Engine rules to remain stable until 2020

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Formula One will keep its V6 hybrid turbos until at least 2020 after manufacturers agreed a deal to offer cheaper engines to customers.

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Comment of the day

Another response to this week’s poll asking why F1’s popularity is falling:

Speaking as a long-time fan in the US, the number of commercial breaks and the repetition of the same few commercials makes NBCSN’s coverage of F1 almost unbearable to watch. The worst is after the chequered flag. It’s like watching a commercial broadcast with the odd 30-second F1 clip inserted every now and then. F1 and Moto GP are really the only reason I pay for cable/satellite at all and that’s a hard fact to stomach when 40% of your time watching is spent memorising Lotus Evora commercials.

I would gladly, gladly pay for some sort of standalone commercial-free viewing service like what WEC offers. You can watch every session without commercial breaks on any mobile device. The app is a pleasure to use. Live timing and live track positions along with the ability to watch the entire race from at least 5 cars. If F1 were to offer that in the US for $100 a season (compared to $30 for WEC) I don’t think I’m alone when I say I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Join in the debate and add your vote 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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118 comments on “Engine rules to remain stable until 2020”

  1. You missed me out!!
    It’s my birthday too!!! :(

    1. Happy Birthday Charlie

      1. Thank you Spinmastermic :)

    2. well, happy birthday @cmf1!

      1. Thank you Sir :) X

    3. Happy birthday! :)

      1. Thank yooou!! xx

  2. Congratulations to Mercedes for their 7 consecutive WCCs, and to Lewis for his total of 8WDCs already grabbed!!!

    1. Fikri Harish (@)
      20th January 2016, 0:21

      Oh, ye of little faith.

      1. @fihar Citroen and Loeb made it possible. You can talk about Ferrari catching up, but they just replaced Red Bull as 2nd team. RB got 3 victories (and Williams got 1 pole) in 2014; well, Ferrari got 3 victories AND that one pole in 2015. So it’s not like Mercedes are (or ever will be) 100% unbeatable, but it’s just that the 3 out of 19 races moved from one team to another. If Mercedes can keep adding gazillions of money and Ferrari can also do the same, the only outcome I see is these 2 teams keeping all the podiums for themselves, but in the same order we have already seen the last 2 seasons.

      2. DK (@seijakessen)
        20th January 2016, 2:30

        Mercedes wanted the hybrid units for a reason. They knew their R&D was so far beyond anyone else that no one had a prayer of catching them. People are hoping Ferrari does better this year…I bet you Mercedes does a clean sweep of races now that they have the engines locked in till the end of the decade.

        Between the engines and the Pirelli swiss cheese tires returning, the viewership ratings are going to get worse and worse.

        Hooray I guess?

        Never thought I would see a time when F1 no longer was compelling.

        1. Actually it was Renault who was most keen on the new engine, but yeah, Mercedes were feeling confident too. On the other hand, once Ferrari had enforced the change from I4s to V6s they were highly confident that with more engine focus they would be the ones stealing the day @seijakessen.

          Reality is, Ferrari has nearly catched up with Mercedes on the engine, now its up to them to finally build a great chassis again after many years of failing to do so. And Honda can make a big step forward by relatively clear cut changes they were not able to make during the season.

          Renault is bound to improve enough to have Red Bull at least finish and challenge for the odd podium, and with the engines staying as they are more development will mean that in a year or maybe two, they will all be comparable.

          Had they brought in a new engine formula it would just have meant that one of the big teams would be dominant, maybe a change but not an improvement at all IMO.

        2. Renault wanted these Hybrid units even more than Mercedes.

          1. But it was Mercedes that stomped and threw their toys out threatening to quit if the new regs were pushed back a year.

        3. @seijakessen, as others have said, Ferrari most likely has caught up with Mercedes in terms of power – in mid 2015, Symonds stated that, based on the GPS data Williams had of Ferrari’s car, they reckoned that Ferrari’s power unit is producing the same peak power as Mercedes.

          Generally, the consensus has been that Mercedes’s performance advantage is not coming from their engine – rather, it is coming from the fact that it is allied to a strong chassis that has proven to be very adaptable to a range of circuits.

          In that instance, it might be that Ferrari falls back a little in 2016, but it won’t be because of their engine – Marchionne rather quietly let slip at the tail end of 2015 that Ferrari were behind schedule with their development programme for their 2016 car. With the team rumoured to be making some substantial changes – particularly to the front suspension geometry – it is more likely that any decline in competitiveness could be due to an underdeveloped chassis instead of their engine.

