Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunta, 2017 tyre test, 2016

Pirelli says it has achieved lower tyre degradation

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Pirelli believes it has met its brief to reduce tyre degradation with its 2017 tyres.

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I was just thinking the other day ‘what has got better in F1 since I started watching religiously in 1996?’ Apart from safety and the standard of drivers, I honestly can’t think of one thing, it’s all been downhill.
Roth Man (@Rdotquestionmark)

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  • 86 comments on “Pirelli says it has achieved lower tyre degradation”

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      8th January 2017, 0:02

      Apologies for my COTD. I’d been eating member berries and was in a bad place. #makef1greatagain

      1. @rdotquestionmark “Yeah, I ‘member…”

        Well I thought it was a good starting point for a discussion! But definitely stay off the member berries.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          8th January 2017, 0:29

          😂 ‘Member when there was no DRS?.

          But yeah could provoke interesting comments.

          1. ‘Member Simtek?’ 🍇

            1. Member Taki Inoue? Member when there were real racers?

      2. @rdotquestionmark We all have those moments. But i response, there are a couple of things that I think has greatly improved since the 90’s. Car reliability, its nice to watch 15+ cars finish a race, it means towards the end, there is greater possibility of last minute overtakes. Another thing is the TV coverage, in the 80s and 90s, and even in the early 2000’s, the F1 coverage (especially in Australia) was woeful, now we get some serious in depth analysis of each sessions, including in depth coverage of the changes between races of cars/teams/drivers etc… One last thing that I think has improved since the 90’s is qualifying, I think the knockout system F1 has is far better than the old Friday + Saturday qualy sessions, far more exciting, without ruining the sport aspect.

        So, if you look a little into it, there are some improvements. The bad, we all know and have opinions on.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          8th January 2017, 2:31

          Yes very good points. In all fairness there are improvements here and there. Just easy to get swallowed up in the fundamental issues I guess.

        2. I think improvements in coverage (except the FOM feed) isn’t anything to do with F1.

          That’s wholly down to the broadcasters…

          Surely COTD refers more to improvements in actual F1?

        3. @dragoll I actually like poor reliability, as it makes race results less predictable. In the 90s there was a chance for some midfield car to finish on the podium, nowadays the podium is usually determined after the start. In my opinion, from time to time races should produce shock results, but unfortunately these races are getting extremely rare. I agree with you about the improved TV coverage and the qualifying format.

          1. Exactly, if Hamilton’s engine didn’t blow in Malaysia the last few races would have been completely different.

            1. if, “”if”” rules the world everything would be different.

          2. That’s why 2009.

            2009 was the best season ever. And the problem with today’s F1 is that people don’t agree with me on that.

            1. 2009 started with the same driver winning 6 races out of 7 and the defending champion driving a truck.

              2010 was a much better season.

            2. So people having a different opinion to you is the problem with F1.

          3. Poor reliability is not good for the fan at the track. There are too many, and long gaps with fewer cars racing. I withnessed this at the 2014 USGP when Caterham and Marussia didn’t show up because of their poor financial situation. That race thought me the importance of the back-markers in the sport. I now wish for super reliable cars and that in itself, offers more racing for the fans.

      3. @rdotquestionmark One thing I’d say has been on a downhill perhaps since before ’96 is the sense of speed captured by the camera. A few of the on-board shots last year recaptured a bit of that, here’s hoping they add more of that this year.

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          8th January 2017, 9:29

          @davidnotcoulthard Yes very true, I was just watching a replay of the F3 race from Pau and with the track being tight and twisty, the TV cameras were frantically trying to keep up with the cars, combined with an aggressive engine note it felt very fast even at a fraction of the speed of F1. I can’t see it changing in F1 though as I suspect these long camera angles are to show sponsorship 😔.

        2. Really, Really long focal length lenses + image stabilization means rarely having to switch cameras– and makes a car doing 200+ down the Monza straight look like a Volvo out for a Sunday afternoon drive.

          1. I’ve always noticed the same thing with the focal length and wondered if it was a safety issue and if they let the cameras as close as they used to.

