Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

FOM stopped Grosjean sharing Haas videos

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Romain Grosjean reveals Formula One Management stopped him sharing live video from Haas’s filming day before testing began last week.


Baku track surface laying, 2016
Baku track surface laying, 2016

Preparations for Azerbaijan’s first grand prix are underway in Baku where the roads are being resurfaced ahead of June’s street race.

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Comment of the day

Why has it suddenly become so important for Ecclestone to, in his words, “muddle up the grid so that the guy that is quickest in qualifying doesn’t sit on pole”?

To think that only two years of Mercedes performing astonishingly better than fellow F1 rivals, especially such F1 darlings as Ferrari and Red Bull, has led to incessant criticism from Ecclestone and calls of changes to the rules from fans is simply astonishing. It has not been four years (2010-2014 for Red Bull) yet or five years (2000–2004 for Ferrari), it has only been two championships.

Did they not say there are new rules coming up to shake up the sport in 2017? Why not wait till then? No one knows exactly how the championship this way will swing. But even if Mercedes wins, have they not worked hard enough for it and so merit the victories and success?

Where is the motivation for automobile manufacturers to be involved in the Formula One series and to aspire to be the best the sport has ever seen in auto technology if the goal post has to be shifted in the middle of the game in the hope that they would be handicapped?

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On this day in F1

Happy 76th birthday to 1978 Formula One world champion, four times IndyCar champion, Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500-winner Mario Andretti.

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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 “FOM stopped Grosjean sharing Haas videos”

    1. Comment of the day is spot on.

      1. The only bit that is spot on is the last paragraph.

        1. The Comment of the Day is correct. It’s like Christian Horner’s line of “show me a good looser and I’ll show you a looser”. How can you claim to be a winner if you need the rules to hinder the best team? F1 is the premier open wheel motor racing series, so there shouldn’t be any handicapping.
          You don’t hear this sort of moaning when Usain Bolt wins another race, you hear admiration; and you didn’t hear it when Tiger Woods was leaving all and sundry in his wake, all you heard was admiration, so why the criticism if Mercedes happen to win a second championship?
          People should be impressed Mercedes managed to produce such a great car. In fact, they produced two great cars, so now we are looking to see if they have produced a third great car.

          1. It’s “loser”. Sorry, couldn’t help myself

            1. Thanks, I’ll try to get it right next time.

          2. Tiger and Usain does not win because their equipment gives them an advantage like in F1. Your argument is invalid.

            1. Running and golf aren’t team sports where the quality of the equipment is supposed be a significant part of the competition, so I don’t why the comparison is not valid.

            2. F1 is a manufacturers’ competition. The manufacturers are the ones who contract to appear. The manufacturers get the prize money. @drycrust‘s comment is absolutely right.

              If the FIA want a drivers’ competition they should look to their one-make series. They should not keep tightening the rules until F1 becomes a one-make series because there will only be one competitor.

            3. Tiger and Usain does not win because their equipment gives them an advantage like in F1. Your argument is invalid.

              The difference is that Usain and Tiger do not make their equipment. Making equipment is not a part of their sports.

              Mercedes have won the last 2 championships because they did the best of any team in their sport. It’s not as if they just bought a car that happens to be better than the rest, which would, for example, be the case with Tiger’s clubs if he was winning because of them. Part of the competition in F1 is to design and build the best car possible, within the limits of the rules, and Mercedes’ engineers* have done a better job than any other team.

              Saying “they only won because of their equipment” is treating F1 as a pure driving contest (which it isn’t, has never been and should never be) and is denigrating the incredible work of the engineers.

              * I will keep stressing this. The drivers are only a small part of an F1 team, albeit the most visible part. The cars are designed and built by incredibly intelligent people, and far too many people ignore this with arguments of “they only win because they have the best car”. They have the best car because the people in the team did a better job than the people in other teams!

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          28th February 2016, 8:59

          The only bit that is spot on is the last paragraph.

          And the 2nd ‘nailed it’ recognising that the 1st is mostly a statement of fact!

          1. Someone stated the first “nailed it” comment was mostly wrong, so I was stating I agreed with the first poster, who said the Comment Of The Day was correct in its entirety.