    2. A one team dominance doesn’t last forever in F1, and that’s a historical fact.

      1. Not forever. Just until 2020.


        1. Maybe not. The last era of engines the V8’s were brought in in 2006 and frozen there after, Renault won in 2006 Ferrari were 2nd but in the last few years of the V8’s Ferrari, Renault (team Enstone) won but a handful of races, Red Bull were the main force yet in 2006, 2007, 2008 they were no where. Those engines were frozen and any changes were very small compared to the token allocation now allowed. Ferrari and McLaren won all but 2 races over 2007 and 2008 but by 2013 McLaren did not win a race and Ferrari won twice. I would never be so sure as to predict the future.

          1. @markp

            The last era of engines the V8’s were brought in in 2006 and frozen there after

            Yes, and if you don’t take the engine re-equalisation into account that would be entirely accurate. But you have to and so it isn’t.

          2. Was there engine re-equalisation with the V8’s? I though there were only changes for reliability which just so happened to help performance but either way in this era you can develop in season and change half the engine this year which is the 3rd year they are ran. There is a lot of opportunity for engine makers to show their ability to catch up or surpass their rivals through their own hard work, as if there was re-equalisation in the V8 era that would have been very unsporting and a complete waste of time to design an engine might as well of had a spec engine for all.

          3. It was due to the 2009 aero changes that saw Red Bull go to the top.

          4. @markp yes, there was. Renault was allowed to tune their engine for 2009 in order to catch back up after falling behind. They had fallen behind because, as you say, changes under the guise of reliability and cost actually improved performance for the others.

            Ultimately, by 2010 the engines were roughly each other’s equal. So yeah, while they weren’t spec engines, they were not that far off altogether.

        2. Mercs dominance is due to their suspension. Most likely highly illegal. Banning FRIC was the first attempt to curtail their tire performance but had all top engineers scratching their heads when it had zero effect on their lead.

          Since they’ve snuck through scrutineering so far we most likely won’t find out.

          What’s hilarious is ‘fans’ that keep repeating power/downforce as the reason for the dominance.

          i can promise you MERC is more than happy people keep repeating those myths.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      20th January 2016, 10:10

      That was my thinking but if that was the case, why did the other teams sign up to it? Surely Ferrari would have vetoed the hell out of that one if they were unable to catch up?

      I think as they start to perfect these power units (maybe 2017 or 2018), there won’t be much difference between them. The Mercedes PU may have slightly more power but not so much that it puts them in a separate category where they effectively race their 2 cars against each other to see who wins the Championship.

      I’m hopeful it’ll be much closer this year so that Lewis can have a crack at winning a 2nd meaningful title.

    4. Yep, exactly. Mercedes just wrapped up the next four or five championships, depending on whether 2020 is before or after the cutoff here.

      In other news, I now have no reason to watch Formula One until 2020 or 2021 at the earliest. And frankly, after having stopped watching for so long due to the utter boredom of knowing who will win everything years ahead of time, it is unlikely I’ll ever come back.

      This was the final nail in the coffin of F1 for me; time I seek out some alternatives with actual racing and rules that enforce sporting fairness rather than regulating an advantage for one specific manufacturer.

      1. You stop watching a sport if a team achieves what all teams strive for…domination? What is F1 about for all involved other than winning? Did you switch off in the 80’s when McLaren dominated or the early 90’s with Williams or 2000-2004 Ferrari or 2010-2013 RedBull. If so you only watched a small percentage of the last 30 years?

      2. Did you stop watching football when Man Utd kept winning the premiership?

  3. COTD… I could not agree more. The only reason I have my cable package is for NBC Sports in order to watch F1 and the Premier League. As it is now, the F1 broadcast is destroyed by commercials and I usually try and find a stream online as a backup. The amount of exciting and pivotal race moments that are missed due to commercial breaks is laughable. Luckily for soccer, throwing in timeout in the middle of play is impossible, although I am sure they are trying.

    Stand alone F1 coverage without commercials, yes please! I would easily pay $100 per season.

    1. it happens something like that with the NFL here in america latina. it’s unwatchable through Fox! (espn, on the other hand it’s almost comercial break free)

    2. Sadly, admitting the fact that an American remembers that a car called the Lotus Evora is available in the US is an own goal, proving the value of replacing segments of the live event with automotive advertising.

