Future of Formula One is at risk – Lopez

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lotus owner Gerard Lopez warns Formula One’s future is being put at risk by the lack of action over costs and revenue distribution.


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Lopez fears for future of F1 (ESPN)

“Asked if he feared for the sport’s future, Lopez said: ‘Yes, I do, but not just because of this, many things. The whole engine choice was a mistake, the noise, the fans. Less fans coming, less promoters interested.'”

‘Serious takeover talks’ (Sky)

“It is hoped the team can still take part in the season finale in Abu Dhabi if they can raise between £3 million and £5 million by the end of the week, with time to ship the cars and parts to the Yas Marina Circuit ahead of the race on November 23rd.”

Safety car backmarker plan rejected (Autosport)

“With teams limited to 100kg of fuel for a race, the crediting of a lap without actually driving it risked handing lapped cars an advantage – as it effectively gives them a free lap’s worth of fuel.”

McLaren set to decide between Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen

“McLaren’s racing director, Eric Boullier, is to sit down with the chief executive, Ron Dennis, this week for a final round of talks in a bid to resolve the team’s driver line-up for 2015.”

Lewis Hamilton: This means more than in 2008 (The Independent)

“I think a lot of people underestimate how good my first year was. People constantly compared me to [Fernando Alonso], but it was my rookie year. It’s different now and I hope that experience counts for something.”

Love matters more than money for Button (Reuters)

“I will race somewhere even if I’m not getting the big bucks, unlike a few drivers who are out there.”

Claire Williams Q&A: Don’t rule us out in Abu Dhabi (F1)

“To come ahead of Ferrari with the budget that we have in comparison to theirs – that is really significant for us. It’s a great talking point when we are talking to partners: we are Williams – with half the budget look where we are compared to some of our rivals!”

Formula 1 Seen Facing IPO Hitch as Two Teams Face Closure (Bloomberg)

“Formula One, the auto racing series controlled by CVC Capital Partners Ltd., may be forced to delay plans for an initial public offering a second time after two teams entered bankruptcy protection.”

World title Hamilton’s to lose – Mansell (BBC)

“I’d hate for either one of them to go into the last race and have a mechanical [failure] and lose the world championship because of double points.”

Indian GP set to return to F1 calendar in 2017? (Overdrive)

Indian Grand Prix promoter Sameer Gaur: “JPSI is very keen on bringing Formula One back to India and having the [Buddh International Circuit] host the Indian Grand Prix once again, however we have no timeline in place for this.”

Uncertainty in F1 (MotorSport)

“Internal fighting is not uncommon but it seems to have reached a new level. The smaller teams feel unloved; worse than that, they feel they are being made to look silly and finally they have had enough.”

I’m Gary Hartstein (@former_f1doc), and I’m starting my AMA (ask me anything) (Reddit)

“A driver came to me at the end of a race complaining of a bit of, um, butt pain. In fact, he had a massive second degree burn on most of one half of his butt. He’d driven the whole race in agony, and drove well. Incredible focus, courage, abnegation. A real hero.”





Comment of the day

@JerseyF1 picks apart Christian Horner’s threat to push for far greater relaxation of the engine rules for 2016 if Mercedes prevent it happening in 2015.

There are three scenarios:

(1) Engine ‘freeze’ stays as it is, costs remain relatively low.
(2) In season engine freeze is lifted for 2015, engine costs will rise.
(3) Entire concept of frozen engines is scrapped from 2016, engine war starts up and development spending goes through the roof.

What Horner (and the other non-Mercedes power holders) are saying is either you give us two or we’re going to stick you with three in revenge. It’s not a suggestion that not relaxing the current restrictions will increase costs but a threat to intentionally increase costs massively if they don’t get what they want.

It reminds me of a child in the street trying to apply his own unequal football rules with the threat of “it’s my football, you either play my way or else I take the ball and go home”.

I think that the irony is that of all the engine manufacturers it is probably Mercedes who would throw the greatest resources at an all-out engine war so it doesn’t seem like much of a threat to me. I hope Mercedes stand their ground.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Christian Briddon, A-Safieldin and Khuzai!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Three years ago today Sebastian Vettel equalled Nigel Mansell’s record for scoring 14 pole positions in a season, during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vettel broke the record with his 15th pole position later that year.

Image © Pirelli/Hone, Williams/LAT

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127 comments on “Future of Formula One is at risk – Lopez”

  1. ColdFly F1 (@)
    12th November 2014, 0:15

    Looking at the 18 race results so far this year, only a repeat of Germany will create a different outcome between Abu Dhabi and Abi Dhoubli!

    Based on previous results:
    14 results will crown Hamilton WDC;
    4 results cause Rosberg to overtake Hamilton:
    AUS, CAN, BEL because Hamilton DNF;
    GER because the 10 points Rosberg gained will be Dhoubled, making it enough to close the 17pt gap.

  2. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    12th November 2014, 0:40

    I think F1 is getting to a stage that maybe as fans we boycott the sport. The sport is in such disarray. Imagine if enough people decide to not watch Abu Double.

    1. He mentioned the engine noise, I though we’d got over it…

      I think F1 has a problem of over reaction. Maybe it’s a single problem in need of urgent fix but they tend to find 4/5 extra problems only to create another one.

      Fix the finances and reduce Mercedes’s PU advantage and we’re good. 2014, so far, has been a great season.

      1. Exactly, it’s Daily Mail syndrome. Every one massively overreacting.

      2. Sorry, why reduce their advantage? As with Red Bull in the previous four years, it’s the other teams job to catch up within the rules they ALL agreed with, not for Mercedes to be brought down a peg or two.

