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Motorsport

With the world focussed on sports that where men play with balls, we'd rather focus on one where you need them (at least figuratively). If it doesn't have an engine, it's not here.

Here we are at the last part of this five part series on reform of Formula One from 2020 to improve the spectacle, decrease the cost (and so allow more entrants) and to keep the competitive spirit alive for both the manufacturers' and drivers' championship, while not touching on the commercial aspects of the sport.

To read the previous four parts, click on 2020 Vision in the tags list.

Bryan Edwards
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We ended last week noting the problem of "marbles," those small bits of rubber that fly off racing tyres and line the track. There is nothing good about marbles, although there is an argument that the cause of marbles is potentially a good thing.

Bryan Edwards
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While aero helps the car at the front of a queue to remain stable both in a straight line and under braking, and it helps the car behind to go faster using less power, that's the only good news. Aero creates a range of problems for both cars and, if there are others behind the second car, those problems are compounded.

In Part 3 of Bryan Edwards' look at a 2020 vision for F1, aero is both hero and villain.

Bryan Edwards
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Bryan Edwards examines Formula One, explains some of it in very simple terms and suggests ways to improve the racing. Continued from Part 1 yesterday.

Bryan Edwards
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In this series, Bryan Edwards looks at the state of Formula One and comes up with some radical ideas that could be brought into effect as soon as 2020 and would actually reduce the cost of the sport while improving the spectacle and technical benefits outside F1.

Bryan Edwards
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Was it madness, bravery or simply feeling that all the bad stuff that could happen had already happened? Lewis Hamilton, so often almost dismissive of his achievements, is collecting records, awards and accolades with every race. But in Mexico Hamilton, directed to the place where the top three cars were parked despite finishing ninth, was beside himself with joy. Unable to give a proper interview to the persistent and increasingly irritated David Coulthard, all Hamilton wanted to to was to get back to his team. And so, as the crowd swarmed onto the track, he turned and ran. There was no personal security, no looking around: just Hamilton running the long way back without a care in the...

Bryan Edwards
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Sebastian Vettel, F1's spoiled brat, had tears in his eyes as he got a hug from Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene. For his part, Arrivabene, already subject to some kind of gagging order from his bosses, has some explaining to do and he'd better come up with something better than his last excuse: a third party delivered sub-standard components and the team didn't notice before they failed. But it might be that the real reason that things are going tits up for the German driver are more intangible than the latest official reason of a failing spark plug. Renault and Torro Rosso are being taught a lesson, too. Welcome to the mystical East.

Bryan Edwards
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There are simply no superlatives left: the race around the public roads around Mount Panorama is perfect. From the fly-pasts to Deltra Goodrem showing that National Anthems at sporting events don't have to be cringe-worthy demonstrations of ego to the fact that races that last 1000km around a circuit that is, on a good day, dangerous and, this year, beyond that, are decided by, usually, at most seconds and, often fractions of a second, to the tear-jerking losses and outsider wins this is the consummate racing event. And then there's the party and the partisan crowd. Mercedes turned their back on the series, so have Volvo although the reasons for that are different, whipped by the...

Bryan Edwards
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It didn't rain. Vettel's tech problems in qualifying put him at the back of the grid (and tech problems put Raikkonen out on the grid) and he drove brilliantly, without bullying or cheating, to challenge for third (but then he reverted to type and behaved like an idiot after the race had finished: does he have a heavy left hand, or poor peripheral vision on his left?), Hamilton came second sandwiched between the Red Bulls, Verstaapen, on his 20th birthday weekend, won. This is what F1 is all about, the best racing on the best track in the world. And now, with a heavy heart, it's time to report that F1 in Malaysia is over.

Bryan Edwards
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Let's be clear: I've lived in Malaysia, I love Malaysia, I'd like to live there again. It's a wonderful country full of absolutely lovely people (with a few crazy exceptions) and in the ten years I lived there it began to restore its fortunes as a regional leader, a position it had somehow lost in the 1980 until the mid 1990s. Amongst its crowning achievements was the astonishing Sepang circuit. But, due to a succession of errors of judgement, this amazing place managed to lose its pole position as the regional home of motor racing, surrendering without a fight to newcomer Singapore which doesn't even have a track but has a can-do, will-do attitude that seems to have completely eluded...

Bryan Edwards
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It's easy to blame Sebastian Vettel for so many incidents, especially where he collides with another car. He's a horrible person and he's aggressive when he shouldn't be. But for once, although he was highly aggressive in the first corner of this year's Singapore Grand Prix, and he caused a crash which took out his team-mate Raikkonen, Verstappen and Alonso and himself and put Hamilton into the lead, it wasn't entirely his fault.

Bryan Edwards
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While many recognised the successes of Michael Schumacher, he was never a hero to generations: his achievements were simply a target while those of e.g. Clarke, Senna and a handful of others were as much a matter of folk-lore as numbers. These, like Jenson Button and Filipe Massa had drawn adoration, even love. Lewis Hamilton currently holds pretty much every record there is to hold in Formula One but the status of icon eludes him. How come?

Bryan Edwards
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Leaving aside Vettel's dangerous driving and the stewards' lenient treatment of that, the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was a genuine classic with some inspired driving by several drivers and some surprising results.

Bryan Edwards
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Let's be clear about one thing: if a normal person deliberately drives his car into the car of another driver, he goes to jail. How, then, does Vettel get away with an insignificant penalty plus three points on his licence (that will have little or no effect due to points due to expire soon) for exactly that action. The FIA needs to review the Azerbaijan stewards' decision, retrospectively cancel Vettel's points from Baku and impose a meaningful and immediate ban of, say, three races. Also, he should be penalised for causing a collision when he ran into the back of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes causing extensive damage.

Bryan Edwards
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This might just be the shortest motorsport article ever. Can it even reach past the "Read More" link onto a full page?

Bryan Edwards
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