F1 Guernica – Jerez Testing Blog


It’s not very often that you admit to yourself, especially as a long-time F1 fan, that you’re not looking forward to winter testing with full-on media paddock pass on offer. I wasn’t looking forward to Jerez testing but I had a job to do for Motorsport Illustrated News magazine.

Let me explain: 2014 F1 machinery didn’t look particularly pretty in digital renderings or first real life pictures, it looked incredibly ugly to me. You had a bunch of male reproductive organs on wheels mixed with belugas and inverted anvils. Mercedes seemed quite normal compared to all other cars, a pleasant surprise.

Then I thought about meeting such giants of F1 racing as @DmerinoF1, the future FIA president, and it made me change my mind. I still wasn’t looking forward to actually seeing this new generation of cars. We was not happy.

I skipped the first day due to the expected lack of action and instead opted for the final three days. It was a good, positive choice because what I saw confirmed my worst fears: the cars were not just ugly, they looked like Guernica monsters that horrifyingly came to life; the engines were silent – think first generation GP3 car, albeit slightly louder. It didn’t turn me on; it didn’t turn the spectators on; I doubt anyone, apart from the poor teams/drivers/TV people, had actually bothered with Formula 1 at all. The Pit Stop (@PitStopJerez) bar at the circuit was more crowded than ever before, I spotted F1 legend Gary Anderson carrying a huge plate filled to the brim with some weird local food. He wasn’t bothered (with F1).

Screen grab from pablopicasso.org - Guernica

Screen grab from pablopicasso.org – Guernica

What the FIA and the teams have come up with is a bad joke, utter nonsense: Ferrari resembled a (sucking) vacuum cleaner on the main straight and you couldn’t even hear Alonso or Raikkonen on the back straight from the paddock, unheard of! I realise they weren’t running at full capacity, bla-bla-bla, however I can’t tag it #F1, it’s #FakeF1.

The levels of suckage these V6 direct injection “engines” have are enormous. They suck, period. MGU/ERS sucks too, it makes no noise on top of everything else.

You have to be a real dumb-@$s mental incompetent fool to spend tons of money on a slightly more complex version of the same internal combustion engine (as F1 V8), then wrap a couple of hybrid systems around it, add a pack of fancy batteries (think battery disposal) and call it 21st century green racing. Eco-friendly, my @$s! A catastrophic failure. Just to think each team spends a small (or big, depending on the team size) fortune on putting only two (yes, 2) cars on the grid, it doesn’t add up.

The only way to make the new formula work/look acceptable is to chop front wing genitalia, make sure all power-less units can at least run together on the circuit at the same time and stop spending tons of cash on stuff that doesn’t matter: the FIA created Formula E, those guys are into silence/sustainable green racing, blue efficiency, play the blues. F1 is about giving you the biggest headache of your life, blowing your mind away, it’s the Megadeth of racing.

But wait, maybe I’m wrong? I happened to ask Toro Rosso’s rookie driver Dani Kvyat his opinion on F1 circa 2014 – the kid said it was alright and he quite liked it, he also liked the looks of his and others’ cars. Spoken like a true prodigy.

Now I know! Jesus H. Hamilton, I was wrong! Merci, Jean and yer apostles, I saw the light! Holy mother of silence, thy name is Formula 1!!! Tears of joy…

I’m The Dark Side of the Moon type of guy, don’t present me with A Momentary Lapse of Reason and expect me to buy it, not in your lifetime.

It’s a scientifically proven fact that technically minded people don’t understand art, and subsequently the definition of beauty. Don’t let technical (sporting [working]) F1 groups run the show, appoint a businessman in charge of the F1 franchise, another used car saleman or whatever. They’ll do a better job. Just put F1 team bosses in the shoes of ordinary spectators who sit in a small dirty grandstand with cheap tickets: do they notice all the massive effort and complexity of modern Formula 1 when cars go past them in the blink of an eye? No, of course not – all you see is a strangely shaped object on wheels.

I realise it’s tough on the team personnel who worked so hard behind the scenes to make these ‘Guernica’ cars happen in time for Jerez test to hear/read endless accusations and personal attacks – I’m not trying to pour scourn on anybody. All I’m saying is your current product is substandard, not special any more, not on the level of what used to be called F1 racing. It’s not bad but not great either.

I’m not going to watch F1 on TV this year, although racing may be closer in 2014. I’ll just follow race results, do a Kimi.

There should be something in it for the fans, innit? I asked Marussia’s Team Principal John Booth (the best person to ask on the subject) his thoughts on the new formula, here’s what he had to say: “It’s very difficult to know how it’s going to pan out by Melbourne, it’s only a short period of time but there’s a lot things happening between now and Australia. It’s difficult to know how exciting the races will be: maybe we’ll get fuel surprises towards the end of each race to keep the fans interested. As I said, it’s difficult to know whether it (the new formula) will be negative or it may well add some excitement for the fans. Let’s wait till Melbourne to find out!”

For my part, I’ll concentrate on something else in 2014, like WRC or IndyCar. I always judge by appearance.

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