Ferrari “struggling” to make upgrades work

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2013In the round-up: Ferrari say they have not been making gains with the new parts they have brought to their car in recent races.


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Ferrari’s wind tunnel issues persist (ESPN)

Chief designer Simone Resta: “The reason for us struggling at the last few races is us not bringing to the car parts that are working. If anything we have brought parts that are not working better than the others were.”

Boullier “optimistic” Raikkonen will stay with Lotus next season (James Allen on F1)

“I’m very optimistic. There is a lot of discussion in the press, most of it is irrelevant. It is all about making Kimi comfortable enough to stay and happy to stay. Part of it is done.”

Skipping 2014 Indian GP hurts country’s image: Jackie Stewart (The Times of India)

“I don’t know much about the tax issues and as for the customs, F1 has been able to handle the issue in every other country we go to – whether it’s Hungary, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia or China. This is something that your government should, perhaps, study, by visiting one of the Grand Prix races in Europe, to see how their authorities go through the process.”

Bringing F1 history to life – Ron Howard Q&A (F1)

“I think more races are the answer to all these questions. Austin will continue, it would be great if there is New Jersey, there is already Montreal, then find something on the West Coast, and then maybe Mexico – that would be a proper introduction of Formula One to the US.”

Lotus slams financial trouble reports (Autosport)

“On the ??120 million [??103m] debt, anybody half-smart can find out that number by going to Companies House records and will see that out of that, over 90 million is not ‘real’ debt but shareholder loans made to the company. The salaries have always been paid on time and there has never been even a hint of a potential strike by our people at the factory.”

Kubica: The Atmosphere at Rallies is Awesome (ADAC)

“I think one can hardly compare Formula 1 and rally vehicles. The differences in speed and the type of tracks make any comparison nearly impossible. For me, they have only one thing in common and it is something emotional: Both types of vehicles kindle great emotions in me.”

Zeltweg: home to legends (McLaren)

Ron Dennis: “[Jochen] Rindt just looked at him and replied, ‘They wouldn?t dare start the German GP without me!’ As he said it, one of the other mechanics looked up and muttered rather acidly, ‘Why don?t you pop down the road with your helmet and fill it with ten pounds of potatoes?!'”

Webber?s choice familiar to Blundell (MotorSport)

“When I left F1 after the 1995 season I was pretty disillusioned. I had an agreement in place ?ǣ with a team that?s still in F1 today ?ǣ and thought I was all set for the next year, but then it was decided that I was surplus to requirements and I was out on my ear.”

Comment of the day

Poul Winther agrees with Eric Boullier on the need to bring down costs in F1:

Why is it that fans would rather see three teams burn exaggerated amounts of money to stay in contention than eight or ten teams all having a reasonable chance? Does it create better racing to have just three? Certainly not, it seems to be the total opposite because the constant aero development made it impossible for the cars to follow each other closely which again caused F1 to run on bicycle wheels with artificial overtake buttons only applicable in certain situations. Very “sophisticated” indeed, but not exactly for the right reasons.

Outspending each other does much, much less for sophistication than the rules take away again. We have lost enough great teams already and been too close to losing even more while the uneven distribution of the revenue prevents the new teams from ever progressing.
Poul Winther (@Poul)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Wes!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Gerino Gerini, who turns 85 today, started a handful of F1 races in the fifties.

He scored his best result in his first race, a fourth-place finish shared with Chico Landi in the 1956 Argentinian Grand Prix. The pair were six laps down in their Maserati 250F.

He made five further appearances in 1957, again at the wheel of a Maserati, but scored no further points.

Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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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79 comments on “Ferrari “struggling” to make upgrades work”

  1. Ferrari has lost a lot of, lets say, brain power since the loss of Jean Todt and Ross Brawn, and it seems they have never been able to fully recover, mainly since the restriction on in-season testing was proposed. So, in these recent seasons, Ferrari either has a bad or not good enough car but the team as a whole performs greatly, i.e. 2012, or Ferrari has a car good enough to be in contention right from the start, but then the team starts to screw up things with bad strategy calls and mistakes in the engineering office which set the team back on performance grounds, and the team just makes a complete mess of the season altogether. I mean, I love Ferrari, but sometimes I look at them disappointed and even irritated by their apparent lack of skill in modern days. God, it makes me angry!

    1. *I meant imposed on the in-season testing thing.

    2. i think it’s just unbelivable that ferrari can’t get the tunnel to work. they are the only team that has problems with it. i’m starting to think they are being sabotaged.

      it’s just…… ubeliavable

      1. I`m with you on that! Weren´t thety using Toyota´s wind tunnel?? That one was one of the best wind tunnels and so I really do not understand either. It is just not possible for everybody to get the wind tunnel to work for them but Ferrari! I find that very VERY hard to believe. I think there must be something more behind this.

      2. What are a few problems in the wind-tunnel compared to all the money they are saving by not testing?

    3. You guys need to be careful or Luca di Montezemolo will have a “hit” put on you. LOL

      1. @daved pfft, he lets people do it themselves: remember he sent all employees a knife? ;)

        1. LOL I never thought about it, but that’s a really good point. That “gift” was Luca’s version of waking up with a horse’s head in your bed :)

          1. Luca made them an offer they could not refuse :P

    4. I suspect that it’s leftovers from the days of unlimited testing. Their whole development philosophy was geared towards lots of testing and (comparatively) less work with other tools that other teams had to rely on more. For a long time, this shaped their organization, the way they work, the “culture”, and this whole machine has a heavy momentum, it is very hard to change, especially while working. New people come, but they enter an established environment. Just a thought.

      1. I’m with you on that one. Ferrari could always rely on massive resources around CFD, wind-tunnel and track testing for decade(s) and naturally that’s how they optimized their processes. And from professional experience I know how hard it is to change processes when variables shift so drastically. Takes more than a few years to get back to peak efficiency.

      2. That does make sense considering they have their own test track and their whole style and strategy was geared that way.

  2. So any guesses on what team is Blundell talking about? I’d say it was Sauber.

    1. McLaren is my guess.

      1. What about Williams? JV did the Silverstone test in 1995, then in 96 he is getting pole first race! Anyone remember if JV signed before or after the test?

        1. Mark is a great guy and good driver but i dont remember or imagine williams being after him. They had plenty of options.

          I agree its probably Sauber/Mclaren. Remember there was alot of contract ranglings going on round the end of 94 through 95 over Coulthard and mclaren/Williams.

    2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      10th August 2013, 0:57

      Yeah Sauber was my first thought perhaps until Herbert was dropped by Benetton. Wouldn’t grumble too much though, he got a great seat at PacWest in CART and won races.

      1. Still pretty sure it’s McLaren. I think this race deal from ’95 was carried to ’96, but they dropped him when they signed up Coulthard from Williams.

  3. Oh Ferrari, now there’s a surprise. Firing Costa and Dyers was such a great idea.

    Ferrari have been struggling with every car ever since the new regulations in 2009. All I can pray for is that the 2014 regulations will suit them better.

    1. Ferrari and MacLaren both seem to be making the same mistakes. Wrong person in Team Principal spot. Letting go of vital staff members. Poor decision making on race day. Obsession with radical philosophy, though to be honest I don’t know what’s radical about pull-rod. If they don’t get their houses in order and hit the ground running in 2014 we could see them in doldrums for another 5-10 years, because Merc really seem to mean business and Redbull have had a taste of the lime-light so they aren’t about to loosen their grip soon.

      1. Red Bull have BEEN the limelight …not a taste , mind you .

    2. I agree @blackmamba, both Martin Whitmarsh and Stefano Domenicalli seem a bit…how should I put this; soft. They don’t have the presence of somebody of the like of Ross Brawn which I think is what they both desperately need – a hard hand to get them back on track.

