Todt scraps budget cap plans for 2015

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Jean Todt admits that the FIA will not enforce a budget cap in 2015 as originally planned.


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Formula 1 cost cap plans abandoned according to FIA’s Jean Todt (Autosport)

Todt: “Most of the teams were in favour of the cost cap, but I understand that all the teams that are part of the Strategy Group are against it now. So clearly, if the commercial rights holder, and if six teams, which means 12 of 18 are against, I cannot impose it. It’s mathematics. So in this case, no more cost cap.”

F1 bosses agree to look into ways to increase engine noise (Autosport)

“After a series of meetings over the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend to discuss the current state of F1, Autosport understands that unanimous agreement was reached for action to be taken regarding the noise. A working group is to be set up by the FIA to look into the matter, with a view of making sure that the turbo noise can increase as soon as possible.”

McLaren boss Ron Dennis urges squabbling F1 to respect the future (Sky)

Dennis: “There has to be a time, and I think that time is now, when we take a more socially-responsible position. The simple fact is that we live in a world where resources are depleting and the environment is being threatened. Yes, we are Formula 1, yes we are the pinnacle of motorsport, but being the pinnacle of motorsport means we have to have the latest technology”

‘We were not good enough – Vettel (ESPN)

Vettel: “It’s a shame we couldn’t get further up because Daniel proved there was a little bit more to get. I couldn’t really get to that bit so I’m not happy with my day. For some reason we seem to be very slow down the straights, and not just against the Mercs. We pushed hard… but obviously we were not good enough today.”

Exclusive Vijay Mallya Q&A: It’s great to break our podium jinx!

Mallya: “It is a very special moment. My job was always to make this team climb up the ladder – steadily. I always believed that 2014 – with all the new regulations – gave us a new opportunity. And so far what a good season it has been!”

Button says McLaren now second to Mercedes (Racer)

Button: “The only team that was quicker than us today was the Mercedes, Force India was obviously competitive, but I think we would have fought them very well at the end but we didn’t get the opportunity.”

FIA president resists demand for rule changes (BBCF1)

Jean Todt: “Do you hear [championship leader] Nico Rosberg complaining? Did you hear [world champion] Sebastian Vettel complaining last year? Those doing well aren’t complaining, those that aren’t, are.”

Honda and Ford could power new F1 teams in 2015 (Racecar Engineering)

“Meanwhile the Haas Automation entry could utilise Ford branded Cosworth engines, the English firm has recently opened a new office in Detroit and developed its own power unit for the 2014 season, but refused to put it into production without [an original equipment manufacturer] partner.”

Screw you Guys, I’m going home (The Buxton Blog)

“One wonders why Ferrari and Red Bull are suddenly so concerned over the opinions of the fans, when every poll conducted in the independent domain over double points repeatedly sees well over a 95% dislike of the rule, and yet they have not seen fit to push for its eradication.”


Comment of the day

With yesterday’s thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix set to become one of the most popular races ever on ‘Rate the Race’, jonny705 feels that despite the drama, it wasn’t quite deserving of a full ten out of ten…

I think people are getting slightly carried away with the rating, probably (and understandably so) because it’s been so long since we’ve had any real battle for the lead and such brilliant drama up and down the field.

But it’s almost as if we’ve forgotten how good F1 can really get.

This was a Grand Prix jam-packed with action, tension, drama from start to finish. Team mates flouting the pleas of their superiors, two different approaches to strategy that kept us guessing throughout the race’s entirety, and a spectacular crash that hopefully sends a message to the FIA that changing the shape of the noses won’t deny us fans the occasional amazing sight of a flying/flipping/barrel-rolling car. You can’t ask for much more.

But was it as good as Brazil 2012? Not quite. Plenty of on-track drama, but it lacked that extra spice – a championship wasn’t at stake, and final-race showdowns will always have that added bit of tension (or at least they did before they messed with the points).

Was it as good as Canada 2011? Nowhere near. That is the definition of a race that had pretty much everything you could ask for.

A 10/10 race is one where you get a special feeling inside, one that tells you that you’ve just watched something very special. Think long and hard, did you get that feeling as Hamilton crossed the line? If the answer is yes, you need to go and watch one of the two aforementioned races. If not, it’s because this race was a very good 9/10. Excellent Grand Prix, but to make it a 10 it needs something truly sensational – a driver coming back from nowhere, for example.

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On this day in F1

McLaren won their second race in a row at the start of the 1984 season 30 years ago today, Niki Lauda leading home team mate Alain Prost at Kyalami. Derek Warwick was third for Renault, a lap down.

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113 comments on “Todt scraps budget cap plans for 2015”

  1. Personally, if Haas make it to the 2015 grid I think they would be mad not to try to secure the Mercedes engines that McLaren will be giving up (assuming Merc is happy to keep supplying 4 teams).

    1. @tdog I believe Haas has ties with Ferrari here in the states and I believe that was in their proposition to use their PU’s, however, I do agree with you in the necessity to pick up that empty Merc supply slot being vacated.

      1. Yeah, I understood his intention had been to go for package with a Ferrari engine and Dallarra chassis (almost next door to Ferrari for good cooperation) too @beejis60, but I guess that with current engine competitiveness, they would be crazy not to have a look at getting Mercedes engines.

        But who knows, they could end up with Ferrari still, or indeed lure Ford (Cosworth built) back, as Racecar engineering hints at

        1. I think Red Bull will be trying for Mercedes engines next year, so they may have some competition.

          1. If I were Mercedes I don’t think I would supply my (soon to be) main rival with my engine.

          2. Red Bull have a deal with Renault that they aren’t breaking anytime soon

    2. I read somewhere that Haas was aiming for 2016.

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    7th April 2014, 1:23

    Last year, even when Vettel won a GP, I rarely gave 10/10 (especially when he ran far ahead alone, that’s not a 10/10). Before that, even with battles for the lead, I rarely gave 10/10. Today the race (as far as I read about it, honestly I just saw the 1st lap and the period after the safety car) I saw that the “race” was divided in Ham vs Rosberg and the rest. i understand Ham fans are amazed, and his was definitely a great drive against a tough teammate, but I agree with the COTD: While the other teams mess up far behind, race won’t be 10/10. Mercedes is now 11/10 (my honest congrats to Mercedes), but every race is becoming as Indy 2005, when the Ferraris flew and th Jordans and Minardis fought for leftovers. This season is Indy 2005 with 2 real racing cars and 20 privileged spectators.

