Red Bull “very positive” over Renault gains

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Red Bull are encouraged by the progress Renault are making with their revised power unit for 2016.

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Comment of the day

F1 draws bigger crowds at some races than others
There have been many smart and thought-provoking responses to this week’s poll on F1’s popularity so far and more are likely to be featured in Comment of the Day over the rest of the week. Here’s one of them:

I think one of the most important factor is that the car culture is losing importance within the younger generations.

My son has no interest whatsoever in cars. His iPad/iPhone is much more important to him his father’s car. In Australia, the automotive industry has a date to die and, as far I can observe, most people don’t care too much about that.

Add your voice to the debate and add your vote to the poll here:

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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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81 comments on “Red Bull “very positive” over Renault gains”

  1. Nothing about the silly Ferrari social media “Promote us for free” competition?

    1. Keith commented on it in a tweet that is featured @weeniebeenie

    2. @weeniebeenie A tweet referring to that is included in the round-up.

      I thought that ‘Fanboost’ was the worst possible example of ‘fan engagement’ in motorsports but Ferrari have managed to prove me wrong. Congrats to them.

    3. @weeniebeenie Under ‘Tweets’

  2. Hopefully RB keeps their software out of Renaults hands.

    Lamborghini will be Red Bull’s focus 100% by mid season.

    That’s right, 2017 is Red Bull Lamborghini’s debut season and let the double bulls run wild!

    On the other hand, after only 4 years of development perhaps Renault can actually make a positive gain in performance, probably not though.

    Good to see Red Bull playing nice during this interim year.

    1. any sources Mr. X ?

      1. ER no. Red bull does not want to be a 2nd tier team that Mercedes supplies, red bull wants to dominate.

        VW has a few current spec F1 PUs well into development and will be badged as lambo.

        The diesel scandal prevented the original schedule from being implimented because it would have been bad taste, but VW needs to change the story and lambo regularly beating Ferrari for the first time in F1 will suit the PR machine at VW just fine.

        All the diesel scandal did to the program was gave VW another year of unlimited testing.

        Their have been several VW group LMP1 cars at red bull recently running on their track simulator, wonder what kind of PU was in them?

        The only other option is Honda, James Allen has recently said red bull will be running Honda in 2017, he knows a thing or two.

        Horner said the 2017 supply contract is signed and we can all bet it’s not Renault.

        1. Mr. X, and your source for the claim that Red Bull was simulating an LMP1 car in their simulator is?

          I still can’t see VW going ahead with a highly expensive new engine project at a time when VW is still being hit hard by the repercussions of the diesel emissions case though. The EPA over in the US has recently launched a lawsuit against the company and VW may be forced into a full scale buyback of their cars, the cost of which would by itself exceed the amount of money they’ve already had to set aside to deal with the legal repercussions.

          VW has already had to cut over €1 billion off their annual research and development budget and announced cutbacks in both of their LMP teams as a result of their difficulties in the US. I can’t see them wanting to divert resources towards an F1 project – it looks more likely that VW will attempt to draw attention from the scandal by pushing electric vehicles as hard and as quickly as they can instead (they’ve already accelerated development of a fully electric Porsche to act as a “halo brand” for their electric car division), so an F1 hybrid powertrain would not benefit their marketing aims.

          1. Yeah seems a lot of assumption with little evidence and is the 1st time I have heard this. However what I have heard and which would tie in a little with this is that the German head of Lamborghini is moving to VW to be replaced at Lambo by Stefano Domenicalli. Maybe just for the roadcars but you never know, would be nice but at this stage it’s more of a pipe dream.

          2. VW is still being hit hard by the repercussions of the diesel emissions case though.

            Not as hard as one had expected. Neither is Renault or Opel so it seems.

          3. @xtwl

            The Renault situation is laughable. It’s almost as bad as the VW scandal but the french government is minimising it because they own 15% of Renault.

          4. You missed my point, they arent ‘getting involved with’ an expensive engine program. They are years into it already. The diesel emissions scandal like all things was on their radar and was no surprise to them when it finally made the news cycle. This just simply set back their ability to announce, it would have been in bad taste and created a lot of controversy.

            People (especially F1 fans) have short memories, thankfully, and in December of this year VW will be more than happy to announce their F1 PU program.

            We’re all smart guys right? we know that PR is about spin, and Red Bull will do more than create enough headlines with the VW program for people to start rethinking the brand.

