Silverstone’s 50th grand prix proves a fine vintage

2014 British Grand Prix

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The 2014 edition of the British Grand Prix – the 50th to be held at Silverstone – did not disappoint.

The stage was set by a thrilling and unpredictable wet qualifying session, the result of which was a grid with several drivers out of their usual qualifying positions.

The race began with a delay of over an hour following a first-lap crash for Kimi Raikkonen which brought the red flag out for track repairs. Fortunately the Ferrari driver and those involved in the accident were unharmed.

Another intriguing contest between the two Mercedes was in the offing until technical problems forced Nico Rosberg out. But as that allowed Lewis Hamilton to claim his second home win, the crowd wasn’t too disappointed. It also narrowed the gap between the championship leaders to just four points.

The British Grand Prix received an average rating of 7.8 out of ten – the third-highest of the year so far. Here’s what F1 Fanatic readers thought of it:

Alonso versus Vettel

By far the best wheel-to-wheel action of the race was supplied by two drivers with six world championships between them: Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, who slugged it out for more than a dozen laps. However the persistent complaining from both drivers on the radio drew some criticism.

One of the best battles I’ve seen in a long time between Alonso and Vettel. Bottas put in a beautiful drive and there was plenty of action wherever you looked.

I thought it was a great race, there seemed to be plenty of action throughout. I loved the battle between Alonso and Vettel and I was laughing at the radio comments from them as it seemed every lap one one of them was complaining about the other one, hoping that a penalty would be handed out.

The fight between Vettel and Alonso, in my opinion, was highlight of the race. They fought for every millimetre of the track, the duel was just titanic.

It was a pity the drivers couldn’t avoid whining, because they’re such great drivers and should put their energy into racing.

Massa’s heroics

Felipe Massa’s lightning reactions potentially spared Raikkonen from suffering a much worse accident, as he pitched his Williams into a spin to avoid striking the damaged Ferrari head-on.

Impressed with Massa’s skilful avoidance tactics after Raikkonen went off.

One (well known) person interviewed after the race said Massa “locked up”. I beg to differ. It looked like he deliberately wrenched the car sideways to avoid T-boning Raikkonen’s car; in my opinion it was skill and quick reactions, not an error.

Respect to Massa for fast reactions. The onboard shot shows just how close he was when the Ferrari appeared in his view. I doubt anyone other than an F1 driver could have reacted so quickly. A tenth of a delay and he would have T-boned Raikkonen, and I don’t want to even consider what that may have caused.

What a quick and fully committed move by Massa. If the tyres were hotter he might have even avoided Raikkonen. I imagine that Massa doesn’t have many Finnish fans, so I hope that they noticed!

The view from the spectators

I don’t know how well the television coverage showed the race. But as a spectator, it was one of the best British grands prix I have been to. The support for not only Hamilton, but for Button and Chilton was fantastic.

The Raikkonen crash delay just heightened the expectation of the crowd. Bottas was brilliant. The battle between Vettel and Alonso was brilliant too. Involving Magnusson too for a number of laps.

There were battles all the way through the field. A cracking race.

I was there too, the atmosphere was truly incredible! Every time a British driver came past everyone cheered, whether it was Hamilton, Button or Chilton!

The noise is just not the same.

I was at the Austrian Grand Prix too, so have heard them for a total of five days now. The GP2 cars, and the GP3 cars are both louder than the F1 cars. The Porsche Supercup also!

Ear defenders are not essential any more. You can hear a lot of the race commentary over the speaker systems. Or with a radio and headphones you can hear all of the commentary. F1 has definitely lost something. It was well proven during the lunchtime display when Alain Prost drove last years Red Bull.

I certainly heard a lot of people around me complaining about the noise, however the quality if the racing was such that I didn’t really find myself minding.

I liked being able to actually hear the commentary at the track, and so while the old noise was great, the new noise is good too, for me it didn’t really affect the show.

No fight at the front

One unfortunate aspect of the race was that Rosberg’s retirement spoiled a potential battle for victory. This mattered more to some than others.

