Red Bull want “tangible” limits on spending

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Red Bull’s Christian Horner says costs should be reduced by tighter technical regulations rather than a budget cap or resource restriction.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Red Bull against FIA intervention (BBC)

Christian Horner: “Controlling tangible things like the amount of people we have at a Grand Prix, the amount of engines, gearboxes, the amount of testing we can do, are clear and transparent ways to control costs. Red Bull aren’t in favour of frivolous spending, and we’re as keen as anyone to control costs in F1, but to try to do it through equivalence as the [Resource Restriction Agreement] is constructed is fraught with problems.”

Teams optimistic over new F1 deal (Autosport)

Stefano Domenicali: “I think that what I can say is that we are in discussions, and the discussions are going on in the right way. But there is no more than that at the moment.”

Jenson Button hopes Sebastian Vettel will ‘get used’ to seeing him win (The Guardian)

“They’ve worked so hard and it really means a lot to us to be so strong at the first race after a couple of years of struggle and everyone saying ‘McLaren aren’t good at the start of the year’. We are now and we just have to hope our progress is as good as previous years.”

Analysis – Mercedes ‘F-duct’ rear wing (F1)

“It is effectively the same F-duct system used by the team two years ago (with air flowing from the nose, through the chassis, to the rear wing), but in reverse.”

Ferrari vow to help Massa (Sky)

Domenicali: “So now what is important is to realise analyse everything in order to make sure there is nothing strange, because that is a fundamental thing that we need to do in order to help Felipe to make sure he is performing without any extra pressure.”

Australian GP Review (Williams)

Pastor [Maldonado] is fine and the chassis stood up well to the impact. We damaged the front wing, nose and other body work but the chassis is undamaged.”

Eric Boullier on the Malaysian GP: “The E20 should be competitive in Malaysia” (Lotus)

“We knew our car was quite quick, but as for the others we had absolutely no clue. Saturday was a relief: you don’t reach the second row of the grid by chance.”

Brilliant coverage by the BBC (Motorsport Musings)

“The story of the Grand Prix was told, and rather brilliantly too by Ben Edwards who has stepped into Martin Brundle’s shoes as lead commentator this year. His appointment is long overdue in my book and, while less chummy with David Coulthard than his predecessor, the two make for a great combination in the commentary booth.”

The joy of six: Button and Sky off to a flyer as Massa suffers nightmare start (Daily Mail)

“It was a polished performance by the F1 new boys, from the composed elegance of presenter Simon Lazenby to the impressive commentary team of David Croft and Martin Brundle.”

On this evidence, Sky’s F1 season is unlikely to be a Brundle of laughs for the viewer (The Telegraph)

“Based on race day one, it is clear why Brundle moved to Sky in the off-season. Not just for money, but for a channel prepared to indulge his every whim, his every urge, his every ecstatic howl.”

Hats off to Fernando Alonso! (The H Duct)

“The peaks look to be getting increasingly bigger but the majority of drivers seem to be sticking with the traditional style.”

Comment of the day

Hairs picks a Driver of the Weekend for Melbourne:

Alonso proved why Ferrari made the right decision making him number one driver. There’s never been any evidence that Massa is capable of putting in those sort of relentlessly determined performances, and as they killed his spirit, I’m sure he can’t rise to the challenge now. The Ferrari looked like an unpredictable dog of a car to drive all weekend, and for a large part of the race Alonso made it look stable. Maybe that’s due to high fuel making up for lack of downforce, though, because it got twitchy again towards the end.

Massa… I don’t know. Perez should have had his seat this year, and will almost certainly do next year. Great performance from him, and as other people have commented, Sauber need to let us see what he can do with a less conservative strategy.

Maldonado drove a strong race, but again showed a lack of judgement more than once, and needs to show a lot more maturity and sense.

Raikkonen did well, but making a mess of qualifying didn’t do him any favours. In contrary to years of “Kimi’s lazy and unmotivated” commentary, I got the impression we had a “Kimi’s manic and grabbing the whole thing by the throat” this weekend. Sounds like a fun combination for race fans.

