SupeRugby 2016 – Not so Super

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The showpiece of Southern Hemisphere rugby is about to kick off. Usually around this time of year, I have a complicated spreadsheet designed and the fixtures posted up on my wall and saved in my calendar. I know all the player movements, I’ve done research on new coaches and I’ve predicted who the surprise team of the year will be!

This year I haven’t..

SANZAR, the body that run SupeRugby have finally tinkered with it too much for me to be passionate about it anymore. They’ve added three teams, one from Argentina (yes!), one from South Africa, the Southern Kings (the union can’t even pay salaries and the president is holding onto power by using Mugabe-esque tactics) and the Sunwolves from Japan.

Now, SANZAR will tell you that the old format is stale, that it needs to be updated to keep people interested… I disagree. People were interested when it was the Super 12 and even the Super 14. The games were good, the teams were all pretty strong and the stadiums generally full or at least close to full. The English Premier League doesn’t tinker with its format. Why? Because it works!

I’d like to ask a question. Why a team from Japan? Japan would be better served in an Asia or Americas competition.

Why didn’t they give a franchise to Manu Samoa, Fiji, Tonga or even all three?

If anyone deserves a Super franchise it is them. Long ignored despite their abundance of talent and skill they have been overlooked again. Imagine what good the investment in these countries would do? Imagine the joy it would bring their fans!

I’d watch The Blues from Auckland vs The Mighty Fijians every day of the week, as opposed to say, the EP Kings vs The Melbourne Rebels? Who really wants to see that? Be honest, only people from Port Elizabeth and Melbourne…

The Smoke and Mirrors Rewards Program

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“You need insurance” they say. You need to pay money every month in case something happens and you lose all your stuff. If you do, then they might replace some of it. In the case of life insurance they’ll give your beneficiaries some money, or settle your debts. It’s called a necessary evil much like taxes and politics. I think most people can agree that taxes and politics, and by association, politicians, are amongst the most reviled things on planet earth. Insurance is a close third. Every month we plough money into a bottomless pit enriching a few clever people who are very good at selling nothing for something.

But fine, we need insurance or so we keep telling ourselves. I guess if we didn’t have so much unnecessary stuff we wouldn’t need it at all. I didn’t need it when I was younger and poor and had a car worth nothing because it was made of rust. Now that I’m older and a bit more wise (debatable) and have a lovely wife, house, three cars, pets, pool and furniture I do, just in case someone or something takes away any of the above.
These monthly cash outflows can be justified.

Monthly outflows that, for the life of me, I cannot logically justify, are paid “rewards” programs. Most medical aids have them. You pay an extra few hundred rand every month and you get to belong to their great wellness and lifestyle benefit program. But what do most people get out of this great wellness and lifestyle benefit program?

Well, they say you get discounts on certain things, including a gym membership at a big fancy completely horrendous commercial gym. They say you get discounts on your life insurance, but only if you accumulate enough points. They say you get discounts on other things too, but only if you accumulate enough points again.

So basically you’re paying them for the opportunity to score valueless points that you can’t use for anything unless you dedicate all of your time to their accumulation! People don’t have time for all that nonsense. I tried accumulating points last year after my gorgeous wife convinced me to sign up for the gym benefit, and by the end of it we’d gotten to bronze level, which meant absolutely nothing to me. I didn’t get anything for getting to bronze level, except an email congratulating me on getting there.

Rxxxx a month for a congratulatory email? I could have invested that money in unit trusts or shares or something (which is what I’m doing now).

They have once again very cleverly sold you nothing for something. I suppose you have to congratulate them. I wish I’d come up with that business plan.

Stop! you’re under duress… I mean arrest!

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The Quirk

If you get a chance, read Blind Faith by Ben Elton. It gives you a glimpse into a world where social media has invaded everything, privacy is considered illegal and the anti-vaccination lobby has won their fight against logic and reason. Books are considered contraband and public trials and executions are commonplace for anyone who dares defy the new-age but somewhat fascist regime lead by “clergymen”.

What did it take for this to happen? A natural disaster struck London and many people died, fictionally…

I read the book in 2008 although it had been written quite a bit earlier, and sadly, many of the things that Ben Elton satirised in the book are starting to emerge in reality. The most prevalent is public execution by social media.

Now, social media, in my mind, is meant to be an easy means of communication and innovative way to engage like-minded individuals on…

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Why do people buy horrible cars?

