Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

F1 would suffer from losing Alonso – Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton says Formula One will suffer if Fernando Alonso does quit F1 after next year.

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Here’s Charlie’s view on whether the FIA should respond to complaints over Verstappen’s defending at Spa.

The present one-move rule should had been scrapped the second DRS was adopted because it put one driver at a severe disadvantage to protect his position. Like I told others, while dangerous, Verstappen’s move was legal. Others had done it in the past.

Of all the things ‘borrowed’ from IndyCar by F1, I don’t think they would accept their definition of blocking and defending. Just watch this past weekend’s race (last ten laps) from Texas and see high speed defensive driving at its most intense.
Charliex (@Photogcw)

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Keith Collantine
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  • 76 comments on “F1 would suffer from losing Alonso – Hamilton”

    1. While I am huge fan of JV’s, the majority of what he says typically raises my eyebrows. However there wasn’t one thing I disagreed with in his comments and I’m not sure why Darren Heath criticises journalists for covering JV’s comments as I assume he’s doing by slating him as “no-mark”

      What is an echo-journalist anyway? Is it a photographer that thinks he’s a journalist and holier than thou?

      I’m actually surprised I didn’t see JV’s comments reported on F1 Fanatic…was it because the tweet was going to be included in the round-up?

      1. Sorry Keith, JV’s comments are there. Apologies!

      2. Everytime I feel myself starting to agree with JV’s comments I re-watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXbiBdWLoDg

        1. @fletchuk, point taken lol.

        2. ColdFly F1 (@)
          31st August 2016, 6:05

          and it will ‘echo’ in your head for days ;)
          @fletchuk

        3. haha Jacques at its finest!

        4. Oh man…that is bad on several different levels.

        5. Lol, better than DRic rap…

    2. I agree with what JV is saying wrt Max. And after all, JV witnessed first hand MS getting the same protection he is claiming Max must be getting. Something else I agree with…even though I got a kick out of Max’s feistiness in the post-race interviews… as soon as he said the two Ferraris ruined his race I thought, no Max you blew your start and desperately dived down the inside of turn one and so put yourself in that position to begin with. Racing incident? Ok fine call it that if you must, but had Max not blown his start and impatiently tried to make up for it in turn one, different story altogether.

      1. I agree that when you compare the action in Germany where Nico got a penalty and Max in Spa, it does point to an inconsistency @robbie.
        To suppose a conspiracy, or an intent from the FIA here is nonsense, because the various groups of stewards make it almost impossible to implement something like that.
        Rather, I am convinced that it is a result of having different, and different quality teams of stewards at ever race. Some feel the need to act on every move on track (some of the ex-drivers take a strict stance on those things or example), some are confident enough to let moves go without official investigation.

        Maybe JV saying this can be explained by the often plain biased stewarding that we had in the time he was driving, with Donnely and even Mosley directly taking part in some desicions and often favouring Ferrari.

        1. @bascb I don’t think JV is suggesting something as deep as a conspiracy. Perhaps an inconsistency with the stewarding, and a general desire to not squelch what little excitement there is in F1 these days.

    3. Sadly I don’t think Williams have a say in whether or not Force India take 4th. Other than Ferrari, Williams has been the biggest disappointment in Formula One, in my opinion. They have what was believed to be quite a strong lineup, and in 2014 they had what was the second or third strongest car. They were partly lucked into that position by the Mercedes engine, but it was their development and preparation that got them ahead of Force India (and McLaren, who had Mercedes engines at the time). They have a bigger budget than Force India (from what I understand, with the historic bonus and more recently higher constructor finishes), yet have just been sliding backwards with almost every race. The car’s performance is only part of the problem, with other problems coming in errors and reliability issues. From the position they were in, I had expected them to keep moving forward and be battling with the improving Ferrari and Red Bull teams at this stage, getting regular podiums, and picking up the pieces when Mercedes fails. Nobody was really expecting anything like dozens of wins and world championships, but the current state is not pleasant to look at.

