Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Silverstone test, 2016

Ecclestone and Todt on collision course over Halo

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: FIA president Jean Todt and FOM chief Bernie Ecclestone are expected to clash over the merits of the Halo driver protection enhancement in a meeting today to decide on its use in 2017.

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Whatever the reason for James Allison’s departure from Ferrari, his loss is a blow for the team:

As a Ferrari fan, i wish Allison and his children all the best and i hope that he will return even stronger after the tragedy he suffered. He showed many times that he’s a great man, not everyone will sacrifice that luxurious job even for his family.

This is a big blow for Ferrari not only from a sporting point of view, but also from a personal point of view. Allison himself is a Ferrari fan, he was part in the dream team in the early 2000’s and he accepted the mission of bringing back Ferrari to the front despite the more comfortable opportunities in the UK-based teams (McLaren, Williams, Mercedes, Red Bull).

I remember he brought me into tears after the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix.

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On this day in F1

Gerhard Berger was denied victory in the German Grand Prix 20 years ago today when his Renault engine failed spectacularly. Renault-powered cars nonetheless swept the podium: Damon Hill’s Williams leading Jean Alesi’s Benetton and Jacques Villeneuve in the other Williams.

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  • 45 comments on “Ecclestone and Todt on collision course over Halo”

    1. I am with Bernie on this halo nonsense.Enforce that drivers obey when they need to slow down and that is it. F1 is safest racing series as it is now so no need for stupid addon like that halo thing.

    2. Bernie is immune to everything. Even if they don’t introduce the Halo, and someone gets injured (or worse), he’ll still be running the business. And if the Halo does happen, he’s going to have EVERYONE on his side to criticize the thing because it will (and this is a fact) be absolutely hideous to look at, regardless of its significance in terms of safety.

      It’ll be like the V6 hybrids lack of sound from 2 years ago.

      Also, about Max’s driving. I think it’s fitting that Vettel is backing Max’s style. Vettel was called a crashkid back then, remember? Verstappen is still young and he’s proven a fantastic wheel to wheel warrior. Maybe on the limit of the rules, but his overtaking and defending so far, considering how few races he’s done in a racing car, has been great.

      1. Yes, Max is an exciting driver. He, Sainz, Vandorne and to an extent Werhlein make me believe the future is bright in terms of talent and racing entertainment for fans.
        The problem with penalties is that it may have a negative effect on the young man’s exciting approach to racing. The penalised drivers may cower and retreat. But that not withstanding, we have seen stewards hand out hefty and quite serious punishments to F1 rookies in the past as they aim to guide and help shape the young man’s approach to racing. And they have been successful at it. Most of our current stars suffered hefty punishments in their early days.
        With Vesterppen and the current set, I think the stewards are doing a good job. It’s not up to us to tell them how to deal with these youths as they have a somewhat good record in this field.

      2. @fer-no65 – re: Halo “it will (and this is a fact) be absolutely hideous to look at”, I must be one of the few who don’t think it looks bad at all.

        And “It’ll be like the V6 hybrids’ lack of sound from 2 years ago,” I agree totally – which is to say, the controversy was overstated, the changes irrelevant to most and beneficial to many.

        1. Kevin Queally
          28th July 2016, 11:53

          I disagree on the V6 hybrids after two years ‘we have gotten used to it’. I think F1 is still suffering from the absence of proper loud F1 cars. I think the V6 sound is really good its just not loud enough, and F1 lacks atmosphere as a result. I will forever remember queuing in traffic in silverstone village for friday practice after it had started in the V10 era (and getting goosebumps at the sound echoing in the distance) and compare that to the in the same place post 2014. Its just not the same.

    3. I have another issue with the halo, besides just getting out of an upside-down car. It the car physically flips and travels on the roll hoop, could the halo dig into grass or gravel (even though there’s not much left, it does still exist) and either rip right out (and possibly take some of the car structure with it)? Or could it rip up the ground and sent a lot of that into the driver’s head? Currently if a car is upside down the driver’s head is below the line between the roll hoop and the front of the cockpit (see http://www.formula1-dictionary.net/Images/rool_hoops_f1_measurement.jpg ). The halo would be above this.

      The other issue is, the halo is below the helmet at the sides, and has no protection on top. I understand a moving car will most likely hit debris head-on, but what if, like in Belgium 2012, a car comes up over the side, or what if the debris is slightly higher and hits the roll hoop and is bounced into the head from above? These are issues which the halo fails to solve completely.