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I spend too much time questioning peoples’ motives. I shouldn’t though. It isn’t very productive and peoples’ motives are none of my business but sometimes I just can’t help it…

For example, why would an otherwise ordinary sane person buy Crocs, or anything gluten free if they’re not suffering from celiac disease? Why do some people think it is a good idea to drive like an idiot at rush hour or completely forget how to drive when it rains? Why do people eat couscous or peas? What could possibly motivate them to do these things? Now I know these are all fairly pointless things and have no real bearing on the world. I also wonder about more serious things but I’d rather not touch on those today, lest I get angry and post defamatory things about Daesh and politicians.

Most of the time I come up empty and put it down to personal preference or just accept that some people have no taste.

When it comes to cars though, I can’t… I just can’t put it aside like yesterday’s bacon and for the following reason. A car is a big purchase. It is the second most expensive thing most people will buy in their life, after their house, if they can afford either, which many people can’t. So when I see someone driving around in a new Etios Cross or a Smart Car I’m struck with a certain measure of both sadness and intense frustration.

Why would you buy that? Why! Why would you spend good money on something so awful? You’re going to be stuck with it for at least five years of your life. Most people only live to about seventy five, so that is 6% of your life, spent owning an awful car that you spend at least an hour in every day. People will throw out things like, “oh, it’s economical” or “it is good for the environment” but the truth is it makes little difference to the environment if you drive a little three cylinder car with a juicer for an engine or a big V8, because factories will manufacture, foresters will keep chopping and mines will keep mining. Your little four cylinder saving won’t even make a dent.

People also say, “but I can’t afford anything better” which is also nonsense. There are many, many great used vehicles for sale. You can get an Audi A4 from 2011 for the same price as your Aygo, and you can get an extended warranty for it as well. For that you get to feel great for an hour a day instead of just existing in your little car made of plastic that has the horse power of half a dead donkey.

So please put a bit more thought into the cars you buy. I bought a Renault Megane 1.6 hatchback a few years ago, and while it is a decent car and it looks alright, it still isn’t the best car I could have bought for the money I paid. I could have found myself an older Mitsubishi Pajero or a Golf 4 Gti perhaps. I could have bought a Citroen C4 2l hot hatch, but I didn’t. I was too impatient.

A year ago I bought a 1989 Toyota Land Cruiser 4l petrol 4×4. I think it’s the best car in the world, sure it may be old, but what a machine. Once the Renault is sold it will be my only car. Sure it may be old, but what a nice place to be! When the engine starts it sends a tingle down your spine. It grumbles for a few minutes after getting wrenched from peaceful slumber, much like its owner. A pull on the choke sorts that out, like a strong cup of coffee; it is just the kick it needs to get going. You might only be going to work, but the fact that, if you want, you can drive it to Sani Pass and get up without too much trouble, or to Mozambique for a bit of fishing, makes it something different. It’s the possibility of the thing that makes it special. To me car needs one of three things, it either needs to be fast, capable off road or interesting in some other way in terms of design or technology or even just history.

There is none of that in an Aygo or Nissan Micra. There is no fizz about an ordinary Hyundai or a middling 1.4 Golf. Maybe people who own these cars care about other things or have other interests. Maybe they’re interesting in other ways. Maybe they ride fast motor bikes or fly airplanes. Maybe they’re artists who take lots of drugs on weekends at trance festivals. Maybe they’re parents who’ve given up on their own joy to concentrate on the joy of their children. Maybe they actually like small horrible cars with no power. Maybe they’re aliens with questionable driving skills. I’ll question all of that but I’ll do my best not to judge them because that would make me even more of a hypocrite than I already am.

I don’t know.

What I do know is this. Cars are a major part of our lives and it makes sense that one should buy the best, most capable vehicle for the money you have to spend, and I’m sorry, that is not a Nissan Qashqai or an Opel Astra diesel.

You’d like a new car sir? No problem, that will be R600 000 and a kidney please…

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At the risk of harping on a subject I’ve already harped on about, I feel the need to vent about new car pricing in South Africa a bit, again…

Last week the new Ford Everest was introduced. I wasn’t invited to the launch because I am neither cool nor famous enough, or because I am an ignoramus who doesn’t know how to get invited to new model launches…

Nonetheless, the new Ford Everest is a cool looking car. It is based on the bestselling Ford Ranger bakkie. It comes with the 3.2 turbo-diesel engine and produces enough power and torque to do just about whatever you want with it. It has electronic 4×4 goodies to protect you from yourself and your bravado. So all in all it is a decent car then.

