The new Formula One season is nearly upon us, and it's time for writers to get fans of their sport licking their lips for what they're about to see.
Only I can’t.
Because before I can go any further I have to talk about the elephant in the room; the halo. Martin Brundle didn’t mince his words when he said that “aesthetically of course, it’s awful.”
It’s difficult to look ahead to the next season when every vehicle has undergone some kind of botched cosmetic surgery. For many, it is going a step too far.
What is meant by that is that Formula 1 has come a long way since the gladiatorial combat times of the 60’s and 70’s, when drivers were seen as WWII pilots, there was always that risk stepping into a car that you might not be stepping back out of it alive.
Unfortunately, despite massive progress in car safety, driver helmets and massive track run off areas, we still feel the need to cover up the most distinguishable aspect of the sport most love; the driver. Having the heroes of the sport obstructed in synthetic scaffolding will bring more issues to the sport than it is intended to solve.
What really got many was the BBC ran a poll (without a hint of irony) asking for which was the best looking car for the upcoming season?
For me it was like trying to judge the most attractive looking human if everyone was wearing a cloak of invisibility - there just didn’t seem much point. Anyway, the McLaren that looks like an Irn-Bru can won 23% of the ‘popular’ vote. Didn’t seem too hard considering half the grid are running bland, identical liveries to last year’s cars.
So what are you looking forward to?
Quite a lot actually, with my rant over there’s quite a few new features that I and some others, like the look of. Firstly, we have a busy schedule of 21 races of this year’s calendar - including the return of the French Grand Prix. Unbelievably, a decision that makes sense considering we have three French drivers this year (four if you count Charles LeClerc, which you shouldn’t because he’s from Monaco).
Secondly, teams will be spoilt for choice with the 72 variants of tyre choices available for each grand prix. We have super-hard and hyper-soft tyre compounds, meaning one will be made out of Dragonglass and the later will last five laps before they explode like a balloon. All for the sake of closer racing.
Certainly I speak for most viewers when I say that hopefully his season will inject some much needed competition back into the sport. If we can add that unpredictability back into F1 then viewers will forget about the halo pretty quickly.