        3. Fudge Ahmed (@)
          28th February 2016, 17:50

          Apex Assassin, prepare for another year of tears. :)

          Mercedes have fully deserved their success and are a far more likeable entity than RB.

      2. No One Better (@)
        28th February 2016, 6:57

        Absolutely agree. The irony of these people complaining about Mercedes dominance, Pirelli tires, or DRS ow that they want everything to be merit based. Yet they want the rules changed so that teams that didn’t build cars fast enough to compete with Mercedes particularly Ferrari to make certain changes that are not allowed once the season has started. All the teams agreed to the technical regulations. If you didn’t build a car fast enough for 2016, no point in whining about Mercedes’s dominance. Do your homework and hopefully come back stronger in 2017.

        1. @noonebetter – But what if you did build a faster car. What if the Red Bull chassis is 2s a lap faster than the rest but Mercedes and Ferrari are too scared to supply them with a competent F1 engine?

          1. Then they should build their own engine, they have enough money.

          2. Yep – Ferrari and Merc must be scared of Red Bull

            Nothing to do with their ridiculous attitude and complete lack of sporting grit.

            Certainly nothing to do with throwing their multiple championship partner under such a bus that they decide to purchase their own team at significant expense rather than listen to the whining any further.

            Nor even the fact that absolutely no-one wants to supply them an engine on such short notice while having the terms, conditions, type, year and required support of said engine dictated back at them by a team stupid enough to find itself potentially entering next season with half a car and lots of disconnected wires and hoses at the back

            It’s just because they are scared of RB

            1. The same Red Bull that bailed on the rest of the teams in FOTA, and joined Ferrari in seeking lucrative deals for themselves while simultaneously weakening said other teams… I’d say that if they are indeed “scared” of Red Bull, then that fear is perfectly rational & warranted. Red Bull plays the F1 game as ruthlessly as any other… they do it more efficiently, IMO. I listened them complain about the Renault V8’s “unreliability”, lobbied to make changes to that engine during frozen development (in the name of “reliability”, and “equality”, and “parity”), and watched them sail off into the sunset four years on the trot, skirting the very ragged edge of the rule book the whole way… pretty much thumbing their noses at the opposition the whole time, and barely ever mentioning their engine partner, and their role in the magic EBD that was instrumental to those 8 championships they cruised to. If I can remember, rest assured those competing against them remember perfectly well too.

      3. disagree with COD, because in the four “dominant” Red Bull seasons, two was one of the most competative off all times and was really enjoyjable to watch. At least, every team was able to catch up during the season, unlike now… But 2014-2015 was one of the most dominant seasons of all time by the statistics, and was realy boring to watch. Of course, it is not Mercedes fault, they made a very good job(but they had headstart in engine creation and stupid token rules locked their advantage)…

        1. The difference between the most dominant cars in f1 history is that during the ones before mec… Development was allowed.. So i totally disagree cotd.. There no comparison is like someone holding you so you can only watch.. That’s how merc dominance feels when other teams couldn’t touch nothing

          1. @3d89 except as repeatedly pointed out when this comment is wheeled out each time to attack Mercedes, significant engine development was allowed between 2014 and 2015 (much more so than in the late V8 era when engine development was frozen).

          2. The only barrier to development is the engine but next year engine development is free and there are big changes on chassis design so next year for me is very open. Merc for their huge investment will have 3 drivers and 3 constructors titles then a free for all. Wonder how long Merc will stay if they cannot win. Ferrari have been in every championship, McLaren and Williams also compete for a long time….proper teams.

      4. @djdaveyp87 @drycrust @pastaman @aliced @coldfly @noonebetter @keithcollantine

        Ecclestone is so wrong in searching for answers to his problem (“so that the guy who qualifies first does not go off into the distance”) in all the wrong places.

        It’s rather easy to get different formbooks from quali to race: get them separate practices.