Grosjean did himself a massive amount of favours in qualifying, showing his detractors (like me) that he deserves the drive, but then losing places at the start and a fairly needless clash with Maldonado gave his detractors a lot of reassurance that he still has a way to go. As to the incident, I don’t have a very high opinion of either driver, so I’m not inclined to apportion blame either way. Both got too close unnecessarily and if either one of them were better at thinking things through, we probably wouldn’t have had the incident at all. Still, he deserved better than that as an end to his race.

All in all, I think we had the same as last year: do you give the DOTW to the guy who never put a foot wrong, and dominated the whole race against a strong field, or to the guy who dragged a bad car where it didn’t belong, but has a few mistakes here and there? Tough one to call, but I went for Button because I’ve liked his attitude, and I voted for Vettel in similar circumstances last year.

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81 comments on “Red Bull want “tangible” limits on spending”

  1. the composed elegance of presenter Simon Lazenby

    I think that’s the first positive comment I’ve heard about Lazenby. I thought he was the weak link in Sky’s presenting team (Georgie Thompson’s part is so insignificant that I don’t consider her to be a “link” at all). He wasn’t enjoyable to watch or listen to, nor did I feel any connection with him, nor did I think he asked particularly good questions from his interviewees – and I think I actually heard him laughing while Ross Brawn was talking – nor did I think he had any great insight. A presenter can get away with lacking in some of those categories if they are strong in others, but he didn’t really excel in any of them. Just pretty bland, really. Perhaps he’ll improve in time.

    1. Ben (@dirtyscarab)
      20th March 2012, 0:18

      Yeah he does seem to giggle a lot. Bit weird that. If it wasn’t for Brundle & Kravitz I would wait a few hrs and watch the Beeb instead. I think they need to use Ted Kravitz more. He’s a brilliant insight.

      1. its amazing how much ted has come on in the last 5 years.

        his first few seasons on itv were poor. he had no grasp of strategy or frankly anything that was going and was constantly being corrected by james and martin.

        yet in the last few seasons he has been brilliant and dived into corners of the paddock others wouldnt. top work Ted!

        1. Ted was my hero of the weekend!

      2. F1fanNL (@)
        20th March 2012, 0:36

        I totally do NOT like Kravitz,

        Always blaming others for McLaren’s problems really gets on my nerves. He’s such a clear McLaren fanboy it’s not even funny anymore.

        Last year after the Monza GP he said Button would have won it if he’d not been stuck for 20 laps behind Schumacher. I’ve watched the race multiple times and I honestly don’t have a clue what he was on about there. Button chased down Hamilton and Schumacher and maintained a 2. 2 second gap for a few laps. Then Hamilton got shoved by Schumacher and Button passed both of them in the same lap. Either way, it was Button’s own fault for being behind Schumacher. Also, once he was passed he barely closed in on Vettel. It’s a simple rule, when you want to overtake someone you first have to be quicker Mr. Kravitz.

        Then came his weird comment when Vettel retired at Abu Dhabi. “He’s made a complete mess of it.” A mess of what? Make sense man!
        And when the McLaren boys make a mistake (whether that be the team or the drivers) Kravitz doesn’t make a sound.

        I am most pleased he’s not on the BBC team anymore.

        1. F1fanNL (@)
          20th March 2012, 0:41

          * Edit*

          A few corrections, Kravitz said Button lost 20 seconds behind Schumacher.

          …once he was passed “Alonso” he barely…

        2. @f1fannl Absolutely agreed Kravitz has always been a McLaren fan boy, bias head to toe, in 2010 whenever Ferrari won a race he would always say something to put them down, in 2010 Mclaren got a lot of lucky wins i.e Melbourne,Turkey,China, and he would always talk about how special the victories were. Im glad he’s left the BBC .

      3. BBC comments are live here in Africa, South African channel gets their comments from Ben Edwards and DC. Edwards was a good pick, I liked his self-imposed mute moment to let us hear the cars roaring. What a treat.

        1. need to get that streamed!

    2. no way. I thought Lazenby was very smooth and professional. apart from georgie thompson and her skypad chat, I really enjoyed sky’s coverage.

      got to say though, Crofty got a few drivers wrong. he thought the sauber was a williams a few times.

