Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, Formula E, Putrajaya, 2014

New drivers need “bottomless pit of money”

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, Formula E, Putrajaya, 2014In the round-up: Formula E racer Sam Bird says aspiring Formula One drivers need a “bottomless pit of money” to stand a chance of making it in.

Links

Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Formula E keen to avoid F1’s financial arms race (The Times - subscription required)

Sam Bird on his performance in Formula E: "Formula One won't look at this and think, 'Gosh he's a good driver, I've got to have him' Unless you've got a bottomless pit of money, they don't really look at you any more."

Formula E boss not cheesed off with Vettel despite snub (Reuters)

Alejandro Agag: "We're big admirers of Vettel, he just doesn't like Formula E. Maybe one day we can convince him to come to Formula E."

Renault wants FIA talks about Formula 1 superlicence system changes (Autosport)

"This is obviously a political move, clearly they want to make things a bit more restricted in terms of the number of championships."

Newey: Difficult to catch Merc (Sky)

"Newey has indicated that the RB11 will be his last hands-on design in F1 as he seeks new challenges outside of motorsport."

Tweets

Comment of the day

Engine noise remains an area of concern for some:

It is a shame they can’t use the current cars at Goodwood, I would really like to see how dull they sound back to back with the really exciting older cars there.

It was fascinating in Austin last year that there was a significant part of the crowd who were thoroughly fed up, as they had attended on the basis of having seen and heard a 2013 Red Bull at a demonstration in the city centre, then when they visited the race they were very surprised that what they saw was a very long way from what they had expected.
Paulguitar

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cameron, Nano Rock, Sams, Ryan-Veitch and Euro Brun!

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

Happy birthday to Rory Byrne, one of the architects of Ferrari’s domination of the early 2000s, who is 71 today.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories F1 Fanatic round-upTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 73 comments on “New drivers need “bottomless pit of money””

    1. Newey has indicated that the RB11 will be his last hands-on design in F1

      D:

      His comments confuse me also. He says “We have a reasonably even balance between engine and chassis – which, in my view, is how it should be.” Contradicted in the article by “Clearly, last year was engine-dominated”.

      It’ll be interesting to see as time progresses how off kilter this balance is. Lotus’ improvement should be a good yard-stick this year.

      1. probably he tinks that Mercedes haven’t got a chassis so well balanced like they did, but the engine difference between Mercedes and Renault, was enough to keep that 2% advantage, right?

      2. 18kg and 85bhp should amount to more than 2%.

        1. yeah, but as Renault already mentioned, the gap was more about 40 bhp than 85 bhp so maybe that explains @peartree

          1. So why would you believe renault and not newey n co?

            1. @f1fan123
              Because Newey and especially Horner have been downplaying Renault to make their own chassis look better since 2014 began.

            2. Ehm, because its Renault who builds the engine @f1fan123? And yes, as Kingshark mentions, RBR have been overstating their engine deficit quite a few times in the last few years.

          2. @BasCB and @kingshark, It was actually Lotus (Alan Perme iirc) who said 18 kg and 85 hp, not Redbull. Besides, he may have been speaking about the 2014 Renault engine vs the 2015 Merc engine. Then 85 hp seem realistic, as rumors say Merc have found another 50 hp this year. Still though, these are some massive numbers. For all of us who don’t want to see Mercedes powered teams win all the time, let’s hope Renault and Ferrari are able to make some huge improvements themselves.

            1. @BasCB @kingshark @me4me @peartree I haven’t seen this quote, where’s it from?

      3. I think he’s referring to the balance between the engine and the aero in the regulations. The RB10 demonstrated that even with 40-80 HP less, you could at least beat all the other Mercedes powered cars.

        The problem is that the W05 nailed engine, chassis and aero, to the point that I don’t think the team even had an official “wet” setup (Something I think I heard during Hungary GP, but I could be wrong).

    2. Not surprised Renault are annoyed. I guess it’s the free entry and TV that Bernie didn’t like.

    3. Unless you’ve got a bottomless pit of money, they don’t really look at you any more.”

      Sometimes, yeah. But sometimes, they look at a guy and go: “gosh, this one could be the one”. Look at Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button… all picked up at young age and they all suceeded. Even nowadays with Verstappen, everyone was fighting to get him.