        In NASCAR, it’s often practice-quali-practice-practice-race and it’s rare to see the same guys in front in both sessions (quali and race). In F1, everybody tries to put as much emphasis on quali as possible in setup (because, frankly, it’s still not easy to overtake on most tracks) bar leaving room in springs and ride for the tyre and plank wears. It’s always a mixture and just one formbook with the parc fermé rule. Having mechanics do the hardcore car setup does not cost any more money than the current reg – teams still maximise track time in practice and tinker with the setup as long as possible. It’s just that this way, setup would be tested as two separate points of the working process.

        With separate practice for quali and race, we would get teams setting up their cars for the former and then for the latter – and who’s to say those who are quick on light fuel and sticky tyres and non-compromising mechanical setups are also quick with high fuel, with slippery tyres and a setup which has to take into account tyre wear and plank wear. (I help, nobody.)

        Someone influential should just pitch this idea to Bernie or the top teams, it’s so obvious. We should at least try it.

        1. They had that up to Parc Ferme rules…

          Entire car dedicated to qualifying only, then raced different car.

    2. When Bernie says something like this, he always has an alternative motive.
      As in getting the price down for a sale..
      Or god knows what master plan he has.
      It’s about time we get some fresh people in. Bernie is a genius, but change might be good.

      1. Classic antiquated mindset. This mindset is being eroded with in the next generation of business especially around soft goods, such as media and software. If FOM had an ear to the ground and the sense to follow through, it would share happily and micro charge for rights.

        As a fan, it’s hard to be a fan, when the thing you want to be a fan of, prevents you being fanatical.

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        28th February 2016, 9:04

        Agree @solidg.
        PS – look up ‘ulterior’

    3. Bernie likes to do deals with a handshake, probably because you can’t read the fine print on his hand. Who’d of thought FOMs control of video footage would apply away from the race track and that a team could do a filming* day but could not release the film*.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        28th February 2016, 9:11

        Extremely dangerous to run a live video from your room!
        We all know that this almost killed the careers of talented people like the French capital and Picasso’s spouse.

    4. FOM does not seem to understand the difference between substitutes and complements. I could understand that they would crack down on video content that could be used as a substitute for their own content, e.g. if a team were to stream videos from the race (say the view of the race engineer onto the pit straight). However, I cannot see how videos such as the ones Grosjean was sharing could harm FOM since they do not reduce the demand for their own content. In fact, it likely increased demand for FOM’s content as people become more interested in F1 if they also get behind the scene looks. Simply puzzling behaviour by FOM.

      1. The entire approach of FOM with regards to the sports promotion especially as it concerns social media presence is, simply speaking, intellectual idiocy. FOM and her managers are clearly going against a rushing/roaring current which is unsurprisingly drowning them.
        Grosjeans videos got a million views in a few hours. I don’t know what other promotion FOM needed to attract new viewers to follow the progress of this new F1 team.
        Think for a moment of the confusion and displeasure of the 1 million viewers of those videos especially new F1 enthusiasts on realising those short videos have been ordered down.

        COTD for my thoughts on the charade Bernie and Co are turning the sport into. Thanks @KeithCollantine for thinking my comment on the matter makes some sense.

      2. The entire approach of FOM with regards to the sports promotion especially as it concerns social media presence is, simply speaking, intellectual foolishness. FOM and her managers are clearly going against a rushing/roaring current which is unsurprisingly drowning them.
        Grosjeans videos got a million views in a few hours. I don’t know what other promotion FOM needed to attract new viewers to follow the progress of this new F1 team.
        Think for a moment of the confusion and displeasure of the 1 million viewers of those videos especially new F1 enthusiasts on realising those short videos have been ordered down.

        COTD for my thoughts on the charade Bernie and Co are turning the sport into. Thanks @KeithCollantine for thinking my comment on the matter makes some sense.

      3. Never understand why the FOM take down old race footage from youtube. It is free promotion and keeps new fans interested in the past.. and frankly there is nothing else interesting for them to watch in the off season.

        I would understand if they were selling these old races, but they are not. You can’t even get the old season reviews that were VHS on DVD or online. Duke video have the old WSB reviews to download, why can’t FOM do that??

