Porsche block Silverstone sale bid

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In the round-up: Porsche have vetoed a bid by Jaguar Land Rover to purchase Silverstone circuit from the BRDC.

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Claire Williams has expressed that Jenson Button is a “very attractive” option for a race seat next season, but @andrewt isn’t too sure if the feeling will be mutual…

I can imagine how attractive Button is for Williams, but I don’t really see how Williams can be attractive to Button. Williams was fortunate enough to have the Mercedes power unit at the very beginning of the turbo era, positioning themselves 2nd or 3rd power on the grid, but since then they are slowly but surely declining, and I don’t see the potential in them to reverse this process. Meanwhile, McLaren hit rock bottom with the suboptimal Honda engine last year, and I couldn’t say that their performace has gone rocket, but one of the biggest development curve is theirs. If I was Button, I wouldn’t want to go and struggle with a team that is going backwards, I would rather want to enjoy the fruition of my hard work of the last years. Big question of course, whether McLaren wants to retain him or not. We saw that Vandoorne seems to be a mature driver, but I still believe that “outsourcing” him to Manor to next year (or even for the remainder of this season), and letting Button and Alonso finish what they have started would be more beneficial and logical. Formula-1 is not always logical.

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On this day in F1

Jack Brabham moved closer to the championship with victory in the German Grand Prix 50 years ago today. However John Taylor was killed following a collision with Jacky Ickx.

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93 comments on “Porsche block Silverstone sale bid”

  1. OK Toto..Those pesky white track lines are gone. How about the Finish Line, Pit Lane Lines? Why have a track?

    1. Exactly, if Toto gets his way a Baja-buggy will be competitive simply by driving very short X-country ovals around the paddock, Bravo !

    2. He has a fair point: if you have gravel instead of asphalt in the run off, then you dont have to be looking for drivers respecting or not track limits, because nobody would want to gain an advantage for going off like they do now.

      1. Agreed. He’s not saying that he likes the idea of no track limits. He’s saying that it’s a lesser evil than the confusion that exists now with the asphalt run-offs. C’mon people. You have to read the WHOLE article.

    3. I don’t think he said anything about abolishing pit lane lines or the finish line, nor @hohum do I think he said anything about letting cars take short cuts. It’d be worth reading the article again.

      1. Yeah I agree with TW and if you read his last sentence he thinks they have it about right…set some track limits in some places for safety reasons but otherwise let the drivers, within reason of course, take the fastest route around the track. It’s not like drivers are going to completely re-invent their own track. They still have to position themselves properly for the next corner.

        1. “They still have to position themselves properly for the next corner.”
          That they can then ignore,and roll on to the next optional corner.

          1. Is that really what we’re seeing? Back in reality land the fastest way around tracks is not to do anything but go wide on a few corners here and there on some tracks.

      2. @robbie,@mike, sure, no advantage to be gained by straightlining chicanes or turning the esses into a parabola or a hairpin into a u-bend.

        1. @hohum As I said, I don’t that’s what Toto is suggesting at all.

  2. @CotD Well the real question is what do McLaren want. They have 2 cars 3 drivers. None of those seems easy to loose. But McLaren needs a young gun. Vandorne is the man to take them forward.

    In 2-3 years when their work matures their current drivers will be nearly 40, meanwhile Vandorne will be reaching peak F1 age.

    Granted in their day Alonso and Button were formidable champions, but those days are long way back.

    Which brings me to Williams, what plans would they have for the future, can Jenson ever hope to win with them?

    Seems like no race winning team is avaliable for.Jenson. Shouldnt he look elsewhere? Maybe WEC, etc, he could do with Le Mans and Indy 500 victories on his record.

    1. I think what COTD was trying to say was that Vandoorne would be better spending a year at Manor or somewhere lower down. This gets him up to speed while allowing Button and Alonso to continue their work.

      Also, is there any guarantee Vandoorne will be the driver McLaren really wants? Perez and Magnussen were / are both brilliant drivers, but it didn’t stop McLaren from controversially deciding that they weren’t the right ones after just a single season. What’s to say the same won’t happen again?

      1. Amen +1 they should not rush vandorne into mclaren. Let him build slowly with manor and by 2018 the mclaren has to be competitive by that time…surely

      2. Don’t forget Heikki, he was pure speed…. Recently he admitted to slowing Glock down to help Hamilton. B

        I guess Lewis and Alonso have even more in common than we thought. B teammates helping them win.

      3. @strontium, as you say, only two years ago Button was matched up against Magnussen, then being highly praised after a very strong season in Formula Renault 3.5 – and the net result was that Button beat Magnussen, outqualifying him 10-9 and heavily outscoring him.

        Button and Alonso may be amongst the older drivers in the field, but they can still pull out strong performances – Alonso managed to drag his car into the top 5 in Monaco earlier this season, whilst Button surprised everybody with his performance in Austria at a circuit that was supposed to be a relatively weak one for McLaren.

        Yes, people want to see young drivers enter the sport, but I’d agree that McLaren would benefit from easing Vandoorne into the sport by lending him out to a smaller team. Red Bull, swift as they were to promote Verstappen, still made him go through Toro Rosso before switching him to the parent team: Bianchi, meanwhile, actually preferred staying at Marussia for a little longer so he could focus on getting to grips with the car. Mercedes, meanwhile, are doing that for two of their drivers – Wehrlein is at Manor, whilst Ocon is being given seat time during practise sessions for Renault.

        1. Vandorne is ready, his first race he scored points, outdrove Button. He does not need easing with Manor at the back.

          1. Vandoorne didn’t outdrive Button in Bahrain. He qualified ahead, granted, but Button was ahead of him in the race and pulling away when he had a mechanical failure and was forced to retire. Had Button finished that race, he would have scored those first points and been a long way down the road. The facts on paper are very different to the facts of the actual race.

      4. I do not believe a year with Manor will do any good to Vandoorne what is he going to learn in a car that is arguabally less quick than the Super Formula car he is driving now? The comparison to Verstappens start in F1 seems nonsense to me. Vandoorne has several years of single seater car experience while Verstappen had only one year of car experience. If McLaren is serious about its young driver program, they should give Vandoorne a seat next year. If they don’t, just abolish the program completely, it’s a waste of resources.

    2. I think being newly single Jenson plans on milking that F1 status a little while longer.

      Can’t blame him. I’d say any WEC team is worse than being at Williams/Martini.

      Sure he won’t won’t the WDC but still he’s a champion already and WEC can easily come down the road.

    3. @jureo For the team like McLaren (history and statistics wise) they don’t need a “young gun”. Just like Ferrari, any driver will give very serious consideration of joining McLaren if they were approached. All this they need young driver talk is just people hoping a second coming of Lewis Hamilton, and frankly that role in this decade is probably Max Verstappen and he’s already taken.

      Alonso/Button is arguably the strongest pairing in the grid now, above Hamilton/Rosberg, Vettel/Raikkonen and Ricciado/Verstappen. Why they need to change that? If you saying future plan, putting Vandoorne on Manor or Sauber is much better option since if in 2-4 years ahead they back being WCC contenders, any drivers not in top team will gladly join the team, and if they aren’t competitive yet, drivers is the least of their problems.

      1. Mate…..Ricciardo/Verstappen are the strongest pairing…..easily.

        1. Mark, Red Bull might be doing well at the moment with that pairing, but I think that the test would be how well those two drivers cope with a car that might have a narrow set up window or more problematic handling – Red Bull have occasionally produced cars, such as in 2012, that were initially difficult to get to grips with.
          We occasionally saw Ricciardo become a little frustrated last year when the front end response of the car was poor – coping with adversity will be more of an acid test of how well they can respond and the strength of Red Bull’s line up.

          1. Anon. Why is being frustrated a negative for quality? If that would be the case I guess Alonso was the worst driver ever last year (and this year fir that matter).
            Comparing drivers in different teams is just extremely difficult. To me the fact is: nobody knows excactly.

          2. anon is right. Both Daniel and Max have weakness that you could never accuse JB or Fernando of having. They have weaknesses too but i think they are ahead overall. I think the only weakness in the Mclaren pairing is their qualifying. Neither are the best at that, but id say Fernando would still be a match for either of those 2 at Red Bull more often than not. And in a race they wouldn’t see him

          3. Ronald, with regards to Ricciardo becoming frustrated last year, it was not in the sense of outbursts of anger but in terms of being unable to come up with a solution to the issues with front end turn in that the RB11 had at the start of last year.

        2. And on what basis do you determine that? Alonso and Button are proven driver with well known strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly their performance is stable and rarely made driver errors. Ricciardo and Verstappen is fairly new and even after great season versus Vettel, Ricciardo doesn’t do well last year against Kvyat.

          1. Evil Homer (@)
            8th August 2016, 13:24

            Ricciardo did have a more car failures than Kyvat last year which really allowed Kyvat to get more points but data showed that Daniel was faster overall.
            There is nothing wrong with Ricciardo, or any other driver, to show their frustrations but when they do it constantly that’s when it gets too much.
            I don’t think Button will be at McLaren next year but it would be good to see him have some good results there before he moves on.

          2. Vettel had a lot mor car issues and penalties tha Ricciardo in 2014, also.

  3. You don’t need rose-tinted specs to see the beauty of that 66 Ferarri with it’s no-frills honesty of purpose.

    1. But you would if you also wanted to imply that we could in any way still have those cars.

    2. And what do you mean honesty of purpose? They had rules as well. And the modern cars are built to far, far higher standards. And I’m struggling to see what other purposes modern F1 cars are built to?

      1. @mike I’m guessing that what @hohum is pointing out is the pre-aero era. A more innocent time when it wasn’t so much about business as it is now. So much more in the hands of the drivers.

        1. @robbie, what do you mean by “so much more in the hands of the drivers”?

          Equally, were the 1960’s and 1970’s necessarily the “age of innocence” that we like to portray it as? If I recall well, Jenkinson didn’t look back on that era with fondness, complaining that the world of British motorsport was “rotten to the core” in that era due to cheating and political backstabbing (for example, the decision by other teams of the time to drive BRP out of the sport in the mid 1960’s by cutting it off from being able to receive prize money).

          1. @anon I simply took the phrase ‘no-frills’ to mean wingless and basically a tube with a steering wheel and a gear shifter on skinny tires. Thus, ‘in the drivers hands’ much moreso than today.

            The politics you speak of is an unfortunate side effect of human nature, the reference being made is one man’s opinion, and it still amounts to a more innocent time in general. A computerless age. A carbon fibre-less age. There was more of a romanticism about racing. About the bravery and determination of doing this deadly venture in spite of the massive risks to life and limb.

          2. @robbie, I do not mean to cause offence, but I still get the sense that the idea of this “lost innocence” is a filtered and idealised picture of the time by those who wish to hold that era up as some sort of lost ideal. There could be some extremely ruthless behaviour in that era – for example, Chapman had no qualms about effectively defrauding his customers over the Lotus 24 back in 1962 – which I feel is sometimes glossed over when looking at that era.

            Equally, Ferrari had already been experimenting with aerodynamic additions before that car came out. Forghieri had already tried out a version of the 158 with a centrally mounted wing back in 1964, an idea which had originally been trialled out by Michael May in sportscar racing in 1956 – however, Forghieri withdrew the idea because he was concerned that it would meet the same fate that May’s car did (May was expelled from the race he was taking part in because he ended up embarrassing Porsche’s works team).

            Wind tunnel was already a feature of the sport for the richer teams – Cooper had been using the Transport and Road Research laboratory since the 1950’s, whilst Ferrari, having previously used the University of Stuttgart, had built their own wind tunnel for scale models by the mid 1960’s – and the concept of using computers for design and data acquisition purposes was already being experimented with at the edges of F1 (Lotus were already experimenting with electronic telemetry systems back in 1963 – Jim Clark tested a version of the Lotus 29, Lotus’s Indy 500 entry, with such a system – whilst in the late 1960’s BRM experimented with a semi-electronic and semi-mechanical telemetry system for their test cars).

        2. Yeah, what we wouldn’t give to see the current crop of drivers race in such machines ( okay maybe with some of the modern tech to make them more reliable)

          1. @anon No offence taken. Going back to the 50’s there are some who say Ascari ‘only won for this reason or that’ eg. taking over his teammate’s car mid-race and going on to win it ie. akin to the ultimate team order.

            I still say, in spite of your examples, it was a more innocent time, and the thing is it is not like I, for one, am hoping for a return to those times. Just closer racing not destroyed by aero. I don’t think anyone realistically expects the clock to be wound back, nor thinks things were perfectly angelic back in the day. I think everything was new as it came up, including the business side and the politics. After all, it has always been a competition, and people are people. I would think too that without the media of today many fans would not have known these circumstances you cite and indeed were able to romanticize F1.

          2. @robbie, I’m glad that we can have an amicable discussion then.

            I do agree that there was an element of the media of the time tending to be less intrusive and therefore allowing something of a more idealised picture to build up. Some have suggested that, to a certain extent, there was something of a self reinforcing echo chamber at the time that created a negative feedback loop.

            Some motorsport journalists resented the criticism that the sport faced from mainstream journalists when more serious accidents pushed the sport into the mainstream news (for example, when von Trips lost control of his car and crashed into the crowd at the 1961 Italian GP, killing himself and 15 spectators).
            To that end, the world of motorsport journalism started to become a bit more insular and tended to be less questioning of the direction that the sport was taking, both for good and for ill, and even now that thinking does tend to colour our view of that era – we tend to celebrate the lighter side and lionise the drivers and designers, but at the same time we shy away from some of the darker truths.

        3. @robbie, you read me right but don’t forget the motor or Enzo will roll over in his grave. @ANON, a slippery body, 4 wheels and tyres with suspension to keep them in contact with the road, brakes, steering and a motor/transaxle to propel it, a car that could be driven anywhere you would take a sportscar, traffic and the law permitting, that is what I was getting at, no politics, no greed, no graft, just the beauty of form following function, and no I do not F1 to return to those days but I would love to be able to see them race again at the Goodwood Revival.

          1. @hohum, surely the entire point of any racing car – or at least one that is being designed by a competent designer – is that form should follow function? I don’t see why it is any more different in that regard to any other racing car. As for the “no politics, no greed, no graft” line, I think that is an extremely idealised and whitewashed picture of the time.

  4. I hope that Renault don’t go blue for next season. Their yellow livery was the most exciting livery in F1 since their very own 2010 livery. We already have blue cars on the grid anyway (Sauber).

    1. My thoughts too. Renault have often seemed to switch between yellow and blue, but I’ve always thought the yellow is much nicer.

      It is one of the few bright distinct liveries in F1 at the moment, to lose it to another dark livery would be a huge shame

    2. @ultimateuzair while I like colorful grids, I don’t think the current yellow livery is anything special. It’s just a yellow car. The 2010 car had a lot more details and it looked great. This one is quite dull.

      1. it looks great in person though @fer-no65!

    3. I know it was driven my Mild Seven sponsorship but those yellow and light blue Renault did look the best!

    4. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      7th August 2016, 21:41

      Alonso, Perez, Sainz, Gutierrez, Celis Jr. and dare I say Maldonado are possible drivers from countries in which the Movistar brand is active

  5. Toto doesn’t seem to understand that those “boring run-offs” exist for safety purposes, and if you instead turn them into racetrack, then the run-offs suddenly aren’t big enough anymore and have to be made even larger.

    At some point we have to have a track limit, and we might as well just use the ones that already exist.

    1. Those asphalt run off arent for f1, its a motogp requirement. To stop a more massive thing, like a car, gravel is better, but not so much for a bike…

      1. That’s not necessarily the case. Gravel presents the problem of a car digging in and wanting to flip. For example, see Alonso’s crash in Melbourne.

        1. a car flipping, disipates a lot of energy, and gravel slow the cars. Try slowing down with no wheels, in that alonso crash! (take a look on Buemi’s crash in China, as an example)

        2. @mike But in practice, car flipping because of gravel is very rare. Alonso flip is more exception rather than the rule. That, and car flipping in F1 is much more safer providing the driver harnesses and safety cell is intact. Thankfully both of them proved to be reliable so far.

          1. It’s worth remembering that F1 cars aren’t the only single-seaters around. Lighter cars are generally easier to flip, and they do flip more often.

          2. @craig-o It’s true, but for cars, gravel still the best option we had. The alternate is hitting the barrier at much higher speed if somehow the driver can’t shed the car speed (brake or suspension failure for example). Current racing cars always have roll structure to protect them from being crushed in case of flips. Gravel removal is primarily for bikes and I don’t blame it because riders don’t enjoy most protections a car driver has.

    2. @kanil I think there is very little that TW doesn’t understand about F1. Asphalt runoffs were brought in not only because cars were digging in and flipping in gravel, but also because in a lot of cases a driver having gone off can scrub off a lot of speed under braking before hitting a barrier, thus hitting it with less impact. Also, people were tiring of seeing their favourite drivers have their day ended for one little mistake, or being forced off by another driver, sitting in the kitty litter hugely penalized for something very small.

      TW is saying they have it about right. Police a few corners when it is a safety issue but otherwise let the drivers find the fastest way around the track. That is always going to be within reason most of the time anyway, because drivers still have to set themselves up properly for the next corner.

      I suggest too that this issue is as much an issue as it is right now because of the format of F1. Let’s see what happens next year and beyond with the wider cars and the increased mechanical grip. They will no doubt revisit the issue for certain corners at certain tracks in 2017.

      My general opinion…if they went the way of sensors and a no tolerance approach to staying within the white lines there will be less passing, more Monaco like processions at many more tracks, higher lap times, and they are trying to go the opposite way of that as indicated by changes for next year to decrease lap times and promote closer racing, but not processional racing.

  6. Seems a bit of a silly statement from an intelligent team manager …. surely there is more to Toto’s comments than simply removing the track limits.

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    7th August 2016, 1:55

    Well don’t Toro – that is the dumbest thing I’ve read for years. You don’t change the size of goals in football? What does that have to do with anything!? Certainly if the ball goes off the pitch, it’s a throw-in! You don’t give them 20cm leeway!!!

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      7th August 2016, 1:55

      Toro? Toto I mean….

    2. You’re missing his point: if it were gravel, instead of asphalt, there would be no need for track limits discussiobs like we have now, simply because no one would want to go off track if by doing so the get the car stuck on gravel or smashed against the wall. He have a really good point!

      1. maybe race control can throw a red flag if someone leaves the track? Forget about wasting money or being accountable, just throw a red flag.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        7th August 2016, 8:56

        @matiascasali – They got rid of gravel because they said it could flip the cars over. It’s a safety issue. The drivers have taken advantage of this and now use it to extend the track which was never the idea.

        They either return the gravel, a wall, a big kerb or police it and give warnings. I would prefer gravel but they are picking the safest option and the drivers take advantage of it so unfortunately, we are stuck with discussing track limits.

        Letting them ignore the track is crazy – why even have lines?

      3. ColdFly F1 (@)
        7th August 2016, 9:05

        They could put ‘virtual gravel’ there, @matiascasali. When passing the electronic loop the MGU-K cuts off for a few seconds.
        They can even paint it like gravel.

        1. 99.9% of the time they are not ‘ignoring the track’. Equating F1 cars racing each other around a track at high speeds with football or tennis lines is what is crazy.

          F1 with it’s current regs particularly wrt tires is processional enough as it is. Put virtual walls up everywhere and it’s Monaco everywhere…pole sitter wins in more cases than not. Races decided in a boardroom more often than not. Looking for more and more ways to penalize drivers for pushing, just like the tires do. No thanks.

  8. Abolishing track limits would fix ‘boring’ asphalt run-offs?

    would fix

    F1 in a nutshell over the last decade – throw it at the wall and see what sticks.

    1. Formatting didn’t work out, 2nd line should read: *insert outlandish request* would fix *insert unrelated supposed problem*

    2. fat chance. Too many people who should have gone in to retirement running the show, no other racing class is allowed to upstage F1 (look at WEC). and the people who write the rules don’t really seem interested in actually promoting honest competition, just showcasing Mercedes investment in to F1 (safety cars included).

  9. If Ricciardo wants to be a bad boy, I have some suggestions:

    -Deliberately violate team orders
    -Buy a Yamaha R1 motorcycle and give it 250 hp- and become legendary for speeding around wherever he lives… at night going from party to party
    -Get a Mohawk and lots of tattoos
    -Party harder than James Hunt- and show up to parties with at least 4 beautiful women
    -Go and ram-raid shops (well, maybe not.)
    -Be as politically incorrect as possible
    -At the end of every race, have a Fosters and give out free Fosters to fans of drinking age

    1. *Ram-raid shops- Top Gear style

    2. Fosters? Aussies never touch the stuff.

    3. Ricciardo has a great smile, but who thinks he is too nice? He can be a bit overly aggressive on track, has made some cutting remarks about other drivers, and we saw how he reacted when his team lost him the Monaco GP. Not saying he is a jerk — far from it. — but his ability to be assertive is already clear.