      4. Member when Istanbul Park was part of the championship? I wish it still was part of it. And BTW, this is the first time I’ve seen a South Park reference here on F1fanatic or any other F1-related website, LOL.

        1. Ah we’ve definitely had some before. I remember this one. And some Futurama too!

          1. @keithcollantine Ah, Captain Hindsight, that’s a good one. I didn’t use this site at that time, so I wasn’t aware of that until now.

    2. Apex Assassin
      8th January 2017, 0:27

      Zero interest in Formula E.

    3. Alonso is right. People look back on the Senna vs Prost era with some serious rose-tinted glasses. Actually watching the races in 1988, most of them were absolutely dreadful. It didn’t matter if there was a lot of overtaking in the midfield because the race director would almost never pick it up anyway.

      Taking all factors into consideration (cars, engines, title fight, exciting races, viewing figures, crowd attendance, coverage, etc…), Formula 1 peaked in 2003.

      1. One thing that is often overlooked about the 2001 to 2007 era is that cars had traction control back then. Surely we would all agree that it is better for the driver to have full control of the throttle but people always seem to harp back to the mid 2000’s as bring great. It was an enjoyable era, however I feel F1 is a greater challenge and spectacle without TC.

      2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        8th January 2017, 1:08

        For me, F1 peaked in 2009 & then schumi suddenly returning held it together until end of 2012. Since then it’s been a steady decline.

      3. Yep. it was not only the directors fault but when you watched Prost going backwards you knew invariably that he would come back up the field in 5 to 10 laps because they were just saving fuel and easily quicker than anyone else on the grid. Easy overtakes are non overtakes, the thrill of a great overtake is dead.

      4. Yes, it was bad before. Miles between cars, only a few on track, TV production was absolutely horrid with close-ups during the only fight of the race etc (if they didn’t miss it completely) just like Alonso says. Either the cars were more difficult to drive or the driver standard was poorer as fights seemed to end in crashes or spins more than any neat battles.

        These days it’s not uncommon to see good fights lasting several corners if not laps, and even Monaco is seeing overtakes. Of course the field should be much closer, but with more big teams joining, stable and free rules coming, new owners and EU ruling improving distribution, hopefully this can be improved.

      5. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

    4. I just have to disagree with Alonso.Even if there was less overtaking than today in the 80s,F1 felt more spectacular.Maybe it was the 1500hp cars that drivers needed to wrestle around?Or the fact that they had to manage fuel because if they didn’t retirement was guaranteed?The danger factor also came into play.Drivers were on a tight line back then.And don’t forget reliability was much worse those days.

      1. 1500hp only happened during qualifying. In the race the cars had to go down to around 850hp. The engine wouldn’t last the whole race otherwise (and if they did, they wouldn’t have had enough fuel to finish anyway). But the engines were spikier, turbo lag and all that, so they were pretty difficult to drive.

        1. 1500hp never happened. The most powerful F1 engine ever was the BMW M12/13, which at it’s peak in ’86, had a claimed maximum output of as much as 1400hp for qualifying. They had a lot less in race trim, less than 1000hp, and even at that power level, they blew up all the time. There was also no way of measuring the output of those engines back then, so the 1400hp max was simply a claim by the team’s engineers based on calculations. It’s a claim that has been contested by other engineers.

          It also only had such a high output in the ’86 season, when boost was still unlimited for qualifying. In ’82, they had around 800hp for qualifying, and 650 for the race, and these numbers increased each year. Qualifying power increased much more than race power, due to the need for reliability in the race. After the ’86 season, the boost was limited, which significantly reduced the outputs of the engines.

          So no, there was never a period of time where F1 drivers wrestled around 1500hp cars. There was one engine, which was claimed to have “as much as” 1400hp, and only in one season.

          1. Apparently the dyno only went up to 1280bhp anyway so it was slightly guessed. ‘Only’ being a relative term obviously.

        2. @casjo, you are right that there are so many misconceptions and lies told about the power of the turbo engines from the 1980’s.

