DRS activation point, Silverstone, 2015

Overtaking on the Strategy Group agenda

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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DRS activation point, Silverstone, 2015In the round-up: The F1 Strategy Group is to take another look into how to “improve the overtaking” in Formula One.


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

F1 tech chiefs to discuss overtaking (Autosport)

"Recently we've had a directive from the Strategy Group that they want to improve the overtaking."

Ecclestone considering GP2 plan to help rising stars (Motorsport)

"The idea then is that the third car could have a driver change four or five times a year, and then (the teams) can look for someone they think is talented who has been in lesser formulae."

Q&A with Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen (F1)

"I think it’s a bit the sound that needs improvement, and maybe a little more downforce."

Sauber aiming to recapture early-season form after summer break (Sky)

"Obviously now it’s no secret we have lost a bit of momentum and we’re struggling to keep up with the midfield pack."

Ferrari not good enough for title - Allison (F1i)

"We have said throughout that our car isn’t good enough to challenge for any championship this year. We will do our best to get more and more competitive race-by-race, but you have to be realistic about where we are working from."

New Artwork: Jordan 191 (PJ Tierney)

"The Jordan 191 is legendary amongst those who have followed racing for a long time, and it is a great feeling to put such effort into this tribute piece."

Spending £250,000 on an engagement ring is just asking for trouble (The Guardian)

"Was the robber gang Russian? How did they get the huge container of gas up the drive and administer it? Or did the Buttons just have a frightful hangover?"


Comment of the day

We’ve had some fascinating views on what should be the top priorities for F1. Here’s @Matt90’s take on what matters most:

First and foremost the sport needs to be protected from collapse, and that means that the current teams need to be more financially stable or F1 needs to be a viable enough prospect to have teams queuing to join and replace any that do fail.

Another issue seems to be that people are becoming disenchanted with the sport. The best way to protect against this is making the sport more accessible. Ridding F1 of gimmicks is, I believe, also important to keeping people invested, while also being generally the best approach from a pure sporting perspective.

Plenty of other factors also deserve a look in of course, but I think most important are protecting the future of competitors, better involving fans (without pandering to them with Fanboost-esque nonsense), and improving the sporting credentials.

What is most important to you as an F1 fan? Join the discussion here:

From the forum


Jacques Villeneuve, Venturi, Formula E, Donington Park testing, 2015

Jacques Villeneuve joined in he Formula E testing at Donington Park yesterday. See here for more pictures.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Glue and Leah Kernahan!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

A huge crash in the 1985 World Sportscar Championship Mosport 1,000km claimed the life of F1 driver Manfred Winkelhock (the accident is not shown in the video below).

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  • 86 comments on “Overtaking on the Strategy Group agenda”

    1. And so the in-season meddling by the power that be to try and change the pecking order begins, once again under the guise of ‘improving’ something.

      1. +1

        I am sure the Mercedes powered teams will think of something to come up with. Maybe in a few years Ferrari will get their chance at running the show. sigh. If only people knew what rules were all about. Such is the great success of public education.

    2. Well that’s encouraging, it seems the people who have been designing aero-dependant F1 cars for 30-40 years are aware that their designs contribute greatly to the inability of a car to follow close enough behind to make a pass without DRS or comedy tyres. Now that they have worked out what the problem is maybe they can work out how to fix it, hopefully in less time than it has taken to realize what the real problem is.

      1. @hohum they’ve known this for 30-40 years and chose not to care because if their car is up front, nobody can pass!

        And now any genuine findings will pass through the Tragedy Group and be discounted by the teams because it will munt at least some of their competitive advantage.

        1. …. Guys…. The wings… Why do we have skinny back wings?

          They are clearly, actively trying to deal with the well known situation.

      2. They’ve known what the problem is for years. But asking them to throw away their investment in wind tunnels and super computers is a big ask. If you spent a zillion dollars to make your car go fast via aerodynamics would you then say OK, I’ll throw it away and reinvest in some other means of designing the cars?

    3. “If they are looking for somebody and they have a seat vacant they look at somebody who has a chunk of money.”

      Maybe if you and your friends weren’t pocketing so much of the profits, then giving the richest teams the biggest share of whats left, the rest of the teams wouldn’t have to keep looking for somebody who has a chunk of money.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        11th August 2015, 8:53


    4. The roundup is missing the best f1 silly season news piece I’ve seen so far:

      “I still feel undervalued in Formula 1” – Maldonado

      1. Ron Brooks (@)
        11th August 2015, 3:11

        Thanks for sharing that. I needed a good laugh.