    3. I think you can let Ferrari off not performing to optimum standards in 2009, due to the reg change.
      There were only 3 teams who got it right; Brawn, Toyota and Red Bull.
      The following years, however, have been ridiculous
      (I’m not a Ferrari supporter btw)

  4. I agree with the COTD.
    I feel like there needs to be a max cap, for example, 100m, not including transport. Spend it how you want to, whether for driver salary, 5000 engineers, research into different gasses for inflating tires, exotic alloys for the engine/trans, whatever. Once you hit 100m, that’s it, you’re done. You have to recycle parts you made from earlier in the year, no supercomputer calculations etc. Enforcing this would be extremely difficult I think as teams would just hide what they spend or have shady back door deals where suppliers “donate” stuff to the team then the team makes a secret “donation” to those suppliers.

    1. That’s why I’m always skeptical every time the idea if a cost cap is floated around – I just think it’d be far too difficult to enforce. The only way I could see that kind of working is if perhaps you limited the amount of sponsor money a team could receive but even then the manufacturers could easily sidestep that rule. There must be some solution though!

    2. @beejis60, Absolutely, it’s outrageous that F1 teams have to spend more money in a year than Bernies daughters spend on a holiday home.

  5. otus do have a point. ferrari spend so much more money than lotus. look how many points they are ahead by. If there were spending limits we could see a major change in the running order of f1. with probably lotus and force india (teams that have not got the money but are good). and you have to ask the question, would rbr, ferrari, mclaren and mercs be as good if there was a limit to spending.

  6. Reading that Ferrari piece is like being in 2009 again. And 2010. And 2011. And 2012.

    1. And probably 2014 and 2015.

      1. @matt90
        Just because Ferrari struggled with the 2009-2013 regulations doesn’t mean that they will struggle with the post-2014 revs. Also, the F10 was developed at a better rate than any other team bar RBR.

        1. Not really.
          The mclaren was developed better throughout 2009, 2011, 2012.
          Renault / Lotus has been equally good

          We aren’t event taking the midfield cars into the picture. Look at the rate of improvement of the Force India’s

        2. They won 2 of the first 5 races. The problem isn’t the way they deal with these regulations, it’s their inconsistency with designing new cars and upgrades. 2010 was their best year since the new regulations. This year should have been better than that, but they manage to be screwing it up.

          1. @matt90 they’ve made a couple of crucial errors also (not pitting Alonso in Malaysia, allowing him to re-deploy DRS in Bahrain) which has surely cost them on balance about a win’s worth of points.

            Where they are really hurting though is playing it too safe with updates: I think Anderson or Benson made a very good point in that unlike Red Bull or Mercedes, Ferrari do constant back-to-back tests with their new upgrades in FP and are reluctant to just dive in at the deep end whereas Red Bull and Mercedes just trust their simulations and run the components and try to optimise them. Ferrari need to be more bold in that respect.

          2. Here’s the quotation I was referring to from Gary Anderson’s article:

            They are bringing developments to the track – as they did with a new diffuser in Hungary – but they are not using them in races.
            So all of that research and effort is not being turned into performance.
            Caution can be a positive when it comes to engineering, but Ferrari are guilty of over-caution.
            They spent Friday in Hungary trying to compare the new diffuser with the old one. But it is impossible to do so-called back-to-back runs on a part as influential as that with the track changing as quickly as it does in Hungary.
            That’s because you can never be sure what is influencing the changes in car behaviour and lap time – is it the track evolution, or the new parts?
            Sometimes you simply have to have faith in your simulation data, put the part on the car and get on with it. Because Ferrari are not, they are effectively going backwards, because while they are standing still everyone else is going forwards.

  7. Ferrari has more problems than their wind tunnel. Hiring James Allison is one decent move, but not for 2013. LDM is too busy ranting and raving when he should be problem solving. Probably time for him to kick himself further upstairs and put someone more in touch with how to run a modern F1 team.

