Fuel-saving in F1 ‘much greater than before’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One races are being dominated by fuel-saving to a far greater extent than they used to be, according to David Coulthard.


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

David Coulthard: Short-changed drivers not enjoying F1 (BBC)

"There were occasional races when we might lift and coast, but it was not commonplace and it did not affect the racing as it did in Canada."

McLaren-Honda won't descend to Red Bull-Renault 's*** fighting' (ESPN)

"It is hard; it's a management exercise because we don't want to handle it like Red Bull and Renault, s*** fighting in the media. This is nonsense,"

Ecclestone: Big teams not taking over (Autosport)

"I've been there and done it. So far nobody has threatened to do anything, but then the worst thing anybody could ever do is threaten me."

Chilton mulling 2016 options ahead of Le Mans debut with Nissan (NBC)

"We’ve had a couple podiums in the last couple meetings, and I’ve definitely shown my pace. But I’m in a weird stage at the moment, figuring out whether I want to do IndyCar."

Raikkonen urges Ferrari to ‘improve in all areas’ (F1i)

"We have to improve in all the areas. The car is actually pretty nice, but we had to fuel save quite a bit and that's a limiting factor. It's all of those things, it's not just one."

A key moment in F1 history (Joe Saward)

"It is increasingly clear that someone is on the verge of lodging an official complaint to the European Commission about the way the sport is operating, on the grounds that the commercial and governance structures are anti-competitive."

Red Bull RB11 - revised turning vanes (F1)

"In the end, their two cars qualified and raced with different specifications of turning vanes under the front part of the chassis."

What’s transformed Lewis Hamilton? (Motorsport)

"The rest of his game, the being-an-adult part, finally seems to have caught up with his other talents."


Comment of the day

There is little sympathy for how Red Bull are handling their plight:

If you suggested to Frank Williams that they quit F1 he’d laugh you out of the room, even at their worst Williams were focused on getting back to the front of the grid and while I’m sure they were lobying the FIA/FOM quite a lot in private, they rarely made any public complaints or threats. I’ve just Googled “Williams threat to quit F1”, I got ten pages of results about Red Bull threatening to quit, then got bored of looking.

Even McLaren (who are far from being my favourite team) aren’t crying to the media about it being unfair, they and Honda are just getting on with the job of trying to improve as best they can.

Red Bull are just bad losers, although to be honest, they were often bad winners too. The team has a serious problem in the PR department which has turned many fans against them. Quite surprising really when you consider that their owner is an expert in marketing and PR.

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Keith Collantine
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89 comments on “Fuel-saving in F1 ‘much greater than before’”

  1. In all fairness to Honda, they need at least couple of years to match Mercedes and Ferrari’s performance level unless the regulations change again in 2017. Either wise, I reckon Honda will recover from the current state in the next couple of years and prove that Mclaren have made the right decision

    1. Why? They had two years to develop an engine to stable regs, they had a fair idea through McLaren about the Mercedes engine layout to base their design on, plus I’m sure countless hours of bench testing. To be so much worse than Mercedes were at the start of last year is staggeringly poor from the engineering might of Honda. Worst than renault in 2014 in fact.

      1. …they had a fair idea through McLaren about the Mercedes engine layout to base their design on…

        I disagree with this statement. McLaren were badly burnt several years back, and were nearly kicked out of F1, when one of their employees turned up at work with some Ferrari blueprints. My guess is McLaren had a non-disclosure agreement with Mercedes and they have stuck religiously to it. Maybe that is part of the problem: Honda may have been developing their F1 engine and transmission system in complete isolation from McLaren, and that only after all the Mercedes engines, gearboxes, computers, stock, spare parts, used parts, broken parts, molten blobs, blueprints, obsolete blueprints, filing cabinets, stencils, software, hard drives, computer cables, test instruments, flash drives, etc, was returned, were they able to start discussing the new engine with Honda.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          10th June 2015, 11:49

          @clay & @drycrust – Also, they would have only had a year with the new Merc engine so I imagine the information they were given was probably very limited even when compared to someone like Force India.

        2. Actually, I thought that strictly speaking the employee did NOT turn up at work with the material.

          He got caught because the material was in a public photocopy shop, and didn’t use the photocopiers at work.

          So, my personal prejudice is that the use of a public photocopier indicated that
          it was rogue employees and not mclaren behaviour; otherwise they had
          perfectly secure photocopiers at work to use.

          For this reason I have to this day thought Mosely behaved as a tyrant king
          of a kangaroo court who liked imposing disproportionate punishment altogether too much, and that a real court of law would have laughed it out. McLaren should have taken the FIA to the European courts over it.

          1. @boylep6 – I’m sure we saw theories about the “personal” nature of the punishment meted out over the blueprint scandal – that it was primarily an attack on Ron Dennis and thus only incidentally on McLaren as a team.
            Who knows. I thought everyone loved Ron…

          2. Yes, you are correct, no Ferrari blueprints were taken onto McLaren premises. My sincere apologies to McLaren for being wrong on this matter.