        1. maarten.f1 (@)
          11th August 2015, 6:18

          @curlee Well, there was some “strategy group” news in there, that’s always good for a laugh.

          I’d love to be part of one of those meetings, except I don’t think I could keep a straight face.

      2. I think if you consider his perspective, then it makes it rather a fair thought.

      3. Didn’t know Maldonado had a sense of humour.

        He is one of the most valued drivers on the grid today… courtesy PDVSA of course ;)

    5. I posted this on the autosport forums & in the comments section here on another article so may as well share it here since its relevant with regards to overtaking i’ll repost it.

      I don’t know how people feel about this but i’m going to put forward a view that I think one of the biggest problems with F1 from the past 10 odd years is the focus/push on overtaking & ‘The show’.

      Cars have been changed purely for overtaking, Several circuits have been ruined in the name of overtaking, We had gimmickey/artificial nonsense like DRS in the name of overtaking among other things. I think far too much focus is put on overtaking… Or more accurately on quantity of overtakes & I believe thats come at the expense of quality.

      Its the same with ‘the show’, You have all this stuff thats been done for unpredictability & all that but a lot of it has come at the expense of quality racing. Take the tyres as an example, The High-deg was done purely for the show, Purely to spice things up & make things less predictable…. Yet that has come at the expense of drivers been able to actually push hard & race.

      Giving some example, The final sector at Barcelona has been butched to try & make overtaking more possible & I don’t see anyone saying the changes are better than the old layout. The new Bus Stop chicane at Spa was designed to encourage overtaking yet its a far less interesting corner than it used to be. The changes to the Rascasse at Monaco was done to try & encourage overtaking & the new layout is far less of a challenge than it once was & the same is true where corners were changed at places like Monza & Suzuka to create better overtaking spots.

      The cars were changed in 2009 primarily for the show & overtaking & the front/rear wings have looked crap ever since.

      Overtaking is important to some extent I’m not saying it isn’t….However it shouldn’t be the primary focus but if its going to be then at least look at doing things that provides quality rather than just quantity.

      I basically think that F1 has become so obsessed with the show & getting 50+ changes of position through every race that its lost track of what it should be doing & I think fans are partly to blame for this as well as I think were seeing the nascar mentality creeping in where anything other than 100 lead changes with constant action every lap like you see on a restrictor plate race is deemed dull.

      1. And a reply i made to someone-

        The chicane at Barcelona was partly for safety but mostly for overtaking as it was really hard to follow through the final 2 corners which they felt was hindering overtaking down the straght.

        I was also referring to turn 10 though, It used to be a pretty interesting, long corner but they moved it forward to create a larger braking zone to aid overtaking in 2004 & now its just a rather dull, straightforward hairpin.

        As to the Bus Stop, The 1st big change to the entry was 2004 where they totally re-profiled it purely to create a better overtaking zone. Yes it needed to be changed for the new pit structures for 2007 but the actual configuration was designed purely to create a better overtaking opportunity & its quite a boring corner as a result (Worst corner on the track).

        There are plenty of other examples like the Variante Alta chicane at Imola, That used to be a great little right/left flick where you really needed to balance the car over the kurbs. They changed it for 2006 again just to make it a better overtaking zone & there’s now nothing interesting about watching a car go through there as its just your average chicane.

        Final chicane at Suzuka is another example, The current configuration was changed for 2003 for overtaking & its again not as good a corner as it used to be.

        The final sector at Magny-Cours was also altered for overtaking & it ruined what was a fairly interesting little section where it was easy to lose time if you drove it too hard.

        And the changes they made to Hungaroring in 2003 again purely for overtaking, The old turn 1 was a far more interesting corner as was the little chicane that used to be at turn 11.

        There’s also the example of Hockenheim which was changed for no reason reason than a shorter lap with more race laps was deemed better for the show.

        You also need to look at new circuits, Part of the reason many of the new circuits are designed the way they are is partly because of FIA regulations restrict what can be done but also because Tilke is doing what its felt creates the best overtaking zones. Slow corner, Long straght, Slow corner. Even the off camber corners he likes to use is done purely for the benefit of the show as there the sort of corners its easy to make mistakes at & mistakes such as cars running wide can lead to overtaking opportunities.