    1. It was a great race. If you are only interested in who wins then for sure. It’s a 1 on 1. But that’s doing a huge disservice to the sport, where the best racing is often in the midfield.

    2. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
      7th April 2014, 3:42

      I’m one of the guys who rated 10/10, and maybe I get too carried away with the amazement that I didn’t feel for quite long time. I mean, what is best GP last year? British? When the tyre is like ‘boom boom’ everywhere?
      Despite the domination of Mercedes, both their driver is still racing hard. The rest of the field is also packed with good performance of Force India, Red Bull, and Williams. not forget to mention the moment when Maldonado crashed into Guti, which is quite frightening.
      Personal emotion for me isn’t always when your favorite driver winning in fashioned style (i.e. Kimi, Suzuka 2005) or mega closing race (i.e. Brazil 2008 and 2012), but also when the racing like this is happened: what grand prix should be like.
      Whether it’s 9 or 10 is too close to call I admit, but is it really matter when you got racing like this?

      1. the best race last year was malaysia, but people got too wrapped in the team orders thing that the rating was low. brazil 2012 was awesome (partly because david coulthard used the line: “Vettel’s coming into a wet box”), but it kind of fizzled out when hulk crashed, everyone started letting vettel through (thanks schumacher…), and we had the safety car, so i don’t think that race was as good as yesterday’s. brazil 2008 on the other hand…

    3. @omarr-pepper “I just saw the 1st lap and the period after the safety car”

      I don’t think you can really critisize people for voting it a 10/10 when you didn’t even see most of the race. It was fantastic stuff throughout (although i missed a lot too from watching highlights only). Each to their own, but personally i think complaining that there was no racing between 2nd and 3rd places is being pretty fussy on what constitutes a ‘great race’.

    4. For the past 4 years most people complained about RBs superiority that made races boring.
      Vettel WHEN he was winning was most of the times 0.1-0.3sec per lap quicker.
      This year the mercs in this 3 first races where 1-3sec quicker than any other team.
      That is 10 times more. So the wtc is already over.
      Yesterday ROS failed to take advantage of a unique opotunity since luck gifted him 10sec and a better tyre. This was a clear message who is the fastest guy in the team and who 99.99% will be the WDC.
      Looking at the odds in a betting site leaves no space for any doubt:
      Ham winning the wtc has an odd of 0.53 and mercedes 0.08!!!! has this ever happen again?? in any sport??
      After all this in mind , depsite a race with so much action and overtakes, how can anybody be optimistic that this season would be exciting and worth watching?
      This is good only for mercedes and Hamilton fans.
      FIA changed the rules in the past to slow down RB more than once, why is it so bad and unfair to make the same to the mercs?

      1. This is total nonsense. Vettel’s dominance was boring because most of the time only he was in the dominant position. And on the rare occasions that wasn’t true, Red Bull imposed (or at least tried to impose) team orders.

      2. So the wtc is already over.

        God forbid something interesting happens that isn’t for the lead/the championship!

        Is Chilton making an amazing overtake on Kobayashi less impressive than Rosberg passing Vettel with DRS?

        You people do my head in…

    5. @omarr-pepper I rated the race 9 because it was a all-Mercedes affair at the front but it had a very important ingredient for a good race: Drama. That’s why Canada 2011 was epic and that’s why Brazil 2008 was the best season finale and one of the best races I’ve ever see.

    6. I do also agree with comment of the day, though not necessarily on Canada 2011. Absolutely, it was a very, very good race but the red flag period is what robbed it from being a 10 in my opinion (and too many safety cars). It falls into the high 9 category I feel, along with Bahrain.

      Fully agreed on Brazil 2012 though. And as other races in recent times go, Brazil 2008 perhaps and Japan 2005.

    7. If you didnt watch it, why are you saying it wasnt good? Is the race basically just the leader, nothign else matters? Tell that to Hamilton, how he won his title by finishing 4th.

  3. Haas and Honda? That’s the route I would take if I was Haas.

    1. @tenerifeman that option won’t be open to them until at least 2016 as mclaren have an exclusive deal with Honda for 2015, so if they do join next year and want Honda they’re going to have to find a supplier to fill the 1 year gap

    2. Remember the 1964 season? The first Honda engine in F1 — a v12 mounted transversely — 5-10% up on power over the competition, but bad on reliability, mostly overheating. Reminds me of 2014…

  4. Is has to be said, regarding the personal opinion of how emotionally immersive the race was, it really depends on what part your favorite driver played. As much as people are trying to be objective when rating races, the last bit, that emotional aspect, will always depend on what part your favorite driver played. For Alonso’s or Vettel’s fans, this was probably very exciting race to watch, but not emotionally immersive.

    That said, some races really feel like history in the making. One of those I can remember was back in 2005 when I think Alonso really announced himself. He already had a win in 2003 and numerous pole positions by then, already leading the championship after 4 races and 3 wins, but Imola 2005 was something else. I wasn’t even his fan back then but I was left with a sense of witnessing something monumental. Kimi’s win at Suzuka that same year was awesome, and even thought he was my fav driver at the time, I didn’t really feel that excited. Maybe because the championship was over or because it was more of a comeback than a real fight for the lead, but that’s just how I personally experienced it. One other I remember was Spa 2000. When I saw that overtake, I was breathless, left with a feeling that this was too good to be real. Almost choreographed.