        1. I would understand if they were selling these old races, but they are not.

          They technically do as Bernie sell’s access to the archive & classic races to broadcasters, Something a dozen broadcasters decide to do. Last year for example in the UK Sky were broadcasting a classic race every night outside of race weekends, Something I believe they will continue doing this year.

          With regards to video content & social media, The whole policy is more Bernie than FOM as a whole. There are many within FOM who see the value of the platform & a dozen FOM employee’s have there own social media accounts which they do use during race weekends

          1. John Bergqvist
            1st March 2016, 14:29

            And analysis of the “Classic F1” clips FOM have posted on the website & youtube show that they match the original season VHS reviews, (in particular the one about Spa 1998 is basically the VHS-Seaon review footage of the start, cropped to widescreen and without the narration), so FOM have almost certainly digitised them now and so they could very quickly prepare them for DVD or upscaled Blu-Ray release IMO.

    5. I know most companies/sports are hard on copyright laws and love pursuing anyone who shares footage on the internet.

      But it’s not smart… One example is the NBA. It is growing a lot and always high on reddit/social media, and one of their policies is to allow content on youtube and social media, as long as it’s not live streaming or downloads of full matches.
      Restricting people from accessing the sport is bad PR, and F1 is very good at screwing it up. Viewer ratings are decreasing, they are censoring their own pilots, and starting this season they want me to pay (Spain) to watch the sport on TV.

      But everything is alright I guess, since we have amazing journalists like Joe Saward that are out there defending the sport and insulting anyone who dares criticize it.

      I love F1, but I’m so frustrated that if Ferrari or any other team don’t show signs of beating Mercedes from the start, I might as well skip the season.

      1. So amazing and negative. Yet, I agree 100% with BE on the social media side. There isn’t any real value. The NBA and other US sports operate in a different manner and make most of their money through attendance and from owning their buildings. You can’t compare them to F1, it’s like apples and oranges. If F1 “embraces” it will become like the music or movie business and the revenue stream will fall apart. All for a group of knee-jerk reactionists who between instantly not paying for every song and movie ever made can add F1 to their choice of free on-demand, right-now entertainment.

        1. I don’t think anyone is in support of illegal streaming or unchecked uploads of entire races online.
          What this talk of social media/online presence boils down to, at least to my understanding, is the FOM allowing people to share and upload short videos and clips of their favourite moments in races or F1 events such as the Grosjean’s testing videos. It keeps the video circulating and can lead to greater interests from people who otherwise may never have known how interesting motorsports and F1 is. I didn’t even know I liked motor racing until I accidentally walked into a room where F1 was being shown in the 90s.

          It then bears down on the FOM to decide if they would like to upload full videos of some of F1 best races ever and make them available to all online albeit for a specified period of time.

          I didn’t and still do not know much about UFC fights until some one pointed me to a video of the defeat of their best female fighter in recent years. Upon going to YouTube, I saw that the sport management had taken it upon themselves to share clips of their fights online and those videos get millions of views. They also promote upcoming events using this media in addition to others.

          Sharing small clips half-heartedly on the F1 website and blocking all other avenues is not the right way to go. To generate the kind of traffic they want on their website and to exercise the control they want, they have to leave trails that will lead people to their website.

        2. “If F1 “embraces” it will become like the music or movie business and the revenue stream will fall apart.”

          Surely those industries are suffering because they didn’t embrace- they resisted and let companies like Apple offer a service people actually wanted. They crippled themselves by failing to adapt. F1 is doing exactly that now.

      2. @jons I agree that it is a silly move of FOM to restrict content and exposure on social networking sites. The sport needs expsosure badly. I disagree with “Fast” as I doubt sports like the NBA make most of their money from attendance. I would guess that most professional sports making most of their money from licensing of content.

        Also on the whole I would say that Joe Saward is very critical of the way Formula 1 is being run from a commercial point of view by the FOM, and rightly so in my opinion. He is also critical of the deal that was done back in the day between the FIA, and the FOM which means so much money that is generated by the sport leaves the sport, rather than be reinvested back into the sport. The only time Joe really seems to defend the sport is when Bernie Ecclestone gets on his little soap box and talks the sport down, which seems to be all the time. Where Joe is positive is in relation to the current technology in the sport. I have read many articles from Joe talking about how the sport needs to be doing more to promote the massive advancements that have been made with the new engine technology. On the whole I do not think Joe Saward defends the sport.

        I for one cannot wait for the day that Bernie Eccelstone leaves the sport. The damage he has caused over the last 10 years fair outweighs any of the good work that he may have done in the past. It’s time to have some fresh thinkers get involved in running of the sport, some people who actually want to promote, and make it great.

        1. In 2014-15 the top earning franchise in the NBA, the NY Knicks owned by MSG (ie. the stadium) earned $307M of which their #1 earner at $128M was from gate receipts, second being television money estimated in 2016 to be $100M (so actually less in 2014-15) and the balance a combination of concession, advertising, merchandise revenue. So adding the concession advertising and say half of the merchandise, my calculator totals that as most of their money coming from attendance. I would suggest rather than guessing that it is better to rely on facts when disagreeing with someone.

        2. ps. F1 is already great. 500M people a year watch it. What it needs to do is educate their fans.

          1. Actually this figure is down to just 400 million and decreasing every single year, and it used to be 600 million back in 2009. The fact that FOM deletes just about every single video about F1 on YouTube that might promote their own sport might have something to do with that.

            1. People watching F1 on Youtube means they are ‘sponging’ content produced and paid for out of someone’s pocket. It’s a soft-form of stealing, like illegal movie downloads and unpaid streaming music. If the current figure states 400M and it used to be 600M (which averaged out is 500 btw), it is more about improvements in reporting than actual figures. Such was the case in prime-time TV world where Nielsen fought interactive technologies tooth and nail as they would reveal what audiences actually watched entirely, and not just skipped past a program on their way to another. Even FTA isn’t actually free… More media organizations could learn from FOM and in a post-Bernie F1, it would be against their best interests to do anything different.

        3. Fudge Ahmed (@)
          28th February 2016, 17:59

          I don’t even visit Saward’s site anymore, his sense of self importance and toys out of the pram attitude in the comments section sours his sometimes interesting commentary on the sport.

          1. @offdutyrockstar, you could also add to the list of criticisms the fact that he bans placing any links in any posts you make on his website, even if the link is to a reputable website.

            Officially he claims it is because he believes that posters who do that are using his blog to promote the work of others (already a somewhat arrogant attitude to date) – however, there are those who suspect that it is also a very effective way of preventing posters from providing links to other news sources if he happens to make a mistake in an article…

          2. I cannot believe the current attitude of some F1 fans.

            It his own blog people!

            It’s entirely his own, written in his own time and at his own expense. FOR YOU!

            It is not a ‘site’ nor something that attempts to attract you there in order to generate vast income etc. Neither is it an intentionally decisive site such as some. It certainly not F1 Fanatic.

            It’s a blog.

            The reality is that I doubt any of you would be happy to be running a Painter and Decorator business with real credentials and history, painting your own personal home and garden, only to have stacks of people park outside on your lawn, enter and start on about how wrong everything is with your decoration, all while leaving adverts all around the neighbourhood with unproven details stating how this is evidence your choices were wrong, how you must change it all now and stop moaning about people walking in uninvited.

            For goodness – GP+ is one of the very best and best value F1 magazines around and I doubt any of you moaning about his shortness or attitude have even bothered to purchase it.

            Yet despite his clear instructions for commenting on his personal blog, choose to critique him and his free information and comment elsewhere all about it because you got told off…

            What gives you the right?

      3. Fi is going down the same way as football in the uk, drivers excessive pay,entry and subscription to watch if sky was to pull out football and f1 would be finished

    6. “BUXTON SHOOTS SELF IN FOOT, USES MAGIC BULLET” Great headline, and just goes to show how the power of self delusion and the belief that a little manipulation is a good thing can lead otherwise sane and sensible people to make foolish decisions.

    7. What I would do to ‘muddle up the grid’ is fairly simple. Let’s have any kind of sane qualifying, but instead of playing with the resulting orders of the qualy, let’s play with the ‘grid’ itself. The grid positions should be way closer to each other as it was in the way past.