    3. Count me in for $100, Bernie.
      I also resort to streams to keep up.
      Some, but not all, commercial breaks here in the US have a small insert of continuing race action and this means I have to lever myself out of the couch (aka sofa) to press my nose to the screen. First world problems.
      Reminds me that the first World Cup I saw here (1990) featured commercial breaks whenever a ball went out for a goal kick. “You’re watching the World Cup on TNT,” they said, and suddenly you weren’t.
      Wish we had a licence fee and restrictions on advertising. Fat chance.

    4. @clustr1 @scalextric As i’ve said in the past the biggest roadblock in an official F1 streaming service is the TV broadcast contracts where the broadcasters like NBC, Sky/Channel 4 Etc.. are paying for exclusivity.

      The WEC can do it because for the most part they are paying to get there races shown on TV & with the length of their races (6/24hrs) most broadcasters are interested in showing just the start/finish and/or highlights so having an online alternative is the only way for WEC to get full live coverage out to most people. They never used to charge for it but soon realized that having to pay to get on TV was costing them a fortune so asking fans to pay to watch online is a way to claw some of that back.
      F1 doesn’t need to do that because it has a fanbase, It has broadcasters who are willing to pay to get coverage so there hasn’t been the big incentive to provide any streaming service that some of those other categories have.

      And with the broadcasters insisting on exclusivity clauses even if FOM were to launch an online service today in most regions the online service would require Geo-blocking to honor those contracts.

      I do however understand that there is discussions to provide some sort of streaming content but that may just come down to the additional content feeds like in-car camera’s, the pit lane team radio feed, timing and tracing screens, rolling highlights etc.. As they are apparently not covered under the exclusivity clause that the main world feed is.

      1. @GT Racer “additional content feeds like in-car camera’s, the pit lane team radio feed, timing and tracing screens, rolling highlights etc.”

        Yeah, that’s not something I’d pay for. It’s amazing to me that in the USA I have to piecemeal different sources together to get a decent F1 spectating experience. I’ve had the Official F1 app for 2 years, and am unlikely to renew for 2016. NBCSN coverage is atrocious. Adding in-car cams etc. to this mess isn’t viable IMO. In fact F1 viewing is getting so troublesome, and the formula is so off the rails, that I may not watch much at all this year.

        WEC is completely the opposite: a reasonable annual subscription price, full live streaming to 2 devices (TV and tablet/cell), excellent commentary and video, a series that’s predominantly about competitive racing, etc.

        Bottom line: I went to WEC Fuji last year, and not to a single F1 event. Unlikely I’ll go to F1 again anytime in the near future. The mandatory hybrid formula, the money grubbing, the Hollywood-like gossip and glam…. it’s just not my version of competitive motorsport.

        1. @geeyore, I find it strange that you complain about “the mandatory hybrid formula” in F1 when hybrid systems are mandatory for any manufacturer entries into the LMP1 class for the WEC.

    5. This american would also pay $100 for WEC-like coverage for the entire season. I dislike the poor quality internet streams, but that’s far better than having to listen to the morons on NBC try to talk about cars driving around a track…

    6. No One Better (@)
      20th January 2016, 2:41

      I cut the cord years ago. NBCSN is a joke! Got tired of hearing Diffy say: “while we were on break…”
      Makes it almost acceptable to pirate the content when people have to pay for a service and still get bombarded with commercials.

    7. Agree. NBCSN coverage is atrocious and shameful. Commercial intrusion is unbearable and commentary is sub-par. I simply can’t watch it. Like you guys, I do pay for WEC and it’s perfect in terms of quality, coverage, and commentary. I would pay a bit more – but not $100 – for F1. But pointing to the mandatory hybrid formula and the very predictable outcomes up to 2020, I’m not sure I’ll sure I’ll spectate F1 at all, no matter how it’s delivered.

    8. Yes, NBC is appallingly bad. I refuse to watch it, and take lengths to obtain Sky coverage a few hours after the race has ended.

    9. I completely agree. If I could find a way to safely (bit torrent scares me) stream and record F1 races, I’d drop Dish Network like a bad habit.

  4. Additional trophies are planned for the best haircut (drivers) and best dressed (pit crews).

    1. What about hair color @hohum?

      1. @beejis60, they have to save some for next year and the year after, I’m expecting the most artistic wheel change for 2019.

      2. @beejis60 I though Jaques Villineuve holds that trophy for life.

        1. Some kind of lifetime achievement for him

      3. They can’t change it (hair color) or a rule will be introduced to not allow them, otherwise we can not recognize the drivers any more.

        1. Haha, spot on!

    2. I’d like to see helmet livery considered for driver points.

  5. Another excerpt from the McLaren tech history feature:

    In modern F1 cars, thousands of data parameters are measured every second, so engineers at the track and back at base can analyse issues the car [sic] without them even needing to come to the pits.

