OCTOBER 23, 2002
The trouble with F1 - circuits or greed?
At his recent press briefing Sir Frank Williams raised an interesting point. He believes that one of the problems of modern Formula 1 is that the circuits used are not up to standard.
"We need to focus on the tracks," Williams mused. "In the 1940s Spitfires needed 10 square miles of airspace to conduct dogfights; today, a jet fighter needs 100 square miles. The analogy is clear. We need tracks that reflect the technical status of the cars and have tracks that are wide enough to enable overtaking.
"It is better to have plenty of width to allow different racing lines and more tarmac run-off areas."
The redesigned Hockenheim circuit, used for the first time this year, featured large areas of paved run-off area and this gave drivers the confidence to try manoeuvres which they would not have attempted if faced with the prospect of ending the afternoon in a sandtrap.
The only problem with Williams's theory is that tracks do not wish to invest because they argue that Formula One is already taking almost all of the income they have available to them and there is not enough money to invest further. If changes are to be made, they argue, Formula 1 has to be less greedy...
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