Rain on Ecclestone’s Parade

Paul Oberjuerge

It was March 1 but it could have been April 1, a date known as “April Fool’s Day” in some parts of the world, a silly spot on the calendar when pranks and hoaxes and merry japery are to be expected.

Bernie Ecclestone, the chief executive of Formula One, was quoted on the organisation’s website as suggesting F1 could boost excitement at its races by “making rain”.

Go on, Bernie. You love to wind us up!

No, really. F1’s 80-year-old boss apparently believes that into every race a little rain must fall.

Essentially conceding that some F1 races turn into parades, he said: “Overtaking is almost impossible because in the dry there is only one line good for maximum speed because of the rubber on the track.

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

Making rain? Ecclestone continued: “Yes. There are race tracks 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.”

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