Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Mercedes wants early decision on 1,000bhp engines

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2015In the round-up: Mercedes’ executive director Toto Wolff says the manufacturer is open to increasing F1 engine power levels by increasing the maximum fuel flow rate but says a decision needs to be taken soon.

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

Wolff fears being ‘run over’ regarding 2017 rules (F1i)

"We are pretty easy on the fuel flow. If you increase the fuel flow because there are arguments in favour of it, more power and more noise, then this is one of the tools you can use but clearly increasing the fuel flow means redesigning crucial and major bits and pieces of the engine. So we need to know earlier than later."

F1’s 2016 season to begin in April – the latest start since 1988 (The Guardian)

"Formula One’s 2016 season will begin in April at the Australian Grand Prix and will be the latest start to the championship since 1988."

Baku grand prix set for July slot (Autosport)

"Formula 1's newest grand prix in Baku looks likely to get a July date next year as part of a tweaked 21-race 2016 schedule being considered by the sport's bosses."

Die Rennen sind langweilig geworden! (Bild - German)

Former F1 driver Timo Glock says the sport has become boring and is dominated by whoever spends the most money.

F1 Reveals That It Sponsors Young Drivers (Forbes)

"From time to time, we sponsor GP2 and GP3 drivers to encourage the development of the sport in key markets."

Where is Whitmarsh now? (MotorSport magazine)

"Ron told me what he was going to do and within five minutes I’d walked out of the building."

McLaren: New approach has transformed upgrade success (F1)

"Over the last couple of seasons, the team slightly lost its way aerodynamically. It became obvious that if we'd carried on with the previous concept, there'd only be so much we could achieve."

Audi: Motoring giant 'has no plans to enter Formula 1' (BBC)

"The current situation is that Audi definitely has no intention to enter F1."

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Comment of the day

Mark Webber’s recent assessment of F1’s problems provoked a lot of discussion:

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 ten years ago? It’s 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 Mercedes 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 the Comment of the Day 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).
@JayMenon10

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On this day in F1

Damon Hill moved into the lead of the championship 20 years ago today by winning the San Marino Grand Prix. It was the first F1 race held at the remodelled Imola track following the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger the year before.

Here’s the start of the race:

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  • 106 comments on “Mercedes wants early decision on 1,000bhp engines”

    1. Timo Glock should get lost!And good on Brundle for that tweet of acknowledgement…He might afterall reconsider that idiotic school of thought that says these cars are easy!Less aero winglets,less downforce,more torque,no active suspension,no FRIC,no coaching, no traction control,no launch control,wheel locking at every corner,30 buttons on the wheel,energy storage and deployment management…Yea the cars are REALLY EASY HUH?A piece of cake LOL!Hope good old Martin didn’t soil his pants or bin it somewhere on track

      1. By the way just in case it isn’t clear as much as it looks like Webber makes sense IMHO he’s also contradicting his own words…It’s all well and good to take a corner flat out in 2005 when the cars were planted rock solid to the ground via incredible downforce,tyre war-spec tyres and traction control!The mid 2000s cars were yes faster,definitely louder but utterly soulless and super easy to drive,the only physicality they had was making drivers’ neck more sore,that’s it

        1. Didn’t they also have traction control?

          1. Yes. Never liked it. Always thought traction control was the driver’s job. Sure it made the cars easier to drive. Not like now with traction control outlawed and substantially more torque.

            How is it easier to drive the cars now (allegedly) when it is hardly possible to through through Eau Rouge flat out?

          2. Sorry about double post, was trying to reply to @bascb

            Yes. Never liked it. Always thought traction control was the driver’s job. Sure it made the cars easier to drive. Not like now with traction control outlawed and substantially more torque.

            How is it easier to drive the cars now (allegedly) when it is hardly possible to through through Eau Rouge flat out?

            1. seems the end of the comments section is a bit buggy for us there @bullmello, I replied to @lenny, but it also got posted as a seperate post.

              Agree on what you say about traction control. If there’s something that really made their jobs too easy, it was not having to bother to correct slip and spin etc. I think this year with the added downforce, it will be a bit easier again then we saw last year, when the cars clearly had enough grunt out of the corners to make it a tough job.

            2. @bascb – Yep, the replies are wonky. Anyways, I like it when it is difficult coming out of corners with too much grunt. More fun for sure.

              Also, remember automatic transmissions?

            3. Its not for nothing that the images of the driver gripping the gearstick and fighting it while driving the car make for such tense moments in good motorsport movies @bullmello.
              Yes, automatic transmissions are great, and makes it easier (also because you don’t have to worry about a bad shift cooking the engine) on the car, but it really is not the thing we need in a sport (or entertaining show).

        1. It sure starts off in a promising way:

          Formula One can’t solve it’s own problems because the people who bought their way into the decision making process all have their own agendas.

          kudos @SomersF1!

          Making some very good points in there, especially highlighting where instead of turning its back to progress, F1 could do far more with the hybrid road it entered.

          1. Thanks, you know me, try to sit on the fence as much as I can and be objective. That’s what the sport needs to progress though, no point wagging fingers and saying it needs to be this, that or the other unless you have the research to back it up. The sport should fund a TWG that can actually prove how to make racing close as I remarked in the article IMO.