There were some absolutely fantastic battles up and down the field, notably between two drivers that share six world championships between them, and there were some very good strategy calls made today.

However, we were denied any sort of battle for the race lead due to Mercedes’ gearboxes, and we had a very long delay in which I did honestly get quite bored. It’s a fantastic result from a British perspective, yes, but from a purist point of view it was a pretty mediocre race.

No battle for the lead; the race winner result obvious since one of the two possible competitors retired, useless red flag stoppage that set the race back one hour for a trivial reason, was half-asleep during most of it.

Sure we had some really good passing as well as really good defending. But the race was decided by a gearbox issue, apart from that the fights were for lower spots.

F1 is now officially as boring as NASCAR.

Praise for the ‘show’

With all that was going on, does F1 really need standing restarts and other gimmicks?

That’s all I really want from a race – great wheel-to-wheel action, several teams with similar pace, a couple of young chargers on the podium and some doughnuts.

They don’t need to improve the show, because that was great!

One of the best British Grand Prix, and possibly better than Bahrain. Cars overtaking and team radio wars. Unfortunately Rosberg was out. But it still a stellar battle.

We are only halfway into the season and have already had three absolutely phenomenal grands prix. Got to love 2014.

2014 British Grand Prix

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50 comments on “Silverstone’s 50th grand prix proves a fine vintage”

  1. It was the 48th F1 GP

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      13th July 2014, 17:21

      They are doing it since 1948, which was before F1 but ran under F1 reg’s.

      1. There were no F1 regs before F1. Though I do know what you mean ;)

      1. True but they’re not F1 races. Only GP racees

        1. And that’s what the article says: “50th Grand Prix”, not “50th F1 race”.

        2. They were Formula One races as they were held under the F1 Regulations, which were created in 1947/48.

          This was before the F1 World Championship was began in 1950 (even after which there were non-championship races).

  2. Alan Kirkland
    13th July 2014, 17:16

    I can`t believe some people are still mentioning ths noise. When Lewis was chasing Rosberg, Jenson Chasing Riciardo and Alonso and Vettel banging were banging wheels the last thing onmy mind was how they sounded. Which by the way is just fine and should be left well alone. Been going to Silverstone for 27 years now and the sound did not not dissapoint. Different ….yes, intriguing…definitly, but dissapointing…no.

    1. This being a British site, this is the race when the most site visitors got their first opportunity to judge it first hand, so it’s not surprising it elicited comment.

      I fully agree that the sound should be left alone, and for most of the race I actually preferred it for the many reasons others have offered. Still there were moments of disappointment, as when anything changed. For me, the main one was at start, because you can no longer hear the cars on the rest of the circuit. Even from the entry to Club, barely out of direct sight of the grid itself, the noisiest moment of the whole race when all 22 cars race up the gears packed two-abreast couldn’t be heard at all. There used to be that minute-or-so when after the initial roar you could track the approaching din as you followed on the screens, and just before the pack finally came into view the noise would be louder than anything that you still can’t see should be. Of course it doesn’t help that we were denied a racing first lap, but that aspect of the noise is worth a lot when much of the action you’re following is on the screens and not in front of you.

      Still wouldn’t change it and it won’t stop me going to watch but it’s not unreasonable that people miss how it was – and to be honest, after reading a lot about the comparison from the TV sound to the live sound trackside it was actually quieter than the expectation I’d formed.

      1. @WH, congratulations on writing a balanced and reasonable comment on this subject.

  3. That’s the third race this season which gets a better rank than the best race of 2013…

    1. To be frank, I am enjoying F1 a ton more than I was last year, despite the relative lack of fights for the lead (as compared to early, but certainly not late 2013).

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      14th July 2014, 0:01

      And you know why? Because the tires aren’t made of sponge cake this year.

      Last year there would be no way would we have been able to see the Alonso-Vettel scrap that we saw last weekend. They’d have been told not to race eachother in order to conserve tires.

    3. @kevincucamest Who wins matters much. Though I think I actually like these cars better than the 2013 roller-coaster epic first half. Looking to past British GP’s this one was average as James Allen on BBC said the 2011 race had it all, and fortunately there have been great F1 races at the new Silverstone, this though is the 1st where a British driver was fairing really well.

