Start, Dual in Detroit race two, IndyCar, 2015

“F1 has ruined every track” – Bourdais

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Start, Dual in Detroit race two, IndyCar, 2015In the round-up: Former Formula One driver Sebastien Bourdais says Detroit’s Belle Isle course, where he won in IndyCar on Sunday, is a more demanding layout than anything on the F1 calendar.

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

Bourdais: Detroit good, but 'F1 has ruined every track' (Detroit Free Press)

"Driving in the rain at Detroit — it's tougher than any Formula One track, including the streets at Monaco. F1 has ruined every track. They have taken the character out of them, made them vanilla. It hurts me. Monaco is now a frigging parking lot with a couple of turns."

Sochi Formula One organiser declares bankruptcy (Zee News)

"The Arbitration Court in the Russian region of Krasnodar has ruled that public company Formula Sochi, an organiser of Russia's Formula One Grand Prix in Sochi, has gone bankrupt, according to media reports on Monday."

Vijay Mallya: 'Everybody is protective of their own corner...' (Adam Cooper's F1 Blog)

"There’s just one sweeping statement, ‘customer cars,’ with a view to perhaps answering the inevitable question, which is if the small teams disappear, how do you fill the grid?"

Sauber planning big summer upgrades (Autosport)

"We are working on a big update. It's not a B-spec car but a big update package."

Fresh push to open up in-season F1 engine development (Motorsport)

"We are not saying you should be able to do whatever you want. We are saying you can introduce when you want within the limits of the token allocation."

Safety Car chaos in Mosport (McLaren)

"Who was now leading? Some thought it was Fittipaldi, others that it was Shadow’s Jackie Oliver, or BRM’s Jean-Pierre Beltoise. The two sides of the official scoreboard showed different orders."

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Comment of the day

McLaren Technology CentreBusinesses are used to tax collectors checking they pay their fair share, so surely the FIA could enforce a budget cap to ensure F1 teams don’t overspend? @Beneboy doesn’t think so:

Would that be the tax collectors that are unable to make multimillion pound companies pay their fair share of taxes because the complexities of modern multinational companies finances are impossible to make sense of?

If you think the FIA would be able to do a better job of regulating the finances of Fiat, Mercedes et. al. than the governments of Europe, USA and Japan then I’ve got some magic beans you could buy.

A budget cap would cost millions to enforce and would provide zero guarantees that the big teams wouldn’t be able cook the books. Just think how many inspectors would need to be sent to Maranello to ensure none of the employees of the factory weren’t working on something for F1.

The problem isn’t that the big teams spend too much, BAR and Toyota proved that just spending lots isn’t a guarantee of success, the problem is that the small teams don’t earn enough. Why waste vast amounts of money trying to enforce an unenforceable rule when you could just give that money (plus a fairer share of revenue) to the smaller teams?
@Beneboy

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Mercedes drivers Jochen Mass and Karl Wendlinger – then past and future F1 drivers respectively – won the Spa round of the 1990 World Sportscar Championship on this day 25 years ago.

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  • 115 comments on ““F1 has ruined every track” – Bourdais”

    1. Sochi , So the public shareholders have lost all their money, no doubt Vlad or 1 of his pet oligarchs will come to the rescue and end up owning the whole lot for a pittance.

      PS. If ever a photo deserved a caption competition it is the one of Vlad and Bernie.

      1. @hohum – Well said on both counts.

        1. So…all we need to do now is to find a way to match the ejection of a totally corrupt principal of another sport ( I believe the Americans call it Soccer ) by going through exactly the same laborious process so as to rid F1 of an even more corrupt and despicable dictator,
          Should be really easy………eeerrrrrrrmmmm…..

          1. Lewisham Milton
            3rd June 2015, 9:17

            Job swap!

    2. You should read the whole interview from Sebastien Bourdais. It is funny. I found it funny, and normally I am the person who defends Bourdais in this sort of situation. Some quotes:
      “I’m enjoying my racing again after a horrible experience in Formula One.”
      “Monaco is now a frigging parking lot with a couple of turns.” – when was it not the case lol
      He talks some truths but he says them in a way that’s not really respectful and he’s more like b-hurt. Moreover, I don’t get the comparisons of F1 and IndyCar as other than being open wheel the concept is really different. As someone who’s been following both for some time, I must admit I personally find F1 more fascinating than IndyCar, which is quite an accomplishment since F1 is pretty boring nowadays…

      1. I’ve been watching all of the INDYCAR road races for the past few years and its a series that can’t be taken seriously IMO…although I do like to watch the races, but NOT live b/c the cautions will drive any real race fan insane. Every other race it seems the teams are running different liveries as they chance after that sponsorship money. And we’re not talking backmarkers, its the front runners doing this. So its either sponsorship money is tight or the top teams are hogging all the sponsors available on the market. For a casual viewer who just wants to see carnage, its great fun…I guess. But its kind of strange to be seeking touring car style carnage in open wheel racing.

