Silverstone boss concerned over ‘processional’ F1

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In the round-up: Silverstone managing director Patrick Allen says F1 races are too processional and the rise Max Verstappen shows the cars are too easy to drive.


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Silverstone boss: I wonder if the F1 product is right for the fans? (James Allen on F1)

"What I see in F1 is a bit of a procession. How interesting is that? I wonder whether the technical directors should go on the podium because it’s all about the car."

Only true fight is with team-mate - Lewis Hamilton (ESPN)

"I think ultimately you will never have a true race unless you are driving the same car, because there is always going to be differences in the cars. We might have more power but they might be better on the brakes, we might be better at one circuit but they might be better at another."

Williams’ F1 team principal, Sir Frank Williams, will ‘never’ retire (The Guardian)

"Sir Frank Williams will remain in charge of the Williams Formula One team 'until we find him, one day, face down on the desk', according to his daughter Claire, the deputy team principal."

Force India: V8s can race against V6s (Autosport)

"Ot is 50 per cent cheaper for an engine which gives the same performance."

Mosley urges freedom incentive if cost cap is revived (Crash)

"With a crunch meeting looming to determine the direction of rules and regulations in the coming seasons, there are concerns that the mooted move to 1000bhp engines to improve the spectacle will have the adverse effect of further inflating costs that rose with the introduction of the current V6 Hybrid power units only last year."

Ex-F1 racer Surer injured in horse-riding accident (F1i)

"Former Formula One driver Marc Surer has suffered two broken ribs, a punctured lung and a broken leg in a horse-riding accident."

Formula One team to build R&D garage in Milton Keynes, joining Red Bull Racing in the city (MKWeb)

"Their intention is to develop a facility at Winterhill adjacent to their existing Mugen Honda unit that will house the main R&D function for their push into F1 engine technology advancement."

Lauda: The Untold Story in cinemas for one night only (Film news)

"Bulldog Film Distribution will release Lauda: The Untold Story in cinemas across the UK for one night-only on Thursday 2nd July 2015, with a special post-film Q&A beamed in live via satellite from Cineworld, Milton Keynes – near to one of the biggest homes for UK Motorsport racing, Silverstone – where the British Grand Prix will take place just days later."


Comment of the day

A considered response from @Polo on Mark Webber’s recent criticism of Formula One:

I should first say that I don’t really complain about F1 very often despite its flaws, that I am fine with the new engine sounds and that I still really enjoy watching F1, and that there are still many great races every season. However, I have to say that I agree with a lot of what Webber said. There’s just that special “something” that’s been missing from F1 over the past couple years.

I have watched back a couple of old races recently, ranging from from the 2000s to the 1980s. Even if a particular race is boring, you get that sense of awe just knowing that the cars are pushing the limit of what’s possible, that they are a giant step ahead of any other race car, and that the drivers are on the limit trying to tame the car. Watching a couple races from 1985, the race itself often wasn’t great, often with large gaps between the frontrunners and only 12 or so cars making the finish – the type of race that would be seen as horribly boring today. But despite that, I still found it very enjoyable just watching Senna drive his Lotus around in the wet, Nigel Mansell wrestling his Williams through high-speed corners, etc. just knowing that – even though aren’t as quick as modern day F1 cars – they were streets ahead of any other race car at the time.

I’m not saying that everything was better before, and of course there have to be regulations to control the speed of the cars in the interests of safety, but these days F1 cars don’t feel like they’re really that much more special than a LMP1 car, an Indycar, or even a GP2 car – heck Merhi even said that Renault 3.5 cars feel a bit better in the corners than F1 cars, and that you can “attack” much more while driving one. Plus, gimmicks like DRS further reduce the sense of awe when a driver pulls off an overtake.

These days it sort of feels like it’s mainly a just combination of the legacy, the brand status as “the pinnacle of motor-racing” and the engineering excellence that gives F1 an appeal over the other forms of racing. But with WEC challenging F1 for technological excellence, and with single-seaters such as Super Formula and now even GP2 getting very close to F1 in terms of lap times (often with better cornering speeds, just less powerful engines), you have to say that the “special something” that puts F1 on a pedestal above every other form of motorsport (the thing that kept grandstands full even during seasons with boring races) is ebbing away. I think that they key to reversing F1’s trend of falling audiences lies deeper than simply throwing in gimmicks to spruce up “the show”.


Michael Schumacher’s son Mick received most of the attention during last weekend’s German F4 curtain-raiser at Oschersleben, but also of note in the field was Chinese 15-year-old Guan Yu Zhou who is backed by Ferrari.

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On this day in F1

Sauber Mercedes team mates Jean-Louis Schlesser and Mauro Baldi repeated their success from the first race of the 1990 World Sports Prototype Championship by winning the second round at Monza on this day 25 years ago.

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124 comments on “Silverstone boss concerned over ‘processional’ F1”

  1. Word is from Jon Noble, on twitter, that the 2016 season won’t start until a week into April. I’m wondering if anyone else has heard anything, or heard of any reason why.

    1. Yes here in Australia it’s been announced that we will still get the opening round but it will be in April. Rather bazaar considering daylight savings has finished then and race will have to be earlier. Makes no sense to me.

      1. Oh no … I’ll have to wake up even earlier …

  2. Bulldog Film Distribution will release Lauda: The Untold Story in cinemas across the UK for one night-only on Thursday 2nd July 2015, with a special post-film Q&A beamed in live via satellite from Cineworld, Milton Keynes

    Seriously? RBR’s base?

    1. RBR aren’t based in Cineworld..

  3. That would be very interesting, having some teams run V6’s some running V8’s while others opting for V10’s or V12’s. That is the kind of freedom that is needed in F1 (of course it should be regulated, as any sport should be).