    2. Getting really tired of all these old people and drivers moaning how F1 isn’t as good as it used to be and how back then everything was better.
      As someone who has been following F1 for over 20 years, I can tell you that at least as far as the engines (power units) go, I have never been too interested in them until the introduction of these new ones.
      As far as the racing goes, it has been a nightmare for overtaking from the moment they realized the power of aerodynamics and started using it. I remember hearing about dirty air well before either Webber or Glock raced in F1.
      And while we are at Glock, I don’t remember when it wasn’t about the money? Probably the last time you could challenge for title without big budget was back in the 70s.
      Going back to the 80s, there’s one absolute truth in F1: Money doesn’t guarantee success, but the lack of money guarantees the lack of it.

      1. Glock probably wishes that the winner was the highest spender at the time he was in a Toyota…

        1. @tango, you couldn’t have said it better. These old “has been” or shall we say “also ran” come across as bitter old hacks when subjected to slightest bit of scrutiny. Toyota’s legacy in F1 will be that they spent an obscene amount of money and failed miserably.

          Webber claiming overtaking has become too easy is just a joke considering he sucked at it so badly. He also made a comment about “Vettel would get lapped 3 times” when talking about the relative pace of the early 2000 downforce monsters that benefited from refueling. If Vettel got lapped 3 times that would mean Webber would have been lapped at least 3.5 to 4 times haha!

          1. I dont know what planet you have been living on but Webber has perfomed some amazing passes in his career. Just not on Vettel.

        2. I was thinking exactly the same. It seems he’s longing for the day when there was spending was possibly even higher and yet more likely to be a complete waste in terms of results. Was there a less successful manufacturer team than Toyota, besides Jaguar? Honda at least got a win after taking over BAR.

      2. Oh – +1 dear sir, +1

    3. Mercedes should sign Lewis to drive for free. He’ll be grateful once he’s older, since there will be less cringe-worthy pictures over which he’ll be asking himself what was he thinking.

      1. You’re assuming that he will one day mature.

    4. Glock, Webber, ZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZz, oh just like their driving in F1.

    5. Why would anyone think Audi would be interested in F1. If the VW group was to enter F1 it would always be with the VW badge. Usually high end motoring brands can’t afford to enter F1 nor actually promote their high end cars via a formula car. Bentley, Bugatti have recently fielded some prototype cars at LeMans but not that much in F1, both brands renown for exquisite car design and luxury, F1 simply requires a different vision as it tends to give out an unique reflection marketing wise. Ferrari works out in f1 because it has the backing of Fiat nevertheless Ferrari tried always to be a full on racing manufacturer. Talking VW, the warring company has Audi doing DTM and LeMans alongside Porsche and VW doing the messy WRC championship. One could say that having 2 companies of the same group at LeMans means that one is going out, I say they are just making numbers. VW may be on the way out of WRC anyway but they may find F1 their new challenge after Dakar and wrc. I hope if VW is doing F1, they won’t end up with their F3 rate of success, as only the poor drivers have to race with VW engines or the ones running the RedBull backing.

      1. VW is quite literally the commonman car, Audi and Lamborghini are the brands under that umbrella that have a history in F1

        BTW, what Bugatti prototype has run Le Mans recently ? the EB110 ran 1994-1996, but that was a GT

        1. @uneedafinn2win @matt90 That’s exactly what I meant. F1 is more suited to “commonman cars”. Yes Bugatti wasn’t a prototype, my mistake. Anyhow Bentley Aston Martin, Jaguar, Porsche, Bugatti, all couldn’t really finance an F1 team on their own but are well renown for luxury all competed regularly at Le Mans. Jaguar and Porsche were not racing on their own budget, TAG and Ford respectively a fake situation branding is important look at the current Lotus team. Matt90 how on earth can VW justify £300 million on an F1 venture? There’s no return for Bugatti they need no publicity, VW doesn’t even make profit with the veyron. It’s not the Bugatti of old.
          @jimbo Yes that’s true, Merc is on par with Audi but they have a monopoly already, they wouldn’t taint their LeMans success.

          The F1 boom in the late 70’s attracted the top car manufacturers, rather than just racing teams or luxury brands. Renault,Ford, Honda, BMW, Peugeot are proof of that. There were other ventures Lamborghini was in F1 but this was financed by their parent company at the time Chrysler which is now linked with Fiat and therefore Ferrari.

      2. @peartree

        Audi is equivalent to Mercedes brand wise and are more direct competitors in the market place.

      3. VW’s motorsport pedigree would suggest otherwise to me. With their involvement largely historically limited to the lower single seater categories and production-based categories, something like F1 seems less fitting. Bugatti feels like the only brand besides Porsche who would really make sense to me.

        Bugatti have certainly not recently fielded prototypes.

    6. Baku for the European GP? I seriously had to look up where that was (forgive my horrible geography). Wonder where the next GP will end up in….

      Condensing the season I don’t have a problem with, however getting upgrades to the car if races are held every week might be an issue.

    7. Agree with COTD as far as “Eau Rouge should be taken flat”. As recently as 2013 people were complaining that because Eau Rouge could be taken flat it was too easy, etc etc. The rule of thumb is that whatever the situation now is, it’s wrong.

      1. Perhaps we should just be grateful that we still have Eau Rouge.

        1. Given how much residents near the Spa track have complained about the noise, the V6 engines may actually keep Eau Rouge around a bit longer (and the rest of the circuit).

          1. amen to that @Grat

        2. We dont really have Easu Rouge. The acres of tarmac run off mean there is no reward for accuracy. If you get it wrong you can just run out onto the non track part of the tarmac and keep it flat. The greatest corner in the world does not even have an edge. Pointless.