        There are some good racers, but for the most part, INDYCAR is where all the B drivers and pay drivers go. I won’t be surprised if Maldonado isn’t there in a year or two. The skill level is pretty poor.

        Back to back full course yellows within a 10-15 minute span are not uncommon. Full course yellows for the lamest reasons are an everyday occurrence. Both races this weekend were not won on pace, but luck of the draw. Gamble on when to pit, and main rivals being taken out by over ambitious hot heads. I can’t believe Sato was on the podium. I really want to cheer for the guy but his style really is “hero or zero.”

        As for Bourdias he’s just part of the bitter ex F1 driver brigade. He got a lucky win and now he trashes F1. In a few races he’ll be complaining that the Ganassis, Penskes, and Andrettis have too much influence/money and the small teams like KV can’t race against them on merit. Guys like him and Webber should just disappear.

        1. @Guy: Indeed, Bourdais is a bitter ‘didn’t make’ it F1 driver.
          While reading your text about INDYCAR my mind spontaneous went to ‘American Wrestling’ as opposed to real wrestling: the show is all that matters!

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            3rd June 2015, 10:49

            On the contrary, whilst it may be much too yellow happy, the racing in Indy is a lot more pure than F1, which has ravaged its sport in the name of ‘the show’ way more with it’s DRS, sponge tyres, tarmac runoff and highest bidder venues.

            Say what you want about Bourdais, hes right.

            1. Pure is a very objective term. I might rate Indycar on a few things over F1, but “purity of racing” isn’t one of them. For me, pure racing is when drivers can go toe-to-toe without needing to crash into each other frequently. I’m thinking the intra-team fights between Jenson Button vs Lewis Hamilton (minus Canada 2012), Raikkonen in Suzuka 2005.

        2. Bourdais is a sore F1 loser. He really, really wanted to be an F1 driver but F1 chewed him up and spat him out. Hence his rant. Do you think if he’d been successful in F1, with a few wins and podiums to his name, he’d be spewing these criticisms about the tracks? You don’t see Montoya, whose won in both series, talking such nonsense.

          1. @greenflag

            He really, really wanted to be an F1 driver

            But not at any cost or he’d have accepted having Briatore as his manager. Turning that down almost certainly cost him a shot at reaching F1 sooner. Still, I think it’s a decision that deserves a lot of respect.

            1. I dunno… you can dress up a poor career choice as being high-minded but it’s still a poor choice; getting an F1 drive is hard and if you’ve actually got talent you do what you’ve got to do to get behind the wheel.

        3. Alex McFarlane
          6th June 2015, 19:03

          I think the real problem with Indycar is all the naff street circuits they visit when there are so many really good permanent road courses they could go to.

          The street circuits lack character (Long Beach excepted), and are far too narrow and bumpy for good open wheel racing, hence all the accidents and pileups.

          Barber was an awesome race, showcasing the best of Indycar, and yet you have to wonder when there are circuits like Watkins Glen, Road America, Road Atlanta, Sebring, Miller Motorsports Park, COTA, Laguna Seca etc, they go to terrible venues like Belle Isle, where the race was littered with accidents and not all that great when there wasn’t a caution.

      2. I too find F1 more fascinating, but an indycar race is more entertaining and has better racing. The racing is close and there are more incidents because…. wait for it… the drivers actually try to pass each other on the track! It is a novel concept in some circles. Sure- there are many examples in F1 where 2 drivers go toe to toe for a race, but in a normal Indy car race this happens through the field in every race. The cars can follow each other closely and IMHO push to pass is more effective and exciting than DRS.

        The sooner they get these Nick Wirth body kits out the better…

        1. In fairness, Nick did warn that CFD was not the complete aero solution (assume he was referring to wind tunnel) but it was done on cost basis.

    3. Has Lewis hired Freds PR person, or is he getting inspiration from that French footballer ?

      1. Or was that pit stop “creative” ?

        1. Mustavo Gaia
          3rd June 2015, 2:42

          Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns (listen to strategist advise) in order to look at things differently (from the third place in the podium).

    4. Fully agree with the COTD! Keith’s tweet shows you how F1 should be – equal revenues distributed and bonus according the Constructor’s Championship (with no extras for legend teams, they would still earn more money from sponsors).

      About Bourdais opinion, I just have one thing to say: if you don’t like it that much, don’t talk about it and move on because Detroit better than Monaco? really?? I saw the race yesterday and it wasn’t bad but a SC almost in every lap isn’t something I want. What are people expecting from Monaco? Lots of overtakes and wheel-to-wheel races? Well there isn’t space, it never had. So, yes there are bad tracks out there (at least half of the calendar), but not everything it’s as bad as some people try to show!
      Sometimes I think the other motorsports just want to take some attention out of F1 or why else the constant talk coming from Indycar, FormulaE, WEC drivers lately ….