    I should mention that Patrick Allen is asking a very important question about F1’s product and whether it is a good product.

    1. I agree with multiple engine choice with 1 caveat, they would all need to have the same fuel usage regulation as the current PUs, otherwise there is no incentive for the manufacturers to develop PUs and we would likely revert to “bitzers” using highly modified production engines.

      1. I don’t think a fuel use regulation would work for matching PUs of different types. There tends to be a sweet spot on turbo size and number of cylinders that gives the best power to full consumption, so everyone would just end up using that combination. I suspect the V6 Turbo would end up being that best match.

        1. That maybe true but is no reason not to let others experiment with alternatives if they want to.

          1. It’s all nice and good to let people “experiment” but if you get it wrong it’s money burnt on your behalf,if you get it right it’s money burnt by others and the moaning would be overwhelming given they won’t catch up…Manufacturers would just agree behind closed doors to one solution!The engines are fine,the messed up thing was “forgetting” a cost cap to adhere to,simple as that,still can’t believe no one is proposing it;price the engines and stick to the price tag

          2. Lenny, a price cap is so simple a solution that it sounds to good to be true, and as always, if it sounds to good to be true, it ain’t true.

          3. pxcmerc (@)
            29th April 2015, 3:28

            Lenny, sigh. It’s one thing to take a risk and get it wrong, it’s another thing to be pushed out of competition by regulation. The benefits of public schooling and television….

            Ask yourself, how is it fair to be told to pay to lose? when you have no opportunities to try and turn something around because options are so drastically cut down by oppressive regulation. This is how the large manufacturers work in real life, by using government, and it’s not fair to the little guy.

          4. pxcmerc (@)
            29th April 2015, 3:41


    2. Total nonsense! It wouldn’t work since the V8 cars will need to start races with 50kg more of fuel to complete the race. That guy is trying to subdue FI’s competition at the back.

    3. I understand the appeal of “more freedom” but if one is longing closer racing, less freedom should be less risky. Allowing teams to build cars with less restrictions will probably lead us to the appearance of a even more dominant car crushing the rest of the field. In motorsports, closer racing is tightly correlated with machinery similarities, that’s why spec-series have more battles than F1 and F1 becomes more competitive towards the maturity of a set of specific rules, i.e., V6 Hybrid era (with stable rules) should be more competitive in year #4 than year #1.

      I watch F1 for over 20 years and I became a truly fanatic in late 1990s and I as far as I can remember, the sport has always been dominated by either one or two teams. Recently we had Ferrari, Renault/Ferrari, Ferrari/McLaren, Red Bull… maybe processional racing is part of this sport.

      1. @jcost, you seem to have forgotten the “Brawn” really dominant despite 2 other teams having the same design idea, but how long did it last ? Although I think aero is way too influential I appreciate the constant technological advances in F1.

  4. When was the last time there was a good news in F1?

    1. Malaya, Ferrari upgrade.

    2. @celeste Williams jumping six places and coming third in Constructors.

      1. purely because of engine, and this year maybe falling back into midfield no doubt.

    3. Lewis winning the last race

    4. @celeste
      Perhaps, a better question would be:
      When was the last time a “power that be” in F1 said anything positive about the sport publicly and stopped tearing it down for some reason or other???

      1. and or had a sensible idea.

  5. With all due respect but this Silverstone guy is talking crap!Things are going well for him and his employers so he thinks he cab just throw a random rant and be right…Yes the product as a whole has flaws but they certainly aren’t the competition or the technology!Things are very competitive on track with a very crowded midfield and underdogs every year whilst the technology is part of the appeal of F1;technical directors regularly go on the podium and Newey has more fans and gravitas than some of the drivers!Take away technology and your are left with an expensive GP2…He could have used this negative energy to lobby a healthier financial environment to host Grands Prix in Europe or something down those lines

    1. I think the point he was trying to make was that the drivers are not exploring the limits of their ability or of the cars ability, instead they are are driving to a computer generated plan that aims to keep them from having to actually battle for position on track.

      1. Yea I got that part but just can’t take him seriously as he had to throw in a cheap jibe to Verstappen;how hard must the cars be to drive for people to be happy?If they can’t be tamed then they are badly designed or drivers are idiots for not getting on top of them (despite that being their only damn job in the world).The whole “difficult to drive” thing is really annoying,it’s as if people expect the drivers to pull 4 muscles and brake 8 fingers just by touching the cars!The racing really isn’t that bad even with computer models: Nasr,Hulk,Perez,Ericsson,Maldonado and the midfield in general offer great racing every Sunday!In fact those guys are more entertaining than the frontrunners as even a single point counts for them.The problems lie in the bank not on track

      2. @hohum
        Well, battling for position is wasting you precious time, so unless there are only 2 cars on the track, they will always avoid battling if they can. The whole point is to get to the finishing line in the quickest way possible, not to have as many battles as possible.

        1. And therin lies the problem, why spend $500,000,000 to build a car whose purpose is to get to the end faster than another $500,000,000 car, when for $5. you can buy a pack of cards with the same purpose of getting to the end first.

          1. PS. Even with only 2 cars they would try to finesse a pass for the lead by pitstop.

          2. What are you even talking about… -.-“

          3. @lenny, What I am talking about is the difference between a sport as a gladatorial contest and a skills test like a time trial or a game of chance that includes a skillset, I think F1 should always be the former.

          1. @biggsy, @keithcollantine, Biggsy your posts are headed just “biggsy” where most of us are “Hohum ( @hohum )” I had assumed you were not a member until I remembered I had a mention from @biggsy, wonder if @anon is notified of mentions ?