  4. Zantkiller (@)
    13th July 2014, 18:18

    I only just noticed that Canada was voted as the best Canadian Grand Prix since Rate the Race started.

    So I have updated my “Best of Season” to include the results.

    Not much has changed other than Daniel moving up the standings to be ahead of Pastor.

  5. Why are they still complaining about the sound? I really liked the race and the sound I thought it was FANTASTIC. Everybody should stop saying “F1 lost something” “The noise is terrible” GET OVER IT! It’s just the ninth race this season and I’m loving the sound of the cars. Yes, it is not as loud as the V8 or the legendary V10, but it’s not bad for F1, they still sound unique.

    1. @cocaine-mackeine Its just a vocal minority at this stage that are running out of things to complain about.

      1. Lots about 2014 F1 is great.

        However, the sound is terrible. Having a great race does not change that, we could be having great racing and proper f1 noise, but are having some great racing with cars that sound no more impressive than 2012 GP3 machines. That is why some people are still ‘moaning, whining and complaining’.

        Familiarity and the passage of time do not mean that this is okay.

        It isn’t.

        1. Familiarity and the passage of time do not mean that this is okay.

          I think you are unfamiliar with the process of acclimatization? Which takes longer for some than for others?

          And there’s that thing called opinions. On the grand scale of things, the sound the F1 cars make now is a fact. The opinions on it vary. The sound does not go against any law of justice or physics, so I’m pretty sure it is objectively okay.

        2. Oh dear. I’m getting a bit fed up with people complaining about the sound of the cars this season To be honest, you might as well complain about the way they smell.

          1. You know, it’s funny you should say that, because they have in fact lost their distinctive smell this year as well!

          2. Matt (@hamiltonfan1705)
            14th July 2014, 10:08

            Agreed, I prefer this year’s sound to the v8s, cos I went to the race and got much more of a thrill from this year’s cars without any ear protection than I did with last year’s cars where I did need ear protection.

        3. And remember that the engine noise you hear on TV bears very little resemblance to the noise you hear on track. No matter how good the trackside and onboard mics are, they’ll never be able to capture the full spectrum of variety that you get in person.

          1. You’re quite correct, but the problem is that they sound lame at the track too. I sat through 3 days of it in Barcelona, feeling miserable that all the atmosphere seemed gone.

        4. Stick to the guitar Paul, there is no such thing as a “proper F1 noise” the noise has always changed with the engine format, I too love the banshee howl of multiple exhausts and high revs but I tend to associate it with motorbikes and in particular the 750cc 6 cylinder by Benelli or Augusta of 30-40 years ago, music to the ears! but really the 2.4 V8s, very loud-yes, tuneful-no, and that is not taking into account the farting and spluttering of the EBD.

          1. @hohum my problem is I can’t ‘stick to the guitar’, I always end up back here!

            I agree the V8’s were not as soulful as some other engines, but to me that is primarily to do with the rev limit which to me was where the big decline started.

    2. To all those who have started comments, and replied to comments on this particular thread, let me first introduce myself as a ”complainer of 2014 lack of noise’ and perhaps to those on a more objective level ‘someone who prefers the old sound of the engines’. If you have such a problem with those who prefer the old noise, that is your choice, but by no means can you log onto a public forum and discard other people’s opinions. It isn’t a good look, and certainly lays a rough foundation for a good ‘ol, harmless debacle.

      The 2014 noise is definitely unique, but by no means does that preclude people from disliking them. Get a grip. This debate is going to take place for years to come, and people have every right to make their feelings known, ergo the point of this site. So please, be respectful in the process.

      Have any of you who like the noise, and are still negating any other opinion that they sound FANTASTIC, been to a race? I was at the Spanish GP this year, and the rush I got from being to last year’s GP, the feeling I got inside my bones, vanished. Tell you what, @paulguitar was dead right, the fact they do not smell as well was the icing on the cake for me. What am I watching then? I am watching a sport that is now designed for TV as, IN MY OPINION, the thrill in the flesh is gone, gone, gone.

