The 2010 Formula 1 season was one of the most eagerly awaited seasons for some time.
New rule changes limited pit stops to tire changes with cars having to start the race with enough fuel to make it to the finish. The continued push towards reducing costs puts more emphasis on engines and gear boxes surviving for longer.
New teams arriving, new drivers, and the return of Michael Schumacher all pointed to excitement returning to the paddock. However, it was another season that started off the track.
McLaren’s controversial F Vent and, the now concluded, diffuser starter motor hole debate both worked to remove the entertainment of Formula 1 from the race track to the Steward's office.
Changes to the Steward's Office itself have yet to be tested. The idea of having a retired Grand Prix driver consulting with the Stewards over decisions is a welcome sensible thought.
Despite the changes Bahrain showed that, if anything, F1 was more a procession than ever before.
Australia was the setting for race two. It was what the fans wanted to see— a proper race with overtaking and excitement. The fans were treated to a spectacle that held their interest right to the end.
The reason for this was simple— the weather.
Despite the attempts of the leaders of Formula 1 to make the sport a greater spectacle for the fan it was a few drops of rain that made the eventual difference.
This has confirmed in my mind something what I have thought for some time. Rule changes aren’t going to make F1 more interesting, what we need is a change in the race calendar.
Moving races into months where the weather will be more unpredictable is a simple way of making Formula 1 more interesting for the fans.
The existing rules mean that there is so much emphasis on technical development that the business of wheel to wheel racing has become second during a race. That is not conducive to a spectator sport.
By changing the dates of races to months when there is a higher probability of rain is a simple and cost free method of bringing driver skill to Pole Position in a race.
Of course strategy, technical development, and sheer luck will have their part, but talent and a desire to win should be displayed on a Sunday in order to gain the points on offer.