Ecclestone wants artificial rain in F1

Tue, 01 Mar 13:54:00 2011

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone wants to introduce artificial rain into races in a bid to increase excitement.

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The sport has seen a number of initiatives in recent times aimed at increasing overtaking, such as KERS (a sort of turbo boost button that will be reintroduced this season), and adjustable rear wings (which will make their debut in 2011).

However it is widely acknowledged that for true unpredictability and excitement, a heavy rain shower cannot be beaten.

"Look at the races we have now," Ecclestone told Formula One's official website. "Overtaking is almost impossible because in the dry there is only one line good for maximum speed because of the rubber on the track.

"You have a completely different picture when it is wet. We always had the most exciting races in the wet - so let’s think of making rain.

"There are racetracks that you can make artificially wet and it would be easy to have such systems at a number of tracks. Why not let it ‘rain’ in the middle of a race for 20 minutes, or the last 10 laps? Maybe with a two-minute warning ahead of it.

"Suspense would be guaranteed and it would be the same for all."

Not all of Ecclestone's ideas have been warmly met in the past: such examples include having shortcuts available to drivers in races and his desire to decide the World Championship on medals rather than the current points system, which itself was only revamped last season.

In its maiden campaign the system, which awards 25 points to the winner and 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 point to those following, saw Sebastian Vettel crowned the youngest F1 champion at a dramatic final race weekend.

However Ecclestone has not given up hope on his medals dream just yet.

"Drivers want to win and they are not racing for second, third or fourth place - so let’s have a system where wins count," he added.

"Last season it would have worked pretty well. Vettel and Alonso would have been even after the last race with five gold medals each, and the same number of silver and bronze medals.

"Vettel would have won the World Championship because he had more fourth places... I call that a thriller."

The 2011 season start was delayed by the civil unrest in Bahrain, with that grand prix postponed for now.

The season will now instead start with the Australian GP in Melbourne on March 27.


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