      So, they sound like a hoover with non-rotating wheels on the bottom, squeaking its way around the track, and they smell like a Toyota Prius. I love racing, but F1 is my sport over, lets say, Touring Cars, because it USED to be violently loud and you felt like you were really experiencing something without equal. I do not feel that way any more. I love the racing this year, and yep, I am a Hamilton fan and dead proud of it. I think he’s a great person and the fastest driver out there. So I suppose that is two strikes against me as I hate the noise as well.

      But the beauty of this site is that I can express that with hopes of a healthy exchange. I personally think they have neutered the sport so much so that we are now, effectively, watching something completely different, from let’s say, Senna’s era. Most drivers admit the lack of noise is a real disappointment. To me, it is the main thing that separated F1 from any other motorsport. The thrill is gone for me, and what seems to be the minority of people who ache for the old engine roar. It is now a TV sport and I am saying this, for myself, as I have been to a GP this year and before they changed the engines, and the only thrill I got was the buzz from the beer. And that, well, is pathetic.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        14th July 2014, 0:08

        but by no means can you log onto a public forum and discard other people’s opinions.

        This is a public forum where people post opinions, even if those opinions disregard other people’s opinions.
        My opinion is that you’re wrong.

        Yes the engines are quieter, but they don’t sound any worse to my ear. They’re just different.

        And why bother complaining about noise, when we get that quality of racing on track.

        I get that the noise produced is a visceral connection to racing, but it’s not everything.

        Time to move on. The V8’s are gone. Nothing you, or I can do about it.

      2. @rjessalt I’m sorry, but “noise” is not included on the official list of aspects of F1 with which one is permitted to express dissatisfaction. For acceptable objects of complaint, please see double points, pay drivers, DRS, grand prix venues, drivers changing their helmet design, drivers complaining to their engineers over the radio, drivers answering dubious interview questions, and drivers not answering dubious interview questions. Thank you for your interest in F1!

        1. I’m afraid to say ,@tophercheese21, that you actually prove the point @rjessalt is making.

          How can her opinion possibly be ‘wrong’. She does not like the sound of the cars in 2014 and makes an excellent case for that viewpoint.

          Okay, either the sound is unimportant to you, or, from what you say, you are willing to roll over and accept it is time to move on.

          ‘The V8′s are gone. Nothing you, or I can do about it.’

          That seems like pretty defeatist attitude to me. Not much of a world we would live in if we just accept everything we are handed, is it?

          Even more illogical is this:

          ‘And why bother complaining about noise, when we get that quality of racing on track.’

          You seem to be suggesting that we must trade in a proper sounding racing car to get a good race.


          1. The problem is the way the argument is often set up. If anything, the defeatists are the ones who don’t like the new engine noise, as it’s an awful lot of stressing that things aren’t the same and F1 is doomed. I’d hardly call ‘not caring about engine noise/specs as much as the quality of racing’ defeatist.

            If you want to be really strict about it, you should go to wikipedia, count the number of times the sport has had any rule change and call it Formula (insert number of rule changes). The Formula of Formula One is always changing. Heck, go on YouTube and you’ll have people are still heartbroken about the loss of the Ferrari V12 noise (which they only ran for 5 seasons before the Turbos of the 80s and 7 years after, meaning they’ve ran a V6 engine more often than the V12,flat 12, V10 and a V8). You are of course entitled to your opinion, the problem people often have with the debate is the fatalistic and elitist attitudes being displayed. How do we argue against ‘I went to an F1 race and the sound sucked. You weren’t there, so you can’t say it didn’t suck.’

            Then, kicking it up a notch to saying that we take everything this world hands to us? Making implications about the intentions of @tophercheese21 isn’t exactly debate 101 stuff either.

            If we’re going to play the fallacy game, let me ask you why your username isn’t ronpaulguitar?

          2. I should be really strict and say the segment on Ferrari engines is meant to say ‘or’, rather than ‘and’. They have ran more engines in a V6 configuration, than they have of the others individually, not all together.