      The worst thing is that they don’t seem to be making much attempt to change things to improve. They’ve been slipping like this for two years now and for some reason they aren’t noticeably changing much within the team, to stop the slide. McLaren, Ferrari, Renault, Manor, etc., have all made key changes since the new regulations came in, at least in an attempt to compete further up (even if it’s a failed attempt in some cases). They are slowly but surely slipping back to where they were a few years ago.

      1. Nepotism is rarely a successful succession strategy.

        1. I heard Claire’s boyfriend moved up from test engineer to race strategist, that may also explain some things…

          1. Yep, her boyfriend should be sacked. I’m available, Claire :)

          2. Is that true? In no way should a team principal’s boyfriend (or girlfriend) be working in said team, and certainly in not such a critical role. Just wow.

    4. Interesting news with regard to the Italian Grand Prix – is it fair to anticipate a possible announcement of the new contract at the upcoming race?

    5. “so we should spend 50 per cent less money on these fat complicated cars and have 26 fully competitive cars on a grid piloted by 26 ‘Verstappens’ who are all there on talent and not financial background.

      That’s utopia, probably a false dream, but should at least be a primary target. Then the grandstands would be full everywhere, TV sets switched on, sponsors aplenty, and viable profitable tracks fighting to promote races at fair prices to the loyal fans.”

      It’s hard to argue with that, shame it would never happen.

      I generally agree with Lewis about Fernando leaving, although the real worry will come when the best drivers start talking about leaving when they’re in their late 20’s. A driver in their mid 30’s going off to race in WEC, or another series isn’t too unusual, and you wouldn’t blame a double world champion for deciding to retire.
      Although in an ideal world, McLaren Honda would build him a decent car next season, and we’d get to see him fighting for podiums regularly.

    6. I agree with Hamilton. How does Alonso only have 2 world titles? It could have been a few more if he just thought a bit more about which team he would move to. Always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I say ”only 2”, winning just 1 is a big big achievement, but with Fernando’s talent he deserves ore. As good as Schumacher and best driver on the current grid in my opinion.

      1. Why does Alonso only have 2 titles? Three words: Grosjean. Petrov. Hamilton.

        1. @selbbin, Alonso needed to pass quite a few more drivers in the 2010 Abu Dhabi GP than just Petrov – he also needed to pass Kubica and Rosberg (he needed 4th place – 5th would have seen him tied on points, but he’d lose out on countback due to Vettel having more 4th place finishes). As for 2012, you could equally point to the collision between Alonso and Kimi in the Japanese GP as much as the collision with Grosjean in Belgium.

          1. +1. I forgot about that tangle with Kimi, it could have been avoided.

            1. Why does Alonso only have 2 titles? – 1 word – Ferrari!

      2. What always bugs me about people saying Alonso deserves more titles and is the best driver ever and so on, and also all the other drivers who are apparently all true greats while Vettel needs to proof his worth (yes yes its gotten better since he left Red Bull) is that….well basically Vettel had the chance to win the championship 4 times. You might say 5 but on the other hand the brawn was pretty dominant and red bull only got on form for a challenge pretty late, so, debatable point but i’d say that was not his title to loose. And he won 4 of them. Now that’s a successrate right there. On the other Hand, alonso had 5 clear shots at the title, but he managed two. And if you say his defeats were rather unlucky, well guess what, his titles were actually pretty lucky. In 2005 he inherited 3 (THREE) victories from an unlucky rai, even two of those would have given the title to Kimi. And in 2006 he inherited the crucial win in Japan, once again with his rival getting zero points, shifting the title battle massively in his favour at the most crucial moment. All the while pretty much the only patch of bad luck he had in those years was his engine blow in monza 06, wich didn’t cost him too much and did give zero points to schumacher. Sooooo… I don’t buy the hype. He’s good, but he’s massively overrated in my view.
        And Seb underrated by a countrymile.
        PS. the F2012 was a legit contender from race three or four at the latest, sorry to burst any bubbles.