    To have some hope for 2014 Ferrari needs to build an engine package better than Renault or Mercedes. They need to sort or replace personnel to find more speed rather than more excuses. They have as many or more resources than any other team in F1, they need to manage them better. They need to hire somebody like Heikki Kovalainen to drive and help them develop their car. If he can help Caterham, he should be able to help Ferrari. That is a suggestion that actually pains me since I would really like to see Jules Bianchi driving for Ferrari as soon as possible. But, right now Ferrari has problems developing their car properly on all levels. It matters not how much speed a driver has in a dog slow car. Two experienced drivers giving input for development would be better.

    I’m really not sure how good of a development driver Massa is. It is rumored he has been used as a tester quite a bit for Ferrari trying different things, maybe strategies, setup and parts, but how much is it helping? I believe somebody like Kovalainen could help in testing, practice and races.

    Sadly, Ferrari seems lost without a clue about how to get back to winning, much like McLaren. They have talent and resources. They need better management.

    1. David not Coulthard (@)
      10th August 2013, 9:02

      LDM is too busy ranting and raving when he should be problem solving.

      They need to sort or replace personnel to find more speed rather than more excuses.

      there is a difference between finding excuses & not solving the problem.

      One can solve a problem and rant (or just talk) a bit at the same time. Just because one is spelling out an excuse doesn’t mean that one is not trying to solve the problem.

      As a Red Bull fan I think I recall seeing comments like “solve the problem, don’t just talk!” directed at Christian Horner (that was quite some time ago, though). But come on, stop judging others based on what is probably true.

      Besides, surely they could’ve been asked by a reporter, right?

      1. I think Ferrari, and McLaren for that matter, are trying to solve their problems. It shows how difficult F1 is when teams with the talent and resources of those two cannot wring a few fractions of a second more out of their cars. I don’t have the answers, but the trend at Ferrari in particular is puzzling. The constant wind tunnel problems, the car that started the season with such promise and has seemingly gone backwards toward the mid pack no matter what upgrades they bring, the inconsistency since Todt and Brawn, how can Ferrari improve?

        I’m not even a Ferrari fan per se, or an Alonso fan, but I hate to see them floundering and would rather see them competing for podiums and wins for the sake of the sport.

    2. Isn’t DeLaRosa doing the work you suggest Kovalainen to do? or you suggest that he will do it better?@bullmello

      1. @stagger They need all the help they can get. I think Kovalainen can add to their development process in the car for practice, qualifying and racing under actual conditions. Eventually they will replace Massa and if they do, now would be a good time to get someone with experience to help them develop the car.

        1. @bullmello you certainly got a point here,about getting all help they can get and try fill key positions holes, but i dont know how much more they can gain having KOV instead of Massa. Ther’s no doubt that KOV can give huge boost to a small team, like Katherham ,development but I doubt he will make such huge difference than the current input of Massa-Rosa in development, qualifying and especially race, we’ve seen KOV in McLaren… nothing special imo with all due respect.

  8. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    10th August 2013, 2:50

    If Kimi does get the red bull seat, I’d like to see Ricciardo at Lotus.

    1. I’d like to see the same move, would be interesting to see.

    2. @tophercheese21 I think going by sponsorship that JEV would have a better chance at lotus rather than Ricciardo.

      1. Why should Lotus take either of the Red Bull rejects if there both deemed not good enough for promotion by Red Bull?

        Lotus already have a French driver in Grosjean to satisfy sponsors/partners e.g Renault and Total. Grosjean is faster than Ricciardo or Vergne anyway.

        Valsecchi is the driver that deserves a chance and is already familiar with the team in his reserve driver role.

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          10th August 2013, 10:24

          Grosjean is faster than Ricciardo or Vergne anyway.

          Do you have any proof of that? It’s impossible to compare the when they’re in different cars.

          All we know about Grosjean is he’s occasionally quicker than Kimi, and a hell of a lot quicker than D’Ambrosio.

