Stop the needless rules changes

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Top qualifiers face a tyre choice handicap in 2010

It comes as no surprise to learn there are yet more changes to the F1 rules planned for this year.

Not only is a second change to the points system planned – the second in two months – but now some drivers may also be forced to start the race on the tyres they qualified on.

Will the needless meddling with the F1 rules ever stop?

The ‘top ten tyre’ rule

The latest proposed change, which will require drivers who reach the final stage of qualifying to start the race using the same set of tyres they qualify on, is particularly poorly thought-out rule.

Drivers who reach Q3 will now face a dilemma. They can qualify on the softer tyre, which will be quicker over a single lap but struggle for durability on a heavy fuel load at the start of the race. Or set a slower qualifying time on the harder tyre and be in a better position for the race.

In short, the rule makers have decided to handicap the top ten qualifiers with a compromise decision the rest of the field don’t have to make.

It is a classic piece of needless, arbitrary decision-making. Why penalise the top ten in this way? Why not the top three, or the 15 best qualifiers?

A football team that goes five goals down does not get a free penalty. They get thrashed, go home and figure out how to improve their team. In the same way anyone who qualifies outside the top ten for an F1 race should not be getting hand-outs from the rule makers, they should be building faster cars.

The new rule, proposed by the FIA’s Sporting Working Group, will be voted on at the World Motor Sports Council next week. I hope they throw it out.

“Improving the show”

I don’t believe the SWG is trying to spoil F1. And I’m grateful there is – as yet – no sign of them making matters worse by forcing drivers to make more pit stops, dishing out points for pole and fastest lap, or other such tweaks.

But I do think they need better leadership. The FIA instructed them to find a way of “improving the show” (their words, not mine) and, 41 days away from free practice one at Bahrain, their options were pretty limited.

F1 has somehow got hooked on tweaking its rules year after year. It began in 2003 when they first started fiddling with the points and the qualifying format after a particularly dull 2002 season dominated by Ferrari.

It’s as if those in charge are having a crisis of confidence about the shape the sport is in – but they needn’t worry.

This year we’ve got Michael Schumacher back in a works Mercedes, the last two world champions driving for McLaren, and Fernando Alonso back with a top team alongside the ever-improving Felipe Massa.

That’s not a show that needs improving.

Later this week FOTA is launching (another) survey of fans opinions on F1 (find it here). Among their key findings when they surveyed F1 fans last year was “F1 isn’t broken, so beware ‘over-fixing’ it” and “there is no evidence to suggest that grand prix formats need ‘tricking up’ via, for example, handicapping.”

This is clearly a message that needs repeating to the powers-that-be. So when the survey launches on Tuesday let’s give them a clear message that this endless, needless fiddling with the rules – especially handicapping the faster cars – is no good for F1.

Changing the F1 rules

Author information

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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108 comments on “Stop the needless rules changes”

  1. Here, here. I completely agree.

    I’m all for taking the rules back to the 90’s!

    1. i understand this rule because what might happen is that races wont have any overtake less overtakes on the pits more on track with different tyre strategy

      1. without refueling races could be like watching a train going by different tyre strategies would make a lot of overtakes all of them on track

      2. Key words, though, being “could be” – how about waiting to see what happens before trying to make improvements when no one really knows how it’s going to pan out?

        1. Tell that to the FIA ;)

    2. Totally agree. F1 should be a SPORT, not a “show”. Qualifying should be pure qualifying, then the race should be cars racing for ~70 laps. Simple.

      1. Everything said, Kovy. Totally with you guys.

    3. David (not the same :p)
      31st January 2010, 9:36


      My God. You missed his point COMPLETELY.

  2. I remember those years when schumacher won everything, and I found it very frustrating. But why was it such a problem back then? I mean, there was a year in the late 80’s where McLaren dominated the season. And this also happens in other sports.

    1. there is a big diference between the mclaren and the ferrari dominant years. When mclaren was winning in the late eighties, there was big competition between teammates( senna and prost).During the ferrari years, schumacher made the sport boring. And todt humiliated barrichello and the fans, with the unnecessary call at austria 2002.

  3. I really hate this rule. It makes a mockery again of Q3. Yet again we potentially have a false grid and the threat of a wet race or wet qualifying makes the rule useless too.

    Stop the rules changes. I fully agree.

  4. Well said. Let’s hope the idiots listen.

    1. smart people listen. Idiots don’t. They scare me stiff.
      And thanks god briatore is gone, he wanted to make reversed grids!!! Can you imagine the poleman starting 11th?
      They made the right call, returning to the classic qualy, on low fuel, and now they plan to destroy it again.
      They are lucky they are not in a small business, it will go bankrupt in months.

      1. Big businesses go down too. Don’t you remember 2008?

        What we need is more technical freedom, not silly gimmicks.

        1. And better venues too.

  5. Wait, so what if the quali. is wet and the race is dry? or vice versa? Thats just stupid to even consider such a rule change!

