Image credit: Folch Oriol Garcia.
Today we can exclusively reveal that the fast paced world of Formula Once is again not resting on its laurels and is stealing a march on its rivals in its attempts to advance safety measures and improve the owner’s profit margins.
Following the prototyping and trial runs of the Hello system, it became apparent that many saw this purely as some sort of ‘hand rail’ surrounding the cockpit to assist drivers when boarding their cars. Moreover, the horrific accident between Esteban Gutierrez and Fernando Alonso in a surprisingly similar series, has left the rights holders concerned that the hand-rail, sorry Hello device, could in certain scenarios lead to the drivers being trapped in a dangerous position that would make the governing body look silly.
We can exclusively reveal today that the Aperture Reduction Investigation Liaison (ApRIL), the technical working group of the Formula Once Organising Lobby (FOOL) have been tasked with identifying the appropriate technology for getting drivers into, and out of the cars securely. FOOL apparently is comprised of Bertie Eaglestone, Chuck Whitefish and marketing guru Flavioso Brillientine and the group have identified an alternative solution that will allow for fixed canopy protection.
Mike Ketchup, our secret source, woke Bertie and asked about how the group came up with the idea. “Like all good ideas it came to me when I was away from the circuit in a quite mundane moment” he allegedly said. “We have initiated a study and both Chuck & Flavioso have already tried out my prototype.
“We feel the Hello system whilst having a catchy, Flavioso claims even sexy name, is just not safe enough; smaller objects faced by everyday motorcyclists can still penetrate the cockpit, and, in the case of bees or wasps, could cause a nasty sting!”
Chuck picks up the story as Bertie had now apparently nodded off “Yes, well, just as for Elimination Qualifying, Bertie is remorseless at wanting to improve the show; that’s why we are all so excited by his latest idea.
“I’ve personally tried the Side Entry/Exit Cockpit (SEE-Cock) System and it does afford the driver much better access to his workplace. Learning from the rushed implementation of the qualifying solution, we also feel that it is in our interest to thoroughly test it and as part of this process we realised we need dual access and hence the regulations will stipulate a SEE-Cock on both sides of the car.
“As you are aware, we are the pinnacle of motorsport and in Formula Once we are always trying to improve the show and improve accessibility. While working on the new safety designs we noticed that the cars could also feature more advertising space – this would allow the teams to sell more space to their driver’s parents to offset the costs of some of our management fees and Bertie’s new Gulfstream. To this end we have specified wider bodywork and a large dorsal fin.”
At this point Flavioso added: “isa very good no? This will provide molto bene extra ad opportunities and make our cars look mighty sexier no? Justa look at the bellissimo Ferrari here, it’sa good no? Imagine if a Porsche made a something similar? What a sight that would be.
“We ‘ave seen as well that we can charge more by ‘aving more drivers, so we will ‘ave driver change-overs at pit-stops. This is gonna double the number of drivers in our series and make them work together, I’m a gonna brand this part lavoro di squadra or ‘teamwork’®.
“Next, and this is where yousa can see my true marketing genio, we’re gonna extend the race time – probably to 4 or maybe 6 hours, but perhaps longer – who knows, one day if we can get the entry fees high enough, we could run the race for a whole afternoon! The longer we run, the more we can charge the teams, it’sa good idea no?
“We’sa also gota study going on that every squadra could include an ageing Billionaire, I’ma thinking Bertie has gota personal interest there, but who knows, wealthy people a racing for fun, it could possibly work.”
As if things were not strange enough already, Chuck allegedly picked up the story again: “So as you can see, by bringing in these changes we can increase the spectacle for the fans; keep the cars fast, add safety, race time and drivers and the new body design we are proposing will allow teams to offset the additional costs that we will impose for the rights to use the new designs by giving more ad-space to sell. As you can see, it really is a win-win-win situation and we can’t understand why nobody had not thought of this before!”
Well, if nothing else, the strange tale above is perhaps a caution on over-reliance on committees without looking outside of one’s own sphere every once in a while. Happy April everyone and enjoy the start of the racing season.