          1. I hate to be pedantic, but Eau Rouge is the right-hand flick at the bottom of the hill that passes over the Eau Rouge river.

            The neutered corner is Raidillion, which immediately follows it.

            1. @optimaximal i always thought raidillion was the left-kink at the crest of the hill.

            2. @frood19 It is. It’s also the part where they added the run-off, because people caught out by the sudden lightening of the car as it crested often ended up in the gravel trap. Eau Rouge is just as tight and fast as it has always been. They can’t do much with the corner because of the bridge under it and the trees to the left of it, ’94 chicane not withstanding…

              People often miss-attribute Eau Rouge as being both the corner at the bottom of the hill and the crest at the top, because both of them together form the challenge… Ploughing down hill, fighting both vertical compression and G-forces as the car changes direction, before cresting Raidillion and having the car go light as the down-force lifts from the aero package.

      2. It’s definitely too easy if Verstappen goes through it flat.

        1. why, because hes young? He has been driving fantastically so far as good as if not better than the majority of the rest of the grid, plus people his age tend to be more daring so why would if he can go flat it’ll be too easy, if a Manor is flat then its too easy is more like the case

    8. So we’ll have 21 races and the first one will be in April (at least two weeks later than this year)? Boy, is it going to get hectic. That’s 21 if Bernie doesn’t get any ideas of dropping Spa or Monza or other entertaining venues in favor of OilGP somewhere..

      1. omarr-pepper
        30th April 2015, 2:05

        @gicu Well, it could be Bernie’s old trick, as when he put Korea in these year calendar to make Germany pay for the spot. It didn’t work in the end. Now he will have Baku, and hence he has increased the calendar to 21 rounds, knowing that if Monza doesn’t pay, he can say “well, I’m not dropping Monza because they don’t pay, but the teams have complained about the tight schedule, so one (Monza) needs to go”, blaming others for his greedy mind.
        But the Oil money is everywhere. I don’t follow soccer so much, but today I got surprised to see both Barcelona and Real Madrid are sponsored by Qatar and Fly Emirates. So the sports are always trying to lure the money payers.

    9. Timo Glock should get lost!Good on Brundle for that acknowledging tweet…He might afterall have finally noticed that these cars are a real handful!No aero winglets,less downforce,huge torque,no active suspension,no FRIC,no traction control,no launch control,no ABS,no driver coaching,30 buttons on the wheel plus energy storage and deployment management…Beyond me where people find the nerve to belittle the cars,their speed and the drivers ability!The engines are uber modern but the chassis are less sophisticated than what any of these old farts drove in their day.Its a miracle they r only 2-3% slower

      1. In reality the whole thing is just as honest as FIA WEC, or for that matter NASCAR or IndyCar bashing F1 as the start of a promotion of how great racing in the DTM is.

        As if that series isn’t about incredible money being thrown at it and being in the right team just as F1 (or Nascar or Indycar, even despite the chassis being the same). And the racing hasn’t been all that great in DTM either in recent years.

        But what I think is a positive about the article, is the amount of coverage they are doing, I think F1 would greatly profit from such an in depth weekend of following a Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Button, Ricciardo or Kimi. I think even following some of the less known teams/drivers like this would be great (something to fill that empty schedule with during the week Sky!).

    10. omarr-pepper
      30th April 2015, 2:10

      #Every #word #I #say #must #be #preceded #by #a ##. ######

      1. Hamilton (as much as I like him as a driver) get’s far too carried away with #’s.

        1. So you’re saying you need a #hashtag filter?

          1. Nope, never said that at all.

      2. Your musings are better? You have a unique and skilled use of language that we have no knowledge of and thus need to be educated on by you?

        Or are you just over here from another site well known for its inability to moderate offensive tripe about one of the best in F1? Generally none of which have anything to do with F1 or racing?

        Honestly who gives a sh%t!

        The guy races and races very very well – in fact better than many who came before and very likely after him.

        So can we stop acting like we are viewing his and others performance through a lifestyle magazine and critiquing his choices as if you somehow have better taste! He has lived his youth through a microscope. How were you at 23? Or 30?

        He is paid to win races – he does that brilliantly. At the moment better than all others on the grid. He is not paid to win popularity and fashion shoots that seem appropriate to people of the mental age of 12 finding it difficult to comment on his said ability because he does it so well.

        I mean are you commenting on KR’s crap tattoos, inability to provide even the smallest of output to the very public that pays his wages or Alonso’s preoccupation with weird Japanese stuff and some of the worst most self promoting body art in the history of such? Or even NR inability to keep his mouth shut, drop the excuses, weird rants and complex technical reasons as to why he lost – again?

        No – it is always LH. Because he uses twitter just like all the others..

        Get over it!

      3. And before anyone jumps on me.

        We are fortunate to be watching racing as good as this. The level of moaning and negativity is really right across the web for people who are looking for technical detail, interesting topics or sensible commentary from other like minded participants is ruining it for many many people and its no wonder so many are watching something else.

        Just because your team/driver/whatever is not winning should not be an instant “throw it all away its all crap and I am off” There are good times and bad times in all sport and at the moment its actually pretty good. Costs will even out, teams come and go and life goes on.

        Yes, we should be commenting on the prices of tickets (if the marketing guy at Silverstone can’t sell his tickets to a home race and an incumbent world champion he needs to get another job – but oh, hold on… even at the most inflated prices I have seen in 38 years… they are up 40% in sales… must be doing something right! I actually could not believe where that guy got off complaining)

        Or even the pay per view – but if the pay per view is actually much better – where is the loss? It is not as though MotoGP is free is it? Please don’t get me started on WEC!