        Like I said there’s nothing wrong with wanting to see a bit more overtaking, But the specific drive to get more at any cost the past 15 odd years has cost F1 a lot in terms of the overall quality of not just the racing but also the circuits.

        1. @gt-racer I’m pretty sure Hockenheim was changed because the way it disappeared at ever climbing speeds into dense forest was becoming a safety hazard. For example, the air ambulance couldn’t land near some places.

          Also, not necessarily the show, but it was a terrible race for spectators, even though it was a unique experience and you knew what you were getting.

          I loved it on TV and playing it on Geoff Crammond’s F1 games, but it was all clearly getting a bit too much…

          1. @optimaximal, safety concerns were certainly one major complaint for a number of years.

            Not only was there the issue of the air ambulance access, in some locations the marshals could only obtain access to a crash site by driving across the track, since they could not construct emergency access roads – a problem the track had for decades – and, due to poor lines of sight and inadequate communications between marshals posts, it wasn’t unknown for marshals to be completely unaware that an accident had happened and therefore not realise that a driver might need attention or that the track might be blocked.

            Another complaint concerned security – there was the famous incident back in 2000 where an ex-Mercedes employee was able to break into the circuit quite easily in order to stage a protest, because it was pretty much impossible to adequately police the perimeter of the track.

            As to why the layout was shortened, GT Racer is wrong to assert that it was for spectators only – the local government in Baden-Württemberg instructed the track owners that the new layout had to be contained within the footprint of the stadium area to minimise the environmental impact, which is why the old circuit was torn up and reforested.

          2. YES! it’s hard to come across someone who played Geoff Crammond’s grand prix games!

            I used to love the old tracks in grand prix 3, the bus stop at spa was so hard to get right every time :)

        2. Indeed, a very good addition to the discussion. Thing is, while it seems the OWG, the FIA, even Tilke want to do what they think is good (to make the races “more interesting”) we can never really forsee what will happen in the future, and many of these changes made had side effects that were not planned or got irrelevant because of other developments.

          I feel that instead of livening up the action and giving less predictability, since teams got to grips with their behaviour (or act extra carefully to make their behaviour easier to predict) the current tyres make races rather MORE predictable.
          The same goes with DRS, all too often it creates predictable moments to get past slower cars instead of helping to keep an interesting battle going on like it was originally supposed to be (off course it was also meant to have been only a short term stopgap)

          KERS as originally used, with the “push to pass” also became too predictable quite soon, in part because of the tights limits to how often it could be used.

          In my view brakes are now so good that the Tilke way to go with heavy breaking and then a straight more often than not fails to work (too short braking zone and too reliable to make mistakes).

          I guess its good when they do realize that the current ideas really do nothing to solve how hard or easy a job cars have of following each-other without losing too much downforce. Taking more of the focus away from the wings and look more at mechanical grip and underbody DF is probably the way to go. But it also means quite a risk for the successful teams (as others might come to beat them) and a bit of a struggle to relearn what they are doing with the car, something they have shown to be reluctant to allow (see toning down the 2013/2014 aero rules and keeping DRS instead)

      2. I completely agree with you and was going to say a similar thing. They shouldn’t try to forge overtaking.

        Another example is all of the very modern tracks have these horrendously wide corner entries to creating overtaking, yet they produce some of the dullest manoeuvres in motorsport. Quite literally all of the corners have the same pinpoint apex instead of a normal circumference. One only needs to compare the old Mexico to the new Mexico layout, it’s a disgrace.

        F1 isn’t just about overtaking. If one car is faster than it should be able to overtake the other, but if not there is no reason to have overtaking for the sake of ‘the show’.

      3. Well said. I agree.
        It’s also time for FIA to understand that tracks are part of the show, like drivers and cars. A boring track for the drivers is also a boring track for fans.
        Enough with straight/hairpin combo !

      4. Yes I agree. Something I’ve been saying for years, this obsession with ‘overtakes’ is ridiculous. Your examples to back this up are excellent.

      5. YES! THANK YOU for saying that!!!

      6. @gt-racer
        I don’t want to see artificial overtaking either. But what I DO want to see is for them to make it possible for a better driver to be able to even make a pass….and without gimmicks.