          Firstly, the claims that the cars produced 1500bhp are wrong and overestimates the peak power – the most credible upper bound estimates for power tend to be around 1300 – 1350bhp in qualifying trim.
          I recall one engine restorer (who used to be the chief mechanic at Tyrrell in the 1980’s and worked on the 014 and 015 cars, so he’s pretty familiar with those engines) has stated pretty firmly that higher figures just aren’t credible with the technology and engine designs of the time – indeed, he’s said that quite a few manufacturers almost certainly overstated the peak power outputs of their engines at the time, so even those upper bound figures may be too high. Certainly, in the case of the BMW M12 engine, which is surrounded by quite a lot of urban legends, the supposed readings which gave rise to the claims of “1500bhp engines” are now universally considered to be wrong.

          Secondly, as you note, they could only produce that sort of power just in the qualifying sessions, and usually had to be modified quite heavily to do so. Even in race trim, your figure of 850bhp is almost certainly the maximum power that those engines could produce in that configuration, and most of the time they’d be turned down even further than that because of the fuel consumption penalty (the most extreme case being Osella who, suffering with the extremely thirsty Alfa Romeo V8, had to turn their engines down so far in race trim in the late 1980’s that they were barely as powerful as the normally aspirated engines of the time).

          Thirdly, the peak power figures that you are referring to almost always come from a very narrow portion of the turbo era – usually from about 1985-1987, where there was a short lived spike in peak power figures. The turbo era lasted quite a bit longer than that – remember, Renault’s turbo engine turned up in 1977 and they remained legal through until the end of the 1988 season – and, for most of that era, you were looking at closer to about 800bhp in qualifying trim and a peak output of about 600-650bhp in race trim.

          I know one observer sarcastically noted that, miraculously, the power output of the turbo engines from the 1980’s somehow continue to grow over time as these myths are repeated about them and become more and more embellished over time – there does seem to be a lot of truth in that suggestion.

          1. 1987 was when the FIA restricted boost to 4.0 bar- 1986 saw some of those turbos producing 5.5 bar in qualifying. Most production cars today with turbo engines have turbos that produce at the very most 1.5 to maybe even 2 bar. From 1977 to 1985, the turbo engines used usually produced about 100-150 more horsepower in qualifying than they did in the race; 1986 was the year with 1,350+hp qualifying engines, but the engines were still producing around 900 hp in race trim. The restricted 1987 cars were producing around 1,150 hp in qualifying, but around 975 hp in race trim.

            1. mfreire, I’m afraid that you are still overestimating the power output of the engines in 1987, and by a fairly sizeable margin.

              Honda published the torque curve for the 1987 RA-167E engine some time ago, and that confirmed that the engine had a peak power output of 900bhp in race trim and about 1000bhp in qualifying trim, quite some way short of the figures you are claiming. That, it should be remembered, was probably the most powerful engine under the 4 bar regulations in 1987, and most engines operated at lower power outputs than that – for example, the rebadged M12 supposedly had a peak power output of 850bhp in race trim at 4.0 bar, but most of the time the pop off valve kept operating too soon and in reality that engine produced even less power than that (between 650 – 750bhp).

              If you want to look at the cars from 1986, when the boost pressure was not restricted, even then only one manufacturer – BMW – was supposedly approaching a power output of about 1300 – 1350bhp, although by that time the claimed power outputs were beginning to become rather speculative. None of the other manufacturers claimed anything like as much in race trim, and the leading teams were claiming max power outputs in race trim of about 800-850bhp (whereas teams with independent suppliers, such as Hart, were probably operating closer to 750bhp at most).

    5. Re “Television figures, spectators are going down (now)…”
      The drop in audience is because F1 wants to loose audience. It isn’t a case where F1 is available to be watched and people choose to watch some Soap opera or play games on the internet, it is a case where F1 has made itself difficult for the public to see races, so consequently a drop in audience is entirely to be expected.

    6. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
      8th January 2017, 1:10

      Cotd got me thinking about remedial repairs to the rules to get F1 to a new peak.

      My fix list is as follows (not that anyone in the sport would listen):

      – Liberty redistribute funds more equally, with smaller teams actually getting more than full manufacturer teams. All engine builders to supply minimum of two teams with equal parity.

      – Rid of current power unit. Let engine builders design their own choice of architecture, with options being either 8, 10 or 12 cylinder only and must be naturally aspirated with a minimum rpm of 18000.

