The era of the legendary Bernard Ecclestone has come to an end. He is now Chairman Emeritus of F1 and we know what that really means — you are welcome to hang around the office but please don’t touch anything!
It’s a pity that he went on a low with 2016 season offering dismal fare. Although F1 teams now whisper their dissent, none had it in them to challenge the physically diminutive yet towering supremo when it mattered. Fans deserted F1 in droves unable to accept the neutered sound of the normally banshee scream of an F1 engine in full cry. Fuel restrictions didn’t help the cause either.
You don’t have to be a genius to figure that the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have the money power to work around any restrictions thrown at them and any attempt to level the playing field is an exercise in futility.
Lewis Hamilton showed his mettle by grabbing pole at the death. His teammate Valtteri Bottas threatened momentarily to be his new found nemesis but succumbed to the wily Sebastian Vettel and the resurgence of Ferrari who may bring some excitement back to a struggling F1. Hopefully.
And Force India still have it to play a strong midfield team. Sergio Perez fought bravely and fell painfully short of making it to a well deserved Q3.
So what has changed in the new season? Same suspects at the helm. With budgets ranging from $400 million available to a top marquee team down to $100 million at the lower end one has to get the thrills purely as a fan of this high speed game of chess and not expect some daredevil moves or maybe better still we could wait for miracles. Same question — show me the ‘cheque mate’?...