        Mercedes have put the investment in, make gambles that turned out to be right, and are justly reaping the rewards. Any attempts to specifically slow them down will put the final nail in the coffin for F1 being called a sport.

        1. @fluxsource I don’t mean issuing a new rule blocking Mercedes. I just think racing could be even better if Ricciardo, Alonso, Vettel and others had machinery to “party with Mercedes boys” often. This should be achieved through handwork.

          1. *hard work :)

      3. @jcost Exactly! I was at the race in Austin, and engine noise was a total non-issue! What IS he going on about with that one?

        If they want TV viewing up, stop pay-per-view. Sponsors want eyeballs on screen, not a smaller audience. If they want more people at the track, then lower ticket prices. Again, sponsors want eyeballs and will take 300,000 people over 200,000 people any day.

        Engage in more social media. Bernie’s old man “you kids get off my lawn!” routine on the social media side is KILLING the sport and keeping the younger audience away.

    2. tell me which one you are thinking of boycotting and does that involve picking up the remote?

    3. I certainly won’t be contributing to the official viewing figures as a protest to double points. I shall be watching though…

  3. I think Lopez statement is wrong.
    This year was I went to see my absolute first Formula 1 Grand Prix, more specific the Hungarian GP.
    When I came to the circuit, I could hear the GP2 cars driving around.. but when I sat on the grandstands I just did not like the sound from the GP2, it was just a bit too loud and the sound was not as sophisticated as the F1 engines were. I loved the growling sound from the hybrid v6 engine and the braking squeal made it more dynamic. We could also very clearly hear the commentators of the race from the speakers.
    Loved my first Grand Prix, did not need any ear-plugs and was a relaxing experience. Also the graphics were astonishingly greater in real life!

    The thing that is ruining Formula 1 is the expensive tickets and merchandise. If I had children, I would imagine that it would get very expensive to take them with me to watch the Grand Prix.
    You do not hear many people talking about going to a F1 Grand Prix here because it is too damn expensive. More people would come to the Grand Prix if the ticket prices were more reasonable.
    Bernie is just sitting there pocketing money for himself and too blind by the money coming to him that he is not seeing the real issue.. blaming the circuits marketing for the Grand Prix (Istanbul, Turkey for example). The Istanbul GP was actually pretty reasonable (flight+accommodation).

    Formula 1, CVC and Bernie needs to re-calculate on a more human level with the pricing.

    1. Also forgot to mention TV-license/subscription to watch the Formula 1 races. There is the main problem. They are too expensive and especially for a family with small children.

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    12th November 2014, 0:46

    Boycotting races without advance notice is not a good thing but I really can’t think of another way that the backmarkers can get their point across. I suppose they could head up to the podium and stage their own victory post-race as everyone stares in disbelief. They need to make a point and they obviously SHOULD NOT do it during the race. Their demands are falling on deaf ears – as Horner has stated “the top teams are not there to sponsor other teams” and if the smaller teams don’t have a say, then they should stop racing until they get an equal say.

    In fact Sauber is now eyeing larger winnings through Marussia’s downfall which Bianchi literally paid for with his blood… This is not the time for pettiness or short-term survival – the 5 teams – Caterham, Marussia, Lotus, Sauber and Force India – need to create a united front and act as one voice that cannot be ignored by either Bernie or the top teams.

    1. If there must be a boycott then I can’t think of a better place than Abu Double

    2. So Caterham crowdfund their way to Abu Dhabi just so they can boycott the race? Can’t see that happening somehow.

  5. It might have not been because of the same reasons, but I always remember, the last time Mercedes-Benz dominated a world racing championship, 15 years ago, it disintegrated. Just find that curious ;)

    1. What category was that?

      1. I suppose @carlitox is talking about Group C prototypes, RogerA.

      2. FIA GT fits the bill. Mercedes beat everyone so badly in 1997 and 1998 all the other GT1 teams withdrew, so they only had GT2s in 99.

        Does make me worry slightly that if Merc dominate F1 again in 2015, their 2016 car will keep taking off at Eau Rouge…

        1. Bring back Webber!

      3. Indeed @neilosjames. I still remember those cars. All masterpieces. But that CLK GTR was insane! At least that prevented the flying CLR from running during a championship season, hehe.

  6. Lopez and others keep perpetuating the myth that the sound of the new engines is discouraging people from watching F1, the problem with the sound is not the sound itself, the problem is that Bernie in a fit of pique started a campaign against the new engines using the sound as a whipping boy and in doing so highlighted a difference as a negative and reversed the old marketing slogan “sell them the sizzle not the steak” and in consequence a lot of people began to believe the steak would be no good if it didn’t sizzle, I personally always go for the rare prime-rib (sizzle free) when in the US not the NY strip, sometimes sizzle is just sizzle.

    1. Hm, that perfectly explains why Bernie and Red Bull / Horner are a perfect fit: the drink they sell is only about the sizzle, so they wouldn’t know about the steak @hohum!

    2. @hohum I’ve made a similar comment above. I think fans are OK with sound by now. This season has been great so far.