      It’s also a bit of luck. That’s always been the case. How many “could have been’s” are there? thousands. And not surprising really, because there’s only 18 seats. The room for rookies is small, and sure, in a struggling sport, those with money raise above. But everyone needed money anyway… Lauda, Senna, even MSC had to carry a bag of money to be able to race.

      1. These drivers you’ve mentioned are not really a good example…. they came to F1 when talent still mattered and you could peak these talents and check their abilities during not restricted testing.

        1. The 90’s brought us some of the very worst paydrivers F1 has ever seen. Most people tend to forget the very poor and amateurish teams that ran in the back and sometimes even in the midfield back then and praise the good old 90’s because it was not about money etc. It’s simply not true, put down the rose tintes glasses. Jean-Denis Délétraz says hi.

        2. Like those talented drivers who couldnt make it past the 107% rule?

        3. @toxic “when talent still mattered” ? Alex Yoong, Narain Karthikeyan, Sakon Yamamoto, and many others. My examples are good. There’s always been an era with plenty of pay drivers and drivers picked up by their talent. As @roald says, we see the 90’s as a good era even if we had Forti, Footwork, Pacific GP filling the grid, with drivers like Deletraz, Diniz, Lavaggi… and now you say in the 2000s talent mattered, yet we had those Mazzacanes, Yoongs, and the lot.

          These days there’s a lot more drivers with talent (and money ! they all need it to compete !), than there’s ever been. Take a look at previous decade’s grids and you’ll see odd names in top and midfield teams.

      2. I guess with such a small field there are far fewer opportunities. In a way it is sad because there is no more an opportunity for late bloomers or those who made a few mistakes initially. Look at KMag, even after making it in he is without a seat because he did not excel in first season.

        1. He is without a seat because Honda are imbeciles who think Button is anything but a midfield scrub.

          1. @Klon So a driver who has won a World Drivers’ Championship, 15 races, 50 podiums, and scored more than twice the number of points that Magnussen last year is a midfield scrub? Also, are you Honda’s press officer? How do you know that Honda made the decision to keep Button for sure. Unless you were in that boardroom, you can’t say for sure, no matter how much you would like to assume, that Mclaren had their arm twisted by Honda to keep Button. I think the stats last season did that for themselves.

        2. At the beginning of the season, Magnussen and Kvyat were both impressive– But as the season wore on, the experience of both Button and Vergne allowed the more experienced driver to score more consistent points.

          Don’t be surprised if 2015 is Button’s last season, and 2016 is Magnussen and Alonso.

    4. Did I miss something or did the FIA fully fail to legitimize it own Formula E series in the new superlicence qualifying? I didn’t see it mentioned on the points awarding.

      1. Is Formula E slower than F3?

        1. I’m not sure, but my guess is yes.

        2. Formula E is much slower than F3, but I suppose that Formula E is too different to F1. Maybe it’s because of the difference in rules.

        3. They’re about the same as an F4 car. But next season they will be able to develop the batteries and other electronics so they will progressively get faster.

      2. @reg Formula E are apparently fine with it because they don’t see themselfs as a feeder series-
        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117332

        “Our series is not used to prepare drivers for Formula 1 because we are not part of that pyramid.”

        1. They are more like a receiver series, from rejects.

          1. Rejects is not the word, as many FE drivers are as good or better than half of the F1 grid. Some of FE drivers could have had good F1 careers with a bit more luck, as there are a lot of factors for a driver to succed in F1.

        2. I’m sure the World Endurance Championship also don’t consider themselves an F1 feeder series, yet they are on the list.

        3. Poor da Costa and Bird.

    5. Was in Austin for all 3 days and the only thing I heard about the noise was that you didn’t have to wear ear plugs and you could hear the hybrid power. No complaints.