      – Rid of fuel flow restriction.

      – Rid of DRS

      – Rid of eggshell tyres.

      – Must have minimum of three tyre manufacturers and full blown tyre war. Each manufacturer to supply minimum of two teams each.

      – Two practice sessions on a Friday.

      – Two short sprint races on Saturday with grids determined by Friday practice fastest times.

      – Single lap qualifying on a Sunday morning to determine main race grid.

      1. @peppermint-lemon “– Two short sprint races on Saturday with grids determined by Friday practice fastest times.”

        The day they ever do something like that is the day F1 dies to me. Sprint races, Multi-race formats & all that should be left to the lower categories, F1 should be about a single Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon determined by a qualifying session on Saturday (We had Sunday qualifying for part of 2005 & nobody liked it & hardly any broadcasters actually showed it).

        “– Single lap qualifying on a Sunday morning to determine main race grid.”

        Single lap qualifying was awful so again no. I was in the stands at Montreal in 2005 for the single lap format & it was just so boring sitting there waiting to see 1 car every 2-3 minutes, So much better when you have a dozen cars on track at the same time.

        “Rid of current power unit. Let engine builders design their own choice of architecture”

        Given how it was the manufacturer’s that wanted the current engine format even if you were to open up the formula to let manufacturer’s run whatever configuration they want I don’t see V8/V10 & especially V12’s coming back.
        V12’s were never really the best formula as they require far too many compromises. There bigger, Heavier, Run hotter so require more cooling & use more fuel so require larger tanks.

        Contrary to what some fans think Ferrari (And other manufacturer’s) didn’t move away from the V12 because they were banned, They did so because that formula was causing too many problems with other areas of the car as they were always having to find compromises to problems which the other engine configurations were not suffering from. The V10 became the format of choice through that era as it was the best all round solution for that set of regulations, The V8’s had less power/torque & the V12’s the issues I already mentioned.

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          8th January 2017, 13:18

          Your comment regarding race weekend format is a good example of why F1 is failing these days in many areas : unwillingness to adapt to keep “things fresh” and younger, newer viewers interested. Change is good and needs to be embraced. Friday practice sessions forming a grid for two sprint races on a Saturday from fastest times would mean Fridays are more interesting because there is a clear benefit to maximising track-time and pushing for faster lap times.

          Single lap qualifying for the main Sunday race is an interesting concept, because whilst last decade it maybe didn’t prove as popular as a multi-lap qualifying, it introduced a number of factors that are interesting and beneficial to the sport, such as 100% focus on each driver and their own “style” progressing the lap, more mistakes due to higher pressure, weather variance spicing things up unexpectedly, more viewers seeing more of each car and sponsors so equal tv times, nobody being blocked by others intentionally/unintentionally. I really enjoyed single lap to qualifying.

          I, like you, recall that the V10s were thought to be the optimum configuration for the regulations/technology of the time. At the time, Ferrari were reluctant to move away from V12 to V10 if my memory serves me correctly. However to give the choice may allow certain manufacturers to benefit from a technological or marketing preference. The current power units are a huge mistake and even Ross Brawn has suggested that they be ditched for 2020 in favour of a concept that fits more within F1 than road car ideology.

      2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        8th January 2017, 13:51

        Forgot to add, bring neck refuelling

        1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          8th January 2017, 13:51

          *back

        2. @peppermint-lemon It was detrimental to on-track overtaking.

        1. I don’t mind most of these suggestions apart from the sprint races. What would really be the point of these? Surely apart from any action on the first lap, the cars would just end where they started. Without the strategy calls there would be no changes in position that I can foresee.

    7. Re COTD: I started watching F1 religiously at the same time – not missed a competitive session since then, aside from that one French GP qualifying where Bernie and ITV had a disagreement about something silly.

      I think some things have improved. The quality of the TV coverage is far, far superior to what we used to get. The quality of the teams is better too – massive gaps between front-runners were just seen as normal in those days, the midfield was less competitive, and the backmarkers even worse. If I recall, engine inequality was probably even worse then, taking the whole grid into account. And reliability is also massively better these days. No refuelling is a positive for me. And modern races definitely have more ‘action’ than those in the 1990s.

