Pouring cold water on the notion of “fake rain”

Posted on March 2, 2011


Something close to serious discussion about the merits or otherwise of creating artificial “rain” to spice up Formula One races.

Real rain is great. Fake rain? Not so much. Credit: Mercedes GP

It was started by Bernie Ecclestone throwing the notion into an interview – a joke you would hope – but Pirelli seem to have actively endorsed it.

Where to begin? It’s dumb on a number of levels.

First of all, there’s no way it would ever, ever be perceived as fair. However “random” you make it, the driver who crashes off the road in the newly slippery conditions is going to feel hard done by.

Second, it’s completely artificial. Why not get rid of the racing altogether and just set the drivers up with F1 2010 on a LAN if we’re going to start mucking around with fake rain.

Third, I have to believe it was a joke. Bernie has come up with some weird suggestions in his time. He continues to pursue his bonkers medals idea. But really. Artificial rain?

Fourth, genuine rain is exciting. It’s usually forecast but you never know how much there will be, what the impact will be, who will deal with it best and what it will do with stops. Fake rain would provide none of this because it would have to be controlled and planned.

Fifth, just because it is technically possible to do something, does not mean it should be done. Formula One is already becoming too fiddly, with moveable devices on the cars and KERS buttons. Giving race control a magic button of their own won’t help anything.

I’m sure this will go away as quickly as it came up. Hope, anyway.

Posted in: Formula One, News