  6. I wonder whether the technical directors should go on the podium because it’s all about the car.

    As it has been … literally ever? Look, we can all talk quaint about how supposedly back in the day it was so much more about the driver, but the fact remains that it’s bull. The best cars win championships. I cannot think of a solitary world champion that won their title with a car that was anything below third-best on the grid (and even that is rare – to put it into perspective, you can count the number of champions over the last 30 years that have won their title in a car that was generally considered inferior to another one on one hand). Motorsport is a sophisticated team effort where thousands of variables go into a result. If you want a man-to-man competition where solely your own skill matters, carve the track up and turn Silverstone into a giant boxing arena.

    1. Keke Rosberg. All of Nelson Piquet’s championships were won against contenders in equal or better cars. But I agree that these are the exception. It is normal for the best car to win in F1.

      1. Even then, it took rather exceptional circumstances for Keke to win the title given that Pironi, the man who lead the championship for most of the way, was sidelined with a serious accident.

        As for Piquet, I would strongly disagree with the statement that all of his championships were won with inferior cars – for a start, the Williams FW11B was considered to be the best car on the grid for the bulk of the 1987 season.

        1. Yes, and Mansell won twice the number of races Piquet did in that car, making it a 1-2 in the ’87 championship.

    2. “Nobody wins a Formula One race in a Fiat Panda”

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        29th April 2015, 10:28

        Escept Alonso on occaision

        1. Good laugh.

    3. @klon I disagree. While of course almost always the WCC winning car is what the WDC needed to win the season, this is about what challenge, or lack thereof, the drivers go through in getting there. It’s about the quality of the product, and right now it is more about monitoring systems than actually racing. Sure there are battles on the track here and there…problem is they are too often because of DRS, or stark differences in tire stages, not driver vs. driver battles with relatively equal circumstances. We have seen this year cars not able to get within 2 seconds of a car ahead without that very adversely affecting his tires…at a time when you need to get within a second to then use DRS. Something’s not adding up. If this phenomena is going to cause the dreaded processions we so loathed a decade and more ago, we might as well go back to those types of regs such that at least the processions would come with the knowledge that the drivers are on the edge, not just passengers monitoring systems.

      1. Another victim of Rosberg crying like a little girl…Just because it happened on one front-limited track doesn’t mean it will always happen!Drivers are still passing each other all the time and monitoring system is part of the game…If you were driving a multi-million pound prototype on the limit of what it is possible wouldn’t you check that everything is working as it’s supposed to every now and then?Only a stupid driver goes on track careless and thinking “FAST!ATTACK!FAST!ATTACK!”Also this difficulty thing is getting old!The cars aren’t easy to drive,rather the drivers do good job at making it look easy which is totally expected giving their salary and that it is their ful time job

  7. A whole lot of complaints lately and not enough solutions. It’s easy to criticize, but far more difficult to find the right answers. Not that the boss would consider any potential solutions anyway. What a hopeless era we are living through. Is this a complaint? lol

    1. @jarnooo – So true about complaints and solutions. And the solutions all tend to cost more money and may lead to yet other problems.

      From the longer view though I don’t think this era is hopeless or even that low of a point for F1. The world of F1 has been plunged into despair at least a few times and still survives.

      1. @bullmello, so many of the problems of F1 are actually ‘Fixes” put in place by Bernie to distract attention from the real problem, the river of money running out of the sport.
        “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

        1. @hohum

          If you have a close look at the financial problems the teams have. There are three main reasons for it.

          * That the spending capacity between the teams are to big.
          If you only take the top five teams bugets and this is just figures i heard
          Ferrari and Merc +- 500milj
          Red Bull and Mclaren +- 400milj
          Williams +- 180 milj
          This is wear F1 biggest problem is. That some teams can spend up to two to three times more then other teams. Untill this is fixed F1 will always have problems with teams that does not have enough money. Witch brings us to the second problem.

          The culture of teams to spend more money then they have.
          Yes i do under stand that because of the bigger teams that can run at a loss and smaller teams feel the need to spend more to be competitive. There are a fundamental problems with this practice. Th most important one is that under no circumstances is this practice viable. What allot of the teams for get is that you have to be in the sport to be competitive. The last point and the one ppl like the most.

          Bernie and CVC take to much
          This is actually the least of the of the tree problems that the smaller teams face in there financial troubles. Yes CVC does take more then they need to about 17%.
          But even if you do get Bernie to give the teams the 17% it will not solve the two other problems and F1 teams will still have the same financial problem for the smaller teams.

          1. Do you really think CVC and Co deserve near $500,000,000,pa for what they do or as a return on the $2.5 Billion Bernie sold out for, is that a fair return ? And the reason the payments are so skewed is because Bernie had to buy off the big teams in an effort to maintain the 50% of profits they had been taking.

          2. @hoham

            You can even go as far and say that you give all the profit to the teams and shear it equle between them. We will still have the same problem that we have now. See the problem will still be that some teams will have more money then others and this will force teams to spend money they do not have. Until F1 sort out the first two points i made it will always be the same thing. You will have to get the spending capacity of the teams closer and get the teams to work to words being profitable rater then results for the teams to survive financial. Please do remember as long as you give out more money then you have you will always be in trouble. If you have a 250milj budget and spend 300milj you make a loss of 50 milj the same goes for if you have a 150 milj and spend 200 milj you will make a loss of 50 milj. The team will still be in the same position. They will be financially in trouble.

      2. The on track stuff is actually quite good and has been the last few years. It’s the political and business side that is hopeless.

  8. Michal (@michal2009b)
    29th April 2015, 1:24

    I am watching F1 for almost 10 years now and found the races highly enjoyable. There were some boring races of course but I never complained about F1 overall as boring, just the opposite. Even 2013, a season dominated by Vettel it was quite fun to watch the cars despite tyre rows etc. No problem for me. But something went wrong in 2014. With these new V6s turbo engines the cars look like in slow-motion in corners, they are so tentitive, there is only good line there making it very hard to overtake without DRS/much better tyres. When played F1 2014 then F1 2013 Codemasters I noticed a big difference, it is flowing in 2013 unlike in 2014.