So what would you expect to pay for this marvel of modern engineering? Well, the base model comes in at, wait for it, R593 900… Five hundred and ninety three thousand nine hundred rand…

I’ll wait while you clean up whatever you just spat all over your computer monitor.

But wait there’s more…

If you don’t like the Ford Everest you can go to Hyundai and buy yourself a new Santa Fe’ for, ahem, R659 900, six hundred and fifty nine thousand nine hundred rand! And for that you don’t even get four wheel drive, you have to pay an extra forty thousand for that, which will take you to just short of seven hundred thousand rand.

Now, I am not privy to the costings of these vehicles and I have no idea how much profit the automakers are making on each car, but come on, seven hundred thousand rand for a Hyundai Santa Fe’? Are you drunk? Have you been eating special mushrooms from the forest behind your house? Has your imaginary friend been filling your head with ideas or has your German shepherd been telling you to eat peoples’ kidneys again? Madness, madness is the only explanation for the pricing on these two SUVs.

Sadly though they will probably sell, well at least the Ford will. I can’t see anyone buying a Hyundai Santa Fe’ when they could get a Toyota Fortuner, FJ Cruiser or Prado for a similar price or less, or a small flat which could generate you a bit of a return on your money. The people who buy them will be smacked in the forehead with massive depreciation and will lose a huge amount of money.

I know cars are not a logical purchase, hell, I’m thinking about swopping my sensible 2008 hatchback for a 1995 4.2l petrol Nissan Patrol and I already have an old FJ62 series 4l Toyota Land Cruiser sitting in the parking lot. Thing is though, I won’t have to spend a lot of money on the Nissan. They’re as tough as old boots and can easily trundle along for over a million kilometres. If you find one with less than 300 000 km on the clock you can consider it hardly used… It is a wonderfully capable vehicle and it looks cool too. Why on earth would I want to spend R7000 a month on a new car that isn’t as capable?

People say, oh, but what about fuel consumption? It must be so high! Well yes, but I don’t have to pay a car instalment every month do I? My insurance is less than a third of what you’re paying for your new car. Petrol… Pfft…

My advice? If you want a nice comfortable SUV that can go off-road a bit and won’t break down often, get a used Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 3l diesel or a used Mitsubishi Pajero for between R150 000 and R350 000.

Use the rest of the money you’ve saved to go on holidays in it, or maybe invest that small flat….

Old Cars vs New Ones

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I like older cars. I’m not quite sure why. I far prefer the 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee to the 2015 model for example. I very nearly bought a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7l hemi V8 but was dissuaded when I calculated how much more it would cost to drive from Durban to Joburg and back as compared to the 1.6 hatchback I was replacing it with. It would have cost me twice as much or as near as makes no difference.

My wife then asked me “But why not go for the 3l diesel?”

I had no logical answer. The 3l diesel would no doubt be more economical to run and I wouldn’t have to sell a kidney every time I needed to fill the tank. But I wanted the V8 and nothing else would do, so I ended up not getting anything for a while. I still feel a swirl of excitement in my belly when I see a 2006 -2010 5.7l hemi V8 Jeep but for some reason I don’t feel that same swirl when I see a new one or even the SRT8, which is more powerful but pointless because it’s not meant to go off-road. It’s like an X5/6 or Audi Q7, a big fast station wagon for important people with kids who can’t justify a M3 anymore.

It’s not just the Jeep though. I prefer the previous generation C-Class Mercedes. I prefer the previous generation VW Touareg (although I’d never buy one). I prefer the Land Rover Discovery 2 and I prefer the Toyota Land Cruisers that they built in the 80s and 90s, so much so that I bought one from 1989 and it’s the best car in the world as far as I am concerned. The only visible electronics in it are the digital clock and the radio, which only gets two stations and returns an “ERR” message whenever I try to play a CD, so I prefer to keep it off. There are no touch screens, parking sensors, lane assist gadgets or even ABS brakes as far as I can tell. And yet, put it into low range 4×4 and it will climb Everest whilst rescuing its descendants all the way up and back down again, and it’s cheap to repair.

All of which begs the question, why have carmakers made their cars so complicated? They will say it’s for safety reasons. They will say they are moving with the times. They will say it’s for our own good. They may actually be right about all of those things but I don’t think it’s their main reason. I think their main reason is because all the electronics and gadgets make cars more expensive and harder for the amateur mechanic to fix in his back yard. That makes it easier to sell expensive service and maintenance plans because the modern car buyer knows that if something important breaks on his or her expensive new technological marvel it will cost more to repair than it would to build a new house.