      1. Yes, I noticed that too. He also mixed up Pérez and Kobayashi a couple of times – something about those Saubers…

        1. I did both of those things too, to be fair (to use Crofty’s overused phrase :P). The Williams and Sauber both look black and white in certain light, and both Sauber drivers have red and white helmets -_-

    3. Agreed. I personally believe he was way too loud, almost seemed like yelling. Sounded like he was trying to pump the audience up when nothing was going on at moments.

      Georgie Thompson on the other hand…..just god awful. Never heard of her so don’t now her presenting background but she’d get the boot from me.

      1. Agree 100% on Croft yelling, or at least being too strident. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about Brundle is his relatively relaxed and precise commentary. He seemed to have a hard time breaking in over Croft. Hopefully they’ll gel a bit better and Croft will dial it down a notch or three.

        1. Forgive my mistake, I’m not too familiar with all the commentators.

          He seemed to have a hard time breaking in over Croft.

          Agree, wish Brundle spoke more.

          1. Crofty is a funny guy, both commentators can be funny but I agree Martin did such great job last season he should continue to be the main commentator.

        2. Yep, plus 1 on that. Croft is far too shouty and should turn himself down a few notches. I was just about ready to top myself after an hour and a half of that noise.

        3. The first race for a commentary/ presenting always has shaky chemistry. Remember Legard interrupting Brundle every 2 mins. We’ll need to give it a few races

      2. @dpod – Georgie used to present A1GP on Sky – from the studio, with Andy Priaulx and others. So she does have a bit of motorsport previous.

    4. agreed Estesark.

    5. I really like Simon Lazenby but he came across on the live shows as a) a bit starstruck and b) unused to the dynamics of the paddock. His live work in the past has been from studios at rugby grounds, not noisy free-for-all pit lanes full of celebs and mechanics. He didn’t seem to want to talk directly to any of the teams for fear of keeping them from their work – hasn’t grasped that part of their work is to talk to TV. (I’m not surprised he was scared of Alonso).

      I think he’ll improve with time though. Not so sure about Georgie. I gave her the benefit of the doubt in the pre-season show, but she added no value in the quali and race shows.

  2. Got to say I agree with Horner. One of the things I never liked about the budget cap is the serious problems in controlling what everyone spends.

    It be a major controversy every year to see who kept costs under the restriction and who didn’t. Controlling costs via the rules, as Horner says, it’s much more possible.

    BUT… I don’t think it’s the solution either. One team might not need to spend on testing, but they’d use that same money on development and research, so the wheel goes around.

    1. Good point.

      The teams have x amount of dollars to spend on the car. If it was a spec series like GP2 and the only part the teams had the freedom to design was the front wing then, being the only performance differentiator, they would spend x dollars on that wing and the richest teams would still win.

  3. Happy birthday @girts and a well put together COTD from @hairs :)

    I think Horner is on the right track, but any agreement will never be perfect. This sport moves so quick from a technical point on track I’m sure that some teams could find loopholes or strategies off track.

    1. Yeah, Happy Birthday @Girts, I hope you enjoyed it today.

    2. Thank you, @AndrewTanner, @BasCB and @KeithCollantine ! I had a very good day. And you all here at F1F make my life better each day, not just today!

  4. lol Has anyone seen the weather report for Malaysia on Looks like it won’t be much of a race weekend!

    1. Actually, I thing that it’s gonna be a great weekend. Whenever there’s rain in Malasya (unless it’s a almost flooding) we have grat races!

    2. every year it’s the same weather forecast though. every evening there are thunder storms in the area. whether it hits the circuit or not is a different matter.

  5. I just need to put this out there, Fernando stuffed up in qualifying. It happens, so you can’t hold it against him, but if Massa had done this we’d all be talking about how he isn’t good enough for Ferrari, and how he let the team down.

    Another thing is, Alonso’s starting position wasn’t reflective of his pace, it was natural that he would move forwards, and you have to remember that for quite a bit of the race he was being pressured heavily by Maldonado.

    All I’m saying is, Alonso is human too, don’t automatically assume everything he touches turns into gold. Ferrari and Alonso still have a long, long way to go.