    I don’t care as much as someones on the engine sound but yes, for me the cars look clearly less spectacular. Even Alonso said in winter testing last year that these cars are much less challenging.

    Bringing back V8s? Do I want these cars back? Yes. Is it logical now? No.

    1. COTD – Bringing back V8s? Do I want these cars back? Yes. Is it logical now? No.

  9. Funny, one day the passing in F1 is too easy, the next day F1 is too processional.

    As a long time fan and observer of F1 I have seen a lot of different eras and still enjoy the show. Even the sideshow, all the off track stuff, is somewhat entertaining.

    I remember the truly processional races in the 2000’s. They weren’t all dull, but some did put me to sleep and it wasn’t all due to the early hour here on the west coast of the US. On the other hand, sometimes the DRS passing is too easy and predictable. Sure, it’s a trade off from processional races but that doesn’t always make for a happy medium. I guess that’s why we fans get so excited when drivers make difficult passes happen outside the DRS zones. It might be easy to see both sides, but what are the real solutions?

    Every possible solution to passing versus processions has a potential byproduct. More aero, less aero, smaller front wing, bigger/fatter/taller/shorter tires, ground effects, more HP, more torque, less turbulence/more turbulence… One solution will likely affect other areas leading to further solutions which will affect different areas which will, who knows? There is no perfect solutions that will create perfect competition or please everybody.

    Could things be better. Certainly. Doing away with DRS and promoting aero that will allow better passing around the track is far more important to me than a magic mythical HP number or artificial engine noise. But, that’s just my opinion. Consensus is hard to reach, especially amongst the teams, FIA and FOM. The largest issue is the lopsided business model of F1 favoring Bernie and CVC. Many other issues in F1 orbit around this huge seemingly irreparable boondoggle.

    Is F1 completely broken? Not by a long shot. There are still things to celebrate or reasons to at least keep watching. The field keeps getting faster season to season while in the same formula despite fuel and aero restrictions. The technology is amazing. The qualifying format is about the best it ever has been. Most drivers in the field are extremely talented. New talented drivers are still coming in. A new team is coming in 2016. Rumors of another team that could be coming into F1. Most important, there are still moments of great driving by great drivers at speed in wheel to wheel competition. We all still wish for more.

    There never has been a perfect era of F1. There have always been one thing or another to take away from possible perfection. Even though it could be tempting to consider the 60s as the golden era of Formula 1 it is tainted by the safety factor. I still lament the loss of my favorite driver ever, Jim Clark. And sadly, too many more besides him. I find F1 to be much more enjoyable in the modern, more safe era even though it is still far from being completely safe as we regrettably rediscovered last season with the tragic accident suffered by Jules Bianchi.

    I guess the whole point of this long winded post is that there will never be a Formula 1 to please everybody. Hopefully we can have F1 that will please as many people as possible. This could mean different things to different fans. Your milage may vary. Meanwhile the show goes on and I’ll keep watching and observing.

    1. @bullmello
      Excellent points, on all issues you mentioned!
      And it can never be said enough that the current commercial model is the core of most of the problems F1 is facing.

      One thing I’d correct you is that F1 should never aim to please as many people as possible, when it comes to sporting side of the things. F1 should figure out what’s best for itself in the long term and stick to it. Some will love it, some won’t, and that’s perfectly fine. After all, as far as the fans go, F1 is just an entertainment and as such, it isn’t something that is necessary in every person’s life, which is something that many seem to be forgetting.

      Where F1 should aim to please as many people as possible is in the way it interacts with fans and in a way in which it can be accessed and watched.

      1. Good point there biggsy: It is impossible to please everyone. However, attracting new fans while keeping the old fans is important. New fans will create more revenue for the sport (which it needs to stay alive financially) and replenish the older fans that pass away. I liken the fan base as a Keg of water with a leak trying to be filled with water if the rate of new fans increase faster than those leaving the sport then the fan base grows and more revenue comes in.

        Of course I could be talking complete nonsense here, lol.

      2. The best way to please the most people is with excellent racing. I think that’s what we all want. Might be different views on how to get there.

        1. @bullmello

          Might be different views on how to get there.

          That’s exactly my point. You can’t please everyone, so better just figure out what you think is the best way to go and stick to it.

          Just like that story of a man and his donkey. You’ll can’t please everyone.

    2. @bullmello, I agree with your points, and especially that there is not one Formula that will please everyone. What I find a bit worrying is that so many people in the sport are willing to criticize the ‘product’ recently. This latest rant by Patrick Allen is symptomatic of this. He makes a whole bunch of points, so a few are bound to have some merit, but most of them I think are rubbish.

      How I feel about the current formula: it’s a pity the cars are so slow, but taking off a lot of downforce for 2014 has probably improved the racing. Also, the current formula produces pretty decent qualifying speeds, and I think that is the area where the leading team Mercedes have made the greatest gains over the winter; over a race distances they have not proved quicker than last year yet.

    3. Great comment but I’ll do some nitpicking:

      The qualifying format is about the best it ever has been.

      One issue I have with it is that it’s very rare to have a mixed up grid (think Suzuka 2005 or Hungary 2006). I remember Vettel starting at the back of Abu Dhabi in 2012 but that’s hardly a ‘mixed up grid’. I wonder if there could be a way to add a (moderate) random element in qualifying.

      1. @paeschli, grid might be very mixed come September, especially if Renault find some power in the meantime.

  10. The difference between WEC and F1 is that the former sells itself by proudly showcasing its technology whereas the latter cant seem to go a full week without berating itself.