    Today’s race was amazing and battles were really thrilling. I’m sure today’s race was really the edge of a seat stuff for Lewis’ fans, but I think that 9 is a realistic mark, while 10 will always require a personal, emotional drain of surviving a monumental battle with your favorite driver, against their arch-nemesis. Ideally in a title-deciding cliffhanger. :)

    1. I get that. Hamilton is the driver I support most, so felt that way today. It felt like it might carry championship weight too, as it could prove to be important for shaping it. As it is likely to come down to these 2, a race where Hamilton snatched a win from Rosberg felt important, even early in the season. A 14 point swing and the momentum it gives could be quite meaningful, and considering the problem Hamilton had in Australia it felt somewhat redemptive.

    2. That doesn’t apply to me really because I’m a fan of all drivers. Yes maybe there are a few which I perhaps like more than others, but in every race or season, I just want to see great close racing and be entertained, regardless or who comes out on top – (the only time that changes is when a driver is dominating, whether that be the case in a race where he’s miles in the lead or over the course of the season). Overall when watching F1 or any other sport, there are two main things which I want it to be. Close and entertaining.

      1. You should really let your emotions get out a bit. It really brings the whole sport to life that much more. Sweating in the seat. The crushing disappointment when they lose at the end of a nailbitting season, or the incredible joy when they win in the same circumstances.

        1. Or you could just bet some money on a different driver every week, trust me you’ll be sweating and shouting even more lol.

          1. @mantresx
            As long as you get yourself “invested” into it. :)

          2. @mantresx
            Funnily enough that’s pretty much what i’ve done this season, for the reasons @insilico mentioned of not having specific drivers to support. Not silly money, just a little to add some excitement ;)

    3. My favorite drivers did not fare all that well in this Grand Prix and it was still the best race I’ve seen in a long time. In fact, I would rather see a great race like this than to see a boring race that my favorite driver wins.

      1. I would rather see a great race like this than to see a boring race that my favorite driver wins.

        I would rather see you read what I said and process it, before replying like this to it, because I said something completely different.

        1. @trotter, yes, you said something different, are we only allowed to express opinions that agree with yours? not much point in that.
          I agree totally with @bullmello even though I don’t have a favourite driver atm (but Dan is right up there).

          1. If someone isn’t going to bother to read what you wrote before responding to it, what’s the point of responding to it?

          2. I’m pretty sure we both read it.

        2. @trotter – I read what you said and got it. Then wrote my comment based on what my thoughts were after reading your comment.

          You said, in part:
          Is has to be said, regarding the personal opinion of how emotionally immersive the race was, it really depends on what part your favorite driver played. As much as people are trying to be objective when rating races, the last bit, that emotional aspect, will always depend on what part your favorite driver played

          I said:
          “My favorite drivers did not fare all that well in this Grand Prix and it was still the best race I’ve seen in a long time. In fact, I would rather see a great race like this than to see a boring race that my favorite driver wins.”

          People may have different reasons for level of emotional involvement while watching a sporting event. In any sporting event these days I’m more involved emotionally in the contest quality than whether any team or driver wins. Maybe I just have a different perspective at my age than when I used to get emotionally wrapped around my favorite teams or drivers.

          You said:
          Today’s race was amazing and battles were really thrilling. I’m sure today’s race was really the edge of a seat stuff for Lewis’ fans, but I think that 9 is a realistic mark, while 10 will always require a personal, emotional drain of surviving a monumental battle with your favorite driver, against their arch-nemesis. Ideally in a title-deciding cliffhanger.

          I totally get what you’re saying, for me it’s not that way. For one thing, my truly favorite driver is Jim Clark, but he doesn’t race any more. So, I guess I’ll probably never rate a race a 10 according to your rating system. Actually my rating system is way different than most here and that’s OK, to each his own.

          Anyways, my comprehension level is adequate, my opinion is different than yours. No need to get grumpy about it. :-)

          1. I do agree with what you are saying. To be more precise, I understand and I really see your side of it. Sorry for my grumpiness, but I get a feeling that many people are too obsessed with trying to be as formal and as objective as possible, while it’s really not necessary. Getting carried away with seriousness of the rating. Let it go, relax. That’s why I said that emotions will always play a part and I think they should, or at least, there’s nothing wrong with it. I get a feeling that everyone is a bit to tight up and is acting as if they have to be an impartial judge in a real courtroom instead of relaxing, enjoying and expressing themselves and their emotions. This is a fans’ site and as long as people are civil, there’s no reason to withhold emotions. No one should judge anyone if they feel that race was better just because their fav driver won.

            Regarding Jim Clark, I can see what you are saying. I don’t think I’ll ever support a driver like I support Alonso. To be honest, I’m really sick and tired of F1 politicking and I’m just holding in there with Fernando until he finally gets that third one. After that I really might stop bothering with it because with all this mid-season lobbying, Bernie’s raping of the sport, I get a feeling as if we are in a constant struggle just to sit, relax and enjoy it. I don’t know if I’ll find a driver to really support after Fernando is gone. I started with Senna back in 93, than Schumi, but detested him since that faithful day at Jerez in 97. After that I went back with McLaren, whom I got affection for while watching Senna in 93. Supported Mika wholeheartedly and lost a bit of interest after he retired. 2002 being a walkover didn’t really help. :) I really liked Montoya from the moment he joined and in 2003 really got a new admiration for both him and Kimi, while I saw Alonso as someone who is yet to deliver (since Kimi and Juan) were already in the title fight. Coincidentally, Alonso turned to be a nemesis in 2005 since I was a McLaren and Kimi supporter, but I was definitely in admiration of him. Then with that opening race at Bahrain, I really started rooting for him, when I saw him go head-to-head with Schumi again.

            Always liked F1 because it’s really superior to other classes, but I’m really having a love-hate relationship these days. Now that I think of it, for the last 10 years really, but lately it’s getting really tiresome.

          2. @trotter – Agreed on the ratings. This is a fan site where you really get a wide variation of different ratings for a wide variety of reasons. It really is informal and even a bit humorous sometimes.

            Hope we can enjoy more races like this one!

          3. …with all this mid-season lobbying, Bernie’s raping of the sport, I get a feeling as if we are in a constant struggle just to sit, relax and enjoy it.

            To me, this is the most important statement on the site and what is truly threatening the sport. Yet it gets almost no outrage. Double points? Sure, that sucks. DRS, yep, gimmicky. Too little engine noise? I don’t care, but some people do.