      2. @clay Mercedes had 4 years to develop this engine. Honda doesn’t lack innovation or ideas. It just lacks the ability to execute, similar to the 2013 McLaren MP4-28, where they went for a complete revolution of the car rather than a evolution and ended up with immense potential, but unable to know how to exploit it.

        1. @mashiat2, Honda have had a comparable period of time to develop their engine too, and have actually been developing their engine for longer than most seem to realise.

          Honda were an active participant in the original negotiations over the current regulations, and Racecar Engineering suggested that Honda actually began work on an F1 spec engine in at least 2012, and possibly as early as 2011, as a spin off from their engine development program for the Formula Nippon series.

          That would be strongly supported by the fact that Honda already had a prototype engine ready for bench testing back in 2013 – don’t forget that they were releasing audio clips to the press of the engine tests that year – so Honda have probably been developing their engine for a comparable amount of time to Mercedes.

        2. @mashiat2 How do you get to the 4 years of development time for Mercedes? If the decisions were made in December 2010 (and that’s the best I can find, please point me to other information if you have it), that means that they had 2011, 2012, and 2013. This also assumes that they went hell bent for leather immediately following the decision. But I seem to remember a LOT of back and forth about keeping V8s, allowing 4-cylinder engines.

          But even if we assume that they had 3 full years of massive development effort, Honda–of all the manufacturers–should have known that they should do the exact same as soon as they were coming around to returning. They did all the work the previous year behind the eventual Brawn car that dominated the first half of its one and only season well enough to win both titles. Ironically, the same team (Mercedes) that bought Honda’s old team and employed Brawn. This should have been an obvious tactic to Honda.

          Either McLaren should have locked up Merc engines for two years for Honda to work on theirs, or Honda should have started working earlier.

          All that said, I do hope engine development freeze gets thawed a bit so we can see some more on-track fighting and less off-track whining and bickering.

      3. the sports regulations are at fault here, any power-unit that has a big deficit to start with cannot ever catch up, because of the ridiculously contrived rules which limit development so much. mercedes got it right and are laughing, but they had no idea they got it right until they saw the others got it wrong. with normal development allowed, mercedes would plateu and the others catch up in quick time so there is “relative parity” -like how it was in v10/v8 era. if you are going to force such limited development of the engines, then you may as well introduce parity laws. racing series with with forced parity are much more sporting, and there is better racing – and the engines cost far less then the ridiculous ones currently in f1 which cost more then the previous era :P :P F1 is doing everything wrong, they are widening the competition instead of bringing it closer, they are killing the spectacullwith slower and worse sounding cars, they are making less manufacturers want to enter the sport. they tried to fix something that wasnt broken.

        1. There’s a lot in this I agree with, forced parity does bring the driver skill much more to the fore.

          But I can’t help but think the easiest solution to this problem is a far simpler set of rules. Such as this:
          A car may only use 100kg of fuel during a race.
          An engine manufacturer may conduct unlimited in-season development.
          Each engine may only cost £1m. (I made that figure up, so don’t shoot at it!!)
          Teams must receive parity in terms of engine supply*.
          Each car may only use 5 engines per season.

          * By which I mean if Williams pay Mercedes £1m, they get the same spec as the works team. If Force India and Lotus are paying Mercedes £800k, they get identical treatment.

          Then if Mercedes want to bankrupt the entire company running the F1 engine department at a loss, go for it. If Renault realise they’ve screwed up and need to invest massively in the engine for a year or 2 to avoid their current negative publicity, they can.

          I know there are holes in this – such as how much money Mercedes F1 team “filter” through the back door to cover the losses within the engine development department, but I’m talking about a principle here.

          If Renault solve this problem with a 3 cylinder engine and a MASSIVE electric motor, does it matter? No, as long as the racing is exciting.

          Just my thoughts…

          1. @geordieporker – I think you have basically hit on what I would like to see and what I think would be the best solution in this situation. Spec prices and every customer gets the same engine.

            The parity issue mentioned by (kpcart) isn’t a bad idea. It would be difficult to equalize what is parity (torque vs power vs power curve vs efficiency, etc.) but if they could come up with a formula and bounded it, I think it would be very interesting for the sport. And I agree that Geordie’s idea of open engine architecture would be the best. That way each manufacturer could highlight whatever they want (V12, I4, turbos, hybrid) and still compete.

        2. Without a fuel consumption rules, yes, your argument is correct; but with fuel consumption and token rules, then your argument may not be as straight forward.
          The reason being improvement’s in power normally increase fuel consumption, but because there are fuel consumption rules, the efficiency of extracting power from the fuel becomes a factor. Above average extraction of power is expensive and difficult, but average extraction of power is easy and cheap.
          Since there are tokens, then power gains that increase fuel consumption use fewer tokens than power gains from better extraction of power from the fuel.
          For an engine where there is a lack of power, e.g. Honda, Renault, then maybe the power gains are easier and cheaper to achieve provided they are using an average fuel consumption engine, because a power gain equates to moving closer to the edge of the fuel consumption envelop, but not exceeding it.
          For Mercedes, one could argue there is little point in them improving their engine unless they can improve the actual efficiency of extracting power from the fuel, because if they did improve the power of the engine in a way that just increased fuel consumption, they would then have to use their engine management software to limit the actual power of the engine so it stays within the fuel consumption envelop, meaning they might have used some tokens and ended up with an almost nil power output gain.