    F1 hates itself, how can it expect fans to love it?

    Are the races boring/processional now compared to 10 years ago? Its probably about the same in my opinion. However, the difference is DRS. In the past, we have seen close racing with the driver ahead having the ability to defend, and in some cases the defensive element was an art form. And when a pass did happen, it was often brilliant. Today, passing is pretty easy for a quicker car behind, but its proven to be not as straightforward when racing an equally competitive car. The scrap between the Mercs at Bahrain last year and Alonso-Vettel at Silverstone are good examples.

    If I had a choice, I would pick the 2004-2005 V10 with bucketloads of downforce. Why? Just like CotD says, you knew that they were streets ahead (probably more) of any racing car out there, and like Webber said yesterday, you needed balls to take the quick corners flat. I am still a big fan of F1 today, my interest has not waned in the 16 years I have been watching, but its always nice to see clips on youtube from a decade ago. To echo Webber again, I want an F1 thats a lot quicker than anything else out, I want drivers who need to go balls to the wall, I want it to be physical, I want higher cornering speed (Eau Rouge taken proper flat).

    1. If I had a choice, I would pick the 2004-2005 V10 with bucketloads of downforce.

      what would that solve @jaymenon?

      You still end up with everyone having the same homologated engines, and the high lvls of downforce just made it incredibly hard to follow other cars close to attack.

      Instead we would rather need to have DIFFERENT types of engine packages, just like WEC has, and then have something like the fuel flow limit to control the top power. AND we would need to have the teams actually showcase some of that technology to get fans excited about it (instead of trying to hide it as much as they can)

      1. Absolutely right @bascb, I remember the days when magazines had articles about F1 cars complete with cut-away illustrations.

      2. @bascb

        I am all for different technology. My choice was based on personal appreciation for the formula a decade ago, as it was well and truly miles ahead of any other racing machine in the world…thats what I want more than varying technology. The ideal situation would be to have varying technology that produces cars that are clearly quicker than any other category.

        1. sounds good (well, I certainly hope it would) :-) @jaymenon10

    2. F1 hates itself, how can it expect fans to love it?

      Well said.

    3. Agreed. Scrap DRS. There is a solution.

      DRS has made F1 a time trial, hence the guys on the computers watching a dot going around a snake having more influence.

      No more DRS!!! Please lord torment us no longer.

      1. DRS is not the issue. The tyres are.

        1. agreed, the tyres are a real problem, DRS is an unnecessary gimmick.

  11. About COTD. I agree. But I think it’s a problem that started right after they decided the V10s were no more.

    That day, at China in 2005, declared the end of the top of the shelf F1 car in my view. The V8s in 2006 were on the right track, but then they limited the rpms and froze their development. Basically we spent 8 years on borrowed time, using very old engines (no wonder they are so cheap and reliable compared to 2014 and beyond powerplants) and pushing the development of chassis more and more, until whatever HP you throw in the equation, the car just takes it comfortably.

    Add to that the need to save fuel and tyres and there you have it. A boring, unimpressive formula.

    1. So true, especially when you realise that the V8s were just V10s with 2 less cylinders and a conservative rev. limit imposed on them.
      I think the new engines are very impressive, pity they are all from the same virtual design regulations though, I still strongly believe that the designed to fail tyres and and the mandatory use of the non-optimal compound is the biggest deterrent to the drivers actually racing.

      1. @hohum For me, I don’t particularly mind designed to fail tyres, but I think it’s a little too much right now. If there was a way to design the tyres so that if they were pushed, they’d drop off about as fast as now, I think that would be ideal, giving the option of trying to save for one less stop, but it being about the same race time between each strategy. I think this can partly be achieved by as you rightly say, not forcing the drivers to have to run a particular tyre, and not forcing them to start on a particular tyre.

        I think if they could take these tyres, make them more durable but not quite 2010 style, make them not drop off when following the car ahead (I assume it’s a combination of the scrubbing on the track from increased under-steer due to turbulence and also the thermal deg), and make it so you can start on any tyre given, and not have to use both tyres (unless they change the rules to have 3 sets of tyres of soft, medium, hard and giving the option to use all of them).

        How do we make it easier to follow behind without destroying the tyres? Possibly use wider tyres to help stop sliding behind the cars, possibly make teams use a standard diffuser which helps reduce dirty air and possibly reduce the thermal deg as well. I wouldn’t want less downforce than what we have now because then cars would be getting a bit too slow. I would suggest ground effect but I have no idea if that’s viable and I’ve heard it could be dangerous?

        So, summation, tyre life somewhere between now and 2010, wider tyres, standard diffuser, freedom of tyre choice and then hopefully with all of this will potentially eliminate the need for DRS, or potentially just make it a hell of a lot weaker (honestly, don’t completely hate DRS, just think it’s too strong at the moment. People give DRS a hard time because it’s an unfair advantage to the car behind that the car ahead doesn’t get, but technically the car behind is the only car that gets slipstream anyway, so I see it as an enhancement of that. I just think it’s too much of an enhancement, and should be reduced by at least half).

        1. @philereid, Fair enough, but any amount of tyre degradation when pushed is a disincentive to defend or attack and I really don’t think they can make tyres that don’t degrade faster when downforce is lost due to following close to another car.
          Ground effects, used to be considered dangerous due to potential sudden loss causing cars to go airborn but I believe now that it can be safe because:
          A: Aerodynamics are so well understood that cars no longer suffer from “lift”
          B: Track run-off areas are so large and drivers so well protected.

  12. Season opening AGP in April 2016;
    Knowing Bernies scruples, he has manoeuvered the organisers into a later date without an unbreakable obligation for it to be the season opener and is negotiating a windfall opener elsewhere.

