Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2016

Ferrari knows where rivals’ advantage is – Vettel

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari has identified where it is losing out to the competition following recent races.

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Could the drivers of yesteryear have stood up to today’s racers even when they were in their prime?

Unfortunately no matter how good the drivers were back in the sixties and seventies they would not be as good as today’s drivers, purely because of advancements in training and young nurturing. This happens in every way of life, records get broken eventually because naturally we get better as more is invested in it. Look back on old Olympic games and what they needed to do to get the gold medal and compare to today.

I’m in no way saying the older generation were not very good drivers, they were the best of that era. If they had access to today’s technologies and workout regimes back then they would have been even faster. You can only compare one person with another when they’ve had equal opportunities.
David Bell

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  • 86 comments on “Ferrari knows where rivals’ advantage is – Vettel”

    1. “Everyone wants to go back to a F1 that doesn’t exist anymore” food for thought ? Perhaps having 500 engineers monitoring the cars performance does not provide very good value to the spectators or the teams. Perhaps a personnel cap could work where a spending cap would not ? Perhaps a smaller team with a lower budget could benefit by having slightly less power but more consistent reliability like Brabham in 1966 ? Maybe less could be more .

      1. Agreed – personnel caps seem to work very well in LMS and Indycar – seems like the obvious solution!

        1. Any kind of cap is impractical. Personnel or financial, the problem with the cap is that the top F1 teams can easily afford to work under shells of other companies that just so happen to be working on something that’s also applicable to the F1 team. It’s simply impossible to police (unless the FIA quite literally turns F1 into Big Brother), especially with today’s technology, they could hire engineers to work mission control from the comfort of their own home.

          “Perhaps having 500 engineers monitoring the cars performance does not provide very good value to the spectators or the teams”

          Alternatively I’d put forward that what’s not providing good value is having all that information and action being hidden from the spectators, and that it provides too much value to the teams. Having the teams communication and data channels being open would make it worth less to the top teams to spend so much due to other teams being able to access more easily what they do develop. The financial edge would be lessened and the fans would gain greater insight into the technical advancements each team does develop and how that impacts the order on the track.

          It’s got its own faults but it’s a different take. I just can’t ever see trying to cap the teams working, the top teams have way too much money to get around it.

          1. It’s not just the larger teams that would object either – Frank Williams was bitterly opposed to the idea of any sort of personnel cap (and equally opposed to budget capping, an idea which has tended to be yoked to the idea of personnel caps).

            For a personnel cap to work, he believed that it would require continuous monitoring of Williams’s work force by a third party (to account for things such as contingent workers etc.) – as far as he was concerned, that sort of intrusive monitoring, which he saw as interference in the way that he directed the team, was completely unacceptable.

      2. @hohum Personally I love F1 because I like to see all kind of creative and advancements the teams will bring. I don’t care if the race is “boring” or one team dominates. In fact, on dominance I enjoy it because I want to see how the others will catch up and turning the tables on them. IMO sports is not about spectators or fan enjoyment. Whether they like it or not, shouldn’t matter to the competitors. Entertainment is for spectators enjoyment. Hence my sport intake is F1 and my entertainment comes from WWE.

        1. I agree @sonicslv, the reason F1 is my chosen form of 4wheel motor racing is the technical challenge (which in the past often spawned different solutions) but once the flag drops I think the car should be autonomous , this is just another technical challenge for the engineers, to make a car that the driver can master without recourse to 500 engineers at the factory. If we had fewer design regulations we would need fewer engineers to find different solutions rather than more engineers refining the same solutions.

          1. @hohum I respectfully disagree on autonomous car. My preference for F1 is the “ultimate” solution. Actually if they could made the car a drone and the driver controlling in the pit or go full AI, I don’t really mind. I agree on opening design regulations, not necessarily as radical as drone cars, but having multiple teams providing different kind of new solutions is really one of the thrill of following F1.

            1. We already have sim racing, and we already have radio controlled cars. These are great hobbies but not spectator sports. Spectators engage with the human element – any motorsport that takes the driver out of the car will have limited audience appeal.

        2. My two favourite sports (or ‘sports’) are F1 and WWE, as well.

          I actually consider them both to be Sports Entertainment, too. Wrestling openly prides itself on being such (WWE actually came up with the sports entertainment term in order to bypass certain sporting based state laws and charges. In short, it was a money saving exercise, and a rebranding to reflect the fact the general public knew it was entertainment), but I also don’t know of any other sport that refers to itself so openly as a ‘show’ as F1 does.

          I also don’t recall any other sport changing its rules so often in the name of entertainment, DRS probably being the biggest addition of them all.