      And as you say, safety obviously, and I also think the quality of the drivers has got up (as have driving standards).

      There are some things that I think have got worse… driver ability has a far lower impact on lap time now than it did then, which is very sad, and in 1996 the drivers actually drove a car, not a fancy-pants wheeled computer. I liked proper punishment for errors (gravel traps, grass, etc), and proper tyres, and the financial side wasn’t as horrible then as it is today.

      But overall I think I’m watching a better sport now than I was back then. Only just, though.

      1. DRS racing might create more action but that doesn’t mean it’s better. We’re literally watching the best drivers in the world press a button to receive an advantage that, in the majority of cases, can’t be defended against. Now that the faster guy is past he drives off into the distance and the damage is done. We are left with zero entertainment and zero satisfaction. Rinse and repeat 20-30 times a race.

        There is no proper racing in F1 anymore until they raise the difficulty of passing another driver. It was “impossible” to pass through-out the 00s and yet we got by just fine. Memorable passes, races, and championships (bar ’02 & ’04). The introduction of DRS in 2011 ruined the sport imo. The chances of a good race now are so slim that it’s almost not worth watching anymore. Lets get rid of DRS and provide the best drivers in the world a platform to showcase their skills again.

        1. I see DRS as a horrible but necessary evil. Back in the 2000s, a period I frequently found incredibly boring, a slightly quicker car could travel fairly comfortably within 0.4-0.5 seconds of the guy in front, and even that usually wasn’t close enough to attempt a pass. Now, the reasonable limit for a car that isn’t massively faster is something like 0.7 to 1 seconds (due mostly to the way downforce is generated on modern cars). And there isn’t a straight in F1 on which 0.7s can be made up using a natural slipstream alone, assuming equal engines.

          Take away DRS and leave everything else the same (and I think the following close problem will be even worse next year), and we’d be pretty much reliant on tyres falling apart for overtaking. Get proper tyres back, and it wouldn’t happen at all. The only skills the drivers would be showcasing would be the ability to form Trulli trains.

          Obviously I’d rather DRS didn’t exist, as I pretty much hate it… but I hate the alternative even more.

    8. Just curious, is F1 the only series which is losing popularity?
      What about feeder series? Or Indycar, or NASCAR? Or touring cars?

      1. Which of them are on Free to Air TV?

      2. @albedo, since you ask, quite a lot of motorsport series have been losing fans – for example, NASCAR’s viewing figures have long been slowly and persistently declining for quite a few years now.

        Although NASCAR stopped publishing official race attendance figures in 2012 because they showed that attendances had been declining for about four to five years by that point, the fact that ticket revenues have continued to fall would appear to confirm that attendance figures are still falling (revenue from ticket sales is down about 46-49% from their peak in 2007).

        Some circuits, such as Bristol Motor Speedway, have now started to get rid of seats because they were being embarrassed by the number of empty seats (this year, the TV coverage seemed to suggest the circuit was barely half full), and they’ve yet to announce a new title sponsor after it emerged that their current sponsor was leaving. Perhaps the most damning indictment in their case is what the top search engine queries are, which are all about declining popularity or why there are so many empty seats at venues.

        As for IndyCAR, at best the data for that series is mixed – TV audiences have crept up a bit since the reunification of the Champ Car and Indycar series, but it’s been a slow and painful process over the last nine years and viewing figures are a shadow of what they once were in the 1990’s (viewing figures are 70% lower than their heyday just before the CART-IRL split). Race attendance figures have also been mixed – they’ve risen a bit at some circuits, but this year their prize event, the Indy 500, recorded a drop in ticket sales, a big surprise given that they had a particularly large publicity blitz for what was the 100th running of the Indy 500.

        For touring car series, that is a little harder to tell – the figures for the British Touring Car Championship have been rising for a while (although possibly beginning to plateau recently) up to a claimed peak audience of 1.5 million in recent years. However, the current viewing figures are about 50% down on the historical peak figures they achieved in the mid 1990’s, when their peak viewing figures were over 3 million.

        I think that the only major series which had recorded a rise in viewing figures in recent years would be the WEC, although that is in part because they were starting from a fairly low base to begin with. They are still very dependent on the 24 Hours of Le Mans acting as their prize event to draw in viewers though, and whilst race attendance figures are up, they are still fairly modest – I think that the Silverstone 6 Hours has grown from about 34,000 at the inception of the WEC to about 45,000 this year.

        We’ve also yet to see what will happen now that Audi has pulled out – they had been doing quite a lot of work to publicise the WEC in the past, so we could see figures begin to decline in a few years time.

        1. They have a new title sponsor. Monster energy.

        2. WEC’s TV figures, In the UK le mans last year averaged 275,000 viewers (Across Eurosport & the FTA Quest TV) which is down significantly on what that race drew in 2015 (428,000).
          The fact there biggest race drew such a small figure & that the rest of the races are significantly lower shows that despite all the hype & positivity WEC regularly gets, It isn’t translating to viewers.

          As to Motorsport in general, The trend is down & I’m not aware of any category anywhere thats growing in any significant way in terms of TV viewers at least.

        3. It always shocks me as to how IndyCar today is not as popular as it used to be. OK- it is a spec-chassis racing series (some teams use Honda engines, others use Chevrolet), but the racing, the circuits they race on and the competition is way more interesting than F1 today, sadly.

      3. LMP1 now has 4 cars and 2 teams yet that was supposed to be a growing threat.

    9. I’m too young to remember F1 in the 80s, but 2005-2012 had some exciting championships in there. These past few years Mercedes has run away with it.

      1. n0b0dy100, I guess Alonso also would prefer to start with 2005, ie. his team and him, winning the WCC and WDC but the truth is, while 2001 the Ferrari dominance was still new, and while there were some good things in that time, the period through 2004 certainly wasn’t great for general fans. Ferrari winning with might and overtakes by fuel strategy, the later of which continued until 2009 effectively.

    10. I do not agree with Alonso. F1 was at its peak IMO from 1986 to 1991. Fuel saving was the name of the game in 1986- but that was because the fuel tank size was reduced from 220 to 195 liters for the 1986 season- and in race trim, the cars had 75-100 or so more horsepower than they did in 1985. And that was the year of the 1,350 hp+ qualifying grenade engines with manual gearboxes and simplistic (compared to today) downforce. And most of the cars back then- especially the ones in 1991- looked great, sounded great and still stir excitement- at least for me they do- very much unlike today’s cars. Those times were simpler, yes, and technology has advanced greatly but there still can be some kind of compromise to make the cars look like the kind of beasts only the very best drivers can tame.

      1. Ambrogio Isgrò
        8th January 2017, 13:42

        No safety cars, drivers handling difficult cars with manual gearbox (first semiautomatic was 1989 Ferrari), great unpredictable races under the rain, great circuits really different one from another, to pass another driver was difficult but not impossible, some of the finest drivers were also charismatic characters, more freedom for aero choices, engines, types and drivers… Some of the best gps I’ve ever seen, Suzuka 88, Budapest 89, México 90, Interlagos 91, Donington 93, Estoril 93 to name a few. The only season when just one driver in one machine was 92 Mansell with Williams Renault. During the 00 in 2002 and 2004 we had two boring season when noone could match Schumacher’s Ferrari.

    11. I keep wondering how Motorsport Network manages to have such liquidity to keep making investments. They seem to be expanding rather quickly.

    12. Alonso is right. The most exciting part of the race is usually the start and the excitement of the commentator. Adrenalin, takes past the next six or seven laps.
      The sound of the engine keeps you excited as you watch the cars settle into their single file routine.
      The occasional overtake or pitstop gets ones excitement up again.
      Repeat till fade.
      Then the podium ceremonies and withdrawal symptoms.
      And you can’t wait till the next race.
      Nothing has changed all these year.
      We love F1 because it is F1.