  10. Heikki had bad luck. The man had a quality car but he should have won a few more races. With better reliability he could have challenged for the WDC.

    1. Maybe it’s just my memory, but I remember Heikki being relatively rubbish…

    2. He was pretty good- he just had teammates like Alonso and Hamilton to contend with.

      1. Look at his Caterham years.Did well for a backmarker

  11. It is easy to say that drivers should go in to a wall or gravel if they go wide when your two drivers push people wide every race.

  12. Maybe Mclaren should convince williams to use Honda power as well and stick Vandoorne in the Williams.

    Not that it’ll ever happen but gee it would be good to see the old rivalry back between those 2 names again.

  13. If I was Jesnon Button, I’d definetely go to Williams for these reasons.

    Firstly, Mclaren will probably choose Vandoorne. If they won’t, they will lose him to another team and Vandoorne is seen as the greatest talent yet in F1 car, as talented, as probably Verstapen.

    Secondly, next year cars will change drastically, so no one really knows who can crack the rules and come out on top. Maybe Williams will find a ‘silver bullet’ and will come out with something similar as double diffuser. They can steal the march for the first part of the season and be already unreachable as the season goes to the second part.

    Thridly, regulations were changed so cars would be more exciting to drive. If I was F1 driver, I’d like to sample these exciting to drive cars at least for the end of my career. Maybe he will enjoy them much more than for the last 10 years.

    1. Sure, in theory Williams can found some magic trick and end up at the front. That’s highly unlikely to me: Williams was part of the group of teams (Brawn, Toyota and Williams) that discovered the double diffuser loophole and started 2009 with it. They weren’t at threat to the eventual championship winner.
      They got closer to the front in 2014 thanks to the Mercedes PU but are going backwards since then. They are like the British Ferrari at the moment: well placed in the overall order, but they lack the dynamic to go further up.

  14. Is there any record of the 1767 British ox-cart Grand Prix. Someone should look into the history of Silverstone. The ‘journalist’ from the Daily Telegraph obviously did not bother:

    The BDRC announced it intended to sell 249-year-old Silverstone over the track’s mounting losses and need for investment. In February members were warned: “We have no cash reserves to fund future development of the circuit”.

    1. Tommy Scragend
      7th August 2016, 10:46

      I think Jenson Button was on the podium…

      1. Sadly, Jenson has never been on the podium at Silverstone, he was indeed in second place that year until his engine was struck down with bovine flu!

  15. Toto has a point. Are we watching the racing or the strap indicating an investigation of a track limit excursion. If we had grease immediately beyond the track limits, drivers will respect it. The solution, is to have the race track immediately punish an excursion, and have stewards, monitoring safety, and not how many wheels you have off the white line.

  16. ….In Germany the pace was okay, but the Safety Car hurt us. I had to let Lewis through in the last stint – he lost out even more with the Safety Car. He wasn’t able to get past me, but in the end they asked me to let him go. And that stage it was quite clear that Lewis had more points, so I had to support him. It was the first time that they asked me to move over…

    That is Heikki’s take of events, but if memory serves me right, McLaren compromised Hamilton’s stop, so they could pit Heikki first to give him a jump on other competitors, and he had to give the position back. Heikki, finished 5th, Hamilton finished 1st. Had Heikki the pace, he would at least have finished on the podium.

    1. Yeah, I really didn’t remember that race as Heikki having the pace to beat Hamilton or win either

  17. Love to see that tractor in the middle of the track with F1s roaring around it in the mcGuinness tweet …
    Visibly the death of Jules Bianchi has not come to mind when preparing that ingition fest.

    1. Of course it didn’t come to mind. This is a demo. Speeds are low. Pavement was dry. Not a race. Rocks around the tractor. Were you so focused on the tractor and some outrage that you didn’t also see people standing right there too? This is chalk and cheese, no?

      1. @robbie no hard feelings dude, you seem upset for whatever reason.

  18. The thing with the runoff’s & kerbs that people in/around F1 tend to ignore is that F1 is 1 event that uses a circuit for 1 weekend a year & circuits don’t simply design these things solely for F1.
    These new wide kerbs that are really flat are not been designed primarily for F1 & are not even been designed solely by the FIA, There’s input from various governing bodies who represent various different categories & disciplines & to a large extent what we see at the sides of the racetracks of the world is something which takes considerations from all parties into account.

