Mystery loss of downforce slowed Hamilton

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes found Lewis Hamilton’s car was not producing as much downforce as it should during qualifying.

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Chase Carey: F1’s saviour?
There’s been a lot of optimism about Liberty Media’s takeover of F1 – @Dragoll sounds a note of caution:

I think all the journalists, the teams, drivers and us are probably getting a little excited at the thought of Liberty’s control over F1. Despite your feelings on Bernie Ecclestone, F1 itself isn’t in a tragic state, there are still lots of fans, there are still sponsors, there are still drivers waiting in the support categories, there are still tracks wanting to be part of it.

I think everyone is probably a little excited about the thought of a new owner thinking that they will make wide sweeping changes to the sport. If one thing I’ve learned in all my years of following F1 is, that only minor changes will be implemented, because radical changes only weaken the brand, even if they are for the better, because you will no doubt upset some group of fans/teams/drivers/tracks/sponsors.

I predict few changes, however, I do hope they look to strengthen the financial situation of the sport.

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On this day in F1

Jackie Stewart, who already had the world championship wrapped up, took pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport today in 1971.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Mystery loss of downforce slowed Hamilton”

  1. As much as i oove drivers speaking freely, Fernando sounds bad saying that!!!

    1. Haha, I thought exactly the same!

  2. I’ve a suspicion that there is going to be a lot of tension & probably some issues around the new owners & the teams/fans at some point over the next few years because some of what i’m hearing been suggested behind the scenes would fundamentally change F1.

    Expanding to 25 races is already out in the public & there’s been a lot of push back around that idea from teams privately who feel its unworkable & overall probably not in the best interest of the sport as there’s an opinion (Backed up by some fan views i’ve read over the past few days) that adding more races will result in a lot of fans been less likely to watch every race (There’s apparently some data from Nascar that suggests a lot of its fanbase doesn’t watch more than half the season).

    But as I mentioned when the deal was 1st been discussed, There are somethings coming out suggesting that the new owners are very keen on going in a more entertainment oriented route & would not be against using gimmicks such as 2-3 shorter races and reverse grids to create that entertainment.
    Something I was told on Friday was that representatives of the new owners have already discussed using a success penalty system to prevent the same teams/drivers winning because they want more competition/unpredictability/different winners “at any cost”.

    I’ve also been told to expect to start seeing F1 marketed as an ‘Entertainment franchise’ rather than a sport going forward which will be a big signal regarding the direction they want to take things.

    With regards to online media, Live streaming of the world feed is unlikely due to existing broadcast contracts & there exclusivity clauses. However I have been told that streaming the additional content feeds (In-car cameras, pits, data, timing, tracking, rolling highlights) may be possible under existing deals & that discussions are going to be held with broadcasters to discuss FOM been able to produce & upload official highlight programs in the week after a race.

    1. Some scary possibilities for F1, however, without a solid agreement after 2020 with most of the teams…the ‘racing’ teams may leave the sport, er, entertainment franchise to pursue other ‘championships’. If they implement reverse grids and sprint kart races, I know I will.

    2. Interesting @gt-racer. I don’t mind if they focus on the entertainment aspect, personally, as long as they get it right. I don’t see them getting any kind of success ballast past the teams, I think the differences between American audiences and European/global audiences will be explained to them very assertively! They have said they’re not going to americanise it so I think they will be open to persuasion.
      Meanwhile if we get onboards and proper tracking etc, gps even, that will be real progress.

    3. I can’t shake the feeling that we’re overlooking the fact Liberty Media is cut from the same cloth as Sky and Comcast. I’m not excited about the aquisition at all. On the one hand we’ll get drivers allowed to put photos on instagram (woop dee doo) but on the other, more deals like the Sky exclusivity thing in UK. I bet we also see a Nascar-ification effort…”Get ready for the Gillette Best a Man Can Get Quali round 3 folks”, sprint cups, safety cars every time the advertisers (who paid for a spectacle, damnit) feel the action needs spicing up. Let’s hope the baby doesn’t go out with the bathwater. Or, actually, who cares, since plenty of us can’t/won’t watch past 2018 anyway.

      I hope I’m worried over nothing.

      1. Is sponsoring a qualifying period an acceptable negative if it means all the teams get a more equal share of the revenue?

  3. Usually getting close to a car in front of you is detrimental to your tire/brake temps because you drive in the hot air of the front runner, so I wonder If Verstappen could have stayed longer behind the Merc in run 2 of Q3 to get the front tire temperature up.