          1. There are f1 fans who are also actual real fans of WWE? Ummm, uh, no comment. It must be the tights your into, no other explanation for a grown man to watch fake wrestling.

            1. “Fake is like the worst word you could possibly use to describe anything. You know? What is fake? It’s a television show, and a live performance. Nothings’s fake about it.

              We’re not telling you we’re out there fighting each other. We’re going out there to entertain you. I consider myself an athlete. I train like an athlete, I eat like an athlete, I recover and get sore just like any other athlete.

              We’re not lying to anybody.

              People just don’t understand the art form of what we do. It’s a mental and physical grind. You can’t be a dolt in this industry. On the opposite end of that, you can be the smartest guy in the world and not understand what it is to have a presence on the stage.

              Being a character, executing a live performance, understanding what it is to connect with a crowd and elicit a specific response at a specific time using moves and body language and emotions.

              What we do is very complex. It’s underappreciated.”

              -Seth Rollins

              Parallels can be drawn. At the end of the day I think “motorsports entertainment” could indeed be a very apt description of Formula 1 and that is in no way disparaging or belittling. One day we may all just be proven to be marks, who can even say?

            2. @ibrahim A grown man can appreciate pro-wrestling just fine. A man-child need to throw childish uneducated insult to feel like a grown man.

              @Tristan I don’t agree F1 is motorsport entertainment for the reasons in my reply to ecwdanshelby below. But maybe we all are just marks ;)

          2. @ecwdanselby And I actually glad they coined the term “sports entertainment” too which is an accurate description of what they’re doing. For me F1 still a sport because every competitor stick to the rules (instead of everyone accepting illusion of the rules like in pro wrestling). About rule changing though, I prefer rules changes often if it was for better instead of insisting of no rule change even if it was silly (everyone but the main referee not seeing the ball has been inside the goal? Then no goal for you).

            1. Just wanted to say for sure I agree, I definitely think F1 is a sport and they are competitors, their main aim is racing hard and fast, to compete. The entertainment and characters are a factor though, but secondary to the competition, unlike wrestling.

              My comment above was a bit of devil’s advocate + hopefully education for @ibrahim re: “no other explanation for a grown man to watch fake wrestling”

              I think where @ecwdanselby is a touch wrong is with “I also don’t know of any other sport that refers to itself so openly as a ‘show’ as F1 does.” Ecclestone has been referring to F1 as “show business” for a few couple years quite heavily, but the drivers/teams/just about everyone else involved has come out since and really put a nail in that misunderstanding.

              Occasionally “the show” (re: noise, overtaking, television, excitement, characters, etc, all the things the masses apparently like about F1) gets brought up, but I think there’s a big difference between “the show” and “a show”.

        3. Duncan Snowden
          17th August 2016, 19:20

          “I enjoy it”

          “IMO sports is not about spectators or fan enjoyment.”

          Well, which is it?

          If someone’s deriving their income from selling tickets, sponsorship, and TV rights, it has to be about spectators and their enjoyment. If they’re not entertaining the people who’re paying their wages, they’re out of a job.

          Now, that’s not to say that all sports are necessarily the same kind of entertainment as pro-wrestling. For most professional sports the fans’ enjoyment comes from genuine, unmanaged, competition, and if the feeling became widespread that they were “fixed”, they’d lose their audience. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t, when all’s said and done, showbiz.

          Nor am I saying that F1 should be about wheel-to-wheel racing and nothing else. Far from it. F1 is a particular form of motorsport, and that should be preserved: constructor-teams, innovative technology, the pinnacle of engineering, etc. Otherwise, it becomes something else. But to claim that it – or any professional sport – isn’t about spectators at all is just absurd.

          1. What I mean is “if you enjoy it then good, if not feel free to find another thing that you enjoy”. And I enjoy F1 because I happen to enjoy non spec series racing, i.e. car development is part of the game not just about drivers.

            Also the difference is the competitors itself doesn’t really care about ticket sales or how many people watching (they care about that for sponsorships, not for the competition itself). The one who care about that is the promotors. If no one watching, the teams and drivers will still compete just for the sake of competition (assuming money and time is not a problem). Compare with entertainment, for example WWE, which the wrestlers is there for the spectators. No spectators means they don’t have reason to wrestle.

            1. Duncan Snowden
              17th August 2016, 21:14

              “If no one watching, the teams and drivers will still compete just for the sake of competition (assuming money and time is not a problem).”</em.

              Well, yes. You can't assume that money wouldn't be a problem when almost all of it comes from the spectators.

