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Racing in the Coliseum

December 28th, 2008


Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo has said he wants more “real tracks” instead of the new “tourist tracks” like Singapore and Valencia:

Having two or three Monte Carlos is too much.  Next time we can race inside the Coliseum, or maybe inside the Papacy. This is not racing.

Now as awesome as F1 cars racing around the Coliseum sounds (preferably with spikes on the wheels) I do agree to a certain extent.  Luca makes a good point when he says “we need to improve competition, so that the racing is good not only when it rains or the Safety Car creates a situation.”  How many times in 2008 did a fairly average race suddenly become more exciting because of wet weather?  The opportunity for exciting racing has to be the main consideration when choosing where to go racing.

I don’t agree with Di Montezemolo’s opinion of the Singapore Grand Prix, though.  I thought this was a fantastic event.  The cars looked awesome under the lights and there was real excitement watching the way the drivers dealt with the slippery surface. Now that most teams use those ugly wheel covers that hide the glowing disc brakes it was nice to see flames spitting from the exhaust in the low light.  I’m sure Ferrari’s poor performance in Singapore has nothing to do with his dislike of the circuit…

But just because Singapore worked doesn’t mean we should suddenly start adding night races everywhere.  This would detract from the specialness of Singapore.  In fact I would be happy for Singapore to remain the only night race on the calendar.  Monaco is special because of its history.  But it is also special because there is no other race like it.

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