  6. Comment from steph90 moved here

    1. Thanks Keith and blimey that was quick

  7. I hate all these rule changes. It doesn’t help the show and I’m going to be frank- I’d rather have a procession than some artifical overtaking. It’s just strategy all over again and I thought the refuelling was supposed to limit that element?
    The other big problem is that the rule changes can take a while to get head around and all this tinkering takes away credibility and is confusing to the casual fan. How on earth is F1 supposed to get more fans if noone can understand the rules?

    1. Yep, spot on Steph.

      As I’ve mentioned before, the FIA or the OWG or whomever do not seem to assign ‘quality’ to the overtakes. they assume the oversimplified equation applies:

      more overtakes = more ‘show.’

      Which is absolute garbage basically.

      1. Poor TV coverage is as much to blame for the “lack” of over taking. There are lots of passes in almost every race but they are often missed by the TV producers.

  8. There’s nothing wrong in changing the rules for better. Doh!
    The problem is they’re making stupid changes – for worse.

  9. I’ve said this many times before, F1 with the constant tinkering of rules is a joke. I put it on par with pro-wrestling. It’s great to watch but none of it is real. I pray that a real hi-tech racing series emerges, with stable rules that only get tinkered with to improve safety, if ever.

    F1 is a circus and a disgrace to real racing.

    1. Jesus. you are more radical than me.
      Like i wrote before. They are upseting the fan base, and that’s not smart.
      I am a fan since 1981. I saw a race a year during the 80’s and 90’s. I came back last year to see a race, and struck me to see that there was no sensation of speed, and the sound was bland. Until they don’t make those engines more powerfull, i will watch the races on tv, and go to see moto gp at the race track.

    2. Agreed. Even breathing the words “improve the show” is a direct insult to the memories of Senna, Clark, Cevert, Villeneuve, Pryce… did they give their lives for a castrated sport whose ultimate goal appears to be parity with reality TV?

      Those who utter those words, and those who fail to condemn them with every opportunity, are complicit in the rape of a hundred years of true sport.


  10. As often as not, the law of unintended consequences seems to come into play with these hastily formulated rule changes. Grooved tires, for example. They might have slowed the cars temporarily, but they reduced mechanical grip, and made the cars more reliant upon aerodynamic downforce, which in turn made overtaking all that more difficult. The best way to improve the show is to improve overtaking opportunities. The 2009 changes didn’t go far enough. By the end of this year, designers will have recovered all the downforce they lost at the beginning of 2009.

  11. This rule is meant to create an extra tactical dimension to the racing as well as potential for more overtaking. It is aimed at making it more interesting for the main F1 audience, the casual viewer, who complain about boring races and lack of overtaking. As such, it’s a great initiative from the SPW who should be commended for trying to improve the show.

    Of course the purists and avid fans aren’t interested in that, they prefer things like they were 50 years ago and I can understand how they feel. But please, for once, stop bickering.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      30th January 2010, 18:55

      This won’t make anything more interesting for the casual fans, it just adds something extra to confuse them now that they don’t have to get their minds round refuelling.

      Finally this year we could have the fastest car/driver on pole, then all race positions changing on track rather than in pits. Perfect for the casual viewer who doesn’t want to have to read a rule book to understand what’s happening.

      1. Yes, clearly this year we could’ve seen a return to a pole position that was clearly a pole, i.e. the time of quickest guy on the track on the day. I remember watching Senna snag poles, when he was hands down the quickest. There was nothing else like it, he was a demon, especially at Monaco, where he reigned. (Interesting to note that, until Schumi, Senna was unbeatable on poles, but he was nowhere with fastest laps…he knew what counted!) Now there’s still room to fudge…er, strategize…with tires.

    2. they want to attract women as well. At valencia gp 2008, there were grid boys!!
      I will never go there, i promise. They can fill the grand stand with women, if they can.
      The engines are underpowered. They all sound the same, and never brake.
      Do you think this is going to attract people to see the show. But i can tell you is going to make the fan base upset. And that’s not a good business extrategy.
      Excuse my bickering.

  12. Yep, and Bernie is the problem here. Don’t get me wrong, I do recognise what Bernie has done to make this sport a global event that most fans have good and easy access to via TV.

    But this isn’t a Simon Cowell style TV event. It’s meant to be a sport. I don’t want competitors punished for success ‘for the show’. That isn’t sport. That’s queering the pitch.

    Want to make the ‘show’ better. Engage the fans. You have the internet. You have cameras on every car. Put us onboard. Give us camera choice. Stream the lot. Put a small and reasonable subscription price on it for this option – don’t take the basic feeds from freeview stations – that is creating your fanbase. We are fans, stop shutting us out, engage us! We ultimately are the reason you make money. I can’t see a full previous GP anywhere on the internet – not even your official site. If I try and explain to my kids how Michael and Damon were streets ahead at Adelaide, I has nothing NOTHING to back that up. Why should they care if Michael is racing again? 3 years is a long time to a kid.