            Bernie raping the sport and the politics of the teams? Horrible and eating the sport like a cancer. But nobody seems to make an issue of that.

  5. Excellent Grand Prix, but to make it a 10 it needs something truly sensational – a driver coming back from nowhere, for example.

    Seeing Hamilton hold off Rosberg during the last 10 laps provided that for me to some extent. Not from nowhere, but given the safety car it certainly seemed like a tall order. Most people were sure he would lose it, but he held on through great defensive driving, with the pressure staying on for longer than it did during the last couple of Bahrain races with Vettel and the Lotus.

    Also, seeing the same 2 drivers in the lead passing one another on about 4 or 5 separate occasions is very rare. Although we didn’t see much of it, Hamilton was under constant pressure during the first 15 laps (from then on it was more obvious). It did die down for a 20 lap period, although even then there were other things happening and as we were aware of how important that gap was going to prove (not that it did in the end) it felt rather tense. Then the end was fantastic. To have a race where the lead is pressured that much throughout, with so many attempts and between the same 2 drivers felt gladiatorial, and that marked it as a very special race for me- in a different way to Brazil 2012 or Canada 2011.

    1. FlyingLobster27
      7th April 2014, 9:05

      As good as it was, a 10 does warrant something sensational and, I’d add, agreeing with COTD, unexpected. It had been a long time since we’d had a battle for the lead, it had been a long time since team-mates had been allowed to fight for a win to the end, which, on top of the action at all levels, makes this race exceptional, but no-one can honestly say that, barring technical issues, they didn’t know which car was going to win. We might get to that level of unpredictability soon… second half of the year?

      1. but no-one can honestly say that, barring technical issues, they didn’t know which car was going to win.

        There were definitely a few times when I wondered if the Mercs would come together and give victory to whoever was sitting in third at that particular moment.

  6. Being fair, it was an exciting race, and all the DRS haters seem to have nothing to complain about today! I think the DRS tweaks for this year seem to have worked. Great racing from Lewis and Nico, congrats to Mercedes for letting them race, but scary that they pulled 1.5 to 2 seconds a lap on the rest of the field after the safety car. Good luck on catching them this season.

    I still rate Suzuka 2005 as the best race ever that I have watched live, but maybe as a Kimi fan the underdog fight from the back will always have a special place for me. This race was pretty good though.

    Also how good would it be for not one but two new engine makers in F1 next year, along with 2 new teams? I did like the comment made by one of the commentators that RBR should try and get the Mercedes contract that McLaren is giving up at the end of the season. I don’t think it will happen but it might actually provide some competition for the silver arrows up front.

    2014 is not a lost cause just yet… Thank you F1!

  7. I have a feeling we might see some sort of Honda B team on the grid, like Super Aguri were. Heck, it could even be them (they’ve entered Formula E).
    Also, if we were to see the Ford name back in F1, that would be the first time since 2004 with Jordan! Hopefully Ford (Cosworth) do come back, making it five engine manufacturers on the grid – a healthy number.

    1. Cosworth were supplying engines quite recently?

      1. Not branded Ford though. They severed ties (in and out of motorsport) with Cosworth in 2004 I think.

    1. Thanks for the laugh!

    2. If only it were a Lotus…


    4. @tdog Ahhh its making total sense now, Lotus have taken on Pastor’s service to help fund the new Honda engine for 2015.

      1. LOL @dragoll . They gave him a car with an apt name to be “civic” or so they thought … .LOL

      2. I think Williams are delighted Maldonado has stayed with Renault power in the LOTUS
        (Loads Of Trouble Usually Serious!)

  8. Increase turbo noise as soon as possible? Yikes. The noise from the turbo is coming through already load and clear, we don’t need more of that. I don’t like the new engine noise but I’d rather listen to the other mechanicals we are experiencing now than have the teams somehow amplify the turbo or the noise of the current engine itself.

    The current engines don’t seem to be going beyond 12K RPM but the design limit is at 15K. Not sure why the teams cannot find more power in this unused part of the band, I would speculate as a non-engineer that it is related to the fuel flow limit, with the engine getting fuel starved in the higher RPMs so they just short shift before it is an issue.

    Remember this? The Mercedes prediction was pretty bad…

    1. @reg – According to all the discussion surrounding the sound and revs issue, it is fuel flow limit that is keeping it near 12k instead of the 15k limit.

      I think the flow rate rule is redundant and unnecessary given the total fuel amount limit, but if they remove it it will put more strain on the engines. With engine limits as they are, it may be difficult to accomplish both (increased power/flow/noise) that come with 15k RPM and engine reliability.

    2. If the “F1 Bosses” are committed to increasing engine noise, their priority is certainly not on racing to win. There is a conflict of interest here… I get fan satisfaction but why are they trying to fix a stupid direction from the FIA. They should have a myopic focus on winning… Let the FIA feel the heat from Bernie and the sponsors on stupid green direction…let natural consequences prevail and stop covering up the underlying issues. F1 is plastic when it does not honor the ruthless quest of victory. F1 has a “1” in it because it is supposed to be fastest and on the edge…not lately. GP2 is getting more of my interest this year so far.

  9. I´m from Mexico, and I got that feeling when Perez crossed the line in third. Although he didn´t won the race, I waited for more than a year for a podium from this mate. And also because since Brazil 2012, we haven´t seen such a hot-contested race, were every one including the leaders fought every meter of the track. I justify my 10/10, having already watched the two mentioned races.

  10. Good news that the budget cap is scrapped. It would end up being nothing but more negativity and acrimony for the sport. The policing of the cap and the penalties inflicted would challenge the actual racing for F1 headlines. Who wants to see that?

    F1 is a business and all the teams involved are in business to succeed. It is up to them to decide how much to spend and how to spend it. What if Apple or Google were told how much they could spend and on what they could spend it on? How successful would that be? Those companies are more successful because they have the freedom to innovate without cost restrictions and they are responsible for their results.