    1. @mike – Maybe Ferrari should start playing by the Moscow rules. Namely, that once is an accident, and twice is coincidence, but three times is a pattern. Felipe Massa had a bad race in Melbourne. That’s okay; it happens to everyone. Maybe the car just didn’t suit him. According to Giampaolo Dall’Ara (Sauber’s head of circuit engineering), the Sepang circuit is pretty similar to Melbourne in terms of downforce and setup, so Massa gets another chance in Malaysia. If he bins it again, then Ferrari can write that off as coincidence. But if he has a bad race in China to go with poor performances in Australia and Malaysia, then that’s a pattern. Especially if Alonso is going places with the car. Maybe it would be in Ferrari’s interests to get rid of Massa sooner rather than later – maybe even as early as Spain. That way, they can count on Alonso to get them strong results and develop the car, and then put someone else in car #6 and get them acquainted with the team, so that when the car becomes competitive and when 2013 turns around, they’ll have a much stronger line-up than if they waited until December to axe Massa. Yes, it does mean sacrificing some position now, but it would be better to get a driver acquainted with the team and comfortable with them now so that they can hit the ground running later rather than doing nothing now and saving it for later when they have a competitive car, in which case a new driver will only limit their competitiveness.

      Yes, it’s ruthless, and yes, it’s probably unfair on Massa, but that’s the nature of Formula 1. Ferrari need the best to drivers they can get, and if Massa is unable to make it to Q3 and is languishing around outside the points during the races, then he’s clearly not the best driver for Ferrari. But somehow, I think they’ll delay firing him.

      1. Clearly Ferrari feels obligated to extend a safety net under Massa because of his accident, but its long over due.
        Already in 2010 Massa was one of the worst 2. drivers in the field, not taking any points from Alonso’s competitors (I did calculations on this). Last year he did better, if You account him for the points Hamilton lost, because of collisions with Massa. This year he will probably have more difficulties in finding Hamilton, who seems matured regarding this, so Massa will find a new “playmate” to take on and blame his misfortune (It takes 2 to make a clash, but Massa seems to seek out those drivers who wants to provoke others to either yield or clash, and then Massa never yields). But hey, I don’t like Ferrari’s sometimes arrogant attitude, so its fine with me. As long as they have Massa, some other team will surely win the constructors title, no matter how supreme the Ferrari might be.

        1. @palle

          (I did calculations on this)

          I found that whole comment daft to say the least, but the suggestion that it is categorically possibly to rate drivers?

          -.- no, just no.

          1. The FIA rates them by handing out points for each race, so they agree that it is possible to rate drivers – not totally fair, but anyway.

  6. That is a great COTD indeed! The only issue I have is with Perez joining Ferrari. Each person has their own opinion and I cant blame @Hairs for thinking that way. He has been pretty impressive the moment he stepped into Formula 1 and is definitely a driver worth looking after. The issue I have with Perez is that he is only in his second season of Formula 1, and should be tried and tested more before making such a big move. As of now, he has only had the chance to compete with Kobayashi as teammates and in all honesty Kamui doesn’t seem to be as impressive as people make him out to be. Sure he makes brave moves, and does not hesitate to overtake but besides that I think he is lacking in speed in both races and qualifying. I have analysed his results to that of his previous teammates (Nick and Pedro) and he didnt actually blow either them out of the water. Nick as of late has been nothing compared to his former self, most likely due to the refueling ban. Beating Kamui just doesn’t impress me too much and think that Pedro should at least face another teammate before making such a move.

    I hope I do not sound like a hater, but this is just what I believe. As I have said earlier, I don’t blame anyone who believes Pedro because he surely has talent.

    1. should be tried and tested more before making such a big move

      Wait too much and it could go the other way. Look at Kimi Raikkonen for example, or even Felipe Massa. Both impressed in their own way and both lost to their team mates, yet once they moved, the shone. Kimi at McLaren was impressive right from the box and Felipe, while being No. 2 to Schumi, did much more than what everyone expected from him in 2007-2008.

    2. I think Perez and Kobayashi are both very good young drivers. By saying “Beating Kamui just doesn’t impress me too much”, you’re implying that he’s been beaten by Pedro. I’m all for Checo joining Ferrari because he’s an excellent racer, but he’ll have to prove to me that he’s clearly better than Kamui first. If there’s anyone who’s proved themselves in terms of quickness, intelligence, and in overall race talent, it’s Kamui.

      1. I certainly think Perez has already proved himself to be generally better, especially considering he’s been in F1 half the time as Kobayashi.