      I know if two cars start too close to each other and the one ahead stalls as the driver behind couldn’t react in time he’d crash into it, so let’s halve the distances between the positions, and move every second row off to a side, so the field is more closely bunched up into turn 1. I very often feel that when a driver ahead has a 95% perfect start the driver behind can’t even get a chance to get past him with a 100% perfect start because he’s so far behind. Just remember how poor starts were needed by Mercedes for Williams and Ferrari to jump them at Silverstone and Hungaroring last year.

      Here’s sort of how I imagine it:
      _ _
      _ _
      _ _
      _ _

      This way we could still have a qualifying with a deserved pole sitter (I’m fine with the current and upcoming system, although ideally I’d have something different), but his advantage would be lesser with a bigger chance of mix-up at the start of the race. Most tracks are wide enough to accomodate this (I’m not sure how Monaco could use it), so even though it’s not 100% figured out in my mind as I only thought of this a few days ago, I think it would be rather interesting.

      1. You want a motoGP start? I feel its bunched up enough already given the cars are 5 times as big as the cycles. Also anything going against the saftystandards is never gonna get through.

    8. All attempts to “muddle up the starting order” are fake gimmicks just like track sprinklers, you might just as well let the drivers pick a playing card from the pack with reds being their value in tenths of a second added to qualifying lap time and blacks being their value in 10ths of a second deducted from qualifying time. Let’s get back to using tyres that can be driven beyond their grip level and allow for a superhuman* driver effort to put a car further up the grid than it deserves to be rather than the current system where the drivers can only drive as fast as the car allows without tyre slip, resulting in the teams lining up side by side down the grid according to the cars potential.
      *like 110%, humour me.

      1. The new quali system will improve what is already pretty good and create a better show. Plus, by muddling up the grid it will have the knock-on effect of getting teams to start thinking about designing cars that can run in dirty air.

        1. First, the teams can’t design cars that run in dirty air– well, they could, if they were allowed to test multiple cars in a full-sized wind tunnel (WindShear, anyone?), but that’s illegal.

          Secondly, it’s not going to muddle up the grid, except that we’re going to see more steward intervention for impeding, more penalties handed out for impeding, and the second half of each qualy session will now be boring, instead of the first half.

          Mercedes will still lock out the front row as long as their cars are faster than Red Bull and Ferrari.

          1. First, the teams can’t design cars that run in dirty air– well, they could, if they were allowed to test multiple cars in a full-sized wind tunnel

            They may be able to design cars which operate a little better in dirty air, but turbulence will always* lead to lower downforce than clean air. So, while there is a huge wake from the car in front, the following car will always suffer in the corners.

            * This, of course, ignores ground effect, the simplest way to get equivalent levels of downforce in a way which will not degrade appreciably when following.

        2. Maybe it will be good for the TV show, where the full picture can be given. It will not be good for spectators who will not have a clue what is going on. But Bernie gets money from TV and only the local circuit gets it from spectators. He is happy to have circuits dropping out while he can sign up new ones in places which will subsidise him.

      2. Bernie’s reverse grid won’t work – every driver will try and qualify 10th.

        1. Have you even read what the new quali format is?

      3. @hohum, why would a driver want to be driving in such a way to be causing the tyres to slip so much? If the tyre is slipping that much, it has already passed its ultimate peak grip state and therefore the driver is not efficiently maximising the performance of the tyre, irrespective of how the tyre is constructed.

        And how can a driver go “beyond the grip level” of the tyres? You’re basically asking for something that is physically impossible in that case – there is ultimately a finite grip level that can be achieved due to the adhesion of the tyres with the track, and it is not as if the driver can magically increase that value.

        1. Becouse having a slip here and there and mastering it is driving on the very edge. Sure the slip itself aint beneficial but if you are always driving safe you cant maximise speed. Check all the qualifying laps and you will see they all slip a little now and then and corrects it. The griplevel change all the time around the track and what angel you attacks and the state of your tires, temperatures etc. etc. Being able to extract the temporary peak levels of grip thats out there is called driving beyond the grip level. Theres no data collected that supports that grip being there but some drivers with exeptional skill manages to use it.