    In that light, why are some teams more successful while spending less? That is what the less successful teams that spend more need to find out. Look at Lotus vs. McLaren (or Ferrari) in the 2013 season. Or, look at Force India vs. Ferrari so far in the 2014 season. It isn’t always how much you spend, it’s more how you spend it and use resources most effectively. If a team is more successful, they have a better chance for more sponsorship.

    If F1 is doomed without a budget cap (as some might say), why are two new teams willing to jump into F1? Are they stupid? I don’t think so. You don’t get enough money to get into F1 by being stupid. They know how much this sport costs and they still want to get in. Let Mr. Haas (and anyone else) decide how much he wants to spend to build a winning team.

    F1 can be considered to be the pinnacle of motorsport by continuing to advance the technology of racing as they are doing now. F1 needs to quit putting itself down and realize its own worth. A budget cap is draconian, backwards thinking for a high tech progressive sport. F1 should be proud of its history while racing forward into the future.

    1. @bullmello +1

      I agree. My problem is that a cost-cap is the first step towards a spec series.

      Not that there is anything wrong with a spec series, but F1 is not that. In fact, F1 is supposed to be the complete opposite, 11 (or more) teams competing to build the fastest racing machine within the rules from the ground up, not buying some chassis from Dallara that can’t build an F1 car (ex. HRT F110, it was a rubbish base car that HRT then didn’t develop)

    2. I don’t agree that it is good news at all @bullmello, although it was pretty much expected ever since the ones voting on it were those that will have to give up some goodies by adhering to it.

      I think this is a shortsighted vote by those that gain from doing so and will greatly damage the sport long term, making life harder for those that get less “sign up to break the unity cash” from Bernie.

      1. I know some fans disagree and I respect your opinion @bascb . The silliest thing is that those teams voting on it periodically pretend that they would vote for a real budget cap with teeth in it when they know they would never agree to that. Lip service is all it is.

        I just don’t see how a budget cap would really work without inflicting more problems on the sport than it solves. I would like to see a more equitable distribution of moneys to all the teams, but as long as Bernie is around that will likely not improve.

      2. @bascb – I agree. While there are certainly issues and potential problems that would have to be overcome with implementing and policing a spending cap, not having one is dangerous to the long-term viability.

    3. F1 should be proud of its history while racing forward into the future

      That is exactly the point. The unending spending spree should be history. And sustainable growth for “ALL TEAMS” should be the future. Or if by future you mean-“Lets just keep doing what we did for the past 50 years until teams run out of money and collapse under their own ego”, then that isint a formula most people would be interested in.

      1. @rojov123 – I would like to see a plan for a budget cap that could really work, be agreed upon by all parties and not inflict more negativity on the sport than it resolves.

        For example, how and when would penalties for violations be served?
        Fines? – That would just be a cost of doing business for the wealthier teams.
        Future race grid penalties or bans? – What about at the end of a season, perhaps when a team has won the championship? Will the penalties be served the next season? What if the team is no longer in F1, they just get away with it?
        Demotions or disqualifications? So, then we have the accounting police finding alleged violations after races have been run, maybe even after a season is concluded and then the FIA hands out demotions and DQs?

        How can any of those solutions be a positive thing for F1? Those are only a few scenarios, it could get even worse if implemented. One can imagine the headlines for F1 if any of these situations actually occur.

        I’m not saying what we have now is perfect or even good. The moneys distributed to teams could be done much more equitably and that would put more money right back into the sport. As it stands now, anyone in F1 or getting into F1 in the future knows that it takes a ton of money and they better bring enough. Teams need to be wiser with their resources like Lotus last year and Force India so far this season.

        I would love to proven wrong about a real solution to make budgets more fair and equitable for all teams in F1. So far that solution does not seem to exist.

        1. I guess it would have to be a combination of taking away championship points and inflicting a cumulative penalty on the budget for the coming year(s), maybe also a penalty to points tally, like the one that teams like Juventus and Milan got when they bought results large scale in Italy @bullmello.
          But I agree with you that in the current setup its not likely to be agreed upon and we should all be reluctant to see Bernie have anything to do with the money side!

          1. @bascb – “But I agree with you that in the current setup its not likely to be agreed upon and we should all be reluctant to see Bernie have anything to do with the money side!”

            It becomes more apparent every day that Bernie is the single worst thing about F1. He plays all ends against his middle just to maximize his profits and retain control. I used to think he was a necessary evil and that F1 could be worse off without him. I no longer believe that. It is more obvious than ever he is not the caretaker of F1, rather the pillager of F1’s capital resources and goodwill. The sport would be better of without him.

  11. “One wonders why Ferrari and Red Bull are suddenly so concerned over the opinions of the fans, when every poll conducted in the independent domain over double points repeatedly sees well over a 95% dislike of the rule, and yet they have not seen fit to push for its eradication.”

    THAT! just that…

    1. Someone should’ve asked that question to Luca, although I can already imagine what he would answer… it doesn’t affect racing bla bla bla.

      The truth is, no one wants to disagree with Bernie, you could even say they’re scared of him and that’s unsettling, everyone’s willing to fight against Todt and the FIA (just look at Red Bull) but not Ecclestone.

  12. “We are listening to the fans” well actually to the 30% that agree with Bernie. What about the 67% that like the new sound/volume, I thought it was perfectly fine to begin with but each race it seems to improve. I will be very unhappy if it gets artificially increased, and let’s face it only boy-racers put megaphones or cans on their exhausts to make the sound louder without any other benefit. Go on then, jerk the other knee, jerks.

    1. Bernie forgot his ear trumpet so he can hear neither the fans nor the engine noise.

  13. In response to COTD, “And all I can say to that is bull****.”

    1. What was so fantastic about Canada 2011, One driver came from behind in the wet conditions to win, yes that was spectacular, but then what was the competition like for all the other runners?
      Nature didn’t interfere with the race, yet we had all the cars bunched up together, well at least in different groups, and the battles were sustained all through the race.
      A race doesn’t have to be a championship finale before it ranks as exciting, after all, the entire season is for the championship. Drivers are battling for wins which is the reason they go racing.