      I think it sounds like a rushed, knee-jerk solution from the FIA, as always. I hope they only implement it once it is genuinely ready.

      1. Right. Isn’t this just putting an a-arm structure that killed Senna right over the drivers head? F1 is safe enough. I think my walk to work is much more dangerous than F1 and nobody is gonna live forever.

      2. Belgium 2012 is the exact same crash I was thinking about.
        What would such an impact like Alonso suffered have on the Halo.. Would it break and even hurt a driver?
        Or is it that strong? Or indeed, when the car flips at high speed, high forces.. what will it do.
        I bet they have simulated it, but I do hope they looked at every aspect!

      3. No person and no computer modeling can possibly predict all permutations of the chaotic 50-150 G forces at work in a high velocity incident, and I mean in all of motorsport, not just F1.

        As far as I can tell, this is a Todt-inspired panacea, because he is on the record several times in the last year stating that F1 (and maybe all of FIA motorsport) “must be politically correct” (that’s a quote) and sensitive to the perceptions of the vast horde who know nothing – zero – about motorsport but have delicate perceptions of safety.

    4. Wow, first time that I ever agree with Bernie on something. Never expected that!

      1. Not just this but he recently said he was in favour of evening up the payments for the smaller teams too! Even citing the EPL. I think he knows he’s on his way out and wants to end on a high note.

        1. @ultimateuzair They say even a broken clock is right twice a day!

          With regard to Tristan’s comment, I suspect (although I am just speculating) that with an EU challenge potentially arising, maybe he’s been under some pressure to act like that to try to persuade them not to do anything, or at least, to minimise any damage towards him.

          1. @strontium I agree with you there on both counts.

            Whatever Bernie says has to be taken with a large pinch of salt. He’s a master manipulator and will say whatever suits his purpose – which is not necessarily the matter in hand. Also, he talks in headlines and soundbites for the wider world, not for people who are really into F1 and know what a load of rubbish he spouts.

    5. With Bernie on this, Enough is enough stop messing with 2 foundations of the formula.. open wheels and cockpit!!!, l dont even care if some genius can come up a nano technolgy of putting the engine back in the front..but open wheel and cockpit must stay..or it aint F1

      1. @nosehair Pfft, F1 is about the fastest cars and the best drivers. Open wheels and cockpits doesn’t really come into it. If that’s what you’re watching it for watch GP2 instead.

        1. @fluxsource Sorry Adam l cannot agree with you, if the FIA changed their rules to closed in wheels and cockpits it would be the start of a fast death of F1, audience numbers are already crashing because of the V6s.
          As for the fastest cars, look at some of the lap records of yesteryear.

          1. @nosehair Can you offer a rational reason why? History shows that those who are inflexible and are unwilling to change with the times are those that are destined to fail. Improved safety through closed cockpits and covered wheels would allow the cars to be come even quicker while not increasing driver risk. Perhaps then we could return to ground affect cars, reduce the reliance on traditional aero techniques, and allow for closer racing and more overtaking.

            Can you offer a benefit of open wheels and cockpits that doesn’t just boil down to “because”?

            1. @Fluxsource Yes because F1 is F1 not Wec or indycar, F1 is already one of the safest forms of motorsport in the world “1 death in over 2 decades”…populatity is already falling because of constant rule changes…and too close tyres and cockpit would kill the sport.

            2. @nosehair Could you please read my question again. Because you don’t appear to have understood what I was asking. What BENEFIT does open wheels and cockpits bring? 1 death in 2 decades is 1 death too many when it could have been avoided. And as closed wheels and cockpits are likely to make the cars faster, what rational reason is there not to? Please note the word “rational”.

      2. So the old Mercedes W196 with the streamline bodywork was not an F1 car then?

        1. @kaiie Yep the w196 looked great, though the ‘monza streamline’ looked like a wec racer which it kinda was in the 50s.

      3. “open wheel and cockpit must stay..or it aint F1.”
        Open wheels and open cockpits are the 2 biggest Safety concerns. Running onto someones wheel or something coming into the cockpit. Change either. The Ferrari Halo is primitive looking. Not sure why. What’s with the round tubes? Sand it and paint that thing. The titanium piece on the Mercedes rendering was a great solution. What happened to it?