    3. In a sense the sound is entirely artificial because most people listen to F1 via the TV, not from a Grandstand, so how loud the sound is at the race track has been attenuated to suit TV broadcast standards.
      It seems to me TV audience leads to grandstand audience, i.e. popular on TV = filled grandstand, no one watches on TV = empty grandstand.
      I am not surprised there is a lack of interest from corporate sponsors as well, what has F1 got to offer? Certainly not a large audience. F1 used to be really popular, but F1 management prefered a “select audience”, sorry, I should have said “a very select and exclusive audience”, anyway, I digress … over a large audience, and they got their wish. Of course, if F1 management want a large audience all they have to do is make it a condition of TV rights sale that all broadcasts are Free-to-Air broadcasts. For all I know they may have made it a condition of their selling that broadcast might have to be Free-to-Air, in which case all they need to do is send out an email saying “F1 has to be Free-to-Air or else” and suddenly F1 is popular again.

      1. While I agree with you, I remember hearing a marketing guy once. He said that he preferred to advertise on Pay TV than FTA. His reasoning was quite simple: People who pay for TV tend to have more money. If he advertised on FTA, most of those who watched couldn’t afford the product, or were more interested in the price than anything else.

        1. As that marketing guy said, most of those who watch on Free-to-Air can’t afford the product he is selling, but F1 is a product that almost no one can afford. Advertising is about getting your product noticed by the right people, and restricting your audience doesn’t guarantee you will get noticed more by the right people. Almost everyone who intentionally watches an F1 race on Pay-TV from start to finish would also do so if it was on Free-to-Air. So the smaller audience actually reduces your chances of being noticed more by the right people. All Pay-TV advertising does is reduce the amount of “false hits”. I’m guessing this could be important where there is some sort of “set up” cost involved, but many products don’t have that, e.g. when you buy an “off the shelf” product.

          1. NZ pay TV has no ads while F1 is on, so that makes no sense.

          2. @lethalnz: I was sort of aware of that, but wasn’t sure if that was so.
            I don’t think that fact is relevant to the answer I gave.

    4. Sizzle is for casual fans, steak however is for guys like us @hohum! A 2.4 second faster pole lap in 2014 than in the 2.4L V8, 18,000rpm, 3mpg days of 2012 is quite remarkable. In that regard I do think it is important not to treat fans as a single homogeneous unit. So whilst none of my paddock friends are especially opposed to F1’s new world other than those with political motivations, nor are any of my “pub debate” friends, banners such as the one on the Monza pit-straight that read “FIA Under Stewards Review – Lack of Noise” (right next to another that read “Nico, stop cheating!”) are still out there.

      Put simply, it is unfortunately not the case that the fact that a 1.6L V6 that is 35% more efficient has been produced faster laptimes at the past two Grands Prix than the V8s is enough to unilaterally charm all fans. With the powerunits sounding infinitely better in the flesh than on TV, the unconverted are almost certainly primarily those who have not been exposed to them trackside, the more casual TV viewers even. On the flip side of the coin having attended all but two races this year, I really am growing to enjoy the sound, especially the variation in sound between Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari, but equally I am not immune to a surge of nostalgia upon hearing the old V8 or V10 engines once more.

      1. Wow I wish I could do all the races. I do Silverstone and a “fly away” usually Spa ha! not being a multi billionaire stops further attendances

        I agree regarding the sound and also you see the cars move around more, the difference in lines, even drivers who take a corner in one go or those who take it in stages.

        Too many TV fans making too much noise that’s the ironic problem for f1 these days,

        1. I’m certainly no multi-billionaire @antonyob, just merely part of the media circus that follows F1 from race to race. Perhaps the most irritating thing is that the sheer volume and therein commercial influence of F1’s “sofa club” fans. Not one of these fans has read or ever will read an article written by myself or my colleagues, or is even aware of the incredible technical reality of these powerunits, but F1 is commercially obliged to pander to their small-minded interests: double points and DRS are prominent examples. The issue is the V6s are short on friends because not many are astounded by the technical miracle of going so fast yet still incentivising the development of fuel-efficient technology through sporting competition.

          1. great point re the v6 “power units”


      2. “Put simply, it is unfortunately not the case that the fact that a 1.6L V6 that is 35% more efficient has been produced faster laptimes at the past two Grands Prix than the V8s is enough to unilaterally charm all fans.”


        Hybrids are the future and supercar makers have already embraced it. Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1…

        1. Indeed @jcost, albeit it is a shame that of the three marques you mention the one that isn’t in F1 has appeared to have done the best job in producing a hybrid supercar. The 918 is not only fantastic looking, easily the best of the three, a targa convertible and with an infinitely more richly laden interior, but due to the fact that only Porsche has published an exact Nordschleife laptime, 7’57, the Marc Lieb peddled “Weissach warrior” has apparently outpaced the P1 and the LaFerrari also. We have the upcoming responses from Jaguar, Audi, Mercedes and Aston Martin to look forward to in 2015.

          1. @countrygent 918 Spyder is a looker and a red LaFerrari certainly would turn lots of heads but if I had the bucks I’d pick the P1. On performance, P1 is probably better than Porsche… at least it was on this head-to-head


    5. It is not cool to have people at circuits actually laughing at the sound though, which is something I witnessed this season. I suppose it will be next year when we will really see how much of an effect the lack of sound has had on the crowd numbers, as this year people were hearing the new cars in the flesh for the first time. My view is that on TV these cars are great, ‘live’ they are very disappointing.

      1. My view is that on TV these cars are great, ‘live’ they are very disappointing.

        Strange, I feel the opposite.

        On TV, I think the old V8s sounded much better. The levels are just not right on TV, you don’t get the “quality” of the sound of the V6s through.

