Alonso: Give F1 more power, aero, testing – and fewer rules

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says F1’s rules should be opened up to make the cars much faster and relax restrictions on designers.


Comment of the day

Adam addresses Bernie Ecclestone’s complaint that Mercedes’ domination has made F1 “boring” and Lewis Hamilton’s response:

In 2012, which wasn’t that long ago really, we had seven different drivers taking wins in the first seven races – that’s more different winners than we’ve had across the last two years. That year, Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Williams all took race victories compared to just four in the last two years. Even if 2012 is a bit of a stand-out year, it shows that’s possible, and how barren the last two years have been in terms of variety. And all that, in a period of ‘domination’ by Red Bull, which tends to suggest their ‘domination’ was nowhere near as absolute as this one.

Mercedes have the best car, and the best engine – and the way the rules are structured seem to favour powerful teams keeping an advantage rather than helping weaker teams catch up, so the gap stays the same or at worse gets larger. They certainly should be lauded for such an achievement as last year’s and this year’s car have to be among the finest F1 cars ever constructed – but it sure makes for dull viewing.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

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On this day in F1

The non-championship Cape Grand Prix held on this day 55 years ago in Kyalami, South Africa, was won by Stirling Moss driving a Porsche. Jo Bonnier and Wolfgang von Trips completed the podium.

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Keith Collantine
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45 comments on “Alonso: Give F1 more power, aero, testing – and fewer rules”

  1. Wait… Ron’s got both Stoffel AND Vandoorne?!

    Well, he’s just being greedy with the young drivers, now isn’t he!

  2. Nick Heidfeld? Really? Do I have to start calling you Ron Perlman now?

    1. i would like to see that Ron running McLaren!

  3. How great would it be to have unlimited testing back (but that will probably never happen).
    That combined with relaxed enige rules (free development for a year or 2) would be great.
    McLaren would never have been in the trouble if they had free development and testing.

    It’s pretty clear new enige manufacturers should get free development in their first year, as those
    engines are too complex!

    1. @solidg, in one sense, development work on the engines is technically unlimited – what is limited is the number of updates which can actually be introduced, which is slightly different.

  4. To be fair on Ron, he was just trying to get Vandoorne’s last name, it is “Stoffel ummmmm, arrrr, Vandoorne”. With Nick Heidfeld he was meaning Nyck De Vries I’d assume. Or maybe he is going back to the late 90’s…

  5. Yet another reason why Ron Dennis needs to retire. He cannot run a team anymore.

    1. F1’s Louis Van Gaal.

      1. @david-a
        “Vandoorne and Magnussen do not fit in my philosophy”

  6. I hope serious in-season testing never return. It will only increase rich team’s advantage and escalate costs. I am also against tyre-war and in-race refuelling for the same reasons. But agree with Alonso on other points.

    1. I don’t get the constant rule changing either. After a rule change, the biggest teams always end up with an advantage. If you keep the rules the same, smaller temas will have the time to develop their own Coanda effect, double diffuser, FRIC system, F-ducts etc.

    2. The notion of equality among teams is very noble but as likely to happen as communism is to succeed. F1 teams exist to be as strong as they can be and dominate that is their goal so you are forever fighting a loosing battle. With that in mind might as well let them me the best they can be and money is not everything look at Honda. Toyota, BMW. It of course helps but I would not want F1 teams restricted to the lowest common denominator so let them spend otherwise we might as well try and prescribe lap times, engine power, downforce per car and if a driver is more talented give them a weight penalty.

      1. markp, of course, it was thanks to small teams like Minardi that Alonso was able to make it onto the grid in the first place, not to mention the fact that Aldo Costa, a man who assisted Rory Byrne to become one of the most successful designers in the history of the sport and can also chalk the W05 and W06 to his name, also started out as a designer at the very same team. Drive those teams out, and you destroy the bloodline of the sport itself.

  7. 2012 was also the year that Sauber coulda, shoulda, woulda won at Malaysia.

    1. And the year Force India coulda, shoulda, woulda won in Brazil.

      1. Imagine if that had happened!! 2012 would have upstaged 1982 then in terms of number of drivers and teams winning.

    2. I would like to remember everyone of the inane anti-f1 comments, some top teams and a large chunk of fanatics made. Calling f1 a lottery. People can’t be trusted, fans can’t be trusted.

      1. @peartree Yup, all of a sudden there was no skill involved, just tyre management.

        1. @xtwl, it’s certainly funny to see how a season that was once criticised for being “too random” is, only a few short years later, being held up as some sort of totem for widespread competitiveness.

          1. I quite liked 2012. You had absolutely no idea who was going to win.

        2. 2012 was a year where nearly every winner could be determined by watching practise and checking grids for plausibility – it just happened that each track suited a different car (I distinctly remember it being the year I deliberately cut down the amount of practise I saw in an effort to retain some element of surprise – though even I didn’t foresee Pastor Maldonado winning). It was a more extreme version of 2009, which even at the time, people were more inclined to call it an unusual or intruiging season than a classic one such as 2008 or 2010. The first two-thirds of 2011 was harder to predict than 2012, but you’d never think it from the statistics.

      2. exactly that @peartree. There were almost as many people complaining and spelling the end of F1.

    3. you know how crazy 2012 was when you look at the winners…. and Pastor is there!!!!!!

  8. I don’t understand Luca’s words and I think Alonso wouldn’t either. To say that Alonso would have been a Ferrarista only if he had won the WDC in 2010 is portraying Alonso in a bad light and portraying that Alonso only cared about his own WDC and not about Ferrari. I think Alonso was very devoted to Ferrari throughout his 5 years and was definitely a great Ferrarista while he was there.

    1. Well said.

    2. I thought it was quite a fair comment, in so far as things would have looked very different if Alonso had won the wdc in 2010.

