Formula One has become a technological battlefield for major manufacturers with impressive technology at the forefront, but is it still great, and what would you change? This is likely to divide opinions, and many will feel that the sport is in a golden age already and nothing needs to be changed. These are opinions, and like any opinion, none are right, and none are wrong. Just different. Now in my personal opinion, and it is very much my own opinion and not an official RaceDepartment stance, I think Formula One is well and truly broken at the moment, very much to the determent of the on track spectacle and racing that it produces. Now before I go off on one saying what I think the sport should do to improve it, I need to elaborate a little on where I'm actually coming from... Motorsport for me has always been about the sport, about the actual 30/60/90 minutes or whatever of action out on the tarmac itself. I care nothing for the technical side of things, I have zero interest in big manufacturers or outright lap time and top speed. For me none of these things matter, it is simply the action out on the circuit that I come to see, nothing more, nothing less. Racing. Pure, hard, close, fair racing. Simple. Now take a look at other forms of motorsport for an example. I'll sight something like Caterham racing or Clio Cup. I know these aren't open wheel cars, but the example is still relevant. These cars have little to no downforce and few in the way of electronic aids. Just simple mechanical engineering and the ability to race close. This is good, this encourages cars to run nose to tail and side by side, almost every single race, which is good. Additionally they have long (ish) braking distances and solid and robust cars, without going lightening fast so everything is manageable from behind the wheel and a pass or a fight can relatively easily last for several corners, with both drivers in control. This is good, this is the exact opposite of modern Formula One. Formula One in its current guise is designed to fail, right from the very core. Stupidly high speeds, high downforce, miniscule braking distances, practically no chance of driver error, lack of punishments for going off track... the list goes on. So what would I do to make it great again? Well to be honest it is rather simple, and I will try and explain below: Downforce - Remove lots and lots of it. I would engineer the rules to remove 75% of the downforce of current Formula One cars, and while I'm at it I would have it engineering in such a way that the cars are heavily influenced to produce considerable levels of understeer (where the front washes out and steers less than the driver requests). Why understeer you ask? Well coupled with a normally aspirated high torque engine, I would like it so the ideal and quickest way to drive would be to "steer with the throttle" and get the car sideways, cancelling out the understeer by using power to break traction at the rear and slide the car round a corner. Think any given lap by Ronnie Peterson as a reference.. Additionally front and rear wings should be spec units supplied by the FIA, designed to cause minimum disruption to airflow and thus increase ability to run closely together. Engine - Normally aspirated, no turbo or hybrid / KERS etc. Also I'd have it open to V6, V8, V10 and V12, but limited to no more than X number of each type allowed on the grid each season. So in effect engine manufacturers would have to preference their chosen type pre season, and allocation be distributed out by the governing body. These engines would be basic mechanical engines with emphasis on excessive torque with no electronic throttle control, just a sweet right foot. In my vision due to the relative lack of complexity, this would open the door to customer engines the likes of Cosworth, Hart, Judd and other one man bad type of operations. Increasing variety, increasing supply and enticing variation. Engines should be restricted by fuel allowance (not to the level where fuel saving applies of course), but enough to make it possible for example to go flat chat in a slower V6 but have to apply caution in a powerful V12. Think (although not a great example I admit) the 1995 Monaco Grand Prix, where thanks to rain Mika Salo brought home his V6 Tyrell in fifth positon due to not requiring a fuel stop, whereas faster V10 and V12 cars had to come into the pits. This sort of thing, where drivers can go for multiple strategies such as running the V12 rich and stopping for fuel 3 times, V10s stopping twice, V8s once and V6 straight to the flag, how exciting would that be? Refuelling - As covered above, bring it back to mix with the engine size variety. Gearbox - Manual 6 speed H pattern, no mechanical assistance. With lower speeds thanks to lower downforce and engines designed more for torque than top end, a return to manual H patter boxes and the need to take a hand off the wheel to shift would be possible, and bring back the magic possibility of driver errors and missed gears, increasing overtaking opportunities and adding another element of driver skill and spectacle for the viewer. Any true driving nut knows H pattern is far more engaging that flappy paddle shifters, and produces better racing and more spectacle. Tyres - Open the rules to any manufacturer, but keep the compound hard as a rock. In my opinion tyres are necessary to keep the car off the floor, but shouldn't have any impact in the outcome of a race and shouldn't be a talking point during a Grand Prix weekend. At all. They should last easily for a full race distance, but a "joker" set that are quick but last for a maximum of 10 laps should be available, for those wishing to roll the dice.. Brakes - Get back to steel disks. Make braking distances super long so an out braking move doesn't have to be done in fractions of a second just yards from a corner entry. I want to see it become a challenge to slow down a car, and I want the deceleration zone to be extended considerably. Now I know it will be the same for all cars, so in theory just as hard as it is now, but with extended zones you have more time to get alongside, more time for both drivers to know where you are on track, and more time to out psych your rival. Getting alongside someone in a braking zone is half the battle to overtaking, and with extended braking zones, limited grip and manual boxes, it becomes much harder for a driver to hit the correct marks every lap, and thus more mistakes and more opportunities to pass. Rules - Formula One should always be a single race lasting a substantial length of time (i.e. 90 minutes), and for me this shouldn't change in any amendment to the series. Saying that, I think it would be sensible to make Formula 2 as close to the main series rules as possible, however with maybe a few spec items such as engine (FIA developed and supplied). This would allow a promotion / relegation system where in the newly formed regulations it is substantially lower cost to race, so many more teams would submit an entry (think early 90's pre qualification sessions). The top 28 cars would qualify for the Formula One season, the bottom 28 for Formula Two. At the end of the season, the bottom, say 3 teams would be relegated, and the top 3 Formula Two teams promoted. Or something similar. Tracks - Bring back gravel traps. When faced with a potentially race ending gravel trap on the outside (or inside) of a corner, drivers will tend to leave a little bit of a margin of safety out on track. This is good, this helps those super talented or brave drivers some wiggle room to rise above the rest of the field, and also increases overtaking opportunities when someone is willing to risk it all on the inside / outside of a corner when his rival is playing the percentage game. Plus I feel mistakes should be punished, which isn't the case at present. I could go one forever with this, but this article is designed more as a community discussion point than listening to me ramble on... sorry I got carried away.. Ok folks, lets have your opinion below..... If you like your motorsport fast and open wheeled, check out the Formula One sub forum and get yourself in on the discussion today! Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media! RaceDepartment YouTube RaceDepartment Twitter RaceDepartment Facebook RaceDepartment Twitch RaceDepartment Instagram What would you do to bring glory back to Formula One? In an idea world, with no limits, what would you change about the sport we love? Let us know in the comments section below!