      4. They may have had 2 years to develop the engine. But they have no data whatsoever from track testing it. Think of it in these terms. Mercedes supplied four teams last year and supplies four this year, eight cars. Not including pre-season testing or in-season testing that constitutes 208 Grands Prix*, over 62,000km worth of data, problems, solutions and competitive track testing. If you assumed that each of the four teams managed at least three race simulations in pre-season testing in each year that’s another 48 Grand Prix race distances. In total almost 77,000km of track testing.

        Honda has competed in seven rounds with two cars, one of which has failed to start the race on two occasions so it has 12 Grands worth of track experience, 3600km. They also have 6 DNFs so half of those Grands Prix were not full race distances.McLaren was nowhere near doing race simulations in pre-season testing.

        It’s not heard to see why Honda is taking so long to catch up. They just can’t keep up with the track running that Mercedes manage.

        To think of it another way, for every round competed in by Mercedes with it’s full compliment of cars, McLaren needs to compete in four rounds to obtain the same amount of data. Meanwhile, during those same four rounds, Mercedes has collected sixteen times the data over those same four rounds.

        I’m not sure what people expect from Honda. It is clearly going to take a very long, hard, uphill slog to catch up unless they get some more teams but no team will partner with Honda in this state.

        *Excluding mechanical failures

        1. they would catch up,,, if development was allowed. otherwise they have no hope. F1 is the devil for killing competition.

          1. Honda are also trying to run engine mapping that saves fuel when ever the driver lifts his foot, hence the strange sound the Honda makes, from what i read on it they only run 3 pistons when not accelerating or something like that..
            if they get it right they would be a force to be reckoned with.

        2. @Nick – This is relevant information but Honda could have tried to sign up other teams to avoid this very scenario instead of being exclusive with McLaren.

          @lethalnz – I’m no engineer, but wouldn’t it make sense to get the power unit running well and reliably first, and then try to get all the trick stuff working?

  2. Looking at the piece of DC’s column, Here’s some insight from Martin Brundle where he also goes a bit into what sort of car/tyre/fuel management he had to deal with:

    If the drivers weren’t saving the brakes, it was fuel or tyres. I explained to my mates that during the 1980s and ’90s, when I was lucky enough to drive, we were doing all of that and significantly more. We also had to look after the clutch, gearbox dog rings, driveshafts, suspension and much more. So what’s changed the perception from what a good number of fans consider the finest era of F1 racing?

    1. @stefmeister Coulthard himself said something similar before. I remember reading it on his Daily Telegraph column. And Brundle himself has showed frustration while commentating races, listening to all those save fuel messages. So…

      1. Perhaps one difference is the fact that unlike in the past, we’re hearing the messages, and thanks to the internet, there’s much more exposure for the F1 fan to the inner workings of what’s happening in the cockpit.

        When I was a kid, you basically had to catch the race on TV, and since I’m in the US, hope they wrote something about it in your local paper–not much info to glean! The racers of that era could have been managing tires, brakes, fuel, etc. for every second of the race, and I would barely have known!

        For me, if the tires were tough enough to withstand harder driving, and not disintegrate when one car gets too close to the rear of another, there would be better racing to watch.

      2. Must be tough for Brundle having that as well as his matey mate the darts commentator in his ear mateily chortling away at his own jokes, mate. But he made his own bed (and stuffed it with money), gotta lie in it.

        F1 needs some grown-up coverage that promotes the sport and spreads its enthusiasm for racing. Look at the press conferences on Wed/Thur before a Grand Prix. Everyone’s moved on already, but all the FIA encourage the press to do is rake up some hyped controversy from the previous race, or start asking drivers about next year’s contract.

        Contrast with the sense of anticipation at Le Mans this week, where their amount of fuel’s limited every lap but they just get on with it – it’s a world apart.

    2. I think FOM are stupid to be broadcasting those specific radio messages while they could have been broadcasting other things. They are getting F1 into trouble with fans. If we didn’t hear the messages we wouldn’t be this sensitive right now. Moreover, why do we never hear Vettel’s radio messages for that matter? Guy overtook like 20 cars on Sunday, did they really keep mum? It’s like he didn’t have to save fuel at all. He was continuously on attack, attack, attack! I already have a problem with how they choose to follow someone lap after lap nothing happening while there are things going on behind them. Sometimes we don’t even get to see proper replays. In Monaco, Sainz broke his front wing touching one of the Saubers but they just showed us him missing the braking point and later on a part of the wing, never what really happened…

      1. no the FOM are not stupid, they are broadcasting what is actually going on in the race, F1 needs to get in trouble with the funs, as it is rubbish at the moment. if the fans speak up, the sport might change back to how it was, ie BETTER.

      2. Yea bola it’s surprising that they don’t do a better job, for everyone’s sake.

      3. Remember Bernie doesn’t like the new engines.

  3. BTW We were discussing what we woudl do to improve F1 on another site, Figured I’d post my suggestions here as well.

    For starters I’d keep the refueling ban as I don’t believe refueling makes the racing better. It certainly didn’t the last time, I believe it made the racing a lot worse (Stats & the team’s studies or whatever they did the past few weeks seem to back me up on that).