        While I never heard the V8s live, I heard GP2 this year, and have been told they are very similar to the F1 V8s of last year. I thought they sounded horrible. Without earplugs they were painful as they went past. With earplugs, they were just a buzz. The V6s, however, had a lovely, nuanced sound which is not picked up on TV. There are significant differences between the 3 engines, and you can hear differences between drivers in the same car too.

        1. @drmouse

          I certainly would not agree with the GP2 cars sounding anything like the V8 F1 cars. The GP2 cars sound like angry wasps! Contrary to what some people write on here, the V8 F1 cars were glorious sounding, even more so before the rev limit was introduced. I admit they were mighty noisy, and one felt a bit shell shocked after a weekend of F1, but to me that as a lot of what F1 was about. It is something else now.

          1. @paulguitar: Fair enough. As I said, I haven’t heard the V8s live, and was just going by what I have been told.

            I still love the sound of the new V6s live, and wish the TV coverage picked up the subtleties better.

          2. @paulguitar,@drmouse, I too remember the glorious howl of the 3 & 3.5 Litre engines, I also remember the flatulence of the blown diffuser era which made the engines sound like an old “banger” on its last legs with a broken exhaust manifold, beware selective memory syndrome.

    6. I’ve tried my best to ‘adjust’ to the new sound, and admittedly there has been some good racing – but seriously, listen to this and tell me this doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up:


      1. @fletchuk

        Thank you. That says it better than all the words I could think of……….

        1. @hohum

          Ha ha, yes, the blown diffusers did sound a bit ‘awkward’……..:)

  7. “The whole engine choice was a mistake”

    I disagree, I think this years engines have been fantastic & it woudl have been sticking with those horrible V8’s that would have been a mistake.

    Its true that this years engines are quieter but having been at the track twice this year (Jerez test & Spanish Gp) I think the actual sound they produce is far better than the V8’s. The V8’s were loud but that was it, They sounded dull, Flat, All sounded the same & were so loud you needed ear protection so you could not fully enjoy the noise anyway.
    The V8’s were just a very loud, horrible noise while the V6’s are a quieter yet produce a much nicer sound & you can actually tell each manufacturer apart.

    Additionally these new power units have made the cars so much more spectacular & interesting to watch. At Jerez watching the drivers having to watch there throttle application out the chicane & getting wheelspin as the torque kicked in causing power oversteer was a joy to watch & thats been repeated over & over on the TV coverage through the season.
    If we go back to Melbourne in the race we saw Bottas light up the rears & tap the wall exiting turn 10 & I saw many other drivers getting the rear end sliding there over the weekend & it was awesome to watch. With the V8’s & even the V10’s the exit of turn 10 was never an issue, They planted the throttle & accelerated easily away without drama. This year the massive increase in torque made that a real challenge & as i say watching drivers having to really manage the throttle as the torque tried to spin up the rears was a joy to watch just as it was in the old days of turbo’s in the 80s as the back ends danced around when the torque kicked in.

    And its been like that everywhere this year, Its made the actual watching of the cars so much more fun & interesting & has really highlighted the drivers skill in throttle control for the 1st time in over a decade.

    Its the same with the reduced downforce, Watching the cars move around a bit, Watching drivers actually have to drive them more now that there not planted at the back end in certain corners is awesome & there has been many times this year where i’ve just sat back & watched the in-car camera feeds as drivers are fighting the cars as there moving around & trying to tame the wheelspin of the torque.

    Going back to the V8’s would bring back a very loud noise, But we woudl be back to drivers planting the throttle exiting corners with those torque-less V8’s not providing any drama & we would have cars that looked like they were on rails on corner exits again & that would be so much more dull to watch.

    I also suspect that we would be in a Ferrari engine spec series if we went back to a V8 as Renault & Mercedes made it clear they had no interest in sticking around under that formula & Honda have also said there only coming back into F1 because of the new engine formula. Go back to those horrible V8’s & you will just kill manufacturer interest in F1.

    1. Well said Roger.

    2. And, besides all those things, from an engineering point of view, these engines allow F1 to still call itself the pinnacle of motorsport. A designation otherwise innacurate as the V8 engines were seriously out of date.

      1. Extraordinarily out of date, port fuel injection ! just like a 1975 V12 Jaguar, and I am sure many, even earlier, road cars.

      2. Yeah the V8s were quite old but at the same time there’s a certain appeal to see such rudimentary technology being refined to a very high level.

        Like modern mechanical watches, is a completely obsolete way to keep track of time and yet current ones are real works of art with dozens of functions, no need for batteries or manual winding and actually very accurate.

      3. @toiago +1.

        I think F1’s problem is more financial than technical. The engineering is great.

    3. (I’m trying to quote so if it fails, I apologise)
      [quote]The V8’s were loud but that was it, They sounded dull, Flat[/quote]
      The V8’s were loud but that was it, They sounded dull, Flat

      I can’t agree about this in the slightest. When I heard those V8’s going by the last thing on my mind was “dull” or “flat”.
      I was at Spa a few times and hearing an F1 car go round that BIG track was fantastic. Standing at Bruxelles (one of my favourite spots at Spa) you could actually follow it around, hearing it go over the back part of the circuit, accelerating after La Source, then going full blast at the Kemmel straight and then it would appear in sight. It would give vibrations in the chest and you could hear the rage coming off of it.

      I liked it. A lot. I don’t like the sound anymore now. Actually I’m looking forward to seeing the FR3.5’s at Spa in 2015 – they still sound fantastic.

