It is now very much the time of year when the media following Formula 1 become preoccupied with the 'who goes where' stories.

Will Daniel Ricciardo jump out of the Red Bull paddock and land on the back of the 'Cavallino Rampante' of Ferrari or perhaps even the stylised 'Swoosh' of McLaren, maybe even 'Regie Renault'? Actually, I think he will stay just where he is but with a much fatter wallet.

Kimi Raikkonen to McLaren? Charles Leclerc to Ferrari? Fernando Alonso to where? Well, anywhere BUT McLaren Formula 1. Lando Norris to McLaren? Kubica? Hamilton? Sainz? The driver musical chairs season is becoming a whirl of feverish conjecture.

Combined with all that, the results of the eagerly anticipated overhaul of the technical and sporting regulations are just about to break cover and be made public. Will it be a small tuck here and there or the full facelift and total body lift plastic surgery?


Even before this apparently major overhaul has been fully announced we hear from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner that he fears things are already being "watered down" in his words.

Of course Horner, like all the team bosses, will be fighting his own corner to get the best deal for his own team and it is unlikely that all the teams will agree with all the regulations heralding the dawn of this brave new world of Formula 1.

If there is any doubt that the new regulations should be formatted to include a drastic reduction of much of the aerodynamics that inhibit overtaking, which then in turn will promote actual racing, then look no further than the display of pure motor racing that was happening in front of the very eyes of the sport owners and team bosses over the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, as it does at almost every race.

The Formula 2 and GP3 events were simply stunning with young drivers fighting, battling tooth and nail, and engaging in some outrageous manoeuvres for lap after lap. Relatively simple cars with simple aerodynamics allowed close and exciting racing. That is what everyone has been asking for isn't it?

Of course, those formulae are 'one-make' series and that would never, should never, happen in Formula 1 but as Bob Dylan said in 1964 "The Times They Are A-changin" and the sport simply has to find a way to reverse the insatiable hunt for ever more aerodynamic downforce at the expense of racing entertainment.

However much the teams and some followers of the sport complain about them, any one-make series, or a series that is heavily reliant on standarised parts, generally makes for close racing so perhaps it is time to introduce a list of standard and regulated parts to the 'pinnacle' of the sport, most especially in the aero departments. Certainly it is a drum that many have been banging for some time now, but that makes the reasons no less valid.

Conversely, the hills of Styria saw one of the most frantic and dramatic races for a very long time. It was impossible to safely predict the final outcome even on the last lap of the race. Exactly what the sport needed after some fairly tedious affairs so far this year.

Like many races that turn out to be real thrillers, the Red Bull Ring drama was brought about by unusual circumstances. A big and completely unexpected rise in the track temperature from the practice sessions caused almost all the cars to have major tyre issues with 'blistering' a real problem resulting in unplanned pit stops and fast driver / car combinations chasing others trying to save their slowly overheating Pirellis. Drivers out of their normal position at race start, normally ultra reliable cars failing on track, virtual safety cars, tactical errors, it had the lot.


After expecting a predictable Mercedes procession in Austria then seeing a great and entertaining race break out, we still have an intensive championship battle going on with the pendulum of advantage swinging between two teams and others occasionally mixing it all up and stirring the pot.

The third race of this marathon of back to back Grand Prix events takes place at Silverstone this weekend and after Austria, it has a lot to live up to.

Hopefully then it will also go a long way to 'un-focussing' those minds on where the drivers will be next year and marvel at what they are doing in this one.