        We clearly see instances today where a better driver/car come up and get stuck not because the other driver is better, but simply because getting close to the car in front destroys your front wing aero…hence your chance to even be close and pass. And it makes the following car lose their front tyres so they have to stop trying and drop back to save their race. The only alternative today is a DRS “pass” which isn’t really a pass at all.

        Right now, the pendulum is WAY too far towards favoring the lead car because of front wing aero dependency. That is what has to go…in my opinion.

      7. To make my stand clear, based on the opposing voices I received in the forum for my post on points for overtaking, I want to respond to what @GT Racer has said by declaring that I was, and have always been, against DRS, degrading tyres and unnecessary track modifications. But that doesn’t mean I hate overtaking. Overtaking can be done without these gimmicks. I believe F1 needs more quality overtaking. It does not make F1 NASCAR-like, but the DRS moves we now get are certainly in that region.

    6. Just design the cars so they can take in ‘dirty’ air and we can wave goodbye to DRS. Is it really that difficult?

      1. It’s not that difficult, put wider tyres, lower the car height and let the engineers do what they want with the floor.

        But the problem is that it wouldn’t be cheap, for this reason is very likely that only the top teams would be able to develop an optimised solution and this would lead to even more spreading of the field, in fact we could be in for another domination from a single team.

      2. Wider tyres less aero.

        We’re getting the first bit now finally, but also an even bigger front wing. A ‘Ground effect war’ as mentioned above isn’t necessary. Just grippier tyres.

        Dirty air (as opposed to laminar flow) is not predictable by nature, so its not easy to design for it.

      3. diarmuid talbot (@)
        11th August 2015, 19:39

        yea why can’t that just happen

    7. The overtake problem is the penalty for the exciting cornering speeds. .Certainly the regulations can help by promoting aero packages that are better for following.

      Perhaps instead of DRS active aero could be used instead to allow following cars to recover some downforce. A force limit would be set, and standardized sensors and algorithms would be used to monitor each car. Maybe u would limit deployments to cars within 0.5 second or something.

      For sure there would be tricky details to work out, and creative ways to game the system. But DRS and designed to wear tires don’t get much praise on this formum, maybe active aero for downforce would work better.

      1. Since when has it been necessary for a car to appear to be going around a corner on rails for it to be exciting ? Rallying has very exciting cornering speeds with the car slipping and sliding its way around far slower than an F1 car, the excitement comes from seeing the car on the very edge of control, if we get back to relying on mechanical grip instead of wings the cornering will be more exciting, even if it is slightly slower.

    8. DRS is a bad response to the problem. Simpler aero could help (and would reduce costs, by the way).

      The second (if not first) issue in F1 today is tyres: in order to overtake, you need to push your car (unless you are 4s a lap faster). And if you push your car, you destroy the tyres. So bring back proper race tyres, wich do NOT collapse after 5 laps !
      Another issue is penalties: drivers are penalized for any small mistake. Can’t FIA let them race ? F1 is supposed to be racing, not monday morning urban traffic.

      1. Simpler aero…. How so? More standardized aero parts? I don’t think you mean that.

        No matter the regs, how tight you make them, the big teams will spend as much as they can to gain advantage. So I don’t think that will work.

        The thing with penalties is, they are used almost entirely as safety measures. It’s like speeding fines, no speeding fine has slowed a speeding car, but the threat of one, may prevent it. Taking them away will reduce the threat that may avert dangerous behavior.

        1. @mike
          I agree with @bebilou and think that “simpler aero” is rather easy to define/fix: Make the dimensions of the front wing much smaller and tell them they can only have 3-4 “elements” on the front wings and those elements can only have “XXX” cm^2 of total area. Maybe even something under 300 cm^2 of total surface area for the elements on each side of the front wings. That would be the equivalent of about a single 5″ x 6″ inch piece of carbon fiber on each side. How much could a team possibly spend playing with that to for such a small potential gain?

          Compare that to the tens of millions of dollars they spend on front wings today…and what that would mean to the back marker teams in terms of overall spending!

          If those front wings were smaller and had a lot less to work with, by default it would reduce the cost because it wouldn’t be worth the investment to the teams for a much smaller pay back in performance gains.

          And it would make it possible for us to have more overtaking because the front wings wouldn’t be such a large part of the downforce for the car…hence “dirty air” from the lead car would not be such a problem.

          1. Actually it would make it harder to overtake, large front wings are to directly deal with the dirty air problem. If anything you should reduce the size of the read wing.

            But other than that, you make a good point.

