To me, one of the saddest indictments of modern F1 is Fernando Alonso’s post-race comment at the European GP: “After my second stop, I just turned down the engine to look after it for next weekend… I think second place is a fantastic result from this race.”

Well, quite frankly, I don’t. I think it’s a cop-out and a disgrace: it cheats Alonso’s fans and everyone elses’. Have they paid good money to see their heroes sit back and tootle along when they should be roaring on to the flag? No – patently they have not.

Can you imagine the outrage there would be if David Beckham said “Well, we’d scored that first goal Desmond, so we thought we’d just arse around for the rest of the match… you know, take it easy like. Brilliant, eh?”

I can – and if he did, I’d be first in a very long queue to kick him in the shins. And I don’t even follow football. But if any sportsman feels that it’s somehow okay to insult their fans so brazenly, then I’m sorry but they need a very serious reality check. Involving slaps.

The current lack of full-on racing and overtaking isn’t really Fernando’s fault of course. It’s the fault of engine and tyre rules, aerodynamics, carbon brakes, all kinds of things. Most of which can be laid at the big, posh, Parisian doorstep of the FIA.

It’s their regulations that continue to allow, and encourage, passing in the pits – and race strategies that avoid any actual ‘racing’. If they can’t understand what a disappointment that is to the average fan then they don’t deserve to run the sport.

Reducing downforce whilst re-introducing slick tyres for more mechanical grip is all very well, but the real clincher can only be the outright ban of traction control and similar electronic driver aids, making all crucial manoeuvring a matter of driver skill.

The FIA also apparently plan to bring in a split rear wing, though designers from the teams seriously doubt its effectiveness. Still, at least it was notable as one of those few occasions when the FIA actually asked for the teams’ opinions before completely ignoring them.

Just as crucial as the cars are the circuits: how often this year have you heard commentators say “this isn’t an overtaking circuit”? Well if it isn’t, then why is it on the calendar? Someone needs to get an expert group of drivers renowned for ‘racing’ together to make them good overtaking circuits.

Let’s face it: who should know better how to do that? Overall the sport surely still needs serious measures to improve itself if it’s going to survive. And wouldn’t be great if it were saved by its stars rather than its masters?