      I like F1 these days, it has been a great season (as far as on-track battles are concerned), and I’m all for keeping the V6’s, but the sound is just… really really bad. I don’t even know if they should fix it (don’t know if it can be done) but if they can, then yes please. :)

      1. I think it’s blockquote


        I heard last year the V8s for the first time and you’re right about the vibrations but what I liked the most was the sound on the downshifts, very different from every team and I even remember the Cosworth on the Marussia was the loudest.

        1. I think it’s blockquote

          Great, thank you ;)

          Yes, the downshifts sounded (and felt!) great.

      2. and I’m all for keeping the V6’s, but the sound is just… really really bad. I don’t even know if they should fix it (don’t know if it can be done) but if they can, then yes please. :)

        I believe one of the planned developments for 2015 is improving/changing the noise they produce, the aim being to achieve a louder sound without intrinsically affecting performance. Trying to jury-rig it onto the existing exhausts was a disaster.

        Of course, in my opinion, it’s all rubbish – The more noise out of the exhaust, the more energy is being wasted. Does anyone really complain about the lack of noise at Le Mans when they attend Spa?

        Finally, ‘Fans’ cannot keep demanding that the sport remain ‘the pinnacle of motorsport’ but also demand to keep old technology.

      3. @mattds

        The dull & flat statement comes from comparing them to other categories & previous F1 engines.

        For someone who’s 1st F1 experience was the 2006-2013 V8 then they would have sounded impressive, Especially if just thinking about how loud they were. But for someone who heard the previous formula’s going back to the 1970’s then the recent V8’s did sound dull & flat.

        When I went to an F1 race weekend since 2006 when they had the V8’s I always preferred the sound of the GP2 cars, It was just a more interesting & much sweeter sound & the new F1 V6 turbo’s are much the same…. Albeit quieter.

        1. @mattds

          I don’t understand the opinion that the V8’s were anything other than awesome. I was at Silverstone recently for Ferrari weekend, there was not much difference in sound between the V8’s and V10’s, they both sounded incredible. There were no V12’s there though, which was a shame, I LOVED the way those sounded back in the mid 90’s!

          I think the issue with the current cars is not simply that they are so quiet, it is the lack of revs in my opinion that is also very much a letdown. It is hard to get excited by an engine which just sounds so ‘relaxed’, I think.

          1. It is hard to get excited by an engine which just sounds so ‘relaxed’, I think.

            This is a very subjective matter, and I am not putting you down for your opinion, but I very much disagree that they sound “relaxed”. You can hear the engine working, doing so many different things. You can hear the turbo, the engine, and the motors all adding up.

            I have to agree that the lack of revs makes a difference. A tweak to the rules on fuel flow would help on this. It wouldn’t take a massive change.

          2. @drmouse)

            I agree, they certainly sound ‘busy’. I have full respect for the technological achievement that these engines represent.

            I suppose we all see F1 slightly differently. For me, it is really the ‘entertainment’ side that is most important, I don’t really care if F1 is at the cutting edge in all areas. I also remain unconvinced that the current engines are actually more efficient in real terms. They could just have given the teams a fuel allowance per Grand Prix, and let them come up with what worked best. I suspect a very advanced, lightweight, normally-aspirated engine may have actually been the result, and that would have sounded awesome, and still satisfied the need for greater fuel efficiency.

            In the short term though, if they could just start revving back up to 18000RPM, I would consider going back to watching f1 live…….:)

  8. ““I will race somewhere even if I’m not getting the big bucks, unlike a few drivers who are out there.””

    This sounds very much like Button has told McLaren that he is ready to have no/hardly any salary next year just to get a seat for next year. I do not like this. Magnussen deserves the seat. He is the new Lewis Hamilton and McLaren should invest in him for the next 3 years. A solid contract. Magnussen and Hulkenberg would have been a great pairing in the McLaren team

    1. That sounds like age discrimination to me @dam00r.

    2. When Lewis Hamilton was the new Lewis Hamilton he drew with Fernando Alonso over a full season and really should have won.

      Kevin Magnusson has been soundly wipped by Jenson Button, who with the greatest of respect, was proven to be not quite Hamilton standard during their time as teamates.

      1. I think I have to disagree slightly- those were different times back then. Current “fast” drivers are ones that can maximize tire life and drive to a pace. In 2007 we still had tires that didn’t fall apart and drivers could push. It is a poor comparison… but I do think MAG has been well overshadowed by BUT this year. I find Jenson’s treatment by Mclaren completely disrespectful… and I would probably keep MAG if Alonso came onboard- but I would keep MAG and Button over adding Alonso- he has destroyed every team he has been a part of… the cost is too great to have him onboard (and not just money).

    3. About the salary thing. before that, Button said “I still want to earn money because I feel I have achieved and I feel that I should get paid for what I do in an F1 car or in a racing car and for what I bring to a team.”
      What he meant probably is that he wanted to be paid properly based on his achievement. He probably willing to accept reduced salary, but not like what you implied that he is willing to race for nothing.

      And Magnussen the new Hamilton? He is a good driver, but his trajectory is going down relative to Button. I thought rookies should have upwards trajectory because they should be more comfortable with the car as the season progresses. In Sochi where both didn’t have the track experience, Button beat him convincingly.

    4. “Magnussen deserves the seat. He is the new Lewis Hamilton”

      This is the funniest thing I’ve read here, ever.

    5. To be honest with you Magnussen has disappointed me, yes Lewis had more testing etc, before he came to F1 but he also had a much stronger teammate, Kevin deserves to be in F1 indeed, but in a top team?

      I think one or two years in a midfield team would be a better choice while Mclaren and Honda get their act together, but then of course which midfield team if all seats are taken? Not easy to come up with a solution.

