Bernie Ecclestone is at it again. Split Races for F1. The German Grand Prix in trouble. Singapore want to quit their race. Next he’ll be spouting a deal to race on the moon or in the middle of another oil rich country. Or offending women, other public interest groups or drivers.
Although it would be interesting so see how the aerodynamics work on the moon. Adrian Newey would find a way to master it.
But it is his idea of holding two shorter or split races for F1 which shouldn’t be dismissed outright.
Not that there should be split races for F1 in every event, but how many events a year do you wish something would happen in? Especially for loyal Australian fans who ruin the first half of Monday by attempting to stay up for the annual boring as f*** Bahrain Grand Prix. It is usually a Tilke designed track in a far flung place that don’t really care about F1.
And with more races coming, and at least three of them coming in the USA thanks to the owners, is less going to be more in the future. Or is more going to be less. Or does F1 need to consider having a better variety than the standard race length that every track except Monaco currently shares.
Whilst there are different lengths of track to alter the total time taken, like comparing Monza to Singapore, the format feels all same old, same old with little room for any major difference. The races tend to blur into each other without major on track happenings.
That’s why having split races for F1 is not a bad idea if used correctly.
You wouldn’t want it to spoil the entire calendar, or have an overall format so confusing that it’s hard to know what is happening within race meetings like Australia’s Supercars, but having change is a good thing.
With the split races for F1, how many races in Bahrain, Spain, Singapore have you wished for something to happen. Normally one would hope for rain, but locations like the previously mentioned are highly unlikely to have a wet track. Unless a certain Mr E gets his way with sprinklers. Crazy man.
The question is which tracks would you have the split races, and how would it work for points. Well, for the races, we have listed them later, but the points could be something different.
Since the 25 points is likely to remain, you could award points as below. Each race gets the old Top 6 points scoring, one reason is to be able to split the points to match the 25 for a win, secondly to remove points for mediocre performances. And with only points down to sixth for these split races for F1, people might try harder. Or make ridiculous mistakes when they have nothing to lose. Either way, fans win. At the end of the second race, points for overall performance over two races should be awarded too, rewarding some consistency.
Make the second race based on the first so lower positions still matter for the second race.
Here’s the points anyway.
SPLIT RACES 1 and 2
1st – 10 pts
2nd – 6 pts
3rd – 4pts
4th – 3 pts
5th – pts
6th – 1 pt
1st – 5pts down to 5th – 1 pt.
This means maximum of 25 points for 1st in both races, and 16 points for 2nd in each race.
But it shouldn’t be about just having split races in F1. Why do the rest all have to be the same. There are some tracks and races where the current length isn’t enough, and the drivers should be tested more. Others wouldn’t suit the split races, but a reduction of 20% of the laps would be welcome relief for the GPs which are on the whole boring, but are a chance of rain.
Extended races should see events held for a minimum race time of three hours not laps, to provide the sternest test of the F1 drivers stamina. Of course one of those tracks that we have nominated for an extended event in Spa, as we could watch 24 hours straight of F1 racing there. Other great tracks which more time would be most welcomed is Silverstone and Suzuka.
With all the splitting of races and shortening and extended of the race time/difference, there should be some GPs that remain as is, as the length is currently perfect.
The Canadian GP is Montreal is the perfect example of a race where plenty already happens, so no changes are required. Monaco could be argued for a reduction, but it should be a test as much as a spectacle. Lengthening would be overkill though. The opener in Melbourne too has enough anticipation on it to play around.
Below is the 2017 F1 Calendar with our thoughts on what could be changed for next year. It would provide some variety for F1 fans, without ruining the show completely.
REMAIN – 26 March – Australia (Melbourne)
SPLIT RACES – 9 April – China (Shanghai)
SPLIT RACES – 16 April – Bahrain (Bahrain)
SHORTEN – 30 April – Russia (Sochi)
SPLIT RACES – 14 May – Spain (Barcelona)
REMAIN – 28 May – Monaco (Monte Carlo)
REMAIN – 11 June – Canada (Montreal)*
SHORTEN – 18 June – Azerbaijan (Baku)
SPLIT RACES – 2 July – Austria (Spielberg)
EXTEND – 9 July – United Kingdom (Silverstone)
SHORTEN – 23 July – Hungary (Budapest)
SPLIT RACES – 30 July – Germany (Hockenheim)*
EXTEND – 27 August – Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
REMAIN – 3 September – Italy (Monza)
REMAIN – 17 September – Malaysia (Sepang)
SPLIT RACES – 1 October – Singapore (Singapore)
EXTEND – 8 October – Japan (Suzuka)
SPLIT RACES – 22 October – USA (Austin)
REMAIN – 5 November – Mexico (Mexico City)
REMAIN – 12 November – Brazil (Sao Paulo)*
REMOVE or SPLIT RACE – 26 November – United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)
- FOM looking to squeeze more money out of these countries.
F1 Calendar courtesy of F1 site.