      1. I was also in Austin for all 3 days and while people were amazed that you didn’t need plugs, they weren’t exactly thrilled about it. Bernie is right on this one. The quieter engines take away a lot of the spectacle of the event. Our group was all amateur racers and hardcore F1 fans, as is everyone who visits this site. Most people aren’t. Most just want the experience. It is the same reason people pack stadiums for concerts to hear bad live versions of their favorite songs. It isn’t about the music at that point, it is about seeing the show. WE can all appreciate the racing, but not everyone that attends knows or cares about the nuances of F1.

        Feeling the cars rattle your insides and almost take your breath away was a great experience. Even us as hardcore race fans had a serious conversation, during FP2 and among people napping (I mean come on! You should be able to fall asleep track side), about skipping the F1 race this year and just doing the WEC race at COTA. For the price of our tickets in the turn 12 grandstand you can almost get a high-roller package for the endurance race. There still will be great racing, and getting wined and dined while watching would be a cool experience.

        1. Good comment, excellent point well made.

        2. If you watch WEC you’ll notice that those LMP1 cars also whisper their way round the track.

          1. Heh. Could you imagine the reaction if Audi entered F1 with their LMP V6 Turbo Hybrid *diesel* engine?

            On the plus side, you’d be able to hear the screams easily. :)

      2. Completely agree with your comment. There were some people who preferred the noise of the old cars, but the COTD comment of

        there was a significant part of the crowd who were thoroughly fed up

        in my opinion is inaccurate as there were neither a “significant” part of the crowd complaining, neither were the crowd “thoroughly fed up”

        1. Don’t forget those that are fed up and chose not to go to the track…that is a very significant number of people in 2014…

          1. 237,406 people attended the Austin F1 weekend. You’re right, that is down a bit… from 250,324 the previous year.

            So about 5% reduction in numbers.

            I guess Americans are more interested in F1 than Germans. :)

      3. As i’ve said before I got to hear the new cars twice last year at the Jerez test & Spanish Gp & I have no issue with the way the cars sound.

        While quieter the actual sound is far better & far more interesting than the V8’s & all those extra little noises you now have from the turbo, ers systems & from tyres locking etc… all just add’s to that more interesting overall sound.
        For all the noise the V8’s produced the actual sound was very un-interesting as they sounded flat at the top end & they all sounded the same, They were just a very loud noise which you couldn’t even listen to properly nor enjoy because you had to wear ear protection (Something my kids always hated).

        These new V6’s sound so much better & been quieter (Although nowhere near silent) you don’t need to wear ear protection (Something my kids love) so you can actually listen to the sound properly & enjoy that & those little additional sounds.

        End of the day all that loud noise those V8’s produced was simply wasted energy, A big part of why these new units are quieter is because there taking that energy & putting it back into the ERS system to generate more power thus making the cars faster.

        Anyone who’s only interest was the noise were frankly watching for completely the wrong reasons, The primary focus should always be the on-track racing & regardless of the noise debate 2014 saw some of the best racing & some of the most interesting cars to actually watch been driven (In part thanks to the torque of the new power units) that I’ve seen in F1 for a very long time!

    6. Unless you’ve got a bottomless pit of money, they don’t really look at you any more.

      If you’re only average, yes. If you’re really worthy of a seat in the highest racing class there is on this planet. Mind you, 20 people out of every racer then you’ll get there of which Verstappen, KVyat, Magnussen and Sainz are good examples.

      1. @xtwl, Most really talented drivers do indeed get to F1 eventually. But some, as Sam Bird rightfully says, do not reach F1 because of money. For example Frijns. He should be in F1 based on talent. Instead, Ericsson, Nasr, Maldonado etc do now have a seat, because of the money they bring.

        1. @me4me I sure agree he should’ve been in F1 based on talent. But if you choose to not accept a offer from STR because of ‘how they treat their drivers’, then go as test driver for Sauber you end up in his position. Had he taken the STR spot he might have been in KVyat his seat now…

        2. @me4me Also, I don’t think Nasr is a super talent but deserves a shot.

          1. @wtxl, yeah, you got a point there about Frijns. He does seem to be a bit too cocky for his own good. Still a shame he isn’t in F1 though. F1 could do with another Montoya :)

            I also agree about Nasr. I think he deserves a shot as well.