    What I would do however….

    No mandatory pit stops.
    More durable tyres.
    Pre-93 tyre sizes (To generate more mechanical grip).
    No restrictions on available tyre compounds (As we had Pre-94).
    Smaller front wings with none of the extra flaps etc.. we have now.
    Front wings lower to the ground.
    Ground Effects.
    Pre-2009 rear wing dimensions but with less wing angle allowed.
    No DRS.
    Wider cars (Were they 2m Pre-98?).
    Standard fuel tank that must be topped up on the grid to get rid of the under-fueling.
    I’d also allow a bit more fuel usage & give them a bit more fuel.
    Get rid of the start maps & start modes to put it more in drivers hands.

    And of course a fairer distribution of prize money which would help makes the Mid-field/Back of the grid more competitive.

    I’d also get rid of the engine freeze & token system & open up the development of the hybrid systems. This would generate more power & give manufacturer’s who are struggling (Like Renault & Honda) a chance to gain some ground.

    And i’d probably Open up the tyre supply to allow a tyre war. That would see big gains in performance.

    1. @stefmeister, I fully agree with nearly all your suggestions, and even those I don’t fully agree with are still better than the current situation.

    2. honestly, your suggestion would open it up so only the rich would win F1,
      the most money wins…

      1. @lethalnz, so you are saying teams like, Brabham, Lotus, McLaren and Williams were the richest teams in F1 when they started winning races, I don’t think so.

        1. @hohum, back in 1979 Williams had become one of the richest teams in F1 when they signed their sponsorship deal with the Binladen construction group (they were one of the first teams to have a multi-million pound budget, as it happens).

          1. But surely they had been winning races before they attracted that sponsorship?

          2. @hohum, Williams had picked up a couple of lucky podiums in the past, but their first victory came in 1979 – it was the size of that deal which helped accelerate development of the FW07, since they could then afford to spend much more time in Imperial College’s wind tunnel refining the aerodynamics of that car.

            As for Brabham, at the start of operations their budget was comparable with many of the other front running teams of the time – they weren’t significantly more wealthy than their rivals, but they certainly weren’t a poor team given that Tauranac had a fairly healthy stream of revenue from selling customer cars for junior series, such as the Tasman Series.

      2. The teams with money will always be at the front. Look at series like NASCAR and IndyCar which are largely spec series and the teams with money are at the front. Even in karting with a series where the competitors use sealed spec engines the teams with money and resources are at the front.
        I think the key would be to minimize the impact of aerodynamics on the cars. With aero you need a wind tunnel, super computer, a team of experts to analyze the numbers and an Adrian Newey type to put it to use. Eliminate that and the smaller teams have a chance of grabbing a bit of glory. It’s not a coincidence that as the dependence on aerodynamics grew the instances of smaller teams fighting at the front declined. It wasn’t that long ago when Jordan, Sauber and Stewart were able to fight for podiums and those in power need to really look into why they were able to and why it stopped.

        1. when McLaren won the F1 Championship with Denny, they had heaps of money from winning all those races in the States under the Cam-am series,
          when you look back all the winners had lots of money, it always has been a money game just sometimes a team with a little less managed a win but not a world championship.

    3. All that needs to happen to improve F1 is to have four plus teams with a chance for victory on race day – if there is refueling, poor tyres, drs etc no one will care. At the moment we go into every race knowing Merc will win and nine put of tens times it will be Hamilton – our only hope for an exciting race is if something out the ordinary happens. The problem for us is that no Merc powered car will be able to challenge Merc works team, Renault and Honda are REALLY struggerling – so we have only one team that even has a chance to challenge Merc – Ferrari. If the power trains etc, where closely matched we would be having a classic season – and all these problems would disappear.

      1. So change your allegiance to GP2 if that is what you want, F1 is a technical challenge as well as a driving challenge.

    4. Add one more: no other communication between driver and pit wall then:
      – box now
      – retire in box or retire now (in case of major safety problems)
      – you have a penalty for…
      – driver: coming in, because of …

      So no coaching, no fuel saving info, no changing of engine maps on request of the wall. Drivers themself must have the knowledge of all the starting/engine modes, fuel usage and how to tackle irregular situations via the steering wheel buttons. The driver is in control and has to make the right calls. If the wall needs to change something because of safety reasons, they have to communicate it/do it in the pit.

      I really really don’t like the puppet way of how it is now.

      1. It was always the puppet way. Just that with greater radio, now you KNOW that it is a puppet way.

    5. I think FOM are stupid to be broadcasting those specific radio messages while they could have been broadcasting other things. They are getting F1 into trouble with fans. If we didn’t hear the messages we wouldn’t be this sensitive right now. Moreover, why do we never hear Vettel’s radio messages for that matter? Guy overtook like 20 cars on Sunday, did they really keep mum? It’s like he didn’t have to save fuel at all. He was continuously on attack, attack, attack! I already have a problem with how they choose to follow someone lap after lap nothing happening while there are things going on behind them. Sometimes we don’t even get to see proper replays. In Monaco, Sainz broke his front wing touching one of the Saubers but they just showed us him missing the braking point and later on a part of the wing, never what really happened…

      1. In Monaco, Sainz broke his front wing touching one of the Saubers but they just showed us him missing the braking point and later on a part of the wing, never what really happened…

        FOM don’t handle the broadcast for Monaco, Thats still left upto the local broadcaster.