        As to constantly sniping about someone who happens to be a serial race winner lifestyle choices, tattoos or use of hashtags?

        For goodness sake…

        1. Don’t know about the site as whole but you just posted my two favourite comments of the day ;)

          1. Thank you Lenny – I am just off to wonder why I am not paying £500 to Sky for its F1 channel! Along with wondering how is I pay through the wall to watch WEC, I am going to find the time to watch it!

        2. Err, wec is free (in the UK at least, on motorstv), and a subscription to the streams for a whole season is only 20-something euros. Which is a darn sight cheaper than the 500 odd quid a year that you need for Sky’s tabloid farcical nonsense.

          not sure what good racing you’ve been watching either!’

          1. Go watch it then! For 24 hours time and time again.

            And for your info I used to go to Le Man every year along with other GP’s when they did not clash with the days I was out there racing myself!

            Sky does not cost £500 per year unless you are doing something very wrong. I eventually cancelled my BT MotoGp subs because it was far more expensive and the channel full of cr@p I absolutely loathe! Plus its coverage and commentators were and remain equally cr@p when compared to say Eurosport (and they were not great)
            The fact is Sky helped BBC out as they were spending too much elsewhere on tennis and other wide band viewing options. Remember it is a public body and its scrutiny is different to a commercial brand. And we are in a time of austerity and frankly bizarre choices across the board. Yes I really was upset but I would rather pay Sky for a package with a dedicated channel than be put in jail because I did not pay the BBC an enforced license fee for a pile of programmes I do not want to watch and funny thing cannot get because I live, not in the highlands but in Eastbourne but the signal precludes free view! Oh – hold on – I don’t have a choice. I have to pay them like it or not, TV working or not.
            You do not have to pay Sky – so that right there gets my vote and when you add far better coverage and a single channel dedicated to the sport rather than a couple of children channel presenters pretending they know everything (to be fair – all do that!) then I would argue it is better value for money. The BBC is NOT free – and you can watch F1 for just a little more than the license fee. Perhaps if we had a government in the UK that allowed the BBC to charge appropriately for its wider services and stopped trying to kill it because it is “left wing” then maybe just perhaps they could have kept sports like F1 instead of Wimbledon and Snooker!

            Hardly bad economics…

    11. its crazy the way people are moaning about what F1 has to offer,
      right now we have 2 teams 4 cars at the front, “Brilliant” “Anticipation”
      its just a matter of time maybe a year and we could have another 4 cars total 8 competing for podiums,
      F1 has always been like this, development for some teams is faster than other,
      can be money, could be internal development skills, who the team has employed, how they a structured has a lot to do as to how quick each team catches up,
      changing the rules continually only allows the bigger teams to move faster which increases the gap,
      let the teams develop their cars under the rules we have now, the ones at the top can only go so far ahead, then you will see the 3rd 4th teams catch up,
      this continually moaning is not what F1 needs,
      moaning about DRS/TIRES/FUEL FLOW/TRACK LAYOUT/NOISE/OVER TAKING/MONEY F1 is full of it and people are getting turned off by it,
      heaven forbid why are some of these people even interested in F1? go take a pill and harden up F1 is Fantastic…

      1. While I agree with rules stability at least for a handful of years at a time, I don’t think it is ‘crazy’ the way people are moaning. They are moaning because the product could be way better and because there are that many things wrong right now with the direction F1 has taken in these recent years. So we have people getting turned off by the things they disagree with in terms of F1’s direction, then we have people getting turned off by the resultant moaning about all that is wrong with the direction, and the result is…people are turned off.

        F1 is a fantastic entity, but that doesn’t mean it is fantastic right now, nor that it never will be again. I think they just need to simplify and get back to basics. After all, the steps they have taken have obviously not gotten the masses thinking it is fantastic.

    12. From the artical about the condensed season:

      The later date at Albert Park will also mean an earlier start for the race, given that it falls after the end of daylight savings in the state of Victoria when clocks are switched back an hour.

      I hope they remember it’s more than a one hour switch that would be necessary. The sunset time for this year’s race (Mar 15) was 7:40PM (6:40PM in non-daylight-savings time), but next year (Apr 3) the sunset time will be 6:10PM. So if they decide to still start the race at 4PM they could run into issues, so hopefully they make it 3PM.

    13. Must agree with Toto Wolff here. There needs to be sufficient time to properly prepare for whatever the new regs for 2017 might happen to be. It is easy enough for the emperor of F1 to toss out his flippant remarks of what the new engines should be, but the manufacturers will be forced to deal with the reality of whatever that may mean whenever it might be decided. Toto makes a good point that just turning up the wick to make more power and noise doesn’t address the likely resulting negative effects that are bound to take place.

      Any such changes will take time to get it right and will cost more money. Renault is still struggling to get the current regs right after a full season plus and also with all the time lead time prior to the 2014 campaign. Bernie acts like he has absolutely no understanding of the technology involved in the racing series he is supposedly in charge of. Even seemingly minor modifications could lead to catastrophic engine failures. (Hard to keep from thinking of Renault here again. And they are dealing with a much more known quantity than what the future may hold.)

      It took a long time for consensus on the last major formula change. The clock is ticking…

    14. July is the warmest month in Baku- temperatures during that time usually average out to 90F (32C) with average humidity ranging between 50 to 90 percent. This will make life very unpleasant for the drivers indeed in such an environment with buildings everywhere- the track may even break up. This race could be like Detroit in the 1980’s- but on a better circuit.

