Former Jordan designer Gary Anderson has stated that he thinks that after an Australian Grand Prix with very few overtaking moves, more needs to be done to spice up Formula 1 as the current measures do not go far enough.
Aside from Felipe Massa’s storming run from the rear of the grid, and the collision between Coulthard and Wurz, there were very few overtaking moves during the race. Andersen believes that this needs to change in order to keep Formula 1 alive.
Even more regulation changes and additions will be coming into force in 2008 and beyond, however Anderson believe that they will not be an adequate solution to the overtaking problem.
“It’s a long way to 2008 in Formula 1,” he said. “I’ve looked through some of the proposals and haven’t seen anything I would be excited about to be honest. Around 2010-2011 there are bigger plans, but again I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it yet because it’s too far away to even consider. It will all change a thousand times before that. At this point in time I don’t see anything that will make Formula One better for the public.
“If you are sitting there, not really as a motor racing enthusiast, and you turn on the TV to watch a spectacle then Formula 1 isn’t that good. A big percentage of the viewers are people who just want to switch on during the course of a Sunday afternoon and see something on TV.
“They want to see more racing, drivers side-by-side, five overtaking manoeuvres a lap. We should only know who the winner is going to be when the chequered flag comes out. That’s really what the public wants to see – it needs to be gripping, keeping you on the edge of your seat. I’ve seen races like that in other formulae and they are great, but I don’t see anything in these changes that will make Formula One do that over the next five years.
“Somebody has to sit back and think about that a little bit, because with the amount of money that Formula One costs now, we need to have people turning on the TV to watch it.”
And he has a point. Formula 1 viewing and spectator figures have declined over the past few years, with none of the changes to the regulations halting this slide. Andersen argues that more needs to be done to restore the popularity of the motorsport.
“I genuinely believe the cars and regulations have gone the wrong way in the last few years,” he explained. “The cars are not good at following each other – they lose too much grip. You have the fastest car at the front in qualifying and the slowest car at the back, and then on Sunday we somehow expect some miracle to happen that means a slower car passes a faster one on a dirty part of the track when the grip level on the racing line is always better than that off it. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to work out that ain’t going to happen.
“Really and truthfully, there has to be a change. What we have to do is create racing. In my opinion we should have reverse grids; the guy leading the championship should have to start at the back, and the guy who is suffering at the front, and as you score more points that naturally will change.
“It isn’t artificial. If you can win the championship that way it will truly be because you have beaten all the others. Not only do you have to be the fastest driver but you also need to be a clever driver; you have to understand the strategy and actually overtake people. It adds another challenge.”