      1. @key 75 Half the calendar? Really?

        1. @ciaran Minor error with “at least”. It was supposed to be “almost”…
          And when I said bad tracks, I was following Bourdais point of view of too much run-off and so on… From my point of view, there are only 5 tracks I really don’t like.

          1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
            3rd June 2015, 2:50

            @key75 let me guess:
            – Barhain (everybody hates it but I actually like it)
            – Spain (that’s a no-brainer)
            – Russia
            – Abu Dhabi
            – Singapore maybe? cause I don’t like that one.
            My personal “worst” F1 tracks are those above, except Barhain, and add Monaco to the worst ones (drivers love it, but I’m not a driver, I’m just a spectator)

            1. @omarr-pepper Bahrain and Singapore out (are some of the new ones that I like)… China and Austria in (China is just too “obvious” and Austria I don’t like the track layout). The other 3 are spot on, and I think nobody likes them lol

            2. def China. Bahrain looks nice in the evenings, and DRS makes overtake possible, so i’m on the fence. Singapore better than Monaco for viewer imo. Spain-AbuDhabi-Russia they should just run the simulations and be done with it, no point of going on track. Australia is no better.

      2. You know what ? Monaco might be almost impossible to overtake on but at least we can see 2 cars or more, close together actually racing, shame about the safety car though.

        1. @hohum but hey, I agree with you. That was my point! Or didn’t seem to?

      3. RP (@slotopen)
        3rd June 2015, 2:15

        I agree it would be nice if the teams got equal revenues. But our opinions don’t mean very much, since we aren’t Bernie, CSV, Ferrari, or whoever has the power. Nor is it simple, there are many entrenched parties.

        I wonder about CSV. Do they feel nurturing F1 is good business? Will they plunder until catastrophe strikes then unload the commercial rights?

        They seen intent on expanding the markets at all costs, even losing European fans. Maybe this makes sense, but I doubt they can succeed if F1 whithers in Europe.

      4. Costs in F1 could easily be capped. One way to do it would be to introduce a so-called claiming rule like they have in MotoGP, whereby a team could be forced to sell its car (or some key parts, or the contents of the trucks, or whatever) for the cap amount. There would then be no point in overspending, even if it did buy you time. You’d either be found out and disgraced, or else all that spending would be in the hands of a competitor.

        But alas, spending is the least of F1’s problems right now. First up is F1’s existential crisis – is it sport or contrived entertainment? To draw an analogy, F1 used to be like boxing, but now it seems to be more like wrestling.

        1. @rsp123 I can’t see budget cap introduced because big teams always want to spend and sometimes to make an innovation we need money. I think with it we would throw away (even more) the most important part of F1: being the motorsport’s pinnacle!
          Yes, the costs need to be controlled in some way, but not necessarily the global budget. More in the little pieces that are the same for everybody. And if the budget was equally redistributed, I’m sure big teams would work more in finding those solutions.

      5. I disagree with the COTD. It takes the wrong presumptions.

        As for hiding who is working on F1 projects, that is not all that hard. If you work with any modern integrated design SW, especially those branches like automotive and aviation, and tell me how hard it is to say who modified what and when.
        Sure, you could try to “stand alone” but either you’d then need an import SW (not that easy to hide I’d guess) or redo most of that work to use it.

        And companies with modern accounting are good enough at looking into each others books for financials etc. That they still buy almost empty companies is more to do with people making bad decisions and not wanting to know the facts.
        As for tax authorities, if any company would be shamed for conning the tax department, instead of them taking it more or less as part of the business, there would be far less going on. And even then, its not as if the tax authorities don’t know the companies are hiding a lot of revenues. But its far cheaper to just do a deal and legalize them paying a bit then proving it, going to court and letting it drag on.
        Not saying that the FIA would themselves be in any way suited to police this (and they shouldn’t, lest it gets as political as tax authorities letting big companies off the hook), but lets not think its too hard to do, if companies are forced to cooperate or lose their licence.

        1. @bascb To put it very simple; Mercedes could let SMART develop and do research that’s worth millions and then buy the concept for 500 euro. So what have they now spent that counts towards the budget cap? 500 euro, or all those millions spent on research. It’s financially an impossible idea and this was a simple example. Now take into account different countries with different regulations and tax rules, different ways of spending money and it would even need for the FIA to enter the books of the teams. As much as we like to believe the massive budgets some financial site comes out with we have no idea towards their actual reality. Big companies like a F1 team like to keep these things secret.