    1. I thought the tyre bit was due to loss of down-force when closely following; you start slipping ‘n sliding which increases tyres temps. @NewDust
      I’m not sure if outlap speeds are high enough to get the desired effect, and heating your tyres through ‘slippery friction’ rather than ‘downforce friction’ is likely to deteriorate the surface faster.
      (try it yourself: push a tennis ball on the ground and start rolling it, vs rubbing it on a rough surface. Both will heat up the ball, but the 2nd will ruin the surface of the ball as well).

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th September 2016, 2:33

    Oh I bet she likes his helmet…

    Sorry I couldn’t resist, lol.

    1. A, ohhhhh lol good one

    2. Beat me to it!

    3. Ay,ay, nudge nudge

  5. COTD couldnt be more wrong. Simple as that. Nobody interested in buying F1 was interested in keeping it the same.

    I’ve been saying for years, Bernie and CVC intentionally held back investment in online digital content distribution and social media investments.

    1) CVC was trying to get money out, not make a major investment and have to wait around another 5-10yrs to see recoup.
    2) By intentionally holding back investment, they actually increased the value of F1 because new owners would be salivating at the idea that all F1 needed was an upfront investment to reap rewards 5-10 years down the road. CVC had already made BILLIONS, no further investment was needed from their standpoint. I suspect by not investing in F1’s future CVC added another 1 Billion to the sale price – Always remember Bernie is still smarter than you ;-)

    Expect Liberty to make sweeping changes.

  6. Some would say if your going around a race track at 0.7 seconds slower then your teammate, then you will have less down force being produced.

  7. Dear Aunty.

    He’s a big boy now and can take responsibilty for himself. You don’t have to keep making excuses for him. I know your intentions are good but it’s time he learns to stand on his own two feet. He will love and respect you more for it in the long run.

    Yours affectionately,

  8. Definitely something not right with Hamilton’s car, no way in hell could they mess the set-up that bad and no way in hell he’s forgot to drive overnight….

  9. @keithcollantine, you forgot to link-in the article referring to ‘Mystery loss of downforce’.
    Many conspiracy theorists will be looking for that article ;-)

    1. If you believe Hamilton is all of a sudden 7 tenths slower then you’re just as bad as the conspiracy theorists….

      1. 2nd article explains the 0.7. Still no ‘mystery’.

        1. There’s no explanation, apparently he’s lacking downforce. How the hell does that happen this day and age with all the telemetry…..

      2. Why wouldn’t it possible? After all Rosberg was 7 tenths slower than Hamilton in Monza.

        1. Right…

          After all Rosberg is always 7tenths or more faster than Hamilton when he get pole!

          Particularly at Monza

          And always round this circuit because he always beats Hamilton here…

          Err hold on a minute?

          Honestly some people.

    2. Nope, it’s part of the first article linked.

      1. No it is not.
        The article merely quotes that HAM does not understand it yet. Hardly a ‘mystery’.

        1. @coldfly

          It is in the first article if you read further down.

          “However, it later emerged that his car may have had a problem – Mercedes’ data was showing it was producing less aerodynamic downforce than Rosberg’s, which would explain the lack of grip.”

          1. still not a ‘mystery’,@philipgb, and it was merely a journo guessing (no quotes).
            The 2nd article makes it crystal clear full of Toto quotes: less track time, did not find the right set-up!

  10. @Dragoll I largely agree, albeit I would advise a broader dose of caution. Liberty Media has bought F1 for the same reason CVC bought F1; not out of sporting philanthropy, but to make money. What will ultimately distinguish Liberty from CVC is the time-frame they intend to make their money over.

    For CVC, F1 was a short-term project anticipated to last eight years (it ultimately took ten) whereby the value of the purchase was exploited through aggressive short-term tactics which paid little attention to ultimate health of the sport. Experimental races in India and Korea as well as new markets like Russia and Azerbaijan, on top of pay TV deals all did wonders for the sale value of F1’s commercial platform, but has simultaneously seen audiences drop by a third since 2008. Reconciling F1 with lost fans, learning the lessons of F1’s immediate rivals like MotoGP and WEC and dismantling CVC/Bernie’s commercial cartel would be all be very sound tactics if Liberty wanted to reap the rewards of a long-term engagement, but CVC “vulture” tactics might be more appropriate if Liberty wants to walk away anytime soon.

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