    13. F1 is great, I’m only stared following it since 2010 and I’ve really enjoyed it. For me 2010-2016 is the best era for F1. We’ve had some great seasons which have had some good individual races. As a fan I don’t care about the engine noise or the speed of thr cars because most of the time I cant see the difference on telly. Everyone needs to start remembering that Formula One isn’t some magical thing that you think it is but just an exciting fun sport.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        8th January 2017, 9:40

        Yes it’s easy to get the rose tinted glasses out and not enjoy what’s actually in front of you. 2010 and 12 were fantastic seasons. I just get frustrated at the financial mess and injustice in F1, the disconnect from the fan’s, the boring car park tracks to the highest bidder, the crazy artificial rules that skirt around the real issues and the dirty air due to aero reliance. That being said there’s a lot I love hence why I get excited before every race and never miss a moment. I just wish they’d address some fundamental issues. Oh and they need to find a way to deal with rain because a wet race should be Christmas day to an F1 fan but often descends into a farce.

        1. Well said to both of you @lolzerbob and @rdotquestionmark; I agree that 2010 and 2012 in particular were interesting, and I found 2014 also quite interesting, with the fierce battle between the two Mercedes guys providing a lot of interest early in the season. The last season I also had quite a few enjoyable races.

          But, I don’t care for Red Bull, Ferrari, Renault, McLaren or Williams to be the dominant team over Mercedes, so if you are, sure, 2010-2014, or 2001-2004/2007, 2005-2006, 1998-2000/1988/1989/1991, and the earlier nineties respectively might provide a soft spot :)

      2. Maybe you should watch some videos of F1 GP throughout history. That might change your mind.

        1. I started watching F1 in 2005. And I’d rather watch grass grow than any race (bar a few) from the 90s or the 80s or earlier.

        2. I’ve spent alot of time doing that. It’s better now. The drivers are better, the cars are better (and closer), I no longer cringe when I see an accident because I know they aren’t just going to leave it on the track and hope no one hits it…. I’d change some of the modern camera angles (the super long focal length they use compresses the speed), and would like to see the very front a bit more competitive, but that’s no different from 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, etc.

    14. The thing with reducing tyre deg, is yes you want the drivers to be able to push for the whole race, but at the same time you don’t want to make it easy and quick to do a 1-stop, as that would completely ruin the strategic element. It was okay with low-deg tyres when refuelling was still a thing, drivers often didn’t even change tyres at pit stops, but nowadays it would be incredibly boring.
      The thing is, you can’t manage it, like you can’t make it so then everyone can do a 2 or 3 stop if they push, as then everyone will just do a 1 stop and save tyres, and then complain that they’re having to save tyres. It’s an incredibly difficult situation, and although I agree that the deg on the tyres was a bit ridiculous, having to save on 3 stops etc, it’s still a tough call to make. I reckon it’ll be a sweet spot when a 3 stop is complete pushing, a 2 stop is a little bit of saving and a little bit of pushing, and a 1 stop is mostly saving (depending on the track of course).

      1. @hugh11 I hope they will get rid of that 2-compound rule. It would be interesting to see if some drivers can complete the whole race distance on just one set of tires. Otherwise I fear everyone will be on the same strategy, which is boring.

    15. Regarding Alonso’s comments, I don’t know if those years were boring, because I wasn’t following F1. But I remember as yesterday the 2004 season. No one was saving fuel nor tyres. The drivers were going flat out and the cars were maybe the fastest we’ve ever seen. So what? Along with 2002, in my mind they are the most boring seasons since I ‘ve been watching F1. All I want to say, is that what makes F1 exciting is the fact that several teams have a shot to the world championship. If the fight is between two teams that’s good, if three like 2012, even better. If there are tightly packed top tier teams, then excitement is guaranteed.

      1. Agreed. In 2004, as you said everyone was going flat out, but the Ferrari was so dominant. Last 3 years has been all Mercedes, which is why it was boring, but 2012 was fantastic, every team seemingly capable of doing well, often the top teams doing poorly, it was a great season. Everyone will forget about the tyre situation if we have more seasons like that, even if its just Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull fighting for wins in pretty even cars it’ll be a great spectacle.

      2. @leongtv6 ”No one was saving fuel nor tyres” – Wrong, they indeed did exist in F1 even then. At least fuel saving has always existed in F1 to some extent even during the refuelling era.