        2. By “simpler”, I mean just have 1 or 2 elements by wing. Just like we had 25 years ago (look at McLaren MP4/6 from 1991).
          I agree with you to say F1 is already too much standardized.

    9. I’ve been watching F1 for some time now, and something I never understood (too lazy to look it up) is how in the 2000s, the majority of teams were spending up of £300,000,000 (such as Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Honda, Toyota and even Red Bull), and the minors teams weren’t struggling this much, and yet nowadays, we have only 2 or 3 team spending that kind of money, and around 7 of them are on the brink of collapse. I’m assuming it might have something to do with the financial crisis of 2009, when Toyota and Honda also quit.

      P.S. Sorry if I sound stupid, but I was quite young in the 2000, and only remember the on-track battles and nothing else.

      1. large manufacturers use laws to price competition out of the market. That is really what you need to know :) Don’t think too hard about some things, it might be for someone else’s gain.

        1. manufacturer is interchangeable with a ‘connected’/well represented corporation in this particular case.

      2. The crux of the problem is FOM gobbling up all the revenue streams in order to bribe the key teams to keep the inequitable division of funds going until such time as CVC can offload their investment on a gullible public who might think F1 can continue forever raping and pillaging the smaller teams.

        An obvious effect of FOMs management is the loss of income from direct sponsorship the teams are now suffering.

        1. … But, that’s not this problem. FOM hasn’t done anything that would stop groups spending as much as they once did. There’s just less groups able to pay that amount. Between lack of sponsorship and less manufacturer entries there is a lot less money in F1.

          1. @mike. “there is a lot less money in F1” and you don’t think anything FOM has done is responsible for that ? Why pay big money to have your logo on the side of an F1 car when the only people in your market area that might see it are pay-tv subscribers, and even then they only get a chance to see it 20 weekends a year.

            1. The problem of money in F1 started before the large scale move to pay-tv, although I certainly think that won’t help matters much.

              We have less large manufacturers and less sponsors paying less money. FOM may be responsible for it, but I think that even a completely hands off approach on the last ten years would not have changed the outcome.

      3. Tobacco sponsorship being banned didn’t help, the tobacco companies had been putting $millions into teams and, as yet, no other industry has been willing to spend at their level.

        1. @beneboy That was perhaps the biggest problem as no industry came in to replace them.
          It was hoped around the early 2000s that the tech & telecommunications industry’s would come in & fill the gap & we saw that to begin with with HP, Orange, IBM & a few more but over time they all left, In part because a couple of them were doing partnership deals with the manufacturer rather than the team (Intel with BMW for instance).

          The next big hope was the banking industry but then the 2008 banking crash happened.

          1. @gt-racer
            It’s not just F1 either, most motorsports have struggled to find a suitable replacement for big tobacco. Darts took almost a decade to get back to pre-tobacco ban levels of sponsorship, snooker still hasn’t got close, and plenty of other sports are still trying to find an industry that’s willing to provide the hundreds of millions of dollars that big tobacco used to spend on sponsorship deals.

        2. @beneboy
          Wait until these nanny state wimps get their way and also ban alcohol advertising. We’ll see the vast majority of what’s left in F1 sponsorship money dry up overnight.

      4. I believe part of the answer is the change in business model from then, when advertising had large influence on a teams finances, to what we now have, where advertising has less influence on a teams finances.

      5. Mashiat, with regards to the budgets, in the case of at least some manufacturers, the high spending owed a certain extent to personal rivalries.

        Toyota and Honda were heavy spenders in F1 as they saw the sport as a means of being able to generate prestige and enhance their reputation over each other: it was also why the Japanese GP flipped from the Honda owned Suzuka Circuit to the Toyota owned Fuji Speedway and then back again, as the two outfits were vying for more influence within the sport. Similarly, when BMW joined the sport, they triggered something of a spending war between themselves and Mercedes, via McLaren, both in technical terms and wider grandstanding – for example, BMW would announce that they were buying several thousand tickets for the German GP and then giving them to their employees in a raffle, encouraging Mercedes to do the same.

        It could also be said that, in some of those instances, the heavy spending was as a result of relatively inefficient corporate structures – Toyota and Honda were particularly notorious for their bureaucratic corporate structures and heavy senior management, which no doubt added to their development costs along the way.

