“Something’s got to change”: Drivers urge F1 bosses to improve the racing

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Leading F1 drivers urged the sport’s leaders to improve the racing after an uneventful Brazilian Grand Prix.

The top five drivers finished in the same order they completed lap one at Interlagos, prompting fresh questions over what could be done to increase the amount of action.

Sebastian Vettel said the Brazilian circuit should be “one of the easiest tracks to overtake” at, and suggested drivers need more grip rather than downforce.

“Sure, if you’re behind you always want the DRS zone to be longer because artificially it helps you to get closer. Naturally if you are only a tenth or two quicker then it’s very difficult to pass – whereas if you’re a second quicker it becomes more easy.”

“I think in general what we need to follow another car closer in medium speed, high speed, slow speed corners is more mechanical grip. So shift the percentage between aero/mechanical more towards more mechanical.”

“We need better tyres” – Vettel
Vettel believes the current generation of tyres, which were intended to create more exciting races, are in fact doing the opposite.

“I think we need better tyres that allow us to go quicker,” he said. “Drivers want to be quicker. So, I think the solution is very simple.”

“Unfortunately the sport is very political with different interests from different people. Yeah. I think it’s fair enough to give whoever tyre manufacturer, in this case Pirelli, the chance to improve their tyres – but we need to run. But since the responsible people, the teams, whoever, can’t agree on something, it will be difficult to make progress.”

“Unfortunately the people who literally are paying for that are sitting on the grandstands. So, we would love to go quicker. I think they would love us to go quicker and have more excitement but bottom line is, if you look ten years ago, 20 years ago, it wasn’t like there was a lot more overtaking in the race. So it’s also not a disaster what we see now.”

Lewis Hamilton, however, was pessimistic over whether those running the sport would pay attention to them.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what we say because it can’t happen,” he said. “The big bosses make the decisions and whether or not they make the right ones for many years, who knows.”

“Something’s got to change, you know? Because some races you can follow which enables you to have some good racing, obviously places like Austin where there was the last decent race but otherwise there are some places it’s just… I guess for fans it’s probably not too exciting to watch.”

“Of course, it’s always nice when you’re at the front, as we have been for some time now – but still, being able to race is what… and also down the back, the rest of the field is probably what fans want to see. That’s probably a change that would be looked positively on.”

2015 Brazilian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    65 comments on ““Something’s got to change”: Drivers urge F1 bosses to improve the racing”

    1. Lewis Hamilton, however, was pessimistic over whether those running the sport would pay attention to them.

      I am also sceptic but happy two world champions are not being shy and dare talk about the matter.

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        16th November 2015, 16:43

        Agreed. Both have raised their heads above the parapet and said what needed saying. They should be commended for saying what we’re all thinking.

    2. The problem is that some of those running the sport believe that all that needs to be done to ‘improve the racing’ is create more passing & that as long as there’s a lot of position changes (regardless of the quality of them) nothing else really matters.

      DRS for example creates passing on the straights but does nothing to help cars follow in the corners & does nothing to actually improve the overall quality of the racing. If anything DRS has been a detriment in that its created the idea that they can give the cars more downforce (Which would make following harder through corners) & then rely on a more powerful DRS to make passing a lot easier on the straights.

      And then we look at the tyres, The high-deg/Thermal-Deg philosophy does mix up strategies & that can mix up the racing… But to achieve that not only are the tyres more sensitive when following in the dirty air (The extra understeer pushes temperatures up with increases the thermal degredation) & makes following harder but with the tyres designed around deg rather than performance its actually pushed the balance more towards aero grip which has the knock-on effect of making following even harder.
      Tyres that are designed for pure performance will produce more mechanical grip which would help drivers follow cars closer & tyres designed to be more durable would be less affected when following another car closer as the loss of tyre performance when following a car closer would be less which would allow drivers to push hard & stay behind another car to have a go at overtaking for a longer period of time.

      1. THANK YOU! I love everyone of your posts. I have been saying for years Pirelli is not helping the sport. They have poor tyres and go against what the fans actually want. Since they the technology they use to get us 2-3 pit stops every race causes drivers to nurse tyres and be afraid to attack and defend shows how crap they are. Why do peopel keep defending them saying “Bernie asked them for tyres that degrade”? Fine, we did not ask for tyres that are overly sensitive to temperature window, overly dangerous with many cuts in tyres during race weekends (@gt-racer) can confirm. Tyres that blowup, have “de-laminations”. These same tyres are made to only last what 7-20 laps denpending on compound.

