Honda and Renault ‘won’t be competitive next year’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: F1’s struggling power unit manufacturers are not expected to find front-running form in 2016.

F1 Fanatic 9

There has been more tinkering beneath the hood of the new-look website over the last couple of days. Along with the usual raft of minor details I won’t bore you with, the most significant change is the return of the @-username reminders in the comments. I noticed a few resourceful commenters had manually added them next to your names to make life easier for everyone – you shouldn’t have to do that now!

Thanks as ever for your feedback – please do post any further suggestions here. There’s a lot more to come from the latest version of F1 Fanatic:


Comment of the day

There’s lots of blank bodywork on this year’s cars
Can FOM be blamed for the difficulty many teams appear to be having finding sponsors?

This will continue to go on for years to come as the FOM stays behind the ridiculously priced pay-walls and fails to embrace the internet as a valid way of distributing its content.

Sponsors are not stupid and will know about the falling viewing figures worldwide, the lack of commercial insight of Bernie with regards to the internet, and the overall competitive shambles that is F1 which are all pushing away true fans.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alexandre Carvalho and Renate Jungert!

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

Michael Schumacher scored his first victory as a sports car driver on this day 25 years ago, winning the World Sports Prototype Championship round for Mercedes with team mate Jochen Mass at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico. The World Endurance Championship, the modern equivalent of the series, will return to the circuit next year.

On the same day in 1990 Emerson Fittipaldi won the CART IndyCar Nazareth 200.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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89 comments on “Honda and Renault ‘won’t be competitive next year’”

  1. For a few years I’m saying they should allow teams to have 2 different sponsored cars. Like we see in indycar.
    This way the budgets can be lowered for those interested in sponsoring. This way we might see more personal sponsors as well.
    Also have different paint scheme’s trough the year, again like indy (and nascar).

    It could inspire for some nice paint jobs and more flexibility for teams to lure sponsors, even if it is for one or more races and not the whole season.

    1. I think this is the wrong direction to be going. Instead of figuring out how to make sponsoring a car cheaper, FOM should be concerned with making sponsoring a car more valuable, so that sponsors will be willing to pay the rate necessary to ensure the financial viability of teams and the sport. There are plenty of big companies with enough marketing money to sponsor F1 teams; if they choose to stay away, it is because they don’t see a good value for their money.

      1. good point. Instead FOM has been competing with teams for major sponsors and further diminishes the sponsor value with Pay-tv deals @flatdarkmars

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        7th October 2015, 9:35

        FOM should be concerned with making sponsoring a car more valuable

        Well said @flatdarkmars – FOM has been monopolising sponsor opportunities in F1 (and other monetising opportunities), leaving only the crumbs for the teams. They can’t even freely ‘decorate’ there garages anymore.

        1. A couple of other aspects to this concept are…BE doesn’t like it, even though it has been done in the past, because he thinks it is too confusing to the audience to know which cars are for which teams, same as they have now regulated helmet designs. But what I like about the concept is that if you have two major sponsors on a team each with their own paint schemes there is less likelihood that the team would hang one driver out to dry as a designated number two to a designated number one.

  2. “There are rumours of another less ambitious – bigger – compressor design being done unofficially by a small skunkworks group within the company, which could be substituted.”

    Lucky for Honda this is happening. These homologation dates are an absolute joke. It is just another way that F1 is killing off development.

    1. I really hope they’ve been smart enough to build a bigger compressor version as a backup. They can update the car but not the engine, so it’s better to have the car suit the engine than what they are trying to do now.

      A small engine will be brilliant for car design if they can pull it off. But if they can’t…

      1. @selbbin Agree – surely they did this the wrong way around? The ‘B-plan’ (probably a copy of Merc’s design) should have been the A-plan for 2015/16. Run as 3rd best team and gain experience with the formula for the odd chance to win.

        Then, once the smaller compressor has been thoroughly tested to run at a higher speed, put it in for 2017, which could really net them a big advantage as the new GE aero rules come in and a tight rear end might have more effect.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          7th October 2015, 9:41

          @fastiesty – just spoke to Arai. You’re hired! ;-)


          These homologation dates are an absolute joke.

          They might be a joke, but we had even stricter homologation rules (i.e. full freeze with arbitrary exceptions) between ’07-’13!

          1. @coldfly The difference in ’07-’13 was the limited room for development with just a V8 engine. Point taken though.

          2. The difference then was that the performance was equalized so there was no need/avenue to chase performance. The point was to enable the provision of cheap engines all of a similar performance to the entire grid. Something that the current rules have absolutely failed to do.

