did not come, we saw overtaking manouvres, from the McLarens and Ferraris who started at the back, and several scraps in the middle order (Jaime Algersuari featuring as usual!).
However, I do think sometimes that F1 races are too long, and we see a lot of passing manouvres at the beginning and towards the end of races. Shorter races would give drivers the incentive to pass for position quickly, and if a second race were run in reverse order, there would definitely be a lot of scrapping to get into the top 10.
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