Dom Joly: A formula to make F1 different gear

Weird World of Sport: We could have oil slicks, front-mounted guns, smokescreens... I'm getting excited just thinking about it
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The Independent Online

I'm confused about this whole RenaultFormulaOnePiquetgate affair. As far as I understand it, a driver was told to crash into another driver so that his team-mate could win the Championship. What's the problem here? There's no difference between that and Maria Sharapova grunting loudly every time she hits the ball. Actually, there is a little difference as I don't regularly dream of Formula One car crashes...

Formula One cars now seem to be so well designed on the safety side that it appears to be almost impossible to harm the drivers. They sit strapped into small armoured pods, far safer than soldiers driving around Afghanistan and infinitely better paid. As such a driver, obviously a natural adrenalin junkie and thrill-seeker... you've got to start thinking about how much fun it would be to "take out" a rival. Then, you actually get an order to do so, on a corner and therefore not at any sort of top speed... well, it's a no-brainer.

But this isn't the main point. Obviously Formula One, like rugby union, is a highly competitive, professional sport and the whole concept of "playing by the rules" left the building a long time ago, along with gentlemen and players in cricket. To me a doctor slicing a man's lip after he's faked a blood injury with a toy capsule is no better or worse than what Piquet did. The thing is, as far as I'm concerned, most people go to Formula One to actually see cars crash. That's why everyone loves being a spectator on the dangerous corners. Formula One watching is not that thrilling in itself. I know, I've been there and there were no crashes and it was very dull. It was just a lot of hanging about with a bunch of pot-bellied men in smelly leathers, drinking beer and watching cars roar past very fast.

It quickly became crashingly dull and I longed for a huge pile-up to pep up the event. I wasn't alone either – it was something that nobody actually dared say out loud, but you just sensed we were all waiting for a smash-up and wheels going everywhere so we could appear on a future episode of "When Sport Attacks!!!"

To me, the whole attraction of Formula One disappeared years ago and it has simply become a multimillion engineering competition. I'd be much happier if they all had to use the same car and it was just a battle between the drivers, not the mechanics. Sadly, the whole sport has long been not about the drivers – the teams would have fully automated the cars by now if they could have worked out how. Meanwhile, the people who run the sport appear to have one of the best lifestyles this side of Madonna. They are constantly jetting around the world's glamour spots, necking champagne, having fabulous orgies with great-looking women while the drivers wind their way round and round yet another bloody track.

I'm surprised that more drivers haven't just thought about turning the whole affair into a different scenario. Renault should now hire Jason Statham and Vin Diesel as their new drivers and the Formula One engineers could turn their undoubted technical abilities to weaponry. I know that I wouldn't be alone in enjoying "Total Formula One". We could have oil slicks, front-mounted guns, smokescreens... I'm getting excited just thinking about it. We should take a leaf from the movies and forget about all the current really dull set of drivers.

We could even get the real thing in to compete with Vin and Jason. We could scour the prison for people on Death Row and give them the chance of release if they win the Championship. What about getting old drivers out of retirement? Imagine Nigel Mansell in spiky leathers getting into his kill machine. How the crowd would roar... how the pot-bellied men in smelly leathers would raise their beers unsteadily towards the sky. I'd keep Lewis Hamilton on. I consider him to be one of the dullest men on earth and he needs to get the smell of cordite into his nostrils. I have a feeling that, with a car carrying a huge buzz saw on the bonnet bearing down on him, we might see just what he's made of. We could even have new venues – the Kabul or Baghdad Grand Prix, anyone? You heard it here first.

A rude awakening for the greatest of all time

Good to see that even Roger Federer is human. He has decided to pull out of a couple of tournaments as it has been a "tough year." Welcome to fatherhood – only 18 years to go, Rog.

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