          5. @MarkP – you should also consider McLarens hiring of VW’s head of racing as an offensive move against Red Bull.

            The writing is on the wall.

            2017 is the year of the Bull(s).

          6. Mr X, you’re making an awful lot of assumptions there…

    2. That’s right, 2017 is Red Bull Lamborghini’s debut season and let the double bulls run wild!

      You mean triple bulls! :)

  3. I partially disagree with the COTD. This “car culture is dead” phenomenon is only true in rich, big cities with highly developed public transport. You don’t crave what you don’t need. But I’ve been traveling to quite a few places lately where the car culture is very much alive and kicking and where I live, car sales records are broken every year, and people talk about cars a great deal

    Speaking of specifically Australia, @claudioff are you in Melbourne/Sydney etc? Cause I bet the kids in smaller towns, let alone the Outback are still very much interested in their utes. I’ve never been to Australia, unfortunately, but I see a lot of young faces in the crowds when I watch Mt. Panorama every year. These huge crowds they must come from somewhere, don’t they?

    1. @montreal95, there is a trend across several countries that has seen a similar trend in car ownership.

      In the UK, there is definitely a marked generational gap – whilst older drivers are driving more, the number of people in their 20’s who have a full drivers licence is falling (between 1995 and 2005, the drop was around 11%). The net result is that, although driver mileage increased slightly last year, that was mostly down to wealthy older drivers – younger drivers are driving around 1,900 miles a year less than they did in the 1990’s.

      A similar trend has also been observed in the US – traffic volumes rose slightly last year, although they are still down on their peak from around 2007. However, a similar trend was observed there – younger drivers are cutting back on the amount of mileage they do, and an increasing number are now not learning to drive, with most of the increase coming from older drivers instead.

      1. Another factor is that young people have less need to own a car, because in the UK “Young people are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population, the largest gap in more than 20 years, according to an analysis of official figures.” Without a job, or the money from said job, the need and ability to own a car is naturally lower.

        1. @cashnotclass Yep, I agree. that’s the real problem. Not lack of car culture but lack of jobs and consequently, money

      2. @anon I’m sure your stats are accurate, I don’t doubt them. But, I’ve been to many places in the US where you simply can’t live without a car. Unless you’re unemployed of course but then, sad truth is, you’ve got worse things on your mind than motorsport. Unemployed people don’t matter anyway in this matter. If you live in NYC or Chicago(not the suburbs) for example then yes, you can live without a car perfectly well. But otherwise, young or old, if you don’t drive you’re screwed. I don’t know about the UK but I assume it’s the same there outside the big city centers.

      3. The measure of car culture is more in how the car is seen than in the amount of miles done (someone who does a few miles in a car for fun and likes talking about the journeys and vehicles involved is generating significant amounts of car culture, someone who does lots of miles in a car for work or to get to something else they want to do, and never speaks about their car or journeys, contributes little to it). There is a gradual shift from seeing the car as something desirable in itself to seeing the car as a tool to get somewhere one wants to be.

        A similar thing has happened to the PC. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, people wanted the latest and greatest PCs because of the PCs themselves. For probably a decade now, even domestic PCs are bought almost entirely because they’re to be used for some purpose, with the main hope being that the PC and its attendent software doesn’t get in the way too much. As such, computer culture has shifted from a PC/console mix to almost entirely console-orientated (consoles have retained their culture throughout all this).

        That is the reduction in car culture that is making things more difficult for motorsport in general.

        1. Strongly disagree with this statement: “As such, computer culture has shifted from a PC/console mix to almost entirely console-orientated (consoles have retained their culture throughout all this).”

          When sales of PC copies of Fallout 4 (1.8 million day 1, 1.2 million of which were PC) have not only outstripped their console versions 60:40, but have also redefined the way game makers do business, a prime example being Square Enix.

          Then look to the success of e-sports, with live events being shown on mainstream sports channels – playing PC games. In Korea, Starcraft, a PC game is a national sport. Racing games such as rFactor, Assetto Corsa and Project cars have events which have seasons, live commentary, sponsorship.

          Look at twich tv, which regularly hosts channels which bring more uk viewers than BBC1 can manange at all but prime time, and even that is under threat. Where are console games on the top 100 list, nowhere, often being beaten by board game focused channels! Right now, looking at the top ten games, there are 366,000 viewers watching games avaliable on PC only, 47,000 watching games avaliable on PC and console and 7,000 watching games avaliable on consoles only.