    6. From Brundle’s article on Sky:

      “there were alarming reports before we arrived in Budapest that Sergio Marchionne, the president, now feels the need to sit in on technical meetings at Maranello”

      If this is true, Ferrari are in big trouble. Maury came out recently and asked Ferrari’s critics to allow them to work in peace. Well it appears that he needs ask his own boss to allow him to work in peace! Its only logical that Marchionne is showing that little bit more interest in Ferrari, he floated the company on the NYSE, he’s got shareholder he needs to answer to, and F1 is one of their main (if not the main) marketing vehicle. Getting trounced by Mercedes and more recently a sugary drink company on Sunday afternoon will not help their image.

      I think Maury needs to go. He’s done a good job at steadying the ship, but I doubt he has the technical nous to steer the team forward. Its either this or Ferrari take Mclaren where Eric Boullier and Jonathan Neale report to Jost Capito who is CEO of the team. Maury would make a good CEO, but I think they need a proper racing man on the pit wall. Who would it be ? Some say that he is live on lake and that he is designing a fly fishing rod in the Jaguar wind tunnel..all we know is ..he’s called Ross Brawn.

      1. jaymenon10 Ross Brawn is not coming back. He’s done everything already and he’s too old and he’s won too much to put himself back in that hell hole… Ferrari can self destruct alone…

      2. two things Ferrari could do to beat Mercedes, get rid of the fuel capacity limit (100kg) and take Lewis Hamilton away from Mercedes.

        That would pretty much do it, they would take mercedes in qualifying and own them during the race. Game Set Match. The only thing keeping Ferrari from winning most races right now is their qualifying times. Those outright fastest times based on the fact that there is such a heavy compromise for fuel limits. I would bet big money Mercedes would go back to their 2011 levels with in 2 years of Lewis leaving Mercedes. Unfortunately Lewis isn’t leaving for 2017, which would have been a good time to steal him, given the new tires on offer next year.

        1. Yeah because obviously Kimi and Vettel are amateurs… Lol Hamilton fans… Hamilton is only winning because of Merc, not the other way around.

        2. @xsavior, and what evidence are you offering for your assertion that Ferrari’s qualifying times are down to the fuel capacity limits rather than the fact that, for the best part of a decade or more, they have had persistent issues with bringing their tyres into the correct working temperature range for a qualifying run?

        3. @xsavior Ferrari need a hell of a lot more than a few tenths that Hamilton *might* bring. He is beating Rosberg by those few tenths and he isn’t as good as Vettel so I doubt Hamilton and a removal of the fuel limit would make enough of a difference that “they would take mercedes in qualifying and own them during the race”.

          1. Just for the sake of nitpicking (I roughly agree with what you said): what makes you so sure that Hamilton is slower than Vettel @tonyyeb?

            1. @x303 I think I wasn’t quite clear in my statement. I meant Rosberg isn’t as good as Vettel. So that would put Hamilton and Vettel on a par pretty much in my opinion.

            2. That’s fair, thank you for replying @tonyyeb.

        4. Removing the fuel limit would do absolutely NOTHING for Ferrari. ALL the cars use the SAME amount of Fuel(100kg/hr or 27.78g/sec) at any rpm over 10.5K. Fuel usage is a function of how long you are on the throttle(in this formula). The less efficient you are at converting the 27.78g/sec of fuel into power at the wheels(and transferring that power to the ground) the longer you will stay on the throttle and the more fuel you will use.

          Most of the teams don’t fill up the full 100kg for most of the races any way.

          Hungary race time 100.5 minutes or 1.675 hours at 54% full throttle per lap means a total fuel usage of 90.45kg.

          Ferrari would only be carrying extra fuel and making themselves slower over the course of a race if they were to increase the size of their fuel tank or carry more unused fuel.

          They don’t need a bigger fuel tank, they need to turn the fuel that they already use into more power that propels the car forward thru the wheels.

          Part of Merc’s huge advantage is that making more power allows them to carry less fuel.

          Also Ferrari need to make more downforce and less drag, which is the holy grail of F1.

          The size of the fuel tank has absolutely no bearing on Ferrari’s performance… or Renault’s… maybe only Honda’s but that will be rectified next year hopefully.

    7. Ecclestone and Todt “colliding” over the halo issue. Hardly what I’d call and immovable object meeting an irresistable force….