    For example these huge sausage kerbs that started popping up at chicanes which ended up launching open wheel cars were designed more for the bigger GT/Touring cars which were able to drive over/cut the older style kerbing which the open wheeler’s were less able to drive over.
    The flatter kerbing is something that is there more for the bikes than the cars as while the larger, angled serrated kerbing is fine for cars they can cause riders to fall off bikes much more easily.

    Gravel is another thing, The bikers largely hate it as a rider that fall’s off & slides into it tends to start tumbling around which is where a lot of the broken bone injuries tend to come from. With the tarmac they tend to slide across it while scrubbing off speed with less chance of broken bones.
    Open wheel cars also are more prone to flipping in gravel which has its own set of safety risks, Not just for the driver but also people at trackside as its not unheard of to see cars flip through gravel & get into/over the barriers/catch fencing (Ricardo Zonta at Stowe during testing at Silverstone in 2000 for example).
    Gravel also has a different set of issues for bigger cars which dig in far more easily & can be harder to drag out thus resulting in longer periods of yellow flag running/safety cars (See the Porsche Supercup race at Barcelona earlier this year). This is why many of the road circuits Nascar races at (Watkins Glen for example) have removed a lot of the gravel traps over the past decade.

    The other issue with gravel & open wheel cars like F1 is how much damage it does & how much control it takes away from the driver. For example look at Luciano Burti’s crash at Spa in 2001, When he went off the grass/Gravel at Blanchmont broke the front suspension on both sides of the car which not only took away his steering but also his ability to brake which resulted in a much larger, more serious accident. Had that been tarmac back then he’d have retained some level of control & been able to scrub off more speed & that accident wouldn’t have been as severe as it was (His injuries basically ended his F1 career lets not forget).
    There is also the issue that at higher speeds an single seater/open wheel car tends to just skip across the top of the gravel, Especially at places like at the top of Eau Rouge where the cars get a bit light anyway (See Jaques Villeneuve’s 2 accidents there in 98/99).

    Getting to solutions to the track limit issue, Its simple. Do what they did during the Hungary weekend & put pressure pads/timing loops in the kerbing & have a zero tolerance approach to anyone that pings the system. You do that & drivers will learn pretty quickly to stay within the white lines.
    Problem now however is that Charlie Whiting wants to do that but the strategy group don’t.

    1. Well said, thank you for reminding of the reasons why we have the kerbing and runoff areas we have at tracks nowadays @gt-racer.

      I think the part about cars getting stuck in gravel (and having to remove them taking a lot of time) is also a bit of a commercial issue when a track actually gets used for trackdays etc. Who wants a car to get in the gravel trap taking half an hour out of your track day (for races it also used to mean cars just got stranded instead of returning to the track.)!

    2. COTD by a wide margin. @gt-racer

  19. I’m not sure which driver and presumably qualifying session Wolff is referring to in this comment in the Motorsport article: “If you start analysing white lines and whether a driver has put two centimetres of his tyre on a white line and his lap time is going away, nobody understands any more.” I did a search to see if someone had their time removed under the circumstances stated by Wolff and couldn’t find one. As far as I know no one was penalised this year for having two wheels off the track and 2 cm of a tyre on the white line. Maybe there were several cases which were subject to stewards investigation under those circumstances, but I can’t see how a punishment would be handed out because the driver was just within the rules.
    The white lines designate the legitimate race track, so ideally no part of the car should be over it. If a car has two tyres off the track and two on the white line, then it is already 170, or even 178 cm, off the designated track, but the car isn’t 180 cm off the track.

    1. I think TW’s point is that IF they start penalizing drivers for 2 centimetres over the line people won’t understand that. He is fine with restrictions at some corners for safety reasons but obviously does not want to see a no tolerance situation.

      1. No, he said “…has put two centimetres of his tyre on a white line…” meaning the tyre isn’t off the white line, the car isn’t completely off the designated track. The car he is talking about is currently just on the designated track.

        1. @drycrust I think you are taking his wording too literally. On a white line, off a white line…his real point is only that if they made a hard and fast rule relating to white lines, and 2 centimetres were to decide a quali lap being discarded, or a driver penalized during a race, because of a mere 2 cm., that wouldn’t be accepted by the fans. So IF they changed the rule and all you had to do was touch a white line and there’d be consequences, that would not be good for F1, in TW’s opinion.

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