So the World Motorsport Council met earlier this morning and have confirmed a few points of business already. There will be no new team on the grid, and the schedule has been proposed with 20 races set for 2011. We still are waiting on the Ferrari stuff to fall out, but it looks as though Ferrari are prepared to lose out on the decision as they have announced a poor performance in Monza will lead the team to begin full development of next year’s car. We here at the paddock are expecting at least a constructor’s point deduction.
The FiA has deemed that none of the teams that applied for the role of “new team” met the requirements set forth. The likes of Epsilon Euskadi and the Durango-Villenueve will not take to the grid next year and I don’t think it really matters to be honest. If we have learned anything from this season, it is the new teams are on a separate island. While yes it is their first season, there have been small signs of improvement across the board and another team on the grid would only increase the safety risks the current field deals with due to lack of speed. F1 is currently having enough problems on their own, more drama from a team that may not make it or make it the night before the race would be counterproductive. Had a team like Lola or Prodrive jumped in to play, it may be a bit of a different story, but as Ferrari have highlighted so far this year, the new teams are more of an inconvenience than true race teams. So I have to say that I agree with this move by the WMSC.
2011 Proposed Schedule
2011 may see the highest number of races ever on a Formula 1 calendar. A 20 race schedule has been proposed that will see the Indian Grand Prix added to the mix. Other key notes from the schedule would be the return of Interlagos to the season finale and Abu Dhabi moved to the penultimate position. This is the proposed schedule that Autosport has posted:
26/06 Europe (Valencia)
10/07 Great Britain
13/11 Abu Dhabi
Notice how deep the season now runs. We start in mid March, which is about a week early, and then we don’t end until late November. This amount of races could be taxing at a number of levels. First off the crews. Obviously going all over the world for that long is going to continue to keep fatigue levels high on the teams. Second of all, how quickly will the teams be able to turn around in the championship? The season ends in November…nearly December and you are expected to turn around and build a car that needs to be ready to test by late January – early February. Some of the smaller teams like HRT just don’t have the infrastructure established to make that kind of a turn. It is good to see so many great events on the calendar, but I think it is time to trim the fat on the schedule. China needs to go as does Bahrain. Both races and both circuits are trash. Valencia needs to be cut as the race is absolutely terrible as is the track. I also don’t think that Fernando warrants two races anymore. Lets face it, these countries have no racing heritage what so ever and they probably should not be spending money on Formula 1 events (minus Valencia). Needless to say, I will be interested to see how this schedule works out and would not be surprised to see some form of testing reintroduced in 2012 as the timeline is just going to be crazy.
It also looks now that early reports are going to have Ferrari escaping further punishment for their actions during the German Grand Prix. Many think this is the correct course of action because the rule is dumb and should not be in place to begin with. Ferrari was quick to make the point that Massa made the choice to allow teammate Alonso through. A point we all know is BS to the highest degree. If Massa had made the decision to do so, then why was so mad after the race? Because he knew that if he did not allow Alonso through, he might as well kiss his job good bye. It is sad but a fact of life and a way the business works. We will keep looking for the final press release on the ordeal, but I for one am looking forward to it just being dropped.