          I’m not being down on consoles here, they are looking in rude health right now, and as a proud owner of pretty much every console that has been released since the Master system (including the Neo Geo and the current crop of Android powered consoles), I adore them for the entertainment they bring to the table, but to suggest that the PC has dropped from culture is, in my opinion, blind to the current gaming culture sweeping the globe among a terrifying number of young to mid thirty year olds.

          I’ve not even talked about the amateur film makers who use the PC to create movies that surpass what hollywood could produce 20 years ago, with a £500 camera and a £1000 PC (Mac’s too), and software which goes for £17 a month, who have already transformed how the tv you watch is made, how the news is reported and revolutionised the ability for the world to produce content. Nor have I mentioned podcasts – again these are produced with PC’s and are redefining entertainment culture, thrashing talk radio channels with their ratings. Self published books are going through a revolution, thanks too the PC, and so are home created audiobooks, of such quality that you would be hard pressed to tell this wasn’t an audible production.

          In ten years, the way entertainment is made and consumed will be barely recognisable, thanks to the PC. They have not dropped out of culture, they are driving the culture of the future.

    2. @claudioff @montreal95 I live in Melbourne and can say that cars are still relevant in Australia, the problem is that to make viable cars, you have to make them in vast quantities, and Australia has only a small population. Our automotive market has been flooded by many makes/models in the past decade which has seen a massive decline in Falcon/Commodore sales, to the point where Toyota Corollas are the #1 selling car in the country. TBH there are quite a number of reasons as to why it has become uneconomical to make cars in this country, but I wouldn’t say its because of a decline in car culture.

      1. @dragoll I can assure you, making cars and car culture have nothing to do with each other. I live in a much, much smaller country than Australia(Israel) which doesn’t make cars at all, apart from military vehicles. Yet all that I said in my original reply is indeed happening

    3. Most people live in big cities so even that theory would partly support COTD?

      1. @markp Note that I said “Rich big cities with efficient public transport”. I live in a big city, moderately affluent, especially compared to its surroundings. Yet, apart from the very center of the city, where people go on foot or by bicycle, the car culture is thriving since even with the car jams the car is better than the rubbish public transport

    4. This “car culture is dead” phenomenon is only true in rich, big cities with highly developed public transport.

      I think there is a big difference between “car ownership” and “car culture”.

      In big cities car ownership is on the decrease, as many (especially the younger generation) have no need for a car. It’s also incredibly expensive for a younger person to own a car. This has a big impact on car culture: Fewer people driving, less exposure to cars, less desire for cars…

      Outside of big cities, car ownership is not reducing as much, but I would suggest that car culture is still in a big decline. A car, there, is more of a “need” than a “want”.

      Car culture has been on the decline for many years. I find fewer and fewer people who find a nice car impressive. They are not a novelty any more, and people see them more as a tool to get a job done than anything else. This will obviously have an impact on motorsport, too.

      1. @drmouse I agree with you car culture and car ownership are not the same thing. Yet they are connected. Car culture feeds car culture and vice versa in a sort of symbiotic relationship and I’ll explain later but first let’s re-iterate that not in all big cities car culture is declining. Far from it as many cities don’t meet the criteria. Specifically the efficient public transport one. In those, the decline is only limited to the very center where you can get around on foot or by bicycle people don’t care about cars anymore

        Now as you said, less people driving=less exposure=less desire. But the opposite is also true. It can be enough to have a lot of people driving to arrest the decline in culture and even reverse the trend.
        Real-life example: There was a decline in personal car ownership in my country between 1990-2010. The reason was that it was much more profitable for an employee to have a car from work than owning a personal one. So while car sales went up in that period, most of the sales were to car lease firms. The cars people drove were mostly dull, grey boring, slow, unintersting, automatic sedans they received in workplace lease deals. A means to get from A to B. A necessity in a place where public transport is rubbish, nothing more.
        So if everyone drives that same dull trashboxes out of necessity that car culture also declined. There was nothing to talk about, nothing to envy your neighbor of.
        Then, everything changed. The government, in a bid to bring down congestion made it much less profitable to get a car from work. Of course completely different result was achieved, as you cannot give stick without a carrot, and if there’s no public transport alternative, nobody’s gonna give up on cars if they have a choice. Couple that with readily available low rate easy finance and personal car ownership has soared! 4 straight years of records and a fifth in progress. Suddenly everyone is talking about cars again, manual shift cars are coming back in style, and where once you saw a sea of dull grey cars there’s a rainbow of colors. And that’s in a country where there’s a 91% tax on new cars which means that they cost nearly twice the EU, UK, and more than twice US price. Otherwise the effect would be much more than even that.