  14. Mercedes outsmarted the rest and they deserve every win they score and I really like the new formula. And if the racing is good then I’m not concerned with a one sided championship even if I don’t support Mercedes or either of their driver.

    To LDM who suddenly is super concerned about the future of F1, I only have to say, “give up the privileges and divide the money more equally then less cost saving is necessary and development freezes wouldn’t be necessary to that extend that it makes it impossible for Ferrari and Co. to catch up quickly.”

    All the problems F1 still has are just self inflicted and if people in charge remain selfish and silly then there is no cure for them.

    1. @tmf42. Bravo. Concise and high quality. COTD, imo.

  15. Cost cap is baloney, like telling a rich man you are not allowed to buy a Bugatti Veron, a Rolls Royce but you can buy a Ferrari Taxi if you like. Of course it has to be scrap Jean Todt.

    Increasing the noise at the moment will be artificial like those wanna be street cars in cities. Sales of tickets must be bad eh? Too late! (I didn’t see any crowd in Bahrain, honestly).

    Don’t drag F1 down by trying to align them with road cars. There’s more than enough sportscar races doing that already as in Le Mans, DTM, Super GT and many others.

    As a fan I want F1 to be totally unique on its own and thrill me till the last lap for every race that is loud, fast, brash and a big show off and no one should be allowed to own anything related to F1 except the elites. I like using ear plugs and still feel the vibrations and thunderous audio when cars sweep past me every lap. That’s romantic to me.

    And finally bring the prices of tickets down Bernie! After attending the Singapore GP for six years I’m gonna skip this year for sure, what’s the point of paying so much watching slower cars with no sound.

    Just hoping the other races will be like Bahrain. We shall see.

    1. Exactly.
      The way to regulate cost is to simplify the cars and the regulations. Those parts of racing that teams spend the most money on, be it aerodynamics or, well its mainly aerodynamics, so reduce the complexity of these areas such that there is hardly any gains to be made spending much money, and then lets have the teams spend their money they way they want, be it on parties or motor homes, perhaps even gold steering wheels.

      1. No. The more simplistic you make the regs, the more resources will be put into marginal gains, and marginal gains will be more valuable. If you give teams a 10m cap and said you can only make the cars out of plywood, shopping cart wheels, and a 2-stroke lawn mower engine, they would spend every last cent make the most ridiculously awesome wooden race car ever. How did drastically reducing the complexity of aero in 2009 work out? We got rid of the flip ups everyone hated and instead got an incredibly expensive race to deveolop EBD, not to mention a variety of other appendages developed at great cost.

        As for the noise, the passion to make it louder is childish. It’s more than loud enough to get a couple days of tinnitus being in the stands. If you don’t like the quality of the sound, fine, there is accounting for taste. But louder as an end in itself is just silly.

        As for the quality, people need to step out of the past. The reason why loud high revving engines sound “powerful” to us is because the limits of ICE technology means power primarily comes from engine speed. An F1 V8 had less torque than a Honda Accord V6–from 1995. F1 has to be in the present. A spec normally aspirated V8 is about as technology-forward as NASCAR.

        1. @dmw you’re right.

          the greatest difference in spending by teams now is accounted for differing levels of R&D work “in the factory”. It costs relatively same for all teams to “go” racing. The huge $$s are put into pursuing marginal gains, like you said. And that’s why the 6 SG teams undermine spending cap: b/c it preserves their advantage.

          Now the only hope for F1 is for a disenfranchised team like Force India to make a case before the EU Competition Commission, that FOM is abusing its monopoly position (Which is so clearly true).

          People here complaining that cost caps “won’t work” or “cant be implemented/policed” are conveniently making the assumption that suits their bias. It’s sad, really.

  16. Immediately after the race I was buzzing, I was bouncing off the walls, ruined after an evening spent on the edge of my seat. For the first time in absolutely ages I felt giddy after watching an F1 race, the same way I did when I started watching back in the early 90’s as a boy. I was convinced I had just watched one of the best races I had ever seen. Once I calmed down I logged on to F1F and started to read some of the rate the race comments. “It was great, but not fantastic” seemed to be the general consensus. As I had recorded the race I decided to watch it again later to see if I had maybe gotten it wrong, but no I hadn’t, my initial impression was correct. It was a stonking race. Battles throughout, loads of genuine overtaking, differing strategies, a genuine battle for the lead, intra-team battles, edge of your seat stuff from start to finish. These are all the things we have been screaming out for over the last few years and we got them at last.

    It was a modern classic. Was it as good as Suzuka 2005? Probably not. As good as Brazil 2008? Probably not. As good as Canada 2011, pretty darn close. We are comparing Bahrain 2014 to those all time classics, that HAS to be a good thing and has to mean that F1 is finally starting to get it right.

    1. Race was definitely great and really thrilling. It wasn’t perfect, if you could pick and choreograph your perfect race, but that’s not the point either. It would be stupid if every race was a climax title showdown, because it would become monotonous after a while again. Every track and every race should have something great on its own, and I think Bahrain 2014 was really definition of close quarters combat with plenty of genuine overtaking. The great and unique thing is that we didn’t have just overtakes, we had a bunch of multiple-corner duels that lasted sometimes even for a few laps. I think that was unique to this event and it was definitely one of the busiest races I can remember in terms of dicing for position.

      Only pain was that I had to watch it at NBCSN. Those commercials are, well, not my thing in the slightest, but that’s another story. :)

      1. Yes, it’s a neat track design that’s finally got some F1 cars that suit it. The multiple-corner stuff’s often been a feature of GP2 races, and hopefully we’ll see more of that at Silverstone and Austria.

      2. @trotter, Like you I watched on NBCsn and the commercials are a real blight but at least they seem to have reduced the amount of time that they are blocking the entire screen with a Text-board. Next race I’ll be back home in Australia and I’m not expecting any improvement other than being able to watch without paying for cable.

  17. I believe that Jean Todt is a good president of the FIA, certainly much better than his predecessors, he gives reasonable opinions instead of regularly coming out with loud but useless statements like others often do to attract attention or push their own agendas.

