re: Face saving exercise
"What F1 truly needs is cars and circuits that offer lots of overtaking to make it exciting again. It has been dull, dull, dull for quite some time now."
Totally agree. This season's the first one I've watched in years (since the introduction of the grooved tyres), and will probably be the last. If you want cars and circuits that offer a lot of overtaking, though, there's already one that does that, it's called A1GP. It's just like F1, but with all the passing.
Basically, as of a year ago, the cars are all 04 Ferrari F1 cars, or similar. They all have a certain number of 'push-to-pass' usages to last them a race (4 for a sprint race, and 8 for a 'feature' race), and they have a set number of stops (and windows to make the stop in) All the cars are the same, so its down to the team, and the driver rather than how much money is thrown at the team. The good drivers, who can work well with their teams have great seasons because they can get the setups right. There's also less conflict over who to support, and who to 'hate', because they're 'national teams' (well, the drivers are, most of the backend of the teams seem to be British).
Some really good close racing. Scott Speed did it before he went to F1 - didn't score a single point there, Ollie Jarvis (team GBRs regular driver last year) is now doing DTM, and beating Ralf, F1's over-rated, and its time is past.