          And we know that Ricciardo is a fundamentally faster driver than JEV. Even thugh JEV has a couple more points, he’s not as quick.

          1. Look at what Grosjean has won (pre f1) compared to Ricciardo.

            Grosjean is even probably faster than Raikkonen as shown in recent races when he’s had to more over for Kimi a couple of times, we all known how fast Kimi is. Granted Romain does not yet possess Kimi’s race craft and consistency.

            Ricciardo is the new Jarno Trulli very fast over one lap but fades away in races. Look how often he finishes a race in a lower position than he started it an it’s Jarno all over again.

          2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            10th August 2013, 11:43


            He may fade away in the race, but that’s mostly because of the machinery he drives.

            You could put Sebastian Vettel in a Marussia and he’d never score a point unless 12 people DNF.

            I think if Ricciardo had the equipment at his disposal then he’d score some serious points/podiums.

            Not to mention he is MUCH less error prone than Grosjean.

          3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            10th August 2013, 11:49

            I mean, let’s not kid ourselves. It’s called the World Drivers Championship, but the car’s performance plays the largest role.

            Like I view Fernando Alonso as the most complete driver in formula 1, but because Ferrari are just terrible he can’t compete for race wins.

          4. Grosjean move not because he was faster than Kimi. Quite the opposite really.

          5. Chris
            I’am sure Ricciardo would score points and podiums in the Red Bull, It would be difficult not too in that car. But he often fades in races and gets beaten home by Vergne who has the same equipment at his disposal.

            A clear pattern is emerging between the two Torro Rosso drivers, Ricciardo is the faster one on a Saturday afternoon and Vergne is the faster one on a Sunday afternoon.

          6. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves. It’s called the World Drivers Championship, but the car’s performance plays the largest role.

            It plays a large role, but the drivers can still make a difference. A top driver wouldn’t win in a Marussia, but would beat the cars around them. In your example, their teammate and the Caterhams, avoiding last place.

          7. Agreed @david-a: we’re seeing even with Bianchi that the driver clearly makes a difference. I’m certain if you put Alonso in a Caterham he’d be threatening the points with much greater contingency than Pic or VDG.

          8. Indeed, @david-a @vettel1 – an excellent driver might get much closer to the midfield teams even in a Caterham or Marussia. However, I think that over the course of a season or two, they will also have an impact in terms of car development and setup, meaning that they would help the team build and set up a better car.

          9. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            11th August 2013, 0:09

            I never said the driver can’t make a difference, as we have seen with Bianchi wiping the floor with Chilton, in essentailly the same equipment, but the car plays the biggest role in performance.

            If the driver played the biggest role, then Chilton, Gutierrez, and VDG wouldn’t have gotten race seats because they aren’t as good as their replacements of Glock, Kobayashi and Kovalainen respectively.

            Another example would be at the last race in Hungary, Bianchi, who I think is the best driver of the back markers, couldn’t even get close to the Caterhams, because the Marussia was not good enough.

    3. @Denis
      One thing a driver absolutely has to have is fundamental speed, and Daniel has got that over Vernge. Race craft can then be coached and developed over a career and if you find yourself in a Redbull or a Lotus that have fantastic race pace then everything else just falls into place. If you are running in the mid field there is an element of luck involved as you can get stuck more easily behind someone on a different strategy.

  9. I’m so bored that I have to write that I’m bored on F1Fanatic :-)

  10. btw Where is the Caption Competition

    1. +100000000

    2. How about your profile pic ?

  11. I don’t often agree with the author of the CotD, but you’re spot on @poul on this occasion. All this ludicrous spending for such minimal gains on front wing endplates and the like needs to be curtailed (with a better solution than a simple cost-cap though, as therefore the manufacturers and possibly RBT could hide their costs in other subsidiary departments.

    I want to see all teams on as close to a level playing field as possible in terms of resource but with having more technical freedom, so we really see who has the best engineers and aerodynamicists.

