When the chequered flag fell at the end of 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, it did to a deafening crescendo. The home fans rejoiced, as for 38 seconds their hero was a world champion. Formula One at its spine tingling, mouthwatering best.
It was the end of an era in Formula One as new regulations came into effect in 2009, that changed the appearance of the cars and had an affect on the racing that year and the years that followed.
Little did we know that in 2016, you could almost refer to that period as the halcyon days. Formula One wasn’t perfect then but not a lot was wrong with it.
It is a damning indictment of the state of the sport in 2016, that before a car has even been driven in anger, there is such negativity towards it.
People that run the sport are simply incapable of identifying the fundamental issues that have plagued the sport for more than half a decade.
We should be talking about the racing but we are not, instead we are talking about rushed qualifying changes, a governing body that refuses to listen to suggestions & a sport which time and time again does itself absolutely no favours whatsoever.
I feel absolutely sorry for the fans that turned up to watch qualifying today, they were a massively short-changed and the people who run Formula One owe them a massive apology.
For the first time in ages, I was embarrassed after Q3… Why? Because seemingly despite every warning from the people who could foresee this wouldn’t work, the FIA still went ahead and approved the change the qualifying format.
Did they think “Oh wow, this is going to be amazing! The fans will love this, we have solved everything! Formula One is amazing again!” when they went ahead and changed something that DID NOT need to be changed?
All it has done is the absolute opposite and now Formula One finds itself back in the headlines not necessarily for the right reasons.
Current drivers, post drivers, team bosses and well respected people in Formula One have called for an immediate change to the qualifying system. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but the question that will most likely be on everyone’s lips after this debacle is: Where did it all go so wrong?
Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas