Bernie Ecclestone, Silverstone, 2016

Ecclestone contradicts Vettel over Halo: ‘Most drivers don’t want it’

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone rejects Sebastian Vettel’s claim that the vast majority of drivers want to see Halo introduced.

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Comment of the day

Sebastian Vettel feels F1’s engines still aren’t loud enough but not everyone agrees:

The first F1 race that I attended was Hungary 2014 and my first impression of the engine sound was really positive. Just at the level for me to not need ear plugs, you can hear the commentator speaking on the public address and you could talk to people sitting next to you but when the GP2 cars came out, I got annoyed because the sound was just too unbearably loud..

So, I do not believe that the engine sound is a big factor. It’s more like the cost of having the F1 channel and the tickets to attend the races. F1 doesn’t seem to understand that it is not just the cost of the grand prix tickets, it’s also the cost of accommodation and the commute/taxi/bus/train to the circuit (and back) which adds up to an expensive event to attend.
@Dam00r

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  • 34 comments on “Ecclestone contradicts Vettel over Halo: ‘Most drivers don’t want it’”

    1. The ideas for wet starts and no changes to cars during red flags are music to my ears. Common sense and F1 aren’t usually things I associate with each other. Keep it up.

      1. Wet starts after extended ‘formation laps’ behind the safety car is exactly what I asked for following the British GP, so I’m happy with that.

        I feel that work under red flag should be permitted for damage only (ie: if you are following the red flag causing crash and are showered with debris), but not to change settings or tyres for tactical reasons. If ‘damage’ causes a tyre change, it should be to a tyre of the same compound (ie: not getting a free stop like Grosjean in Australia).

        1. No need for complicated rules like that with the red flags. No changes, simple as that. Got some damage from an incident? Bad luck, that’s racing, etc…

        2. My fear is that they’ll keep the cars behind the safety car for an excessive period before feeling it’s safe to start…

          1. No work might mean starting on slicks in the wet or full wets on a dry-ish track. Or even on a potentially punctured tyre. That is stupid

            1. @bascb – So if you’re on wets and you want to change to slicks or have a puncture, you can do so on the grid but have to take a drive-through the following lap? Or you have to move to the back of the grid?

              The idea is to stop people from simply bolting on brand new tyres and taking a free pitstop which neutralises any strategic battles.

            2. @petebaldwin I think that’s a fantastic idea. Allow them to work on the car, in exchange for a drive through, or even a stop-go, as pitting a lap later would cost more time than a drive-through

      2. @petebaldwin Not wishing to be a downer but keep in mind the Strategy Group is very good at promising things and not so good at delivering them. Case in point: Banning drivers from receiving assistance on the radio…

        1. Well yeah fair enough – at least it’s a positive intention!

      3. It’s a great idea, but funnily enough reminds me of the standing starts they wanted to indroduce after a safety car. Except instead of being mid-race, it is at the start.

    2. Awww! Poor Perez and Hulk, 10 wasted years.

    3. * I will take Vettel’s word over Bernie. I’d love to know when the last time Bernie actually spoke to all of the drivers on the grid.

      * Wet standing starts: Great.

      * Not really a surprise that senior drivers think Max’s moves were not right. A few more DNF’s will fix that, especially when it happens in a car capable of fighting for a title.

      1. – I will take Vettel’s word over Bernie. I’d love to know when the last time Bernie actually spoke to all of the drivers on the grid.

        It’s a clown show. What comes up next?

        On another topic, Formula E are not afraid to push the boundaries.
        Who knows, they might be the first to race a proper ventilated closed cockpit in line with 21st century race cars we saw from Mclaren, Williams and the rest while F1 painstakingly decide whether to throw on a pair of thongs or not on their cars in the name of safety.

        1. …and when Formula E finally exceed 100mph for any length of time, the closed cockpits may actually be of benefit…

          I’ve tried umpteen times to be impressed with FE; yet it is consistently less thrilling to watch than a corporate team day at the local karting ‘track’.

    4. Why does everyone go on about how loud the cars are? It’s not the decibels that suck, it’s the type of sound that the cars produce. They can still be quiet and sound really good.
      But the current cars sound terrible. Even the electric noise of Formula E sounds better :(

      1. Have you heard the cars live or just on TV?

        In my opinion the real problem with the noise is the placement of the on-board mic and the sound mix. They sound fantastic live. FOM could do a lot to improve the broadcast sound, if only Bernie wanted them to..

      2. @ivz I agree with you actually. It is way more than the fact that they are really quiet, they sound TERRIBLE. I think it might be down to a lack of revs to a large extent.

        I have heard them live @mcjamweasel and was absolutely appalled. It was 2 years ago and I am still horrified!

    5. Maybe the halo does need some refining and more research done before it is introduced but I cannot help but feel it has been knocked back for 2017 because of one man’s outdated, pigheaded attitude.

      Regarding Max Verstappen’s defence of his aggressive driving; yes perhaps champions of the past may watch and think your driving is fine and maybe some of them would have done the same things themselves. However if you carried out those moves when driving against them I can’t help but think that one of those you mentioned would have gone to you after the race and giving you a slapping.

      1. Max has Jos for that……

    6. Senior drivers criticising Max shows how sanitised the sport has become. When he entired they all speculated cars had become too easy to drive. Now he’s showing them what can be done. Clearly for years the limits haven’t been found. This is the sort of driving, on the edge, defensive, attacking, aggressive and decisive, that we used to love about F1. The old guard have gotten too comfortable and too safe and he’s shaking them up. Good on him, long may it continue.

      1. @hahostolze It’s more that a lot of the more experienced drivers were around 10-15 years ago when certain things were agreed.
        Things like moving around in the braking zone, Moving in response to a car behind & making more than 1 move (Especially when your close to/in the braking phase) were all things that drivers along with the FIA agreed were not acceptable.

        Moving in the braking zones especially was something that can be very dangerous, Especially if you move across the front end of a car behind as you then take all the air off his front wing which takes away grip & braking efficiency & has been the cause of many an airborn accident over the years.

      2. No, it shows how nuanced racing at this elite level is. A move in a breaking zone, however small, is not on. The drivers put their faith in each other to drive to in accordance with the agreed terms of engagement when out on track. The facts are clear, Max did make small moves in the breaking zone after Raikkonen committed to his moves and that isn’t on.

        Max is talented and has achieved more than anyone could have imagined at this stage of his career, but he would do well to show some humility and take this one on the chin.

      3. So let’s count this one. Drivers who think Verstappen’s defence was OK: Max. People who think Max’s defence was not OK: Raikonnen, Vettel, Alonso, Button and Perez. I think if you polled all of the other drivers, that trend would follow. Actually, I think you would be hard pressed to find a single driver that thought it was ok.
        Those fans out there who thought Max was impressive in his defence, I agree with you! He obviously did it within the rules and was the winner at the end of the day. However, moving line in the braking zones is way more dangerous than anything Rosberg did in qualifying despite all the media attention on Rosberg. If all the drivers decide to defend like Verstappen, then look forward to Nascar type crashes all the time or even worse, drivers that are too scared to overtake.

        Rosberg got away with ignoring the yellow flag rules on a technicality. Verstappen got away with defending dangerously on a technicality. I don’t want more rules here and I don’t think either case needs to be seen in that light. In reality, I am asking for a return to the already established position of driving. If you see a yellow flag, Lift. If someone is attacking you, don’t change line in the breaking zones. Nothing new here, it’s the same rules that have always existed.

      4. What I don’t understand when watching the video of this incident is what the alternative is for Verstappen (or any other driver in the same situation).
        1: They’re approaching the entry of Turn 3. RAI makes a move on the outside, VES then moves to the outside, using his only “change-of-direction” that he is allowed in the Rules of Engagement.
        2: a couple of meters later, RAI switches back to the inside
        3: VES reaches the point where he needs to brake and turn into Turn 3. He does so, staying on the racing line, but because this is a turn to the left, he switches direction. It is now the Braking zone as well.

        What should he have done differently? If he doesn’t turn left into Turn 3, he’ll drive off the track. If he doesn’t brake, he ‘ll drive off the track. He didn’t brake late, so he didn’t overshoot the apex of the turn.

        Perhaps RAI was a bit optimistic in thinking VES would overshoot and he would be able to make a pass on the inside. Or he was a bit late on this straight to make a double-direction-pass-move. The straight just ended and RAI ran out of straight before the pass was completed.

        VES definitely changed direction twice, but that second time was just entering a turn. I don’t see anything wrong with this move. You can’t expect a driver to overshoot a turn, just because the driver behind is making a pass on the inside.

    7. So, the situation is this. Halo is out, which is great because the fans hate it. Until a tyre hits someone in the head. Then it’s in.

      1. @mike So the odds are that it’s unlikely to happen. Considering the probability of flying debris, tyres or whatever, hitting a driver on the head is extremely low. Sure, it has happened, with tragic consequences, but how many race miles per head impact fatality?

        1. I’m sorry, I can’t remember who’s head it was that nearly got skid marks on if from Mark Webber’s car. In fact, wasn’t there a similar incident last year? I think it involved a McLaren, or was it both McLarens?

          1. @drycrust Not sure about the crash you are talking about.
            Last year Raikkonen got nearly scalped by Alonso at the start of the Austrian GP.
            In 2012, flying debris from the Grosjean crash flew past Button’s head by a few centimetres.

    8. Re the delay in mandatory Halo (or similar) fitting to cars.
      I think it is sad. It seems the way a driver’s helmet looks on TV is more important than the driver’s safety.

      1. Last F1 driver to be killed specifically by flying debris was Ayrton Senna, 22 years a go. It just isn’t necessary, wheel tethers and helmet design improvements have largely mitigated the risk.

        1. And halo with a big probability would not have saved Senna’s life.

    9. Regarding COTD, I’m sorry but this chap said he went to his 1st GP in 2014. How can he have an idea of what the sound was like in 2013 and before? This is just nonsense. It’s like saying a musical genre is good and not worse than others, but you actually never listened to anything else. And don’t come and say that you could clearly hear on TV how it was, because clearly this was never the case. I can still remember going to Monza the 1st time, I could not believe the cars were the same I used to watch on TV. It was mind and ear – blowing, literally.
      Anyway, this is an old topic, and I wasn’t about to bring it back, hadn’t it been for COTD.

    10. I cannot say enough how much I hate yellow, bating journalism! What a way to twist Raikkonen’s words in that Perez interview

      Raikkonen never said anything about being happy to see other drivers disappointed. He was talking specifically about the anti-Raikkonen British press who were wishing for him to go and wrote ridiculous things against him. But they’d found a way to distort even that

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