Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Silverstone test, 2016

F1 is “safe enough” – Palmer

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Jolyon Palmer joins the critics of the proposed Halo safety device.

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Many of you seem to be pleased Pirelli will reduce the degradation of its tyres next year but not everyone is convinced it will be good for the competition:

So the point of taking three compounds to each race is?

I honestly don’t know why F1 has fallen out of love with tyre degradation. The teams and drivers get four hours of practice, spend an hour diligently lining up the slowest and the back of the grid and the fastest at the front; without a variable like tyre degradation, why are we all so surprised when they greet the chequered flag in roughly the same order?

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Keith Collantine
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41 comments on “F1 is “safe enough” – Palmer”

  1. RE:COTD What’s wrong the the greatest taking the chequered flag? People bang on about ‘the dna’ of the sport and how a safety device is corrupting that. How are toy tyres not corrupting the DNA of a sport?

    2013 was the worst year of the show biz tyres, and all we saw was teams with obviously fast cars and drivers hampered by tyres which were practically designed not to work. I don’t want to see the best driver and team not win because of some contrived handicap, I want to see teams fight each other on merit. The fastest should be at the front, that’s how racing works, I’ll sit and watch a random number generator if all I want to see are meaningless results.

    1. Well said, also some of the ‘slower’ teams are slower because they can’t get the tyres to work or last.. I for one am hoping the new tyres will work in their favour. As well as the drivers being able to actually drive and not worry about their tyres so much!

      Durable tyres and the remaining mandatory pit stop seems like a great idea to me :)

      1. @nemo87 It will like benefit Mercedes and hurt Ferrari.

    2. Well said, W-B has been a constant supporter of gimmicks like clown-shoe tyres in order to ensure no driver loses self esteem (they have so little) by not getting at least 1 prize each year. Will, your scenario ignores racecraft, eg Rosberg is able to claim pole position when Ham has problems or overdrives in Q3 but Ham can still win the race, and Ham would win more races from behind if his clown-tyres didn’t melt in the process, and the same applies to other talented drivers.

    3. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      16th July 2016, 1:37

      2012 was probably the greatest year for formula one, almost all the races were great. That was with degrading tyres.

      1. Some were great in a ‘novelty’ sense for a few races but drivers coming on the radio saying they can’t drive any slower… is that really what you want long term?

      2. @come-on-kubica

        2012 was a very good season, but that was because we had a huge convergence of performance within the top 10 and reliability destroyed McLaren’s chances. I’m not saying we haven’t had some great seasons and races with the Pirelli tyres, but their lack of capability to be pushed and driven hard on has often been a detracting factor even when we’ve had good races.

        The on paper results with Pirelli often sound great in theory, drivers swapping positions and unpredictable results. But they’re slightly hollow when they’re manufactured problems, they may as well introduce the blue shell if we’re pandering to having random results regardless of merit.

      3. For me, 2012 was rubbish just because of how contrived and arbitrary the racing was made because of the tyres.

  2. Like in the biological world DNA evolves with time. I would happily settle for the halo if it meant that some of the other Nanny state areas of F1 were relaxed e.g. actually racing in the wet instead of running behind the safety car until intermediates can be used.

    I don’t like the halo amongst many other things in F1 but it’s like I’ve said before, everything else pales into insignificance if we are simply entertained on a Sunday afternoon. All that would take right now would be another team on Mercedes level. Let’s hope 2017 can deliver that.

    1. But how would the Halo change running behind the SC for far too long, it won’t change the apparent aquaplaning, the easiest thing they could do is allow them to adjust the ride height, suspension settings, camber settings and so on between Qualifying and the race. I don’t understand why they stopped them from doing that in the first place, I heard it was for “cost reasons” which to me sounds so stupid that it could be true since this is F1, changing the ride height doesn’t mean you have to bolt a new floor on

      1. I just meant it as a flippant remark to say that if the driver’s are safer maybe they could ease off with some of the over the top safety calls like how they don’t let them race when the track isn’t even that wet.

