Date: 4th March 2011 at 10:34am
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After one of the most exciting conclusions to a Formula One season in the sports history, the naive amongst you might have thought that there wouldn’t be much of a need to create any hype going into the 2011 season.

With new tyres from Pirelli replacing Bridgestone, the introduction of a driver enabled moveable rear wing with the idea of helping overtaking and the re-introduction of KERS to add another new dimension, it would have been sensible to think that we had plenty of new discussion points to wet the appetite ahead of the lights going out at the start of the opening race of this seasons calendar.

The unfortunate cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix has also put F1 into the headlines much earlier than anticipated and for Formula One we all know that publicity, no matter how bad, is good publicity.

But all that has been put in the shadows by Bernie Ecclestone’s plan to Make it rain! with glorified sprinklers around the track to generate ‘fake rain’.

Even Pirelli back the idea of artificial wet races, in fact it was their motor sport director Paul Hembery who appears to come up with the idea of making the Wacky Races cartoon of the late 1960’s into a reality.

Thankfully though in all the madness, there does appear to be some sensible heads still in the Formula One paddock.

‘It wouldn’t be the most sophisticated way to make the show more entertaining,’ Red Bull driver Mark Webber told the BBC.

The Australian added: ‘It can be more exciting when we have some different weather conditions, that does happen. But you just try and think of Jimmy Clark, and Jackie Stewart and [Ayrton] Senna and those guys, masters in the wet.

‘Jackie’s still here but the other two would be turning in their graves if they thought we’d have sprinklers and hoses lined up around the track.’


Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry is also against the idea: ‘Formula 1 is about contending with the conditions that prevail at the time, I think that fiddling with those conditions artificially is not the nature of Formula 1.’

With any luck Bernie isn’t too serious about this plan and it was just a way of getting F1 back in the headlines following the delayed start to the season.

Unfortunately with Bernie though, you can never quite tell.