The showpiece events of Monaco and Indianapolis, as entertainment, were not the most exciting races that I have ever seen. A gross understatement in the case of Monaco in fact.

Daniel Ricciardo's weekend was stunning, Max Verstappen's equally so but in the opposite direction. Brendon Hartley had a solid weekend let down only by an average first lap in qualifying, a late yellow that ruined a much better attempt in qualifying and then, almost at the end of the race when a points finish looked possible, being savaged from the rear by brakeless Monaco local boy Charles Leclerc, putting both out of the race.

The Indy 500 never really fails to disappoint and neither does Scott Dixon who also had a solid Indy race, in not the fastest car, and earned valuable points for his championship while Will Power became the 72nd different winner and first ever Australian.

Now the Formula One movers and shakers get back to the business of discussions on the future and the IndyCar teams turn their attention to this weekend's double header, just up the road on the Belle Isle Park in Detroit.


The major driving force behind that event is Indy 500 winning team owner, for the 17th time, Roger Penske. The IndyCar series has it's own upgrades and engine changes coming along but, as is the way with a single make series, those changes are accepted without all of the hand wringing debate set around the new Formula 1 'proposed' changes.

To briefly reiterate, the mechanical changes for Formula 1 cars 2019 version are mainly to the aerodynamics, with the intention of improving the racing and overtaking. The front wing will be stripped of much of the vanes and bits of carbon fibre that channel the air and that, hopefully, will make it easier for a following car to follow closely.
The rear wing will also lose some of its intricacies as well as being, like the front wing, wider and far less complicated. The DRS flap will also be bigger to give even more of a potential advantage in overtaking. The 'blown axle' will be a thing of the past. This is simply a method of using the air entering the brake ducts to flow around the axle and as well as cooling the brakes the exiting stream of air can also be managed in a predictable way along the side of the car.

Clever these engineers eh!

All in all the object of this first step in rules revision is aimed at making the core product, the racing, better. Add in an extra fuel allowance and even heavier cars and the future beckons.

As an aside, in 1988 the minimum weight for a Formula 1 car was 540kg with comparatively little aerodynamic appendage and in 2019 the minimum weight, including driver, will be 733kg. Ayrton Senna's stunning qualifying lap at Monaco that year was 1min 23.988 seconds and Daniel Ricciardo' amazing pole position lap 2018 was set at 1min 10.810. About thirteen seconds difference. Faster but better?

It was stunning to see the direct comparison, on the Monaco Grand Prix track, of the 1982 Williams F1 car driven by Keijo Rosberg and the Mercedes W07 driven by son Nico.
The Williams FW08 of Rosberg Snr. was never the prettiest of cars but with his feet perilously close to the front of the car and little or no deformable structure in front of them, it was a reminder of just how far the shape of a Formula 1 car and driver safety initiatives have come.

Back to the future.

The main point at issue in these further discussions concerning 2021, after cost caps, revenue structures and who buys the sandwiches at the meetings has been settled, is all around the power units.

FIA President Jean Todd has recently said that the regulations for the current F1 power units "went a bit too far". A set of regulations that he championed at the time I might add.
Now, at huge expense to the engine manufacturers, he, the FIA and the owners of Formula One collectively, want to "simplify" the regulations to attract more engine manufacturers to the sport. The engines should also be noisier, cheaper, simpler, road car relevant, more readily available and eventually more efficient.

Sounds easy when you say it quickly!

In Formula One 'Managing Director of Motorsports and Technical Director'
Ross Brawns words "It is a miracle of engineering the engine we have now, but they are too expensive. I don't think they are a great racing engine. We want engines drivers can drive flat out all the time and which have more emotion."

Amen to that.