      2. Ferrari tried that last year and had size zero results….

        Now McHonda is trying to be the best in the world by being diffrent, so far so good. 130k rpm is no small feat. But what if other teams advance to 130k on big compressor… Will honda manage 150k then?

        At some point reliability fails. Go big or go home Honda.

  3. When I read the title from as respected a site as Motorsport Magazine Re: Honda’s woes SET to continue in 2016 I felt even more worried about their future. After all, If a respected journo like M.Hughes writes that, he firmly believes that is the case…
    Then I read the article, and its nothing like that at all. It’s all ifs, buts and maybes. They are re-designing their compressor, but may, according to some rumors not complete it in time, and Merc may block an extension of this year’s loophole

    Bottom line is: there are no respected magazines left. Everyone uses cheap click baits and therefore every title should be regarded with suspicion

    1. If that’s the case then I’d really recommend to you Joe Saward’s blog – he gets it right a lot more than he gets it wrong and is a reasoned, seasoned and trusted voice in the F1 world. F1 Fanatic and Joe Saward are the only places to be!

      1. Joe Saward really? Perhaps if you want to read about his travel arrangements and recounts of the meetings he organized.

        I have rarely seen a journalist with so much experience and yet such a huge lack of insight in the field he’s reporting. Of course he might come along a rumor that ends up true now and then though.

        I find the the Motorsport article is a well laid out explanation of what would most likely be the (biggest) problem at Honda and how it originated. Of course they are never sure, but I rather they mention that they are not instead of them pretending that they have hard facts when they don’t. Like the way Saward always seems to express his opinion as fact.

        1. Joe Saward, Nigel Roebuck and Martin Brundle – whack em in charge of F1 and they’ll sort it out. And Joe let everyone know about his experiences of flying with Emirates as well. Job done.

          1. @unicron2002, when they held the Bahrain GP during the major riots that erupted there a few years ago, there were major complaints about the neutrality of Joe Saward’s articles. There were a number of other news sites that provided evidence that Joe allowed himself to be duped by the government into presenting a highly idealised account that was effectively a propaganda piece for the government of Bahrain.

            It should also be noted that Joe was not particularly forthcoming about revealing a potential conflict of interest. In November 2011, Joe was appointed to the board of Caterham Cars Ltd. as a director – although the Caterham F1 team was a separate legal entity, both Caterham Cars and Caterham F1 were subsidiaries of the same group (Caterham Group Ltd.) and therefore answerable to Tony Fernandes.

            Although Saward pointed out, correctly, that he wasn’t part of the F1 team, it nevertheless raised the question of whether Saward could provide an objective analysis when he has a direct commercial relationship between himself and Fernandes given that he was employed by one of Fernandes’s businesses.

        2. @patrickl I don’t have a problem with the aforementioned article, but I have a huge problem with the click bait misleading title of said article

          Regarding Saward I’m somewhere in between yours and @unicron2002 opinions. Yes, JS has an unpleasant and aggressive way of saying things, but once you get past that, he’s talking a lot of sense most of the time and he’s spreading rumors around much less than some other well established journos out there

          1. @montreal95, I don’t like click bait, but I thought in this case the article presents a thought out argument why he feels the current problems will persist. Therefore it doesn’t strike me as click bait. Not intentional at least.

            Actually the “set to” in the title already indicates that it’s not a given, but for the time seems the most likely outcome. So the title matches the content of the article quite accurately.

          2. @patrickl The article content doesn’t prove at all that it’s the most likely outcome. As I said above it’s all ifs and buts and maybes. The problem(the compressor) is real, but the conclusion that there’s a high degree of certainty that it won’t be fixed by 2016( “set” is a very firm word to use) is based on thin air. Nothing in the article that I read backs up the such high certainty seen in the title. If the title used the word “may” instead of “set” that would match the content perfectly. Yeah I know, it’s semantics-boring, but context is everything and I feel strongly I was click-baited here. And worst of all I cannot understand why. The content was very interesting in itself and I have huge respect for Hughes. Leave such tactics for the tabloids please, that’s all I humbly ask

          3. “set” is not a strong word at all. If it was fact than he would have used “will”. Set means that it is likely to happen because of the current conditions and the current conditions quite obviously don’t look good at all.

            I guess he could have gone even softer with “may”, but the article quite adequately explains that the described scenario is very likely indeed.

            This is nowhere near click bait since the article exactly explains what is mentioned in the title. You can debate all you want about marginal semantic differences, but that is NOT click bait.