        3. I’ve been wanting to say something about people’s fixation with Frijns for a while. First, yes he did win the FR3.5 title, but lets not forget the WAY he won it. He punted Bianchi out in a frankly ridiculous and amateurish lunge in the final race. If he did that in F1 he would be lumped in with Pastor Maldonado. Second, F1 teams know so much more than we could possibly imagine about do about driver’s abilities and if no one wants to pick him up, there must be a reason. He apparently has a horrid attitude and he has had runs in lots of F1 machinery, including Red Bulls and Saubers in addition to his Caterham runs if memory serves. He obviously isn’t as good as people think, so his chance is long gone.

          1. @geemac True, But I’d add to that that every team he’s ever driven for be in a race drive or a test have been massively impressed with him.

            Everything I have heard from anyone who I know who has worked with him in any way seriously believe that he definitely is as good as many fans ‘think’ he is.

            Also remember that he’s won every championship he’s ever competed in full time, There are not many drivers who can say they have achieved that.

          2. @geemac While that move by Frijns did look cynical, I don’t think it’s fair to boil his entire junior career down to that one incident.

            He won that championship in his rookie season up against who had considerably more experience at that level – not just Bianchi but also Sam Bird, both of which had been racing in GP2.

            To my mind he is unquestionably one of the best talents we’ve seen in the junior categories who hasn’t had the chance to race in F1.

            1. I suppose that’s me told then! ;)

          3. @geemac, obviously he was good enough for Redbull to offer him a contract, and Caterham picked him as third driver. One can assume he didn’t got a race seat only because his rivals/team-mates paid more. Purely judging on talent, and his career in junior series, he should be F1.

    7. Did vettel say something recently about Formula E I know he doesnt like formula e can someone give me a link to an article if he said something recently

      1. @aqibqadeer it was before the FE season started:

        http://autoweek.com/article/other-motorsports/sebastian-vettel-says-formula-e-cheese

        Also I’ve heard that “cheese” is a literal translation of what he said in German, but in context it would translate more like the informal “rubbish” in English.

        1. @aqibqadeer @graham228221 It’s not the first time he’s expressed his scepticism about it, either:

          Formula E? It’s not the future, says Vettel

      2. He said a while ago he doesn’t like electric cars in general. Lack of noise and power and such things.

      3. Once in a while, Seb could be quite arrogant.
        It’s nice the FormulaE boss showed a lot of class in his comment irrespective of what Vettel said about his sport.
        Vettel is 1 of my 3 favourite drivers and like the other drivers, sometimes their mouths are faster than their heads.
        Well, isn’t that just about anybody on the planet?

        1. @tata
          Well at least he’s willing to speak his mind. I agree with him to an extent, it’s very gimmicky right now with the street races and fanboost. Kudos to Agog for taking it on the chin though, there is room for improvement (better batteries will help) so maybe they can bring us sceptics around eventually.

      4. The more i hear Vettel opinions the more i understand why Bernie loves him.

    8. “Formula E keen to avoid F1’s financial arms race”

      Remaining an unpopular “sport” is the most guaranteed way of that. If F-E remains unpopular, the investors won’t get much value investing, so there won’t be the hundreds of millions worth financial arms race.

      So maybe Alejandro Agag and co are ruining Formula E with ridiculous ideas like fanboost on purpose, as a cost saving measure? http://imgur.com/gallery/ICUUMTO

      1. A peak audience of 713k across live and highlights on ITV4 watched the inaugural Formula E race from Beijing, overnight viewing figures show.

        The live airing, from 08:00 to 10:55, averaged 266k (4.0%). The audience grew throughout the build-up, hitting 367k (5.4%) for the race start at 09:10 and then 446k (6.4%) at 09:30. The peak came at 10:00 as Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld collided, with an audience of 477k (6.8%) watching at that point. Later in the day, highlights of the race at 18:00 averaged 161k (1.1%), peaking with 237k (1.7%). The combined number, if you wish to use that measure, is therefore an average of 425k, with a peak of 713k.

        https://f1broadcasting.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/formula-e-debut-peaks-with-0-7m-in-uk/

        So far in 2014, BT Sport’s live race day coverage for the MotoGP portion of proceedings – from 12:30 to approximately 14:00 – have averaged 155k, peaking at just over 200k the majority of the time. ITV4’s highlights programming on Monday evenings have averaged 366k, this number including their +1 timeshift channel. The (total) combined audience (was) 521k

        https://f1broadcasting.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/motogps-uk-viewing-figures-halve-year-on-year/

        So Formula E is so unpopular that the first race managed to attract more viewers in the UK than motoGP.