        1. That’s what I’m not seeing. Where exactly has he proved himself to be better than Kobayashi? He didn’t even score half as many points as Kamui last season. In his rookie season, Kobayashi absolutely demolished Pedro de la Rosa and also showed up Heidfeld. In his first couple of races, he outshone Trulli in the Toyota. I still think Perez is a fantastic driver, but he’s not clearly better than Kobayashi.

          1. That’s because Kobayashi scored most of his points at a race Perez couldn’t compete in, and Perez’s best result over Kobayashi was discounted in Australia because of the rear wing mess. Perez also admitted to being slightly off-form due to his accident.

          2. Also, I don’t consider beating Heidfeld and De La Rose in particular as a huge achievement. Still good for a rookie, but hardly spectacular.

          3. In fact his entire points difference over Perez comes from those 2 races Perez missed.

          4. @alfalfa

            absolutely demolished Pedro de la Rosa

            Disagree. If you want to see what demolishing really looks like, just look at either Petrov vs Kubica or Massa vs Alonso. Just take a look at these statistics.

            Kobayashi De La Rosa
            FP1 6 7
            FP2 5 9
            FP3 9 5
            Q 7 7
            R 4 1

            Definitely does not look like he demolished Pedro. Sure he won more races, but there are so many retirements from both drivers which makes it hard to tell what it would really be.

      2. Forgive the poor format of the statistics, I looked better before I submitted it.

        1. Wait what? Neither Kobayashi or De la Rosa won any races, and which race is that from?? Anyway, my basis for “demolition” is the amount of times Kobayashi had finished ahead/scored points in the 2010 season. Also, matt90, it’s true that Kobayashi capitalized when Perez was out. But Perez was out because of his own mistake, and you can’t assume that he would have finished ahead of Kobayashi in both races. Having said that, I still believe Perez has loads of potential and racecraft, but I would hate to make any premature judgements. If he shows this season that he’s a full head and shoulders above Kamui, then I’ll be convinced.

          1. Kobayashi defeated Pedro 4 of the 5 times they finished a race together is what I meant to say.

    3. I dont think that Perez would gain anything if he would join Ferrari right now, Saubers are just clearly better than Ferrari at this point. The Saubers were clearly unlucky at qualy, so they could’ve ended mutch higher on saturday.

      On the other hand, I think the Ferrari is not that dog of a car. The main problem IMO, that the car is unstable on low fuel, thats why they qualified poorly. On sunday they showed “good” pace while they were high on fuel, but at the closing stages, it looked like Maldonado could overtake Alonso.

      Finally some thoughts on Massa: He was slow, yes. But if I’m right, and the car is just unstable, that could explain why he was that slow. Alonso being better controlling the unusual situations, he drove mutch faster. Also please, please, please dont say sutch things that someone can overdrive a car, and pull out 120% out of a car, ect. That is not possible, if Fernando was fast, good for him, he brought out the full potential of the car, not more. You cant count Felipe’s speed 100% while his teammate drove faster. Please check the definiton of percentage, before stating sutch nonsense. (Of course you can count Massa 100% and compared to that Alonso gave 160-170%, but not compared to the car)

  7. I can see a major problem with Horner’s idea.

    If you limit how much Kimi can spend on ice cream, he will get as much as you can within that limit. If you limit how many ice creams Kimi have, you will get the most expensive ice cream you can find.

    It’s a stupid analogy, but I think it makes my point.

    1. @mike – I think that’s actually a pretty good analogy, myself.

      The problem is that costs need to be controlled. Somehow, in some way. We can’t have teams spending $400 million a year on their cars. They should be spending a quarter of that figure, if not less.

    2. It’s a good analogy. But, the solution the FOTA is proposing isn’t going to work for the reason Horner states, and the solution Horner suggests isn’t going to work for reason noted in your analogy. Until someone comes up with a bullet proof way to control costs and limit spending, some team is always going to find away to cheat the system.

      Maybe an option would be that teams all lodge a bond with the FIA equal to their allowed annual budget, and then all supplier invoices, wages etc have to be paid through the FIA using the bond lodged with the FIA.

      Or maybe they just give up on the idea of trying to control the costs. F1, or motor racing in general has never been about being affordable, or generating a profit, why start now.

