Rate the race: Spanish Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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24 comments on “Rate the race: Spanish Grand Prix”

  1. A very poor Grand Prix. With only 2 overtaking manouveres (not counting the opening lap) it could never be interesting or good. Heidfeld was screwed over a rule that shouldn’t exist, Alonso proved that Renault have the pace but with the stupid aerodynamics on these cars they can never overtake. Well done Max!

  2. 2/10, rubbish – my vote.

    I’m going to say it till everyone gets bored: let’s put the F1 drivers in the GP2 chassis and go have a proper race.

    Failing that, flood the track at Catalunya next year.

  3. who was the insane guy that rated this massive boredom "perfect"????? he’s sick

  4. 10?  Must’ve been a Kimi fan.  Hahaha!

    If F1 races in GP2 cars, what will make them different from GP2 then?

  5. OK GP2 cars but with bigger engines then :-)

  6. Wish I could vote on this, but my Recording Device failed, and I missed everything except the press conference at the end!  Looking at the comments here, it appears I didn’t miss much.

  7. I have my TV under repair right now….  I was a bit angry cause I had to watch the "show" on TVU Player and Speed TV (that hurts), but having seen this torture it seems I’ve recovered my smile again….

  8. interested in your thoughts if they were to standardise the F1 chassis?

  9. very poor show.

    it shows how bad the race was when afterwards I was wondering why steve ryder holds his mike like that.

    tell me Steve, why do you use your fingertips to hold stuff with?, I’m dying to know.

  10. I don’t think they need to be massively different from GP2 cars. I think most people, if you snuck in one night and painted all th GP2 chassis in F1 liveries, would struggle to notice the difference (ok, we would).

    In the F3 world there’s a system of "hand-me-downs" with the chassis. The top series like Brit F3/Japanese F3/F3 Euroseries use the newest chassis, "middle" countries use the chassis these series used 2-3 years ago, and the newest countries to th game use the chassis that Britain etc. used 4-6 years ago (numbers approximate). Keeps costs down – the teams can sell their old chassis on to another team and put that money towards buying a newer chassis. GP2 followed suit a bit by using the new chassis for the regular series and the old chassis for GP2 Asia – every 3 years they intend to buil a new chassis (and shuffle things down presumably). F1 could use a "GP1"-type chassis, a bit more advanced than the GP2 one but nothing so complex as F1. They finish the 3 year cycle with that, give it to GP2, who give their old chassis to GP2 Asia etc…If the FIA wants road-relevant technology in it, they can research it themselves from some contributed fund and put it on the car.

    Keeps costs (significantly) down – allows more teams (and more collaborations between GP2/F1 teams). Makes it easier for new teams to come up from lower formulae. Should improve the racing. Look, I think GP2 is a good series. All that F1 really needs is to be a more professional, more widely publicised version of that. Not stuck up its own backside with KERS and CFD and round-the-clock windtunnel testing, which when you analyse the quality of the racing, is fiddling while Rome burns in my book. Manufacturers will probably hate the fact they are getting less technology out: maybe they can stick to their own hyper-techy, hyper-dull Formula 1 and leave GP1 to do the racing. But surely they’d love to get the benefits of being in a formula that few recognise as massively different but costs a tenth as much? They can keep their homologated engines, they seem happy enough with that.

    I suppose we’ve got to (a) give the rest of this season the benefit of the doubt, because Spain is always rubbish and (b) give the 2009 technical changes the benefit of the doubt, because the FIA might get it right (don’t hold your breath). But someone should be thinking about this. In my view, anyway.

    The hardcore might hate the fact the teams no longer waste two hundred million dollars to build a chassis that’s a tenth of a second faster.

  11. All of you people here seem to think F1 is just racing.

    Guys, F1 is not just racing, it is supposed to showcase the cutting edge technology that is available in the automobile market. It is supposed to show us, what all improvements might come in the road cars of the future. It is an insight into the future of technology.
    Ferrari FXX, Ferrari Enzo, Mclaren F1 – where do you think the inspiration & technology for building these road cars comes from.

    F1 is a source of livelihood for so many talented engineers. It is not just bread and butter, but the temple for the extremely passionate ones among them.

    Look at this year’s F1 standings : The difference between the points of top 3 constructors is just 2 points (before Spain), but the difference between cars is colossal. Isn’t all of this exciting to you guys ??

    Being a Mechanical Engineering student myself, I believe that removing aerodynamic updates from F1 car is like taking a toy from the small child.

  12. It was a good race but we needed more overtakens, more more more… Will it be true the Renault jump??

    I thought a while about it?


  13. Sumedh that’s fine in theory and I agree with you (I don’t seriously think swapping the GP2 cars in is viable!) but there has to be a balance between technology and racing. These days it’s 100% technology – 0% racing. And it has been for a long time.

    The championship situation by itself is not exciting. It would be if this were the penultimate race of the season, but it’s not. The closeness in the championship is not borne out on the track, because the cars run a second apart and you know there is zero chance of one passing the other unless, as we saw today, a BMW is behind a Force India.

    Here’s a few previous discussion on the topic: Overtaking: too much or too little?

  14. "Guys, F1 is not just racing, it is supposed to showcase the cutting edge technology that is available in the automobile market."

    That’s a fair opinion. I’d never seek to totally remove technology from F1. But is KERS really more important than seeing drivers being able to fight on-track with each other? Is technology really the main feature of Formula 1? If it is, then surely at best there would be room for a series that was the cream of technology and a series that was the cream of driver talent/professionalism, i.e both F1 and "GP1".