These days you don’t need a spanner to fix a car, you need a laptop. I could ask the worst bush mechanic in Botswana to replace the leaf springs in my 89 Land Cruiser and he’d do it without too much hassle, but I bet he’d be completely lost if he saw a modern set-up with a limited slip differential and independent adjustable air suspension. You’d have to fly out a team of engineers with laptops and specialised equipment to fix a new Land Cruiser or Land Rover Discovery. A bunch of spanners and socket wrenches just won’t cut it anymore.

When I look at the prices of some of today’s cars all I can think is “you’d have to bonkers to pay that”. A new Toyota Land Cruiser 200 will cost you in excess of a million rand. I paid R45 000 for my 89 model and when I took it on a 4×4 course recently it was proved just as capable as the new 200 series Land Cruiser, even without a lockable differential. It ate the all obstacles for breakfast. So I saved a million rand, good for me!

Are old cars better? Probably not, but they are a lot cheaper than and just as capable as the new ones. I suppose it’s like a new pair of R2000 Doc Martens boots. They are cool, there is no question, and they always have been. But, for the same amount of money I can get two pairs of good running shoes and some hiking boots, all of which are infinitely more useful. For the price of a new 200 series Land Cruiser or Range Rover I can buy at least seven and a half second hand 2007 5.7l Hemi Jeep Grand Cherokees like the one I mentioned earlier or twenty six 1989 FJ62 series Toyota Land Cruisers… I could go on but I think the point is fairly clear.

So why do we buy new cars? It’s obviously not a decision based on sound reasoning or logic. If it was we’d all be driving around in Suzuki Jimnys or Subaru Legacy Outbacks but I don’t see many of those. I do see many BMW M5s, Porsche Cayennes and Range Rover Sports. Don’t even get me started on the new “Compact SUV that is Actually Just a Hatchback with Platform Shoes on” models that litter our roads with their elevated seating positions and pseudo off-roader looks.

As much as the marketing gurus would have us believe that we buy new cars to be cutting edge or for the new safety features and extra kilowatts, the truth is we buy new cars because we want them. We’re filled with desire for them. Something primal takes over, good sense is subverted, and next thing you know you’re grinning at a new BMW X5 on your driveway. The same is true in other areas of life. Human beings desire things! We’re seduced by newness, by bright colours, by being better than Jones down the road. We’re shallow uncomplicated hypocrites with an inferiority complex.

“How much is enough?” they asked a rich businessman?

“Just a little bit more” he replied.

I was struck by a thought the other day. I was driving to gym in my cheap sensible hatchback after reading an article in which the writer had pointed out the stereotypical corporate BMW owner profile; middle management drives a 3 series and when he gets his big promotion he trades it in on a 520i. I happened to look at the car next to me, a 3 series BMW, driven a man in a tie going home at 6pm. He looked tired and miserable and I found it all very sad, so much so that I’ve been dissuaded from buying a Volvo S60 T6 and am instead going to try find myself a seventies Citroen DS20. I can’t think of anything more uncool than buying a new small luxury European sedan right now.

So this is my protest against boredom and extended motor-plans, against overly engineered electronic vehicles that do the driving for you, against cars that need a diagnostic every time you change a spark-plug and against car companies who want to hold us hostage with exorbitantly expensive optional extras under the guise of “exclusivity”. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it is better.

 

If Formula 1 Teams were Rugby Teams

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Mercedes – The New Zealand All Blacks – They’re just too good, too fast and too strong. Everyone else is playing catch up. They might occasionally be challenged when the conditions are absolutely ideal for their opponents but will ultimately prevail.

Ferrari – England – They’re good, steeped in history and the architects of the game we know today. In recent years, however, they’ve fallen behind as the other teams have evolved beyond their ability. They are slowly pulling back some ground with some new personnel but still have some way to go.

Red Bull – Australia – They’re smart, very smart, and quick but generally not as powerful as their foes in the engine department. They play to their strengths and do their best to play away from their weaker areas, regularly upsetting more fancied opposition.

Williams – France – They can be blisteringly fast when everything is working for them, but when it isn’t they can fall apart and end up bringing up the rear.

