Everyone loves how '80s F1 cars shot sparks like they were decoy flares, and F1 wants to bring them back.

This sounds great at first, but it might be missing the point. Racer Magazine explains the whole plan, set to start testing at this weekend's Austrian GP.

It was revealed earlier this year that F1 teams were looking at ways to make cars more spectacular, considering ideas including sparking cars, glowing brake discs and vapor trails. Discussions about the ideas have moved forward, and teams and other representatives on the F1 Commission have given provisional approval for the sparks plan to come into force for 2015.

The current idea is for the sparks to be created by mandating titanium skid blocks within the planks of the cars. Work is now ongoing among the teams to work out where to locate the skid blocks to produce the best sparks.


As Road & Track's Sam Smith points out, this is sort of missing the forest for the trees. We loves F1 sparks because they physically manifested what was then cutting edge technology. Forcing teams to insert titanium skidplates gets the symbol back, but not what it signifies. It's hollow.

Any added looks it would bring would take away more of F1's cred as a top tech series. Don't tip the scales from cool to cartoony, F1.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (Brabham at Monaco 1989, pictured)

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