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Tue 1 Mar 2011 07:59 PM

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F1 chief Ecclestone suggests fake rain for car races

Formula One boss says soaking race tracks before events would ramp up excitement      

F1 chief Ecclestone suggests fake rain for car races
“We always had the most exciting races in the wet so let’s think of making rain,” Ecclestone said
F1 chief Ecclestone suggests fake rain for car races
“We always had the most exciting races in the wet so let’s think of making rain,” Ecclestone said

After Qatar announced plans to combat heat by air-conditioning 2022 World Cup soccer stadiums, Formula One may simulate rainfall at racetracks to make racing more unpredictable.

Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone told the series website that soaking racetracks for, say, 20 minutes of a 90-minute event would guarantee “suspense.”

Racing becomes more treacherous in wet weather, usually requiring drivers to stop for specially adapted tires.

“We always had the most exciting races in the wet so let’s think of making rain,” Ecclestone told Formula1.com. “There are racetracks that you can make artificially wet” and it could be done easily, he said.

Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, which hosts a Formula One race on November 13, sprayed water onto the tarmac to simulate wet weather at a January practice session.

The most-watched motor sport has grappled with making races more entertaining since Michael Schumacher dominated from 2000 to 2004 with the Ferrari team. In 2002, television ratings fell by one-third in parts of Europe after the German driver clinched the title with six races left.

This year, Formula One is introducing adjustable rear wings to increase car speed and try to make passing easier.

“Overtaking is almost impossible because in the dry there is only one line good for maximum speed,” Ecclestone said.

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Robert Little 9 years ago

Bernie you have lost the plot, not only is it a ridiculous idea but totally unacceptable to waste the amount of water you would need to wet the whole track. It might be cheaper to hire some rain making dancers before each race (that was said tongue-in-cheek).
I prefer the ideas put forward by Jackie Stewart to penalise drivers who make a mistake, so long as it is safe.

Billy 9 years ago

It is a sad day when all the billions of dollars spent on producing the finest cars the human race can envisage, the fanciest designer built race tracks, and untold millions of PR, marketing, entertainment etc cannot produce enough excitement. The solution - fake rain! Has Mr Ecclestone spent too much time in Dubai?

Puzzled 9 years ago


After he recently said that F1 is one of the safest motorsports this is an extraordinarily stupid idea. The Man has played too much Grand Theft Auto. The simulation of reality should be left to the videogames.