      1. And the mid-field is now the tail-end.

      2. Well, McLaren right now are a mid-field team with top-team budget, we’ll have to wait and see how fast they can get back to being a top team on track.

    6. [Magnussen deserves the seat. He is the new Lewis Hamilton]

      Button – 106 points
      Magnussen – 55

      C’mon that’s rather unfair.

    7. No he is not, mate…that is what McLaren led us believe when they gave him a seat, but K-MAG turned out to be just a quick driver, but nothing extraordinary (like Hamilton, Alonso…or even Hulkenberg whom I think is way better than Magnussen).

    8. Up front I am a JB fan…but really Magnussen the new Hamilton,,, he has been left for dead in terms of race results, Lewis however nearly won the title and beat Alonso in the championship,(on count back) With F1, its not always about deserving a seat, its about who will deliver the results , JB will outscore Mag easily.

  9. “With teams limited to 100kg of fuel for a race, the crediting of a lap without actually driving it risked handing lapped cars an advantage”

    So there you go, I remember pointing this out a long time ago, that’s the reason why we have to wait 10 minutes for cars to unlap themselves, although one wonders how much fuel is used at safety car speeds compared to the race.

    1. But what kind of advantage?! They have already been lapped!!! They are actually already “gaining an advantage” by being able to unlap themselves!

      This is just someone sticking so rigidly to the rule book that they can’t see the wood through the trees.

      I get the theoretical reason why they do not what to do it, but, in reality, will it really make that much difference? What possible advantage could result from this?

      In fact, it could it also be a disadvantage because they have 1 lap more fuel and are therefore heavier!

      1. which no doubt they will complain about in order to gain a lap and get lighter.

      2. @mach1 My guess? It’s more in the context of the fuel calculation formula being updated mid-race, meaning the ECU can allow the engine to use more fuel under the flow regulations. After all, it will be likely less a case of ‘here’s another lap’, rather ‘we will adjust your total race time by your average lap’. If a back marker could suddenly turn up the wick because an hour were suddenly shortened to 58 minutes, they would be able to challenge a rival ahead who hadn’t been lapped yet.

        I’m not saying that’s how it would definitely pan out – it’s just a grey area that would almost certainly be exploited, with cars deliberately allowing themselves to be lapped in order to take advantage, if it were the case.

      3. They would also have 1 lap less tyre wear, engine/gearbox usage.

        I prefer Martin Brundle’s suggestion of just dropping the lapped runners to the back of the train without crediting them an extra lap. OK they lose some track position, but that’s part and parcel of a Safety Car anyway.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      12th November 2014, 4:28

      Again they keep/make it too complicated.
      The lapped cars are in the middle because that’s where they were before the SC came in. Faster cars can overtake them as soon as the SC is gone (like the ones ahead of them did before the SC).
      This way they do not have to wait 10 laps to unlap, or even 1 lap to go to back of pack. Just start racing again ASAP.

    3. Its nonsense @mantresx. Because when these cars are lapped they drive a lop sell anyhow, even now. And what kind of advantage it is if they are slow enough to end up being lapped anyhow?
      Currently the unlapping is sort of a gimmick / a chance for them to get back on the lead lap, actually making them have to use MORE fuel then they otherwise would have had.
      Who knows, maybe the real reason is because the big teams like to be able to neutralize races for longer periods so they themselves can save more fuel behind the SC.

      1. “lop sell” not sure how that came about – should have been “a lap less”

      2. @bascb The lapped cars wouldn’t get an advantage compared to the leaders, like you said they already run shorter races, but I guess what they’re arguing is that is unfair for their direct competitors, here’s an example.

        Let’s say Vergne is in 10th a lap down and ahead is Maldonado 9th but still in the same lap as the leader. When the SC comes out Maldonado has to do a full lap to catch up with the queue but Vergne doesn’t, so when the race resumes JEV has a fuel and tyre “advantage” against 9th, maybe even 8th place.

        But like I said, a lap at SC speeds probably makes this “advantage” so small that it shouldn’t matter in the end… so yeah it’s a bit of a gimmick for no good reason really.

        1. @mantresx, as we all know how much the teams that decide the stuff are interested in the backmarkers, yes its a gimmick for no good reason.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            12th November 2014, 10:47

            unrealistic, but possible under proposed rules.
            Hamilton leading having lapped all others and Rosberg at 1min. Rosberg pits and rejoins lapped by Hamilton. SC out.
            If Rosberg were to get a lap credit, he would triple win: 1) gap closed; 2) fresh tyres; 3) ‘more’ fuel available until finish.

            PS – under the current rules 1) and 2) would also happen; that’s why I think something should change. Maybe VSC.

      3. Straight away, it would have removed any problems with backmarkers holding the leaders up – they’d all have been so eager to be lapped and get some free fuel!

        I always thought getting everyone back on the lead lap was unnecessary – if you’re crap, you lose a lap – but maybe the virtual safety cars will remove the problem and maintain the field spread for most incidents. That’s if we ever have backmarkers in F1 again.

      4. @BasCB

        And what kind of advantage it is if they are slow enough to end up being lapped anyhow?

        One could imagine a scenario where a title candidate has a serious problem and gets lapped in the process, but the problem is fixed. Then comes the SC. If the lapped drivers get credited a lap without driving it, that means said title candidate doesn’t have to worry as much about his fuel allowance (he will have done one less lap at full blast) and so he’ll be able to attack more.

        This could consitute an unfair advantage for this title candidate. Of course, there’s the question of whether this advantage would offset the disadvantage of carrying more weight, but I suspect it would.