        1. I don’t understand why you had to bring Vettel into this. Did I ever say that he needed to prove his worth? Did I even mention him in the comment? No. Vettel is of course another very good driver but in 2009 he could have won the title as the Brawn was only the best car in the first half of the year. In the second half, the Red Bull was the best. See? It works both ways. In the end, it’s a woulda, shoulda game, but in the end, things that you hope sometimes don’t happen. Like I said, I never said anything about Vettel and also acknowledge that he’s a great driver. Although I can’t help but feel that he’s becoming a bit more hot-headed as he was at Red Bull these days.

          1. @ultimateuzair You didn’t mention Vettel. But you mentioned that you think alonso deserves more WDCs. My Point is that i disagree and for me vettel illustrates this point as he, in my opinion, has shown he is the better driver and i tried to illustrate this. Also it IS kinda hard to rate one driver without rating others, as this is after all a competition :-)

            1. imo Vettel does need to prove – he won 4 titles, all in the best car and in 2 of those the RB was totally dominant, whereas while 2 were close with Alonso, the Red Bull was still the better car

            2. @dvb78
              By your logic, Alonso has yet to prove himself- his two titles were close with other drivers, and he had the best cars for those too.

            3. @david-a

              I would say the Benetton was not the best car when Alonso won, it was the Ferrari!

            4. @dvb78
              Ferrari weren’t behind at all, but Renault had the WCC car, despite Fisi showing less promise as a frontrunning driver than Massa.

        2. (@mrboerns)
          Considering no one actually mentioned Vettel, you seem to be compensating somewhat.

          But now you mention it, Vettel did have to prove his worth – in 2014. And he failed. He’s never been good wheel to wheel, and just when all his apologists felt he was going to justify all his championships, he proved himself not particularly fast or special either. Now he’s even starting to be matched by an old man who doesn’t care anymore.

          He’s the Piquet of our generation (to be fair that’s a little unfair on Piquet really), he’s won plenty of championships, but will be forgotten. He lucked into some of the most fortuitous circumstances any driver has ever experienced, and some incredible pieces of machinery designed by an utter genius.

          True greatness is not just statistics, it’s the story behind them. Alonso will be remembered as a great who deserved more championships, Vettel simply won’t be remembered at all.

          1. I have to admit that is another thing i just don’t get. Vettel’s racecraft is sometimes brought into question, other people’s racecraft as well, and it seems to be universally accepted that Lewis Hamilton is the class of the field in that respect. Now i just have to say, the last three years he had a car that physically cannot finish outside the top 3 or 5 if started from the back, and yet some people wet themselves over hs recovery drives. One race i remember in particular is Hockenheim 2014. People were all about Lewis’ overtaking skill…..well maybe i watched a different race, but every single broadcasted overtake was basically him bullying others to run wide by pretty much crashing them of the road, while even making contact and damaging frontwings at times…..but for lewis this is apparently ok….. Long Story short, i just don’t get some popular opinions on drivers, especially Ham, Alonso and Vettel

            1. (@mrboerns)
              Hamilton’s reputation being good wheel to wheel comes from the period in the late 2000s when he started being extremely aero dependent and overtaking being rare. He pulled off some amazing moves back then, when no one else on the grid was really doing it (apart from the odd move from Kimi and Alonso). You’re completely right that his new tactic is simply running people off the road – it’s cheap and pathetic, but the Sky commentators constantly defend it because ‘Senna.’

              Vettel’s reputation of being rubbish wheel to wheel stems from countless examples of him being rubbish wheel to wheel.

            2. Well I disagree on the Hamilton bit- Hockenheim 2014 was an incident packed race for him with many mistakes, I agree. But when you compare the races where he has had clean passes vs the ones he hasn’t, well it’s quite clear. You bring up Hockenheim as your example to discredit Ham’s wheel to wheel, I can also bring up Australia this year for Alonso, rear ending the Haas of Gutierrez. Not very good special awareness there was it. With Ham I can give you perhaps his most text book wheel to wheel drive in Bahrain 2014.

              Hamilton I don’t think “bullies” people off the track, but what I would say is that generally he defends the inside line and leaves you to go on the outside where- at the corner exit he gradually shuts the door and it is up to the driver behind to either hang on only to be run out of room or, of course, brake early and do the cutback. Hard? Yes. Bullying? No.