        If these tyres can only run for 50 miles, they should be the grippiest tyres that drivers have ever used but they are not they complete garbage. That are too hard or stay too cold that don’t work well on many tracks. The worst thing has been Pirelli being re-signed and the talk about a more powerful DRS.

        BUT nothing will change if people keep watching & buying tickets to races (which I have stopped doing because this is no longer in my eye Formula One, even though it’s still called that)

      2. @gt-racer or anybody. What do you guys think is the reason that the people in power don’t want to remove so much emphasis on aero?
        We’ve known for years this is the problem? Why are they avoiding it?

        1. @s2g-unit Partly because its easy performance, They don’t want to make the cars too much slower & they want F1 to remain the fastest category out there. Cutting aero will slow the cars down & they won’t be able to regain all of the lost performance by moving towards mechanical grip.

          To be fair to them there’s a lot of data out there that actually shows the performance of the cars is important to most fans. In one of the survey’s for instance there was the question ‘Would you favour slowing outright performance of F1 cars down to promote better racing?’ 69% of the fans who took part voted No.

          On the team side there tends to be the feeling that if aero was cut they wouldn’t have any real areas of development to play around with & cutting aero dependence by as much as would be required would leave the teams with very little room to innovate when designing the car which they fear would move F1 more towards been a spec formula.

        2. No idea @s2g-unit , my heart sank when I heard the quote from Charlie Whiting about a more powerful DRS! It’s obvious that we need ground effects and more mechanical grip

    3. Bah, how come this is news? Honestly… isn’t it what we’ve been hearing since forever?!

      DRS was created to fix this. Now it’s not even enough.

      This argument, and the ways to fix it, change every month. More testing, ban testing, better tyres, designed to degrade tyres, bigger wings, smaller wings…

      “We need to be able to push to overtake”, and then they’ll push all race and where does that get you? 2007, which was lame as hell in terms of track action.

      I just don’t think any artificial way (ie a specific rule banning or allowing something) can fix this. It is the way it is.

      1. It is the way it is, sure, due to the continued addiction to aero downforce. I don’t think the underlying ways to fix this have changed for years. A better ratio of mechanical grip to downforce, including a move to ground effects for said downforce rather than clean-air-dependent aero, is what they all know they ‘should’ be doing.

        I’ll re-paraphrase JV’s soon-to-be 20 year old opinion when F1 brought in grooved tires and he called them a joke…’gives us back the big fat slicks that they used in the 70’s. They created so much drag on the straights that in order to achieve any kind of respectable speeds you had to run less wing, thus killing two birds with one stone…greater mechanical grip and smaller wings which are less affected in dirty air, for the result of drivers having confidence in their car while behind other cars in corners, for closer racing and driver vs driver passes.’

        JV was speaking in an era that saw most of the passing through the undercut through pit strategies, not from passes on the track, just like to this day the only way LH was going to get by Nico for the last two races would have been through an advantaged pit strategy. Only now F1 is also weakened with the presence of bad tires, DRS, and strategies of conservation, not pushing.

        1. I had not read all JV’s quote. I knew about “bring back the big fat slicks because these grooved are a joke” but I didn’t know about the rest. Fair point on that!

    4. It’s an easy solution which many (on here and elsewhere) have been suggesting for a long time: Decrease reliance on aero (at least, over-the-top aero) and increase reliance on mechanical grip, possibly with shaped floors to add ground effect.

      However, while it’s easy to say, it’s not easy to implement. For a start, F1 is addicted to aero downforce. Taking it away will be difficult, politically. The top teams will not like it, nor will fans like the drop in top speeds seen immediately (look at how they reacted to the quieter engines). Increasing mechanical grip will not be as easy as some think either, and ground effect will take some time & effort to get right.

      It is my preferred solution, but it’s no magic bullet. It will not fix the sport overnight.

      1. I don’t know that anyone really expects changes overnight, but I think even the hint of change toward a better direction would be welcome, and I am still hopeful that what they have planned for 2017, which we may not know all the details about yet nor what the product will actually be like wrt racing, will be for the good and at least a good start.

      2. I say ban wings all together! First Formula 1 cars did fine without them :D

        1. +1

          F1 is addicted to downforce. Only solution is a fan intervention and the aero boys need to go cold turkey – send them to a wind tunnel rehab center where the only wind occurs after the beans & chilli dinners.