    Damn this subject makes me vexed. Rant over. But Bernie, your ball, if we all ask extra nicely, can we play please!

  13. Just when I thought Q3 would be good again. This is retarted!

    1. i was drinking a few in a bar with a couple of friends, and we said the same.
      There are a bunch of guys having to show there employers that they are worth their salaries. And they are not.

  14. Very well said Keith. As I posted in the forum while it was working and as you’ve pointed out above, this is a needless and nonsensical rule which is ill thought out. I realise where they’re coming from, in terms of keeping a proper strategic element to the racing in the absence of refuelling, but this is ridiculous! I genuinely hope that this rule will be scrapped but I doubt it.
    Like you say Keith, I wish the powers that be appreciate that there is no need for constant rule changing. Afterall, when so many things are being changed at once and continuously, it becomes difficult to determine which rules are ‘improving the show’ and which ones are ruining it.

  15. If I here the words “improving the show” one more time, I will probably explode.

    Q3, once again, will have artificial results. I hope to God , this rule doesn’t make it through.

  16. I think the rule will have little impact.
    Imo most teams will figure out the best option and you’ll see little gambling going on.
    Only from P10 they do have an advantage.
    But we will see :)

    1. The thing is that on the first row you might have a guy on soft tires, that does not deserve to be on pole.
      I remember when i used to go to the races, spend the evening before the race talking obout the pole lap, and enjoying the saturday almost as much as race day. The poleman on softs will ruin that feeling.

  17. If they want to improve the show for casual fans, how about stop changing the rules? It’s a hard enough sport to follow without the constant rule changes.

    Maybe casual fans like sports such as tennis and football more because they limit the number of rules, they are clear and they don’t change them dramatically every single year.

    Imagine next Wimbledon they said “OK you have to use wooden rackets and instead of 0,15,30,40 it’s now 1,10,100,100” The sport would be a laughing stock.

    Doing more than one rule change each year also makes it impossible to see which changes have worked and which ones haven’t.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      30th January 2010, 21:15

      And every time one player serves an ace they must play the next point with a table tennis bat.

  18. wow, every rule change seems to be an attempt to drive me away from watching.

  19. When will they leave F1 alone! They keep saying about how F1 needs stability but then they go and change the points system and qualifying. They want to bring more new fans into the sport by making it less confusing to outsiders so what do they do? try and bring in meaningless stupid rules like this one! Theyre completely contradicting themselves. I remember watching the Brazillian Grand prix with my sister who has never seen a Grand prix before and she was bombarding me with questions because she found the rules so confusing and she ended up giving up and walking away. The past couple of seasons have been fantastic, why cant they just leave it be?

  20. ‘Among their (FOTA’s) key findings when they surveyed F1 fans last year was F1 isnt broken, so beware over-fixing it’

    That is true, but I’m pretty sure there’d be a lot more people who saw F1 as ‘broken’ after the tepid, politics driven 2009 season than the riveting 2008 campaign.

    I seem to be in a small minority (a minority of 1?) of people who are in favour of this new regulation. OK, so there have been way too many daft rule changes in F1 over the past few years, but that doesn’t mean the next one isn’t going to make things better.

    Unfortunately, I don’t expect the refuelling ban to do much to improve overtaking. I fear we’ll see some pretty processional races in 2010, with cars simply circulating the track in a huge multi million pound convoy. But what this rule might do is mix up the top 10, and hopefully the drivers on the better tyres in the first stint might actually be able to overtake the cars in front.

    1. Maybe Ned, but it’s a step in the right direction. If the ban doesn’t improve overtaking, then you go to the next step, which is changing the cars.

      Of course, if it didn’t work we’d instead get some artificial new rule instead of real change. But it hasn’t even been given a chance to work yet and it’s already been changed. What then was the point of the rule change, if you’re going to effectively admit it won’t work by introducing another factor into it?

      The answer of course is that the rule was never to improve overtaking, but simply to cut costs. They don’t really care about the quality of the racing, only its apparent quality created with smoke and mirrors.

      The reason things didn’t work as well last year is that we went from a lot of aero with cars having a large range in pace to less aero but cars with less difference in pace, effectively putting us back to square one. If we had as little aero as possible, cars would have to be identical in pace for there to be no overtaking. All that will happen with this stupid new rule is that faster cars will end up, as before, behind slower cars and unable to pass them in the track.

  21. More artificial nonsense. We haven’t had one race yet to see if no-refuelling will work and yet they’re already trying to “fix” it, on top of the ridiculous points change as well.

    Our beloved sport is becoming a joke. F1 will end up like a MotoGP/NASCAR hybrid in 10 years or less at this rate. Relative stability with minor changes over 50 years, and now suddenly all the need for comparatively massive change. The biggest joke is that these changes will make the show worse; the casual fans will be confused, and the hardcore fans will know it’s fake. If moaners want lots of overtaking at any price, they can go watch an inferior series. F1 became the pinnacle of motorsports without this rubbish, it has never needed it and never will.