    8. I’m with Ecclestone on this.
      The Mirror article is pathetic.

    9. Massa is correct! “The rules regarding yellow flags do not state clearly how much you have to slow down in case of a yellow flag or a double-waved yellow flag. I think it needs a number … “. This is so obvious it is surprising the rule writer overlooked it, but they did. I hope the rule is clarified before the start of the next race.

      1. Yes @drycrust, but ascribing a number or percentage is going to be both arbitrary and difficult. Will this number/percentage be the reduction in speed through the zone where the double waved yellow flags are shown (in which case how do they measure it accurately?) or will it be the speed reduction be required in the sector(s) where the double waved yellows are shown? If a driver passes the site of the incident and sees green flags further down the track, is he allowed to resume racing speed or must he wait until he physically passes the green flag? If it’s a percentage, then the Mercedes will have to slow down more that the Manor cars but will still go faster and be catching up the Manors. What happens if the driver is on an in-lap and going slowly already?
        There’s a slightly easier way of doing it to my mind- All practice lap times set when there are double waved yellows on the course are eliminated. Drivers will still have to demonstrate that they ‘slowed down and were prepared to stop’ as per the existing waved yellow rules, but they will not be able to record that lap time for the purposes of qualifying. What would be wrong with that?

        1. Nico did nothing wrong so I think it would be a mistake to react in a knee-jerk way. Slowing 20kph as he did would ensure he was in absolute control of the car in the dry conditions they were in. In this case the double yellow was very brief as FA never was stalled and quickly moved along. In wet conditions or had FA stalled then the doubles would have remained or they would have called off the session or VSC’ed it, so the system is working fine. I think if FM, LH, and SV had been in Nico’s shoes they would have done exactly the same thing, and would not be talking about changing yellow flag rules.

          Anybody that has said Nico couldn’t have known if it was safe around the next corner is being sensationalistic. All drivers have to go by what the flags on the track and on the steering wheel are saying as well as the radio comm. Any danger had disappeared when FA moved along, and Nico getting the green flag to step on it again, and the lack of any penalty, is proof that he did indeed know exactly the situation and the danger level.

          1. If he did nothing wrong there would be No uproar with other drivers than Hamilton. There is.

          2. The rule for double yellow flags is something like “significant reduction in speed”. I read Rosberg reduced his speed by 20 km/h, but no one has said what his speed was prior to braking. Without knowing that it is difficult to know whether the 20 km/h was a significant reduction or not.

    10. Kevin Queally
      28th July 2016, 11:55

      Halo would not have helped in the Bianchi accident at all

      1. Neither would have wheel tethers, should we not have those either?

    11. How ironic that the FIA continue to argue over safety ‘innovation’, when they cannot even enforce current safety rules.

      Sad to say, the powers that be just don’t get it.

      1. But again, they did enforce the safety rules. They did bring out the flags when needed and removed them when they quickly saw FA had not stalled. The drivers ahead did obey the flags but had to heed them longer than NR because they were going by a car that had not moved along quite yet. By the time Nico got there FA was gone. I think everybody did everything right…the marshals, all the drivers, and F1. It was just a perfect storm of timing that will rarely repeat itself, where Nico was still able to set a pole time on an improving track after a very brief set of flags that he obeyed for a very brief time until they saw FA had not stalled and there was never any need for people or equipment to come out on the track. If there had been further danger they already have safeguards in place by holding double yellows longer and on more corners, if not VSC’ing it, if not red flagging it all together. They obviously had no need to do anything more than they did.

    12. Oh @robbie!! Your whole life seems to revolve around Nico Rosberg!

      Nowhere in my comment did I mention Nico, nor did I make reference to his recent investigation. As a matter of fact, I made no mention of ANY specific rule.

      However, there definitely is a problem with certain F1 rules and their enforcement, including the flag rules you make mention of. If there wasn’t a problem, there wouldn’t be the ongoing discussion about it, which incidentally just happens to involve a significant number of current drivers on the grid, as well as a number of team principles.

      Lets not always jump to assumed conclusions, @robbie.

      1. Fair enough. I thought it was a safe assumption given Massa’s remarks and that some posters have responded to that too. Not sure what other rules you mean as you have not cited them. Also, don’t assume my life revolves around NR but I will defend him when I think he is being unfairly piled upon, or when some think their is some conspiracy that sees him escape penalties.

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