        Formula E is only a few races old and while it’s not yet reached the heights of other racing series it is an interesting new series that has a great deal of potential. Given a few years of development and the ever increasing performance of the technology the cars could be much faster with a greatly improved range, which will hopefully make it more exciting for viewers. I don’t like fanboost but it’s hardly a deal-breaker and nowhere near as bad as some of the stupid things I’ve seen in other series, I’d take it over double points or performance ballast any day.

        I don’t want to sound like a humourless old miser but that link is one of the most distasteful things I’ve seen in a while, photoshopping homeless people to make fun of fanboost is dehumanising and offensive, it may be justified if it was funny, clever or making an important statement but it’s not, it’s just juvenile crap exploiting vulnurable people for cheap laughs.

        1. I observe that there is a tendency for people who call themselves ‘purists’ -whatever that means- to discredit anything they do not find satisfactory. To them, motor sport should only be ran in a particular tunnel direction. These people tend to ignore that motor sport has always evolved from inception. It is basically the only sport that has changed so much from what it was decades ago. These changes are at the core of what the sport is. Yet these ‘purists’ would complain just about anything. And the funny thing is, they are so keen to advertise their displeasure maybe in a bid to get followers and possibly spoil the fun for others.
          I like F1 and motor racing in general. I find Formula E quite interesting and have watched all the races. (Before the series even began, I had to call my cable provider to find out if they would be broadcasting the new series, which they promised to look into, and it was a pleasure to see them broadcast it -though without the practice and qualy sessions.) I intend watching the race taking place today in Argentina.
          Give FormulaE a chance people, and please don’t spread your negativity about the sport around and spoil the fun for others. There are people who are not stuck in their ways.

          1. @tata @ernietheracefan Can’t tell if it’s meant to be a criticism of me, because nothing said applies to me.

            I’ve never called my self a purist, it is a very much meaningless word.

            I’ve embraced most recent changes in F1, I recognize sport as an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess of a competitive nature run to arbitrary set of rules that all the competitors abide to.

            I think fanboost violates the definition of sport, it introduces/transforms F-E into a popularity contest. Not that it is inherently bad (even though I don’t like them), FIA is and should be a sporting organization.

        2. @beneboy

          It’s exactly because I like the series, the technology prospects, the uniqueness, and the racing, that I speak out so loudly against fanboost, which most certainly is a deal breaker for many. For those who value sport and don’t care for celebrity voting type things.

          If it is not dropped for next season, I will stop taking note of F-E.

          With the initial interest for the new electric racing series, it has done quite well for it’s first season and I think it has the potential to even challenge F1 in few years time if the stars line up correctly, because of F1’s inability to adapt to new media, the global move off free-to-air and Formula E uniqueness I truly think that. How many alternatives there are to electric racing? How many alternatives there are to fast, combustion-engined, downforce racing?

          At the moment F-E is nowhere near the most popular sports. (And nor is moto GP, though it is very popular in specific regions of the world, like Spain). The live crowd attendance looks like at any random street event in summer in the city (or worse).

          With regards to my photoshop, I expect nothing less, than people getting offended. But what I depicted, I will argue, perfectly summarizes the situation on social media, that those who follow motorsport and F-E related outlets, teams and drivers will have noticed.
          It’s not that I thought of it as I was siting at home thinking up insulting ideas, It came to me, when I was walking through the center of a city, saw a beggar and the thought of the astounding similarity between him and F-E teams and drivers did not escape me.

          My aim was that people who may have felt similarly or are of the sport might recognize the ridiculousness of what is going on and deal as we should in such situations. Don’t reinforce the unfortunate behavior for the most successful beggars, but deal with the issue by removing the necessity for such a thing in the first place.