          3. @npf1 A ‘defeatist’ is someone who is ready to accept failure at any given turn. I would make a really good case against saying people who do not like the current engine noise are defeatists. That is a huge generalization, and if they are still fans to this day, then clearly they have not taken any changes made to the sport in a ‘defeatist’ way, whereby they would then discontinue watching and move on? I should assume? I would not know as I am not a defeatist but do not enjoy the new engine noise. You have grouped me and @paulguitar in that category, though, perhaps because you unable to see that we are not making an ‘argument’ as such, but stating why we do not enjoy the new noise. That seems relatively straight forward to me. Someone can be fans for decades, as I believe @paulguitar has said to be in the past, and I have certainly been a long time fan, and have accepted all of the changes. However, when they changed the engines from V12 to V10 to V8, there was no loss of noise, it was just a different noise. Okay, fair enough. Now, with the V6’s, we’ve lost the noise that they have been seemingly trying to attain for decades while reducing the engine size. The sound change this year is unlike any other change as the noise is something that was kept consistent (again, not pitch or roar, but that fact they were loud. Some of us liked that.

            There is a GREAT case to be made by saying people who have not been to a live race cannot make an accurate assessment of the noise! Hello! Something called evidence? That is like if I said, ‘I hate the texture of the moon’s surface’. I’ve never been to the moon, only have seen it, and so how could I make that judgment? Making quick draw judgments about something you have not experienced is a difficult way to have someone appreciate what you have to say fully. They can respect your opinion, but it would not be based on nearly as much evidence and would be held in a completely different light, if you had not been to see it for yourself.

            Let’s not bring inflammatory comments relating someone who does not like the engine noise to an American politician, either………. Seems like a cheap way to knock someone down.

          4. Yet, myself and @tophercheese21 were lumped into the category of defeatists for having accepted the new engine noise, regardless of our emotive or rational reasoning behind the acceptance. To people who paint with a broad brush, it’s sadly the most efficient (in my experience) to fight fire with fire, have them realize things might not work that way and reflect. Going by the @paulguitar definition, you and him have been defeatist about all the other rule changes. More than anything, my broad brushes were intent on pointing out the flawed reasoning.

            It’s also worth noting F1 took it’s time to actually make V10 engines mandatory. I personally regret the lack of freedom in engine configuration that was set on from 1998 onwards more than the noise these engines produced. I’d even make a case for smaller engines having happened anyway, since Ferrari chose to go from the thirsty V12 to the V10 engines that would later become rule.

            As for ‘being there to be able to judge it’, the argument that goes along with that is that the sound is bad. That sounds pretty absolute to me. Above me people have made the case that they sound differently on TV, but those points were shunned and I saw paulguitar in another article basically telling someone ‘maybe F1 isn’t for you if you think V8 engines are too loud’. I’ve stood next to revving DTM cars, former F1 cars, witnessed many F1 demonstrations (ranging from then current then-spec cars going full out to older cars with endurance Judd V10 engines) and honestly, the sound is the least keen in those memories. I have not seen the new cars in the flesh, but based on the evidence that I do have (namely the comparison between the FOM sound of before and the current sound) I can wholeheartedly say that I do not consider the noise to be of any problem.

            Without wanting to sound nasty, if you really want to get into the evidence side of things, where is the evidence you have seen these cars and cars of different regulations? Surely you have no intention of going that far on a discussion like this? We’re all a bunch of arm chair experts going with our gut. As I have said before, the engine noise does not violate any law of justice or physics, so is objectively okay. The opinions vary, but somehow the ‘burden of proof’ that there is plenty going on without the screams of a V8 running at high RPM is on the people who claim to be indifferent or okay with the new engine noise.

            Frankly, I was having a bit of fun with the Ron Paul reference, since I was addressing and extrapolating the fallacies in some of the arguments I’ve heard. Ron Paul is pretty darn good at fallacies too, it wasn’t meant to be offensive.