      1. Maybe an option would be that teams all lodge a bond with the FIA equal to their allowed annual budget, and then all supplier invoices, wages etc have to be paid through the FIA using the bond lodged with the FIA.

        It’s an option, but what would prevent a team from routing costs through a subsidiary or a non-F1 related part of their company to allow them to spend more than the bond? Monitoring declared expenditure is easy, finding out about the undeclared expenditure is much more difficult – even if there were draconian penalties (forfeiture of the bond?) a team were to be caught. That’s Horner’s problem with the RRA, that some of the bigger teams appear to comply with the agreement while getting other parts of their company undertaking extra work for the F1 team.

    3. To be honest, I think Horner is just doing his work, he wants to gain advantage whereever he can. And who would gain the most from limited test times, limited developement?

      RB & TR, I know they are not the same team, but I think they are sharing information. It is not illegal to give away your secrets to another team, it is illegal if someone steal it from you. Of course there is no proof for that, but it would be the logical thing to do. With limited test times, you doble the time spent on track, if you can have another team test for you. I know that you cant work something to perfection on a car, than take it to the other, but you could test your ideas, and if they lead to nowhere, you could scrap it, and if you see potential in it, you could modify it to work with your own car. It is the same as copying some other teams stuff, but with shared data, the work is mutch easier, than reinventing something from photos.

  8. Telegraph article sums up Sky’s opening weekend nicely IMO.

    I was disappointed with the feature driving the Ferrari F10, there seemed no point to it other than just to let Martin live a dream. A dream he already lived once before at ITV actually, when he drove the Ferrari F2000 at Donington and compared it to the Benetton B191…

    1. I think the Telegraph article was a bit sensationalist to be honest. Its the first ever F1 race they’ve broadcast and they’re automatically expected to be better than BBC who have had 3 seasons worth of experience. The bit about a future struggle between Lazenby and Brundle looks like something out of the Daily Mail, a ridiculous conclusion from what was essentially a mistake of not having an extra mic. And the point about Brundle just using Sky to live out his dreams smacks of bad journalism. If you’re sky and wanted to do your first feature on an F1 team its a no brainer to start at Ferrari. Last year he did features on the Pirelli tyres using the old F1 Toyota that Pirelli used to test their tyres, previously he also drove an old Red Bull at Silverstone and like you said he drove a F200 at donnington, but nobody mentioned these as an excuse to live out a personal dream then. I was a bit disappointed reading that article

  9. It’s hard to comment on the BBC/SKY shows since I watched ONE HD’s feed last night having recorded it on race day (as I was there). For those who don’t know, ONE HD/Ten in Aus are using the Sky commentary for their FOM feed.
    I enjoyed the combination of Martin, Crofty and Ted when he was actually used (not enough in my opinion) but one thing stood out and has been mentioned by others, Crofty is still commentating as if it were a radio show, over describing irrelevant details, one I recall was jostling for position between, I think, Nico and Pastor with a Sauber close behind and Croft was falling over his words attempting to describe everything rather than allow the fact the view can see what’s happening fill certain aspects of his commentary. I’m sure this will get better.

    Also while i’m talking commentary, the race commentators were much better this year, a few awkward pauses where the commentator seemed to forget he was supposed to be talking but a huge improvement on last year. I don’t know if it was a different bloke doing it? Oh and ONE/Ten still have a mixed bag of pundits with Greg Rust? seemingly getting better while the others just looked awkward most of the time.

    1. @nefor – In the past three years, we’ve had three different commentators alongside Brundle: Legard, Coulthard and now Croft. The one thing they had in common was that they all started out a little shaky, but they improved rapidly. Even Legard.

      1. However Croft is already in a different league than the others I think.

        He’s got the right enthusiasm.

      2. Spot on, Croft is enthusiastic, he will get better, a big improvement on Coulthard, well balanced with Brundle, it’s almost like Murray is back.

    2. In other sports, notably US professional leagues, they usually apply salary caps, it works because American football or basketball are team sports and they easily impose a ceiling limiting what can be spent on salaries of all athletes and in case of trades, they usually sell valid contrasts in lieu of signing a new one when a player is trade, however those at fault still can pay a ‘violation tax’ in case they get past the limit. In Formula 1 it’s very hard to come up with effective systems other than the one suggested by Horner.