    All this nonsense, and it could all be fixed instead by changing the cars, and yet we have to have all this artificial rubbish instead. Why? Are the teams in on this? Why is there such resistance to changing the aero rules, and who else could be so invested in keeping the ridiculous aero-mech grip ratio, so that you can dominate simply by perfecting the former and oreventing others from catching up by having the best aerodynamicists and keeping them away from the other teams?

    If the teams have any integrity, they’ll plan a seperate series for 2012 and use it to ransom the FIA and Bernie into changing things to move F1 in the right direction. If they allow things to keep going this way, then they can go and rot with the rest of the corpse that F1 will become.

    1. If the teams have any integrity, theyll plan a seperate series for 2012 and use it to ransom the FIA and Bernie into changing things to move F1 in the right direction.

      They had their golden chance last year, but LDM’s poor leadership qualities let FOTA down.

      As F1 oldest & most celebrated team it is Ferrari that must lead the way forward, but they seem to have their mind set on petty things like “interpretation of diffuser rules” and other trivial things.

      Surely the FIA & Mosley’s puppet will make use of this diffuser saga to split up FOTA.Hope Ferrari see reason before they decide to join hands with the cunning FIA.

      1. A FOTA ‘spendathon’ would now include which teams?

        Ferrari and Mercedes line up on the grid at God-knows-where, and then what?

        I can’t imagine why Todt or the FIA or anyone else would want to split up FOTA when they managed it all by themselves and now it’s made up of two manufacturer teams and eleven independent teams.

  22. As I was saying to a friend at work today, F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsports, where only the best should expect to compete and only the absolute greatest should expect to be successful.

    The less rules, the better I say.

    1. There should just be ‘one’ rule for the teams that says you are only allowed to spend this much money, and that would then simplify all the rules on the track.

      No one should be at a disadvantage because they have the brains but not the money. Unless of course you think that the greatest should have more money?

      1. The budget rule is the hardest to enforce, pretty much unenforcable infact.

        Accounting an independant like Williams is fairly simple. Beans in, beans out, plus sponsor support, such as HP providing computer resource and condiments at corporate events.

        How does the FIA impose an ‘access all areas’ on the finances of Mercedes to ensure there is no leakage of finance or intellect into the team from corporate Merc? FIA does not have any right to march in and investigate the finances or business of any company it fancies.

        FIA is an independant governing body, a sporting club if you like, but as such, holds no legal power whatsoever. That was what made Flavio’s recent court win such a cakewalk.

        Anyway, point is, budget cap is not truly enforcable. I agree that greater flexibility is required. But if the want to green up the sport, set them 3 years to develop a new bio-supportable fuel standard to race with. Set the parameters now, not 2 months before the first race. Would love to see the result and it would turn F1 back toward what it always did best, developing new tech.

  23. “A football team that goes five goals down does not get a free penalty. They get thrashed, go home and figure out how to improve their team.”

    Actually, like me, they probably wonder why it is that so much money is allowed to be poured into so few teams in what should otherwise be a fairly ‘basic’ sport.

  24. UGH!!! They are supposed to be racing drivers, so let them race, that would be the most exciting thing that could happen.

    1. But they are racing in unequal cars, which is hardly fair is it. ;)

      FOTA are doing their damndest to try and instill a bit of excitement into the proceedings and all we can do is pull them down for it and then no doubt moan about the lack of overtaking and so-and-so is only winning because he’s in the best car and how much better it would have been if only the cars at the front weren’t always the same colour.

      1. Jarred Walmsley
        30th January 2010, 23:51

        But that is just it, the rules are the same for everyone the 2010 championship effectively started before the 2009 one was over with development. If the cars were equal then there would be no need for the teams like Ferrari and Mercedes, anyway truly equal cars would require identical chassis/body/engine/tires/etc… and that takes even more excitment away, and anyway the best car isn’t always the one on top as was proven when Fischella took pole in a FI, and the rules FOTA/FIA are tying to install is not making the game more exciting. on the contrary it will be less exciting if many of the proposed rule changes are put in place.

  25. Bottom qualifiers face handicap of poor car in qualifying.

    MS: Damn, I now have to start zer race on zer soft tyre.

    JT: Damn, I now have to start zer race in a Lotus.

    I know which ‘choice’ I’d rather have.

  26. Indeed the rules shouldn’t be changed needless. But I’d go even further: stop trying to artificially ‘spice up’ the racing!

  27. Totally agree with the article, I get annoyed when the powers that be keep talking about improving the show, not just because I dislike the phrase but what they usually mean is introducing stupid gimmicks which F1 doesnt need.

