Fast cars. Massive crowds. The pungent odour of diesel. It can only be one thing: Formula One.
F1 is considered the epitome of motor racing, where drivers go round in endless circles in the hope of one-upping each other – all so that they get a metal showpiece that they can reminisce about a few decades later with their children and grandchildren. At least, that’s how the average person sees it.
For the avid fans of Formula One amongst us there is so much more to the sport: pre-season development, changes in team management, qualifying sessions, pit wall strategy. On race weekends and even the off-season (the period between the end of the one season and the start of the next, usually the winter months), these terms smother online forums and are on the tips of tongues of every fan.
Yet, in the case of the final race of the 2021 season, no one was spared from the implications. The same dense fog of controversy continues to enshroud the sport.
A Championship Formula
Whilst Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ultimately came out on top in the championship title, a title that both he and Hamilton richly deserved, the circumstances in which he won were criticised by many.
Many claimed that the race director Michael Masi had used rules differently in each race. Thus, he did not apply them consistently throughout the season. This led to great anger among many Hamilton fans who adamently claim he was “robbed”.
The off-season that we are currently going through has been filled with great drama and speculation by the F1 community. Starting with the Hamilton-Verstappen saga, there is now the possibility of Hamilton exiting the sport and not pushing to break his and Schumacher’s joint title record.
There have also been developments in other teams, with management in the Aston Martin and Alpine camps playing musical chairs. Furthermore, Alain Prost, the 4-time world champion, departed Alpine. Tensions already rose when the team rebranded away from Renault. Prost had previously opposed this quote vocally.
There is a great deal to look forward to in the upcoming season, a humorous favourite of many being Haas’ claim that they’ve been preparing for the 2022 car since 1950 – this being the year of the first ever Grand Prix.
Formula One and the Environment
On a more serious note, there are many environmental critics now pushing for greater fuel efficiency in the sport which is associated with fossil fuels, combustion and harmful emissions. What many don’t know is that the racing from one F1 season emits less CO2 than one flight from London Heathrow to JFK airport in New York.
Racing Into the Future
There are also new regulations inbound for the 2022 season with improved car designs that feature differently shaped front and rear wings and are expected to increase the speed and safety of these cars. Many of these cars are expected to be revealed in February with some teams still yet to announce reveal dates.
Even if we remain uncertain about the future of Formula One, the progress of many teams and adjustments to regulations makes one thing certain; we’ve got some serious championship title battles on our hands in years to come.