    It is a pity that the budget cap is scrapped but I never really believed it would work, not because it would be technically impossible to implement it but because the rich teams and FOM don’t feel that they need it. Todt makes it clear that it makes no sense for the FIA to fight a losing battle and that he is not to blame for the teams’ failure to agree on adequate cost cutting measures.

    He’s also spot on about the “rule changes”, the 2014 rules were adopted years ago and suddenly they’ve turned out to be bad. Ecclestone, Montezemolo and Horner approved these rules so they should step down from their positions if they have done a bad job. As for excitement, it was silly to judge “the new F1” after only two races, there have always been a lot of mediocre and dull races in F1 and trying to turn every race into a “Brazil 2012” by artificial means will definitely kill the sport. If people want to be blown away by the sound, then add some microphones and let them enjoy it.

    Rant over.

    1. you believe Todt is a good president of FIA b/c he says reasonable things but still does either foolish things, corrupt, cynical things, or nothing at all?

      strange logic.

    2. And OF COURSE FIA is largely to BLAME!
      They signed a bilateral agreement w/ FOM knowing that the Concorde was being undermined by their actions, and the actions being pursued unilaterally by FOM to pick-off the richest teams.

      Please. Jean Todt is no better a president of FIA than Max M.

      1. @joepa, Max M and his collusion with BE are the root of all F1s problems. JT has no tools to oppose BE because of MM, whether he would use them if he had them we will never know but he can’t be as bad as MM because he has less control.

        1. @hohum @joepa – I agree that the root of the current problem was corrupt sale by FIA of F1 commercial rights to Bernie’s preferred people.

          And so the crux of the matter is that the FIA requires money, and has turned to both the FOM and the teams for funding. Todt gave an interview to Financial Times in which he said:

          “If you sometimes read the figures, F1 is a $2billion [revenue] business or $1.5bn. The FIA is a non-profit organisation, but we need to run our organisation. We need to encourage the development of the sport; we need to encourage development of action for road safety.”

          “We cannot be a federation without having any revenue. So where do we find our revenues?”

          So yes, you’re right that Todt inherited the presidency of the cash-strapped FIA from Mosley, on whose watch Ecclestone’s family business was able to purchase F1’s 113-year commercial rights at a bargain-basement price – without sufficient provision having been made for the body’s [FIA] financial future.

          But Todt has also said, somewhat cryptically:

          “I’m not a dictator trying to control. The contribution and role of the FIA has to be protected, to be respected.”

          I don’t have the time right now to detail everything here, but basically, FIA under Todt “sold” even more power/control over F1 to FOM in exchange for desperately needed revenue, resulting in the radical change in governance to the Strat. Group that disenfranchised half the grid.

          But that was directly facilitated by FIA! I don’t know how you can not attribute to Todt the obvious responsibility he has for giving (selling) FOM even more control over F1.

          The sport is being raped by CVC, with FIA happy to pocket even more money now than it got under Mosely. This is impossibly-sustainable.

  18. Completely disagree with the COTD.

    A race’s rating does not purely depend on the championship positions and the drama it creates. This race had clearly all the ingredients to be labelled as ‘Classic’. The reason for that was clear. Immensely close racing with a pack of 7 to 8 cars bunched up together, team mates were getting rattled by each other (Mercs, Force Indias, Williams and Red Bulls), some phenomenal wheel to wheel action with positions changing back and forth (never saw that in Canada 2011 btw), a track that gave such an opportunity and lastly being covered under lights also added a spectacle to enjoy the cars.

    There have been few races that leave their mark on fans (Japan ’05, Imola ’05, Brazil ’08, Valencia ’12 and a few more) and Bahrain 2014 was one of them. I still woke up this morning (15 hours after the race) with an adrenaline pump and can’t get the race out my mind.

    This race is going on my hard disk like a few of other classics.

  19. @jonny705 re CoTD

    I can understand your opinion, but i respectfully disagree. I’m usually very conservative on ‘rate the race’ ratings, almost always voting below the average rating. Title deciders do have that added tension, but i decided it’s a bit unfair to give a lower rating on this basis, because that would mean only 1 or 2 races in a season could ever achieve a ‘maximum rating, regardless of how epic they are in their own right.

    It’s interesting you bring up Canada 2011 and Brazil 2012, because that’s exactly the two races i thought of to compare it to. I would say this race was every bit as good as those two (title decider argument aside), i can’t remember such a fierce battle for the lead, or between 3rd and 8th places, and especially in a dry race too. Very rarely am i looking at the race lap counter at the end of the race and wishing there were another 20 laps to go.

    So on your final point, i remember those two races well, and i’ll remember this one right up there alongside them. Canada 2011, Brazil 2012, Bahrain 2014, undoubtedly three of the best in recent years.

  20. Well said Todt, well said Lauda, Jeremy Clarkson is a tool and Jenson Button is on another planet if he thinks McLaren are the second best team at the moment.

    1. @tonyyeb

      I think Button’s comments, albeit optimistic, aren’t far off in regards to ‘race pace’ (quali pace they’re still pretty dismal).
      I reckon Button had a solid chance of overtaking Hulkenberg, and fighting with Perez, had the Safety Car and Gearbox Problems not arisen.

      I don’t think he necessarily had the pace for a podium, but the chance was real.

    2. @tonyyeb
      Glad to find someone else who shares the contempt for Clarkson. I think he is an obnoxious loudmouth.

    3. +1, Clarkson is a tool. He’s a loveable tool though.

    4. A lot of people seem to base “their” opinion of Senna on a gushing five-minute film he once made.
      My expectations for the race were about the same as his, and so was my reaction afterwards.

    5. @tonyyeb, Clarkson as Colonel Blimp gets the message across far more effectively than any dry, reasoned analysis does, and his criticism was spot on for F1 2013/12/11, just as his conclusion was spot on for F1 2014.

  21. I think the cost cap was unworkable, but Napoleon’s reasons for scrapping it are frightening…
    “Most of the teams were in favour, so this time we only asked the 6 richest ones, and they told us what we wanted to hear”.