    1. @hohum A few years back Bernie pushed to the start time back to cater for world audiences and there was even talk of lights for Albert Park so the world could watch. Daylight savings ends on April 3rd 2016 the proposed day of the race. As you mentioned there is more to this than meets the eye.

      1. @funkyf1, I reckon, hope Bernie doesn’t sue me for libel because I suggested he had scruples.

  13. if/when Red Bull/Renault and McLaren/Honda catch up to within 200/300sec of Merc and Ferrari, will the complaints still keep coming?
    yeah they will because the posters driver is not winning.
    just leave it how it is right now and let the others catch up, shut Berrie up and stop posting stupid rants that cause more confusion.
    Merc can only stretch the rules so far, Ferrari have made progress and will slowly add 100th of a sec to their car till it is near or the same as Merc,
    the others will make progress, depending on resources and money as to how long it takes to catch up,
    then we should have a race and the best driver with best strategy will win,
    changing the rules continually is no help in making F1 competitive.

  14. Engine issues can’t be solved by bringing back V8’s… only thing needed is to increase power and reliability of the current engines… and allow for a common ERS supplier. And allow only 2 engines for the entire season. this can be done by increasing the fuel flow limit and the engine capacity, so we can have 1000 hp + ERS power.

    1. will still sound crap, and will still be disparity between manufactureres because of homologation.

  15. British reigning world champion in a car that will no doubt allow him to be there-or-there-abouts in his chances of poling/winning at Silverstone.

    Sorry. But as a marketing guy, if you can’t sell that ‘product’ to home fans, then you’re in the job wrong.

    1. And that’s the thing – he might be complaining but, if ticket sales are 26% higher and revenues 20% higher than 2014, which was in itself a record breaking year for Silverstone, it seems that the product is perfectly capable of selling itself. Furthermore, it’s also strange that he criticises the technical nature of the sport given that the sophistication of the cars has traditionally been one of its selling points.

  16. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    29th April 2015, 4:16

    It’s a shame there’s all these high profile people damaging F1’s brand by constantly talking it down and saying how terrible it is, because behind all the political rubbish there’s actually been some pretty good racing!

  17. Besides everything that’s wrong inside of it, one of F1’s biggest problems right now is its image. It’s still seen as a pinnacle of sorts I suppose, but an increasingly tarnished one. Ron Dennis might be right in saying that if can’t afford it, don’t try. I dunno. But when was the last time we heard anyone with any real influence in F1 talk about encouraging innovation, developing talent, or seeking out proper race tracks. There’s a weight to words, and F1’s stakeholders are putting all the weight in the wrong places. No wonder sponsors are hard to come by and audiences turn away. At least Force India are lobbying for some things to shake up the sport. Maybe everyone’s just waiting for Bernie to shuffle on. Too many vested interests. Not enough sport.

  18. F1 was always going to be processional as soon as some intermittently-bright spark decided decided we should have tyres that prevented drivers from pushing hard and taking risks, sure Canada 2010 was exciting but that’s because it was unpredicted and unplanned. How can you try to design excitement like that? If you know your tyres won’t last you plan you race accordingly and thus loose the 1 thing your trying to create in the first place

    Combine boring races with the switch to pay TV and it’s no wonder f1 is in the crisis it finds its self in with falling race attendance, decreasing TV ratings and a lack of willing sponsors

  19. Interesting article on Fox Sports about how Hakkinen’s F1 career came to be. Long story short, James Hunt decided not to got to the pub!

  20. I am getting sick of this talk about f1 being processional or boring, or how awful fuel and tyre saving are. They’ve been doing these things for the last 30 years, yet everyone talks about it likes it’s something new and totally different to the old days. It seems to me that a lot of people have either a short memory or an alterer motive when it comes to bringing these things up. And I refuse to get caught up (other than now) or read articles for that fact about stupid complaints someone’s making just to suit there agenda. Is it the falling fan base, the lack of sponsorship, I don’t know, perhaps it’s just your god damn complaining that turns people off!

    1. Forgive my terrible grammar.

      1. Your grammar is forgiven, it’s the totally wrong “facts” that make your post unforgiveable.

    2. Really brogan?

      Name 1 season pre 2010 where f1 parts were intentionally designed not to last as until the end of a race?

      F1 is a sprint race, not an endurance event

      It speaks for it’s self, when grandstands are half empty, TV raitiings are falling obviously sponsors are not going hand over millions for little in return

      I’m 38, I’ve been watch f1 on and off for about 28 years and YES, apart from the odd overtake move now a days, F1 is a mere shadow of its former self with little excitement on track except maybe some one with better tyres battling to get past some one else who has zero chance of coming back at them when they do

      1. I’m 38, I’ve been watch f1 on and off for about 28 years and YES, apart from the odd overtake move now a days, F1 is a mere shadow of its former self with little excitement on track except maybe some one with better tyres battling to get past some one else who has zero chance of coming back at them when they do

        Well, I’m 53, and my first GP as a fan was Argentina’s GP in 1973, and Emerson Fittipaldi was my first hero. And I agree 100% with your post and with the COTD. I remember Piquet arguing with Emerson that in 1972 the drivers were NOT on the limit the whole race, while in the 80′, according to Piquet, the car and the driver were driving at the maximum limit every lap. I remember Clay Regazzoni driving a Ferrari in Monza (1974?) and watching the race on TV and seeing Regazzoni leaving the Parabolica and each subsequent turn with the car all over the place even with those monster rear tires, lap after lap after lap, testing the limits. Or Piquet overtaking Senna with his Williams Honda (monster 1.000 HP in quali) drifting at full speed…
        So, in 20 or 30 years, what are you going to remember from 2014-2015 Formula 1?