        However, even back then, I think that you are overestimating the number of companies that were spending quite that heavily – Renault, for example, were not spending that much even when they operated their own works team, and were actually closer to the midfield pack than the larger teams in terms of spending.

        To a certain extent, Red Bull’s budget has often been overstated too – the problem there is that Red Bull Racing itself spends relatively little, with most of Red Bull’s money going through Red Bull Technologies, which is the company that actually designs and builds the cars.
        However, when journalists were reporting the budgets of Red Bull, they tended to simply add Red Bull Racing to Red Bull Technologies – forgetting that Red Bull Technologies also runs the Toro Rosso team, so their budget is effectively a combination of two teams rather than just one.

        Now, part of the reason why some teams are in trouble now is a mixed picture. Sponsorship is one aspect, but I think it is too simplistic to purely ascribe the problems to that – McLaren, for example, have reported in their financial accounts that sponsorship income has remained fairly steady for several years (their biggest drop in sponsorship was because Mercedes stopped sponsoring them). Similarly, although there has been some cannibalisation of sponsorship by FOM from the teams, HoHum’s assessment exaggerates the situation – there have only been a handful of sponsors who have been lured across.

        Equally, to blame the end of tobacco sponsorship is perhaps questionable. I recall Frank Williams saying that, although the tobacco ban had an impact in the short term, in the longer term he thinks that it had a positive benefit on the sport – with the attitudes towards the tobacco industry being increasingly negative in the Western world and scandals associated with F1 tobacco sponsors in some countries, Williams found that it was starting to deter sponsors and starting to cost them business in the era before tobacco sponsors were forced out.

        Equally, to a certain extent the fall in sponsorship is not necessarily limited to just F1 – there have been reports of declining sponsorship in multiple series, not just F1, which quite a few individuals have ascribed as part of a wider declining interest in motorsports in general.

        1. @anon. I wasn’t just talking about FOM stealing sponsors, I was talking about other aspects that have made team sponsorship less attractive, see my response to Dave above.

          1. Oops, Mike, not Dave.

    10. It’s not (just) about overtaking, it’s about close racing. If the big guys understood the difference, we would not have this ridiculous DRS.

      1. Everytime you want to think, say or write DRS actually think, say or write Slipstreaming. It’s exactly the same (an aero advantage that occurs while following another car closely). This little mental excercise will change your perspective (well, unless you think slipstreaming is ridiculous). ;-)

        1. Leo, thanks for your reply but I think that DRS and slipstreaming are two seperate things:
          1. The effect of slipstreaming stops when you try to overtake, meaning you lose the advantage once you try to get alongside (think about Senna vs Mansell Barcelona 1991). DRS just keeps on going until you brake.
          2. Slipstreaming is only possible when you are ‘close racing’, DRS is possible within 1 second.

          In several occasions DRS has made racing better, so I am not against it per se. But my main ‘problem’ with DRS is that it is not the answer to the main problem. DRS is the answer when the problem would be: I am losing too much speed on the straights so I can’t overtake, when the real problem is: I am losing too much speed in the corners so I can’t get close enough to overtake.

          Now DRS is lowering a flap on the straight, DRS should be adding one flap in the corners so that you can get closer to the car in front. Then I would really support DRS! :)

          1. DES, – Downforce Enhancement System-.

          2. Matthijs,

            @1: that’s just timing. Any half decent driver should be able to time his overtake in such a way that his excess speed from slipstreaming lasts until braking.
            @2: Cars following each other really closely rarely are less than 0.5s apart. I can live with 1s as close racing.

            An anecdote. I was attended a lecture by Gary Savage, then one of the technical managers at BAR. After the formal lecture there was some time ‘informal chat’ and that’s when the interesting stuff came to table. He showed a couple of graphs and figures (Cfd? wind tunnel data I guess) of 2 cars following each other. They were researching 2 things: how to improve following the car ahead without losing downforce and how to break the slipstream to the following car as effectively as possible. History shows the latter part was much easier to achieve…

            You say the real problem is “I am losing too much speed in the corners so I can’t get close enough to overtake.” I think what DRS really addressed: it was extremely easy for a car/driver 2s (or more) slower than his persuer to stay in front on any track. We don’t see that happen any more.

            1. Leo

              You say the real problem is “I am losing too much speed in the corners so I can’t get close enough to overtake.” I think what DRS really addressed: it was extremely easy for a car/driver 2s (or more) slower than his persuer to stay in front on any track. We don’t see that happen any more.