    …Issues, as well as performance.

    Including tyres. That’s the problem. ‘Thousands of data parameters’ in every second is almost unimaginable. I’ll let others figure out just how quickly can teams figure out modifications in tyre compound and contruction and how quickly can they build up incredibly robust and sophisticated models.

    (The same goes for refining aero models again and again in increasingly infinite amounts to decrease returns to scale incredibly quickly – necessitating a rule overhaul ever more often.)

    1. It’s been a while that I’m thinking the same: F1 is a victim of the same technology that put the category at the pinnacle of motorsport.

      The level of control over thousands of parameters is, like you said, unimaginable. So mechanical predictability became too high, performance levels can be finely measured, and depending how many millions you can spend for a thousandth of a second in a wingplate modification. Lots of high tech, that’s progressively more expensive.

      2000′ cars were faster? Yeap, but they had also greater downforce, and worse overtaking as some of us can remind (not everyone, as we can listen and read everywhere), lots of boring races. To lap faster some problems will inevitably appear, because only aero sofistication can make you go faster in some corners. Then you can spend on double diffusers, small pricey winglets, etc…

      Well, it’s not hard to imagine why some solutions aren’t easy to find, it isn’t all about politics. To think that “bring the 80’s, 90’s” F1 cars will sort this out is naive; this kind of car you can find at Indycar. This is F1.

      Let’s hope things can gradually improve. I still believe \o/

  6. “Don’t mention the tyres” we’ll blame the stewards.

  7. I think i agree with Perez, but of course the irony is that Hulkenberg has never actually finished in the top three!

    1. By saying that and as he beat him last year that puts Perez as the 2nd or best driver on the grid without him actually saying that?

      1. Ofc it does and he is fully aware of that.

        In my oppinion Hulkenberg is grossly overrated and beating him doesnt instantly put you in top three.

  8. “I definitely would put him among the three best drivers on the grid. I believe if I can be ahead of him, I can be ahead of anyone on the grid.”

    Honest question, do you guys think that:

    (a.) Both Force India drivers are exceptional
    (b.) Both Force India drivers are average
    (c.) somewhere between (a) and (b)

    Now Perez did get beat by Button in 2013, but in terms of pure pace he was rarely much behind, and he has clearly matured as a driver since 2013. In 2015 he was generally involved in a lot less silly accidents (like Monaco 2013). Likewise, as we have seen how Button compares to Hamilton/Alonso, even getting beat by JB is not exactly disastrous. Hulkenberg has never really been tested alongside a true top driver.

    1. c) for Perez, b) for Hülkenberg.

      1. +1, that is spot on

    2. C), but definitely closer to a) than b). Both drivers have shown flashes of genuine talent in their F1 careers, what with Hulk’s pole position and Perez’s average of a podium a year in midfield cars. They deserve a chance with a better team. But what stops me from going completely with a) is that put next to 2 of the exceptional drivers on the grid, neither had a season that marked them out like Alonso in 2003 or Vettel in 2008.

      1. Would have to agree with you. I always used to rate Hulkenberg as a top 5 driver on the grid, but then again his benchmarks have never been that high. Perez, I never rated that highly, especially after his performance in 2013.

        If I look back at them I think they both belong in the top 8 drivers on the grid, but neither has the potential to be in the top 3. At least not while Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton are still around.

        What makes them exciting is that they are really equally matched. Hulkenberg is the more consistent of the two and is constantly fighting with better cars every race weekend. Perez is a bit of an engima, he isn’t the strongest qualifier, but has a great ability to pull one phenomenal performances through brilliant race management and strategy.

    3. What is average for F1?

      They are epic fast, astonishing drivers… About average for what F1 driver should be, but really exceptional. They both have proven it many times, especially outside F1 on Nico side.

      Degrading tires really hurt Nico I think. He was way faster before, and is in other categories.

      And Perez is briliant, he places that force india where it shouldn’t be. Much a driver benefiting from tire formula.

      Could either beat Lewis da Dynamic slip wizard? Id say if they were ahead after first corner, probably yes.

      1. @jureo Well average for F1 means it compared with all other F1 drivers within F1 car standard I think. To answer @kingshark question, I think Perez is (c) and Hulk is (b). Both are exceptionally good drivers compared to us, but compared to their F1 peers, the results is not lying. Perez can delivers outstanding race couple times, Hulk still yet to do it once (in F1).

      2. @jureo, the tyres are key they punish the fastest drivers and reward the slowest.