      2. Joe Saward’s blog


  4. Regarding the CoTD:
    I think it would be a great coup for Amazon in 2016 to offer F1 coverage And the three TopgeaR boffins. It would be a no brainer for me to sign up for their premium service if it included all the races live and available for a week after.
    To heck with the networks beeb and sky.

    1. @motor
      SKY have the on-line rights in the UK, you can get SKY’s F1 channel on NOW TV if you’re not a SKY customer. I don’t think they’d license it to Amazon while it’s on SKY and I think they’ve got the rights until 2018.

    2. Even if Amazon were to buy the F1 rights they couldn’t broadcast F1 in the UK because the Sky/BBC deal gives them exclusive UK distribution on broadcast media & online. Same is true with most (If not all) other F1 broadcasters around the world, They buy exclusive distribution rights for there region.

      FOM would have the same problem if they launched an official streaming service, Even as the rights holder they would have to abide by existing contracts & geo-block the streaming video in the regions where a broadcaster has the exclusivity clause.

      Take the DTM for example, They have an official live Youtube stream for practice/qualifying & the races & in the UK due to BT Sport having an exclusivity clause in there contract while the practice/qualifying streams are available in the UK the race streams are geo-blocked. Was the same with Formula E, UK viewers could watch the practice/qualifying streams but the races were blocked due to the ITV deal giving them exclusive UK distribution of live race content.

      The problem isn’t so much Bernie in that regard, He’s almost certainly aware that there’s probably more money & the possibility of more viewers in an online distribution model… Problem is the broadcasters want value for what they buy. They know full well that an online service thats reasonably priced will undercut them & offer better value to a lot of people which would take viewers away from them which is a big part of why they often insist on buying the exclusive rights.

      1. They know full well that an online service thats reasonably priced will undercut them

        To elaborate on that point, Look at NowTV. The prices for that service are higher than they probably should be with more restrictions in the packages than there probably should be.

        The NowTV monthly sports subscription for instance is £31.99 while the equivalent package on Sky’s TV service is £25 & the primary reason for this price difference is because offering NowTV at the same price point or cheaper than the TV service would almost certainly hit Sky’s own subscription numbers.

        1. Sky are a joke.

          SkySportsF1 is more of a rip off than that really old F1 channel that closed down.

        2. @gt-racer

          The NowTV monthly sports subscription for instance is £31.99 while the equivalent package on Sky’s TV service is £25 & the primary reason for this price difference is because offering NowTV at the same price point or cheaper than the TV service would almost certainly hit Sky’s own subscription numbers.

          I’d dispute the figures and add it’s not a like-for-like comparison.

          A Sky Sports subscriptions costs £25.50 on top of a Sky subscription. So the total monthly price is £45.50. But you can’t give Sky £45.50 and get a month of Sky Sports in return, you have to buy at least 12 months, so the price becomes a whopping £546. If you want to just see the ten F1 races live which BBC don’t show, ten one-day Now TV passes will set you back £69.90, a £476.10 saving. That’s pretty decent I’d say.

          Of course I do have their affiliate programme on the site so you may not consider my view an impartial one!

          But what I think F1 under-values is the importance of ‘discover-ability’. BBC1 is a natural starting point for most people when they switch their televisions on, and having their races on there instead of hidden away on pay TV or a subscription internet service is one of the best ways to promote the series.

          The Conservative Party’s BBC licence fee freeze is now in its fifth year, which is certainly going to reduce what they can afford for F1 rights in the future, and may even lead them to cut their current deal short. But F1 would walk away from that kind of visibility at the risk of seriously damaging its profile in the UK.

          1. I’d dispute the figures and add it’s not a like-for-like comparison.

            A Sky Sports subscriptions costs £25.50 on top of a Sky subscription. So the total monthly price is £45.50. But you can’t give Sky £45.50 and get a month of Sky Sports in return, you have to buy at least 12 months, so the price becomes a whopping £546.

            Fair point.

            But what I think F1 under-values is the importance of ‘discover-ability’. BBC1 is a natural starting point for most people when they switch their televisions on, and having their races on there instead of hidden away on pay TV or a subscription internet service is one of the best ways to promote the series.

            Again a fair point, However I’d add that what we have now isn’t that different to what we had for most of the late 70s-1996 BBC era in that it wasn’t until around 1993 that the BBC began showing every race live & back during that era the highlights package wasn’t on until between 9-11pm, Usually on BBC 2.

            From 1989-1990 the only place to see every race live was Eurosport (Who also showed live qualifying & warm-up sessions with additional weekly programming) which was only available via a satellite or cable subscription.