          1. That was true before aerodynamic grip became important, but when you exceed aero capacity it is usually a catastrophe (in the mathematical sense) and is not recovered without slowing considerably. Think of a light switch – you can not turn it on/off with very small movements to keep it on the edge to dim the light. The same is true when airflow leaves its optimal path.

            If it is drifting you want you need to get rid of aero add-ons.

        2. Anon writes “… ultimately a finite grip level that can be achieved due to the adhesion of the tyres with the track, and it is not as if the driver can magically increase that value.” By definition, drivers are always something beyond “grip level”, otherwise there would be no (or very little) degradation. So the question is “by how much?”

          Back in the ’50s, it was an absolute pleasure watching Moss and Fangio. Very different styles, Moss with beautifully balanced four-wheel drifts, Fangio with opposite lock, back end hanging out, and power to push himself back onto the line. Fangio was five times WDC, Moss several times second… (don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing the legendary Moss — the unluckiest of all non-WDC-winners.)

          Times have changed, technology has advanced. But this generation of Pirelli tyres is denying the drivers the option of pushing, testing the limit, looking for the last, ultimate little gain that is the difference between winning and “not being the best.”

          1. @paul-a, with regards to your comment that “By definition, drivers are always something beyond “grip level”, otherwise there would be no (or very little) degradation.”.

            I used the term adhesion in its technical sense because, on a microscopic level, the tyre is physically binding to the track (it has traditionally been viewed in the sense of mechanical interlocking, although that is considered to represent only a partial explanation of the phenomenon). Fundamentally, the tyre has to degrade because the process by which it interacts with the tarmac means it has to physically deform and damage the surface of the tyre on a microscopic level: whether the driver is below, at or above the maximum slip angle which the tyre can withstand is ultimately somewhat irrelevant.

      4. ColdFly F1 (@)
        28th February 2016, 9:24

        you might just as well let the drivers pick a playing card

        Not a bad idea @hohum; it seems BE has exclusive rights to any regal card, and FOM copyrighted the jokers.

    9. Thanks for the COTD yesterday in regards to F1s management (poor) of the news cycle.

      I sense from Will Buxton’s article and a few others I’ve read that this is a frustration in the media. I can’t imagine how busy you were last week Keith!

    10. Conflicting news over SFI:
      1. The control over Watson Ltd, the UK based company that owns the F1 team has also shifted to Diageo. The loss of control over Watson was a result of a $135 million loan deal with Standard Chartered Bank for which Diageo stood as a guarantor, which was subsequently defaulted. Shares in Watson and United Breweries were pledged with Diageo to stand as guarantor. In May 2015, the loan from Standard Chartered Bank matured and went into default.

      Diageo paid Standard Chartered approximately $141 million under this guarantee, including the $135 million principal amount, as well as payments of default interest and various fees and expenses. Watson remains liable for all amounts paid pursuant to the guarantee, Diageo said.

      2. Though there were speculations he might lose control of Force India, however as of now, there seems to be little logic in that in light of what has happened at USL. RCB is under Royal Challenge, a USL brand. Force India is a separate entity, and the team is controlled by Watson Ltd.
      Mallya and Subrata Roy’s Sahara own 42.5 per cent each, while Michiel Mol owns the rest. Maybe, news that Smirnoff’s (a Diageo company) five-season sponsorship deal India triggered the speculation.
      Maybe, talk about Force India being taken over by Aston Martin and Johnnie Walker (late last year) triggered speculation. However, nothing concrete has emerged and unless Force India announces anything, things will remain speculation. There is little basis for saying that Force India could leave Mallya’s hands because of the development in USL and RCB.
      Also, there is very little going around in the Indian motorsport circle about Force India. Mallya is the chairman of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI).
      In fact, Force India’s US $15 million a year deal with Smirnoff has only strengthened the Silverstone-based team financially. This was apparently part of the deal with Diageo.
      Former FMSCI president Vicky Chandhok said, “The sponsorship from Smirnoff is a good thing and we will continue to have the Indian flag flying high in Formula 1 due to Force India.”
      Started in 2008 after the Spyker team was bought by Mallya, Force India have steadily moved up the grid and are becoming increasingly competitive.
      Just in their second season, Giancarlo Fisichella gave the team their maiden pole position at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. Those were early signs that Force India was not also-rans.
      They have, on several occasions, given the bigger teams a run for their money. So, revenue is coming in and with the team doing well, it only makes sense for a them to find sponsor.
      Obviously, Diageo sees that and it can’t really be interpreted as attempts to take control of the stable. Officials from USL or Kingfisher did not want to comment on the issue.