    I thought we would see the return of proper qualifying but if the top ten tyre rule is introduced we will have a similar situation to recent years where you could argue that the driver on pole was not the quickest because of another drivers handicap.

    1. They would all be allowed to set a fastest lap on both the soft and the hard tyre. I can’t see why it’s not possible to decide from that who went quickest in qualifying.

      It may also be that a driver decides that his quickest time on the hard tyre isn’t much worse than his quickest time on the soft tyre, so he then starts the race on the hard tyre.

      It may also be that the hard tyre is faster than the soft tyre. It may also be that there is very little between the two tyres. It may also be that I haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about.LOL

  28. I am going to be in minority here. But strategy is one of the few aspects of Formula One which make it a team sport. If there was no strategy, the rest of the team can just work in the winter and bide their time in garages during the season where only the driver matters.

    It is good to have some guessing work between Saturday and Sunday.

    About the fascination about “Overtaking on track”, If it has not been happening over the last few years (when the average level of drivers has gone up), then it is possibly down to the cars being extremely difficult to follow each other rather than drivers waiting for pitstops.

    Re-fuelling was last used in early 1990s, when cars were much simpler, and the grid was spaced out by atleast 5 seconds, thus allowing easier overtaking. Fast forward to 2010, the cars are complex, hence faster, hence the grid is spaced out by less than 1.5 seconds. Rules have to be made to help overtaking. Keeping the strategy element is the key to this.

    1. Without this rule, strategy would still be important – drivers would still have to choose which type of tyres to use and when.

      This rule isn’t about strategy. It’s about artificially holding back the fastest runners and finding a contrived way of jumbling up the order.

  29. Keith, can you send this to the people in charge?

  30. Prisoner Monkeys
    30th January 2010, 22:44

    I don’t really have a problem with the rule changes, because I can see where they’re coming from and why they’re hppening.

    The 2009 regulations were intended to bring the cars closer together and promote overtaking. And for the most part, that worked, at least in the early races. But then it was found that there was a loophole in the regulations and double diffusers allowed more downforce, and as everyone deeloped their own – and even went so far as to design triple diffusers – there was less and less overtaking. And, as has been said, some of the teams have “extreme” interpretations of the diffuser rules, which sre only going to generate more downforce and make it harder for cars to overtake.

    Double diffusers will be banned for 2011, but that still leaves the problem of 2010. I’ve heard reports that the cars will be developing more downforce than they were in 2008 by the middle of this season, thus undoing all the work that the Overtaking Working Group did. So in the meantime, the sport needs to find a way to promote overtaking, even if it is through artifically stacking the grid.

    I’m afraid we’re not going to be free of rule changes until there can be a paradigm shift within the sport. Once the focus moves from aerodynamic to mechanical grip and the cars can actually get close to one another (much less pass each other), the rules are going to be amended and updated to try and encourage overtaking. The only real positive in all of this is that even if the rule changes fail, at least the Powers That Be are trying to encourage overtaking. Unfortunately given the cold war between designers and the rule setters, the casr are constantly going to be on the edge of the rules because designers know that more downforce equals more aerodynamic grip, which equals a faster car. They will always be exploiting rules and pushing the boundaries, even if you went so far as to ban wings outright.

    The problem isn’t the rule changes – it’s the designers and aerodynamics.

    1. Can’t agree there is a ‘cold war’ between designers and rule setters. Once the rules are layed out, it is a designers job to work within those rules to produce the best car they can. Yes the cars should be constantly on the edge of those rules if that provides the fastest car. If that weren’t true, you would have a standardised series with no innovation, no progress and, bluntly, not F1.

      Innovation and design excellence in F1 have lead to a lot of the tech on modern street cars. And the point of F1 should surely be about being the cutting edge of motor sport, not just very fast carting.

      The problem isn’t the designers. The problem is the stifling of the designers.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        31st January 2010, 2:39

        If you let the designers do what they want, we’ll just have a re-run of 2004, and no-one wants that.

        1. 2004? Not sure about that.

          Salty is right and this proposed rule change is bs. Downforce doesn’t automatically make overtaking harder. Aero is here to stay so you may as well accept it.

  31. Couldn’t agree more with Keith.
    Stop overruling in F1.

  32. Since 2003 the rules are changing brutally. Stop this!

    1. Mmmmm. Nice.

      Check out that rear suspension.

  33. Just leave the rules alone for 5 minutes!

  34. Is there a link to the survey somewhere? I think I’ve registered but not sure if its the ‘official’ one.

    1. My apologies for being stupid, the link is in the article $:)

  35. I am with most of you on one point; keep the rules the same for a minimum of 2 years. Have changes put in place that cannot be undone for atleast 2 years and then review them. The charade is a waste of this precious thing we call money. What was the point of simulataneously demanding KERS at a heavy cost and for the good of the world only to say that it won’t ever be used the next year? Holy bat $h!@ that’s ridiculous and unfair… the team that wins the championship never even used it. If I was Ferrari I would demand my money back because those teams were counting on it the next year to win back there losses.