    "The difference between the points of top 3 constructors is just 2 points (before Spain), but the difference between cars is colossal. Isn’t all of this exciting to you guys ??"

    Tables aren’t exciting. Sorry.

    Wheel to wheel racing is. I’d take a driver to win the WDC by 50 points if he had to battle and make a couple of passes each race, every race, any day of the year, over a dull season decided by 1 point. Last year was decided by a point, and was exciting – on paper. In reality, it was a lot of very dull races and a couple of very exciting wet races.

  15. if it wasnt for the mass retirements, this race would have been the definition of a procession.

  16. Best part of the race? Seeing the King of Spain on the podium and Max Mosley no where in sight! I have no doubt that the King sent Max a back door message not to bother coming this weekend, hence his "visit" to Jordan.

  17. Keith, Robert

    I agree we need to strike a mean between technology and racing. My point here is that in the last 2 seasons, the technical improvements brought about various teams have been pretty monumental. I think we have seen more radical improvements over 2007 -08 than in the 4-5 years preceding them put together (Longer wheelbase, bridge wing, shark-fin covers, various types of ears and horns ;), and now holes in the nose). So,IMO, it would be wrong to abandon these improvements.

    What I would love is artificial rain being created on the circuits. This will reduce the importance of the ‘racing line’ allowing drivers to experiment more with the track.

  18. Want more passing?  Did anyone watch the NASCAR race at Talladaga today?  Something like 28 lead changes, 17 different leaders, FOUR abreast racing and for a change no big crashes,
    it was real racing. Three times the distance, cars twice the weight of an F1 car and running at 200 mph  and no Micky Mouse closed pit lane penalties !  When we F1  fans rate our race as dull, tedious or boring NASCAR fans rate their race
    as great or fantastic.  It’s time for the FIA to re-write the regs.

  19. I hardly call the minor tweaks to the cars this year monumental." Effort, time, energy and money are being wasted on these aerodynamic accessories that could be spent better elsewhere. Mosley’s typically boneheaded decree to freeze engine development instead of urging them to become more fuel efficient would go a long way to advancing road-car development than nostrils and ears on a race-car. Research into many other areas could benefit road cars, but the results of millions of dollars and untold amounts of electricity spent on wind-tunnels and massive computers will realistically never be sen in your BMW.

    Racing has always been made more exciting by the brilliant leaps of imagination of the likes of Gordon Murray, who were able to be creative in a less restricted formula. In today’s Mosley affected era, we see cars that have been turned into aerodynamic specialists, overdeveloped to drive fast in their little air bubble, but unable to do much when in disturbed air. Hopefully next year will bring some much wanted change in that area, with aero restrictions and slick tires.

  20. Sumedh I’m sorry but F1 should be about the racing and not a display of aerodynamic technology. Things were much better before without this aero nonsense. Whereas now what do we have? Absolute boring races where each car is ugly to look at AND they can’t overtake because of ‘dirty air’.

    Think about it would Villeneuve had held of 5 other cars in the Spanish Grand Prix in the current car? Would we have had the great wheel banging moment in Dijon between Gilles and Rene? Would Senna in inferior machinery been able to beat out Mansell in the same excitement and fashion? Or any of those fantastic Senna/Prost/Mansell/Piquet battles.

    The answer would be no. And the solution is to take away the aerodynamics nonsense, unfreeze the engines, bring back the slicks and let another tyre manufacturer back in and allow customer chassis (one customer per manufacturer limit).

  21. Rabi,

    All the on-track battles, Senna-Prost, Schumi-Mika, Schumi-Alonso would have been there even in today’s cars. The reason we saw such brilliant battles in the past is not inferior cars, but superior drivers. Apart from Fernando and (probably)Kimi & Lewis, none of the drivers are good enough with or without the ‘dirty air’.

    And, do not over-react after just 1 race! Let Renault improve another tenth, and let there be a Kimi-Lewis on the first row. I am sure, you will see the best racing in this season.

    2009 aerodynamics are going to be much more simpler, so let this season pass off, we are going to have ‘pure racing’ next season anyways. But, IMO, it won’t change anything, reason : inferior drivers compared to yesteryears

  22. Sumedh I have to say I think you are completely wrong.

    I was watching in the Senna-Prost years and the simple fact is that cars were less aerodynamically efficient 20 years ago which meant they could run closer together. Look how close the cars could get to each other even at tracks like the Hungaroring or Catalunya. The 1989 and 1990 Hungarian Grands Prix were fantastic.

    Since I first started watching F1 in ’89 it has become increasingly difficult for the cars to follow each other closely. It is not a question of making a knee-jerk reaction based on a single race – it’s been like this for years. As I pointed out in the statistics review, the last eight Spanish Grands Prix have all been won from pole. It is absolutely nothing to do with difference in driver skill.

  23. Sumedh I am not saying the current cars will not make for decent racing but when they arrive on aerodynamic intensive tracks such as Catalunya in perfect weather you will never get any on-track action ever happening.

    Certain tracks are just like that and whilst I’ve found the Spanish Grand Prix boring – for several years – the fact doesn’t change in that the aero packages are making it difficult for the chasing car to effectively catch the car in front unless it has a superior advantage.

  24. I think the overall standard of racing this year has been very poor. There’s been some good strategy battles and exciting performances from BMW and in Spain Renault, but I think there has been a real lack of wheel to wheel stuff especially amongst the top drivers.  Obviously F1 the elements of technology, strategy and being a showcase for the manufacturers are important but I think they should really take second place to competition on the track.  Roll on 2009.

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