The Rainmaker Cometh

Bernie Ecclestone has unveiled his latest madcap plan to make Formula One more exciting: artificial rain.

The sport’s 80-year-old commercial rights holder has often spouted controversial suggestions for ‘improving the show’ – including the idea of shortcuts on the circuit and that the world title be decided by an Olympic-style medal system – but has thus far been unable to make his dreams reality.

And now, in an interview with the official Formula One website, Bernie has echoed a previous call for the track to be made wet during the grand prix to add excitement to the show.

“You have a completely different picture when it is wet,” said the Englishman. “We always had the most exciting races in the wet so let’s think of making rain.

“There are race tracks 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.”

So is this a good solution to dull grand prix? Does Formula One need spicing up?

We at Badger reckon we speak for and almost all fans when we say that this is a horrible idea, one that would greatly devalue racing and turn grand prix in to a gimmicky non-event. Whilst there is no doubt that some races can be dull this is more down to the circuits – particularly some of the newer venues that Ecclestone has followed the dollar signs to – than anything else. And whilst it’s fair to say that rain does spice up Formula One its the sheer unpredictability of the weather, the fact that it is totally out of human hands, that makes it so exciting. To implement such a plan be to the great detriment of the sport.

Hopefully this is just another one of Bernie’s attention-grabbing pre-season statements that will fall by the wayside once the action gets back underway at Albert Park later this month.