F1: Mark Webber takes you round the Singapore night-race this weekend.

David Davis

If I as a libertarian was running Formula-1, I’d probably throw away some of the rules, as restricting the fun, frolics, f***-ups and offs. The objective ought to be to keep more drivers in the race for longer, while increasing the number of incidents of all kinds. The races should still be short, under three hours, otherwise we might just as well all go to Le Mans or on Top Gear with those humorous madmen who drive across continents in disreputable old bangers costing $5…

We’d probably relax the car specs compared with now, and go to bigger engines both for endurance and cheapness, to encourage more teams and make the entry-cost lower. A 2.4-litre V8 that needs to do upwards of 17,000 RPM, for up to 500 miles, and provide something like 800 or 900bhp, is just madness on stilts. Put these in road-cars as-is, to do the usual 4,000-ish, where they belong – and get real about racing engines.

Much, much longer circuits, such as the old Hockenheim which disappeared for miles through proper forest, would come back. See our Lancashire one which we proposed a little while ago. We might even get 10 laps of the M25! That would test engine endurance a bit, here:-

And on-track real-time repairs (you could drop the mechanics, with their tools and stuff, right “on” the beached car, by helicopter) would be allowed. There’d be more hazards as a result, which will be more fun.

Such rules would re-advantage the Anglosphere and the Germans, which is what we want now. We and they are good at responding to stress under fire- this would also have the benefit of re-disadvantaging Ferrari, who, with their friends in Paris, re-jig the rules in their favour every time they are losing out a bit.

An injection of a little libertarianism will not do this sport any harm.


  1. This is the best thing Sir Bernstonshire has done in a long time, but let’s hope they get the camera coverage right. For years F1 suffered as a spectator sport because the TV crews would rely on aerial footage from a helicopter which makes the cars look nowhere near as fast as they really are.

    Luckily there’s more onboard footage these days. There’ll be some new aerodynamic regulations for next year, with most of the secondary foils being banned, which should be fun watching them get to grips with that.

    I agree though David, this is a very libertarian sport, if not the most libertarian. The ‘Big Prize’ sport.

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