            Discover-ability is in theory no more of an issue now than it was in the past as today even with half the races only in highlights form on the BBC i’d argue that F1 has a much bigger TV presence (BBC certainly promote there coverage well) in a much better time slot (Late afternoon/early evening) than when it was in a mostly highlights form in the past.

      2. All geo-locking and exclusive rights are anti-consumer. In a consumer facing world it should be illegal. Until consumers realize that they have more power than corporations and band together to destroy them, this nonsense will continue. As I’ve said before all of F1’s problems could be fixed in a year if people just withheld money for one season. Bernie and Co would scramble to introduce fair parity and F1 would be free to air and available to all.

        1. F1 would be free to air and available to all.

          The days of F1 & sport in general been widely available on FTA TV are not coming back, The future for sport in the long term is PayTV or subscription services.

          Both ITV & the BBC backed out of there F1 deals early & the problem wasn’t so much what there paying Bernie as what he ask’s from them is actually on the lower end of the sporting rights scale, The problem was they couldn’t afford what it was costing them to actually produce there coverage.
          With a sport like F1 that travels around the globe there is additional cost for transporting crew/equipment out to all the events, Booking hotels & hospitality. There’s also the cost of producing features, All those fancy computer graphics broadcasters use nowadays are costly to produce as well.

          The primary reason most live sporting events are now on PayTV is because the PayTV broadcasters such as Sky have a far larger budget so they don’t have to worry about the cost’s as much as FTA broadcasters running on a much smaller budget. A broadcaster like Sky can afford to run a dedicated channel, They can afford any cost’s incurred by having one of there on-air team in an F1 car for a day (Brundle was in a Mercedes recently & a Force India earlier in the year recording features). They can afford to produce a dozen live video feeds for all the in-car stuff they send out.

          The deal the BBC currently has with half the races as highlights only saves them a lot because they don’t send a full crew out to the non-live races, There not producing coverage for practice for those races, They spend less on features for those races due to less pre/post race coverage & there are additional savings for the non-live rounds because they don’t need to send out backup feeds or producing the extra video feeds that they have for live rounds.

          1. @gt-racer, And yet TV stations, FTA or otherwise, in the rest of the world manage to show the race live without any extra expense other than paying their commentary team to come to the studio at unsociable hours and optionally buying a few interviews or pit lane coverage from a freelance journalist at the track, FOM after all are selling a package that includes production, being at the track is a luxury that can only be justified by providing extra programming or attracting extra viewers, in many parts of the world (like here in Oz) we see nothing of practice, just qualifying, a 1/2 hour intro and the race, and that’s only every 2nd race fta.

  5. Renault could do well to spend less time worrying about being publicly slated by their customer (who have now lost 2 years of being competitive) and more about actually improving their PU.

    It doesn’t take a customer to tell them it’s lacking in power and reliability – that has been self evident to all F1 fans.

    What is most annoying is that here we are, nearly to the end of the season and not 1 token has been used. Even Honda have used some. And not one statement from Renault about why they haven’t. Are they completely out of ideas?

    1. Neil (@neilosjames)
      7th October 2015, 1:40

      Based on nothing other than my own thoughts… I think Renault junked 2015 right at the start and have held off until late in the year to give themselves maximum development time – and therefore, in theory, better upgrades – with a view to 2016.

      It’s what I’d have done in their shoes.

      1. Kinda flies in the face of actually having tokens to use. Nothing beats testing your upgraded PU in an actual race car. If they hold off until 2016 and get it wrong (like they did in 2015) they’ve wasted yet another year.

        Any wonder their customers want to leave – who would risk their team for another 12 months if they had to wait for 2016 testing to see if it had improved?

        1. @dbradock, Well Renault would have tested their 2016 engine for the last few races, but then RBR said that they are not interested in doing Renault test work.

    2. @dbradock

      I don´t think it has anything to do with their engineers not having any ideas or working badly, but it´s more on a higher level at the board. The project for this generation of engines was started late and has been seriously underfunded ever since, and now they just seem to have put any expenses on hold as they are trying to figure out whether to stay or not to stay in F1. And without putting money into it, there is obviously no development.

      1. Good point. I suspect they’re still a realistic chance of leaving F1 completely.

  6. Thanks for the return of the @username, @keithcollantine.

    Speaking of improvements, it’s not possible to go to the high res version of the first picture of every article. It works fine with the rest of the pictures, only the first one seems glitched.

    Thanks and keep the good work.

