Why bringing back the ‘toys’ could make F1 closer
Putting control back in the hands of the drivers has often been a simplistic answer to F1's lack of close racing. But ex-Lola and McLaren engineer Mark Williams explains why a return of sophisticated gizmos could solve the issue
The inspiration for this article came from an unlikely source. I had chanced upon an episode of Fifth Gear in which Jason Plato was doing a track test comparing an Audi and a Kia sports saloon, in which he commented that the Kia was let down by its 'toys'.
That's a word we coined back in the late 1990s during my time on the McLaren test team for 'Embedded Control Software', and now 'toys' is a ubiquitous word in motorsport. McLaren had nicknames for most things, especially people: 'Shakey', 'Forks', 'WellHard', 'Flymo', to name just a few.
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