    5. As a student in New York, my experience is that the reason the car culture has been dying is that it’s no longer relevant. The cost of car ownership coupled with the lack of (seemingly) innovative technologies that appeal to younger audiences tends to drive them away. When it comes to cars, there are only two brands I can think of that most people in my generation will know off the top of my head: Tesla and Ferrari. Ferrari is obvious as to why it’s popular, but Tesla’s more interesting to me. There’s a lot more interest in a fully electric car that’s still quick and powerful. I wouldn’t be surprised if Formula E takes off in the near future.

      Apple does well in the US because it knows how to stay relevant with all audiences and generations. Car culture, and subsequently, F1, doesn’t.

      (Again, this is all speaking from my experience. Don’t mean to speak for everyone, here.)

      1. @omegadetra You’re in NYC. Go to upstate New York and the situation is different

        However, I do agree with you that the younger, gadget minded generation cares less about cars if they don’t need them especially compared to some things like Ipads which they don’t really need yet crave. However, the reason is not that the cars lack stuff to catch the imagination, in fact many modern cars are choke full of interesting gadgets that are also important for the future. There are hydrogen fuel-cell cars(a much more perspective development direction than batteries if you ask me), cars with all kinds of solar panels, cars made of alloys that reduce weight etc. etc. The real problem is rubbish PR of the motor industry that can’t promote all that exciting stuff and seems as if they’re stuck in the 1980’s…

        1. @montreal95

          hydrogen fuel-cell cars(a much more perspective development direction than batteries if you ask me)

          Have you seen the issues with storing Hydrogen for use? Hydrogen will leak out of anything, needs to be stored under very high pressure, and will destroy the tanks it is held in. And that excludes the incredibly energy intensive and polluting hydrogen production process (mostly steam reforming of hydrocarbons, followed by compression of the resulting hydrogen).

          The better technologies at the moment are the fuel cells which use hydrocarbons (e.g. direct methanol fuel cells). The fuel is easy to produce and store and has a much greater volumetric energy density. Even so, batteries are required for vehicular use, or else you loose the benefits of regenerative braking.

          When it comes to vehicular use, anyway, the majority of journeys the average car driver makes are under 30 miles. For this sort of use, a 100 mile range battery pack is adequate in many cases, light enough and becoming cheap enough. I even know someone who fairly regularly does a 300 mile trip in a Nissan Leaf (which has a 150ish mile quoted range). He does about 100 miles, stops at a service station, leaves the car on charge (for free) for 20 mins, has a coffee and relaxes, then does another 100 miles and repeats.

    6. The number of cars sold is irrelevant. Whether one needs to drive or not is irrelevant. What _is_ impotant is this: Fifty years ago, even twenty years ago people cared what happens inside their cars. They had to, because cars were not as bulletproof as they are now. When I went through driving school, we learned how to fix basic problems. This helped to feed the car culture, our generation still knew what actually happens when you push the gas pedal or spin the steering wheel.

      Today, a car is an appliance. You don’t see people discuss what is under the hood of their washer & dryer and the same applies to cars. Actually, even if you did want to get involved, it would not be easy. When you open a car’s hood, you see a nice shiny plastic cube. Even people in garage do not do tinker much any more, often they just replace one black box with another.

      I suspect the advent of computers plays more than one role in it. First, it gave boys a point of interest that is just too hard to beat. Second, it replaced cars as status symbol. Today, you don’t impress your classmates with horsepower but with your processor’s clock. Third, it made even “simple” home appliances beyond a layperson’s reach. In the “mechanical age”, a father could explain to his son/daughter how most of the things they meet around their house works. Today, some people have even can openers with processors in them. As a result, people got used to accept that things work without wondering how.

      In a world like this, I am afraid that if F1 hopes to attract the young generation, it would have to do with some fringe group.

