Editorial, January 2003

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Michael Schumacher lives, eats and breathes Formula One. This unblinking focus is what allows his talent to flourish. He is the product of the specialisation era. Which is a shame in many ways because he is, without any doubt, a great all-round driver: fantastic in F3, a sensation in sportscars, and still a force in karts, as he proved with an incredible second place in the 2002 world championship round at his own Kerpen track.

Just imagine if he was willing to stick his reputation on the line on a more regular basis. Don’t you just wish that he’d march into a Ford board meeting and do a Stirling Moss, i.e. demand a third Jaguar for a privateer team he is setting up with Ross Brawn, just for the hell of it, just to see how far he can drag it up the grid and results sheet

Taking a (small) step closer to reality, how about reviving Procar, the top 12 qualifiers for each GP taking on 12 regulars in a one-make supercar series?

I know, I know, that’s not going to happen either: contacts, endorsements and specialisation…

Let’s face it, we can’t even make small alterations to Formula One’s technical regulations. Whenever they are mooted, people like Adrian Newey or Rory Byrne, men whose opinion we naturally respect, come forward with lots of reasons why we can’t But with all due respect, they have a vested interest. And why should their two voices (and, admittedly, the majority of the rest of the F1 paddock) drown out the millions of fans voting with their channel-hopping thumbs?

I don’t personally subscribe to the view that F1 is doomed for all eternity unless all downforce is removed forthwith. What worries me more is that F1 doesn’t want to change — at all. I understand the desire for stability in the regs, but you can take it too far: the 3-litre aspect of the formula, give or take 500cc, has been in force since before Bobby Moore wiped his hands on the bunting just prior to accepting the Jules Rimet from ER II.

What I would love to see is what Messrs Byrne, Newey, Head et al would come up with if they were forced into radical revisions of their designs and design outlook. Maybe then Gordon Murray would be tempted back. And maybe then Chapman-type Next Big Things would fill the pages, rather than endplate tweaks.

Of course, that’s unlikely to happen, too. And if it does, it’s more likely to come about via natural selection than innovative legislation. For teams today are way too big, way too expensive. Redundancies are increasing. Sponsors are dropping out. Soon to be followed, no doubt, by the least successful manufacturer. Followed by the next, etc. Fortunately for us, F1’s bedrock is still hardcore: Rory and Adrian could live on their savings and, in the absence of outside high-financial forces, stick their petrolheads above the parapet once more.