2020-05-08 23:30:57 UTC
Okay, with the COVID situation around the world, I've been forced to
rewatch old seasons of F1, which I normally would not have any interest
in watching again, I'm usually too engrossed in the current seasons. But
I didn't go back just a few years ago, I went really old school, from
1981 onwards. I was personally around and watching F1 in those days, but
I was a kid, and I didn't really take in all of the details that I can
pick up on now. And I must say, I'm surprised by all of the changes in
F1 since those days, which I never noticed at the time.
So why are pitstops the problem? Okay in 1981 and 82, the concept of the
scheduled pitstop didn't even exist in F1. People were driving the
entire race with a single set of tires! The Brabham team introduced the
concept of scheduled pitstops towards the end of the 82 season, and that
was mainly due to shortcomings in the design of their car at the time,
such as lack of range and fuel capacity. By 83, pretty much every team
picked up on the idea of scheduling pitstops. This turned the F1 races
into a series of sprints, which meant that cars weren't even on the same
strategy on the track, and you have no idea who is really in the lead.
The only commonality they had is that they all started at the same lap,
and they all finished at the same lap, but in between they were like as
if running in different races.
This is also around the time that teams started to dominate seasons,
year after year. McLaren, Williams, Benetton, Red Bull, Mercedes and
Ferrari. These are the teams that keep coming back to dominate, over and
over again during the era of the pitstops. I think it was not a
coincidence that the eras of domination also coincided with the era of
Now, the FIA has ordered Pirelli to develop a tire that is specifically
designed to degrade by a specific lap number. If they have so much
control over this process, then why not order Pirelli to design tires
that will last the whole race? If they can design a tire that will last
the whole race, with no more than 10% performance degradation, then that
will automatically make pitstops unnecessary, as the fastest way around
a track is to never stop once! You'd still need pitcrews for emergency
situations such as punctures, but otherwise no need for so many of them
anymore. Maybe Pirelli can take its hardest 3 compounds and switch
between them depending which type of circuit: slow, medium, fast. They
would only bring one compound for the entire field for a whole race
weekend. Having harder compounds will also reduce the marbles on the
side of the road, which makes passing difficult.
What do you think?