          If they want to cut back on costs they’ll have to do it on things that are visible – tyre warmers, less people on track, …

          In the end this so called solution ignores the problem. Teams have no problem spending, they’ll spend whatever they can to win. It’s just some teams don’t have a lot to spend in comparison with other teams. Change the prize money and I guarantee you have a more healthy F1 in two to three years. That is of course still with terrible DRS and awful cameltracks…

          1. to put it VERY simple @xtwl: Mercedes would have to show not what (internal or external) price they put on it but what effort went in to making it.
            Just like they already do with the resource restriction, or something as simple as the holiday break (FI for example has almost all physical building done externally, and they already have to prove their subcontractors do NOT work for them during this period).
            There is nothing easier than putting a price (calculatory, as in taken from an industry average, or a MB internal average) on every hour worked, every square meter used etc on these kind of things. Off course the teams would have to show their books to the designated inspectors. But that is nothing new or unheard of either. I have seen very detailed benchmarking reports from comparisons between Audi, Mercedes and BMW for my work, its actually quite common, far more common than it seems most people realise.

            I think the biggest issue would actually be for Ferrari, because they will have most to lose (risk of information about car production coming out this way) from showing the books, as their team is not a separate entity at all and therefore they have to give most access.

            I agree that things like less pit stop crew, getting rid of warmers and things like that will easily cut cost. But those don’t prevent the team from then spending the money saved here somewhere else.
            Off course levelling the reward system to be less skewed towards the winners and “big enough to get something extra from uncle Bernie teams” and making sure it covers at least the running cost of going racing would help. But when the contracts are signed until 2020, how are we going to force teams to give that up? When you argue that imposing a cost cap is neigh impossible, do you think this one is more viable?

            1. Mercedes would have to show not what (internal or external) price they put on it but what effort went in to making it.

              Herein lies the big problem. It was SMART who spent all the money, not Mercedes. if I buy a new lawnmower I don’t pay for the development costs, I pay for the lawnmower.

              @bascb – As you said (and I before), when costs are reduced somewhere teams will find something else to spend it on. So I think we both and everyone else can agree its far more important to regulate income rather than outcome of the sport itself. If a team then can create more outcome thanks to sponsorship income that is fair play to them.

    5. If he thinks monaco is a parking lot, he hasn’t seen Sochi yet… you could probably fit all the cars in Russia onto the run off areas

      1. Probably forgot about it. After-all, the race there was quite forgettable @dryyoshi!

    6. You know F1 is going in the wrong direction when we start having the Kardashians involved https://twitter.com/ForceIndiaF1/status/605850233642217472/photo/1

      1. Why Force India?????? WHY???????

      2. Butt whats wrong with Kardashians :D

      3. the English rags have been saying Lewis is in a relationship with one of them since Monaco! Highly doubt it though

      4. Stupid question maybe, but who is that? A quick Google search does not seem to reveal what she is known for.

        1. afaik, she’s famous for being famous

          1. @disjunto
            It’s worse than that, she’s famous for being the daughter of the lawyer who represented OJ Simpson in his murder trial.
            The media attention for that trial was so intense that the whole family ended up becoming minor celebrities and as the girls were young and pretty they ended up being shown on almost every news program for the months leading up to, and during, the trial.
            She then became friends with Paris Hilton and later released a sex tape, thats all it takes to become world famous these days.

            1. ColdFly F1 (@)
              3rd June 2015, 11:46

              @beneboy don’t tell Hamilton it’s that easy to become famous.
              All the hard work, talent, WDC’s, risk, frustrations; all for nothing!
              He could’ve just married a rapper as well.

            2. @coldfly
              As long as Lewis doesn’t release a sex tape of his own we’ll be fine. I’m still trying to forget those pictures of Max Mosley, don’t think I could stomach seeing Lewis on the job too.

              And don’t call Kanye a rapper, he’s a lyrical genius and the voice of a generation who has shifted the paradigm like no-one else. In no way is he a gay fish who married a Hobbit !

    7. I’ll take those magic beans, how much do you want for them?

      A fairer distribution of the money should be taken for granted, it’s ridiculous to think of fixing f1 without doing that. Now, that all teams and us, the viewers, get to know budgets on the detail and that teams respect the caps and the tax collectors is something worth striving for, though a difficult task. But of course, these guys are oil, every step they take towards being sustainable and honest is a step closer to the end of their own game, which basically is: “burn that oil, go as fast as you can, get some girls (throw in some boys too, why not?) to applaud the spoiled brats when they’re done and let’s smoke and drink (responsibly, mind you) to celebrate.”, so maybe you’re right; it’s never happening cause they’re all crooked, but then it’s not the plan (cost cap) which is ridiculous or useless; the dudes organising f1 (and business in general) are.

      1. @flig
        They’re £50 each, minimum order is 8 beans :-)

    8. COTD is exactly right. Biggest issue is that the implementation and policing is wasted money that is better spent where it will do some good rather than just lighting it on fire.

      Next biggest issue is how would any resulting penalties be enforced? In the huge amount of wasted time on this seemingly endless debate nobody has ever been able to adequately answer this vital question. If teams are caught cheating how will penalties be enforced? Will they be handed down in grid penalties? Exclusions? For how many races? Same season? Next season?