    As far as the tire idea- why all this hatred? Whoever said it is “a sport, not a show” – What are you talking about? Sport is a show by definition. It’s not a freak show, but all sport is pointless if not for its innate ability to attract our attentions from all the things in life that bother us. This thread right now is only a distraction to keep me from finishing Bertrand Russel’s History of Western Philosophy! and you from what you should rather be doing.

    The tire idea is just a substitute for the fueling requirements in the past and is actually quite a logical succession of thought. Instead of the ‘qualify with your race fuel load’ you will qualify with your race tires (tyres). And while I agree that this is up for debate, I don’t agree with all this fuss fuss whining about how its rubbish. Every sport/show has a way of keeping competition even. I do it in my fantasy football league for crying out loud and nobody complains- they like it because close competition is what we want.

    “oh no, I’m on the front row with these ruddy tires that worked so well that they made me faster than every other driver… what do I do now? I guess I’ll have to pit a lap or two earlier and still win the race. shucks, darn and drats.”

  36. they are basically scrapping the “proper qualifying” that we all thought we were getting! it could make the races exciting, but as soon as the tyre goes away they’ll pit so it wont be all that exciting! a needless gimick!

  37. The only goog thing about no refuelling was that qualifying would be a genuine shoot-out of the fastest cars. With this rule new, arbitrary tyre rule F1 has destroyed this. Now instead of talking about who has the best fuel strategy for the race we will be takling about who has the best tyre strategy, just like last season, and the one before. Back to square one, F1 shoots itself in the foot again.

  38. First of all, I have spoken out against the kind of understanding necessary to be talking about “trying to improve the show” before. In this community, I don’t think there’s any need for me to repeat that, so I won’t.

    I think the important argument to be made here is that, indeed, to many of the rules changes introduced in recent times were of a too arbitrary nature. Of course, it’s a case of trying to make things different worse instead of actually improving them, because replacing the arbitrary element of the top ten qualifiers having to stick to the race strategy they defined before qualifying is hardly different from the arbitrary element of the top ten qualifiers having to start the race wth the tires they selected and used during qualifying. It’s a crutch because the, arguably, so far lacklustre attempts of redesigning the cars to provide more interesting races haven’t been successful enough to be able to leave it at that.

    I’d like to echo the sentiment of the “go and watch other races, too, in 2010” guest article that went up here today. From the perspective of a Grand Prix racing enthusiast, it’s baffling to see how apparently simply interesting motor races can turn out to be interesting. It really does provide a case for the argument that overregulating the sport does not produce the best possible results.

  39. Younger Hamilton
    31st January 2010, 0:42

    i think i know why FOTA and the SWG doing all this,because of all the new teams and Maximum of cars on the grid has been increased to 26.It leaves chances of getting into F1 much Greater than ever.So i’m suggesting their using all these needless rule changes to balance the chances ‘Improving the Show’ is just an excuse to cover it all up

  40. how about after qualifying, all the top 19 drivers are blind folded and have to describe their latest girl friends shoes. The one who is closest then gets to have just one hand tied behind his back for the first 10 laps…

  41. ‘fo gawd, ms scarlett! i haven’t even had time to savour and salivate over the new car pics and they’re already jacking with the frackin’ rules! memo to fia-controversy and melodrama is beneficial to low grade media stars- not the zenith of motor racing.

  42. With so much fuel in the car the only sensible choice is for the top 10 qualify on hard tyres. Qualifiers 11 through 26 will also start the race on hard tyres – so why is the spectacle lost?

    The real problem here is the ridiculous two tyre rule.

    Why should a tyre manufacturers desire to be spoken about more dictate a formula? We all know they race on Bridgestones, next year they won’t – who cares?

    We should be removing the two tyre compunds rule and let the sole supplier provide 4 compounds for the season. The teams have enough data as to which compounds suit their car at the different venues so they can choose the right compound for the venue in advance e.g. super softs at Monaco. If the weather is wet then they all use the standard intermediate and extreme tyres. The teams would then spend the race weekends practising, qualifying, and racing on the one compound of their choice. The tyres will still get spoken about becasue cars use tyres differently, in 2009 Brawns like the softer tyres, Red Bull liked the harder tyres.

    Whether F1 is a spectacle or a sport – it is both. Most people wouldn’t pay the money they pay for an F1 ticket to watch any old sports match, but they will for a spectacle.

  43. I have proposal about qualifying.

    Let all the cars qualify freely for the first 10 or 15 minutes.Then from descending order lets have 1 shot qualifying.In this way the qualifying will be over in about an hour & we will be able to see how each driver performs.It’s also good for the sponsor as now the whole car will be seen on television for more than 1 minutes.
    As in the past between a Force India & Ferrari,we always used to see the Ferrari,it’s good for the small teams.

