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"My winning formula for grand prix racing" - upside-down thinking required

19 June 1999, The Financial Times, London financial timeslink

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Overtaking (in Formula 1 motor racing) has become as rare as a sunbeam" ("Roaring up a blind alley", Financial Times, Weekend June 12/13 page XXII).

But as in many a business problem there is no need for a high-tech solution such as using wide slick tyres. just a bit of upside-down thinking is needed.

So as to liven up proceedings, F1 races should be handicapped. The starting grid for Grand Prix races should be determined in reverse order to the current championship points table. The year could start based on the previous year's table.  Thus the driver skill required to overtake an entire field would increase in importance and help to balance superior technology. There would be no need to change the rules annually. The currently successful would automatically handicap themselves. And the first to reach the first corner would seldom win.

BBC: Overtaking taken away June 4, 1999

UPDATE: I have proposed this idea to Max Mosley, Le President of the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile from time to time since 1993. He disagrees that Formula One is processional and says that handicapping is "completely unacceptable to the teams".


It is often proposed to slow down tennis serves through abolishing first serves or to use heavier balls.

This would just benefit players better at returning serves at the expense of the big hitters and change the balance of power.

Moral: Even if you have brilliant idea it still has to be sold to the parties concerned. There will always be vested interests who seek to protect their current positions. A quantum leap requires a very strong champion to push through new ideas.

"How to capture the big new IDEA"

Cricket's Toss should be replace by the Bid

Bid bye bye to the fortuity of cricket's toss

Synchronised swimming- Upside-down thinking™ required

Just turn the problem on its head.

Wise advice straight from the horse's mouth

simple solution to the cricket match fixing scandals - legalise it.

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