    1. Yeah I’ve noticed that with the pic too.. pity the McLaren doesn’t go as fast as it looks..

      1. @The suites looking boffo , nice one Keith..

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      7th October 2015, 9:19

      I noticed a few resourceful commenters had manually added them next to your names to make life easier for everyone – you shouldn’t have to do that now!

      Thanks Keith – I went straight to the hairdresser and got rid of the @name-addition in my username ;-)

  7. I am curious why Honda didn’t make sure their compressor could be run at such high speeds before the car was built. Why would you rely on in season development esp. Under the current restrictions?

    bad news about Renault, but how did Ferrari jump two to three years on them in a single year? Renault were comparative last year to Ferrari and rb finished above them in the constructors…

    There may be a sell off of F1 shares but they wont be Bernie’s…if I read his statement aright.

    And I am keen to see if Dan Ric smothers Seb in ROC…

    1. Smothers? Lol

      Ricciardo isn’t in the same league as Sebastian – regardless of any outcome.

    2. Maybe it can on a test bed, but get it into a car with real world air flow and vibrations and it’s a different story.

      They were always going to be allowed in season development for reliability anyway, the token allowance was an added bonus.

      1. Yeah agreed. Taking that into account, surely they pushed the compressor to its limits under different scenarios in testing – you know, restrict air flow, increase temperatures, produce G force and vibrations etc? These guys at Honda are brilliant engineers after all. That they went into season not fully sure is mystifying.

      2. Why weren’t they running the engine in the back of a sports car around Suzuka (their own track) for twenty four hours a day for the entirety of 2014? They weren’t a competitor, so they weren’t bound by the silly testing regulations. That would have given them plenty of valid information on the performance and any shortcomings of their design.

        Honda are still suffering from their total lack of preparation before the season began. They completely underestimated the amount of work needed to get a competitive power unit.

        1. @jules-winfield, Yeah it’s weird that after they saw how Renault failed and how much Mercedes and Ferrari spent, that they still missed the scale this operation needed.

    3. I am curious why Honda didn’t make sure their compressor could be run at such high speeds before the car was built. Why would you rely on in season development esp. Under the current restrictions?

      McLaren were probably too far along with their chassis design by the time they realised. Remember, the entire package was in development.

      As an extreme but simple example, I will point out a project I took part in during my mechanical & electronic engineering degree at university. It was fairly simple: within a set of constraints, build a line following robot.

      We were warned about the mistake a team made the year before. This team had not communicated effectively between the chassis and electronics people. When they came to assemble the ‘bot, the circuit board for the electronics was too big for the chassis. They ended up having to cut the board in half and solder jumper wires across last minute.

      McLaren would have been assured of the dimensions of the engine in advance. Honda would have been very confident that they could get their compressor design working. Once Honda realised it was not going to happen, McLaren would have done a huge amount of work which could not realistically be altered. Hence, without hindsight and with Honda still believing they could get their concept working, the approach they took was correct: Continue trying to get the compressor working, as it could possibly be brought in under a reliability upgrade anyway (they were running at reduced performance for reliability reasons).

      The alternative would be a quick-and-dirty redesign of the chassis, likely resulting in an aero package which was completely unoptimised and possibly unoptimisable, as well as a quick-and-dirty redesign of the compressor, also unoptimised and possibly unoptimisable. A chassis & engine which would be impossible to perfect, or a chassis which was good and an engine which they thought would become good.

    4. Does Ricciardo know the meaning of the word “redemption”?

      1. Maybe he needs it for a disappointing 2015, but ROC isn’t where he’ll find it.

  8. Of course Mercedes want three-car teams. If their domination continues until next year, they’d easily dominate the podium. If three-car teams do happen – which I doubt they would – hopefully Ferrari pulls through with their claims to be on par with Mercedes next year.

    1. Also, can Christian Horner really say with a straight face that Red Bull’s treatment of Renault will have no effect on how Ferrari and Mercedes view them as customers?

    2. I don’t think they want three car teams. They are just saying it as a stick to Red Bull and it’s leaving threads.

  9. This token nonsense is gonna be the death of F1. No manufacturer will enter, and if Renault and Honda can’t improve significantly for next year, they will quit since there will be no more tokens left to make any meaningful progress.

    1. I agree that the current implementation of the “token” system is seriously flawed.

      If it is to be kept, I believe it needs to be modified such that new entrants start at year 1 levels, and a certain (small) percentage of “tokens” are allowed to be saved for in-season development. Also, IMHO it should not be working towards a fixed spec engine (per mfr). Yes, limit development to save costs, but allow that development to continue or we will end up with obsolete engines in a few years, like they were before the new regs came in.