              But the fact of the matter is, Hamilton isn’t perfect, Alonso is perfect, none of them are. Ultimately things like this are subjective of course and you can use any scenario or statistic to prove a point. So I suppose on this instance I will have to disagree.

            3. Anonymous, as you said, before DRS and rubbish tyres, Hamilton was making up a proportionally huge percentage of the overtakes in any given race. The new regulations levelled the field by making overtaking easier, and forcing tyre-nursing above racing as fast as possible. Hamilton adapted by nursing tyres better and by being more cautious and calculating – and by relying more on race strategists. It’s why Formula 1 has gone backwards, period. It’s why here in Brazil, the grand prix isn’t even shown sometimes, still less qualifying. I presume that’s reflected elsewhere. That said, the only person Hamilton has pushed off track is Rosberg and within accepted racing limits.

              As for Alonso, I hope he stays. The people who need to go are others: Ecclestone, who’s greedy elitist commercialism has depopularized the sport, and the utterly useless Todt.

        3. Well reasoned comment. I believe Alonso is certainly one of the greats, but given how he faired against rookie Hamilton and how he is also fairing against JB I would say “best on the grid” is at the very least, debatable.

          1. True, but what I like to see is different styles of the best drivers. Raikkonen when he was still pacy, Vettel in qualifying, Alonso’s relentless skill with managing the car under duress, Verstappen’s unpredictable attacks and defense, etc. Formula 1 can’t afford to lose someone of Alonso’s calibre while he’s still racing well.

        4. @mrboerns
          I would argue that Alonso wasn’t particularly “lucky” in 2006, considering that he had mechanical failures while in positions to get good points in Hungary and Italy. These perhaps would have compensated for the points that Michael Schumacher lost in Japan and Brazil.

          A lot of this debate comes down to the difference between being “close” and being “unlucky”. Being a handful of points back in 2nd-3rd is “close”. Getting close because rivals were caught up in others’ incidents or because of better reliablity isn’t usually seen as “unlucky”.

          And of course, you’ll always have people who may or may not post anonymously who will type anything to be detractors of a driver. The majority of normal F1 fans recognise today’s champions that we’ve been watching for the last decade plus as greats, and not in need of proving themselves.

      3. In typical coulda, woulda, shoulda fashion, Fernando could have been a 5 time world champion by now. He could have easily added 2007, 2010, 2012 to the 2 he’s already got.

        I’m sure it irks him that he hasnt added more to his tally. History will be kind to Alonso. He will always be regarded in the top 10 best drivers to race in F1. I think his ability to be relentlessly determined while driving a less than perfect cars into results they weren’t worthy off has to be applauded.

        1. @jaymenon10 and he’s not the only one who has lost titles through bad luck.

          Even Schumacher could/should/might have won many more championships: in 1997 (if Velleneuve hadn’t tried a destined to fail lunge up the inside), 1998 (two punctures in Japan), 1999 (broken leg), 2005 (FIA rules rewrite to try and stop him), 2006 (engine failure in Japan), 2007 (he should have still been in the Ferrari). You could do the same with most successful drivers e.g. Fangio (1950, 1952). So if we count up the potential championships Alonso’s 5 is still well short of the greats.

          1. Schumacher cheated in 1997 and was rightly disqualified.

            1. And in 2006, alonso had an engine blow up in Italy and Schumacher had one in japan,so those two DNf’s even things out,so alonso won that one pretty fair. You can also take into account that the Ferrari was the best car for most of that year even though Renault had to take out the mass damper. Last but not least,I remember how Ferrari made the fia change michellin’s tires because they expanded a few millimeters.

            2. @toto no
              The Ferrari wasn’t considered better than the Renault for most of 2006. Ferrari had their own version of the mass damper that they had to remove as well. And since when did Ferrari make the FIA change Michelin’s tyres based on the claim in your last sentence?