  10. Hello hello, “Sebsatian”.

  11. Just running with Horner’s idea about limiting tangible items a little bit, I think I might have a viable solution: structuting the calendar based on the characteristics of circuits.

    The development of a car does not stop with the launch of the car. Teams are constantly working on aero packages all throughout the season. In 2010, Renault were introducing new parts or the R30 at each and every round, and I strongly doubt that they were the only team doing this. So in-season development can get very expensive, very quickly.

    I think that the FIA needs to limit the number of upgrades a team can bring to races over the course of a season. And the best way to do this is by structuring the calendar so that circuits that share similar characteristics are grouped together. That way, instead of bringing upgrades to every race, teams will be able to bring them to every fifth race. Their in-season development budget would be slashed by 75%. And to take it another step, teams could a) be free to introduce these upgrades whenever they wanted to, so long as they only did it five times in a season, and/or b) be given an in-season budget cap, a limit on how much they can spend once testing begins; they would be able to spend this money however the like, but they are limited in how much they actually spend (and to stop teams doing all their development first, designs for the cars must be submitted to the FIA before they are launched, with teams disclosing everything they have done).

    To further encourage cost-cutting, some parts of the car should be homologated, like the safety cell. Floors, diffusers and possibly sidepods should all be homologated at the start of the season, and defined by restrictive regulations so that all of the teams have something similar at the start of the year, which then cannot be changed. In-season development would then be focused on the parts of the car which can be freely changed, and all of it structured around the calendar, with circuits grouped together based on characteristics.

    1. There are two problems with that idea:

      a) If you group circuits that share similar characteristics, F1 could get really boring. For example you have one team that is unbeatable on low downforce tracks, you may and up with the same result for 5-6 GPs then go to another group of track, you have another team or worse the same team winning, and get simmilar results. (I know in 2011 that was the case without grouping, but your idea could aid this)

      b) And this is the bigger problem. You cant structure the calendar freely based on the characteristics of circuits. You have to take the weather and the date in account. Monaco is may, Hungary is in July, thats two months. In late may the weather is different in Hungary compared to late July. (But I think it would be better if we had the hungaroring in may :) )
      But 2 months is not enough, take Montreal, and Monza, two low-downforce circuits separated by four months.

      1. @bag0 @prisoner-monkeys Plus the cost would no doubt he higher if you were having to dart about all over the world without any real geographical efficiency.

    2. All your idea would do is direct where they spent the money, it wouldn’t dictate how much they spent at all. However, least you had an idea and put it out there.

  12. I think the best moment in F1 apart from button’s victory had to be Kimi asking why are they showing him blue flags, over the radio. :D

    1. im not sure why this is such a surprise. he wasnt asking what a blue flag meant, he was just asking why did they keep being shown at him.

      on this point, what was button and vettel talking about at the end of the race. they said something about a guy with a yellow flag words like ‘he was just standing there’ ‘tell charlie’ i couldnt quite work out what they were trying to say.

      1. I heard that too. I think they were complaining about a marshall who was holding a yellow flag rather prominently, even though there was no on-track incident. The point being that the drivers were immediately distracted by seeing a yellow flag even though it was not being used to signal to the drivers at the time.

    2. Button asked the same question

    3. That didn’t sound icemanlike to me!

  13. @Hairs What you’ve said aint true, its true that the 2010 Germany situation was ridiculous but it was the only situation that came public, we should know by now that team rules are everywhere as former and current drivers like to repeat. Alonso has bad character could be a spanish thing I dont know, in part maybe what makes him so dominant but no one can confirm that Massa issues are down with Alonso, no Massa team problems are with his quality he never was a great driver always critized by his lack of consitency said that he also earned alot of respect throughout the years in 08 when he lost at the final corner and when he was hurt in 09 to sum up he is a quarter italian.

  14. red bull are very keen that nobody should look at their books, aren’t they? This from the crowd who in the past few years have rabbited on about being a small team who are putting it up to the big boys… disingenuous methinks.

    1. Tom Haxley (@)
      20th March 2012, 10:09

      @hairs haha who said they were a small team? Themselves?

      They quite clearly have the biggest budget in F1.

      1. False.

        Ferrari has the biggest budget.