    1. Thanks @vettel1 – it must be because two wrongs make a right. You rarely agree with the COTD and you rarely agree with me so when I finally get the COTD you just have to agree! Thanks also for making me notice I even had it.

      Thanks @keithcollantine

      1. @poul well it’s about a 50% strike rate I’d say, just that usually when I don’t agree with it I’m more likely to comment! Congratulations anyway!

        1. Thanks @vettel1. I agree – and do enjoy the discussions.

  12. In a recent Autosport interview, Whitmarsh claimed that the 2012 McLaren over-performed compared to it’s wind-tunnel model predictions. And that the 2013 car has under-performed by the same standard.

    This wind tunnel modeling seems to be as much art as science, and it’s an art some teams have not quite mastered.

  13. I don’t agree with the COTD. But then I oppose the ongoing move (already largely accomplished) to turn F1 into just another spec series.

    1. @jonsan that’s why I’d accompany that with more technical freedom, to inspire performance wars fuelled by creativity and not big bank balances.

  14. Romain Grosjean is not French ,he uses a French license,but is no more French than I am. Swiss with more personality in his little finger than his teammate.

    1. I think that Raikonnen has more talent in his little finger than his “Swiss” teammate. Is personality measured by lack of emotional control? In my opinion, Kimi has tons of charisma because he says what he thinks in a laconic manner and gets on with the job in a professional way. I attribute his perceived humorlessness to having to deal with stupid questions constantly. Roman is a pretty good driver, but he comes across as a bleary-eyed, overly sensitive “nice guy”. Maybe that’s because he’s been embarrassed by his mistakes and anxious about his standing in the paddock. In my opinion, his personality gets in the way of his driving. Give me dry ice over a limp rag any day.

  15. Like @jonsan and others, I don’t agree with the COTD.

    I understand the connection between aerodynamic disturbance and the artificial enhancers most fans loathe but I disagree that restricting resources will free F1 of its trinkets or improve racing.

    To me, the issue with resource restriction agreements, for us fans, comes down to a simple judgement of priority: Is F1 a constructors’ championship or a drivers’ championship? If you prioritize the constructors, then resource restrictions are antithetical to a championship pitting the greatest cars against each other. However, if you see F1 as a drivers’ championship, then more restrictions allows for an even field.

    The reality is that F1 always has been, is, and should continue to be a constructors’ championship. The reason grown men sit through installments of Tooned is because they support McLaren, not because they are excited to see an animated Checo appear on their laptops. Williams’ recent woes are disappointing because it’s Williams, not because Bottas and Maldonado are stuck near the back of the field. The Tifosi wave flags for the Scuderia, not for a driver. Enstone dresses up their cars in gold and black is because that means something to us. F1’s identity is in its constructors. Sad as it may be, I will gladly sacrifice a hundred Saubers, Caterhams, and Marussias to see F1 remain true to itself and avoid becoming drivers’ championship.

    1. @pandaslap, aren’t you now defining greatest team as being the richest team effectively though? How can a new team, unless heavily corporately sponsored in advance, like Red Bull, ever join the ranks of ‘competitive’ team? I find that problematic.

      I do agree about a lot of the identity of F1 coming from the teams, but I value the continuing ingenuity of a Sauber as much as the overwhelming powerhouse Red Bull built to overcome the prancing history and clout of Ferrari.

      I also see that Marussia and Caterham, even when mainly fighting eachother, and often neglected by the FOM cameras, often provide a good bit of on-track racing.

      Lotus/renault/enstone as a team has done a lot in the last 30 years of F1, and this year clearly brought a fight to RBR when Ferrari couldn’t and while Mercedes were trying to keep their tyres alive; if they hadn’t been there, how much less interesting would the races have been.

      I don’t watch F1 for the championship alone, I want to see good races. All these teams contribute to the races we see even if they can’t ultimately fight for the WCC or WDC, and extra money for the top won’t improve those races at all.

