Drama. Keep it on the track.

So I sit here this morning, with 3 weeks to go until the first F1 GP of 2011, watching armoured tanks roll into Manama, the capital of Bahrain, and wondering if there is any chance we can just get on with racing and leave the drama to one side this year?

F1 loves a bit of drama. But when it starts to distract from the racing can this be good for anyone?

The off season has traditionally dragged up some news reports of F1 related dramas, that seem to only air themselves when the adrenaline of the season has settled down. When the teams and media need something better to be doing on their rare weekends off.

We have had the farcical Lotus v Lotus story that has dominated F1 websites for months now and bored the viewing public to tears. Quite how we can end up in this sport with 2 teams both trying to call themselves Lotus when Lotus themselves were never really interested in an F1 return is crazy.
We are now in a position where Lotus had a team in F1 last year called Lotus, they now can`t call themselves Lotus as Lotus wants to be in F1. So Lotus now have to be called Team Lotus, whilst Lotus decide to sponsor a team that has nothing to do with Lotus. This gets slightly more heated as Lotus are now taking Lotus to court to decide which one of them is Lotus and can use the name Lotus. One Lotus will win and will be know as Lotus. Until they decide they don`t want to be in F1 anymore and pullout and then nobody will care about Lotus.

I do feel slightly sorry for Tony Fernandes. He has created a great brand with his green Lotus team. They have done things right, they have gone down the right channels and have created a solid F1 team after a year of difficult races. I would love to see them continue in F1 for many years to come, but I cannot see how they are going to retain the Lotus name. I hope that if this happens it will actually be the launch pad that Tony needs, to call the team `AirAsia F1` and stop throwing money away promoting somebody else`s brand.

The next winter drama that we stumble across is the simply ridiculous row between Ford and Ferrari over the naming rights to this years Ferrari F1 car. Ford have for 23 years boasted that the Ford F150 is the best selling vehicle in the USA. Quite why Ferrari as a car manufacturer overlooked this simple issue when naming their new car the F150, I have no idea.
It is a bit like McLaren calling their new car a McLaren M3, Redbull calling theirs a RBCoke-1, or Virgin, a Virgin-BA747. How can you be so blinkered!

Then we move to the sad news that Robert Kubica looks unlikely to be joining us this year. Robert has injured himself whilst competing in a rally on a weekend off. I'm sure if you have seen the images of his damaged car you will agree that he is lucky to be around at all.
Nick Heidfeld has been promoted to take his seat alongside Vitaly Petrov with Bruno Senna standing in the background as reserve driver. I can see why `Black Lotus` have chosen Nick, he is the best available, but without Kubica pushing the motivation behind the team, their season is pretty much over already. Why not take a gamble? Put Bruno in. Bruno has only ever had 2 days of testing in F1. Ever..... He has never been given a decent car, he could be ace. Give him a chance you have nothing to lose.

Winter is over. Silly season has ended. I just hope the drama this year happens on the track. If it does we are in for a cracking season.