  22. F1 governance has become such a joke I truly hope it does go before EU competition commission.

  23. I think people in general are a bit trigger-happy with the higher ratings on Rate the Race threads. The number of lights-to-flag Vettel snoozefests I saw last year, only to see comments like “That race was really boring, no action at the front and hardly any in the midfield. 7/10” was unbelievable. So there might be a general trend to rate races above where they might be if it was a perfectly linear 1-10 scale (if such a thing were possible with subjective opinions).

    That said, it would be churlish not to acknowledge that yesterday’s was one of the best races in recent years. In my view it had more entertainment than the whole 2013 season.

    1. @red-andy, my highest rating ever (9), and I agree more entertainment than total of 2013, and 2012 for that matter.

  24. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    7th April 2014, 9:59

    Will Buxton, you absolute ledgend!

  25. Autosport understands that unanimous agreement was reached for action to be taken regarding the noise.

    Let me look into my crystal ball and predict what may occur from these actions agreed upon today…

    I predict that the FIA will make some rule changes to force teams to fit some foreign amplification device in between the turbo and the exhaust which will some how amplify the pitch and volume of the exhaust note. After the introduction of the device, many fans at the track are taken to the hospital with terrible migraines as the pitch/note sound vibrates at such a frequency in which the inner ear cannot cope, even with normal ear plugs. Special ear plugs are then sanctioned by the FIA to help fans “enjoy” the f1 experience without a full blown migraine.

    After a couple more races, Mercedes powered cars no longer have pace, and are fighting with the Caterhams and Marussia’s as they are some 20km/h off the pace of the Ferrari’s and 5km/h off the pace of the RBR. It turns out that Ferrari had worked out a way of using the energy of the amplifier in the exhaust system to further boost their MGU-H & MGU-K systems by adding another 100kw. RBR used the inducted air needed by the amplifier to use as a blown diffuser over the rear wheels, making the car stick to the ground like glue, and as such are able to run with Monza levels of downforce at Monaco. Both systems are deemed legal by the FIA as the rules do not cater for the potential of such craftiness by the teams.

    Last but not least, tragedy strikes in Monaco, as Prince Alberts’ dog dies while at the circuit. Although the pooch had the specially sanctioned FIA ear plugs, the dogs aural sensitivity to the new pitch/note of the exhaust proved too stressful and the poor little fellow died with a massive coronary. Upon hearing of the Prince’s dog, hundreds of angry residents of the previous grand prix start writing in complaining about how their pets have also been injured. Then the law suits start rolling in, as it is discovered that pets within a 10km radius of the circuits have been affected.

    But hey, all in the day of an FIA official, pandering to the whims of those unhappy with a different sound.

    1. I read the FIA will appoint a panel to look at it. No doubt they will agree that nothing much can be done (because it requires unanimity for this year, which is never going to happen), apart from changing the microphones bernies FOM use to capture the sound and make some reccomandations for next year that might, or might not, get voted down in the WMSC later this year @dragoll

      But I had a nice read from your comment, thanks for that.

    2. Very funny and well done. But kidding aside you can be certain that Luca and Helmut will not permit a “noise” solution to be implemented that does not advantage their teams. They are not paid to look after the fans.

      Generally, the problem with modifying the noise is that the turbo is not organized with a wastegate and it’s speed is governed in part by an electric motor. So you will not hear the usual whooshing and popping that makes turbos sound cool, no matter what you do.

      Maybe the FIA can go down to Pep Boys and order a few dozen of those coffee-can exhausts normally seen on riced Civics and stick them on the back of the cars.

      1. @dmw, No waste-gate ? surely using battery power to spin the Turbo would be more efficient if it didn’t have to compress the (unused) air charge.

  26. Looks like VET is now going to be one of those drivers who have an excuse after each and every race.

  27. Why are the FIA looking in to the engine noise as a priority “due to public opinion”?

    When Sky F1 did a twitter poll on the F1 show it was a 51/49% split in favour of the engine noise being increased. Pretty much every poll I have seen regarding the double points puts it at least 90% in favour of scrapping it with many teams and media ridiculing it?

    Bernie even said it “probably wasn’t fair” in an interview this weekend.


  28. Previously announced budget cap scrapped in the middle of processing new team applications? It’s like im stuck in a time vortex!

    Hopefully i’ve travelled to bizarroworld where soon they’ll announce the scrapping of DRS to improve racing.

    1. OR.. DRS for the front wing as well.

      Let’s hope Bernie doesn’t read this.

      1. I think its time to turn up the heat and get those shortcuts and sprinklers on the go STAT

  29. Seeing Ron Dennis back in charge, I’m not sure I’m surprised that Button goes from hoping for a podium before the event got underway to being sure he could have been on the podium after retiring from the race. Granted, their pace was good, but I doubt Ron Dennis/McLaren has un-learned their lesson from seasons such as 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006 or 2012; to finish first, first you have to finish.

    1. mellow-jessica
      8th April 2014, 3:35

      @npf1 I don’t understand your comment.

      Why do you mock Button? He is a former World Champion and triathlete and my favorite driver!!

  30. I have one thing that will ensure races like that all the time. people will maybe disagree but I think the team orders ban should come back

  31. It’s rate the race. Not, rate the championship implications of the race. Disagree with this perspective of the COTD. It doesn’t get discounted because of the championship numbers. And by that every race in 2008 would get a bump because they determined whether a particular race had championship implications.

    I’ve never seen a race with so much hammer and tong battling up and down the field that I often had no idea who was in what position, it was changing from corner to corner. It was like a NASCAR race, but with real race cars and technology. Also, apart from muy Malodanado, and Bianchi, it was incredibly clean. For once, I didn’t FF through the split-screen nonsense NBC does and squinted at th inset view to see what madness would happen in the next moment.

    And unlike Canada in 11 or whatever, this was a dry race, a straight fight in normal conditions. No artificial externalities to spice anything up. And no cocked up pitstops ruining things. This race is going to be studied by people in 20 years on whatever replaces YouTube like the Prost Senna battles in McLarens. Also no team orders nonsense leaving a sour taste. Just racing.

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