      1. @bosyber
        “I don’t watch F1 for the championship alone, I want to see good races. All these teams contribute to the races we see even if they can’t ultimately fight for the WCC or WDC…”

        I completely agree with this. I am not trying to suggest that the midfield and back markers are insignificant. However, I do believe the cost-cutting that the Boulliers and the Kaltenborns call for has the potential to strip F1 of its identity as a constructors’ series.

        What F1 needs to do is adjust regulations to keep the racing pure and exciting throughout the field – not level the financial playing field to make it easier for the Saubers to be competitive.

        I think your point about Enstone is a good one – one which I think nicely supports my position against resource restrictions. As you point out, Enstone remains competitive in spite of having less money than the top teams. Therefore, resource restrictions are not as critical to fairness and on-track performance as some claim.

        At the end of the day, F1 is expensive and the midfield teams have proven over the last couple of seasons that they can compete for podiums. Since the top teams’ best weapon is their ability to pay for tech and development, a resource restriction agreement only benefits the midfield by limiting the strength of the top teams. We fans won’t benefit, the drivers won’t benefit, and the racing won’t necessarily improve for anyone except the few teams that can’t afford to pay the likes of Newey and Brawn.

        The cost of making it cheaper and easier for the Saubers of F1 to podium is that F1 moves toward a spec-series – and loses the one thing that sets it apart from other series.

    2. @pandaslap

      If you prioritize the constructors, then resource restrictions are antithetical to a championship pitting the greatest cars against each other. However, if you see F1 as a drivers’ championship, then more restrictions allows for an even field.

      I don’t agree with this distinction at all. Whether you primarily perceive F1 as a drivers’ championship or a constructors’ championship (or both, or neither) the fact remains that unrestricted spending is incredibly unhealthy for the sport. The few cost restrictions in place at the moments that haven’t been eroded (like the testing limits) are barely enough to keep the show on the road – we lost one team over the winter and it’s clear others are financially vulnerable.

      1. @keithcollantine

        I think the current financial climate of F1 is unhealthy but I do not think that unrestricted spending damages the sport. That is to say, I think that teams on the brink of financial collapse can be saved by changing the way revenues are shared without compromising the ability of F1’s top teams to use their resources as they see fit.

        As I’ve said before, I think that setting restrictions, in the interest of midfield and back marker teams, does a lot for midfield teams (maintaining the current menagerie of teams and bolstering the competitiveness of the midfield relative to the front) but does very little for F1 in general, the top teams, or the fans.

        It’s not that I don’t understand the problem, it’s that I don’t see restricting spending as the answer.

        1. @pandaslap I don’t disagree that the grossly unequal distribution of F1’s revenues between the teams is part of the problem. But fixing that alone will not be enough to give F1 a full, healthy and competitive grid of teams.

  16. If anything we have brought parts that are not working better than the others were.

    That is a brilliant quote.

    It might even point at why the problem is so persistant: bringing new parts may be what they measure themselves by, rather than improvement of the car (see Alonso, we have new stuff for you, lets see if it works, it should, cross your fingers)

    As this has not been working for them for too long, they need to really take time to figure it out (a bit like Lotus did when the ff exhaust showed itself to be outdeveloped, or McLaren end of 2010, and even this year, though we’ll only see in Spa if they really are progressing now).

  17. Ferrari still have a very strong car. Not every track will suit them. And Ferrari have had great cars since the departure of Ross Brawn (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 Round 4 onwards). 2012 it wasn’t the fastest but by far the most reliable which allowed Alonso to steal those podiums. 2009 was due to the interpretation of the double diffuser rule and 2011 the Vettel/Red Bull combination was simply too good.

    I think Ferrari’s problem is driver related more than anything. Alonso’s a poor qualifier which constantly puts Ferrari on the back foot before the race has even begun. Massa has been largely uncompetitive since 2010 therefore Alonso hasn’t been forced to improve his driving. A strong teammate like Webber, Rosberg, Button would have forced Alonso to evolve his driving.

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