              To be clear, I don't entirely disagree with you. If the show is put above everything else, including genuine competition, then it's no longer sport; it becomes something else. You're just overstating the case when you say that it isn't “about” entertaining the fans. That's absolutely what it's about: entertaining the fans with real competition.

              I’ve no doubt that there would be motor racing if nobody cared to watch it, but it wouldn’t – couldn’t – be professional and there’d be a lot less of it. Professional sport is in the entertainment business. That’s why it exists.

            2. Duncan Snowden
              17th August 2016, 21:15

              Darn. Can someone close that tag, please?

      3. It is remarkable he made that statement to My take on that is the comment section of the website is in my perception quite anti modern day F1. There seems to be nothing about current F1 that commenters over there are in agreement with. The negativity is high over there.
        Here, however, fans are selective on what to condemn and what not to.
        So, I would say to Smedley, no, it is not everyone who wants F1 to go back to any era, maybe some of the audience if I am to judge based on negativity comments.
        I watch F1 because I find the sport quite exciting due to the engineering solutions of various teams and their consequent fallouts and of course the never-ending F1 politics.
        The sport is not perfect. There are changes required, alarmingly in the finacial distribution area, while forward-looking engineering changes are normal. Going backwards technologically in F1 is contrary to the DNA of the sport if such a thing even exists.
        Call me naive, but I do believe that majority of F1 fans don’t want the sport to scrap the technological advancements the sport has achieved in favour of some past era.

        1. Tata, is it that particular website or is it Motorsport magazine that you are thinking of? I know that a number of commenters on the Motorsport magazine have a visceral hatred of anything that is more modern than about 1975 and have some views that I think most would find unorthodox (I recall seeing one person on that site state, after Bianchi’s fatal accident, that he would be quite happy to see one or two drivers die every season because it would make F1 “more of a man’s sport”).

          1. I do go to the website to get my motorsport news and most times I scroll down to see what fans are discussing. Yes, you are right about the Bianchi comment. I have wondered where the negativity comes from being that, in my opinion at least, has very good journalists whose articles I enjoy reading.
            The general tone over there is such that I or any commenter here would not dare get involved in as it is a nihilist form of F1 which commenters there seem to promote irrespective of the content of the article published.
            I find it quite extraordinary.

        2. What is with all these strange fans such as yourself? Ones that watch f1 for the engineering??? The tactics??? People that come on here and say they are not interested in wheel to wheel racing, the sound, the visceral excitement. Please, please, stick to motorsports manager games and stay away.

          1. The engineering side is very exciting if you are sensitive to it @ibrahim. It’s completely OK if you are not, it’s a shame if you can’t understand that others are.

          2. @ibrahim I like the tactics, the drama, the engineering is absolutely amazing. There is nothing better than learning, oh, that’s how this works.

            Do I have to go away now?

            I think, if you decide to ignore that stuff, you miss out on so much the sport has to offer. Please, please, stick to need for speed. ;P

      4. F1 is a team sport. A team consists of many people. Please don’t speak for others as you do not know what others like. I like ‘Team Sports’. I know that F1 is more than the driver, the driver is just one part of the team. The driver without the team of engineers is nothing and would lose every race. Where is the citation as to spectators and teams being weary? F1 has always been a rich boys club where the richest and biggest teams have an advantage. It is the same in the real world. I don’t get why some people want to go backwards. I and everyone I know does not. Bring on the future. If you want to watch old races (1966) then the video has been invented. I say video because a blu-ray or streaming would be too modern for you.

      5. The problem with the personnel caps is that they only affect what the teams bring to the track– not what’s back in the factory. I say get rid of the mission controls, and limit the teams to track-side analysis and strategy.

        I think Ferrari and Williams would have won more races in the past two years as a result.

    2. My vote goes to the MSV track limits solution, simple, sensible, not hugely expensive, what’s not to like ?

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        17th August 2016, 7:52

        I like the next level, electronic detection with automatic MGU-K cut off.
        It’s like ‘digital gravel’: immediate impact after leaving track & no need for (arbitrary) steward reviews.

        1. Totally agree. It seems such an obvious and doable solution one wonders why it is not on the table.

          1. What if a frontrunner goes slightly off track and suddenly deccelerates resulting in the car running behind crashing into him?

            1. ColdFly F1 (@)
              17th August 2016, 11:53

              1) only happens when off track;
              2) if car follows, will happen to him as well;
              3) same effect/risk as when there is real gravel;
              4) not deceleration, but more like lack of acceleration.

            2. I think the cars are already slow enough, but that is about to change next year. For now I think they should not make any hard and fast rules until they see how the new cars do with respect to kerbs.