      2. I can’t remember where the current parc ferme rules came from, it was all down to the silly messing around with qualifying phase they went through early to mid noughties and it got carried through to the latest formats.

      3. @bezza695, if there is a marked change in weather conditions between the qualifying session and the race itself, the teams are allowed to change the set up of the cars (lowering or raising the ride height, adjusting suspension spring rates and so forth) to match the conditions – the teams were allowed to do exactly that in Monaco, just a handful of races ago. In Silverstone, the problem there was that the rain shower hit the track only a few minutes before the start of the race, rendering it impossible for any major set up changes to be made in that short period of time.

        As an aside, the reasons for imposing the restrictions on adjusting the set up wasn’t just on cost grounds, though that was one incentive. Safety concerns also played their parts – there were concerns that some of the mechanics were becoming dangerously fatigued due to having to work overnight shifts on changing the set up of the cars, increasing the risk of the mechanics becoming involved in accidents in the pit lane.

        1. actually they aren’t they are only allowed to change brake cooling and radiator ducts,

    2. Well the cars are safer than ever and there is less wet racing than ever so i think you will have to wait maybe a hundred years or so before the cars are deemed safe enough for more extreame wet racing.

      1. Unfortunately. But I wonder how far they will go. Will we follow the Americans eventually and just not race in the wet? Once head protection is in place and the safety focus is turned elsewhere will we eventually end up losing wet racing entirely? Wouldn’t surprise me 20 years down the line.

        1. Do you actually watch any American racing? Those that race with non-slicks still race in the rain. Indy car and NASCAR can NOT and should not EVER run on ovals in the rain. First both run slicks only (Indy car slicks on ovals) so running in the rain is out, and no driver would try it on an oval.
          Indy car road course, sportscars and hell the historics series all have rain tires and run until the cars can not actually run. Having been to two rain shortened events in the US all the online whinging about not running at Petit last fall in the rain was BS. There was at one point 6″ of water on the track and the time before McNish was getting the R8 to float off its tires, not exactly car racing at that point is it?

    3. go take someone to a karting track and entertain yourself there. Political corrections like the Halo wouldn’t have saved Jules from the tractor placed right next to a fast runoff in rainy conditions. Biology “evolves” due to adversity, or environmental conditions, it has nothing to do with time, it has everything to do with population size, diversity and adversity. One size never fits all, no one shape or design aspect conquers all. Diversity is good for competition, competition ensures that mediocrity doesn’t pay off in the long run.

      If you want to be entertained, you are best off away from the television.

      1. @xsavior

        Political corrections like the Halo

        Which minorities are being victimised by Halo?

        1. Well the minority of drivers that dont want the halo, for starters.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            17th July 2016, 22:35

            If you broaden the definition of “victimize” to mean “being disagreed with.”

          2. Evil Homer (@)
            18th July 2016, 15:36

            @keithcollantine @mijail

            I think really most of the drivers don’t want the Halo and while they certainly are some that do others are dead against it or are put in a position so they seem to.

            We were at a meet & greet with Jolyon Palmer in Melbourne this year and when I asked if he wanted a Halo it was an easy “NO!!” He hadn’t started his first race in F1 yet but was sure…………….. these guys didn’t inspire all their life to get to F1 to have a Halo! Come on, F1 is pretty safe now hey!

        2. minorities are almost always the distraction, like a carrot, so that people don’t dig at the real root of what is going on. I am all for diversity, thats why I am all about stepping on authoritarianism. Right now the minorities are everyone besides Merc in F1. They have been classed out of competition by the rules. Made to pay to play to lose, while Merc win with extreme ease.

          The only question is how ignorant do you think the guys writing the rules are :) Because I don’t think they are that ignorant. All people need to do is say what they are thinking, and end political correctness, it’s killing F1, competition, and legitimacy.

  3. Regarding COTD…. The issue has become that many within F1 have grown increasingly tired with the high-deg tyres because of how much management they require, The drivers especially have grown increasingly irritated by how far off the pace they have been having to drive with many privately saying that they were no longer finding the driving fun, satisfying or any real physical challenge.

