Think back to the Schumacher-Todt-Brawn empire that dominated the sport at the beginning of the 21st century. Thanks to the group of them, Schumacher was crowned World Champion 5 years in a row. We can’t forget Rubens Barrichello who played a major role in the success of Ferrari, especially to Schumacher. Then rummage around your past thoughts to Austria and the A1-Ring. In 2001, team orders were allowed and Ferrari took full advantage of them to keep the spectacle on their star driver. With 4 wins already scored for Schumacher, Barrichello was on course to grab his first win of the season at the A1-Ring (the fifth circuit on the calendar). Unimpressed, Barrichello had been ordered by Jean Todt to let Schumacher go for the win. Obviously embarrassed come the podium ceremony, Schumacher pushed Barrichello to the top of the podium. Later however, he was fined $1 million for interfering with podium procedures. I remember that day very clearly. I just don’t remember that fine.
Regardless of peculiar Ferrari events, they still hold the title of ‘Best F1 Team’ ever.
Now what if their engine were to be like everyone else’s? Ten years down the line, would Ferrari be able to retain that title?
In a bid to better the spectacle of the sport – overtaking specifically – the FIA have put to effect specific rules for this season and beyond. The most drastic one being the ban of all extra aerodynamic bits and pieces. Slick tires were also added among other items. The team hierarchy flipped on its head. A team that barely had any money to participate in the present season is now leading it. A team that has the smallest pit crew (Force India) was able to challenge for top spots, both in Spa and Monza.
Imagine a Ferrari housing a Cosworth engine, along with the whole field. How would that make you feel?
According to reports, Formula 1 teams are discussing the possibility of equalizing engines for 2010. The topic emerged after the realization that one engine is slowly building itself into other chassis’. That engine being the Mercedes-Benz engine.
Let’s face it, we are Formula 1 fans and not NASCAR or IndyCar or GP2 fans (even though we have happened to catch a race or two). When the one engine idea seeped into my mind, a GP2 race flashed before me and I saw chaos and constant, wild overtaking, with occasional airborne vehicles. GP2 cars all use Renault V8 engines. And then I imagine an F1 grid full of cars with one engine in all of them. It doesn’t feel very good and let me tell you why.
Just last year we were used to constant evolution in the sport. Testing sessions would spring out in between races and they would act as mini races (development races), keeping our mind off of the next Grand Prix. A wing would sprout out here and a new gull there. Come half-season, it felt like Christmas, with all teams returning in August decorated in carbon fiber, flexible parts. I loved it. We live for the evolution of the sport, the constant evolution of the sport. Every January we would need to prepare ourselves for a radical change in the shape of certain cars. 2009 arrived and every car looked (almost) exactly the same. With widened front wings and tall, narrow rear wings, slimmed down mid-sections and brand new shoes, it was hard to look at.
But then again, Brawn-Mercedes, McLaren-Mercedes, and Force India all enjoy Mercedes engines and their results vary quite a bit at times. We enjoy the evolution of the sport. If the rule is implemented, I guess it should be time we enjoy the evolution in ourselves, for once. One Mercedes-Benz engine, one design rule, and one testing ban could be the recipe for more exciting Formula 1 next season. I just want to keep from falling asleep half way through the race. So do you.