    7. These two gained respect during the Vet years. And to Alo credit he still respects Ham who has a big advantage. I was so happy in 2014. It was a travesty Vet a 4xwc after 2013. Whilst imo Alo and Ham were the benchmark. And i still disagree Ham has it easy, Ros is by far LH quickest teammate. In these regs no merc overtakes eachother. But or Alo would not outqualify Nico let alone Lewis.

      1. dan,

        while I agree Alonso would not out-qualify Nico, he would more than likely beat him in the race.
        Alonso isn’t as great as Ham, Vettel, Rosberg or Ricc over 1 lap, but over a whole race distance he is better than all of them, and on par with Ham

      2. Ask Lewis who his toughest opponent was – and he always says Alonso!

      3. Nico Rosberg is not better or faster than Fernando Alonso was. Closer to Button if anything. And can you even explain how a driver deservedly winning multiple championships is a travesty?

    8. I’m French, and JV is co-commentator for Canal + on French TV. He says a lot of s–t, but a lot of true things nobody says loudly.
      He has a point on Verstappen and the FIA/FOM who wants to make him a star/a product.

      Anyway, it’s more than harsh to call an F1 world champion, IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner a “no-mark” man, as well as criticising reliable journos “echo-journalists”.
      I think he might regret it, that “utter no-mark echo-photographer”.

      1. Realistically, the FIA currently has no means to do any favouring with racing penalties @jeff1s (it was probably different with Donnely the head steward and Mosley taking part in some desicions when JV raced).

        The remark makes as much sense, and is as worthy of being echo’d in numerous copy past F1 news sites as any other conspiracy theory.

    9. Keith – it’s not a fine. A fine is something paid as punishment. It’s a demand to pay what they should have been paying over many years.

    10. “Giving a driver a 55-place grid penalty on a 22-car grid confuses and bores the fans.”

      A quote from the Brundle column. I wish the English language had a word that expresses just how angry I get when I am told by a pundit, a journalist, a driver or a senior tem figure that some aspect of F1 “confuses” or “bores” us fans. F1 is a complicated sport, but true fans always take the time to learn everything they can about what is going on. It is a massive part of the appeal of F1. Can we ever understand every single aspect of the sport in perfect detail without insider access, probably not. But we all try to get as good a handle on the sport as we can.

      We all know the grid penalty system is a nonsense, but it isn’t in any way confusing.

      1. @geemac
        He’s not talking about people like us, he’s talking about casual fans that make up the vast majority of the sport’s viewers, and for that type of fan the rules can be almost incomprehensibly complicated, confusing, and ridiculous.
        It took me five minutes to explain to my wife why Lewis had such a penalty, her follow up questions about why the rules are what they are took another half hour of explanaing. She still doesn’t fully understand why such complicated rules are in place, and to be honest, I don’t either, it’s bloody stupid and unnecessarily complicated, just like most of the sport’s rules.

        1. “And you call yourself a fan!” :P

        2. @beneboy Agreed, but complication doesn’t necessarily equal boring, even to casual fans.

          Case in point, when I get to work the first thing I do is check all my usual F1 sites for news. About a month ago I was looking at some detailed images of Honda’s PU when my boss walked past. “What’s that” he asked, I explained and 15 minutes later we were still talking about F1 PU’s, past and present. I don’t know everything about how they work, but I know enough to explain them to a layman and keep him engaged. The F1 press, who are better placed to do this than I am, have a duty to the sport to do the same.

          The most astonishing take away from that conversation with my boss was the fact that he had no idea F1 PU’s were hybrids despite the fact that we’ve been running these things since very early 2014. That is the fault of the F1 press. If they want to attract new fans they should explain things, don’t just say “shame, this is too much for your tiny brain to comprehend, look at a scantily clad grid girl and an advert for a shiny watch instead”. There are millions of people out there who like technology and engineering but who don’t watch motor racing, they could easily be brought into F1’s sphere of influence if the press produce better content.

      2. @geemac I agree with you. While F1 unnecessarily complicates things now and then, one should not expect simple rules from what claims to be the pinnacle of motorsport. You will normally need to spend some time and effort to get the basics of a sport that you are not familiar with. Much more time will be needed to understand the details. I recently started watching diving and it’s exactly the same. It seemed boring at the beginning as I did not know any rules. The more I learned, the more interesting it got.