  4. Re COTD
    “I think one of the most important factor is that the car culture is losing importance within the younger generations.”

    Never read any COTD that resonated so well. Motorsports in general isn’t as popular nowadays as it used to be in the past.

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      19th January 2016, 16:30

      This is nothing new – people have been saying for a long time that the world has moved on and F1 is being left behind because of the people in charge of it. Bernie said recently that he didn’t care if kids watched F1 because they don’t tend to get involved in investment banking and don’t want to buy a Rolex.

      The key bit of the COTD is:

      My son has no interest whatsoever in cars. His iPad/iPhone is much more important to him his father’s car.

      That is very true but it’s also true that a lot of kids these days don’t play football and aren’t interested in going to watch matches live however football is as popular as ever!

      I guess the question is what are these kids looking at on their iPads/iPhones…. Are there sites set up for kids to access that make F1 fun? Is the coverage something kids might get something from? Does F1 have a huge web-presence including social media and Youtube? The answer (in-line with Bernie’s strategy as mentioned above) is a big fat no.

      We watch F1 because it makes us remember the days when F1 was an exciting, cutting-edge, extremely difficult, unpredictable, extreme sport. I will always watch F1 because I have fallen in love with it – there was so much to fall in love with! Despite attempts to remove everything I loved about the sport, I still can’t help but watch every second of it I can.

      I suppose the question is, if I started watching now, would I fall in love in love with modern F1 – a dull, artificial, computer-led, predictable advertising platform? I think of what excited me as a child with little knowledge of F1 and it was simple – the sound of the engines, Murray Walker and seeing drivers attempt to wrestle control of their cars – often running out of talent before hitting the limit of what their cars can actually do. These days, sadly all 3 things are no longer part of F1.

    2. Maybe it’s the current show lacking that X factor. Things can change quickly. A very tight dispute for the throne is always a good ingredient and F1 is lacking it for some time. I have no doubt that if Ferrari manages to build a car capable of matching Mercedes 2016 will be a popular season. It happens with every sport; sometimes it’s a particular team, group of teams or extremely talented athletes who bring tons of fans (new and old) to the sport. Look at the Messi vs Ronaldo effect, look at what Steph Curry and his Golden State Warriors are doing in NBA, look at what Usain Bolt did to track and field or Phelps to swimming…

      F1 will be back to the front pages the day we have great racers in different teams fighting for wins more often than not, regardless of engine type or tyre size. It’s that simple.

  5. A team strongly opposing a subject is more than enough reason to go against the team.

  6. Regarding COTD: Maybe Apple should join formula 1 and this will boost interest in younger generation. There are rumors that Apple is working on a car and is there a better way to promote a car brand than f1???:)

    1. They might get into Formula E instead …

    2. Just like Tesla :-(

      I think engine freedom might do something, like hybrids fighting diesels and hydrogen, aided of desired by solar power. Only limit should be the amount of joules you use as input. Since F1 is a pressure cooker for development an innovation that might be a road to take.

    3. Apple F1 Team. Pay drivers have to stump up twice as much to get a seat there and the car doesn’t fit into the pit boxes, won’t move if you fit Pirelli tyres to it, refuses to link up with anyone else’s timing system and explodes if it breaks down and the mechanics try to fix it themselves.

      1. @neilosjames Let’s try and keep the absolute nonsense Apple vs. whatever debate off F1Fanatic.

        1. I actually think it’s funny (and I’m an Apple fan).

        2. @xtwl It was a joke.

        3. It was the funniest thing I have read here in a week!

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        19th January 2016, 16:33

        @neilosjames – Apple F1. The only team to get slower with every update.

        1. And if anything is broken they just change the whole car;)

        2. Won’t be the best performing team, but I’m sure their cars would look pretty.

  7. A sad idea to live with that an iPhone is more interesting to a young kid than a Ferrari or a Porsche. What’s next, posters of phones on their wall? Going on with that thought I generally believe kids just have less interests in sports, science, just overall interests. All they do is make sure they look good on their next snapchatbook while living a miserable live because what is life without a passion for something.

    1. @xtwl, from their point of view, an iPhone is something they have a realistic chance of acquiring – it has the cachet of a highly attractive brand but still remains within their financial reach, so it is something they can realistically aspire to.