      That said, I favour scrapping it and replacing it with a price cap on what the manufacturers can charge their customers for the engine, and a rule saying that (as long as enough notice is given, say 6 months before the end of a season for supply next season) any manufacturer must supply their engine to any team. The price cap limits development in itself, the notice period is enough for the manufacturer to prepare for any new customer, and the requirement to supply any team reduces any perceived political manoeuvres.

    2. @brace, If there was no token system the teams would be spending flat out every year again to improve their engine. Like they were spending 200 million per year on engine development in the early 2000’s.

      Then people would be complaining that: “The engine spending war is killing formula one right now and something should be done. Why not just limit the development of engines a little?”

      I’m not making that up either, it’s what people said before the development restrictions and ultimately freezes were introduced.

      1. Top teams will spend what they have all the tokens do is restrict one particular area and the money saved will then go to other areas and with engines being so important this will be to the detriment of teams not running the best engine. Every team has a limit so if Ferrari have 500 million and use 150 million on an engine when the engines are completely frozen the 150 million would go onto the chassis.

        For me top teams should be able to apportion their budget on what they want but as not everyone makes an engine the amount they charge customers should be capped. Thus if Ferrari spend 150 million on the engine and get say 30 million back off customers during the token system if they have unlimited engine development Ferrari would still get 30 million from customers and how much more they spend on the engine is down to them. Due to the laws of diminishing returns the engines would all become closer faster and improve the racing. In the V8 era the 1st year teams could do what they wanted to the engine before it was frozen so they ended up close. The current rules without the loophole Ferrari found would have meant they had to rush all tokens through at the start of the season and would be further behind Merc than they are. Merc got a free run last year when no one had a chance to catch up. Imagine if the chassis was frozen for the year to save costs we would know the championship results straight away.

    3. It was the teams & engine manufacturer’s that came up with the token system because at the time they came up with it nobody wanted an all out spending war with engines like we had in the V10 era.

      Back in the early 2000s when you had a dozen manufacturer’s in F1, It was them spending a fortune on engine development & all the electronics that went with them which was one of the primary reasons cost’s shot up as much as they did back then. The fact they all ended up owning factory teams saw them shoot up even more.

      Similar thing happened in CART through the 90s, Big manufacturer’s entered the series & started a spending war that did just as much damage to that series as the split & poor management did. Thats part of why when Honda/Toyota left CART for the IRL at the end of 2003 & CART became Champcar for 2003 they decided to run a spec Cosworth engine & never went out looking to bring in more manufacturer’s again.
      When Honda/Toyota went to the IRL & took the spending war there from 2003 the same thing happened, Cost’s rose & the non manufacturer backed teams fell aside which badly affected car count as privateer teams was the literal backbone of that series when it was formed.

      The current Indycar series has an engine war with Honda/Chevrolet & they would like more to join, But to keep cost’s down they have engine restrictions & have a cap on what manufacturer’s can charge teams. Ironically however that cap is preventing other manufacturer’s from entering because of how much they lose on each engine sold to teams.

  10. RB is now plainly lying. Based on their Singapore performance, I would say that Renault are not far behind Ferrari. They can’t have built a super spaceship kind of a car that overcomes such a severe disadvantage on the engine side.

    In fact after the first few races, we haven’t been hearing about Renault engine failures during the races. It is Honda who had taken the limelight on that regard.

    Maybe they keep telling this to themselves since they can’t believe that someone actually built a better chassis than them and that they no longer have the super chassis of the field.

    1. Singapore is a relatively tight, slow track where the chassis matters more than the engine. Red Bull’s improved performance there actually supports their contention that the power unit is the main thing holding them back. My impression is that at the beginning of the season they probably had deficiencies in both the chassis and the PU, but they’ve done a decent enough job of developing the chassis/aero side of things since then.

    2. It’s entirely conceivable they have a chassis a second a lap faster than Ferrari. If we are to believe the Mercedes engine and Ferrari engine are very close then The Mercedes chassis is typically that much faster at most other tracks.

      At most tracks the engine is probably costing them around 2 seconds a lap which is pretty much exactly what it cost them at Monza where their aero wasn’t hugely useful, Singapore obviously lessens that impact but it’s still there.