          If they persist in the development of more aero, rather than less, then why not just turn F1 into a timing series. 2 days of qualifying sessions ought to be enough for everyone.

    5. It’s good to see two multiple World Champions and arguably the top two drivers around at the moment speak out on this.

      Something definitely has to be done, but given the so-called solutions which have been come up to improve the racing in recent years (everything from DRS to double points and all of the completely dud ideas in between), I have absolutely zero confidence in those currently running the sport (if you can even call it that) to come up with a solution to fix the on-track problems we have seen this year, let alone the off-track problems which I feel is even more important at this time.

      I would like to see more input on topics like this from those who actually know what they are talking about – i.e. the drivers or an ex-driver with a lot of experience, or from the GPDA as a whole.

    6. A good person to ask in all this would be someone with no (or minimal) vested interest. Ex designers maybe. At least then if it doesn’t work, rescuers know the rules haven’t been fiddled towards a particular team’s or individual’s strengths.

      Down force, technically, isn’t the problem. Its the wake. If we could have down force with no wake, we’d be laughing. Fast cars plus close racing. Maybe fan cars could make a comeback?

      1. The wake is something your never going to get rid of because anything that travels through the air creates disturbed air behind it, Even the wing-less cars of the Pre-70’s created a big hole of disturbed air behind it… Thats what created the slipstream races at places like Monza.

        The biggest problem is that the reliance on aerodynamics & especially the increasingly complicated front wing structures are now far more sensitive to been affected by that disturbed air because the overall grip the cars generate now are so reliant on those complex from wings.

        If they were to put a single element, super basic front wing (Similar to those used in the early 80s for example) on a 2015 car without making any other changes you would probably more than half the distance which they were able to follow a car in-front.
        Make further changes to the floor towards the front of the car & get rid of the other aero bits that are around the front of a car & you would probably see drivers able to get right up under the rear wing of a car ahead.

    7. Nothing new here, just interesting to hear two world champions say it out lout.

      The (over)reliance on aero was realised many years ago. The solution? For example, change the front wing in 2005! What did that accomplish? The problem became even worse. I just hope if changes are made this time, they will be properly analysed beforehand. It’s a shame that all the hard work the Overtaking Working Group did in the late 2000s has become completely nullified in the recent years.

      1. The reason the front wing changes didn’t work is because they didn’t address the real problem: they’re too complex and over-sensitive. Get rid of all the stupid flicky bits and leave just a single element with one adjustable flap on each end, and that will solve 99%* of the sensitivity issues straight away.

        *Number pulled from the aether

        1. @raceprouk, the point of those “stupid flicky bits”, as you put it, is to increase the efficiency of the front wing by reducing the likelihood that the individual wing elements will stall.

          In the turbulent wake of another car, a multi element front wing would probably actually produce more downforce and have a more consistent performance than a single element wing of the same size, given that the single element wing would be more sensitive to stalling and would result in a larger shift in balance when it did stall.

          1. @anon,@raceprouk, that may well be true but it still means that designers look to maximize aerodynamic downforce rather than demanding better opportunities to increase mechanical grip. What chance has mechanical grip got of becoming the dominant performance factor when all the design chiefs are high priests of Voodoo aerodynamics.

            1. @hohum, because, fundamentally, aerodynamics has traditionally been the area that will give the greatest returns in terms of performance, which is why teams have been ploughing money into wind tunnel research since the 1950’s.

            2. Aero development didn’t start until the 70s

          2. @anon: I suppose it’s pure coincidence then that the increase in front wing complexity has led to a reduced ability to follow closely through the corners?

            1. @raceprouk, Egg and chicken !?

            2. @raceprouk, as others have pointed out, that is not the sole change that has occurred during this period of time – some have speculated that the reduction in nose height has also had a noticeable impact this year, for example.

            3. So because it’s not the sole change means it’s irrelevant?

    8. 2011 and 2012’s rules were very good, only scrap DRS and it’s fine. Unfortunately now is very different as the sport has changed a lot since then. I agree with @gt-racer that some people think the higher overtaking figure the better and see no problem. Of course it is misleading not only because of DRS but also thanks to many passes when one driver is not racing with them as he is yet to pit. I noticed it is much harder to follow another car since 2014 when they lost a lot of mechanical grip. Such is the state of F1 I don’t mind having spec V8-V10 normally aspirated engine for everyone with a much cheaper price. But 2.2-litre V6 twin turbo won’t help. I know it is my wish not realistic thinking.