    3. @Brogan No they have not been doing these things for 30 years. The degree of tire monitoring particularly has never been this extreme. Never had this overwhelming influence to the point of preventing drivers from actually racing in the pinnacle of racing. When you can’t get within 2 seconds of the car in front without not only ruining your tires but your resultant whole race strategy which was based on a computer model, then there’s a problem with the product of the type that hasn’t existed before. The racers are not allowed to race but rather are there to conserve and not race other than for very brief little windows of tire life, or when they have enough fuel and brakes such that a bit of pushing is allowed briefly. Pushing within very restrictive confines that is.

      1. Instead we had the era of high downforce and refuelling, where all a driver would do is sit behind his lighter rival and wait for him to pit before putting in some fast laps and leapfrogging him in the pits, super exciting those days….

        1. Wass, that is the truth that Brogan totally missed, and why did we have re-fuelling ? because Bernie thought it might improve the show.

  21. Here we go again. F1 is too easy because Verstappen is successful. Was football too easy when Johan Cruijff debuted at the age of 16? Was tennis too easy when Boris Becker won Wimbledon and Martina Hingis became nr 1 at the age of 16? Was basketball too easy when Andrew Bynum debuted in the NBA at the age of 18? No, it says more about the abilities of the teenager than about the sport itself.

    1. Or, in a closer comparison, we had a 16 year old competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year – is Le Mans too easy now if a 16 year old can compete in it?

      1. Thank you

        1. @matthijs I disagree. Football, basketball, and tennis haven’t changed. What changed with the youth you have cited is that they were special as you’ve said. MV, in some people’s opinion is so special as well, that he is in F1 at this age…but they have already changed that rule. These are high speed machines that can kill, and nobody dies in the sports you have cited. It is about a maturity level as well as an image. F1 uniquely requires highly expensive and technical equipment that there should be a perception of that not just anyone with little experience can just hop in a fly around a track. That’s not to say I have any issue with Max and I think he is likely special, but investigate the reasons they have already changed the age rule and the requirements to get into F1 and you’ll see why this is unique vs. the sports you have cited.

          1. Agreed, but 18 is not a huge change from 17 1/2.

          2. @robbie

            These are high speed machines that can kill, and nobody dies in the sports you have cited.

            Although it’s true, it’s not the point I was trying to make. It is about whether F1 is too easy if a 17-year-old can be successful. I’s not about the dangers of the sport.

            F1 uniquely requires highly expensive and technical equipment that there should be a perception of that not just anyone with little experience can just hop in a fly around a track.

            Raikkonen had less experience in cars than Verstappen when he debuted. And Button, Senna, Brundle all debuted straight from F3, so that’s not special too.

            I am not saying that it’s ‘normal’ what Verstappen did, I’m saying it does not automatically means that there is something wrong with F1. Verstappen is a very dedicated athlete en very well prepared for the job. He just happens to be 17.

  22. Maybe Mosley does have a point… what if the only restrictions are financial (capping), dimensional (and safety) and engine power and consumption?…. we would then see some interesting and innovative designs: different (and I believe) beautiful looking cars. However I do understand the difficulty in ensuring that the budget cap is really being observed by everyone.

  23. Most of the best F1 races in recent years were when safety car gets in about 20 laps to the end.Then every tactic is GONE and with all drivers using that period for new tires only then we have proper race without “manage tires,manage fuel,manage brakes” and similar bs. There is very,very little proper racing in today’s F1 and i must admit that watching races from 86′ with pause on that dreaded M.S. 2-3 years total domination period i feel i could take pause again.
    Btw is LH a car champion now just like Vettel was before or is it LH skillz?Because Vettel in all of his 4 titles never ever had any car compared to 2014 Merc.And this year it will be little difference.I am 100% convinced that Merc is hiding some of it’s performance after Australia uproar.Yeah Ferrari IS closer then last year but Merc will still win every race with “normal” conditions and not extreme heat like it was on Malesya race.Last year Merc could lap anyone on the field if they wanted,this year they can’t but they are still miles ahead and we will see that back in november.That is why Alonso left red car.He was second too many times and if he stayed he would still be second and he is not interested in that anymore in his age.That is why he took gamble and i hope it will pay off in 2016 or 2017.

    1. one more thing.It is evident that because of this year noses it is again very hard to follow car ahead and try to overtake without destroying front tires.I predict that this year will be much worse racing wise then any on the previous 3-4 years. Solution is VERY simple and only blind people can’t see it,wider cars,wider tires,less wings and more mechanical grip.Then we will have racing even with these tires.Even better,we wouldn’t need these failing tires to get artificial racing like we have now.

      1. Wider tyres…. Thank you, someone out there agrees.

        No DRS, less aero, wider more durable tyres. It really is that simple.

        1. Yeah and then the lap times will be even slower and folk will be complaining yet again….

          1. I think @dex022 and @john-h have it right.

            Yes, we’ll have to balance out the reduced downforce by letting them have quite a bit wider AND better tyres along with more fuel/power for the engines.
            But it would be similar or even quicker laptimes with much more overtaking and therefore more interesting racing.
            And the drivers would literally have to be fighting the cars more so everyone could stop complaining that F1 is now too easy.

          2. Why will the lap times be slower? It depends on how wide the tyre is and how much you reduce the aero. I don’t get your comment at all.

        2. Slowly but surely the tide is changing and people are beginning to see past what happened to Kimi when he went from a podium position to midfield on the last 2 laps.

  24. Nothing is relevant, you’re just copying what Martin Brundle mentioned with no evidence to back it up. Tell me then how did Bottas manage to catch and overtake Massa in Malaysia of all places whilst running a similar strategy? Myth busted….