        Now, I don’t agree with this whole unlapping thing. The SC should just pick up the lead car and track positions are frozen. If there are lapped cars in the pack, the lead car has lapped all of them and the others just have to do the same.
        Of course, as always with safety cars, some cars will still be disadvantaged. At the extreme: say 1 backmarker is approaching another backmarker, but is lapped and then an SC comes out before the other one is lapped. In this case, 2 backmarkers that were seconds apart will now find themselves with nearly a full lap between them. But honestly, the line should be drawn somewhere and if we’re not bringing back aggregate times (which I hope they don’t!) then I think this is the best solution.

        1. To which I have but one argument @mattDS: These are the same people who voted through standing restarts after SC periods to make things more exciting. How then would giving that lapped car/title candidate a new chance to spice up the race could be a bad thing?

          1. @bascb: I had already forgotten about the standing restarts, thanks for reminding me… Another one of my “favorite” new rules in F1. Ugh.

    4. All of this could be scrapped by removing the SC completely (Disclaimer: I have been arguing for this for a long time).

      If at all possible, clear the problem under double waved yellows, with whatever they come up with for a speed limit. this could be full track double yellows, if bad enough.

      If the incident is severe enough, it would be safer and quicker to have an expedited red-flag procedure. Everyone lines up on the grid in race order until the incident is cleared. Limitted numbers of crew are allowed on the track to allow the cars to be ready to start. Then a quick restart is initiated, with teams having to start the car and clear the grid in a short space of time.

      No more race laps wasted watching cars circulate behind the SC, less fuel variation, and much safer for drivers and stewards.

      I know it’s unlikely to happen, but I will keep flogging this dead horse. Maybe it will come back to life one day.

      1. @drmouse
        Mercedes pay a lot of money to supply the safety and medical cars so there’s no chance of them being done away with.

        1. @beneboy I know, which is why I said it’s unlikely. But IMHO it’s the best option, and I’ll keep pushing it when I can. The SC is an outdated idea, unnecessary in today’s F1. It was a great idea at the time, but abandoning it (at least in it’s current form) would be the best way forward for the sport (IMHO).

          1. @drmouse
            I agree but I think this is just another one of those issues that is decided by financial reasons rather than practicality or the “needs of the sport”.

  10. I think everyone would agree with me if they went back to the old engines, the V12 screaming engines. And by doing this, the cost will go down of running an F1 team and it will bring back money into the sport and fans will start going to races again.

    1. If and if and if again, would love to see wide open engine regulations but it’s not going to be cheaper, and if it becomes a single engine (or 3 identical engines) series they might as well go for NASCAR engines, much cheaper horsepower.

    2. i don’t see many sponsors wanting to be associeted with some big gas gusslers dinosaurs (as much as i love the sound of a V10, or the grunt of an irrestricted turbo v6, you’ve got to accept that they belong to a different time.

    3. I am sure you are wrong on that count. Who would want to develop that kind of engine now? Or do you mean Ferrari litteraly dig up a 12 year old design and race it?

      1. Ferrari would dominate the sport with a 100M budget and afford a WEC team.

        1. Well, yes. They would dominate the sport because they would be the only ones left @austus

      2. I mean changing the engines to V12 or V10 but at a low cost. @bascb

        1. Any development and change is going to cost quite a bit. The V8 became relatively cheap only because there hadn’t been any serious development on them for a while and because of a cost cap on engines installed by the FIA @warner16.

          If anyone would have to now either make a new engine it would cost a considerate amount.
          In such a case it would make sense to grab either engines that are now run in GP2, in WSR 3.5, the Japanese Super series or maybe get the Indycar V6 or one of the engines (Nissan for example, maybe RBR could agree on that with Infinity) from LMP2 @warner.

          1. sorry, forgot to include the number in your tagline @warner16

          2. It would be silly to change the engines now, but maybe in a few years they might go back to the old engines. Or use take some off other series like you said @bascb

  11. I wonder if retaining Button for the race seat (for a year?), and demoting Magnussen to reserve driver (for a year?) is in the cards? Given Button’s experience, race-craft, and developmental skills, that might be a good way for McLaren to go. Of course, Magnussen would think otherwise.

    1. Magnussen to FI, Hulk to 3rd.Ferrari ? The silly season gets sillier every year.

      1. Why not keep Kevin at Mclaren only since you are suggesting Hulk for 3rd Ferrari seat. This way we could have Alo,But, Mag at Mclaren and Seb, Kimi and Hulk at Ferrari. :) @Hohum

    2. Alonso raced for Minardi in 2001, was Benetton/Renault’s reserve driver for 2002 and got the race seat in 2003 (at Button’s expense). Seemed to workout alright for him.

      Surely Button still has some good-standing with Honda. He did only drive their cars for 6 years and gave them their only win. Magnussen would be too preoccupied with trying to beat Alonso rather that developing the car.

  12. Regarding lapped cars… once the incident is clear, SC goes slow down the pit straight, all other cars stick to one side of the straight and they all go steaming by. Next lap, SC comes in.

    One lap is more than enough to get them out of the way, there’s no reason to let them rejoin the train.

    1. You could also have the lapped runners go through the pit lane (possibly waiting at the exit for the train to pass if necessary).

  13. If the teams under threat want to make a threat, they need to do it this weekend.

    When the chequered flag drops on Sunday night, they won’t have another chance to raise their issues directly to the world’s media until March in Melbourne.

    It’s put up or shut up time.