    9. It needs a fundamental rethink to fix the overtaking issue: a new set of technical regulations created from a totally clean sheet of paper. Every single rule should go, other than those which say that the cars have to have four wheels and a space into which you can insert a highly paid lump of organic matter.

      To get that you would need to get every single team to agree to rules that really do give everyone a chance to compete and to put on a great show for us us fans, and that simply isn’t going to happen. There are too many egos, there is too much politicking and too much cash is at stake for that. Even the proposed 2017 rules don’t go far enough to fix the problems. There will still be huge reliance on “top body” aero, the front wings will still be complicated and won’t work in turbulent air, we’ll just kick the can down the road for another 5-6 year cycle. All that brain power in the sport, and no one can fix the fundamental problem with the sport. It is pathetic.

      This annoys me because all the top teams believe they are the best in the business, so why not prove they can dominate again under a set of fresh, well thought out rules? It annoys me that every single top team seems to be afraid of a fight. Yeah winning is great, but is it fun, meaningful and enjoyable when you are winning by miles, managing the fight between your drivers for the sake of marketing and no one has a hope in hell in beating you? If you are a Mercedes or Red Bull board member, apparently yes. You only have to look at the reaction of the Mercedes mechanics after qualifying to get the real answer. They locked out their umpteenth one-two and where they ecstatic, whooping and hollering and hugging one another? Nope, they just shared a few smiles and some firm handshakes. That isn’t worth holding onto is it?

    10. Maybe some people will get off Nico’s back now for not ‘simply passing LH’ in some of the races this season, like he simply is not as capable of that as LH. We have seen several times at several tracks this year how detrimental it is for two quite equal cars to try to do anything about each other, other than through a team strategy to advantage one driver over the other. Turns out pole has been as important as at Monaco, at many venues this season, and kudos to LH for taking over the pole title at Mercedes, but as even LH and SV are basically saying…what a shame.

      Gadget tires and DRS have not been a positive, and have only hurt the sports integrity. Sure, ok, there are ‘political’ reasons why F1 is as it is, according to the drivers quoted above, which is nothing new, but even a five year old can figure out that what is new is holding politics over the head of what has become a weaker and weaker entity isn’t sustainable. And hence there is at least supposedly some light at the end of the tunnel wrt changes for 2017, but we’ll only know in March of 2017 what that will really look like wrt the racing.

    11. The fundamental problem for F1 is that the mugs in the grandstand are the last people that the guy at the top is bothered about pleasing. End of.

      1. So true and I was recently reminded of a quote from Sam Walton of Walmart fame. To paraphrase…’the customer is our boss…they can fire us in an instant simply by not buying what we are selling.’

      2. Couldn’t of put it better myself Dan. The race on Sunday was a disgrace

    12. Like others have mentioned, less aero, more mechanical grip.

      I even did my dissertation on this subject this year for my degree in Motorsport Engineering (recently graduated). I designed 3 F1 cars (basic cars of course, I am no Adrian Newey unfortunately) that were inspired by different time periods of aerodynamics design. I then ran these cars in CFD, recorded drag and downforce etc and then tested the cars again, but this time I placed another car in front to measure the percentage downforce and drag losses etc.

      And surprise surprise, the car that had simple front and rear wings and large venturi tunnel-styled sidepods (inducing ground effect) would allow a following car to only lose 5-6% of its downforce in comparison to a car with a modern design which lost ~25%.

      Obviously I was a just a student, but I used some reliable sources and inspirations (Simon McBeath, NACA, Joseph Katz and Craig Scarborough). Obviously an industry level aerodynamicist could produce much more valid and accurate results.

      I’ll try and find my dissertation on my old PC if anyone is interested.
      Sorry to bore you all on my first post haha!

    13. I do not think that a lot needs to be changed.

      Personally, I want to see more real battles for positions than we saw in the Brazil GP. I have learned to tolerate DRS but DRS-assisted passes just leave me cold, I do not care if they happen or not. I also want to see more cars on the grid and a more healthy technical competition where the leaders can be caught during a season or a winter but not via spending wars or by artificial means. Even though the classic circuits do not guarantee good racing, I still want to have them because I want variety, not 20 BICs. I am also aware that not every race can be a classic so I am not going to complain just because there are a few uneventful races during the season.