    1. Massa run out of tires there and he had 3-4 second longer last pit stop that is why Bottas manage to catch him.When you are trying to go 0.5 sec faster per lap in same car you destroy these tires.Massa had at list 7-8 laps cushion if not for Williams doing terrible pit stop.

      1. So basically the slow pit stop closed them up, Massa’s tyres certainly didn’t hit the cliff so basically it was a case of a slightly faster Bottas doing the so called impossible this year….

        1. Eh no,Massa did enough to be in front but i presume he didn’t count for 6 sec or whatever slow pitstop that will put him in danger.Anyway he was holding off Bottas very good until his tires hit cliff during that pressure.If he didn’t have bad pitstop there would be no fight at all or he would have just enough tires to fend him off because fight would happened many laps later towards the end.

          1. His tyres didn’t hit no cliff, the battle was very tight between the pair. If he’d had hit the cliff it would have been like taking candy from a baby for Bottas which wasn’t the case.

  25. I really like the COTD. F1 has always been more than entertainment, passes and “action” to me. Even when I was a kid, I was able to appreciate different aspects of the sport so even the “boring” races were often fun. The point is that F1 does not have to be the most exciting show in the world and it does not always have to deliver “thrilling” races but it needs to be the pinnacle of the motorsport and more standing starts, passes, lead changes, pit stops and artificial excitement will not ensure that.

    Of course, if F1 wants to have full grandstands and millions of viewers, then fans need to be entertained but I think you can still do that without harming F1 as a sport. Sparks, F1 fans forums, featured events at the races, better TV coverage and Kvyat “teaching” Ricciardo Russian are only a few examples, there is so much more F1 could to entertain fans without turning the racing itself into farce.

  26. The only thing wrong with F1 is everyone at the top trying to fix things that weren’t a problem until they tried to fix it. I don’t think they’ll be happy unless every single person on Earth watches every race. By trying to attract non fans they are turning off the fans. who cares if it’s a procession now and again? There alwayshave been and always will be.

  27. ColdFly F1 (@)
    29th April 2015, 11:40

    A big driver behind the negative press around F1 is right before your eyes.

    I see a lot of comments about what is wrong today and used to be better. Maybe this is the ‘rose coloured glasses’ or it might be the internet.
    It seems that the more people are able to share their opinion, the more you see negative comments. It is probably human that we (including me) share more often a negative thought than a positive one. I do not think that people are more critical than in the past. But before the internet there was no simple way to share when you disagreed with something (sent in letters in the magazine/newspaper). But now with the internet, and especially since blogs like this allow (uncensored) comments, you see a lot of discontent and critical views.

    On a positive note. I’ve been a big fan of F1 since ‘forever’, and IMO racing has been great in the past, and similarly racing is great today. It has always fluctuated, and there are things I would change, but that is as much true today as it was in the past.

    1. A HUGE +1

      I was thinking the same thing. Of course, I took a more negative path and complained about the complainers below LOL

    2. @coldfly There are people on here that have been very vocal about things like DRS for the last 4 years and we are not going to lie down and accept it. We are going to fight and continue to comment on how it is ruining the sport we have loved for the past 24 years in my case. The fact we care about these things should not be treated as negativity just for the sake of it… that is patronising what are genuine concerns that those at the top are more concerned with gimmicks such as DRS and purposefully degrading tyres to replicate a single race in Canada every time, than the long term interests of the ‘sport.’

      I’m standing up for all those that are concerned and being told on here to be quiet. Well, we aren’t going anywhere. We are the negative voice… the product of the internet… So be it. We love F1 and therefore care about it, and will keep on voicing our discontent at DRS until we are blue in the face!

      Ok, I’ve calmed down now. Had to be said… sorry.

  28. I can’t understand why so many people keep mentioning the V8s as some sort of solution. Firstly, and most importantly, the V8s of a few years ago were artificially cost capped by an agreement which saw manufacturers selling them at a loss. They were only cheap because manufacturers agreed to sell them cheaply. There’s no reason why anyone would deliberately sell these engines at a loss today.

    Second, the V8s were neither reliable nor powerful enough to compete with the modern V6s. A V8 competing with the current V6 engines would have to be developed significantly before it would meet the reliability requirements, and get anywhere close to matching the power output (and that’s without factoring in the massive torque difference).

    Third, the V8s were incredibly inefficient compared to the V6s, which means that they wouldn’t be able to achieve the 100kg of fuel in a race which the current rules mandate. Even if you did allow them to run more fuel, that’d mean cars running a V8 would start a race carrying (at least) 50kg more than any of the V6 runners, making them extremely uncompetative.

    Put bluntly, compared to the V6s, the V8s are utterly hopeless. A car running a V8 would be miles off the pace, and would run out of fuel at barely over half race distance. And even if you could work out solutions to these issues, you’d still have the cost issue, as they’d be barely any cheaper than the V6s. The suggestion that you could solve anything by running developed versions of the old V8s is, frankly, utterly idiotic.

    1. Yep @mazdachris V8’s would need a larger fuel tank and a totally different car which would cost a huge amount to develop. Anyway Toto says none of the engine manufacturers is interested in making a V8 and why wouldn’t we believe him. They just need the engines to be sold to teams at a lower price.

      Then all they need to do is wait for the usual process of catchup, which is happening already. Every change they rush through will simply delay that process.

  29. Silverstone Boss…blah blah blah…bad mouthing Formula 1….blah blah blah…too quiet…blah blah…too slow….blah blah…to easy to drive…blah blah.

    Gee, yet another dimwit in charge of promoting F1 or some portion there of…publicly talking bad about it. I wonder where DO these fans get their negative feelings from? SMH :(

  30. On a side note, all the controversy around F1 (thank you Bernie!) is one of the reasons why I love following F1. Even if the race is boring, we always have something to talk about here on F1Fanatic.

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