              I don’t want to see electronic eyes determining race outcomes in a boardroom, and I really don’t want to see a driver’s car interfered with by having power taken away. That’s way too much ‘big government’ for my liking. The drivers are already so limited (until next year) and for now I don’t want them stifled even further. The punishment for going wide should be that that slows you down via proper kerb design. Going wide should not be faster at the corners in question.

            3. @coldfly There has to be a point in which it kicks in. Meaning there has to be potential for one car to slow while another doesn’t. And surprise changes in closing speed it dangerous.

            4. ColdFly F1 (@)
              18th August 2016, 7:20

              I don’t see problems (which can’t be overcome), @mike.
              The loss of MGU-K ‘kicks-in’ the millisecond you exit the track (track loop detected by a car sensor connected to the ECU).
              If there is a car behind it will have left the track as well, and incur the same loss of MGU-K.
              It is no deceleration but merely a slower acceleration.
              The risk of collision with a car behind is exactly the same as when 2 cars leave the track and hit actual gravel or grass, without the risk of jumping around or spinning into each other.

              And I’m not worried about a car not using MGU-K in a corner (@gt-racer). 1) when not using MGU-K you cannot gain time when leaving the track (I’m not talking about cutting chicanes); 2) if the cut is 2secs, then there is less acceleration after the corner; 3) ‘so be it’; I’d rather have a simple, straight-forward solution than steward reviews.

            5. @coldfly

              … “If there is a car behind it will have left the track as well, and incur the same loss of MGU-K.”

              … What if if goes off slightly less? Like, just enough less to avoid the penalty?

              Or, what if, one driver is forced wide by a rogue Nico Rosberg that got loose? If the driver pushed wide goes off the track, he will get the penalty, yes? Stewards are a necessary evil I think.

        2. @coldfly An automatic MGU-K cutoff wouldn’t really have a consistent effect as the MGU-K isn’t always ‘on’, Different teams & different drivers have different per lap programs for when power from the MGU-K is been used. If a team/driver isn’t making use of the MGU-K at a point where its been cutoff for running wide then the system is rendered useless.

          Additionally there are safety concerns for any system that cuts power automatically as that would potentially cause a balance shift which could unsettle the car enough to cause a loss of control which could cause issues for cars behind. Additionally as already pointed out a car suddenly not accelerating when it should be could easily catch out any driver running close behind so thats an additional safety risk.

          Also worth considering that the systems on the car that control the hybrid/engine systems are completely separate to the FOM timing transponders that would be pinging these off track sensors & that linking the systems together let alone getting the 2 systems to talk to each other would not be as simple as one might believe as there systems that were never designed to communicate with one another & in the case of the transponder/timing system likely won’t even have any way of outputting to the cars electronics let alone having any way of telling it to shut off power.

          1. @gt-racer @coldfly I like the idea of “digital gravel”, but instead of cutting off MGU-K they can slow down the car speed xx% or xx kph for y seconds for obvious safety reason. Considering every car used BBW, the ECU can be programmed relatively easy for this. A silly (or overpowered) version of cutting power exists in GT5 or Forza 3 which actually asking big accident to happen.

    3. Merc’s advantage is a rule in the sporting regulations :) Ferrari’s advantage is it’s money, Renault and Honda are waiting to be hauled off, RBR have money, maybe even more money, Williams are fading away with out Toto’s investment, Manor are up and coming with Toto’s investment, the rest will be lucky to stay in business.

      1. @xsavior Staying in business is not about luck. Many small budget teams survives for years while many moderate or big budget teams out of F1. The key of survivability is the difference of how much you spent and how much your income is. Don’t exaggerate your target to sponsors, failing to meet that is always bad especially if its catastrophic failure, e.g. don’t say you compete for 5-6th on WDC when your car is barely getting out of Q1.

        1. yeah, but they are not competing to win, they are competing for air time :)

      2. No, Mercedes advantage is that they realized how difficult 2014 was going to be, and started developing early. I would go so far as to suggest their 2012 and 2013 cars were technology test beds for the 2014 challenger. Anyone who thinks the Mercedes is only winning because of the engine just isn’t paying attention.

        The number of cars that the drivers aren’t having to manhandle through the corners is pretty low, and it’s mainly the W07 and the RB12– even the Ferrari is a bit high strung, and requires a bit of management through the corners.

        Right now, I would say the RB12 and W07 are very close in aero, the SF16 and W07 are very close on power, and Renault isn’t nearly as far down on bhp as they’d like you to believe.