      1. Not so sure about that last part (the better circuit), so far its not looking all that special

        1. Baku looks pretty good- maybe too many slow corners- but those two straights with the 2 fast corners in between looks exciting. Detroit was just not good at all. It produced grueling races and was the toughest race of the 1980’s- but it became unpleasant, and Detroit is a horrendous city that is getting a bit better these days.

      2. Aha, spot the old car dealer’s negotiating ploy. “When would be a good time for your race then? April? Can’t fit you in, we’re going to Australia then. But we can do you a race in March. Obviously it would be the opening round so it’ll cost you eleventy million more…”

      3. You have an interesting point – I have been there in the Summer when it was 50c – actually it was 61c but no general thermometers read above that because workers can stop and go home. It was the same in Kuwait, Saudi and actually Qatar and Bahrain for many years… I wonder if we are going to get the next British GP actually held in Iran? Or the future American race in Siberia?

        Back on topic – the heat in July will seriously differentiate between teams and I really hope that Pirelli do not turn up with chewing gum that means no one can actually race more than a lap!

        If anything has caused a problem this year (see my comments above) and something we should be “moaning” about – it is Pirelli’s negative marketing campaign getting them back in the spot light once again and making them pretty much the topic of every race. The excuse “we did as we were told” is pretty thin now – last year they got one race wrong (Russia) other than that tyres were only mentioned when someone was on faster or slower (Bahrain for example) and thus relegated to just one of the variables instead of the headline topic.

        I for one despite my above comments will absolutely not support another year like 2013 where the only differentiator was who did what with what tyres. Its F1 not endurance racing. Yes they play a part. Just not the whole part.

        With Baku being the European race when it has been Britain, Germany etc, I am wondering if the vertically challenged one has fell of his rocker! Perhaps thats why the tyres are suddenly the topic again.

        He thought Pirelli was a new V8 manufacturer…

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pirelli select the medium tire as the prime and the hard tire as the option. The soft tires around there will simply disintegrate- if that compound is used for that race, we can expect to see early pit stops for the medium compound (which won’t last as long as expected) and even many more accidents than usual, and tire failures.

        2. Wow. Then in that case, it could be Dallas ’84 all over again… I wouldn’t be surprised if Pirelli select the medium tire as the prime and the hard tire as the option. The soft tires around there will simply disintegrate- if that compound is used for that race, we can expect to see early pit stops for the medium compound (which won’t last as long as expected) and even many more accidents than usual, and tire failures. It will also be at least 10 to 15 degrees hotter in specific tight places with buildings flanking either side.

    15. I don’t think casual fans moan about drs. Most of them don’t know what it is. I think it is a brilliant system when the drs zones are located properly.

      1. I totally agree with you. One thing I hate more is processional races because overtaking is limited due to dirty air and what’s worse is that any out-of-position car will not be challenging similar performance car. It will just allow Vettel and Hamilton(and I’m his die-hard fan)to run away more than ever. What the older fans and ex drivers are celebrating as defensive driving, is part due to the ill effects of dirty air on following and with more sophisticated aero design, the problem is worse today, so we need DRS and we should re-introduce active front wing adjustments. F1 needs stable rules and time for the persuing teams to catch up. Constant changes only lead to gaps in the field, but major changes are necessary every 4-6 yrs.

        1. You seem to miss the fact that short lived tyres compound the disadvantage of being in turbulent air, more durable tyres would at least let following drivers close up on the car ahead.

      2. The DRS zones are rarely located properly because there is no proper location for the stupid artificial gimmick.

        Passing should not be as easy as pressing a button ever, Overtaking should be a core skill which drivers have to really work on & overtaking should also always be exciting to watch.
        With DRS everyone can pass at the push of a button, There is far less skill in it & nearly all of the DRS highway passes are so boring to watch they may as well not have happened.

        Every poll on here has shown clearly what most fans think of DRS, The falling TV ratings (In places that still have F1 on Free TV) also quite clearly show that DRS is just not popular & it seems to be getting less & less so the longer it’s kept around.

        I find myself watching F1 less & less purely because of DRS, The members of my family who used to watch F1 with me are no longer interested because of DRS, A lot of the friends of mine who used to follow F1 no longer follow it as closely as they used to thanks to DRS & we have not attended the Canadian Gp since 2011 (We had gone every year since 1988) again because of DRS.

        If people want to like DRS then thats fine, But at the same time its supporters must acknowledge that it isn’t helping the sport, It isn’t bringing people to the sport or keeping people there its clearly doing the opposite & turning people off & causing people to lose interest & that cannot be a good thing.

        1. Oh yes all those things are the fault of DRS!! What nonsense!

          1. @RogerA Well said and I agree although I don’t blame everything on DRS…there are other issues too…but DRS is a symptom of desperation IMHO. Desperation to offer more passing at any cost, even if it is the integrity of the sport.

            I don’t know if viewership is continuing to fall, or if it has stabilized, but I would suggest in an unscientific way DRS has not helped increase the numbers since it’s introduction. Few if any are crying for more DRS zones and more gadgets and gimmicks to make passing even easier and to bandage over F1’s issues. Sometimes nowadays you don’t even want to get close enough to qualify to use DRS on the car in front because even at 2 seconds behind you are ruining your tires.