      3. @jureo, I don’t think that the tyres are the issue, because Hulkenberg has put in stronger performances in the past under similar regulations too (think back to his strong finish to the season in 2012 and 2013, for example). It’s been suggested that his poor performance in 2015 was more of a case of a decline in motivation in Hulkenberg after Ferrari rejected him in late 2014 – there were some commentators in the paddock who commented that Hulkenberg seemed to lack some of his previous enthusiasm after Ferrari ended talks with him.

        @kingshark, it has to be said that McLaren’s management of Perez was fairly poor in 2013 – with the senior management severely disrupted as Ron forced his way back into the team, causing recriminations and accusations to rebound around the team, Perez was kind of neglected in the process and suffered as a result.

    4. @kingshark they’re both too good for FI but not good enough for the upper-level cars apparently.

      1. Agree. They would actually be better suited in a Williams. I would expect them both to outperform Bottas and Massa.

    5. I rate them both above Nico, not sure where that places them in your ranking though.

    6. I’d say c for both, based on the available evidence. Off the top of my head I would put at least… eight drivers ahead of them (figure may grow as youngsters develop next year). Then I’d have the two of them on largely equal footing.

      Doesn’t make them bad, because top 10 in F1 is still very good, but I honestly couldn’t put either anywhere near the leading three.

  9. Hulkenberg in the top three of drivers? He has fewer podiums than Maldonado!

    The majority of the ‘best’ three F1 driver discussions in recent years mostly likely included Vettel, Alonso, and Hamilton.

    Veteran Drivers with the podiums to show that maybe they could have been considered in the elite class at certain points over the past five years(but not over five years): Raikkonen(18), Button(19), Rosberg(36), and Massa(8).

    Promising but tested talents (with # of podiums achieved): Ricciardo(10), Grosjean(10), Bottas(8), Perez(5), and Hulkenberg(0!).

    Sergio, I think you’re a great driver in your own right, but your opinion is your own. I rate you above your teammate but neither of you are in the top five.

    1. Hulkenberg in the top three of drivers? He has fewer podiums than Maldonado!

      If podiums are your only metric, then you’re not going to be convincing many people.

      1. @raceprouk, it is a rather narrow metric, and yet in one sense it does indirectly touch on one aspect of Hulkenberg’s career – for all his talent, when those few opportunities to stand on the podium have appeared in his career, he’s never managed to seize any of them.

        In 2012, he could well have won the Brazilian GP until he overcooked his attempt to pass Hamilton and earned a penalty for taking him out of the race (though, to be fair, even Hamilton thought it was harsh to penalise Hulkenberg that heavily). In 2014, in the one race where Force India were competitive enough for a podium, he was out-muscled by Perez on track and then upstaged after Perez then put in a strong defensive drive to hold off Ricciardo: in Russia last year, whilst Perez managed to take advantage of his skills and the clash between Kimi and Bottas to take a slightly fortuitous podium, Hulkenberg was out at the start after he spun into Ericsson in an unusually poor act of driving for his standards.

        It does create a slightly odd situation – whilst Hulkenberg has put in highly praised performances in the past to secure 4th’s to 6th’s in cars that weren’t that competitive, he’s never been able to pull off those rare chances to do better in the way that Perez has.

  10. It is very hard to pick top 3, Is alonso still in top 3? And is Nico Rosberg not in the mix? How can he beat Hamilton sometimes?

    Many F1 drivers are really exceptional. But come 2016 first race, only two men stand out as dominant of last few years. Maybe we do not have top3, just top2, then there is everyone else.

    1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      20th January 2016, 5:20

      @jureo I really think the last time we could put Alonso as a top 3 was in 2013. I know 2014 his car was bad, but IMHO top 3 that year was Hamilton, Rosberg and then Ricciardo. 2015 top 3 was in my opinion Vettel, Hamilton and Rosberg (both years in that order).
      The guy is getting older and that’s unstoppable and undeniable. He will have to make room for rookies soon, alongside with Massa, Kimi and Button.

      1. Besides they have proven quite enough already. Let youngsters have a go.

      2. @jureo, @omarr-pepper. To be honest I think both of you are being very short-sighted on this matter. I am aware you have not said where you rank Alonso but I think that you have fallen into the trap of allowing the car’s performance to rate the driver which is never helpful. If someone drops out of being in the top 3 drivers for the first time in a decade, I feel there should be a good level of justification. For example, I rated Kimi highly, definitely in the top 5 after 2013 but now I rate him lower as he was destroyed in consecutive seasons. When I think of Raikkonen in the future it’ll definitely be in the sprint race era around 2005 where he was unquestionably a genius. Only 12 months ago we were commenting on what a great job Alonso had done against Raikkonen.