        I actually tend to believe that complaints about complex rules is simply a side effect of the current lack of competition in F1. Mercedes are running away with both titles once again, nothing exciting to see there. So let us find other things to write / talk / complain about. It does not mean that some rules cannot be simplified or that this topic should be completely ignored. But I feel that the significance of the “confusion” is exaggerated.

        1. Agreed. If you look at most past times you’ll find complexity if you scratch below the surface. Even relatively old hat sports like golf and bowls are hideously complex if you care to look.

        2. I am with you guys too @geemac, @girts. What got me hooked on F1 ages ago were discussions over the technical details (bargeboards, hidden traction control etc.) I find all of that very interesting, and I would wager a bet that there are millions more people interested in high tech things than in motorracing as such, just for the racing.

          Sky itself is one of the biggest factors in the whole stupid humbug over “these engines are not loud enough”, promoting Bernie’s statement, despite the guy not having even heard them in life before he said so. Since then they have simply improved the coverage to be better and since we don’t hear the engines aloud anyway on TV (who would be able to hear the commentary), it’s largely a non-factor. Bernie doesn’t care for fans visiting the race.

      3. @geemac I couldn’t agree more. Those who want to understand exactly what the technical details of how the grid penalty are made up of (like us) can do it and understand how the teams might exploit the rules to their own needs. Those who don’t understand probably don’t care to and are happy to be told who starts where on the grid.

        As another example F1 engines now use a secondary combustion chamber rather than a spark in the cylinder, it’s complex to understand but it doesn’t make F1 any harder to watch because you don’t have to understand it if you don’t want to.

        Another thing is that a five place grid penalty to a driver qualifying on the back row has always been similarly pointless, but was in-force for years without managing to confuse anyone.

      4. Infurating?

        1. Sorry. Typo

          Infuriating

      5. We all agree that we must limit engines, I’ve heard no one come up with a better idea.

        The 55 grid drop isn’t confusing at all. I think it’s wrong to mix “omg liek, there isn’t even that many spots” with genuine confusion.

        If they are worried about confusion, I think they should focus on nailing down exactly what the track limit is. Because that seems to change every race.

    11. Verstappen is often compared to Senna and Schumacher. However, this is a different era and there are at least a couple of significant differences.

      Firstly, F1 has become safer. While significant progress was made in the 1980s and then again after 1994, F1 drivers were still seen as modern gladiators when Senna and Schumacher made their debuts. For sure, we all know very well that F1 is still dangerous and that a driver can still lose his life behind the wheel. That said, some manoeuvres, which might have been considered brave in the past, are now deemed to be just careless. It means that Verstappen can afford to do them without risking too much but it means that his opponents can do so, too. So bravery does not necessarily bring you the advantage it once did.

      Secondly, there were no podium interviews and no social media 10 or 20 years ago. Now you can boo any driver simply because he is not your favourite driver and then go to Twitter and Facebook to tell him that he is worthless. A lot of F1 “fans” gladly use both opportunities. It is definitely something that Verstappen will have to face. The criticism he has been getting after the Belgian GP is just the beginning.

      Perhaps Verstappen will deal with these challenges very well but it is clear that he has to climb a different kind of mountain than the greats from the past did.

      1. The impression I got was this was the first time people have actually not liked Verstappen’s style of driving. Usually people are very encouraging, so it was what happened on the track at this race that they don’t like.

    12. I have to say, ok, so if Verstappen’s defending on the straight was legal, but what about his ‘defense’ at les combes? he tried to make the corner, but that’s not the point, he missed the corner himself, and as a result forced raikkonen off the track. Now if that’s not forcing another driver off the track, I don’t know what is. and then his stupid remarks after the race (which I know cannot be policed by the fia)

      1. Edit: didn’t Hamilton get done for something similar at the start of Fuji 2008?

    13. @COTA:

      The thing is.. when DRS is deployed, the cars downforce is extremely unbalanced, it has a LOT more front grip compared to back.. that makes it very dangerous to do any steering more than just a little bit.. you will uncontrolably oversteer very easily. Thats why Raikonnen just cant got left right left right with DRS deployed like he could without it. He would crash. That is why DRS zones are always only on straights.. its just too dangerous to have it in corners.
      This could be solved by implementing front wing DRS too (Something Mercedes partially did in i believe 2012 with their S duct).. to maintain the downforce balance.