    6. those start mde engine maps are akin to traction control as far as i am concerned and should be banned.

    7. By removing the restrictions on the compounds you are creating more additional expense for the teams. Imagine the sheer amount of tyres you would have brought along for one weekend.

      Then there’s the fact that the whole of practice would be spent testing which tyres work and which don’t…

  4. I don’t think it’s a matter of being bad losers or bad winners. The difference between Williams/McLaren and Red Bulls is that, while F1 is essential for the former 2, who started their bussiness racing cars in this motor racing world and expanded their involvement into other areas, but always focusing in automotive racing perfection, Red Bull can just pull the plug and they won’t miss much.

    Red Bull sells cans full of… whatever it’s in there. They can continue as sponsors if they wanted. Or they could just leave altogether and move on. They don’t NEED F1, they use it as a marketing tool. A marketing tool that in 2005 turned into full involvement, for whatever reason, and then expanded in 2006 with another team. But they are and have always been sponsors. They just happen to be spending more and actually competing with Red Bull manufactured cars.

    But they could easily go. What’s stopping them, really? that’s what’s dangerous about teams like that. Concorde agreements don’t work if whatever team can just decide one day that F1 is not what they want to do anymore, and quit. It happened with BMW and Toyota, car manufacturers, why won’t it happen with an energy drink company that has nothing to do with cars?

    1. Agree. I’d also add I doubt Mercedes will be in the sport as a constructor in say 10 years time. Engine supplier perhaps but once they’ve received an acceptable marketing return on their investment in the sport (4, 5 titles perhaps?) – they’ll be off.

      As you say, racing teams like Williams, McLaren, Ferrari, the “Enstone” team and even Sauber are the heart of F1.

    2. No team is there to race for the fun of racing…. it is all business…. its all about creating a positive PR image either to help them sell cars or energy drinks or be able to pass this on to a sponsor (by charging them) – in the end they all the same.

      Ferrari will not stick around indefinitely in Formula 1 if they are loosing money and tarnishing there image just as much as Redbull won’t. McLaren would ditch F1 tomorrow if it made business sense that the money was in the road cars and F1 was now detrimental to there image etc.

    3. sick of people beating up on Red bull because they made soft drinks first. they came into this sport like all the others, and did a better job. Bull might leave, and then might come back (like merc/honda/lotus etc)- and i bet if that happened, the day they came back, they would be seen as a successful historic f1 team returning to re-enact their success, just like Honda returning with “Mclaren-Honda” – it would be mega headlines.
      Picking on a team because the company was first a soft drink company is the stupidest thing when you consider how every team in the sport and over history has been funded. remember Benetton (a clothing line), remember team Brawn (a failed manufacturer -Honda- team – a beaten by a soft drink company then purchased by a mega rich man not part of any manufacturer). that is just 2 examples.
      RedBull has done more for f1 in the past decade then any other team, they came in and actually invested enough to win, and did not quit like Toyota and Honda in the GFC. they are producing young drivers capable of winning in many different racing series. they have produced a top 2 driver currently in f1 and helped him make records that have put him amongst the best in the history of the sport before 25 years old. they are employing and developing the skills of many young racing engineers that might have never got a chance in the sport, or would have had less success in inferior teams. Everything Red Bull have achieved, they did so with the weakest engine in the sport! the haters really need to give them a break and stop the jealousy. team Ferrari, the only original team still in the sport- they have not been the cleanest team over history, and most of their great success was because they had the unlimited resource and testing.

      1. I’m not picking on anyone, I’m just saying that, as Anthony above pointed out, this is a bussiness, and for Red Bull, being an F1 constructor is nothing more than a marketing tool. But a marketing tool that, unlike other teams that rely on their sucess in racing, could easily change and not include motor racing at all in the future.

        It’s the same with Benetton as you say. They also got to F1 and they also quit and are still in business because motor racing was never their main thing. It was just marketing.

        Again, I’m not picking on or beating up them. I’m just pointing out that it’s not about being a bad loser or bad winner.

    4. Like I said yesterday, I guess we can tell a racing team from a drinks company.

    5. Sugar, mostly. And caffeine @fer-no65.

      1. @bascb I tried it and it felt like stomachache in a can.

        1. overload of both of those and then the added bleh will probably do that for you, yeah @fer-no65. I tried a bit of it once, and since then I hugely admire their marketing for being able to sell this goo.

          1. @bascb LOL so true !

  5. Am I the only one that realizes how different the McLaren-Honda situation is to the Red Bull-Renault one. Honda was always going to struggle with every single detail of this new engine coming back into the sport where as everyone here, including Red Bull, expected Renault to deliver a proper and reliable engine for their car. Renault on the other hand expected Red Bull to deliver a proper chassis for their engine. Both failed obviously but it is Renault who made sure Red Bull can’t escape out of the lower end of the points for the foreseeable future.

