It has often been said in Formula 1 circles that if you want proper, considered decisions about rule changes, then you don't ask those who run the teams, you go straight to the engineers.
Bernie Ecclestone would add that doing so also saves on the entensive bills for sandwiches and mineral water that come from the many team bosses meetings.
The mantra about getting the engineers involved has kept coming back into my head time and again after a Bahrain Grand Prix that left opinion divided on if Formula 1 has really messed up this year, or if the season opener was just a blip in what will still be a truly epic season.
The start was as exciting as the Bahrain GP got © LAT
This was in the hours when we thought that the new regulations, with the banning of refuelling and the top 10 forced to start on their qualifying tyres, would help us deliver a spectacle worthy of the quality of the field this year.
The engineers suggested that the new regulations had thrown up a hugely different concept for the teams - and so should be much better for the fans.
With refuelling, and especially the rule forcing drivers to qualify with their starting fuel load, the races were all but decided by banks of computers working out optimum strategies - with specific laps laid down for drivers to make their stops en route to the chequered flag.
The grid would be one thing, but if you knew the fuel loads - as we did throughout 2009 - then you could pretty much work out who was in the running for the win - and who was in for a long afternoon.
Yet, although in theory the battle for victory was pretty much decided from the moment the race got underway - for us and the fans at home, it was a still a story that would unfold in front of our eyes.
The engineer suggested that although matters were partly ruined by knowing fuel loads last year, there were still considerable unknowns for the fan sat in front of his television screen as the race got underway.
Rubens Barrichello's brilliant victory in Italy last year (when he used his one-stop strategy to perfect effect to overhaul team-mate Jenson Button and the man who should have won - Heikki Kovalainen) is a classic example of why you still had to watch the races, even if the final strategies made it clear why a particular man had won.
The leaders spread out quickly and stayed there, until Vettel broke © LAT
Would pole man Sebastian Vettel suffer from severe tyre degradation - as many suspected - and hold up a train of cars behind him, handing the initiative to those on the harder tyres?
Would the teams use the advantage that now comes from stopping earlier to overhaul the cars ahead of them, playing the game of who dares stop earliest?
Would those stopping earlier because they felt they were losing time on aged rubber risk falling into traffic, losing vital track time and screwing their races, handing the initiative to someone no one had expected?
If only it had panned out like that.
In the end, Sutil's challenge ended at the first corner, and at the front the cars all circulated in formation, looking after their tyres and conserving fuel, until the single pitstop.
McLaren benefited the most - gaining Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button positions during the stops - but that was pretty much it until a spark plug failure robbed Vettel of the win.
It was not the thrilling season opener we had hoped for - and the reality struck that all those engineers who last year said that a refuelling ban would make the racing worse, not better, were right.
The only real blessing was that there had been no safety car early on - thereby avoiding us the tedious spectacle of seeing everyone dive into the pits for their mandatory stop before circulating around together until the end.
So is it the crisis some have suggested? There is a strong case that it's far too early to worry about what happened in Bahrain - and that things can and will be better.
I agree with those who say that F1 has had some pretty boring races in the past - but what makes what happened in Bahrain so different is that these are such important weeks for the sport.
The class of 2010 - the strongest in decades? © LAT
Costs may thankfully be coming down, but this is also against the backdrop of the worldwide financial troubles - which are making it increasingly difficult for teams to find sponsors. Count those big brands that have left the sport against those who have joined it in the last 24 months and you're in negative territory.
More fans means more sponsors - and sponsors are the lifeblood of the sport. That is why F1 must ensure that this season is as good as it is been built up to be. It's why Bahrain should really be heeded as a major warning - that if things do not improve in the next few flyaway races then action should be taken. And quickly.
Of course it will be impossible to change the cars in the short term, to get rid of the brilliant aerodynamic performance that has come at the expense of overtaking. Impossible too to ask Bridgestone to produce different tyres that fall apart halfway through a race to make the strategy much harder to sort.
And let's forget imposing false elements like reverse grids, weight handicaps or driver swapping that would rip through the very heart of what makes F1 so great in the first place.
Yet there are tweaks that can be made. Maybe the mandatory two pitstops that teams already talked about and rejected, maybe getting rid of a mandatory stop altogether in the race and giving teams the option of either running all the way through or making a stop. Or maybe even, as Ecclestone has suggested, just giving teams the soft tyre for a whole race weekend.
A few simple tweaks to the sporting regulations - if well thought through - will be the cheapest and quickest way to add some extra spice to the races. While longer-term discussions can commence about getting the car designs sorted, getting a grip of sporting regulations that actually deliver 'sport' should be the priority for now.
And this is not something that should be left to the team principals to debate and vote on - ultimately providing their vote on whether or not it benefits their own concern. Instead, this should come down to an emergency F1 Committee, made up of wholly independent former engineers to decide on the rules - with the only interest being not how it hurts or benefits a team, but in how it delivers a better show to the fans.
Willy Rampf - future emergency committee member? © LAT
These are the men who should be locked into a room and come up with a few swift sporting regulation changes to be introduced if, by the Spanish Grand Prix, things have not been improved.
Then it will be up to Ecclestone to bend the arm of the current teams to get them into the official rule book, and have got them to agree beforehand that whatever is agreed by these engineers in private is approved.
Perhaps the loudest alarm bell about just how predictable F1 has become surfaced from that Sunday morning chat with an engineer. His team had run a computer simulation for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday night once the numbers from qualifying had been crunched through - although he reckoned it would probably be pretty wide of the mark as it was only a theoretical experiment.
The top four result? Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel...
If the computers weren't expecting an exciting race, then how on earth could the fans? The day the simulations come back and say 'result unknown', then we will know we've got it right.
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