        Finally, if Honda can straighten out their ERS deficit and turbo problems, McLaren / Honda is going to be a top 5 team next year– possibly top 3.

    4. Electronic detection is yet another example of too much innovation for no good reason. You want drivers to respect track limits? Simple: stop making track limits easy to abuse.

      1. @maciek I disagree, F1 is should keep churning out innovation, even though it looks like over engineered or a much simple or cheaper alternative solution available. The point is once we have the tech, someone will find the good use of it for other field.

        1. If there’s one thing I’m really realising now, is too much technology sterilises everything. It takes away the human element which we tune in to watch. The same goes for track limits in my opinion.

        2. F1 is not churning out any innovation here. The technology has been used around the world for years to ticket drivers running red lights or speeding. No one is going to find a new for something years on the market just because F1 decided to start using it.

          1. @paulk The technology used doesn’t need to be wiring loop. Let them over engineer something and let the game began ;)

      2. @maciek Problem is that a lot of the circuits where track limits are easier to abuse are cases where the kerbs/runoff are not been designed purely with F1 in mind.

        Look at Austria for example, A lot of the changes to the kerbs & runoff for this year which allowed drivers to run wider than in the past were done for the MotoGp bikes which returned to the circuit this year. They even changed the final corner last week & brought the exit kerb outwards to tighten/slow it for the bikes & will be making further changes to kerbs, runoff, barriers & the final corner for next year to make it even more suitable for the bikes going forward after rider feedback over the weekend.

        Raised kerbs, Grass/astroturf & gravel bahind the kerbs are things riders don’t like because these things have a far greater affect on bikes/riders when compared to cars/drivers & circuits don’t have the time or money to be constantly changing things throughout the year depending on what category is racing there the next weekend so they have to try & find a solution that is considered suitable for everything.

      3. Over in IndyCar, at Long Beach this year, Simon Pagenaud cut the exit of the pit lane to hold onto his race lead, and while the stewards decided he was guilty, they gave no punishment because they hadn’t punished any of the other drivers who had committed the same offense (none of them had been referred to the stewards).

        However– at the very next race, a week later, IndyCar installed a timing loop at the pit exit, and enforced a hard rule on crossing it, with an instant drive-through for any infractions. To my knowledge, everyone felt this was a fair, reasonable response, implemented quickly and cleanly, without any bickering about ‘oo killed ‘oo.

        I don’t really care WHAT F1 decides to do– personally, I think they should bring back gravel, or low-friction paint, and make it “ill advised” to exceed track limits– but do *something*. Make a decision, and stand by it. Don’t decide to do one thing this week, and something completely different next week, but above all, if the fans, the teams, and the drivers tell you something is a bad idea… reconsider, BEFORE changing the rules.

    5. An idea I’ve had, which I might’ve mentioned a few races ago, to improve F1 dramatically. Change how the coverage is presented. Currently, on sky for example, you have 2 people going on and on for the entire race. They’re never excited about anything, and they always tell you what will happen next. Change that. I watched a bit of NBC coverage (I think), and it was amazing the difference of excitement that can create. Commentators who know less, but you can hear the enthusiasm they have for it. Having complete predictability, knowing how the race will play out with half distance to go, is boring.

      If you look at the best races, it’s always the ones where you can’t predict the end result. It’s always the ones where they’re is an unexpected safety car. The solution is simple: don’t have a guy at Pirelli asking how long the tyre compound will last, don’t have a guy at Ferrari asking what lap they’re bringing Seb in, and don’t have a guy at Mercedes asking who’s tyres have more life left. One of the big problems is the commentators are largely looking at timing screens, graphics, charts, etc., which means they aren’t focusing on what the viewer sees (and therefore cares about). That’s what made the NBC commentary so much more excited, they were focused on what I was focused on. And with the technologies always improving, it’s never been worse than now.

      All these things are informative to the viewer, but just makes it so much duller to watch. It’s always nice to know where they are up to in a race, so you can follow it properly, but knowing what’s going to happen next? Boring.

      1. Big +1 for this

      2. I agree that a huge amount can be done with hte coverage @strontium. It should start with going back to showing exciting shots of the cars on track instead of focussing on shots that show off the advertising, allow for the cranky CGI ads and show off how nice the buildings in Sochi, Abu Dhabi, Baku, etc look.

        And yes, the commentary can do with some more spice in it as well.

      3. @strontium I hope there is a solution for this starting next year…closer racing. Unpredictability via 6 or 8 cars that could win on any given Sunday. If the problem is knowing what is going to happen next, that’s a problem with the product on the track, and we shouldn’t have to depend on commentators to mask that.