    Both the drivers & teams have felt that by putting all the focus onto creating degredation that Pirelli have been sacrificing performance & more worryingly safety as there has been a significant increase the the number of tyres suffering ‘damage’ (Anything from small cuts, to full on failures) since 2011 & its felt that the way the compound is been made for the degredation has made them a lot more susceptible to damage.

    The hope with moving away from designing tyres that degrade is that Pirelli focusing on performance & safety will produce faster tyres with more structural rigidity & a beefier tread that will make them less prone to picking up damage. They also hope that the tyres allowing drivers to push harder for longer will make the driving more fun, satisfying & physically demanding for the drivers.

    It is also hoped that by having drivers pushing harder & been challenged more will bring back the element of drivers been more susceptible to making mistakes, Especially when under pressure & that this could be a benefit for the racing.
    Someone I spoke to used Baku as an example of how everyone was making mistakes through practice/qualifying as they were pushing but that we didn’t see anything happen during the race because of how far off the limit they were driving at as they were managing tyres (Fuel was actually not much of an issue surprisingly & hasn’t been all year due to how much more efficient the power units now are thanks to improvements in the hybrid tech).

    There was apparently some talk of ditching DRS as there are some within F1 (Including most of the drivers apparently) who like many fans feel the art & skill of overtaking has been diminished & that removing DRS would lead to more spectacular/memorable racing/overtaking even if the total number of overtakes per race was to decline.
    However that view was not shared by the FIA, FOM or several of the larger teams & the general feeling is that DRS will end up been made more powerful for next year & could be made more powerful still come 2018.

    1. Two observations:
      -Battles/passes now occur mainly due to a different stage of wear on the tyres of the cars involved;
      -There doesn’t seem to be much of a ‘natural’ slipstream left. You hardly see cars on comparible speed (and tyre wear) pass each other. And if it happens, it’s mainly due to the leading driver making a slight mistake.

      On the new tyres:
      They’re designed to have lower wear and be longer lasting. Doesn’t this mean that there will be less difference in tyre wear level between cars at any given time and that there will be less strategic options available? Shouldn’t we fear that although drivers might be able to push harder for longer, they’ll only be able to push as hard as the car directly in front, that they’ll never be able to pass? I think it’s a genuine concern.

      On DRS:
      The former leads to the conclusion that removing DRS would lead to no (or very little) passing at all. So isn’t the speculation that DRS will be made more powerfull the only positive side of this story?

      1. “There doesn’t seem to be much of a ‘natural’ slipstream left.”

        Common misconception, Current cars still produce a really good slipstream, Go watch the opening few Pre-DRS laps from Baku for example…. Plenty of slipstreaming was going on down the straight into turn 1.

        Next year the cars will be wider, Have larger tyres & produce more overall drag so the slipstream effect should be a lot greater.

        1. Maybe, just maybe, it renders DRS useless?


        2. or maybe the draggier cars with wider tires and a wider profile will make overtaking harder :) Maybe teams like Mercedes who run a very slippery car in a lot of aspects will be just as hard if not harder to pass, and teams like Mercedes who dominate in terms of fuel efficiency will further advantage now that the FIA have seen fit to pass even more regulation stressing fuel efficiency.

          The people who write the rules for F1 are borderline something. Common sense has nothing to do with the desperate attempts to correct rules that stifle innovation and competition.

          If you want to see better competition, limit boost pressure and stop regulating fuel consumption over a race duration, even allow refueling to further nullify the effects the manufacturers have over the rest. But no, you won’t see that, you will only see appeals to ignorance.

          1. *will further their advantage…

          2. I am all for keeping the 100kg/hr, and allowing WEC cars to run @ 100kg/hr. But the 100kg per race is what is killing the competition in F1, at least for the lower ranking cars, especially the ones not running the right manufacturers engine.

      2. If the performance of the tyres is great enough then that will mean a significant increase in mechanical grip. With aero increasing too, it depends on which provides the greatest increase as to how close the racing is likely to be.