        If Messi takes a season off from football does that make someone better than him? Or to give an F1 example, when Lauda briefly retired was he no longer to be considered the best driver?

        I appreciate that you may be talking with reference to each season’s performance but I cannot comprehend an argument that places anyone other than SV, LH and FA as the top drivers of this era. Perhaps, Ricciardo or Verstappen or Hulkenberg or Bottas will come to be considered to be of the same ilk but they have a number of top performing seasons to do before they are anywhere near it imo.

        1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
          20th January 2016, 16:40

          @rbalonso I’m not saying he won’ be a great in history. He already is. But as if you said Schum’s second stint deserved praise just for his “old resume”. And Alonso is, because of his car mostly but, stepping down from the CURRENT top 3. If you asked me the same about Vettel 2014, I can truly tell you he was nowhere near a top 3 performance that year, you could set him 4th or even 5th. So I’m saying the same about Alonso, not quitting anything from his amazing records and past career. But if that Honda keeps being a dog of a car, he might do better retiring to manage his cycling team or something he can enjoy and be successful at it again.

          1. Like I said. It is hard to say, due to the car not being up front.

            If Force India was 2s faster would Perez be top3 driver in F1? Most probably yes and so would Hulk. And Hamilton would desperateley want to drive for SFI.

          2. @omarr-pepper
            Obviously you have to do this subjectively, otherwise the drivers in the fastest cars would always be in the ‘top 3’ regardless of talent. I honestly believe that if you put Alonso in the Ferrari he would do just a good a job as Vettel (vs Raikkonen they were virtually identical), if you put him in a Mercedes I would back him to beat Hamilton over a season. Therefore he’s still in my top 3, even if he had no opportunity to prove it in 2015.

  11. The problem with less/lenient penalties is that it won’t increase overtaking much, but rather increase the likelihood of a crash if a driver decides he can get away with a rash manoeuvre. It sort of defeats the whole point of penalties.

    Also it screams irony that, once more, they have reversed their decision and aren’t clamping down but are relaxing it.

    1. @strontium, they need excuses, and lets face it crashes are good for the show and don’t cost FOM/CVC anything.

    2. Should improve Maldonado’s penalty/race ratio.

    3. Also it screams irony that, once more, they have reversed their decision and aren’t clamping down but are relaxing it.

      that is the most important part here in my view.

    4. You have a valid point and this always creates a conundrum in my mind as watch early 90’s races and when there was physical contact and cars being spun off but they just got on with it the commentators did not even entertain discussing about penalties. There were 2 instances at Hungary I think in 1990 when Senna and Berger both pulled moves on Ferraris hit them, spun then off and carried on. Penalties can sometimes not just result in eradicating crazy driving it can also temper competitive driving as drivers fear the penalty they do not push right to the very edge incase it goes wrong so leave a margin for error.

      1. There should be penalties for exceeding track limits, and for causing a collision on purpose.

        Right now penalties are a bit to much on the limiting good racing side. Like Alonso in Abu Dhabi.

        Whenever there is contact, they get investigated.

  12. Hulk to Perez: uh, thanks I think?

  13. I think Perez is overdoing it a bit there. I doubt Hulkenberg would beat, Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso or Button in the same team. Actually, I think he’d struggle against Ricciardo too. If he was that good he wouldn’t be at Force India. On his ‘day’ there is probably no-one quicker but his ‘days’ are far less frequent than necessary to be a real contender. More a Mika Salo than a Hakkinen.

    1. The above list is not exhaustive thinking about. Bottles and Massa would easily match him or even beat him too.

    2. But atleast he won THE race….

  14. Is the engine price per unit or per one year contract? The latter I suppose…

  15. Bernie’s move to get some petrodollars will be tested this year if the price of crude keeps falling. Autocrats fueled by oil revenues buying F1 slots at a premium to boost their image are facing waves of protest on the back of economic crisis and people losing their jobs and purchasing power will not be pleased with luxury races paid with government funds. I’m looking at you Bahrain, Azerbaijan and Russia…

    1. I read this morning (probably on the Telegraph web site, but I can’t find the link) that Azerbaijan had introduced partial exchange controls in order to protect their Manat currency in the face of plummeting oil revenue and civil unrest over rising prices. A state official commented that the easiest way to cut expenditure would be to cancel the Grand Prix and the All Islam Games. So, you may be right @jcost.