      1. Best reasons to drop DRS because it makes it dangerous. The thing is, what VErstappen does is more or less the only possible defence from a car coming up with DRS MikeeCZ.

        In a sense it’s a result of a driver thinking about how to NOT be automatically passed like that.

        1. I do agree on that, i am not fan of DRS at all, i believe that simple slip stream should be enough, like it is enough in majority of racing series. Altho the reason why its not enough in F1 is because they just cant follow closely enough to get a decent exit before the straight starts..

    14. Gordon Kirby’s article raises a point i’ve mentioned in the past in regards to the fact that it isn’t just F1 that is seeing declining attendance/tv ratings, It’s something that most categories seem to be struggling with.

      His view that the DTM is a success story is incorrect though as the DTM has seen a massive decline in it’s circuit attendance & TV figures over the past decade. Hockenheim for instance always used to be packed, Nowadays the place is half full on a good day & a decent amount of those are employee’s of the 3 manufacturer’s who get free tickets for themselves, friends & family.

      1. Yeah i dont find modern DTM very interesting, there are not many overtakes despite it being very close racing.. shows how very equal all the cars are and how the drivers input does not have a big influence

      2. @gt-racer, I agree that, whilst F1 does tend to draw more attention given the size of its audience, the wider world of motorsport is struggling as a whole to draw the sort of viewing figures that they used to.

        In the US, the top sportscar series chose to merge together to form the USCC because their individual support bases were not large enough to support those series for the long term, whilst it is long known that NASCAR has been slowly bleeding fans for quite a few years now – as for Indycar, I cannot see that series being more than just a pale shadow of what it once was.

        In Europe, most touring car series are struggling – the BTCC has reportedly seen its viewing figures drop fairly sharply in the past few years, and I agree that the general consensus seems to be that, far from thriving, attendance figures for DTM races have not been particularly good in recent years.
        The organisers of the DTM series had planned a merger with the Japanese Super GT series as part of a cost cutting drive – the two series already have a common chassis. They were going to have common engines and shared races in 2017 but, because the manufacturers in the DTM series can’t afford the development costs, the new engines now won’t come in until 2019 at the earliest (which is not a positive sign of the health of that series). Below that, quite a few national championships have dried up as sponsorship has become scarcer, leading to series amalgamating or collapsing.

        It is, as is noted in that article by Kirby, a problem that is in art down to demographics – statistics show that there has been a decline in interest in motorsport, and in automotive culture as a whole, amongst younger people. I’d suggest that it also reflects a declining interest in mainstream television channels as well – most long running TV series seem to struggle to maintain the sorts of viewing figures they had in the past.

    15. “Hamilton says Alonso retirement is a real possibility (Reuters)”

      :D F1 would loose nothing. Alonso pretty much is now at age Schumacher retired for the first time… When and if McLaren get their act together he’ll be pretty old for a GP driver. Granted he is awesome, but already he is in “semi” retirement, kinda like Kimi, Jenson, Masa, Old guard so to say. They are slowly being phased out by Riciardos, Verstapens, Seinzes etc…

    16. Re “Grappling with racing’s declining popularity”
      Sadly, true.

      1. Well thats just that. Racing is a 20th century thing. Now people are in to other kinds of stuff and sports… Even driving the cars is decling in popularity.

        Kids start driving later and drive less these days in our country. Having a car was #1 wish decade ago at age 18. Now its having an Iphone 6.

        :D Funny enough even interest in sex is declining. Go figure!

        1. @jureo I believe a large portion of the decline is related to F1’s policy of having races on Pay TV channels and not on Free to Air TV.

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