        1. @robbie I very much agree there is a problem on track, however I do feel that, as @bascb said, so much can done with the coverage to help. When you watch Formula One on TV, the coverage is part of the experience. That’s why they have an hour (or 1h 30m) of pre-show build-up, then half an hour after the race. It improves the experience of what you are watching. I feel that the same goes for the actual race itself

        2. @robbie As with most years with large changes, gaps are likely to grow, not shrink.

      4. @strontium I personally much prefer the Sky commentators compared to the NBC team. I move between both the UK & US quite a bit as i’ve family in both & always dread it when i’m in the US & have to watch NBC.

        Leigh Diffey isn’t bad & I like the way Steve Matchett describes some of the more technical stuff but I hate David Hobb’s & hate how both Hobb’s & Matchett have a habit of making strange noises for no reason. They do the same when they do commentary for Indycar at times & there just as infuriating.

        On the sky side I like David Croft, Always have from when he was doing the radio commentary for the BBC to him taking the lead on sky. I also really like Martin Brundle, He was great on ITV, BBC & is still just as good & enjoyable to listen to on Sky.

        @bascb The shots of the cityscapes & sponsor boards etc.. are simply FOM doing what there been asked to by Bernie. The promoters of some of these races pay to promote there country/city & Bernie then pushes that down to the TV crew & its the same with sponsors. Pirelli, Rolex etc.. pay to promote there brands & ask for as much TV exposure as possible.
        Host broadcasters used to do similar when they did the world feed (Monaco still do & go as far as to zoom into the ad’s & zoom out at places to get all the ad boards in) & while its something that in the past FOM didn’t have to worry about doing (See the old Digital+ broadcasts & early FOM world feed efforts) but as they have become the world feed broadcasters its something Bernie has begun requesting they do based off the requests of the promoters/sponsors.

        It’s something the FOM TV crew (F1 communications) would rather not have to do, They would love to go back & handle things as they used to & produce things as they did on the Digital+ coverage, But there’s meddling from outside the F1 Communications department now.

        1. I know that it’s certainly deliberate, and Its pretty clear why (afterall these are the parties who pay incredible money to actually have the circus in town) and something commercial rather than anything to do with not being able to make great shots @gt-racer!

          I would just love to not have it and give the crew the opportunity to make the best shots, and show the best shots to cover the racing. We can all dream, right :-)

        2. @gt-racer I feel that Croft’s commentary has gone downhill massively since he joined sky. Whether he’s deliberately been asked to make his commentary sensationalist, or has just let himself go, is unknown to me, but I really cannot stand him. One of the reasons I loved his radio commentary was because, as I was saying about the TV coverage, they are focused on the action that is happening. Listening to some of his old radio commentaries played alongside the video footage is incredible.

          I also feel Brundle doesn’t seem as enthusiastic anymore. Everything is responded with monotone voice saying “yeah but the teams and drivers know that the limit there is set at…”, and I really struggle to listen to what he is saying. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is incredibly knowledgeable and it’s great, but there’s no variety in what he says.

          1. I think the best we had in recent years was the one season of DC and Brundle, just the viewpoints of two former drivers is real insight. I agree Brundle over the last two seasons fluctuates from FIA mouthpiece one moment, to, barely can control his outrage over another wet safety car start.

            1. @ibrahim That season with Brundle & Coulthard was the worst as I simply hate DC’s commentary style & monotone voice that fails to draw any excitement from anything.

              I’m a big fan of Ben Edwards based on his indycar & f1 commentaries in the past but i just can’t watch his more recent f1 stuff on the bbc or channel 4 because i just can’t stand coulthard. i could watch sky or c4 but always go with sky because i think the croft/brundle duo are overall the better of the 2 commentary teams (all the interactive extra onboard camera feeds & stuff you get on sky is also another reason).

        3. You like Crofty? Well that explains a lot then.

        4. That’s funny. To me, Leigh Daffey makes my teeth itch (bring back Bob Varsha!), and the banter between Hobbo and Matchett is some of my favorite bits. I like Matchett most of the time, except for the fact that he really needs to come out of the Tifosi closet, and while Will Buxton used to be two of the most irritating things on the F1 grid, he’s really sharpening up as an F1 commentator and interviewer. His essays on Rosberg and Hamilton in 2014 are some of the best writing I’ve seen in F1 coverage.

          So apparently, different people like different things. Whatta shocker. :)

      5. I agree the coverage isn’t good @strontium but I think the problem is the commentators don’t know enough. Typically they don’t know the battery state, battery deployment, tyre temperatures, fuel status, brake temperatures etc etc. These are vital for the performance, but unknown.