  16. Finally, some stability.

    I suspect it may have been better if it had been a couple of years longer as it may take at least another year (quite possibly 2) before the 4 PU’s get somewhere close to parity which leaves at best only 3 years with the potential for broader competition amongst teams.

    Now if they would just stop fiddling with all the other regulations and let the team’s develop their cars and PU’s…..

    1. It is possible that by freezing the rules for a few years and letting development run it’s course eventually the gains to be made will be very small and so major parts of the cars will be carried over from season to season lowering costs, also the longer they make these engines and the less changes to them year on year again the lower the cost and as a bonus the racing should get closer and faster.

      1. Yes that’s it

  17. I have to agree with the COTD. I think the days of different commercial rights in different countries are over, it’s time to take it onto the internet with anybody in any country able to stream F1 directly from FOM – or whoever they could choose as a global partner. There could be a free version that has adverts and varying levels of paywalls to allow varying levels of customisation and access to things such as team radio and data etc. I would happily pay what I pay for Sky per year just to watch F1 in massive detail. I believe that not only would we get better coverage this way (if they did it properly), but FOM would also make more money.

    1. It could have worked if F1 was football like popular but it isn’t. Not enough people paying for races threw internet to cover the money they are currently getting from Tv stations.

  18. A strategy group decision that benefits the smaller teams? What’s the catch?

    Meanwhile, NASCAR has once again done a wonderful job of making Formula 1’s gimmicks look pure and fair, by introducing, among other things, the caution clock. Currently it will only exist in the truck series (sort of like the NASCAR equivalent to GP3), but you can bet it’s only a matter of time before it makes it to the main series. If more than 20 minutes goes by without a yellow flag, they will throw a yellow flag anyway, because it will make the race more “exciting”.

    1. can’t believe this is real, it’s just plain bee-es

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        20th January 2016, 13:04

        No way, what a nonsense. ..

        First the moronic ‘competition caution’,

        Then then idiotic ‘chase system’

        Now the imbecilic ‘caution clock’?

        I really really hope this doesn’t make it to the main series. Im running out of synoyms for these idiots.

    2. I assume is to make sure there i a yellow time to throw add break since in the US everything has to be in a way to throw add breaks. Their egg-throw sport is like that too.

  19. I don’t watch NASCAR, but I suspect it’s like American football: They need the 20 minute caution clock to allow more predictable windows for television commercials.

  20. Hulk is too aggressive for a team to put him alongside a No1 like Vettel, that’s his problem. Otherwise surely Ferrari would have chosen him instead of Kimi. Brazil 2012 was a bit of a disaster for him too, with two big errors in the lead.

    But perhaps Toto has his eye on him? It’s a bit weird for Merc to say they’re leaving Rosberg hanging for a renewal until the summer, that can only be a downer for their driver and produce a million questions about it every weekend.

    1. @lockup Toto will be looking at Bottas, as he will also get the commission as part of his management ;).

      1. Yeah I can see that @fastiesty. Driver management a la Flav ;)

        It would be good to see Bottas at Merc.

        But I’m thinking of the fuss they make of Rosberg in Stuttgart, and how Toto retreated to saying Spa 2014 was ’49/51%’. So I reckon Hulk’s germanness is quite a strong factor for him.

    2. @lockup Pretty unlikely considering there’s lot more prospective talent than him that surely eager to get Merc seat even though they aimed for other top team atm. Gotta admit this is where Hamilton doing it right. He got more to offer than just a driver than will win them races and championships.

      1. Well Mercedes can take their pick @sonicslv, Toto was even promising not to poach! Who do they want alongside Hamilton, if not Rosberg? Surely they’re acutely aware the team is not really terribly German, being in England and full of Brits, Italians and Austrians :)

        If they really did kick Rosberg out they might fear a bit of a backlash at home. Enter Hulk. Though Bottas probably has the better temperament. Meanwhile Wehrlein really needs a year or two in, for example, Force India? Who have for some reason said they wouldn’t stand in Hulk’s way.

        1. @lockup I don’t really see why people still think about national team with national drivers. The last one trying to do that is Prost and Super Aguri IIRC, and they failed quite spectacularly. I think the German people will be more happy to see Toto scores someone like Verstappen, Sainz or maybe Magnussen instead of Hulk in case they do dump Rosberg (which actually still the best driver that not in other top team yet).

          1. They started out with two German drivers @sonicslv, and they won’t be looking to Prost and Super Aguri for an example I don’t suppose. I don’t know why any team would pick Magnussen over Hulk, and both Horner and Toto have made it clear Max and Carlos are staying put as per their contracts. So Hulk can dare to dream, perhaps. Who knows, obviously, but there’s a difference between insisting on a national driver and taking one who’s right there looking suitable.

