Is the thrill of F1 being taken away by technology?

There are concerns that the thrill of Formula 1 is declining. A poll carried out in 2015 by the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association asked 200,000 fans what they thought of F1 today. The replies indicated that they thought it was “expensive” and perhaps more importantly, “technological”.

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However, according to the official Formula 1 website, in 2017 the global audience figures increased and F1 was the fastest-growing sport on social media platforms. An estimated 1.4 billion people enjoyed the races across TV platforms.

Despite the obvious popularity of the sport, there are worries that the state-of-the-art technology that has been instrumental in its success may actually contribute to its decline.

Formula 1 teams are relentlessly incorporating ever more complex computerisation and mathematically modelled adaptations to the cars.  One of the great pieces of technology is Vehicle Tracking which allows the teams to see exactly where the cars are at any one time and see the performance at the same time.  This is one of the most important piece of Vehicle Accessories for businesses with a fleet of vans or cars as it will allow any stollen or lost vans to be found.

But has the raw skill of the driver been replaced by an over-reliance on technology, and is this removing much of the thrill that makes F1 so great?

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The Evolution of the Engine

Modern engines have come a long way since the 1950s. In 1951, the Alfa Romeo 158 1.5 litre straight 8 supercharged engine was capable of delivering just 9,300 revolutions per minute and 425 brake horse power.

Fast-forward to 2015, and the Mercedes PU106B 1.6 litre hybrid turbocharged engine is capable of a massive 15,000 revolutions per minute and 930 brake horse power.

However, the emphasis is now on sustainability and greener technology.

What Do the Statistics Say?

Fans may have a perception that the sport is more technological, but that does not necessarily mean that it is not exciting. Data collected by the Autosport FORIX service show that there is still plenty of excitement.

During the 2000s, there was an average of 11 overtaking manoeuvres per race, but last year there were 27. Races are also getting closer, and that makes them more exciting to watch. In the 2000s, the runners up were 50 seconds behind the leader, but now they were an average of 8 seconds behind them.

Driver skill is still vital. Anyone familiar with the F1 car control panel will appreciate the huge skill involved in using the mind-blowing array of buttons and dials to best effect.

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