One thing that never ceases to impress me is the ability of the Formula 1 teams to build complex prototype machinery that go on track and almost immediately are able to complete 100 laps without a glitch.
There are inevitably some teams that do have “teething problems”, but the majority of them run perfectly from the start. Even allowing for the many rigs and dynos that exist at F1 factories these days, this is still an impressive achievement and a tribute to the precision engineering skills of those involved, both the designers and those who are manufacturing the cars to the tiniest of tolerances.
One can argue that the reliability of the modern F1 cars is one of the things that detracts from the spectacle of the sport, because even 30 years ago there were still relatively high attrition rates, with leading cars retiring unexpectedly and creating completely new scenarios. That just does not happen these days, at least not on a regular basis. The number of drivers who score in race after race after race is impressively high.
The return of Rubens Barrichello
When Rubens Barrichello arrived in F1 at the age of 20, he was racing against 39-year-old veteran Riccardo Patrese, who had begun his F1 career on the day before Barrichello's fifth birthday. By the time Rubens left F1 at the end of 2011 he was in the same situation as Patrese had once been in.