      Does anyone really want grids and wins being decided by F1 financial stewards in the forensic accounting boardrooms and FIA financial kangaroo courtroom rather than on the race courses? That is the possibility budget cap enforcement could provide. We have enough trouble understanding stewards decisions on incidents that happen right before our eyes on the track. Imagine if your favorite driver and team are disqualified, penalized or nullified by financial stewards over data that we cannot even see, comprehend or prove for ourselves?

      Will there be appeals to present more forensic accounting evidence before serving penalties? How will the forensic accounting policing be done? Internally by the FIA? Hire an independent outside firm or firms? How will the enforcers be audited for any possible unethical behaviors? Who will pay for all the forensic auditors? FOM? FIA? The teams? What guidelines will be set up to compare all aspects of the different teams and how will those differences be accurately measured for the sake of comparison to other dissimilarly structured teams? i.e.- Car mfr./Constructor, Engine buyer/Constructor. How will like teams with different accounting methods, corporate structures, countries of origin, etc. be able to be accurately defined and measured against each other.

      This could go on and on. There are more questions than answers. The financial regulations would make the technical regulations look like child’s play. I think that anyone suggesting that budget caps are viable, practical or enforceable has not really given it much thought and does not understand how the corporations that comprise the teams in F1 actually function. I don’t know much myself and many years ago thought that budget caps might be a good idea. The more thought I put into it, the more the complexities of the idea peeled back like the layers of an infinite onion.

      The real point is that any money taken in and not spent on improving and developing the ultimate auto racing series is wasted. That includes any money spent on budget cap enforcement and certainly includes unfair and inequitable distribution of current revenues already in F1. That, is the real problem.

    9. I quite like Bourdais. His criticisms of F1 tracks apply, especially to some of the Tilke tracks. But Monaco has hardly changed, it’s always been like a “parking lot with a couple (nineteen) of turns”, and definitely not “vanilla”. Singapore, as a street track probably isn’t that different in terms of challenge and feel from some of Indy’s many, many urban tracks. And surely Albert Park, Monza, Spa and Interlagos can’t be that bad Seb? In his stint in Champ Car, they even “friggin” raced on the track F1’s going to this weekend!

      1. I will take criticism, lately is the thing F1 gets the most, but this sounds more like sour grapes…

      2. You get the feeling that even if he does mean what he says, he is saying anti F1 comments because that’s what he feels the American media/public want to hear. I think the fact that Indycar has 5 oval circuits in its current calendar makes his comments redundant. No matter how bad the new circuits on F1 can be, they are infinitely better than ovals.

        1. @williamstuart Although I know it will never happen, I would love to see F1 take the challenge of racing on ovals. Some of the best races I’ve seen in recent years have been on ovals, including most of the recent Indy 500s.

          I’d take any of IndyCar’s ovals over F1’s Tilkedromes, and sadly that’s most of the calendar these days.

          1. @keithcollantine
            I can still remember how excited I got when the rumours about F1 going to Indy started, I was so gutted when they announced they were using an in-field track instead of using the oval.
            Every time there’s a big change to the rules I hope the FIA will introduce the kind of safety features we’d need to run F1 on ovals, we could do with an extra race in the USA and Indy or Daytona would be a great addition to the calendar.

    10. Instead of just opening up engine development that much, why not also allow different engines of 1.6L capacity instead of only 90 degree V6’s? Inline 4’s, 5’s, and 6’s, V4’s, V8’s, Flat-6 boxer engines, and even 3-rotor engines as well (Rotary engines have been banned since 1982, but it should be lifted for the latter configuration.)

      1. I have always felt this way too. It is why I am so interested in the WEC, as so much more innovation seems to be taking place there. Just look at the Nissan entry. It breaths flames out of the bonnet in front of the driver! MotoGP is another example of different engine formats working well together.

        1. @xander, you do realise that the drivers of Nissan’s car have been complaining that those flames being jetted out over the bonnet have been impairing their vision, particularly at night? I wouldn’t exactly call that a positive point…

          @hohum, when the original regulations were written around an inline four cylinder engine, the chassis designers immediately complained because of the lack of torsional stiffness of an inline four cylinder engine.

          I am aware of one attempt to use an inline four cylinder engine as a stressed member in Formula 3, but although it was eventually technically feasible, the idea was dropped as it was actually heavier and more expensive than using the existing V6 engines.

          In reality, I doubt that you’d end up with that wide a disparity in the engine configurations – once you take the overall packaging constraints into consideration, most teams would probably default to a V6 engine anyway as the optimal solution.

          1. Anon, what you say is true regarding an inline 4 cylinder but a flat 4 (or 6) could provide benefits in packaging and c.o.g. to justify additional bracing and if the engineers would all build V6s anyway why regulate against other configurations.
            Come to think of it VAG have a theoretically great opposed cylinder 2 stroke ( yes it’s diesel but it’s all the same with direct injection) design that could have used F1 to develop and prove it’s worth. just saying.