  11. Three cars per team will provide quite exiting new dynamics, that’s for sure. From many of them those come to mind:

    1) It will be difficult for one driver to absolutely run away as now two others will have almost same machinery rather than just one.
    2) Managing pit stops would be interesting to watch.
    3) Young drivers will have much much more chances and representation. So will the likes of HUL and GRO.
    4) More advertising and earning opportunities for the teams (:D)
    5) So much would change with technical strategies, tactics and game plans.
    6) Team orders !! …. lets not get even started on that
    7) WEB might come back.

    However the rule would have to be rewritten and something will have to be thought of about the smaller teams as perhaps they might have to spend more, and more importantly the quality of drivers with FIs and Saubers might go … well just down.

    1. What do you guys think ?

      1. +1
        Very much in favor of 3-car teams.

    2. @square-route Webber is happy enough driving currently one of the two greatest racecars on the planet. Why would he return to the sport when it is in the state which was the reason why he left in the first place?

      1. @craig-o…… ‘coz currently I only happen to follow F1. While that should not be exactly a motivating factor for Web, it is more of a wishful hoping and wonderment on my part :)

    3. FlyingLobster27
      7th October 2015, 8:33

      1) If you can hire one subdued team-mate, you can hire two. If the team is only listening to one driver anyway (e.g. Alonso at Ferrari, according to Massa), the number of team-mates won’t matter.
      2) True, but it might make unsafe situations at critical moments such as downpours, either for drivers having to stay out while their two team-mates cycle through, or pit-lane blockages if all three come in at once and can’t line up inside the apron.
      3) Yes, and the cases of Andreas Mikkelsen at VW or Hayden Paddon at Hyundai in the WRC show that the third car can be put to use to promote proper talents. But it can also be used for an average or sub-average pay driver – Citroën often fields the UAE’s Khalid al-Qassimi (and Abu Dhabi is their sponsor).
      4) Not if the number of teams remains stable.
      5) and 6) More gamesmanship and position engineering for the team leader? Thanks, but not thanks, we have the DTM for that. Also, it might not make things more exciting, see 1).
      7) Haha! No.

      1. FlyingLobster27
        7th October 2015, 8:34

        @square-route, sorry. Maths guy inside me took over.

        1. @flyinglobster …… Hehe. All points taken but only with pinches of salt. All I pointed out were possibilities. Chemistries and dynamics at each instances would definitely change with 3 cars per team; I just hope that they would change for good.

          1) I highly doubt that all the teams will opt for 2 quasi/subdued drivers unless the team owner (imagine Mallya; just for fun :D) himself starts driving or Maldonados start paying much more than they already are. But yes, its a possibility; but that team would loose a lot of fans; certainly me.
          2) Therein the rule makers come in. Risks would be high I imagine, but completely avoidable. There would not be much of rocket science involved to handle that bit of chaos.
          3) average or sub-average pay driver…. They are, already. A certain Venezuelan keeps coming to my mind. Hate him.
          4) Did not know that. Thanks for that clarification.
          5) & 6) There will be radical changes, that’s for sure. We can only envisage.
          7) As i replied to @craig-o, it was only ‘ a wishful hoping and wonderment on my part‘.

          Apologies. I happen to be a sucker for maths too ….. :D

          @gt-racer ….. I am just saying that this is an option that can be interesting, specially now with lesser teams and all that Red bull and Toro Rosso exiting stuff, and vandoornes not getting seats. A lot of much more fundamental and rudimentary aspects would be needed to be worked out if this was to happen.

    4. 1) It will be difficult for one driver to absolutely run away as now two others will have almost same machinery rather than just one.

      Depends, If you have a situation like you have with Lewis right now where 1 driver is getting more out of the car than the others then nothing will change.

      2) Managing pit stops would be interesting to watch.

      Would be interesting but also likely chaotic whihc wouldn’t benefit anybody.

      3) Young drivers will have much much more chances and representation. So will the likes of HUL and GRO.

      Not necessarily, Teams are more likely to put there own development drivers in a 3rd car (Top teams all have there own young driver programs now) than drivers like Grosjean & Hulkenberg.
      Additionally the increased cost’s of running a 3rd car make it way more likely that pay drivers will be used.

      4) More advertising and earning opportunities for the teams (:D)

      A 3rd car wouldn’t bring in any extra revenue, But it would add significant cost’s.

      5) So much would change with technical strategies, tactics and game plans.
      6) Team orders !! …. lets not get even started on that

      Any addition’s with regards to 5 would almost certainly be connected to 6. You already see in categories where teams do have 3+ cars that team orders & using the 3rd car tactically to benefit the other drivers is commonplace to the point where I feel its usually detrimental to the racing.

      7) WEB might come back.

      No chance, He’s made it pretty clear that he’s done with F1 & is happy where he is.