    Also the comparison with Williams is nonsense and next to the point. Williams is a successful privateer team that enjoyed some success and under the current regulation most likely never will again. Red Bull on the other hand is a sponsor, one that threw massive amounts of money into the sport, and even though there should be no doubt about the passion for the sport in the team it remains a racing billboard. They enjoyed being in F1 from the moment they got into it. Most likely they still do now; it’s just fact there is no way to go for them from where they are now. You could almost say money is no longer an issue, aero development is pointless as long as that Renault engine cant even come close to the Ferrari and Mercedes.

    So we have an engine in Renault, unable to fix anything due to rules or inability. We have a racing team that is as realistic as can be and sees what F1 has become; A locked dominance with no chance of catching them. There should be no surprise BOTH consider quitting. In fact, I sometimes think they should; it would be a proper wake-up call for F1 – letting Renault, STR and RBR go will be a big hit and maybe it would fire up some brains in the boards and they finally start realizing the sport is broken.

    1. ^^^well said @xtwl. This has turned into a no-competition bore-fest, or as you put it “A locked dominance with no chance of catching”. F1 is broken and my grandmother could win in the Merc. And yes, that’s taking away from LH’s string of victories. He’s on a Sunday drive to the WDC. Who wouldn’t be? Oh wait, Nico. Pathetic.

    2. well maybe if Renault bothered to spend some of their development Tokens then they and RedBull wouldn’t be in the position they are now. They had the worst engine in 2014, spent the least developing it in the off season and haven’t bothered to introduce an upgrade so far this season.

      I realise that that is simplifying it somewhat but there is no point griping about limited development when you don’t even take the limited opportunities that are open to you.

    3. Red Bull, expected Renault to deliver a proper and reliable engine for their car. Renault on the other hand expected Red Bull to deliver a proper chassis for their engine.

      I think this is something that people forget. Yes, the Renault engine is not as good as the Merc or Ferrari. However, some of the issues have been down to Red Bull’s packaging. They have always focussed on the aero package above everything else, compromising other aspects of the car for it. With a brand new, very complex engine design, most teams seem to have made compromises to, for example, increase cooling to cope with unexpected unreliability. I have seen no sign that Red Bull have done so.

      So we have an engine in Renault, unable to fix anything due to rules or inability. We have a racing team that is as realistic as can be and sees what F1 has become; A locked dominance with no chance of catching them.

      Renault have screwed up. We can see how much closer Ferrari have come to Merc this season, what a huge step forward they have made. This shows what is possible within the current rules, so the rules cannot be blamed for the, as you put it, “locked dominance”. Given a year or two, the red car will have caught the Merc, with no changes to the regs. Renault need to step up their game.

      As for Red Bull, they argued against anything which would end their advantage in the 4 years they won WCC. OK, their advantage was not as big as Merc’s, but they did have an advantage. Their opinion was always “The other teams need to do a better job”. Now, they are in a situation where they have a disadvantage and want the rules changing.

      Personally, I would say that if they are unhappy with their current engine, they need to get a different one. They could try to get a Merc or Ferrari engine, gamble on Honda, or gamble even more on enticing a new entrant. But campaigning for a change in the rules because you (or your engine supplier) haven’t done a good enough job, when only a few seasons ago you were saying the opposite, is hypocritical. It is the hypocrisy which I can’t stand.

  6. Red Bull are just bad losers, although to be honest, they were often bad winners too. The team has a serious problem in the PR department which has turned many fans against them.

    Exactly. The funniest part is how the team’s reputation and the energy drinks’ reputation are completely opposite.

    1. I wouldn’t say that they are that different. Both the team and the drink build to a decent high which ends with a sudden drop. After a while they also both leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.

      1. Fair enough :)

      2. ha, fits well then!

  7. Regarding Coulthard’s comments on refuelling its worth of note that his career spanned completely in the latest refuelling era and he was the one with most races within those drivers. (Fisichella 2nd and Ralf Schumacher 3rd)

    Also regarding the qualifying with race fuel, most drivers had early pace similar to what they had in qualifying while nowadays it may change with 100 kg vs 1 kg in the tank.

    1. @bleu David Coulthard from 2008-

      ”From my point of view a bigger drawback of refuelling is that it detracts from the racing by turning the grand prix into a series of low-fuel sprints between pit stops.”

      ”In the days (pre-1994) when you carried your entire race fuel load on board the car, there was a much bigger role for the driver in managing the tires and brakes. These days, in dry conditions, you very rarely see anyone win from further back than the second row of the grid, because race pace largely mirrors qualifying pace, which is not surprising when the conditions are so similar.”

      ”So if we need to spice up the racing, in my view one of the best ways of doing that would be to ban refuelling.”

  8. ColdFly F1 (@)
    10th June 2015, 10:56

    someone is on the verge of lodging an official complaint to the European Commission about the way the sport is operating

    And then BE says (albeit unrelated in this case): “the worst thing anybody could ever do is threaten me.”