    1. With some tweaking that could be a great way to qualify! I am going to take this idea a step further as i believe it has a solid foundation that is fair and good for all teams.

      Instead of 1 driver going at a time lets do this.
      1. Same open qualify free session first,
      2. then let each team have their cars on track for session 2 for 1 hot lap.
      3. and then bring it down to a third session where the top ten qualify in a hot lap format with two or three separate runs (like they do in half-pipe ski/snowboard competition)

      I think it would be more enjoyable to have two cars, each team, on the track at the same time for session 2. If you’ve ever been to a GP you realize how long it feels like it take for them to come back around (especially at Spa Francorchamps) so it would be nice to have a team session and have them start 30 or so seconds apart.

  44. Jarred Walmsley
    31st January 2010, 2:41

    wasiF1, thats is a really good idea, I think it will also mean that the drivers will go harder and be able to get the fastest time possible. It will also mean that the yellow/red flags wouldn’t impede the qualifying if there was any crashes.

  45. u can’t be serious? there’s nothing more tedious than being at the track during single lap qualifying!
    it’s almost as if the FIA are trying to say that F1 is boring so bring in these rubish rules to make it interesting, simple fact of the matter is that we have been watching F1 for years because we all like it AS IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!! since ’03 they have been changing the rules every year, how about we leave it as it is with no gimmicks and if team dominates then stiff shit! it’s on the other drivers/teams to up thier game! these gimicky ******** rules belong is sports cars or lower catagories where reverse grid racing is the norm! F1 is the pinnale of motorsport so lets cut the crap b4 we kill it off.

  46. remember, with the double-gap between tires…

    very hard, hard, soft, very soft…

    and bridgestone coming to the track with , for eg, hard and very soft…, the people who quali in the top ten, will, in my view, all be on very soft, but all have to stop much earlier than the other cars….

    this is a very very very dumb rule…

    use any tires you want, and no ‘must use both’ rule either…., but the politicians of motorsport wont let that happen

  47. Just a small add on…

    One reason F1 has lasted so long is that it has a history, as a sport…not a circus. If the rules are changed too often it makes the continuity over time disappear. You might have more fan appeal among casual viewers, but you risk alienating the long term fans and thus the future of the sport.

    F1 is presently held in very high regard around the world. The SWG should be cognizant of that and spend their time working on important issues, such as a dearth of passing, rather than the creation of “artificial regulations”.

  48. i am not getting anymore excited about f1, there are to many rule changes, the rules do not have stability and the cars do not evolve anymore, they look the same every year. im loosing my appitite for f1, i just hope that this gets sorted soon because people will lose interest, nothing as been gained from changing the rules every year.

    proof? this article.

    1. Wherever the best drivers go is where we all go… until the best drivers go to another sport or another version of open wheel you will be watching just like everyone here. If the pinnacle of all sport, the most expensive, the most exotic and so on and so on, is boring to you then I am not sure that there is anything left that will catch your attention on this whole planet! There is nothing further and until Anakin Skywalker shows up racing his pod-racer on Tatouine (sp?) then I fear you will have to suffer like the rest of us with all the different ways this sport could be organized.

  49. Everyone seems to have forgotten that this was the rule in pre-2003 qualifying as well. You made your tyre choice before the qualifying and had to live with it for the entire race.
    Of course it was for the whole grid who did that, not top 10.

  50. Stop making changes to F1, these changes are ridiculous.

  51. P3-P10 will be penalised incrementally increasing from P3 slightly down to P10 massively (defending those from P11+). P1-P3 will still sit pretty if they stay clean if there is alot of swapping behind them.

    “the show” is something they do to raise taxes from selling climate change isn’t it?

  52. I don’t understand why we can’t go back to the days of teams able to choose whatever tyre they want when they want. Allowing attempting the full race distance on a hard tyre, against a couple of stops on soft tyres, or a late stop for super soft and a charge at the end.

    For me, and I could be completely naive here, but a company like Bridgestone either has manufacturing facilities worldwide, or at worst is constantly delivering tyres worldwide. Therefore why can’t they supply all the tyres to the circuits for all the teams, either from local manufacturing centres, or as part of their normal shipped deliveries. No extra cost, they don’t have to fly a stack of tyres out, they are waiting at the circuit.

    1. Regardless of how we all differ on this and other issues, the one thing we have to remember is the Indianapolis GP fiasco. What a load of @#%$#% that was! Michelin really diddled the pooch. How did the track change that they couldn’t bring a tire that would work? They did it all the years before! I liked the two tire war on some level, but after this I was incredibly disappointed in Michelin and F1. If at that time they were all on the same tire they could have simply put in a chicane and all would be fair and fine for everyone. I still think all the Michelin teams should have been forced to run at a slower rate because it was even more embarassing for them not to race.

      I think its these sorts of things that rile us all up on the tire issue. We don’t want as many excuses. I also hear others so sick of it that they freak out and just say “remember the good ol’ days when you raced what you brought!” How is that better? Thats loaded with the potential for excuses, uncompetitive cars and worst of all for tragic untested failures that cause life-ending crashes.

