F1 Straight Talk: Risk vs. Reward (Pt.2 An overtaking revolution is needed)

This week, Straight Talk looks at the Risk vs. Reward involved in on-track action and Matt Ashman proposes a drastic change to combat current issues. Do you agree?

by Matt Ashman

(Image source: Anyul Rivas)

Formula 1 is, and has been for most of its history, a percentage game. More often than not, teams try to achieve their aims by plotting the lowest-risk strategy they can get away with, even if that approach means instructing their driver to perform conservatively. Why risk pushing your car at ten-tenths when you can win at seven-tenths?

The dichotomy is that the engineers and strategists in the teams don’t want excitement, drama and unpredictability (risk) because such variables play havoc with their computer algorithms, but fans who have paid a king’s ransom for a perch in the grandstands are there to be entertained (reward). It is frustrating, but you can’t blame the teams for doing their jobs. 

Each wave of technical changes promises much but delivers little – the current hybrid cars are fairly entertaining (despite sounding like canned farts) but do little to resolve F1’s core issue.

The driver with the fastest car in qualifying is likely to win. There are no additional points for driving spectacularly or overtaking the most cars – but, in my view, there should be.

Here’s my points-scoring idea for how F1 can reward its hard-chargers, inject additional excitement into the races and encourage teams to adjust their strategies. 

Bear with me.

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Matt Ashman