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F1 | I Have An (Awesome?) Idea To Improve Racing

The world of Formula One is a fascinating place, however the racing can often leave a lot to be desired - so how do we improve the show, without compromising the spirit of motorsport?

I've already shared my opinion on how I believe Formula One could be vastly improved, but just this morning I had a moment of inspiration about how one could really spice up the show without compromising the nature of the sport and not having to dramatically change the cars. Hear me out for a second if you will...

Formula One weekend formats traditionally go like this: 90 minutes untimed FP1, 90 minutes untimed FP2, 60 minutes untimed FP3, 60 minutes qualifying to decide the fastest teams and drivers that determines the starting order, then the race.

Now think about this - we run Formula One cars and their drivers for 240 minutes practice in a weekend to fine tune the cars, then have a 60 minute session to determine who is the the fastest driver that then starts at the front of the grid, with the slowest driver at the back - and we wonder why no overtaking happens during the race itself.

So, here's my plan.

FP1 remains at 90 minutes, but is only open to 1 car per team, and it must be used by a driver who isn't in the race (youngster / test driver etc). - held on Saturday morning.

FP2 remains at 90 minutes, for the race drivers - held on Saturday afternoon.

FP3 removed.

Nothing too spectacular in that suggestion, but here comes the bit I absolutely love... qualifying.

In order to set the grid for the race, on Sunday morning the 20 odd Formula One drivers should take part in a 30 minute session, in identical spec series cars that are changed at each race weekend (something local or whatever - a touring car, a GT, a Formula car, junior spec tin top - whatever). The fastest driver in the session is then awarded pole for the F1 race - putting the emphasis back on the speed of the actual driver, and not the cars, and thus giving opportunities for drivers outside the top teams to really show the world their natural pace, and mixing up the grid for the race itself.

I was tempted to suggest the qualifying should also include a qualification race that sets the F1 grid (still in the spec cars), but throwing a racing scenario into the mix, although highly entertaining, is probably a bridge too far in terms of variables, so let's stick with a qualification session only for now...

What do you think? Discuss!

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.


Dec 22, 2009
Just bring in the rule formula ford originally had - in that form, you can buy another team's engine for $500 and they can't say no. (in 1967 it was a high price for a cortina 1.6L, unless you thought it was secretly tuned) If the nominal engine budget is $500k, let a team buy another team's engine for $1 million. Then if a team can legitimately make the most powerful engines for $500k they can turn a profit, and if they're secretly spending 10x as much, at least everyone else gets access to their cheating.
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The James May of Simracing
Aug 2, 2015
Nah I don't know, doesn't sound good to me. Formula 1 always was a blend of driver talent and engineering talent. Building and developing the car has and should have the same priority in F1 as developing the drivers, that's why there is one championship for drivers and one for constructors. That's part of the fascination of it, therefore the teams should be allowed to use the car they spent millions on to eke out any advantage they can. A good qualifying is the first step to a spot on the podium, and the drivers had enough opportunity to show their "real" pace in all the spec feeder series that came before F1.

What if one of the spec cars breaks? Tough luck? Who's to blame? If the Ferrari breaks in qualifying, it's Ferrari's own fault.
May 27, 2020
Awesome idea! Like:)
I'm not sure if I get the FP1-idea, though.
Anyway, I also don't think it will be done. Simply because that would be about racing.

F1 is not about racing. It is about business. And lately also about politics. So I fear you have missed the topic:)


A legend in my own mind...
Staff member
Sep 28, 2009
We've seen various suggestions concerning the pre-race sessions over the years to "spice up" the racing. My question is, what exactly is the point of messing with that stuff when it is the racing itself which is so bloody dire in F1? :rolleyes: Plenty of other racing series have perfectly normal qualifying sessions combined with excellent racing, so why can't F1?

We don't need more gimmicks to put crap cars in front of good cars for the initial ten laps. That is 100% worthless and does nothing to enhance the racing. At most it just creates insurmountable gaps between the good cars unfortunate enough to get stuck behind the crap cars, making them even less competitive. I mean, the two Haas cars were right at the front in the last GP, and unsurprisingly served as nothing more than temporary moving chicanes to the faster cars, allowing those already ahead of them to create breathing space for themselves. Yeah, great racing right there.

What we need is positive, worthwhile ideas to modify the cars to allow them to race. End of story. It's what has been needed for years, everyone knows it, yet very little is being done about it. Just more worthless gimmicks and compromises rather than definitive action. Until that changes, the racing in F1 will continue to be dull and boring no matter what anyone comes up with.


Feb 12, 2009
Are you seriously implying that there is no overtaking because they are.....tired? Really? Can we get a bit realistic here? There is no RACING action simply because of the endurance elements that have been implemented. The drivers are simply not allowed to PUSH. I thought it would have been obvious to F1 fans by now.
There's nothing wrong with the format. There's nothing wrong with ANY format as long as the teams and drivers are free to PUSH to the LIMIT on every single lap and for as long as the car can take it. That was how F1 was "back in the day".
Give them as much fuel as they need to make maximum power for as long as they want, and enough tire sets and you WILL see some good racing.It's as simple as that.


Sep 10, 2018
Since F1 is about Manufactures and them wanting to show their abilities and win, the drivers should get paid by F1 and then get a random car every weekend they do practice, qualy and the race in. After the season the best Team and the best driver would be World Champion and than get paid according to their finish.


Jun 6, 2017
just give us refueling and different tyre manufactures back and you have enough variation. i miss the old times when you never know who had a heavier car but stayed out longer... and on some tracks michelin was better then bridgeston and vice versa. that was some excitement i really miss these days.
but pauls ideas sound great too

Sasha Jednak

Sasa Jednak
Mar 27, 2011
Nice ideas, most probably not possible for RL for some reason. Here is what I have:
- remove FP1 and FP2
- keep FP3 on Saturday morning and make it 90min
- Cut real-time available data to tyre/engine temperature and nothing else (they can collect all data as now but can't use it during the session/race)
- Cut radio to: crash/SC warnings and only use pit-boards for delta times and position

That way: we don't have perfectly tuned each car, we don't have engineers making sure that driver is taking care of the engine in each corner and on track it is all about what driver sees and feels.


Jul 15, 2011
Sorry, this sounds absurd. I don’t think it will work logistically and I doubt people will be interested.

At this rate, I do not mind seeing F1 going the way of Group B, WSC or Can am. It is time for it to disband as it had run it’s course and it’s way overdue.

The rules and regulations are so entrenched to the point that I don’t think it’s worth saving while it is extremely expensive to run in the age of recession and EV uprising. As much as I am not a fan of EV, I do not see a purpose of a boring and overpriced series with excessive amount of politics.


Apr 18, 2017
Ok Max or HAM qualifies 1st or 2nd. But 100% in the top 5 and then the Mercedes driver wins the race easily. :D
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