    On the engine freeze debate: Personally, I actually don’t mind if there is some sort of an unfreezing, so long as the COST of the engines to customer teams are frozen for 3 years instead.

  14. Ref Jenson Button, I think McLaren should make a straight forward decision based on facts and stats, even with Lewis onboard, he was extremely competitive , he outscored Perez comprehensively, he has outscored Magnussen comprehensively and based on his marketability and what he will contribute to me its a no brainer, put him in a car with Alonso and they will be more than a match for Lewis and Nico. However put young Jan in and I think he will contribute far fewer points, hardly assist Alonso and no way will he score as many points as Button. Bearing in mind how fickle F1 is, can you really base half of your rebuild on a rookie.
    So…come on Ron, be cold clinical and pick the driver who will bring home the most points and ergo…more money.

    1. @smudgersmith1 It will make Ron look very silly if the drivers are announced with the typical McLaren quote of ‘putting the two best drivers available in the car’.

    2. +1 Well said – #nocontest

    3. I think Jenson’s problem with regard to McLaren is not necessarily performance, but money? McLaren may be able to afford Alonso or Button, but not both at the same time. With the amount of cash that Alonso will be demanding, Button may have to take a ppay cut.

  15. Horner wants Renault and Ferrari to be able to catch-up with the performance of the currently superior Mercedes engine so as not to be disadvantaged, I don’t remember RBR offering to “freeze” their aerodynamic development in order to let the other teams catch-up so as not to be disadvantaged.

    1. @hohum Surely Horner wants just Renault?

      Ferrari isn’t his problem :)

    2. RBR never needed to offer to “Freeze” aero development as the others were already free to catch up whenever their design teams were able to, they just weren’t capable of doing it. Which is all Renault and Ferrari are asking for. No-one is suggesting that Mercedes be left out of the ‘unfreeze’.

      1. Oh yes they are.

  16. Kmag looks like a mistake to me. As was Perez. They need to get over Hamilton, who was a one-off, stop looking too hard and go back to using two seasoned drivers. Ron always used to say “McLaren doesn’t employ rookies”. Jenson+Nando = amazing lineup.

    1. It’s worth remembering, though I do believe Hamilton is a special driver, when he joined F1 it was a series of sprints thanks to refueling.

      On low fuel and bridgestones the drivers were flat out and under these rules Hamilton shined.

      As a great driver he adapted to the modern version of the sport and still shines, but he had the chance of adapting along with the rest of the grid rather than being dropped into the current rules.

      But for a rookie starting out, I don’t think the modern rules really allow them to be on equal terms to a seasoned veteran the way they used to.

      There will never be another Hamilton under current rules, they just aren’t conducive to it.

      1. +1
        Also the tire situation is very different because they lose performance abruptly, so tire management requires a lot of F1 experience.

      2. I think you are wrong. It all comes down to driver confidence and a burning desire.
        The problem with Magnussen is that he is too cautious. He doesn’t want to wreck his opportunity. Perhaps his dad keeps reminding him not to blow it.
        Kvyat if you ask me, is doing something similar to what Hamilton did, but unfortunately he is in a car that isn’t consistent and has reliability and performance issues.
        Hamilton’s rookie performance should be measured not by the number of points scored or matching his team mate, but by the confidence with which he drove. He had the car under control.

        1. I was just commenting on the big changes F1 has been thought the last couple of years. And this also holds with respect to driver errors. Stewards are less tolerant then before, which may affect how aggressive the drivers appear.

  17. The part about trophies in the article about Lewis’ 2008 campain were quite funny. :)

  18. I am in favor of engine unfreeze rules. It is not that Renault and Ferrari asked for rule change in mid season, they are asking for it before the next season starts. They got the rules wrong the year before, it’s not like no one ever makes mistakes, so they are asking for a change for the next season. Mercedes did a superb job, and they are reaping the fruits of it.
    If the problem lies only because of the higher costs, then fair enough, given the current situation they might not touch the rules and keep on like this, but running the big risk that the domination of Mercedes powered cars will continue for years to come. And we know what domination in F1 means. It’s a two edge knife.
    Formula1 should be about developing and engineering. The solution should be of a more logical distribution of incomes among the teams, and let them develop their cars as they like, free the hands of engineers, instead of restricting them year after year only because the costs are riding higher, and the income from the sport is not distributed logically to the participants. Control if you like, the amount of money that sponsors pour in, so that one or two teams do not get the much higher budget because of sponsors.

  19. “The whole engine choice was a mistake, the noise, the fans. Less fans coming, less promoters interested.”
    That said, I don’t think that is much more to add. Many of us still want to believe that the engine change and it’s new noise is something overrated, but it is not. For me, it defines the beginning of the end of the F1 sport that I loved for so long. Now, the actual F1 it’s just an immense confusion, with lot’s of erratic rules, more boring races, and with lack of spirit. We can still try to justify the changes, etc, but we all know that this F1 can’t promote new fans. And the reason is that F1 threw away his brand, and everything that made it original, as V-engines, with their sounds, the sparks, etc. Everything that made it special, it’s all gone now. Today, we have the double points rule, the fuel limit rule, the energy units, the drs, plus the kers, and still F1 is not exciting any more. It’s not. In true, it’s boring most of the time.
    So, can anybody point out something good and original that F1 has to offer to new viewers? I can’t. And that’s really sad.

  20. The mic location for onboard needs to shift rearwards. Instant fix. All we hear right now is intake noise.

  21. I think Bernie wants to destroy F1. He is hell bent on leaving nothing
    when he finally goes.

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