The picture of Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff holding hands to show the world that the rumours about friction between them are, as Niki would say, “all bulls**t”, shows that not only are the two Austrians still get on enough to have a good laugh at their own expense, but it has been a great response to all the negativity about F1 that is flying about at the moment. The two have been giggling all day.
“It’s amazing how fast this social media works today,” Niki said. “My wife rings me up and says: ‘What is all this about with you and Toto?’…”
Now here’s a thought: Just imagine that instead of retweeting about the Mercedes team bosses holding hands (sweet though that is…), we all started messaging one another about just how amazing Formula 1 is today. Nico and Lewis are doing their thing – and the drivers should be the heroes – but we should also not forget that F1 has always been about fantastic technology. It is the DNA of the sport, but in the 120-year history of the automobile, engineers had only managed to raise the thermal efficiency of the average road car engine up to around 30 percent before 2014.
In the space of two years, the modern F1 engines have lifted that figure to 45 percent and the engineers are now working to take that on to 50 percent and more. They still see enormous potential for further gains in development and are excited that the same concepts can then be applied to road cars.
In other words, this is the most exciting development in engine design in the history of the automobile and the efficiency gains could and should have huge impact on the way we live our lives in the years ahead.
If the F1 world stopped fighting with itself and concentrated on delivering this message by every means possible, the sport would be much better off and, heaven forbid, there might even be some positive stories in the media…