No. 976
December 12, 2018

About The UjianNasional

Author, commentator, influencer. The Consigliere. Minister of the High-Octane Truth. Editor-in-Chief of .

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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Editor-in-Chief's Note: I was going to fire up a new column this week, but then I witnessed what was perhaps the most boring excuse for a "race" in recent memory masquerading as the Canadian Grand Prix. F1 now consists of qualifying - which inevitably is a fight between the same three teams - and a race run in exactly the same order, with little or no variations to the script. Sure, sometimes a driver gets by one of the front-runners at the start but it's highly unlikely, and then we're subjected to a processional that unfolds over the next two hours. The relentless regimentation at play in F1 has resulted in exactly what the powers that be seemed to have asked for, which is calculated boredom and no surprises. The brainiacs of F1 clearly appear to like it that way, as long as the garages are to spec and the requested amenities are accounted for. That F1 is in deep trouble is obvious to everyone except to those in charge. They're too immersed in the day-to-day of things and the grind of maintaining the status quo to realize that they're presiding over a downward spiral that's picking up speed. What's transpiring in F1 at this point is a complete travesty, and for those who care about the sport it has become extremely difficult to sit through a race broadcast. F1 is racing in a vacuum to the highest degree, but as long as the principals are entertained and the sponsors keep throwing money around like water, it will continue. And so it goes. -PMD


By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. I've gotten to the point that I enjoy writing about the F1 circus as much as I do about NASCAR. In other words, not much. Now that the Bernie Ecclestone-led "Greed Era" has passed for F1, I'm still waiting for the dramatic departure in thought to come from the new F1 honchos. And so far, I just see more of the same, which really stinks. A gradual "tweaking" of F1 will be inconsequential and meaningless, just like it would be for NASCAR. No, a radical change is needed, and I'm afraid the players immersed in F1 can't extract themselves from the circus long enough to realize just how out of touch they really are.

Where to start? Fortunately, the exorbitant sanctioning fees are already starting to be a thing of a past, which is an absolutely essential development. Bernie basically held up cities and countries at gunpoint for the privilege of being able to host an F1 race, and it was beyond usurious, so that had to end. But who's kidding whom here, because the fundamental philosophy of F1 must change. 

F1 is now an orchestrated technological demonstration. The three fastest teams show up, qualify up front, and then the race is run with little drama and even less interest. F1 reached the point of diminishing returns long ago, and it's just unconscionable that this been allowed to go on. But the players need to step up and be brutally honest about the sport and themselves in order for things to change. I keep hearing Jean Todt insisting that production-based technology, especially advanced energy applications, must be a part of F1. And I wholeheartedly disagree. If Todt wants advanced electrification to be a part of racing, then I suggest he maintain his focus on Formula E. 

F1 actually needs to take a big step back. As I've suggested before, a new F1 rules package revolving around the historical F5000 series would be a boon to the sport and it would ramp up interest in F1 tremendously. Yes, incorporating contemporary safety standards would be an obvious must, but the sound of normally aspirated V8s would be the draw, and people would find a reason to be excited about F1 again. 

Watching the current cars at Monaco a couple of weeks ago should have been the last straw for enthusiasts of all stripes. If the players can't see fit to change the F1 rules package, they must at least be allowed to build special cars to the spirit of the F5000 rules just for Monaco. I think they would find that they would actually prefer those special cars, and the fans would too.

I could go on in detail about what other changes I'd make to F1, but if the players and the principals involved can't see fit to see how much trouble they're in, there's not much we can do.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.

Canadian Grand Prix, Mosport, 1971. Mark Donohue (No. 10 Roger Penske Racing Sunoco McLaren M19A-Cosworth) during practice. He made a spectacular F1 debut by finishing third behind Jackie Stewart (No. 11 Team Tyrrell 003-Cosworth) and Ronnie Peterson (No. 17 March 711-Cosworth).

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