        At least if the tyres are more durable, then the tyres will last when following another car so that they don’t have to drop back deliberately to preserve the tyres and can actually mount a sustained attack without it affecting their overall race strategy

  4. Regarding COTD: Aren’t that the purpose of racing? The fastest upfront and slowest will finish last. For me it’s better if the one who finish in the first place is the quickest one not the gentlest of the tyres.

  5. COTD is absolutely spot on

  6. Tommy Scragend
    16th July 2016, 8:46

    ‘ Why Ferrari re-signed Raikkonen (MotorSport Magazine)

    “Just prior to the Austrian Grand Prix a rescue deal was put together strongly believed to involve Tetra Pak, the Swedish packaging company that was already a major creditor of the team, which has Marcus Ericsson as one of its drivers.” ‘

    I read this and thought, “Ferrari owe money to Tetra Pak? And what’s Ericsson got to do with it?”

    Then I clicked on the article and found that the quote is from further down the article and is about Sauber ;-)

    1. Tommy Scragend
      16th July 2016, 8:46

      clicked on the *link*

  7. ColdFly F1 (@)
    16th July 2016, 10:07

    I would have used this quote: “Räikkönen replacement would therefore have been of a short-term nature – and would also have involved buying out a contractual option held by other teams on all of the short-listed candidates.

    My thoughts then are: So Grosjean isn’t on the shortlist; even Steiner said that he would let him go. And Perez/Hulkenberg weren’t on the list; Force India only has 1 year contracts and I’m sure that the option clause has an option for the driver as well.
    And even Sainz should be an option. Ferrari pays Kimi some $7m-$17m a year. Thus even if Ferrari offers Sainz thrice his $375k salary, they can still buy-out his contract with Red Bull and have some change.

    I’m not saying that any of those drivers are better than Kimi. But they are better for Ferrari; we’ve seen how a more motivated and challenging number 2 can help the main driver to find an extra gear.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      16th July 2016, 10:08

      oops, reply to Tommy Scragend‘s post.

    2. Sainz is probably better than VES, but hes not really demonstrated anything special. Nobody really knows what Toro Rosso can do because Kvyat is on his way out, and Sainz is the only one getting any real support on that team. At least with two competing teammates with an honest shot, you can get a good sense of what a team’s car can do, @ RBR, and TR, nobody knows, because RBR favor their #1 and Kvyat is done in F1. Kimi is outperforming Seb in the points this year. So you can’t really get rid of him.

      Ferrari don’t have a driver problem, they have no chance at winning as long as the rules keep going the way they do. The ‘green’ ideology isn’t about saving the environment, it’s about controlling people and their interests. Like a lot of other ‘ideologies’ that play on the ‘morals’ of most people.

  8. Looks like Ferrari are about to move into “let’s change everything” mode again….. Seems like they just keep doing the same thing over and over and still get suprised by the result.

    1. Yep.. I wonder what they are going t try now. I’m wondering if they’re going to change James Allison’s role in the team or maybe put some performance deadline’s on Mauricio’s plate. Vettel is now beginning to feel Alonso’s pain, and I think a couple of more seasons of underdelivering on Ferrari’s part will see their relationship crumble. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vettel leave Ferrari having accomplished lesser than Alonso did in his time there.

  9. Regarding CotD… And tire changes.

    The point of proper racing compounds is to find the best one for the conditions at hand.

    The moment normal performance compounds not degrading compounds are used, tires will be a whole new ball game.

    One of worst F1 tire characteristics was narrow working range, inability to push slightly faster in a race, and an unforgiving overheating nature after a mistake. Terminal thermal degradation was just the final laugh in performance.

    In essence drivers have to work around designed limitations.

    In ideal situation, tires would be somewhat different. Wide working range, forgiving nature and excellent durability.

    Once all that is ensured, softer and sofer compounds should give more and more grip. Most probably due to refueling bann, teams will move to 1 stop per race.

    But most important, entire tire design philosophy should change. Not sure if that will be the case.

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