    16. @keithcollantine I just saw an article on the Italian version of Motorsport.com that says the drivers will be pushing full throttle for 80% of a lap around Monza, which reminded me: will they implement the planned changes at the circuit which were revealed here last year? ( http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/06/01/new-monza-second-quicker-f1-cars-2017/ ) I don’t recall reading about it when they announced the new contract at the end of last year.

      1. I was wondering about this as well. As far as I can tell the Monza 2017 tickets are on sale with the same stands as last year so I wonder if the new layout will be implemented for 2017?

    17. Re Pirelli’s low tyre deg – how is suddenly high degradation became a concern instead of temperature-based degradation? Does anyone have a problem with 2-3 pits during the race? Certainly not me.
      What most people do have problem with, as far humble me understands, is the fact that drivers cant push cos the tyres get cooked and the deg isnt simply linear, so it’s kinda like frying garlic.
      Please tell me they’re not going to just mince some words and claim they fixed the tyres by fixing something nobody complained about.

      1. You can only have 2 or 3 pitstops if the tyres get seriously slower every 15 to 20 laps or teams will stretch out stints. People seem to want nearly no deg full pushing for a whole stint but if you get that you get no pitstops other than the rule to use 2 compounds in a race meaning all races will be 1 stop.

        1. I dont see anything wrong with 1-stop for that matter, more overtaking to be done on track if the car is out of position.

          But the tyres that the cliff after X laps are also good. Anything, but te tyres you cant push, regardless of how long you can go on them

    18. I agree with the comments that the TV coverage overall is better than it was in 1996. More camera angles, more onboards, more graphics, team radio, red button feeds, centralised direction as opposed to host broadcasters focussed on the local driver in 14th, more time and effort spent pre- and post-race analysing the sessions etc.

      Of course it’s not all perfect: the sheer availability of FTA TV coverage has suffered in recent seasons and in the last few years FOM have got pretty lazy, and there’s a bit too much focus on crowd shots and bored celebrities, so you could argue that the peak for TV coverage overall was still somewhere between 1996 and 2016. But I still think TV coverage now is better than 1996.

    19. ‘F1 was best when i was winning’

      That’s novel.

      1. I must admit I had the same reaction!

    20. I’ve just watched some of the old VHS from the 87-90 seasons I have, they are a comprehensive collection from Fuji Tv, and they show the prequalify sessions, qualify and races as well. From my point of view, the cars at that time were much harder to drive, (not on rails or so aerodynamic dependent) , and the fight for positions in front, midfield and even in the back were much more entertaining, you could see the drivers were really on the edge, and the tracks had much more character and were much more unforgiving to driver mistakes. Unlike the 3 short stints every race with pit stop overtakes from the Alonso/ Schumacher era. That era wasn’t as bad as the drs era, but we had much more memorable races, overtake moves and variety back then. Also, it was incredible to see an Ivan Capelli in a Leyron Hiuse overtaking front runners in some races, or a Roberto Moreno qualifying for a race in a Coloni (going from pre qualifying!) These were priceless races, and I never thought the need to sleep during these races. Plus, we had much more variety in engines, car design, etc.

    21. Gavin Campbell
      8th January 2017, 20:00

      I feel the qualifying has improved a lot since the nineties (I started watching in the late 90s). Problem is you look back on old seasons and only remember the good races.

      However I think the last two years have been pretty dire for on track action.

      Some of the 2009 – 12 seasons were pretty darn good.

      Also the cars are a lot closer together than they were 15/20 years ago. But in general the circuits have got worse, TV coverage has gone to pay TV, the safety has improved but Tarmac run offs mean it’s v hard to force a driver into an error to overtake, the tires are awful, the aero wake problem has got worse.

    22. For what’s it’s worth I have been watching F1 for about 35 years. Some seasons more religiously than others. My favourite times are the 1994 – 2000 period, and the 2006 – 2010 period with a mention for 2012. So basically when no one team was really dominant.

      I am always puzzled as to why there are so many ongoing rule changes in F1. Obviously the sport has to evolve but other than safety I don’t think major changes help really. Just when teams all understand the rules and racing is becoming competitive a major rule changes often results in one team becoming dominant but it is a vicious circle in terms of competitiveness.

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