    Imagine the EC complaint actually happens, BE then stops all racing in Europe. He’ll make a lot of money in all the venues, but F1 will stop what it used to be.
    And just maybe we’ll get a new pinnacle of Motorsport with real racing teams, big name automotive participants and the best racing drivers in the world with a better governance model and a business model like the Premier League.

    1. The same Premier League where Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United spend hundreds or tens of millions every season and teams like West Bromwich and West Ham merely scrape by? Its business model is still vastly skewed in favour of the large teams. You’ll never get a situation where a team like Blackburn (who?) win the title, like they did in 1995.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        10th June 2015, 16:01

        @jules-winfield – Southhampton!
        PL is probably not ideal either but ‘football pitches’ ahead of F1 money schemes.
        And I do not mind teams finding extra money through sponsorship etc., but I want most of the sport’s money to go to the teams in a fair split based on results and allowing the red lantern team still to be able to pay its staff.

      2. Blackburn won by spending more than everyone else too, including smashing the transfer record when they bought Shearer.
        No one wins without spending a lot of money.

    2. Would be pretty expensive for Bernie though – he would be obliged to then stage half of the races in America (or is it North America even?) @coldfly, and its not likely anyone in the US is going to want to pay for it more than they do nowadays.

      The thing is, if the small teams face a choice of going bust or trying a complaint (or maybe going bust alone or going buts and take the sport with it – with the Egos involved?), there comes a moment when one feels so desperate that the second opinion is the only one left.

  9. Fuel saving isn’t a big issue in most races, only on a few of the high consumption circuits. Why not adjust the maximum fuel allowance for each race based on the fuel demands? So at the start of the year the teams agree (ok i see one issue here) what the fuel allowances will be for each race, for example 120kg at Montreal but only 75kg at Monaco (to pick arbritrary figures). That sets the maximums and if teams choose to underfuel for tactical reasons then that’s their decision. It doesn’t really make sense to have a flat limit of 100kg per race when the fuel demands vary significantly for different circuits.

    1. Easier to just make all cars start with 100kg of fuel onboard, that will encourage drivers to fuel-burn by going faster, when it gets to the stage that the PUs are so efficient that all the cars finish all the races with 10kg left they can change the rule to a minimum starting fuel load of 90kg.

  10. I’m not totally convinced that all this race management is the root cause of the tedium we currently face. As DC & MB rightly point out, racing while caring for individual components of the cars has always happened.

    The seasons of 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 are the most recent seasons that almost all fans cherish. Why? Because the performance difference between cars was much smaller than it has been in 2014 & 2015. If Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams took the top 6 grid spaces all separated by 0.4″ of each other, races would be completely different.

    Right now, Mercedes can cruise because they have a margin over Ferrari, who in turn have a margin over Williams who have a margin over who ever else shows up. At the pointy end, the pressure to maintain position isn’t there and neither is the opportunity to gain position.

    1. caring………has always happened

      Yes, but to a far lesser degree than currently and caring for the engine didn’t mean slowing down (unless managing a lead) but not over-revving the engine, something the computer does now.

  11. F1 isn’t a sprint race, like touring cars or F3, and nor is it an endurance test. Its a middle-distance race, bridging the gap between the two. Its a combination of the key characteristics of the two ends of the spectrum – wheel to wheel, and sticking it out. People probably want more of the former (BTCC is broadcast live on freeview, whilst WEC is stuck behind a paywall), but if you eradicate car management from F1, you water down a part of its identity. Alternatively, you could argue that this is F1’s biggest problem: it fulfils neither market’s needs as well as other products.

    In practical terms, Mercedes don’t need to address their fuel-consumption. They can win the way they are. This has a knock-on for their customers, who might like their suppliers to develop more economy. Now Ferrari have made horsepower gains, they might want to look into being able to go faster for longer. This would force Mercedes to do the same. Renault? Erhm….

    Hypothetically, what if we closed down the fuel allowance even further? The races would be slower, but would the gaps increase? Would more drivers/teams have a chance? With development open, manufacturers would have to focus on this, and after a time, the racing would close up.

  12. Part of the problem I think is that in the past we, as viewers, could see the drivers – I don’t want to say drive the car – pushing the car. They had to fight the car around a corner and such. You could see the difference between how each driver drove. Now if they have high rear tyre wear they adjust the brake balance, same for the fronts. The telemetry the teams have means they can fix problems from practice so that the drivers don’t have so many issues. The teams can also lessen the risks before they even arrive.

    The aero is also a problem for following which they wouldn’t have had in the past.

    To be honest, I quite like the new hybrids otherwise. Every few years they keep changing the engines so it’s not like there’s a standard anywhere.
    But then again, I’ve started watching FE and WEC and others on the internet and widen my options, while the F1 I have to go somewhere else to watch as I can’t afford the pay view monthly subscription on TV.

  13. Interestingly despite all the complaints about the cars driving slow in Montreal this years race was the fastest Canadian Gp since 2004.

    I know that it didn’t feature a SC but there have been other races at Montreal that have not featured a SC & it was faster than all of them.