      I have absolutely nothing against less fuel saving, more durable tyres and quicker cars but there are more important things than that. I loved the 2010 season when there was no DRS, no Pirelli tyres and when the cars were generally quicker. But I also enjoyed the 2012 season a lot. People often suggest ‘simple’ solutions that would immediately turn F1 on its head and make it much more exciting (Ecclestone particularly likes to do that) but I tend to believe that the devil is in the details ie. F1 needs small, nuanced adjustments here and there and then our sport will be just fine.

    14. I think they would love us to go quicker and have more excitement but bottom line is, if you look ten years ago, 20 years ago, it wasn’t like there was a lot more overtaking in the race. So it’s also not a disaster what we see now.

      You have got to praise Vettel for having a perspective of things. This whole “every race must be an extreme thriller with twenty billion overtakes” mindset pretty much has never matched what F1 is and trying to pursuit that goal is a reasonably silly endeavour.

      1. Well SV saying correctly that F1 was like this 10 and 20 years ago, doesn’t mean we should just accept it, (not that he is saying that) and I think the difference to today is that in an atmosphere of fake DRS passes, bad tires, and extreme conservation, to also have processions just isn’t cutting it anymore. Said another way…at least 10 and 20 years ago you had the sense the drivers were taxed and challenged in what they were doing. Nowadays they are not and they know it and we all know it.

        1. @klon,@robbie, Don’t forget that even 20 years ago the racing was suffering from the 1st. of Bernies unnecessary gimmicks, re-fueling, which made on track overtakes an unnecessary risk.

      2. The problem today most people have a problem with is the character of the tires. I think fundamentally people want overtakes, but this isn’t what makes exciting racing. What people are actually asking for is close racing. If a car is marginally faster it should be able to be very close to the car in front for an extended period of time to put pressure on and attack. If Hamilton was faster in Brazil he should be able to sit on Nico’s gearbox and hound him until he can make a move. The character of the current generation tires and the rules of F1 regarding Aero prevent this. If a car is too close to the car in front of it, more is demanded from the tires because the aero grip is less. Taking more from the tires slows you down because the tires are designed to degrade at a certain rate. Thus we are left with cars that could go faster but choose to go slower and keep a 1.5-2s gap to the car in front. Fans don’t need billions of overtakes- they need close racing. The current formula encourages spread out racing and driving to an optimum (but slower) pace.

        1. Righton Cartwheel, it’s obvious, but we still have people who like to see a driver on wornout tyres being passed by a string of drivers on new tyres, I guess they have never seen races without gimmicks being essential to position changes, perhaps they will listen to the holders of 7 world championships but I doubt it will change their minds.

    15. Nothing needs to change. The race finished as it did because one was faster than the other. Qualifying is a very good indication. I watched a lot of Hamilton’s onboard footage, Rosberg had Hamilton covered. Hamilton tried every line possible to catch him. Was great to watch.

      If they want to make the cars faster in the future so be it. But I think they should do it as relatively silmple as possible e.g a second turbo and free up development of aero and engine. Big rule changes ain’t no good.

      1. How the race finished isnt the argument. Rosberg won fair and square. Not being able to follow a car because of the turbulent air is the huge issue. Lewis was never going to pass Rosberg and what hope did he have sitting behind him the whole race ruining his tyres!

    16. to me this is simple:
      1) Dump DRS
      2) Limit front and rear wings to main plane and one element
      3) Unrestricted fuel- if you want to carry more then you suffer the extra weight at the start, but this will make up for the renault deficit.
      4) tires that allow all out racing; when combined with unrestruicted fuel, the teams will need to decide the best approach.
      5) allow ground effects, but limit total difuser height or tunnel height above ground plane to limit total downforce.
      6) 18 in rims to limit tire flex and make the sidewalls more durable for the higher ground effect aero forces. Also will prevent turn cutting , because rims dont like hitting curbing.

      Also, these changes would allow teams to rethink and redo their car setups thru the season to make up for any disparity. it gives them flexibility to adopt without resorting to costly aero upgrades. They can change the balance of fuel vs aero vs how hard the driver pushes.

      1. That’s a big change and probably very costly.

        My solution: keep the engines and fuel loads the same, get more sticky, more ground effects to generate down force and less aero.

        The only hard part to implement is the last one, I have no idea how to force teams to spend less on aero development.

