March has come again and with it, the dawn of a new Formula One season. Much has been said about the changes to the technical regulations and much more, about the new noise of F1. Also, some ridicule has been heaped upon the new noses shaped like sex toys. In other words, change is hard…
But aside from some funny looking appendages, the main raft of technical regulation changes are, at least to my mind, the right move for a racing series that seems to be aloof and removed from the world as it is. At least the new technologies introduced might now help the next step in the evolution of the car itself.
In its long history, Formula One has brought many automotive innovations. Aerodynamics was perfected in the wind tunnel. Active suspension, launch and traction control were pioneered by Formula One racing. Unfortunately, since the 1990s, the technical regulations have become more and more restrictive and true innovations have come down to exploiting aerodynamics rather than coming up with better technologies for cars you or I would drive.
Finally though, Formula One has made a giant leap from the very basic type of hybrid technology to the forefront of energy recovery with two energy recovery systems to electrically assist the turbocharged V6. Yes, the noise has changed. Instead of the banshee wail, there’s now a throaty roar that’s muted by the energy recovery systems.
I admit that I didn’t much like the noise at the start. But hell, the racing is better. The technology is more advanced than it has ever been and the cars are harder to control. You can really see the drivers working at the throttle and brakes, power sliding, wrestling the steering and twiddling the settings on the cars. So yes, the noise is something to get used to, but heck the technology is what matters. The drivers are what need to work hard.
I can deal with the noise and the penis extensions so long as all the cars and the racing is better than ever before. Here’s to the future of car racing, leading to the future of cars.