    11. Completely off topic, I know, but this weekend Stoffel Vandoorne was named Sportman of the year in our hometown Roeselare, Belgium.

    12. Re COTD – I think what is different about Mercedes’ two championship the size of their performance margin, versus Red Bull’s time at the top in particular. During Red Bull’s championship years, McLaren won eighteen races, Ferrari won eleven, Mercedes won six, Lotus won two, and Williams won once – Mercedes have failed to win on just six occasions in the past thirty-eight races.

      But then why is Ecclestone proclaiming meltdown versus the accepted F1 heyday which pitted two similarly talented drivers against each other in a car that was the class of the field? Why was McLaren monopoly so much more palatable than Mercedes monopoly?

      1. Because you didn’t have to stare at LH’s rediculous grin every time? (You asked)

        1. @johanness …because Alain Prost’s nose was so much better?

    13. lol at FOM. They really don’t have a clue.

    14. Somehow it’s refreshing and at the same time a bit of a relief to see how big a step it is from GP2 into an F1 car for a guy like Haryanto (surely Manor not being able to give him endless simulator runs up front plays a significant role).

      Ist still not THAT easy then, just most teams have the resources to better prepare a driver

      1. Unfortunately he didn’t say there was a big step up from the GP2 car to the F1 car.

      2. @bascb Hopefully that indicates that Manor has made significant progress this year – since Haryanto’s best qualifying lap in GP2 last year was substantially faster than both Manors in qualifying!

        Equally though, it’s not a point you’d imagine would ring true for Stoffel Vandoorne, who has never struggled with adapting to new series having won his debut race in both FR3.5 and GP2. Haryanto by contrast spent four seasons in GP2 to get to fourth place in the standings last year. Verstappen, who hopped from karting to F3 to F1 in eighteen months, didn’t register the same exclamations either…

        1. Indeed @william-brierty, it’s a relief that a solid F1 car is not something less well prepared and not quite top of the rank drivers can just get in and drive without any problems. I think Haryanto himself even mentions that the current car is a significant step forward (making the transition harder) from their last car.

          On the other hand I did not see Wehrlein having any such trouble, either because he is better at adapting (like Vandoorne and Verstappen) or had better preparation from doing simulator runs/testing mileage (like both Vandoorne and Verstappen also had) for Mercedes or probably a mix of both.

    15. LoL. FOM… Driver goes out of his way to generate FREE publicity for your sport before season begins… Engages with fans… Provides content FOM does not have to pay for… And you do what?

      We’ll have none of that, shut down their videos. What the Hell? In 2016?

      I bet people your advertisers want to target spend more time on social media than watching F1 races on pay TV.

      I bet VW CEO is 100% happy not to be in F1. Imagine VW does some youtube publicity shots with F1 team… And it gets removed…

      No Idea who decides things in FOM. But chances are on social media, they are doing it wrong. It is appaling.

      Is there anything we can do to combat this?

    16. They don’t want improve the Formula 1…

    17. Re the delay of the qualy format. I can picture it now, new qualy format introduced, some bloke back at FOM gets in contact with developer, “yah know how you thought you were all set for the start of the season?” “uhuh”, “ummm you might want to start writing some more code”….

      Meanwhile, the story that hasn’t broken yet is, how quickly can the F1 App be modified to include the new format? Could we see further delays of the introduction of the format, or will they just assume no one uses it and annoy F1 fans further by having an expensive official f1 app that doesn’t even follow qualifying properly…

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