A Formula 1 race is generally pretty dull at the best of times but the recent Red Bull / Sebastian Vettle period of domination has managed to drag the sport down to new levels of tediousness. The engineers in Milton Keynes have produced a car so superior to its rivals that the degree of influence individual drivers have on the outcome of a Grand Prix has become negligible. The machines have defeated the humans and earthly flesh and bone viewers are beginning to lose interest in the entire motorised spectacle. Acknowledging the growing feeling of ambivalence towards their world, the brains behind F1 got together last week and came up with a solution to keep their corporate sponsored cash cow grazing on.
You may think they would have looked at changing the qualifying process to combat the threat of races being over before they’ve even begun. Or perhaps they focused on the tracks themselves in an effort to provide an overtaking-friendly arena. Well, sadly you’d be wrong. What the powers that be have actually opted for is the motor racing equivalent of screaming “next goal the winner” at the end of a one-sided lunchtime kick-about: double points in the final race of the season.
Ridiculous but perhaps unsurprising when you consider that the head honcho running the show is 83 year old Bernie Ecclestone, a man who finds the mechanics of a simple revolving door absolutely baffling. Most sports have their fair share ageing corrupt inept men in positions of power (did someone say Sepp?) but what is most frightening about F1 is that Bernie doesn’t just run it, he effectively owns the entire circus.
The master stroke of announcing double points in the season finale was apparently conceived after consulting with the Budweiser guy who came up with added time multi-ball, Mario and Luigi, and the creators of Wacky Races. Other changes in the offing include: dropping banana skins to impede rivals, collecting coins to increase top speeds, and gaps in car floors to encourage Ant Hill Mob style getaway power boosts.