    Canadian Gp’s that didn’t feature a SC-
    2004: 1:28:24.803
    2015: 1:31:53.145
    2003: 1:31:13.591
    2013: 1:32:09.143
    2012: 1:32:29.586
    2002: 1:33:36.111
    2010: 1:33:53.456
    2001: 1:34:31.522

    1. 2001 (Montoya/Barrichello incident) and 2002 (Villeneuve’s stopped car) had safety car periods. Also, in 2001 the circuit was little different with the run to the hairpin being longer (and so was the final “straight”.

      1. @bleu Forgot about the SC’s in 2001/2002.

        Pretty sure I got the other Non-SC races right though?

  14. Joe Saward article it’s just brilliant! If you have some time, read it because it’s really worth it. I agree with every line (still not completely sure that Mosley’s idea would work, but it’s the only one that big teams would maybe accept)

  15. For those who talk up WEC’s speed compared to F1, The LMP1 cars are going to be slowed down for next year-

  16. Surprised you didn’t mean Piquet Jr’s appearance in Indy Lights this weekend, Keith.

  17. ColdFly F1 (@)
    10th June 2015, 16:06

    I don’t mind refuelling as long as it’s done like aerial refuelling.

    1. Refuelling with drones! What could possibly go wrong?

  18. The thing is, Captain is right about the fact that there were pay drivers active in F1 at the time that Surtees was competing, even at relatively prestigious teams.

    For example, in 1971 (I concede it was at the tail end of Surtees’s career) Team Lotus were pressurised by the JPS tobacco company into signing Dave Walker, who was also sponsored by JPS. McLaren agreed to run Andrea de Adamich in return for sponsorship and free V8 engines from Alfa Romeo back in 1970 (March did the same in 1971) and Lauda managed to buy his first race in F1 from March in 1971 too. The idea that the pay driver is a modern phenomenon is simply wrong, because they did exist alongside Surtees when he was competing.

  19. David Coulthard is spot on in his assessment – “F1 has to project the sense that you are watching a feat of amazing human skill.”

    What we are watching these days is mostly an engineering exercise, or worse, a management exercise.

  20. I was watching some of the Classic races that I’ve Sky+’d today & it got me thinking.
    Do fans have higher expectations for races today compared to what they did say 10 years ago & if so why?

    I ask this because when you go back & watch a race from say 5-10 years ago there wasn’t a lot of close racing or overtaking a lot of the time & I suspect that back then a race like Montreal this year which did feature some close racing/overtaking (Significantly more than was seen most of the time 10yrs ago) would have had people rating it 8-10/10.

    Now if we suppose that my suggestion is correct the question becomes why? Whats changed?

    That is simple. In 2011 we had DRS & the High-Deg tyre philosophy introduced & since then (In 2012 in particular) we have seen a lot of craziness & unpredictability created by the tyres in particular with DRS creating a ton more passes (Even if they are most of the time lower quality passes).

    Something I believe add’s some credence to this theory is if we look at the tail end of some of the DRS/Pirelli years. In 2012 & especially 2013 the season started out with everyone scrambling to figure out the tyres & the early parts of those years were crazy & wildly unpredictable as a result. However towards the tail end of those years everyone figured the tyres out & things stabilized so races calmed down & the order remained fairly consistent with less surprises. And I recall a lot of fans complaining that the end of those years were more boring than the start.

    Now while that final statement is true (The end of those seasons was less exciting than the start) the final races were still more exciting than what we had in seasons past in terms of the racing, overtaking etc…

    So going back to my original question & adding my theory into it, Has those 2 years where the DRS & tyres created a lot of craziness & unpredictability raised everyone’s expectations of what a good F1 race should be?

    1. @gt-racer, I think you have a point, we see a lot of posts here that suggest that a fair portion of posters want unpredictability above all else and judging by his “big ideas” these are the people Bernie wants to attract, the problem with that is that unpredictability when manufactured becomes boringly predictable and fans who have formed an attachment to a team or driver get frustrated when their favourite loses due to random factors out of their control.

      1. @hohum

        I don’t think it is just when a person’s favourite team/driver loses due to random, manufactured circumstances. I think much of it comes down to perceived fairness.

        An extreme example would be if they tried to equalise performance by adding weight to a car based on their performance last race. This would result (I believe) in much closer racing and much more passing. But it would be contrived, unfair and artificial. Good drivers and cars would be penalised for being good. Casual viewers would probably find it more exciting, but fans of the sport would hate it, as it would be unsporting.

        As to the original point, there have been a lot of complaints throughout history about F1 being boring, making suggestions to spice it up. Part of the problem is that the car can have such an impact: If the best driver is in the worst car, they can’t win. To me, the technical side is part of the appeal, but I admit that I am not the average viewer and most don’t find this as interesting as I do. I think, however, that F1 will never be the most exciting sport for the majority of people while it remains a sport in it’s historic form.

        IMHO there are 2 options, really: Keep the sport the “way it is”, accepting the fact that it will be boring to the majority of people on the planet, or try to fundamentally change F1 into something the average person finds exciting. Unfortunately for me, the powers that be seem to be going down the second route.

  21. Sounds like they’ve found the answer at Le Mans, with the biomethane powered car that’s entering in 2017.
    The Strategy Group meetings alone would produce enough biomethane to run a whole gridful of F1 cars! Self-sufficient racing – it’s the future.

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