I've been a fan of Formula One for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories of TV is watching Steve Rider introduce Murray Walker and Tony Jardine presenting the 1995 British Grand Prix. I couldn't tell you what happened, because it was 20 years ago, but since that day I've been a fan of fast things on wheels.
Now, as the MotoGP writer here on SCOMO, you can assume that I'm more a fan of the motorbikes than I am motorcars, but I still have an avid interest in the F1 - or at least I did until this year.
It's not so much a case of the Mercedes dominance has put me off - I made it through the Schumacher-driven Ferrari dominance of the 2000s, and I was still entertained last year. No, this year has been different. There's just no excitement any more.
For the first time since I can remember, I missed the entire Austrian Grand Prix. To an almost uniform standard, I've watched at least part of every race I've been able to - until Austria. The previous race in Canada bored me into going to the pub, while Monaco was so dull I fell asleep five laps in and just woke up in time to see Hamilton's bungled pit stop, and to be frank, that bungled pit stop was the most exciting thing to happen this season.
Meanwhile, the two underclasses in MotoGP have seen some sensational riding - even with runaway championship leaders - while the elite 1000cc class hasn't been the Marc Marquez show that it was last year. Every race is entertaining for different reasons, and any rider could, on his day, win a race. Can you say that about F1?
Indeed, the four-wheeled elite class could certainly learn some things from its two-wheeled cousins. Let me know what you think about these ideas at my Twitter handle - @LiamPMcCausland.
Formula One races last 90 minutes, or thereabouts. That is an awfully long time to watch two silver cars comfortably keep either a white car or a red car at arm's length while trying to use the better pit strategy to get ahead of each other.
MotoGP races last 45 minutes, with the riders going hell for leather at each other, with no worries about pitting or running out of fuel. They just race. Why not make F1 races shorter, allowing them to let loose with the engines more, and go and do what they are paid to do - race.
Having shorter races will also negate the need for pit stops - or at least could reduce the amount of pit stops by one a race. Races are won and lost in the pits. That isn't racing. That's chess.
Moto3 bikes use the same electric units. Moto2 have the same engines. MotoGP will have the same electrical units from next year. This will allow more teams an affordable, accessible route into the championship - indeed, KTM have announced they will be making the most of the new rules by moving up into MotoGP.
Meanwhile in Formula One, costs continue to escalate and teams are struggling to make ends meet, spending more and more money on R&D that they don't really have.
Introduce standard units into the cars to reduce costs for the teams, and they might be able to spend more on other areas, and will also open possibilities up to other potential teams. Maybe the gear box, or the electrical units - what about the wings?
I'm not saying make F1-2 and F1-3. Look at the open classes in MotoGP. Sure, most people just look at the winner on the podium, but there are spoils to be had for the leading open-class rider, as well as the winning open-class team at the end of the season.
Why not introduce classes in F1? Factory teams, privateers - similar to how WTCC works as well. It would give teams further down the order an incentive to perform too, not just be a fast sponsorship board running around at the back just making up the numbers.
In addition to this, would it really hurt the sport if they allowed customer cars in? They could even have a customer class. Look at MotoGP. There's the Repsol Honda factory team - Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa - with the satellite CWM Honda team of Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller, with other customer teams running in the open class including Scott Redding's Estrella Galicia.
Then there's the Yamahas - Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on the factory bikes, and Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith on the Tech 3 satellite team bikes. Add in Ducati - given open class compensation without being an open class team, with the two Andreas on the factory bikes, as well as the satellite team of Yonny Hernandez and Danilo Petrucci.
Even a big name like Aprilia, who couldn't afford to run a full blown MotoGP outfit, have the chance of winning something as they are classed as an open class team.
Everything exciting about Formula One happens at the bottom end of the field. Imagine if all that fighting actually counted for something.
Focus On The Racing
MotoGP, venues aside, tends not to have all the politicking of Formula One. The on-track action far outweighs any dilemmas off it. When was the last time you could say that about F1? What seems to be forgotten about Formula One is that it is a race, not just a game of point scoring against other manufacturers. It's high time we returned to that.