              True, but then I quote @coldfly:

              Lack of close racing is the disease; lack of overtaking the symptom. DRS only treats the symptom (and in an overbearing way).

              To me (and to Coldfly?) the excitement in car racing does not come from the number of overtaking, but in the tense of close racing.

            2. Martijn,

              To me (and to Coldfly?) the excitement in car racing does not come from the number of overtaking, but in the tense of close racing.

              It’s a nice quote, but I doubt it’s validity. Let me give some random examples.

              1. The Trulli-train from 10-15 years back. 5 to 10 cars in close succession, often less then 1s from each other. Also often no overtakes at all, or not even an attempt to it. It fits your description: close and racing, but to me it was boring as hell.

              2. How many people would list Maldonado vs. Alonso in Barcelona 2012 in their top 50 epic battles of F1? All through the race those guys were never seperated by more than 5s, degrading tyres, backmarkers, and all. They were racing tooth and nail all the way until Alonso forfeited a couple of laps from the end. There was one overtake: Maldonado got ahead during the pit stops. Exciting? To me it was, but it’s certainly not considered to be a ‘classic’.

              3. The greatest battle of all (arguably) is Villeneuve vs. Arnoux in Dijon, when both drivers passed and repassed several times during the closing laps. Would that fight still be the epic it is, as Villeneuve had only pulled alongside a couple of times but never got ahead? I doubt it.

              I think many race fans appreciate the excitement and beauty of a straight fight on track, regardless if there is an overtake or not. However I think almost all the battles we regard as great/epic/classic etc. have passes, re-passes or collisions.
              So in conclusions, you need overtakes to have a good race and DRS (Slipstreaming! ;-) at least makes that possible. Maybe the absolute number of passes doesn’t say much about the quality of a race, but it helps if it’s significantly more than zero.

            3. I’ll add that the FIA nose change has hindered cars following closely, see the problems Red Bull had until they revised their nose to a short version this year.

              The low nose now blocks more air from getting to the back of the car, rather than letting air flow through, which it did in 2014 and hence we saw great battling like in Bahrain. Merc 2014 nose or Ferrari 2010 was the way to go.

          3. In 2009 there was the movable front wing to fix the loss of downforce when following closely. Because teams alway aim for maximum front downforce this device was useless.

      2. @Matthijs I agree, it is not the number of moves in a race that needs to be increased. We already see enough passes these days. What F1 needs is more real battles, more close racing, more unpredictability. The number of passes is much higher than six years ago, yet the TV viewing figures keep falling so there is no reason to think that even more overtaking will somehow reverse that trend.

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        11th August 2015, 9:08

        +1. So well said @matthijs; I’ll even repeat it here:

        It’s not (just) about overtaking, it’s about close racing. If the big guys understood the difference, we would not have this ridiculous DRS.

        Lack of close racing is the disease; lack of overtaking the symptom. DRS only treats the symptom (and in an overbearing way).

        1. @coldfly

          Lack of close racing is the disease; lack of overtaking the symptom. DRS only treats the symptom

          Well put, thank you.

      1. And he should know why.

        1. Ah. Is it the Multi 21 again? Why do people keep talking about it like it wasn’t Webber who started the whole thing with “I’m not listening to team orders”. This wasn’t an isolated incident. Even if they had a pre arrangement on this sort of thing, which we know it’s at best suspicious Webber’d be following that agreement anyway, it’s not any worse than what Hamilton did in Hungary, going out before Alonso despite the agreement to do the opposite. And then Alonso getting in Hamilton’s way to set a time.
          You just need to hate someone, I get that. Just don’t try to rationalize it. I’m bored with all this nonsense and I don’t even particularly support him as a racing fan.

          1. Nope, Turkey and thereafter.

    11. Wait for it to rain. That slows the cars down enough to see who built the better car, not airplane. The better car has mechanical grip, the better airplane has more downforce. You can see who built the best road hugging suspension when it rains, and thus, the best chassis. Otherwise you are seeing the best aerodynamics. If passing is impossible cause of the air wash, then get rid of it. But they won’t. They would rather rig the track with gimmicks rather than fix the actual problem.

      Or, you could put a pitot tube on the nose along with a proximity sensor. If a car is so close to another that the pitot tube gets no air flow, then adjust the wing by that amount to compensate. Yeah, more gimmicks, but at least it is not a track controlled gimmick, and how well it works will be how well it was constructed. If one team makes it work better than the other, then it falls back into the constructors and eliminates the even more gimmicky DRS.