          2. @lockup Technically, their three drivers have all been Mercedes young drivers: Schumacher, Rosberg and Hamilton. This leads me to think that actually, they will want to keep Hamilton and Rosberg, until Wehrlein and Ocon are ready and have F1 experience – Bottas will thus look to Ferrari, who can choose experience (Grosjean), a mix of experience and potential (Bottas), or raw potential (Verstappen).

          3. @lockup I think it’s just a coincidence. If Hakkinen can be persuaded out of retirement with Schumacher, maybe they will run them both instead Rosberg ;) Rosberg can be said “the best of the rest” that time and he always rated highly – more than what people rated Hulk now.

            Also personally I think Magnussen is promising than Hulk. He’s younger, has proven himself capable of giving results, and can race. While some people seeing him as dangerous, I think he can still get better just like Grosjean. Sure he get beaten by Button, but Button is probably the only driver than can boast he beaten 3 WDC as his teammate which includes Hamilton and Alonso (not to mention himself is a WDC).

          4. I agree @fastiesty @sonicslv the most likely thing is they’ll renew Rosberg. Just – from Hulk’s point of view, it’s his only hope for moving up, pretty much, that there’s something behind Toto saying they won’t look at it till the summer, talking about the driver hostility, and that other things being equal maybe they’d quite like a German to replace him.

            They want a learning seat for Wehrlein and Merc customer FI have gone out of their way to say Hulk is free.

            As for KMag, Ron said he hadn’t met their targets. And when he got his chance in Oz FP he fell off when the team crucially needed laps with the new car. JB… well he is quick but not in the LH/FA league, Toto won’t be falling for that!

  21. The only way I can read Perez’s comment is thus: Perez knows how highly rated Hulkenberg is. He also knows how impressed everyone was by his end of season from last season and that he beat Hulkenberg in the championship (if not the qualifying battle). So what he is essentially saying “yeah, Hulkenberg is good, but I beat him last season, so what does that make me?”, but in a really nice way. By bigging up his team mate he is actually doing his reputation a good turn.

    I think it is a cunning and subtle move, worthy of someone who once worked at Casa de Ron, or am I being way too cynical?

    1. @geemac That’s what I’m thinking too. To make people like you, you need to be able to make other people looked good first. He got nothing to lose here.

    2. This also goes when they get beaten. Webber was then saying how Vettel is just amazing and Massa was saying how Alonso is probably the best ever etc.
      Because if they say that for the driver who beat them then is like saying: “Look, i know i got beaten but the guy that beaten me is like totally awesome so am still a good driver”

  22. What this means is that the manufactures now own F1. That is, until a few short years from now when they say their F1 cars will need an electric engine cause that is the basis for their product platform now. At which point F1 will show them the exit door, but not before they already have a foot in FE’s door while at the same time having tore a massive hole in how combustion engines are to be used in F1 cause they bastardized the racing formula with e technology. If F1 can’t pull it’s head out… of the water about aero dependency being the soul cause of snoozer racing, then they are going to be hopelessly sunk when the manufactures pull out to go to FE as combustion engines fall farther and farther out of political correctness on top of lost momentum during these super dark days of manufacture ruled F1.

    1. Do you really believe that the manufacturers are going to try and kill one of the best advertising methods they have available?

      1. When everything goes full electric (which it will), no manufacture is going to stick around gas powered cars. Factories only work on technology they can use on the road. That’s why F1 is so screwed up right now. Cause all the technology has more to do with road cars than racing. And the only thing keeping FE from toppling F1 sooner than later is lack of horsepower. For a glowing example, you only need to look towards all motorcycle motorsports where the big four Japanese manufactures literally dictate the rules. They are so powerful, that long standing watershed rules get kicked out overnight if it goes against the manufactures. And they all band together. It’s kind of a long read, but the link below is a perfect example of a racing organization (AMA) that let the manufactures run things cause the manufactures are the only ‘constructors’. And that is the direction that current manufactures want to lead F1 at this very moment.


  23. Wehrlein seems destined for a Mercedes drive and if Bottas hasn’t already gone to McLaren, he seems the more likely choice to partner him than Hulkenberg IMO.

  24. I find it hard to believe that at least some part of the lack of overtaking is due to drivers being afraid of receiving steward penalties. They’d only get penalties if they hit the other car or exceed the tracks limits and they should be trying to avoid doing that anyway.

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