            My main thing is that with DRS and these tires and the amount of conservation and management overall, there is no longer the opportunity to consider these drivers’ ‘greatness’. These drivers are not taxed by being able to push themselves and their cars anywhere near a limit that has us thinking of them as gladiators out there. Sure there’s action, but it’s action-lite, due to DRS or vastly different states of tires between drivers. Very seldom is a pass done these days such that we can say now that was a driver showing he is better than the other…at driving…not conservation of fuel and brakes or at tire management.

          2. @asanator DRS has clearly turned people off F1, Every poll/survey & comments section around the internet is full of F1 fans/Ex-F1 fans who despite the gimmick & F1’s Tv ratings are in freefall since DRS (And the High-Deg tyres) were introduced in 2011.
            OK in some places you can put the blame on a move to PayTV, But since 2011 F1’s Tv ratings have been in freefall in places that have not moved to PayTV (Germany for example) & in other places F1’s TV figures were in declined from 2011 before that country moved to pay TV (France & Italy are examples of this).

            Just from my own experience as I said practically all of my family/friends who used to watch/attend races with me for 30+ years have turned F1 off because of it.

            It has also been reported in the German F1 broadcasters have done viewer survey’s which show that the prime reasons given by many German viewers for a loss of interest in F1 is DRS with the tyres coming up 2nd.

            How much more evidence is needed that this artificial, contrived gimmick is not good for F1 & is not helping it in any way, Its a part of whats turning people away & its about time those in F1 & DRS supporters open there eyes & see this instead of blindly supporting it in the fact of evidence that the vast majority of F1 fans dont like it & that its clearly turning people off/away.

            Looking elsewhere the WSBR has become less popular since it introduced DRS, DTM likewise has lost popularity since it introduced DRS & the 1st round of this years GP2 championship saw a steel decline in viewers & the only thing that has changed is that GP2 has introduced DRS to massive fan outrage.

            The evidence is crystal clear, Racing fans don’t like DRS!

      3. The trouble is, with the teams running different engines and aero, they all have different acceleration profiles- a DRS location which appears ‘good’ for one car will be too easy or difficult for others.

    16. maarten.f1 (@)
      30th April 2015, 6:39

      We really need to get this season going again, how many weeks are left?!

      Instead of dusting off all these former F1 drivers and having them complain about stuff, can’t Bernie just call from something ridiculous instead? That’ll always give us plenty to talk about ;)

      1. Heh – well when you try finding Baku in Europe and booking a train ticket you will appreciate the humour!

    17. On another note, it’s interesting that drivers have apparently been paid through the ranks by F1 itself. But it’s not exactly unusual, Dorna tend to give MotoGP/2/3 teams money if it gets a certain rider from a certain country to help Dorna market the series. Say what you want about it, but at least it keeps some diversity in the MotoGP paddock. The only reason new F1 markets haven’t got drivers to enable the same funding idea on four wheels is simply because there’s no driver discovered good enough. Yet!

      1. The amount being paid is not divulged, I doubt it is due to Bernies modesty, I think it is because the amount is insignificant and probably only paid out when it is directly advantageous to F1 or Bernie.

    18. Timo Glock’s opinion has to be seen in context. He is comparing F1 to DTM and saying that DTM is providing more action and that costs are kept under control there. So we should look at the most obvious differences between F1 and DTM.

      Firstly, DTM has only factory teams owned by only three manufacturers, who are racing 24 cars. If Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari each possessed 8 cars and the other teams were gone, it would ensure a healthy grid and give drivers like Grosjean or Hulkenberg a chance to win races but it would also mean much less diversity and a much greater dependance on one manufacturer. I have also heard German fans complaining that DTM is too “clinical” and lacks backmarkers, which makes it hard to really fall in love with the series.

      Secondly, DTM has been tinkering with different gimmicks (DRS, mandatory pit stops, strategy restrictions) over the last years and this year there will be two races every weekend. I do not think this is something I want to see in F1 as it would devalue the “Grand Prix”.

      Thirdly, DTM has indeed tried to keep costs under control. The number of standard components was significantly increased in 2012 and parts like the gearbox, clutch, dampers and rear wing are now identical in all cars. This is probably something that F1 should look at – if it is a way to decrease costs without going as far as customer cars, then I would support it.

      1. @girts, it’s more than just those parts which are standardised.

        Recently, the DTM and GT500 series came to an agreement over standardising parts – so every GT500 and DTM car has the exact same chassis too, which has also lead to standardisation of suspension components and mounting points, standard driveshafts and standard brakes.

        Even the engines will soon become increasingly standardised with the planned switch from the current V8’s to 2.0 litre turbo engines, which is what the GT500 cars currently used. There is actually very little diversity beneath the skin – they’re really just standard cars with a different skin placed over the top.

      2. I used to watch DTM a lot back in the 90s & when it came back in 2000 & I used to really like it.

        It started to go down hill when they went to a 1 race format & started introducing mandatory pit stops etc… as it just broke up the flow of the races, Made the races a bit harder to follow & like when F1 introduced refueling in 1994 the amount of overtaking decreased as everyone looked to strategy to gain places.

        I’ve not watched a DTM race since 2008 & since a lot of what I don’t like is still there I don’t think i’ll be watching again anytime soon.

        I also think the attitude of the series organizers is wrong, There was a time around that time when fans were complaining about the pit stops & the poor racing, Instead of looking to fix those things the organizers came out & said it was all the fans fault for not understanding the racing & that he felt DTM perfect & no changes were required.
        After that over the next few years DTM lost a lot of viewers & track attendance also went down so clearly a lot of the racing fans that were watching didn’t get the racing :P

      3. Thanks for the responses guys. AUTOSPORT’s Mitchell Adam is saying that the “the new DTM format will thrill” so I guess I will have to watch a race or two to know if he is right or not.