            1. The day a diesel engine is on an F1 grid is the day F1 is dead…

            2. @williamstuart, the engine is currently being developed as a diesel but by adding a spark plug it could be developed as a petrol engine.

          2. @anon V6 engines in F3? Since when? F3 is, and has always been, 2litre in-line 4 cylinders…

      2. I agree totally, although it might be hard to equitably measure the swept volume of a rotary engine (and they don’t seem very efficient calorificaly), a flat 4 would seem a no brainer with max power @10,000rpm and who knows, maybe a modified Subaru rally engine could be an inexpensive base to produce an ICE at least as competitive as the Renault V6, even if it failed I would have liked to see a team try to emulate the success Brabham enjoyed in 1966.

      3. Alex (@alex-the-god)
        3rd June 2015, 9:54

        My favourite F1 engine was an inline 4 the BMW 1.5l turbo of the 80s

    11. I was confused as to the ramifications of the Russian GP organizer going bankrupt, and if it would still be held this year. So, I looked around a bit, and it seems that a larger company, Omega, has absorbed Formula sochi, taken over the rights and employees, and it should still be a go. Just in case anyone was wondering…

      1. That was quick!

    12. THEIFA, appear to have finally given their octogenarian billionaire leader the push (although the stake has not been driven through his heart yet), let’s hope F1 can follow suit.

      1. I wouldn’t celebrate so fast. None of this is being made for justice or for the sport itself. It’s just that Europe and the US are indignant that the world cup is taking that long to be hosted by them again. When f1 changes, I hope it’s not like this… In a way, this is bad news for f1… It means these guys are pushing to get football back, but f1 can go to China and Russia for all they care (meaning, no changes on the horizon)

        1. Aarrgh, I meant thiefa.

          1. ColdFly F1 (@)
            3rd June 2015, 8:50

            now I get it ;)

        2. @flig no, I don’t think it is… Like F1, the U.S. couldn’t really care about getting a football tournament because it’s not one of their home grown sports. It’s probably more someone got a sniff of what Jack Warner was up to at CONCACAF and then started digging into what journalists like Andrew Jennings had been writing for years (and likely found a huge paper trail leading to a figurative open goal).

    13. Looking forward to Mark’s autobiography – should be quite interesting. Especially the Red Bull years.

    14. PPS. Keith, why feature a tweet that is nothing more than an add for Rolex, get them to sponsor you, or did you already get yours with the tachygraph ?

    15. No Bourdais, moving Tabac by 3 metres doesn’t turn Monaco into a “parking lot”, and similarly does nothing to cure your chronic case of sour grapes.

      1. Ste Devote, the swimming pool entry and exit, the Rascasse AND Tabac….(excuse spelling) Re paving the entire circuit so its smooth. Kerbs near every single wall, flat forgiving kerbs at the chicane…

        Sour grapes or not, it would be difficult to stuff the circuit any more than they have, short of knocking down buildings.

    16. Its a bit funny that the comment about f1 tracks coming from a driver who failed to impress in f1…. I don’t get why I’ve never liked the layout of any track that does not host or hosted f1.

    17. Shame Bourdais feels inclined to make the F1-IRL comparison, because from a track layout perspective, F1 is in a different league. Whilst IndyCar’s calender, with the possible exception of Barber, are either a series of slow corners or merely an oval, F1 can still boast unchanged versions of Stowe, Ascari, Pouhon, the Degners and the almighty chicane that proceeds the champion’s wall. To say this is somehow infringed because of the Tilke-effect is utterly melodramatic.

      And in terms of corners that have been adapted, such as Parabolica, many of the adaptations are an attempt to mitigate the safety car scenarios that have so consistently ruined IndyCar races.

      1. Unchanged??? Most of the turns you quote have been changed significantly.

      2. are an attempt to mitigate the safety car scenarios that have so consistently ruined IndyCar races

        Spot on!!! It’s incredible how much crashes they have! It’s almost like NASCAR sometimes…

    18. Perhaps Bourdais would have found Monaco tougher if he’d tried to drive the track quickly..

      1. Alex (@alex-the-god)
        3rd June 2015, 9:59

        That’s just mean lol :p

      2. Hey, but try driving it with the bunch that fills the Indycar roster. We would have had as many or even more FCY than they had in the Detroit races, even in the dry! Makes it much more fun with indycars, right? Or maybe not.

        1. @bascb Don’t get me wrong, I do largely agree with Seabass, but I just think it’s ridiculous to single out Monaco as it’s one of the few tracks which retains almost all of its original challenge. Sure, there are parts which have more of a get-out-of-jail-free feel to them, but that just means we see a bit more hard driving there. If they didn’t have the runoff areas, then you’d just see everyone going slower and not pushing as hard. Monaco is probably the best example of a track where the improve safety features have had a positive impact on the racing, not to mention potentially saved lives.