        1. *sticky tyres

        2. The only hard part to implement is the last one, I have no idea how to force teams to spend less on aero development.

          Easy. For the front wing, limit them to a single uniform element and two flat adjustable flaps, and force the endplates to be flat with no holes. For the rear, allow two uniform elements, one adjustable up top, and again flat endplates with no holes.

          In other words, don’t leave room for aero development; instead, have the teams spend that time on mechanical grip and the powertrain.

    17. I like Juan Pablo Montoya’s suggestion:

      “If you take away the tyre sensors, the temperature sensors, and just leave the pressures, the racing will get better by 10 per cent straight away. I’m certain of that,” he said.

      “The driver is now lazy. There’s no feel. They see [the temperature] is too much they back off the pace. Look at the tyres, back off the pace, look at the brakes, back off the pace. If you take all that away it becomes a feel thing again. If you drive it too hard you’re going to wear the tyres off the car.

      “The driver and the team just have too much information. It’s OK to have the information in practice, but that information shouldn’t be there in the race for the drivers. It’s got to be a feel thing. Also it will mean that you will start to see the talented people coming through.”

      1. That would probably work initially but the drivers would very quickly figure out how to manage tyres, brakes etc.. without actually having the hard data so after a few races we would be back to where we are now.

        If anything taking away the data would likely see drivers driving more cautiously because the current tyres give them a lot less feel than what they had in the past primarily thanks to the thermal-deg model.

    18. Vettel is completely right, but I doubt he would have said that while he was still at Red Bull :)

      Still he IS right and so was Hamilton during the race. I’ve said it from day one, these fast degrading tyres are disaster. It’s as dumb as the idea to put grooves in the tyres to reduce grip.

      Perhaps mandating a minimum of 3 stops would already help some? At least the tyre life would not be limiting the drivers so much then and they could at least push harder. Just mandating a number of stops would work a lot better and offer more strategy options rather than limiting the tyres for a certain number of rounds.

    19. They shrank the front wing, removed the beam wing, prevented exhaust blown diffusers and made the tyres 1 step harder for 2014 and we did see closer racing.

      But the wings and aero devices just grew even more elaborate which now uses the tyres harder and are more susceptible to dirty air.

      For 2017 the move to wider tyres is entirely for aesthetic purposes because if they want more mechanical grip they can simply make the current size more durable so they don’t go off if used hard and the teams can run the tyre pressure they actually want to rather than a mandated air pressure to stop them exploding.

      And we are seeing more aero being piled on for the headline grabber of cars being 5 seconds or whatever it is quicker. So that’s more aero causing dirty air and more aero being disrupted by dirty air. Oh and the cars are wider so even less room to get past anyway.

      It wasn’t rules in Brazil that stopped Hamilton passing Rosberg, it was Rosberg. He was letting Hamilton close him down massively at the braking points in the first sector, the commentators thought he had a problem is was that drastic. I suspect he was being tactical with tyres, brakes and energy deployment but it’s like everyone is so unwilling to accept Rosberg out foxed Hamilton that it has to be because of broken aero rules.

    20. TheF1Engineer (@)
      16th November 2015, 22:07

      Racing cars should be mechanical-grip dominant, not aerodynamic-grip dominant, it’s that simple.
      Tyre-wise, all the FIA has to do is say to Pirelli, “make the grippiest, most durable, consistent compounds of tyres you can for a set mileage relative to the other compounds and the race distances please.” That’s it.
      Drivers can then drive as fast or as slow on those compounds as they like, to shorten or extend stints as appropriate according to their strategy and the prevailing race conditions.
      Get rid of this thermal degradation nonsense. We just need normal wear and tear, with a sudden “cliff” built into the tyre where the compound runs out and lap-times tumble.
      Aero-wise, we need ground-effect cars for more overall downforce, and simple front and rear wings to give stability.
      That’s the racing car sorted.
      In terms of rules, nice and simple, specify a maximum mm sq. area for the whole wing (front) and whole wing (rear) total. Imagine the diversity they’d come up with!
      Ground-effect wise, personally, I’d say free-reign.
      Tyres – let teams choose how many of which compounds of tyre they want to bring to a race, up to a set total amount.
      Unfortunately however, as we all know, racers don’t design these cars anymore, politics does. Racers look to gain the position ahead. Corporations look to not lose the position behind.
      Since this is a political issue, the only way it can really be resolved in favour of theracing, is for the FIA to grab the bull by the horns with the 2017 regs, the same way it’s doing with the engine regs atm, and say “WE WANT THIS.” Some firm leadership is needed, and it is needed in the direction of Formula 1 getting some proper racing cars again.