          “.. is dehumanising and offensive, it may be justified if it was funny, clever or making an important statement but it’s not, it’s just juvenile crap exploiting vulnurable people for cheap laughs..”

          I have to reserve the possibility, that these last words were just emotional ramblings of an offence-head, but I will deal with everything said here.

          Firstly, how is simply showing someone’s picture “dehumanizing and offensive”? How did I dehumanize these people? Are we only allowed to show pictures of people who are in better positions in life than us? And who is to judge that? Or are we completely barred from making graven images altogether?

          And why something dehumanizing becomes justified, if it is meant, or more likely, you in particular find it funny? Is that not hypocritical and ridiculous as well?

          The post was not even made to laugh at homeless people. It was not meant to be funny at all, that point is clearly stated below. It is making an important statement, but again, would that automatically justify dehumanizing action?

          Calling it juvenile is nothing but ad hominem attack, and offensive to younger generations.

          And how was it exploitative? What if the pictures were replaced by working class people? Middle class? World leaders? Chairs? Apples? What’s the difference?

          And how are these people made vulnerable or how am I exploiting their vulnerability? Is using un-copyrighted pictures of the internet depicting anything – exploiting the vulnerable? Or just people? Or again, just people who are in, what society deems to be, less respectable positions in life?

          Point out one part in that whole post that is made to offend or despise the beggars apart from just showing them as they are!

          I have no problem people not liking and criticizing my post.
          But I do have problem with people suggesting that it is dehumanizing, or suggesting that some subject can not be satirized, depicted, shown or talked about. If so, then everybody will have their holy cows and free thought or humor would be impossible. Either everything is okay to satirize or nothing is and clearly, I don’t subscribe to that!

          To reiterate my point: It was very much a serious post, making a serious point, meant to reason with the people involved in F-E, or at the least, offend and shame them into serving my agenda of protecting Motorsport against attacks from the fake entertainment world.

          1. @mateuss
            I’m no fan of fanboost so I get what you dislike about it, I just don’t find it to be that big a deal that I’d not watch it. The thing is though I don’t think it’s me (or you, probably) it’s aimed at, my 12 year old nephew thinks it’s amazing, as do a few of his friends and some other young teenagers I know, it’s that age range they want to attract as they’ll be the core supporters in a few years once it’s properly established.

            I’m hoping after a few years the cars will be faster & lighter which will negate the need for gimmicks but as it’s still in its infancy I’m willing to give it a bit of an easier time on such things than I would an established series.

            As for my assesment of your photoshoping – I was on a break in work so I may have gone a bit over the top. I think I’ll have to admit that there’s a fair amount of unrelated venting going on.
            On reflection I think I’d have said that it was insensitive and a little innapropriate. As a general rule using images like that in a light hearted way, even when the people in them aren’t the target, can appear to be demeaning and that it’s often better to aim up (socially, financially, powerfully etc) in such cases.

            Not that I wish to deny your right to free expression. Apologies for any offence.

        3. @beneboy The 1st race of a new series tends to get more viewers as people tune in to see what all the fuss is about.
          Its the figures for the following races which are important as they will show if people like what they saw & are willing to stick with it, Or if they were not so impressed & therefore not willing to keep watching.

          The 2nd round of Formula E got 66k viewers on ITV4, Thats a significant drop & suggests that Formula E hasn’t hooked people just yet. I don’t have the figured for round 3.

          I will say that I am slightly skeptical about the figures that Formula E are putting out, They say 40m watched the 1st race but I just don’t see that as been accurate (As the final paragraph of your linked article also suggests).

          1. @gt-racer
            Obviously it’s early days for FE so we’ve no idea what sort of audience it’ll manage to build & keep.
            I think a big factor in the UK will be what happens with F1, if the BBC decide to stop showing live races once the current deal expires & no other FTA network has the money to replace them it could make a FTA FE an attractive series for those unable or unwilling to pay for SKY.
            This may all be years in the future but as long as FE survives that long and manages a reasonable rate of development over the first few years it could build up a decent sized audience. Although I think we’re both old enough to know it could go the way of A1GP.