McLaren – South African Springboks – They have the tools to compete with the best, but can fall short because of technical deficiencies in key areas. In 2015 so far it is an inconsistent power unit; in 2014 it was the handling at the back where they fell short. They’re always expected to do well and when they don’t their supporters get very upset.

Toro Rosso – Manu Samoa, Tonga and Fiji – On their day they can take on anyone but it only takes a few small hiccups to set them back as they don’t have the depth or funding of the other teams. They have launched many a young player’s career but ultimately battle to keep them when the big teams come calling.

Lotus – Ireland – They go through periods of dominance, usually driven by a star player and the right mix of players built around him. They can beat the best, but also have a habit of falling short on the world cup stage.

Force India – Wales – They always look the part but for some reason can’t quite keep pace with their opponents when it comes down to the wire.

Sauber – Scotland – They’re ever present but generally uncompetitive against the bigger teams. They’ve been known to cause a few upsets in the rain however, and have a solid and proud history of being a team that play with heart and a never say die attitude.

 

If Rugby Teams were Cars

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The New Zealand All Blacks

BMW M division – Powerful, fast and reliable.  Sheer pleasure to watch and generates envy wherever they go. Also, they are unpredictable because they never indicate what they are going to do next…

The South African Springboks

Toyota Land Cruiser – Big and powerful, but as subtle as a concrete block. At its best when conditions are tough and the odds are stacked against it.

The Australian Wallabies

Mini Cooper S – Not as big or powerful as its competitors but quick and nimble, plays to its strengths and uses smarts to overcome more powerful adversaries.

England

Land Rover Defender – Strong engine, steeped in tradition and very capable. However can be slow to accept change. Constantly overtaken by everyone else.

France

Alfa Romeo – Can be sublime but prone to baffling periods strewn with breakdowns and technical issues.

Ireland

Lancia – One good model every 7 to 10 years, but always peaks when it doesn’t matter.

Scotland

Suzuki – Always eager and willing but simply lack the firepower to compete regularly

Wales

Bentley GT Continental – Sporty looking and heavy but at the end of the day it’s a VW underneath

Argentina

Jeep Wrangler – Rugged, plenty pulling power but battles with handling at speed on the highway.

The Pacific Island Nations, Manu Samoa, Fiji and Tonga

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – Big, powerful and fast, but lack the finesse of their better funded opponents. On their day they can compete with the best, but when something goes awry they don’t quite have the same depth of resources to keep their level consistent.

 

 

How can South Africa make people stay here, and convince those that have left to come back?

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I’m going to veer a bit off topic here so please forgive me in advance… Not that anyone reads my blog but still, better safe than sorry.

There is plenty of anger, frustration, vitriol and associated malice in South Africa, between white and black, rich and poor, Jo-burgers and Capetonians and the ANC and everyone who doesn’t like it.

Why? Well I could go on about history but there are enough people talking about that. I could go on about politics, corruption, crime, murder and apathy but there are enough people talking about that too.

South Africa is an amazing place, I love it here, and it makes me sad that so many people are leaving. Just last week a couple my wife and I are good friends with announced their intent to leave for Australia because of a violent break-in and the associated trauma. They are going to leave a great life behind. They’re both successful business people who contribute a great deal to the country. They are a loss to South Africa.

So what I am going to write about today is –

How can South Africa make people stay here, and convince those that have left to come back?

I can only write from a white middle class perspective but I’ll try covering all the bases.

We pay taxes, whether it is income tax, VAT, fuel levies, eToll fees, company tax or dividends tax. As such we are economically active members of society. We do this in return for the right to live here and in exchange for services government is obligated to provide.

That doesn’t mean I want to benefit more from said taxes than people who are poor, unemployed or otherwise unable to do the same. They are guaranteed all the same rights and are due the same services as I am and they need the benefits of my tax more than I do, so that they can have a roof over their head, food, and so that their children are educated giving them the tools to uplift themselves and their families.

However, for me to stay or to convince me to come back if I’ve left, which I haven’t but bear with me, all government needs to do is as follows (and I think you’ll find most of these in the constitution by the way)

–          Most importantly… Make it safe for me, my family and friends to live here – I don’t want to have to buy a gun and learn hand to hand combat. I’m an accountant not a soldier. I don’t want to have to worry about my wife being kidnapped when she goes jogging or us being shot for our cellphones by drug addled youths in our own home, which we paid for and pay rates every month for the services we get from the council.

–          Give the police the capacity to keep South Africa safe from criminals. Punish the violent offenders, put criminals to work growing food for the less fortunate, do something! If you get that right we’ll be your biggest supporters!

