“Paradoxically, there are many new artists but no new spectators“. Franco D’Andrea, dean of Italian Jazz players thus expresses the growing discomfort of a specialty that increasingly struggles to involve young people. If we replace the word “artists” with “drivers”, we discover that the phrase is also perfectly suited to a Formula 1 that more and more often deploys on the track, with undeniable success, the new generation but that seems in difficulty when it comes to convincing them to populate the grandstands.
In both cases it seems to be the common level of complexity that constitutes the barrier that hinders the enjoyment of two activities that are so different that they are not lacking in attractiveness. But if the Jazz sees in the generational change the sign of reassuring vitality, destined to produce positive effects in the short term, Formula 1 seems to take the “bull by the horns” by starting that simplification process that should materialize in the “normalized” Formula 1 of 2022 At first glance a flawless move but not without contraindications. Because as absurd as it may seem, the simplification processes of complex systems, such as Formula 1, often present an unpredictable downside. Focusing on single component can result in the wild complication of the contour.
In concrete terms: “normalized” single-seaters risk drowning in that sea of regulatory quirks whose effects we have already seen this season. Continuously variable rules, often applied afterwards. “Simple” single-seaters but which, in order to remain so, must be able to count on an equally simple regulation. How simple is the formula that makes every show successful: the perfect correspondence between the described reality and the perceived one. Unfortunately, today Formula 1 is very far from achieving this goal. What happens on the track is not necessarily the truth. Which can only be achieved later when the regulations would finally certify it. And, as we know, young people don’t know how to wait.