    12. Thanks for sharing the Jordan 191 illustration, it seems to have gone down well with everybody since it launched.

    13. On the Bernie story… If he focussed on getting more teams and therefore more seats and GP2 stopped banning its champions from reentering*, good quality drivers may have places to go and enter F1 when honed & ready for it. Can’t help but feel Davide Valsecchi or Fabio Leimer would have made F1 by now with a valiant title defence if they were allowed to. I fear Jolyon Palmer could become a lost talent too thanks to the silly rule…

      *if title defences are allowed in Moto2/3 and NASCAR XFINITY/Trucks, why not GP2/3 or WSR?

      1. @hosty96xd

        GP2 stopped banning its champions from re-entering

        I hope they never do that. GP2 already has a plenty of makeweights filling the grid. Just because a driver has enough budget to keep treading water at GP2 level until they win the title doesn’t make them F1 material.

        Incidentally, past champions are allowed to return in Formula Renault 3.5: Mikhail Aleshin did.

        1. Thanks for correcting me @keithcollantine! My bad.

          I just feel leaving GP2 champions in the cold will eventually hurt the talent pool to jump up into F1. For example, if like F1 in the 2008-9 winter, all but one driver leaves the sport, where does the GP2 champion go? In other worlds, where would have Tito Rabat & Chase Elliott gone after last year’s successes? To mediocre MotoGP and NASCAR Cup rides? Or as they did, defend their crowns an give Moto2 and NASCAR XFINITY reference points to who to beat to be the next best thing? Anyway, Elliott is replacing Jeff Gordon next season in Cup, a ride he was destined for when Jeff announced retirement either way!

          But there’s much bigger issues than who can and cannot race in GP2, I almost think everything between F1 and karting needs ripping up and starting all over again. I’m not going to claim I have a magic solution, but whatever happens, we need a streamlined, clear route to F1 where talent and not money talks. And F1 itself needs to stop eating itself up too…

      2. Not all the champions are that good.

    14. I’m so tired of these gillete mach 8000 front/back wings… they look way too over-engineered.

      To me they can be removed, or be reeeally simple, no more 20+ wing elements on each freakin’ side.

      Downforce can be cool, but at the cost of having cars being forced to run 2 sec behind another car, it isn’t worth it. And downforce can come from many other sources than a huge bulky looking mustache hanging from a pointy nose

    15. If it’s improving the quality of overtakes, that’s easy enough by banning DRS.

      If it’s improving the number of overtakes, that’s easy enough by making DRS even more gimmicky.

      I hope that they are on about the former, but given the recent history of the so-called Strategy Group, I fear that it is the latter.

      1. I’m really curious as to how he would fare at such a test against others.

    16. ColdFly F1 (@)
      11th August 2015, 9:24

      I know that 97% of us don’t see 3rd cars as a priority; but I’ll preach to the converted anyway.
      Wouldn’t 3rd cars just invite more pay drivers to F1 rather than less. If it is worthwhile to sacrifice your 2nd car to a well funded lesser driver; then it would be an easy answer to whom you would give (sell) your 3rd car!
      Aspiring quality drivers can prove themselves in the junior series and during special testing days (it’s not as interesting to buy a testing seat as a GP race seat!)

    17. I want to comment on that mad article by the Guardian. What does it matter how much her ring cost? It was her ring after all, not the thieves. I’m so tired of people not being able to buy stuff just because others are envious and will take it!

      1. I agree. Appalling piece of journalism. Such a disgrace.

    18. Toto Wolff: “Malaysia was certainly a little bit of a wake-up call. After Melbourne we felt we had the situation under control and we were caught out for various reasons. And in hindsight, maybe such a little slap is good sometimes for the organization. We have definitely benefited because we have probably set new, more aggressive targets in terms of development, lap time targets and quality expectations. We know that the threat is real.”
      How ridiculous that sounds. So they lost a couple of wins. That team is so dominant that everyone has been asking what’s going on ever since another team won in Malaysia without Mercedes having reliability issues. How is this normal?

    19. I’m guessing the strategy group will come up with something like Fanboost or a second DRS.

    20. I think there will not be changes…

    21. Love seeing JV’s iconic helmet in a car again. He has brought my interest in FE from minimal to maximal.

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