  15. Total red herring by Red Bull. However restricted things are, the top teams will still spend millions more than the smallest on the remaining areas where an advantage can be found. Less engines and gearboxes has allowed teams to put more money into car design, for example.

    The real advantage of the spending power of teams however comes from the quality of staff they can afford. HRT could never attract an Adrian Newey and whilst there is a chance a small team could find a very talented designer, the odds of keeping him would be small unless they rose to the top very quickly.

    If F1 is serious about capping costs than the only way it’s really going to get it done by setting that cap, even if only a loose one on the NBA model. Either that or restrict the cars so much that those extra tenths gained by spending millions are less and less easy to find, so the small teams can keep up in pace, occasionally leap their rivals through race strategy and gain funding from their success. But that’s never going to be a popular idea.

    1. Good description of the situation. I fully understand that RBR don’t like it, as they want to freely spend. But that should not hold back the sport as such.

      A NBA like model could be a start.

  16. How come, the only major team saying they want a limit on spending is Red Bull? It seems to me that they are always mentioning it. I’m all for a limit on spending but it will never fully satisfy everyone, smaller teams will love it but big teams will hate it. The only major plus is that will could see better quality than quantity as teams won’t splash out just for a small gain.

    As for driver of the weekend, it should be someone who has impressed over the weekend and that for me happened to be the race winner, button

    1. How come, the only major team saying they want a limit on spending is Red Bull?

      Wow! You don’t get F1 politics much to you?

  17. The strange thing with round-ups is that many times articles from different sites have all been first posted in Autosport.
    For example those words Horner said where in an Autosport article about a week ago.
    So i wonder Keith, do you miss quite a few Autosport articles or to you simply choose to wait and put similar ones from other sites so you won’t end up having a round-up full of Autosport.

  18. Mr Horner,

    The easiest way of controlling costs is actually controlling costs. (directly). If you try to control costs indirectly through technical regulations, rich teams will always find other ways of spending money to become faster. In order to prevent this completely, F1 would practically have to become a stock series or something very close to it.

    First you ban testing on a track. So teams invest even more in wind tunnels to substitute their lost track time. So then the FIA limits the number of wind tunnel hours teams can use. So the teams buy supercomputers to develop CFD programs. So the FIA bans that. And so it goes on and on. The governing body is always one step behind, fails to cut costs, and bans every new idea that the teams come up with. New teams are forced to invest in very expensive equipment because they can no longer test on a track like they used to in the old days, making the barrier to entry even higher.

    This example shows that this approach does not lead to lower costs and sustainability. The only way of achieving that is by actually saying explicitly what is the highest allowed cost for a season. With good quality auditing this can be easily policed and would lead to more innovation and reward smart people rather than deep pockets.

    1. @vjanik

      With good quality auditing this can be easily policed

      Mercedes could easily sell their engines for near to nothing to the Mercedes F1 team, along with gearbox, diff and the carbon cloth they use to build the carbon fibre components from.
      I think the only result of a fixed spending limit will result in a lot of sub companies operating at a loss and with staff hired by the mother company etc. etc. and instead of driver salaries they get additional sponsor money from the mother firm.
      How should they control that?
      Force all teams to build every single component for the car themselves? Thats surely not going to cut costs.

      But it is always going to be cheaper to only use 8 engines in a season compared to one engine for each race and limiting CFD and windtunnel hours will again make it cheaper.
      Yes they might spend the money elsewhere, but it will limit the difference the extra money spend will make, so it will be easier to be competitive with a low budget, and in the end that is the most important thing.

      If for instance Williams could be competitive on a tight budget, then it wont matter if Ferrari wants to spend a million billion times that, as long as the larger budget them a large advantage.

  19. The F1 Circus should look for further ways to reduce costs by more reductions in stress on the machinery. The brilliant idea for tyres that can only be driven hard for one lap have increased engine and gearbox life I should think one engine might last for a couple of seasons now. I would suggest a reduction in engine revs to a red line at say 6000 to bring them more in line with your average Fiat Panda. And why do we need these ridiculously overpaid drivers I am sure if we allowed Auto Pilots Honda could be persuaded back into the fold .Better still reduce the weight limit to .5kilos and track sizes to 20 meters (2 cars at a time ,you know what I mean) and the whole thing could be watched on your IPhones in HD.

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