      1. I am every single time perplexed a 12-17 year old has a phone of around 700-1000 euro. When I was that age which isn’t that long ago everything I ‘owned’ probably wasn’t even 700 euro.

        Apart from that I call you the fool for paying that price for a phone either way.

    2. I am outraged, my 6 year old son although still into cars is often more interested in tablets and phones recently so this comment has really struck home. I am going to put all the phones and tablets in the house under the driven wheels of my Alfa when I get home and wheel spin them into oblivion.

      1. Encourage him man. How many 20 something billionaires are there in the automotive world? And how many are their in the tech world?

        1. I’d only want to be a billionaire to buy cars. When I see huge lottery jackpots I start day dreaming of the cars I would buy.

    3. I think to say that is quite a broad statement, which there isn’t a lot of evidence for. You can’t speak for the entire youth of today, just as much as you can’t speak for what everyone was into 20 years ago. There will always be variety.

      Besides, if Formula One were to make itself more technologically advanced, then perhaps in doing so would make itself more attractive to the younger audience.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        19th January 2016, 16:44

        @xtwl @jamiefranklinf1

        Besides, if Formula One were to make itself more technologically advanced, then perhaps in doing so would make itself more attractive to the younger audience.

        Exactly this.

        Problem: Kids aren’t interested in F1 because they spend all their times on phones and tablets.
        Obvious Solution: Increase F1’s presence on phones and tablets.
        F1’s Solution:

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          19th January 2016, 16:46

          *There was supposed to be a link there…. but….. no, actually I think it’s quiet accurate as it is!

          Anyway, was meant to say F1’s Solution:

    4. Well, whilst I agree on the car side of things, I think most people have just moved on from the petrolhead era; there is really little interest in cars, and the flamboyance(? probs not th right word here, sorry x_x) of the old eras from the 50s all the way to the 90s, was an era that let motorsports thrive. the car was meant to be seen as an expression of freedom in pop culture, and what better way to adopt that than by driving it dangerously fast (Formula 1) or over narrow harrow roads (WRC) ?

      Nowadays, humanity faces a lot of issues that are partially a result of this obsession with petrol. Things like global warming and the switch to greener energies have left the car market terribly behind, unable to cope with the demand and instead trying to deny it outright. Modern youth and pop culture is one more sensitive to the environment and sees the car industry as a cause, imo, thus leading to the decline of motorsports in general as well.

      I follow WRC the most out of all the major motorsports, and it’s really sad to see such a huge and innovative sport take such a massive hit and be reduced like this. But who can be blamed for this? Car companies didn’t see it profitable anymore, so they left, leading to folks not getting inspired by majestic turbo-charged cars splashing through mud and ice and thus they too quit the sport,because one of the major factors of watching WRC was watching your favourite car dance through the stages like that – how many of us have posters with the iconic Japanese stallions of the late 90s, like Mitsubishi and Subaru and Toyota, or of the Group B monsters and the majestic Lancias on our walls? Same goes for Formula 1 in some way, with many Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Williams posters dressing the rooms of many young boys in those days.

      Nowadays, the landscape is different – there are many other interests to follow, and motorsports are in a way anachronistic. It’s a shame to see such a giant factor of entertainment slowly disappear and become a niche market. The youth of today definitely have their big passions – it’s just they’re different from ours. And it’s a shame they won’t understand the thrill and exhilaration of a turbo engine revving and echoing around circuits and valleys as much as we do. But that’s alright; the few who do will like what they see and follow after us.

      It’s a niche what we do, but a god damn satisfying one as well :P

      1. There maybe much truth in what you say, motorsport is starting to become a thing of the past in terms of enterainment but then again 22 chavs kicking a leather bag of air round a bit of grass is still very popular but that seems like a sport from the middle ages.

        1. it actually is much older than that :P Football dates all the way back to ancient China according to FIFA.

          Also, sports are much simpler too; for motorsports, what is essential is to have a working car or bike in order to compete, you need engineers and drivers. Conventional sports, like football, basketball and tennis, are much, much more simpler, and you can indulge in them yourself from a very young age with very few costs. It is much simpler for a parent whose kid is interested in sports to buy him a soccer ball and take him to practice rather than to buy him a go-kart and also acquire the knowledge on how to maintain that kart for competitive or leisure racing on Sunday tracks.

          Sports are easily accessible, motorsport have a steep entry curve.