          5. @npf1; I cannot find the time to keep reminding you I am not saying there is no sport without the noise. I am just one of the few who enjoyed that loud scream; that is what made me shiver with excitement and grin like a small child. May I just remind you that it is okay for people to disagree, but I’ve got all the evidence to back up each point I have made.

            I feel the urge to respond to your comment of ‘Without wanting to sound nasty, if you really want to get into the evidence side of things, where is the evidence you have seen these cars and cars of different regulations? Surely you have no intention of going that far on a discussion like this?’

            It is really interesting to me that you have not only negated my opinion about the sound by finding it invalid with your own opinions, but have also told me which cars I have heard in the flesh! You must be some kind of failed mind-reader! I have seen LOADS of F1 cars and I am pretty sure I have heard every engine I have written about. I have been to Ferrari Day and have seen older Ferraris whirl around the track, I have been to the Silverstone Classic and heard decades of car engines, and may I mention was able to see the fantastic JPS Lotus in the flesh. What a thing! So yes, I have heard the engines of which I speak. I have also heard the demonstrations you speak of as well, so there we are! Ta-da; Evidence! I, unfortunately was not alive during the eras where they were all raced, I have been to the British Grand Prix last year with the V8’s, but I am happy to report to you that my comments have been completely evidence and experience based. It seems to me that it is you who has failed to actually hear these current cars in person, but you do an excellent job of describing all of the other cars you’ve seen!

            Getting back to my original point, I am saying that the most memorable thing to me, after hearing decades of F1 cars, is the sound. I understand you disagree, but you are making assumptions that I have deemed F1 as ‘not okay’, and I am not saying there is nothing going on without the ‘screams of a V8 running’. What I have been saying this whole time is that I prefer BOTH the racing and the noise. So, we see things differently, but that is the beauty of opinions and preferences.

            I hope none of this debating is coming across as insulting, I truly was just making my point known and I do appreciate you have a different opinion than I. That is what makes the world go ’round…… and some other scientific things…..

          6. @rjessalt Apologies, reading back I see I’ve gotten quite a bit mixed up about who was said by whom. I have attributed statements to you which you haven’t made. It seems my irritable bowels have affected my reading comprehension somewhat.. You have indeed not said there was no sport without the noise.

            Though I do take issue with your response to my question regarding evidence; I did not mean for you to provide this evidence. One of the great things about the internet is the ability to say you have done things without actually having done them. Despite that, I stand by the fact I have indeed not heard the actual 2014 cars and am judging based on FOM and unofficial footage in comparison to earlier footage. I had not meant to question your personal experiences, just to disagree with your statement that one can’t form an opinion on the engine noise without seeing the cars in the flesh.

            To perhaps go in a somewhat lighter direction; how do you rate the noise in other series? I have only seen/heard a handful of LMP1 cars in the flesh, but I was amazed by their sound because it was so foreign. I’ve also grown up with amateur level racing at Zandvoort happening more often than established series, which included Diesel series which always prompted many Audi-engine-noise naysayers to scale their opinion on those TDI engines up a bit. Or would you say the noise is a crucial element to F1 to you, rather than to motorsports in general?

          7. Not to worry, this has become a long thread and it can become a bit tedious!

            I appreciate that the internet provides a bit of a safety blanket when it comes to claiming such things as having to been to events and such. True, to some extend it is all heresay, but I believe you have attended the events you mentioned so it would be most excellent if you took my word for what I have seen as well! To come on here and to say I have heard things that I haven’t would be a bit of a time-waster.

            Anyway, to answer your questions which I appreciate you taking the time to enquire about, I must first say that I have not been to any races that use diesel engines, and have not heard an Audi Le Mans car run in person. However, I have been to Super Bikes, I have heard GP2, GP3, and Porsche Cup cars, all in the flesh. I have certainly heard TDI engines and Le Mans cars on the TV or Youtube, but that is the extent, I am afraid. I am underwhelmed by the Porsche Cup noise, and think it is a bit of a boring race, but perhaps that was because I was anxious for the F1 to get started! So, I associate a bit of a dull roar with the Porsches. I know out of all the sports, F1 was the loudest up until last year and I think that is what tickled my fancy, really, as other categories have great racing, but I do not get the same thrill, from let’s say DTM or Touring Cars, even Clio Cup as sometimes they have fantastic races! The Super Bikes have a great engine note and are a bit louder than the current F1 cars, but still a pleasant noise to listen to, but I think the noise argument does not apply with bikes as it is just so completely different.