          But certainly tracks like Abo Dhabi, they’re just huge expanses of tarmac with the shape of a track painted on. Not brilliant.

          1. Oh, yeah, fully agree that Monaco is the wrong example for what Bourais argued F1 tracks have become @mazdachris.

            Tracks like India, Korea, Sochi, Abu Dhabi and to an extent Singapore would be the most recent examples that fit it far better.

      3. Bourdais won the F3000 round at Monaco in 2002 BEFORE they started moving the barriers.

    19. Lewisham Milton
      3rd June 2015, 9:15

      Are we saying Indycar is a joke because of all the yellows, but Monaco was one of the most exciting finishes ever because of…a safety car?

      Can’t have it both ways.

      1. No IndyCar is a joke because the onboard cameras have names….

        1. Why doesn’t the yellow flag have a name? Massive exposure. “We have another Jell-O yellow…”

        2. I prefer having sponsored on-board cameras, replays and pole positions to having HRTs and Manors driving around with no sponsors at all. And without that I would not know about Big Jimmy’s BBQ and the Novalog Flexpen.

          1. Do you think that for the health of the sport or for the quality of viewing? I’d prefer to have plain cars with no sponsors, if the sport found the income from somewhere else. I don’t think many people actually like sponsors do they? It’s just extra advertising.

          2. @synapseza – ABC’s method of advertising has nothing to do with the subsequent revenue the sport receives, it only reinforces the value of sponsorship deals with the teams. It is only when the sport’s title brands (Verizon, Firestone, Chevrolet and Honda) are mentioned does the value of the commercial platform increases, or rather remain stable. IRL has consented to such outlandish commercial targets that the current level of marketing is needed to prevent a contract breach. And even if IndyCar’s commercial success does creep into the black, not one cent is given to the teams before being handed to the manufacturers for upwards of a 50% cut.

            IndyCar is shackled by its sponsors and by its manufacturers. The fact that F1 remains comparably authoritarian can be said to be something of an accomplishment.

    20. Bourdais is 100% right. The problem is that the FIA wants to standardise every circuit to a single model. This means that all new circuits look exactly the same (seriously, all Tilkedromes are pretty much interchangeable) and more traditional circuits are altered to become more like the standard. This concerns obvious things like track lay-out and run-off areas, but also things like circuit width and kerb stone design. About that last point, every circuit used to have different kinds of kerbs, some very high and narrow, others a bit shallower. Today all kerbs have the same profile, and the width is in some cases so large one could wonder why they didn’t just make the track wider (Abu Dhabi and Bahrain in particular are taking the piss here).

      But the worst thing by far are the run-off areas. The point of a circuit is to challenge the car and the driver, to push them to their limit – how is that possible if there is no limit to begin with? We saw it with the Parabolica in last weekend’s F3 race, drivers are just taking the escape road if they push too hard. That’s complete and utter sacrilege, in my opinion. I often visit Zandvoort and one of my worst fears is an asphalt run-off area along the Tarzan corner and the Scheivlak. If F1 ever decides to put Zandvoort back on the calendar, the FIA overhaul will completely ruin the track.

      1. Couldn’t agree with you more – “The problem is that the FIA wants to standardise every circuit to a single model” Totally hit the nail on the head there!

      2. well said!

      3. It doesn’t matter if its everyday commute or racing, the track/road has to be safe. And if that means the track has “lost its character” or “homogenized”…too bad get over it! Lives>your entertainment.

        There are more cars on the road than ever. There is more racing going every weekend than ever before….you know when the tracks were pure and dangerous. How have we managed to reduce fatalities and make motorsports a viable weekend hobby for just about anyone? Safety standards, R&D, and a lot of testing. Most of it trickles down from F1 to the laymen. Go to a track day today you’ll come across cars with all sorts of aero kits. Wings, splitters, spoilers…are all part of modern day racing even for the amateur. You have a choice to make: Keep up with the times and enjoy modern racing, or watch replays of the “golden years” cause aero, DRS, and hybrid engines are here to stay.

      4. I have to disagree about the runoff areas. I think most corners should have runoff areas. The reason is that if there is no runoff and a car becomes stranded it can often result in a safety car. There is nothing I hate more than a safety car. It has ruined many races for me.

    21. Well said Bourdais, well said. I find it bizarre that everyone on here is getting very defensive – we all know the topic dominating F1 at the moment is having a go at the sport and coming up with plans on how to change it but as soon as a driver from another series expresses an opinion they get shot down. The fact that he had a pretty poor record in F1 really doesn’t seem to be helping his cause with everyone here but that is clearly irrelevant here. I agree that the tracks are becoming more ‘vanilla’, I would love more ‘extreme’ tracks. That has always been the great thing about CART and Indycar – street tracks, ovals, airports, road courses. I would take Laguna Seca, Sears Point, Surfers Paradise, Watkins Glen, Road America, Long Beach, Toronto (I could go on) over the identikit Tilkedromes that have been air-dropped into new ‘markets’ around the globe. That’s why I embrace the return to Austria and Mexico, and the new Baku circuit will be a completely unique circuit.