–          In my opinion the primary role of government is to run the country so that we, the citizens, can go about our daily lives in blissful ignorance. I don’t want have to worry about taxi strikes, racist murders, food and energy security, water security, road maintenance, corrupt police or local councilmen, illegal immigrants etc.

–          The government should take care of all that shit without me even knowing about it, so that I can concentrate on my job in the country, which is to work for a living, so that I can pay income tax, buy goods and services which contribute VAT to the fiscus, put petrol in my car so that my fuel levy can pay for roads and road accident victims, or start a company which will pay corporate tax and will employ people who will in turn pay income tax, buy goods and services which contribute VAT to the fiscus and put petrol in their cars to contribute to the fuel levy.

–          In short, in order for me to stay here, or to come back here if I’ve already left, all the government has to do is its JOB! Keep me safe, use my taxes to take care of all the things that I really don’t have time to do, and have paid you to do in the first place.

 

  1. Keep me, my family and my friends safe
  2. Train and pay the police properly
  3. Keep the lights on
  4. Keep the water running
  5. Take care of the poor and unemployed so that they are not driven to crime
  6. Put convicted criminals to work
  7. Take care of your business without bothering me with it

 

 

RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN

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“How do you make a car go faster? Give it better brakes.”

I read that quote once, can’t remember who it is by. It was in reference to the controls and procedures businesses put in place in order to streamline their operations and ensure that the company works as effectively and efficiently as it can.

Imagine if, say, the delivery driver had authority to change the production plan, or if the tea lady was given access to the company’s bank account with no co-signatory. It would be chaos; the company would go bang in a matter of a few months. That is why companies have a management structure and rules in place limiting authority and assigning people to tasks based on their education, skill level and experience. It is why only people who understand the supply chain place orders based on expected production and forecasted sales. It’s why the CEO makes the strategic decisions that affect the company’s direction, and not the product development engineer who thinks that a levitating fridge would be a good thing to plough all the company’s R&D money into.

However, it is human nature to over complicate and to over regulate and when that happens it can strangle the organisation. People cannot make decisions because it takes too long and there is too much red tape to wade through, too many signatures to get, too many forms to fill out, too much time spent with the faffery around a task than on the actual task at hand. This environment is usually driven by what I like to call “the regulators”. They have their place but when they outnumber the innovators it becomes a problem.

Success depends on a balance between innovation and regulation. It is true for anyone that develops and manufactures a product. Too much innovation and your product becomes too expensive too quickly. Too much regulation and you become stagnant, you do not grow and eventually you get killed off and consigned to the scrap heap of ideas and businesses that have run out of ideas or are simply too concerned with how things are being done instead of why they are being done.

Formula 1 is at a tipping point right now. The sport has become over-regulated and over-innovated at the same time. The rule makers have forced the manufacturers to come up with mind bogglingly complicated cars. In theory that is what they are there for but in reality they have taken it too far.

People buy into Formula 1 for the following reason. They want to watch the best drivers in  in the fastest and best cars in the world racing against each other on the ragged edge of performance and safety.

At the moment you have the best drivers in the world and the cars may be the best in the world but they’re certainly not the fastest. The V6 hybrid engines sound like diesels and the tyres only last three laps, give or take. How can the drivers push themselves and their cars to the ragged edge when they run out of tyres? They can’t!

The engines are reliable, well at least they’re supposed to be, but the teams aren’t allowed to develop their engines during the season. That makes no sense, surely you’d want the teams to be working as hard as they can to improve their cars, looking for every improvement , no matter how tiny so that they might catch up or get ahead.

They’ve lost sight of why they’re doing Formula 1 in my opinion. The need to ease the regulations and let the teams do what they are supposed to do, make the fastest, best cars in the world. I’d recommend the current rules get scrapped completely in 2017 and the following guidelines be given by the FIA regarding the cars.

1 – The car must be a maximum of x m long and x m wide and a minimum of x m long and x m wide and a max of x m high.

2 – The engine must run on petrol and have a maximum of ten cylinders and a minimum of six

3 – Safety requirements remain as stringent as they are.

4 – The aerodynamic characteristics of the cars are at the teams’ discretion, within the height and width regulations of the car.

Thats it, see what the teams come up with. It may be crazy, but they have the necessary management structures in place to stop the whackier of the engineers from building leviting cars, or maybe they’ll just go with it. It may be a lot of things, but it certainly won’t be boring.