            So I would say that it is the noise that really separated F1 from other forms of motor sport, in my opinion. It is what made me feel like I witnessing something without parallel, as you can get great racing and phenomenal cars in other categories.

            I hope I answered that with some clarity.

            In response, as well, can I ask you what drew you to Formula 1?

          8. @rjessalt Fair enough, there certainly is a degree to which we associate sounds with stimulation, and having seen a number of Porsche races myself I have to say they’re incredibly boring for the excitement that the cars are supposed to sell on the road. (And as a musician, there are certain sounds that can turn me off a song no matter how well it is written as well.) Mind you, Porsche of course has a thing for Rear-engined cars. I think it was the first time DTM came to Zandvoort where there were DTM cars, German F3 (which still meant something at the time), Formula ADAC BMW, some sort of Volkswagen Polo cup and a Porsche race. Don’t ask me how, but moreso than the DTM race, people were talking about how lackluster the Porsche race was. I also remember when they broadcast the Porsches in the lead-up to European F1 races and was never really interested in watching. Maybe I’d feel different had I kept up with the Porsche cup..

            I got into F1 after seeing a commercial for the 1997 title decider and didn’t see my first F1 car until 1999 at a Williams demonstration run at Zandvoort. Despite having seen quite a number of F1 cars in various stages of their life, I haven’t actually been to an F1 race yet (when I had extra money as a teen, I spent it all on music festivals, now I generally do not have the kind of extra money that covers a trip, stay and food at a race weekend)..

            The main attraction to me has always been the look of the cars and the drivers. It might be heresy to some, but the F1 cars of 2007 and 2008 still look futuristic to me, as do modern front wings. I’m glad all the aero is gone for the sake of the reduction of dirty air and thus the improvement of overtaking, but there’s something about a nice car design that just keeps my eyes glued to a screen. It’s one of the reasons I’ve never watched much footage of the 1989-1993 era, because some of those cars were incredibly ugly and I have a hard time appreciating some of the boxes on wheels of that time (or the turbo era, for that matter).

            The drivers play a vital role for me as I tend to sympathize with artistic and/or athletic individuals. The dedication to their craft and natural ability I find very intriguing. As such, I’d say I’m more of a Tom Kristensen fan than I am of people who have made it ‘further’ in F1 like Frentzen or Coulthard. I fell out of love with F1 for a while after Schumacher’s initial retirement in 2006, since I wasn’t really feeling much for any driver on the grid other than Webber and Raikonnen (who had the kind of unreliability you simply don’t see these days) and I ended up drifting from the sport a little. The story of BrawnGP over the winter of 08-09 lured me back for full races in 2009 and with the return of Schumacher in 2010 I became more interested and started backing other driver as well.

            I used to go to a lot of events at Zandvoort, which had me in encounters with several international drivers (including a rather funny conversation with 1988 Le Mans Winner Jan Lammers, who was shorter than me despite me being 12 or so) and seeing a lot of different motorsports. I think F1 for me towered above them all because of the technology involved. It’s why I rate WEC probably second to F1 and DTM in third, despite DTM being a total borefest. I think I’ve looked for my share of loud in my music and felt that engine noise is pretty much noise. (Though I will admit it took me 5 races before I was used to the lower RPM of this year’s engines.)

      3. To me, it is the main thing that separated F1 from any other motorsport.

        Then you are inevitably going to be dissappointed by these new-fangled engines.

        To me, the thing that sets F1 apart from lesser motorsports is the engineering and ingenuity of those that build F1 cars. Whether it be carbon fibre monocoques, tubochargers or six-wheelers, or in more modern times, F-ducts and trick exhausts that created off-throttle downforce, the perpetual game of designers versus regulators is unique to F1.