      Though I don’t think any of the drivers care too much about the teams. We hear on the radio every race how the winner is so grateful for the team “giving him the car”, as opposed to “I hope I did okay for you guys as the last link in the chain”! I don’t reckon Nando or Seb put any store in being a Ferrarista. Seb would dump Ferrari for a Merc seat in a heartbeat, surely, like any of them.

      1. things would have looked very different if Alonso had won the wdc in 2010.

        If by things you mean the general atmosphere in Maranello, I agree.
        But if by things, you mean Alonso’s motivation or how well Alonso gelled with the team or how good a Ferrarista he was, then I don’t agree. Alonso was disheartened by 2010, no doubt; but never enough to reduce his passion and commitment to Ferrari

        1. Oh I agree Alonso always did his absolute best, and IMO it was a very fine best. I was glad to see Monte saying so. I think perceptions of Alonso’s time at Ferrari would be different, too.

          I’m not convinced he ever really bought into the Ferrarista thing though, that’s something for the corporate ego rather than the drivers’. I don’t see that as a fault either, I meant to say.

  9. In addition to pre-season testing, I say there should be a schedule of tests, and have one 3-day test a month from say March to October at specific circuits all around Europe and when the weather isn’t right in Europe- the rest of the world (Interlagos, Mexico City, COTA, Suzuka). Attendance is optional, of course- and the teams are only allowed to test during these scheduled times.

    1. The testing could be done in the days after a race weekend. For example, it’s common for NHRA dragster teams to stay an extra day or two at the track after a race weekend and test, i.e. they could be racing at Pomona Friday/Saturday/Sunday, then they stay at the track on Monday and do some testing before finally leaving the track Monday night.

      Adopting a similar test structure could work, everything is already at the track so it would just be a matter of getting whatever they wanted to test to the track, and keeping personnel in the area for an extra day or two.

    2. This strange new concept of centralized testing is the main reason it is so expensive i.m.o.
      Pretty much every team is located within rock throwing distance to some sort of race track. Let them test whenever they want, wherever they want, and they will find a way within their budget to do it. This also helps staff, as they already say they are over-stressed with the current calendar. This way, at least in testing, they get to go home after. I personally wouldn’t even bet on testing itself being pricier than all the simulations they now use instead to evaluate/test new parts. Of course, flying 10 teams out to Bahrain for testing is. Testing it self? Not so much, i suspect.

      1. @mrboerns, the point with having all of the teams at a single track is that the teams can share the cost of hiring the circuit.

        Hiring a circuit is considerably more expensive than you think because, ever since Elio de Angelis was killed in a testing crash where inadequate preparations were a contributing factor to his death, the circuits have to be fully manned and equipped and the medical facilities fully staffed, all of which has to be paid for by the team organising the test. Take into account the equipment requirements for the team and the cost of running the car itself, and the indication is that testing can cost a team upwards of €1 million a day these days if they paid for the circuit by themselves.

        Equally, even though some teams are close to existing circuits, whether the circuit will actually give representative conditions is another matter. One of the main reasons why Ferrari has traditionally wanted more liberal testing rules is not just the fact that it is cheaper for them, it is also the fact that they can use their circuit in more representative conditions for far longer throughout the year – it was why, in the past, teams based in the UK would do their winter testing in Estoril or Paul Ricard instead of Silverstone, which of course meant that testing cost them quite a bit more than for Ferrari.

        1. And, related to that, most of the teams are in close proximity to a track… …which for most of the season is either full of cars already having “meetings” of various kinds (and the occasional 10 km race!), at the mercy of noise regulations (even in the middle of nowhere, Silverstone has some restrictions – though it’s not clear if current-spec F1 engines would be affected any more) or is at risk of ice. (Adrian Sutil’s first test as a F1 driver for a cash-strapped Spyker was at a ice-bound Silverstone, and not much running got done, representative or otherwise, because it was plain unsafe).

    3. Also, with everyone testing on their own, you wouldn’t already know who’s fastest in testing. Cue first race surprises!

  10. ColdFly F1 (@)
    17th December 2015, 7:05

    A Brawn bullet rather than a Silver one I’d say.

  11. Didn’t Alonso say that the entire 2015 was a testing year. How much more does he want?

  12. 2012 was also the year of ‘random F1’. We have such short memories.

  13. Lol Bernie wanted to buy nordschleife for 1M…just F1 track or entire complex?


    I loved FA interview… More power more Aero more testing… More rule freedom.

    Maybe put a limit on simulator/real test time.. But overall what kind of sport is this? With 300M budgets of front runners.. One can imagine cost caps are not working. Let this be a battle of automotive giants…

  14. Ecclestone says that because the Nurburgring owners did not sell the track to him ‘they have for two million dollars lost someone who would ensure the race would have been there for 100 years’.

    Please no, he’s nearly 100 already, surely he isn’t planning on living for another 100!?!?! ;)

    1. Also, the last track he promoted lasted 4 years and is now used mostly as a car park (Turkey, 2008). The track before that he promoted (Belgium, 2001) lost the F1 contract 18 months afterwards (admittedly due to unilateral changes to tobacco laws), which scared Bernie off. He has had a success with owning a track (Paul Ricard) but even he can’t make the maths of running a race work, and that is what the Nordschleife needs with regard to the F1 race (as opposed to the venue at large, which probably would have benefitted from the Bernie touch).

      There is no way that the Nordschleife vendors could possibly have seen Bernie as a credible long-term solution to retaining a F1 race for 10 years, let alone 100.

  15. Seems that BBC are ditching F1 with ITV picking up the current BBC deal.

    Should be formally announced tomorrow.

      1. Great! If there was one thing I was missing it was mid race ad breaks!

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