  8. @claudioff makes a good point, I had never thought about that. Personally, I have never really paid attention to the car culture and I still do not care what car I drive. To me, F1 and road cars have always been two different worlds but a lot of kids & adults see it differently, probably because the car makers have understandably made no effort to make a clear distinction between a racing car and your car.

    1. @girts I kind of see the opposite. I think part of the problem is the way that F1 is marketed to car and motoring enthusiasts, especially the younger generation. There’s no real effort made to talk up just how incredible these racing cars are. The only time the power units are ever mentioned, by just about everyone in the sport, is in relation to how bad they sound, how expensive they are, how unreliable they are compared to the goals set by the rules. There seems to be no genuine enthsiasm for the cars, nobody in the sport who comes on camera with a big grin and gushes over how awesome they are. Now we just hear about how boring they are to drive, how they sound awful, how everyone wishes they were different.

      I remember there used to be big features on things like G-forces, downforce, acceleration, and all the cool aspects of F1 cars. Drivers used to love driving the cars, engineers used to love telling us how good their new creations were. It’s no wonder that young people are totally turned off by it all. Who wants to watch a sport where apparently the cars sound rubbish, the tyres are awful, the racing is terrible, the cars are boring? What young person is interested in sponsor tie ins from the likes of Rolex and Emirates?

      I mean, it’s a pretty basic thing isn’t it. If you go around telling everyone how much you dislike your product, why would you be scratching your head when nobody buys it?

      1. @mazdachris
        We don’t have to hear people to notice that nothing is happening in the races, the top five is stale throughout the entire race. Fans want to see this with their eyes, they want to see spectacular cars, a lot of action, a dramatic grands prix and championships. Few care about the things that maybe are beautiful but they’re unable to see or feel them. For example I wouldn’t get excited if someone say to me ‘there is a giraff in my garden’ but I wouldn’t have been able to see it via the picture at least. Also, I don’t really need people talking about boring cars, I can watch on-board comparisons from ’13 and ’14 and see the difference. F1 is a show-bussiness not a cultural masterpiece, like any other sport, but it distinguishes itself by terrible governing.

      2. @mazdachris What I want to say is that automobile manufacturers that also participate in F1 still tell their customers that “there is some F1 in our road cars“. So I guess people are still lead to believe that their Megane is just like a Renault-powered F1 car, just slower, less complicated and cheaper. Consequently, if there is no “car culture” anymore, then why should one care about F1?

        You are spot on about all the negativity but maybe we should not overestimate the importance of that either. I can recall how I was following F1 in 2007. I watched all the races but did not read news very often. I remember that my mate even told me to check some F1 website a couple of times but I just could not be bothered. There were many reasons for that but basically I just wanted to focus on racing and had also not discovered F1 Fanatic yet. I knew about the “spygate” but did not pay much attention to details and got to know them only several years later when I read this book.

        So it would be interesting to know how many of those hundreds of millions, who watch F1 on the weekend, actually care about what Ecclestone said on Wednesday.

    2. Carmakers are not trying to differnatiate road cars from racing they are doing the opposite, they want to make F1 more road relevent. Perhaps thats it motorsport should be an escasim fomr the norm? but that wil mean 6 litre V12’s spitting flames and crazy looking aeror wings all over the cars and no one wants that….

  9. GP3 racer likens F1 dream to ‘blowing money down the drain’ (F1i)

    Interesting line of thought but isn’t it here where the licence points system somehow comes into place. You can’t just throw money at it, you need some sorts of results before you are able to race in F1. I would be a terrible driver but if I won the lottery tomorrow I could buy a FP1 session, but never a full season drive. How many drivers have we seen getting a test role or even an FP outing without anyone thinking about seeing him/her do a full season.

    In the end I do agree lesser men reach F1 on budget though with Sainz/Verstappen/Nasr/Kvyat/Hulkenberg/Perez/Vettel/Ricciardo/Bottas/Grosjean we have a very strong grid of people all still sub 30. Only Ericcson, Guttierez and Maldonado really are pay drivers if you ask me. Add to that the few remaining champs above 30 and the two manor drivers and there really isn’t much to complain about.

    Maybe the FIA should interfere with the prices in GP2/3 rather than try cutting costs in F1. If you reach GP2 on a low budget and can impress you’ll get into F1 someday I guess. Fact is seats are limited and top drivers get in there younger and stay longer. On average a talented driver could do well up to 10 seasons these days.