        Personally, I would not want to see the F1 grid turning into “standard cars with a different skin”, there should be at least some technical freedom. But I think standard gearboxes or standard breaks might be OK. It’s a matter of drawing the line in the right place.

    19. personally i couldnt care less about 1000bhp or noise i think critics of the noise should accept that this is the future and we need to conserve energy and these engines will help us do that. I think the regulations should be opened up to allow for more testing more aero and engine development all these cars look the same and i think the nose regulations are flawed as they dont allow a fairly short nose to pass the crash test i mean shorter noses (somewhere b/w mercedes and ferrari in length) look better than the very long nose we have on the ferrari. I would love to have different spec engines like we have in the WEC and more importantly from the drivers point of view tyres should be more durable so they can push and no DRS sure there might be less overtakes but better and more of defensive battles like we saw in bahrain and hungary last year rather than easy passes we see today and the cost can be controlled if the teams can agree to a fairly high but not outrageous cost cap and the smaller can spend as much or as little as they want (perhaps by changing the 107% rule to be more like 110% or 112%) we dont need them to fight with the big teams but to just be fighting it out in the mid-field and we just need more cars to fill up the grid

    20. As I read through the Whithmarsh ‘interview’, I was looking for what Ron said to him.
      What the hell could Dennis say, that makes a man with more than 20 years in F1 walk away in 5 minutes? (Apart from: you are fired, obviously)

      1. I guess it was “Martin, I am taking control back in my hands, no place for you in there” @bag0

      2. Martin, you’ll have to give English Lessons to Eric Boullier@bag0

    21. Good to see Whitmarsh gone. Probably the only team boss worse than him is Kaltenborn.

      Also, LOL @Timo Glock saying “the sport has become boring and is dominated by whoever spends the most money”.

      I remember Williams bringing in their Saudi sponsoring around the start of the eighties and they started winning championships in a few years time. That’s when the money war started really. Since then it’s been the team spending the most that was winning. A few exceptions like Toyota and Ferrari notwithstanding showing that spending most doesn’t always guarantee the title. Also there are Benetton and Brawn (sort of) who show that even on a slightly smaller budget you can win.

      Funny thing is that Mercedes is also such an exception. Red Bull is spending by far the most (especially if you take out the engine development budgets for Ferrari and Mercedes). Ferrari also spend more than Mercedes. Mercedes is spending a similar amount like McLaren. So in fact it’s good to see the “underdog” win for a change.

      1. @patrickl

        Good to see Whitmarsh gone. Probably the only team boss worse than him is Kaltenborn.

        Why do you think so? Whitmarsh left the team more than a year ago and nothing suggests that McLaren are back on the right track. I am not saying he was the right guy for the job, just would love to hear some arguments.

        1. The general argument usually is that they didn’t win a championship & had difficult years when he was there.
          But they didn’t win a championship for 10 years while Ron was there before Martin & they had plenty of difficult seasons in that time.

          Its also interesting how people forget that while Martin was in charge they did produce several very good cars. In 2010 & 2011 they had a title ocntending car & a multiple race winning car & in 2012 the McLaren was considered the best car at the start & end of the year.
          The 2013 car wasn’t that good but that was because the car designer tried something new with the suspension & it didn’t work, Same thing has happened to Adrian Newey before (The never raced 2003 McLaren for instance).

          Martin didn’t bring a new title sponsor, But so far neither has Ron or Honda.

          Also important to remember that during his time Mercedes moved away from McLaren been the factory team & they were no longer getting the support they had been.

          They also lost Hamilton which many blame on Martin but I think Lewis woudl have left regardless because he had several people in his ear telling him it was the right move (Bernie, Lauda, Wolff, Lowe, Brawn) & they were all pushing the view (As were most others) that the Mercedes factory team were going to have the advantage come the new formula.

        2. His matrix system of product development and team leadership picked up from British Aerospace when he worked there (and forgotten since) and implemented by him (broad brush – parallel development of two cars for two different years with separate teams, ideas etc etc – its more complex than this but you get the idea – google it if not) was both hideously expensive and created the monster that was the 09 car… Nearly as bad as last years one actually to the extent the parallel team had to work on it as well simply to get it off the back of the grid…

          He is and was a bright guy and a refreshing change but he had favourites that rather than foster people he did not like (i.e. really good or really fast) he preferred to promote and work with favourites. That led to some really complex top heavy divisions and it was plain to see in for example how the trackside work was generally awful (for example 010, 011, 012 – if you strip pit issues out of the equations then simply finishing races in the positions they were when affected would have changed completely the face of the RB years…)

          You need to know how to win – that requires a degree of common sense. I guess the easiest example is the rain hammering down in Malaysia just behind the pit wall yet confidence that because the computer says it is not raining – it cannot be…

          It will take time to get that right when fighting with a new engine development but they will get there in the end.