      1. @goonerf1, simple, but why do we need pit stops at all, they’re just another gimmick to change race order without the driver having to pass on track. A real fix needs to make the racing happen on the track.

      2. The problem with saying something is simple is you miss out all the complications needed to make it happen.

        Ground effects were banned because of how dangerously unpredictable they are.


        They did look into re-introducing it as the very solution to the problem we’re discussing and it’s probably safe to say that it didn’t turn out to be ‘simple’ otherwise they would still be working towards it.

        And how do you mandate simple wings without making it a common spec part? Do that and it’s no longer Formula 1 it’s just a spec series.

        1. A simple g-force sensor linked to engine power output would prevent ground force effects from dominating. An artificial restraint, I know but at least an artificial restraint based entirely on safety.

        2. Ground effects were banned because of how dangerously unpredictable they are.

          …. With the fairly basic knowledge & technology they had at the time this was true.

          They have a far greater understanding of how ground effects work now so the problems they suffered from back then wouldn’t be problems now.

          A lot of the problems back in the early 80s for example was caused because teams felt they had to run the cars with practically no suspension travel, That made the cars horribly unstable over bumps. They wouldn’t need to do that now, Other categories such as GP2 (With the 1st-gen car), WEC, Indycar & a fair few of the other junior open wheel categories run various forms of ground effects & none of them suffer from problems relating to it.

          The 1st-gen GP2 car (2005-2007, GP2 Asia 2008-2010) was heavily reliant on ground effects with not only a shaped floor/underwing but also small side skirts & that car produced some of the best ‘pure’ racing any open wheel category has put on over the past 20 years.
          They only moved away from ground effects in later GP2 cars to make them faster & get them closer in performance to F1 & giving them more aero was the easiest way of achieving that goal.

        3. @philipgb,

          How do you mandate simple wings without making it a spec part?

          I too abhor this tendency but “90 degree V6, max bore 80mm” etc. means it’s not new ground for F1.

          1. Written rules are also what led to double deck diffusers, Red Bull flexi wings, exhaust blown diffusers, fuel injectors caching fuel to exceed the permitted fuel flow rate etc…

            1. @philipgb, right, fascinating ain’t it.

            2. @hohum

              I agree I find all those developments fascinating. But like I said you won’t get simple wings that perform as intended to help close racing with written rules.

    21. The solution to have more mechanical grip and less aero is so stupidly obvious I’m beginning to question the sanity of everyone in F1. Seriously, how long does it take to work this obvious fact out?

      Wider tyres, less aero. Wider tyres less aero. (And no DRS!) There you go. I’ve (we’ve) been saying it for years and years.

      1. @john-h, me too, but it’s like telling people smoking is bad for them, the addicted only need a little misinformation and twisted logic to champion smoking as a beneficial exercise and demand more smoking as the solution.

      2. They don’t need wider tyres, the current size could just not be made out of chewing gum and you’d have more grip from them.

        They reduced aero last year. We got better wheel to wheel racing. Engineers are pesky relentless things though they found it back. The smaller wings are now just more complicated making them more sensitive to dirty air.

        Also for everyone who preaches less aero, you do have people who also complain that the cars are getting slower and the drivers saying the cars are no longer hard to drive because of the combination of nursing tyres and lack of speed.

    22. Jonathan Parkin
      17th November 2015, 8:51

      I would do two things, the first is to bring back qualifying from 2002 namely a one hour session with each driver having 12 laps and a rule that they have to all do 12 laps. Secondly I’d bring back gravel traps to improve the driving, so drivers don’t get a second chance. It would also end the endless track limits debate

      1. 11 laps spent burning fuel, 1 qualifying lap.

        The current qualifying format is one of the least criticised parts of F1. The free set of tyres for Q3 solved cars not going out, the current format works.

        And gravel traps are risky business. A driver could well lose their head in one.

        1. Lowered noses cause cars to flip each other. Nothing will ever be 100% safe.
          FIA just continually becomes unbelievably sanitized and clinic, which becomes even more boring. Soon drivers will get penalty points for critizing these sh i tt y fcu king tires.

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