        Yes, getting a V10 engine to spin at over 20000rpm was a neat trick and it made an awesome noise down the Hanger Straight – but that’s old hat, and it’s been done. This year, the rules demanded you have to get F1 levels of performance while only using about half the fuel, and amazingly, they’ve pretty much done that.

        So, less of this churlish hankering after dinosaur noises. Applaud the F1 community for rising to this challenge and creating some pretty awesome engineering. It doesn’t blow your ears off – but if you really consider what these new power plants are achieving, it should be blowing your mind.

        1. Actually, current F1 cars do about 9 MPG, the V10’s did about 6 MPG.

          It is one hell of a loss for such an irrelevant amount of fuel saved…………..

          1. Very funny, cheers.

          2. Irrelevant – in the context of the hundreds of tons of fuel used to transport the circus around the world each year. However, that isn’t the point, as I suspect you (and Nick) already know. It’s a high profile technology demonstration to bring the world’s attention to the possibility of using fossil fuel more efficiently, and that is highly relevant to the modern world. If you could show an airline (or ship, or truck) operator how to get that much fuel saving from their engines, they’d be queuing up to hire you.

            If it happened to make the engines quieter as well, many residents of near-airport locations wouldn’t complain, either.

          3. Johnny Five:

            This is the absolute crux of the difference of opinion.

            To you:

            ‘It’s a high profile technology demonstration to bring the world’s attention to the possibility of using fossil fuel more efficiently’

            To me, it is a sport.

            Or it was.

            It would be great to make planes quieter for the people who live near airports, but surely, they did not choose to live there to be entertained by the sound of the aircraft? Presumably, people go to the F1 races to be entertained by the cars?

            Well, that’s why I went, from 1987-2014. Now though, it is TV only for me.

          4. or it was

            Why not both? Since before you started watching it, F1 had lost the purity it had in the 1960’s and 70’s, and had become a machine for selling tobacco , alcohol, and whoever had the highest advertising budget. We’ve all lived with that, on the whole comfortably.

            With the current engine formula, the sport is promoting a new message of responsible fuel usage. You may argue the hypocrisy of that (9 mpg isn’t great by anyone’s standards) but it’s arguably a more socially responsible message than drink more beer (although I can see the attraction of that, too!)

        2. @ Johnny Five:

          You make some good points there.

          I just can’t help but really miss the noise, though I take onboard what you are saying.

      4. @rjessalt, your opinion is welcome and valued, but not valued any higher than the majority of fans opinion, a majority that do not think it is the end of F1 because the decibel level has dropped out of the painful range, if really really really loud V8s were the standard by which racing was to be judged then Drag Racing would be the best.

        1. @hohum; I never said my opinion was to be, or is, valued any higher than anyone elses. That is quite the statement to make; an untrue one at that.

          I respect the opinions of people who say they do not mind the 2014 V6 noise, but that does not exempt me from making my case as to why I do mind. I am making comments, few and far between, as I have been to a race this year and have made a personal assessment in the flesh; I actually reserved much of my judgement until I went to the Spanish GP this year and could make an ‘in-person’ inspection, for lack of a better word. I wanted to get a taste of the atmosphere and see if I did in fact agree with you lot who are not bothered. So before I jumped on the bandwagon, I saw for myself. But up until then, and since then, I have enjoyed the fantastic racing. Let’s not mince words; I am a racing fan first and a person who enjoys loud engine notes second. I just miss having both.

          Also, I never said the noise reduction had anything to do with the quality racing quality, I was commenting on the spectacle only, when I was at the circuit. Personally, I would like both noise and great racing.

          1. @jessalt, having just re-read this thread from top to bottom I am not going back to analyse exactly who said what, I apologise if I misrepresented your post, my beef is with the people (like Bernie) who place the blame for all F1s woes on the new exhaust sound despite more than 70% of fans on this site not having a problem with the new sound, and that was early in the season before we had a chance to aclimatise to the new sound, F1 has many problems but the sound is the least of them, going back to the V8s would only make things worse, not better.

  6. Enough with the smartness already…

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