          1. I guess you missed the article about McLaren explaining how Boullier and Prodromou had to overhaul the whole organization because Whitmarsh’s lack of leadership had turned it into an inefficient mess.

            http://www.formula1.com/content/fom-website/en/latest/headlines/2015/4/mclaren–new-approach-producing-more-successful-upgrades.html

            1. Hmm – I was commenting on its failure. I know I have had to overhaul several organisations that have followed such a lead. It worked in the “olden” days with long lead items such as wings in aerospace but in F1? Well we have seen the results of such methodology. It has its fans and its detractors but regardless Maccas issues were always with the pit and the race side management. They could come up with say top three cars and great drivers. Not much point when you throw it away with reliability and FUBAR moments…

        3. He was simply a very poor leader. Perhaps a good accountant or something, but not a leader.

          The were sliding down ever further. Indeed the drastic measures that Dennis introduced haven’t really bore fruit either, but I have more faith in things turning around now than before.

      2. Whitmarsh was boss when mclaren had the fastest car in 2012… did you miss that year??? so far in 13/14 they are worse after Whitmarsh left. it is innapropriated to blame one person. and what has Kaltenborn done to offend you?? for all we know, her presence, and dealing with the driver situation in melbourne may well have saved Sauber.

        1. Just get off your high horse.

          Kaltenborn is running Sauber into the ground and Whitmarsh never could get anything done.

      3. LOL, I think it is widely acknowledged that Mercedes spent more than anyone in the buildup to 2014. Whilst Brawn operated under a small budget, Honda spent a fortune on the BGP01 before pulling out.

        1. Still Red Bull and Ferrari have bigger budgets. So, no it’s not widely acknowledged.

          Did you notice those two words behind the word Brawn? If you want to try and understand what someone is saying, it’s easier if you read the whole sentence. Thanks.

    22. Ok it’s the 3rd time one of my comments don’t pass the rules and at least 2 of those times I really don’t understand why! So @Keith I would like to know if I did something wrong or that bad to be blocked?!

      1. Well this one passed. But my last one, that I wrote in this post, I really don’t understand why it needed to pass the rules!

      2. @keithcollantine… wrong nickname there, sorry!

    23. How will a 1000hp formula work?? will it let Renault catch up so that all manufacturers have 1000hp? if so, i dont get why mercedes wants an early decision, as they would want to milk their advantage for longer you would think.

      1. Mercedes stating that they need a decision soon is probably a prelude to, “It’s too late to change things now”.

    24. 1. Why can’t the Baku race be called “Azerbaijani Grand Prix”? The “European” title was given to allow a conutry to host two races, like Jerez or the Nurburgring alongside Catalunya and the Hockenheimring.
      2. F1 sponsoring drivers could be good, but the way they do it is somewhat “nepotist”. What tells us they don’t sponsor drivers Bernie likes? Actually, they tell us they are helpful “to encourage the development of the sport in key markets”, meaning, by Ecclestone’s reasoning, those who hang out too long without results…
      3. Nice to hear from Whitmarsh again. I always though he was treated badly, and I’ve missed him from the paddock.

      1. The European Grand Prix thing that Baku has got going on strikes me as odd as well. No doubt the organisers, like the organisers of most new Grands Prix in the last 10 years, have absolutely zero interest in Formula 1 and are just putting on the race to advertise the country. So I’m surprised that they’d rather race be considered a European race rather than an Azerbaijani race.

    25. Apex Assassin
      30th April 2015, 15:02

      It’s about damned time the F1 modernized it’s calendar. 3 week breaks and the summer 4-5 week holiday is simply asinine in this age. I’m so sick of hearing millionaire playboys who work a dozen hours a week whinge about “needing” a summer break, lol, I’d love to see them work a real job everyday with no end or millions in cash in sight!

      Also, the later start is great too. Who wants to see opening races with teams not running or not running at pace? It’s moronic. Absolutely moronic. Then again, so is building million dollar cars and running them on budget tyres!

      1. Aren’t the breaks more for the people working at the factory and at the tracks?

    26. Surely if they go for 1,000 bhp and have to redesign the block/crank/pistons/conrods/turbo/ goodness-knows-what to last with higher revs then Mercedes will regain the advantage again, just when the others are starting to make inroads.

    27. Good article from a Mark Webber interview and I think he’s not wrong.
      But I also think there’s more to F1’s issues than just the cars, so here’s my solutions:
      – Lower the costs for the circuits to participate on the calendar. We don’t need a race in Azerbaijan when we are in danger of losing Monza. Make it easier to bring back some of the great old tracks like Magny Cours, Brands Hatch, Watkins Glen.
      – Prize money distribution with the health of the sport in mind. Lower teams should get a larger percentage of prize money than they do now. As it is, the rich teams get richer and the back markers never become anything else. There is virtually no way in today’s F1 for a Williams-type team to come from the back and become a champion team.
      – encourage the top tier teams to take a cue from Red Bull and make “junior” teams that compete on their own but with tech/financial assistance from the “parent” team. This could add 6 more mid-tier cars to the grid in short order.
      – Open up the paddock more to the fans; let them get close to the cars/drivers/teams
      – eliminate the fuel flow restrictors. Keep the max fuel load at 100kg, but let the teams figure out how to use their fuel as they see fit
      – stop banning new tech as soon as it appears. This is supposed to be the “pinnacle” of motorsport and yet they ban every bit of new aero tech the instant it comes along
      – keep the hybrid V6 turbo, move to dual exhausts for improved sound (though I think they sound better this year than last)
      – as a cost control measure, limit aero updates with a token system similar to the engine token limited updates
      – change the DRS zones from a couple of designated spots on the track to a limited number per driver (say 5 or 10 per race) to use anyway, anywhere they please; this would be similar to Indy with their “push to pass”

      And that’s about it for now. Thoughts?

    28. About Audi, I’m not surprised.

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