    1. Mostly the superlicence rules just require people to be on the ladder longer, playing even more into the hands of people with more money than other qualifications. It means talented drivers are turning away earlier and earlier because sponsor dictates and talent don’t align all that often. And the lack of experience drivers are repeatedly shown to need to excel in F1 tends to suggest the skill bar has lowered rather than talent necessarily being much help to overcoming a richer rival. Getting into GP2 on a low budget and becoming world champion doesn’t seem to help much unless you’re already in a driver development scheme (something itself requiring substantial sponsorship these days).

  10. Still looks like a model car and track to me….

  11. As a member of that “younger generation” COTD is talking about, I can reassure you, the car culture among us is far from dead.

    We still DO care abot cars. @Claudioff ‘s son may be more interested in his personal electronics, but that’s okay, it’s not like every single person HAS to be a car enthusiast.

    Getting the driver’s licence is still a celebratory moment for many people. People talk about their cars, the more dedicated give them names. Affording one can be tough sometimes though, but that’s the current economy for you.

    And even if it’s not cars, we’re still passionate about other stuff. I know more dedicated sports fans than I care to count, some travel a lot, and so on. Yes, there are people who only care about social media likes/retweetes/whathaveyou, but that’s inevitable given the sample size of an entire generation raised in the Internet age.

    I was born in ’96 and that’s my view on that.

  12. Interesting that Red Bull seems to have higher hopes for 2016 in regards to the engine. Could this be related to results from the final spec used in Brazil? I know the engine looked worse than the other, in particular because Ricciardo top speed was lower than Kvyat but a lot of people were mentioning that they were not using the recommended turbo (although I never seen any sources for this info) and maybe even though the engine was not much powerful it probably worked much better (the power delivery, apparent reliability) leading them and Renault to be confident for this year.
    I was always very surprised at that new spec engine and even though is apparent failure, it was giving positive signs for both Renault and Red Bull (although Red Bull always lacked any alternative and had to stick with Renault in order to compete).
    Considering that spec should be the base for this year engine, I guess they noticed it was a much better base than the initial 2015 spec.

    I do hope that the Renault engine is better due to:
    1 – Allowing Red Bull to fight with Mercedes and Ferrari even if not all the times;
    2 – The sake of Renault itself since it has a big history of making great engines and they do need some success in order to stay committed, even though they seem to be, in F1. Ever since I started seeing F1 regularly Renault has been present, and winning, for most of the times.

  13. If young people today are more interested in their iPads and so on, then clearly F1 is looking in the wrong places to try and bring a younger audience in.

    Get people talking about F1 for the right reasons on social media, and I am pretty sure that will help the sport. However, we have very little reason at the moment to talk about F1 for the right reasons. Conversely, look at how the World Endurance Championship got people talking for the right reasons in 2015 (it was hard not to, the racing was simply epic) and that had by far its best season to date in its short history in the current format.

    1. An F1 I-Pad app showing races and information both technicial and topical?

  14. :D LOL Lewis trolling driver… His name is what, sorry? Lewiz Ha….

    We can only praise this guy. *thumbs up for Lewis*

  15. It occurs to me that not only is F1 out of touch with young audiences, but so are many (vocal) F1 fans. A lot of the comment section so far seems to be adults being frustrated or confused by the younger generation and the availability of technology – “how the hell does my kid have an iPhone?” or “soon my kids will have posters of phones instead of cars in their room!” It’s quite a turnoff when the fanbase of a sport seems to constantly be annoyed with your entire generation just for existing in an age where technology is prevalent and easily attainable.

  16. In other news regarding the strategy group meeting… The refueling idea was put forward & rejected again.

    Manufacturer’s agreed to cost caps on engines of £12m & in turn the FIA agreed to keep engine specs the same until 2020 which would help keep cost’s low. Drivers will now be limited to 3 gearbox’s for the season & fans will be asked via social media to vote for driver of the weekend & best overtaking move of the weekend.

  17. Red Bull waiting until the first test to let rip at Renault…

    1. @cmf1

      Or maybe a clause in the contract where their engines are confiscated if they whine too much

  18. I believe refueling rumors are a smokescreen…what idiotic ploy will they pull on us to compensate when they say “Ok…no refueling but…..”

  19. Red Bull’s statement is very interesting. :D

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