  12. Bernie saying F1 will be sold this year seems like a usual Bernie negotiating tactic; he is giving a deadline in public for the interested parties.

    1. Totally agree there’s a hidden agenda behind his public statement!

  13. Anybody who has been living under a rock for the past ten years is going to be really confused when they see McLaren and Renault fighting not for every race win in a season (excluding Indy), but fighting over 19th place on the grid.

    1. @craig-o
      10 years ago, nobody would have forseen Brackley and Red Bull domination in the nearby future.

      Imagine what F1 will be like 10 years from now. I suspect that Haas and McLaren-Honda will be dominating; while Mercedes and Red Bull (if they are still in F1 under that name) will be backmarkers.

  14. Rob Smedley on the #RussianGP: “We are hoping for another good race, with plenty of overtaking like last year.” What race did he watch?

    He is not wrong.
    Both Rosberg and Massa made plenty of overtaking. (Much more than Monaco, for sure.)

    1. Much more than Monaco, for sure.

      Is it just me, or has use of the phrase “for sure” exploded in F1 recently? Over the past few races, I have noticed the Sky commentators, team members & bosses, and UK drivers all using it more, when previously it was used mostly by those whose first language is not English,

      1. For sure :)

      2. @drmouse, I’ve heard and seen the phrase being used by drivers back in the late 1980’s, so it is not a new phenomenon. It is true that it initially tended to be used more often by drivers for whom English was a second language, but native English speakers started using the phrase fairly quickly too.

        As for the Sky commentators, Brundle has been using the phrase for years – there are clips of him dating from the early 1990’s where he repeats that phrase, so it is definitely not a new trend for him.

    2. Thanks to DRS, I don’t think anyone recalls even one overtake from last year’s race. Hell, even one pass not in the DRS zone (like Rosberg in Suzuka) and I get pretty excited these days.

  15. Great article by Allan McNish. 21 races next year – I’m afraid I just can’t get excited by that, I prefer quality over quantity. It’s this time of year where I get a bit of F1 burnout as it feels that after Europe we are just dragging things out and going through the motions until we reach the finale and/or the championship is decided. Interlagos and Suzuka stand out as the only real highlights in this drawn out journey. Maybe I’m just reminiscing about the 90s where F1 would leave Europe and then head to Suzuka and Adelaide for a swift crescendo. Suzuka and Adelaide brings me back to quality over quantity…

    1. I’m afraid I can’t agree with this one. Your view, to me, seems very Euro-centric. If it is indeed a world championship that the teams and drivers are fighting for, it can’t be occur predominantly in Europe, save for a token Asian, Australian and North American track.

      1. Nah doubt it my point is I want quality over quantity, didn’t mention anything about wanting more races in Europe. I would take Suzuka, Melbourne, Interlagos and Montreal over Valencia, Barcelona Magny Bores. Boring tracks with miles of tarmac run-off and empty grandstands, no thanks. ‘Old-school’ tracks packed with fans, yes please – like Suzuka, Melbourne, Interlagos and Montreal. Love em, oh I do, oh I love em.

  16. I’m ok with 3 car teams. here however needs to be a revision on the points system to not penalize teams that can only enter with 2 cars. I figure for the likes of Sauber, Haas, Manor, even FI 3 cars is steep and they shouldn’t be penalised for having to race them. The advantage for a 3 car entry racing team should be in giving them more odds of consistent constructor points, but there needs to be a balance for a 2 car entry constructor to fight for higher constructor championship positions.

    1. @sergio-perez Simple – points right back to the final classified position.

      Makes the entire field ‘competitive’, in a relative sense, as Manor’s dogged reliability means they could grind out results when the Honda’s failed and Maldonaldo clattered into his nearest targets.

  17. Enjoying F1fanatic 9. It’s measurably better than transformers 87 or Avengers 27332299833329292292929291. F1 fanatic is a series that will surely always improve with time.

  18. Even if McHonda won’t be competitive next year, they made a right move to switch from Merc power. At least they have a hope that Honda makes a leap forward (and they don’t have to pay for their PUs, which, I guess, at least partially offsets their financial losses from dropping down the order in the CC). Had they stayed the clients of Merc, they really had no shot at the top, since F1 has officially become a two-tier series this year. According to Auto Motor und Sport, the Merc works team will be using the Monza-spec updated PUs exclusively until the end of the year, with their clients being served only the old-spec PUs. At least Sauber will get Monza-spec Ferrari PUs this weekend, but they are too far down the grid to really make a difference.

  19. I do agree this.

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