      That said, I do agree that we need similar cars, but different enough that there is a reason to even have a car manufacturer trying to say they make the best cars. This isn’t karting. The teams have to be different on enough levels to matter.

  53. I can’t understand what FIA people are cooking out there.
    I think they are doing this so poor teams can get more chances to score points but this is ridiculous. If you want poor team to score more points then let them do that by improving themselves(on developing the cars etc.) and not by bringing this type of ******* rules. Throw this rule out in other galaxy. I am getting so….. abt this

  54. David (not the same :p)
    31st January 2010, 9:36

    Totally agree, Keith. Can’t think of any other sport were rules and regulations are changed anywhere near as frequent.

  55. The drivers can use both hard and soft tyres to set a qually lap. It may be that a driver finds himself to be quicker on the the harder longer lasting tyre. It may be that he can’t get the best out of the quicker – but only if you get it right, soft tyre, and decides that starting on the harder tyre is no bad thing anyway. It may be that all the drivers who reach Q3 will use the hard tyre to qualify on, knowing full well that the hard tyre is a ‘no-brainer’ to start the race. If this means that cars from 11th to 26th can choose whatever tyres they want, then what’s the big deal?

  56. Someone may already have mentioned it but in my opinion the only thing that needs to be improved is the cars ability to follow each other closely and to be able to overtake! Perhaps the SWG should be studying Hungary ’89 and understand the technical reasons why Mansell was able to start 12th and win the race from way back there…I’m sure there’s some useful lessons to be learned there.

  57. Why do the FIA and teams continue to make a joke out of the sport and fools out of the fans?

  58. Should this tyre rule stand it will hurt the sport. It’s ridiculous. It will drive people away because the frequent arbitrary rule changes make it even more confusing to understand what is going on while trying to watch a race. The constant meddling with the rules make F1 look desperate in trying to be popular. I must say though, I do think a point for pole and possibly fast lap would not be a bad thing.

    1. “I must say though, I do think a point for pole and possibly fast lap would not be a bad thing.”

      That would only make them look desperate in trying to be popular.

      Instead of a point for pole, why not just give him choice of tyre?

      1. a combination of a point for pole, and having to start with the tire you qualified on, would encourage some guys even more to use the soft tire, trying to put it on pole.
        I wouldn’t disagree with you on the point for pole, but both will be to tempting. It will screw the pureness of the show, just to bring the soccer fan to watch, and may be to hold on until the end, if the wife doesn’t tell him to go for the paper.

  59. The thing that bugs me about this FOTA survey is the fact that it is aimed at serious F1 fans, the ones who will fill in the survey. The casual fans, whom which the FIA and FOTA want to “improve the show” for will really have no idea about this survey.
    They should just listen to those of us who know what Formula One needs and understand what the casual fan would want, meaning stable rules and easily understandable rules.

    1. This thing got out of hand. We want overtaking, but natural not artificial. They have to look at the cars and the race tracks. The idea of reducing the down force was good, then some came with the double difusers, and the little sideboards for the mirrors, and they were not banned. And they are still here in 2010. I see all cars with small low side boards as well. The cars look very much like the ones during the 2008 season. What have they achieved?

  60. This rule, coupled with the obligation of using both types of tyres, anihilates any improvement the return of no-refueling could have brought.

    – No more real qualifying
    – No possibility of a no stop strategy
    – No chance of a guy on a conservative strategy on hard tyres qualifying up front and holding everybody up to stop them using their extra speed

    It just makes no sense whatsoever…

  61. Bernie ecclestone or whoever is making the new rule changes to formula 1 needs to stop. last season was the most boring season ever. 2008 was the best season ever and he comes comes and changes the car design, brings in KERS and button wins it on the 2nd last race. BANNING REFUELLING is another bad idea coz races cant be won in the pitstop. i would go on but im boring myself……………

  62. This is what I was thinking a long time ago, when they began the rule changing more frequently, it was in 2005 when they put that stupid ban on tyre changing in the pits, I think they should simply bring back the entire 2002 rules, possibly keeping the use of the V8 units with the limitation in the engines used during the season, and nothing more than this, it would be fantastic if they bring back the 10 6 4 3 2 1 points system, the 12 laps 1 hour qualifying, and so on, and more than anything keep the rules untouched foir 5 seasons or more, like other series do

  63. I don’t mean to be cynical but I suspect the ‘rule makers’ are anticipating boring racing. As ever I will be happy to be wrong…

  64. The teams have approved the new tyre rules according to Autosport.

  65. I don’t understand why it is better for “the show” to just impose these restrictions on those who make it to Q3. I wouldn’t mind so much if it was applied all the way through the grid.

    What next, the top 5 finishes in Q3 must drive the first 10 laps with one eye closed ?

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