            1. @beneboy FE has FIA backing on top of manufacturer interest so I can’t see it going under completely.
              I have however heard that there are several of FE’s biggest investors including one of its founders currently looking to sell there respective shares in the series.

              With regards to FE’s FTA status, I can see that been dependent on viewing figures as ITV will need viewers to justify any continuing investment in the series & to ensure they keep advertisers interested.
              If FE doesn’t get viewers & keep them then ITV will be less likely to continue there involvement with the series & it woudl also make it less likely that other FTA broadcasters will pick it up.

              Its an interesting difference between FTA & PayTV, FTA broadcasters (Especially the commercially dependent one’s such as ITV) tend to be more focused with viewing figures, If something isn’t drawing a crowd then its less likely to be retained.
              With subscription & PayTV broadcasters they are usually less interested in viewing figures & more focused on subscriber numbers. If they feel something is bringing in subscribers or keeping people subscribed to there service then they will want to keep it, If they feel something isn’t adding anything & is just sapping resources & taking up channel time they will drop it.

              Thats a big part of why you get more niche sports on PayTV compared to FTA, They pay less to get the rights & then even a few thousand people is enough to justify the cost of buying the rights.

      2. @mateuss:
        Is it an unpopular sport? Or are you saying it’s unpopular because you don’t like it? I was under the impression that Formula E is doing reasonably well and that it’s on its way to establish itself in its own niche.

        1. @nase I like F-E quite a lot for what it can be, but it is not a sport since popularity contests violate the definition of sport. But I wan’t it to be a sport!

          Relatively speaking, F-E is not very popular at the moment and the satirical comment was based on the premise that fanboost will not allow F-E to reach it’s potential due to the above mentioned fact and that people who who like racing and people who enjoy x-factor and alike call what we love here “going around in circles” and don’t care for it. The overlap of these groups being relatively small.

          1. @mateuss I’ve watched all but one of the ePrix so far and think that it is an excellent form of entertainment. Whilst I would choose not to have fanboost if it was up to me, it hasn’t actually detracted from the racing as far as I am concerned. You say that it is a popularity contest and not a sport but are you aware of the impact of fanboost on the winners? Have any podium finishers in the first four races used fanboost to get there? Has fanboost had a significant impact on either the entertainment or outcomes?

            It sounds to me like you haven’t given it a chance because you don’t like the idea of it rather than because you actually don’t like it. I would say try it and you might like it, but then you’d have to be open minded and you don’t come across here as being that way inclined. From what I’ve seen and heard everyone who has watched it has enjoyed it.

            1. @jerseyf1 I’ve seen all the races. The cars, the racing is good. Qualifying for this race was impressive, good circuit for the cars.

              So what that the FB has had a lack of impact? Yes it does make it possible to cringe less while watching the races, but that does not add substance to the idea. Just as with double points (an idea that was unfair, but not unsporting, unlike fanboost), just because in the end the title winner was not affected by double points, does not make it a sound concept.

              We only had a few races so far, and it is only by fortunate circumstance that the winner of the last two races was not the decided by fanboost. This race Heidfeld got a drive-through and last race Verne’s car gave up.

              I keep a list of all pro-fanboost arguments I come across (couple people have said this one already), and this is is the only coherent one on the list. But that is much as I can say for it, because unfortunately it is self refuting. If “not affecting the results” is the measure, then surely no fanboost is greatly superior to fanboost by default.

              And I’ll also reiterate the fact that I’am very much in support of the series, I wan’t it to succeed and grow, but fanboost is a definite deal breaker. If the series decides to go the fanboost route, then fine, but I do hope they join the world of sports and stop being a joke.

    9. Why are other forms of motorsport ignored here and yet Formula E always seems to weasel it’s way in?

      I see today’s story mentions Vettel, but who cares? Vettel (like most real racing drivers who aren’t at the end of their F1 careers!) is vehemently opposed to this series. So am I. It’s not motorsport and it’s formula is a joke.

      A sad attempt to keep the series in the news since no one is watching the races.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
    If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.