        The result is they can’t explain to viewers why the cars and drivers are going faster or slower, attacking or defending. They have to guess. For example Brundle has only recently moved on from explaining every pass as ‘traction’ to saying vague things about ERS. He can’t see and neither can we (though FoM have recently added ES to a side-by-side graphic, I’m not sure Brundle has noticed tho). It took ages for everyone to get the significance of Rosberg’s flashing rear light in Spain.

        It makes it harder to get excited, though I wouldn’t want any more excitement from Crofty, personally.

        1. @lockup, I do not wish to be disparaging, but I think that part of the problem is the fact that Brundle’s relevant experience has dwindled to the point where he is not that much more knowledgable about the cars or the wider world of motorsport than the average fan, and sometimes he gives the impression that he doesn’t care about rectifying those gaps in his knowledge.

          It is now 20 years since Brundle last competitively drove an F1 car and 15 years since he raced as a full time professional driver in any form of motorsport (when he drove for Bentley in the 2001 24 Hours of Le Mans). The whole of the world of motorsport, not just F1, has changed radically since then, making it increasingly difficult for him to offer a relevant insight into the world of motorsport from the point of view of a driver.

          1. Yeah @anon I like Brundle but I have to agree. Di Resta’s punditry in FP was noticeably more clued up, and Ant’s is too as well as more amusing.

            Still it seems a bit insane that FoM don’t show us ES energy usage, considering it’s so crucial, and they even used to. I’d find the grasping more acceptable if at least they were good at product, like Sky. But if Brundle is out of touch, how do we describe Bernie? Who was already 17 when the transistor was invented!

      6. @strontium
        You can have our US coverage, it is TERRIBLE. They do that stupid cartoon voice anytime two cars get close to each other…

        It’s embarrassing, just like wrestling is.

    6. Personally, I cannot stand the electronic run-off detection system. I agree that the system has its advantages: it is consistent and in the long run it will work as a deterrent for drivers abusing track limits. But the major flaw, in my opinion, is that there is no correlation between how severe the mistake was and how severe the punishment is. With a natural punishment, if you go a bit wide you get a small penalty, if you go very wide you get a bigger penalty. The electronic system is binary: penalty or no penalty. And even if they start introducing penalties correlated to how severe the mistake was, it’s not going to end the discussion on track limits.

      But the main reason I dislike it: it’s just not satisfying. I hate it for the same reason I hate FOM’s CGI ads: it’s not real. A narrow (30cm) kerb stone with a strip of real grass solves the problem. It’s not rocket science.

      Some extra words on how the bumps in grass can be “quite dangerous”: that is EXACTLY the reason why real grass works so much better than artificial grass. Drivers know that SOMETIMES there are bumps in real grass, therefore they are much more likely to avoid ANY grass patch. It’s the consistent nature of artificial grass that means it simply doesn’t work (compare this to when it’s wet: artificial grass MAY be slippery, therefore ALL patches of artificial grass are avoided).

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        17th August 2016, 7:58

        if you go a bit wide you get a small penalty, if you go very wide you get a bigger penalty.

        That’s unfortunately not always true, @andae23.
        Best example is the gravel trap. If you just get in you might be stuck forever (especially when braking hard). Whereas when you ‘race though it’ you will reach the escape road at the end and can continue your race (& brake hard to ditch the gravel on track to impede the drivers behind you).

      2. I get your point, and I am not quite sure whether this is a good step or not either @andae23.

        One thing is the orgin of the wide spread complete ignorance of track limits – I think that the real issue is the FIA even accepting any argument about “not gaining an advantage” when a car goes over the track limit with more than a whole wheel in the first place.

        Now the question is how to get back to actually racing on the race track. I think that installing sensors in “sensitive” corners is a huge improvement over lacklustre policing just when the camera’s pick something up or a competing driver reports things.

        And yes, I do think that making the tracks’ edges more unfavorable to abuse would also be a step in the right direction. But we have seen how this is a balancing act between the various forms of racing and their own implications on safety and competition, meaning that is invevitably going to cost quite a bit of time even IF a consensus is reached on what works. And then it is going to cost money hardly any F1 track has to spare.

      3. I always liked the way Fuji had a small line of grass between the track and run-off area. Hitting the grass isn’t a big safety issue, but it will slow you down considerately

      4. @andae23 But so far F1 penalty is never applied by a machine. The wiring loop is there just to inform the stewards that car X is positively leaving the track. What penalty to give is still at stewards discretion. Think of it as the same of speeding in the pit lane. The system alerted the stewards that someone is speeding and they review it and give appropriate penalty.