      1. LOL saying “Indy tracks are better than F1 tracks because Monaco is a parking lot” is a logical fallacy.

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          3rd June 2015, 10:55

          Saying there taking the character out of them isn’t.

          Been to Parabolica lately?

        2. Indycar 2015 Season:
          Road – 5
          Short Oval – 3
          Superspeedway – 3
          Street – 2
          Semi-permanent/park – 1
          Airport/street – 1

          F1 2015 Season:
          Road – 14
          Street – 2
          Semi-permanent/park – 2
          Semi-permanent/urban – 1 (Sochi)
          Now I wonder which schedule is more varied….

          1. @unicron2002 This is a big part of the reason why, despite its flaws, I have a lot of time for IndyCar.

            1. Yeh same here, as a little kid I was blown away watching Mansell in 93 race on tracks as diverse as Surfers Paradise, Cleveland Airport, Indianapolis, Road America etc.

      2. I agree with Sebastien. He never really stood a chance in F1, because Red Bull already had their “Wunderkind” in Vettel – just look at the amount of Red Bull “rejects” – Speed, Liuzzi, Bourdais, Buemi, Alguersuari, and Vergne! Most of them were/are very good drivers … IMHO a few of them would have stood out in different teams/pathways ….

        F1 tracks don’t excite me in the way they used to. A lot of the corners have been neutered and made “safe”. F1 is no longer unforgiving – the way it should be! Drivers are too busy managing their fuel, tyres and car systems … while driving relatively slowly. We need more mechanical grip, less aero, NO DRS, and no STUPID 100 Litre/Hour flow limit. Punish drivers for making a mistake!

        A modern F1 driver is more likely to develop repetitive strain injury from the steering wheel controls …. than they are of being hurt in a crash! That ain’t right! :-|

        1. @downwithdrs – Bourdais’s points haul was actually higher than Speed and Liuzzi before him in the Toro Rosso, and he matched Buemi in ’09 too. Of course, still getting destroyed by Vettel in ’08 did the Frenchman no favours!

    22. The Blade Runner (@)
      3rd June 2015, 11:40

      @keithcollantine

      So I’m allowed to use that particular “f-word” on the site in future, Keith? ;)

    23. I think Bourdais is pretty spot on about the circuits. Imagine what the FIA would do to great American tracks like Watkins Glenn, Road Atlanta or Road America if it had the chance. Doesn’t bare thinking about. I realize that InyCar is currently not using the three I’ve mentioned but at least the circuits have been left with their soul intact. The homogenization of F1 circuits both classic and new, is killing the character these circuits had or could have had in respect to the newer ones. The vast tarmac run-off areas and enormous flat kerbs have destroyed any sensation of a driver “being on the limit” for the spectator. There’s a serious lack of tension at the moment in F1 sessions, be it in qualifying or the race and I believe the circuits have much to do with it.

    24. whatever some F1 die hards say on this website, i feel Bourdais is mainly correct with his “generalised oppinion”, and i am an f1 diehard from 1993 onwards. f1 has lost the plot in so many factors as a “motorsport” and i am glad motorsport fans have the option of series like Indycars to show how premium open wheel racing series can still have exciting tracks. watch some of the onboards of modern indycars, it is amazing compared to the sterile f1 with plain smooth re-laid tarmacs and huge runoffs. watching some of the modern indycar onboards is like taking a step back to when f1 was great.

    25. Until F1 puts gravel back into run off area’s, I’m boycotting it.

    26. Bernard Gachot! Have they let him out already then? :)

    27. All I seemed to get from his comments for the most part is “I didn’t enjoy F1/F1 didn’t enjoy me, So im going to trash it now.”

    28. IndyCar on the whole has been far more fascinating and interesting than F1 this. Seven different winners from eight races, two highly popular first-time winners, a superb Indy 500 and more chaotic races. Far better than the Hamilton-Rosberg-Vettel podium lock-outs we’ve been getting this season.

      I wish ITV could pick up the TV deal one day, or indeed IndyCar get a better TV deal in the States. The unpredictability is enough to sell this series.

      1. Seven different winners from eight races, two highly popular first-time winners

        @londoner – Makes me laugh that when F1 actually had this 3 years ago, people still complained about F1, as it was a “lottery”.

        1. Do agree with your points though, F1 2013-15 haven’t had more than 1 team fighting for the title.

        2. Well otherwise nothing to cry for when Vettel wins the championship at the end of the season….

      2. So why watch for hours just at the last part the winner to be totally random….

        1. That’s a very good point. Extremely frustrating for the most part…

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