        Also personally I think it should be binary. Leaving a track 1cm or 1m is violation and should have the same base of penalty adjusted by other circumstances (e.g. forced off track by someone else).

    7. It’s funny how Ferrari keep finding the areas they lack performance in and then despite their best efforts, fail to close the gap to the leaders yet again. It’s cute to see Sebastian following Fernando’s footsteps by driveling the same Ferrari PR optimism, while behind closed doors, he’s probably banging his head against a wall.

      1. +1

        Every year they say will be different. Every year they seem to disappoint. And always they say they “know what the problem is”.

        So glad Dan Ric didn’t get persuaded to jump.

        1. “Every year they seem to disappoint.”

          I really doubt a mostly consistent 2nd/3rd is disappointing, they say it is for sure but it keeps Ferrari in the motorsport headlines and the motoring enthusiasts conscience. Cements Ferrari as “among the worlds best” brands up there with Mercedes and Red Bull (even able to poach the latter’s talent purely due to their heritage), which is what F1 is all about.

          They will have their day again before F1 is over. I all but guarantee it.

      2. :-) pretty much this @todfod.

        They keep finding weaknesses instead of starting to actually find advantages. Their real issue is not the car as such but the way they go about making it, improving it and winning with it.

      3. Lol so true @todfod. “We have made a breakthrough by discovering we lack downforce”.

        1. I think you folks are being a bit unfair. I think indeed it is a good thing for a team if they can nail down where they lack, but that doesn’t mean they can just snap their fingers and make it happen. We have known for years now that teams that don’t nail their package in the off season often struggle to get it back significantly during the season, especially with the limited testing.

          1. Hm @robbie. But weren’t people saying the same when McLaren came up with “it was bad but we have learnt a lot aoubt our deficiencies” in ronspeak @robbie? Ferrari have been finding their weaknesses for years now. They have then reacted with changes to the car but never actually been able to really build a good car with it’s own strong points.

    8. Sem (@05abrahamsemere)
      17th August 2016, 8:18


      Shame for Seb, but I hope he jumps ship to Mercedes in 2018 so we can have a titanic battle between him and Hamilton – would be as legendary as Alonso v Hamilton or Senna v Prost…

      1. Sem (@05abrahamsemere)
        17th August 2016, 8:19

        Todfod :)

    9. If the circuit owners can’t enforce the track limits, Charlie isn’t competent enough to enforce it in the rule wording and the only way forward seems to be putting bus lane censors on track (that the paying audience will have no idea when a driver gets a ticket) maybe now’s the time to do something for the show.

      If I’m Bernie I’m going to bring up his famous track sprinklers idea again although instead of drenching the whole track just wetting the kerbs. Anyone who’s seen a wet race knows that the drivers avoid the kerbs in the wet and for good reason. If a driver does get out there he’s going to lose traction, squirm about a bit and increase the risk of dropping it which will teach him a lesson and provide some much needed entertainment.

    10. On Ferrari, I will if I may raise a difficult view. Everyone knows that James Allison has had awful personal problems and dilemmas to deal with, and all wish him genuine good wishes, but Ferrari has been dealt a big blow with all this. From what we read in the press, JA has been working only 4 days a week. He wanted this to continue plus undisturbed long w/ends with his family. This has been going on for a while now and seems to account for the team going backwards in performance since Spain. [The team begged him to be involved at Silverstone on the sunday, but he refused and stayed home just miles away in Oxon]

      Sympathy for JA’s predicament is all OK, but this is F1. It is Ferrari. Only total 100% commitment and nothing less can acceptable.

      1. Any source? This is the first time I heard about this issue (JA work pattern).

    11. Well, awesome F1 articles today…

      It is as if Ferrari did not know where they are behind their rivals? I can tell, seems like in sectros 1, 2 and 3. Mostly im the corners somewhat down the straights.

      I applaud their goal to promote from within, unlocking some potential. Changing, while providing much needed continuity.

      Speaking of changed yet much the same Fernando Alonso, on the limit on entry, on the limit on exit, he is a joy to watch… Also Honda does have the best sounding engine.

      Track limits? It is laughable the solution to this issue is not solved yet… Pretty much all sports have a decent solution in place except F1.

      F1 is about competition, its about racing nerds like Verstapen and racing heroes like Riciardo, on the limit like Alonso, braking like Hamilton and exploiting like Rosberg. Who cares about how exactly track limits or radio are governed… Get it done and focus on the good parts.

      1. Awesome articles provoking awesome comments, of which I think yours is one :)

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