Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2016

Mosley warns 2017 rules could increase danger

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Former FIA president Max Mosley warns new aerodynamic regulations for the 2017 F1 season could make the sport more dangerous.

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Ready for @bathurst12hr gone do the start of the race

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Comment of the day

Alex Zanardi’s pass on Bryan Herta at Laguna Seca in IndyCar: Fabulous move or clear track limits penalty?

I would hope that such a move would be impossible in F1, hard racing should not include exceeding track limits, Zanardi’s pass was over the limit and should not have been allowed to stand. F1 is not banger racing, it is the highest standard of racing in the world and the rules should reflect that.

I honestly don’t understand this narrative that F1 is over-policed, yes there are questionable penalties at times but they are few and far between, to say that the stewards are clamping down on hard racing is a huge overreaction to the few penalties were do see. Sometimes I feel drivers just blame the rules and stewards to excuse their own poor behaviour on the track absolve themselves of their responsibilities to race fairly.

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Five years ago today Lotus launched the E20, which Kimi Raikkonen used to win that year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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  • 45 comments on “Mosley warns 2017 rules could increase danger”

    1. Re COTD: i think the actual point regarding, for example zanardis overtake or Ralf Schumachers Start at imola 2001 Is that back then Leaving the Track generally meant having a disadvantage. Spinning, getting Stuck, losing loads of momentum. Judging that its possible to Pull something like that off was oportunistic and a big gamble back then, and actually Making It work was therefore an Achievement, risk was Rewarded…. of course thats different to todays Circuits where the worst Case Is like Three carwidths worth of kerb/Asphalt next to the Track. Theres neither Skill nor risk in trackextending today. You just can’t have It anymore.
      But then again on a sidenote, when we had Working Track Limits in Austria last Year Everybody was crying again how You can’t have Kerbs that End races. Make up your minds. Also Note how the Drivers Managed the Situation with the kerbs- the revolutionary fix was to not go ove r them. In other words they Worked brilliantly.

    2. Watching many of the drivers overextending the limits of the tracks, smacks of cheating.

      To make the curbs the 1 metre first part, then a 2 metre portion of grass, then 3 metre of sand trap, then a paved runoff. Stay on the track….no problem.

      If a driver forces another driver on to the traps of grass and sand, the driver that forced the situation would then be penalized with a 30 second standing penalty in the pits, to be served on top of the normal pit time. The penalty to be served within 3 laps of the infraction.

    3. Joe: Hey Max, we would love to do an extensive ITV interview about F1 with you.

      Max: I think people have had enough of my hubris. Thanks for the offer Joe; as much as I ache to be relevant, I decline.

    4. Thanks for the reminder of Bathurst :D still 3 hours left. Just goes to show a track doesn’t have to be a street circuit to have punishingly close walls. Wish there were better tracks in F1, Heidfeld raises a good points.

    5. If speed equals danger then put a 60mph limit in then. You cant completely sanitise F1. The very nature of the Sport is that it is inherently dangerous. Cars running around at 150mph plus is going to be dangerous. Thats sort of the point. Max Mosely’s making himself sound like a clown

      1. If speed equals danger then put a 60mph limit in then.

        Sick of this argument. Pick a speed which is too fast. Surely you must be able to pick a speed, 800kph too fast for safety? Surely yes?

        Well, no I can make the same argument back too you.

        The point is not if there is danger, obviously yes. But how much danger is there.

        At a certain point you have to say, yes, now there is too much danger. What point do you think that is?

        1. At a certain point you have to say, yes, now there is too much danger. What point do you think that is?

          The speed at which the driver decides not to get into the car.

    6. “If you ask a Formula One driver which are his favourite tracks, the overwhelming majority will go for the street circuits, apart from the two ‘sacred monsters’ of Spa and Suzuka. Well, in Formula E, we race almost exclusively on temporary tracks in the heart of a city, where there are virtually no escape roads and the walls are always just centimetres away.”

      He means copy after copy of stupid straights filled with horrible chicanes to give the slow FE cars any sense of speed? Maybe Heidfeld needs to open Youtube and take a look at a lap around Bathurst,…

      On a side note, with the Rolex24H, the Dubai24H and the Bathurst12H now done I advise all to watch it. Has more racing than the past three seasons of Formula One.

      1. thatscienceguy
        5th February 2017, 8:31

        Bathurst of course being a temporary street circuit with all the features Heidfeld talks about, just not in the centre of town (it’s on the outskirts)

      2. @xtwl Nick referred to “Formula One” drivers having that opinion. Few Formula One drivers have raced at Bathurst on the way to F1 – its races tend to be run by a mixture of drivers who never expected to go to F1 because their aims are elsewhere, and those for whom F1 aspirations were left behind in the past. There simply isn’t much cross-over, which is a pity because as you say, Bathurst is a great race.

    7. Mosley warns 2017 rules could increase danger.

      My response;


      1. @drone, and are you therefore prepared to tolerate the consequences of that?

        1. Exactly! More speed, more danger, more fun.

          No more Formula health & safety.

          1. It’s not necessarily more fun – the danger/anodyne tension is such that getting it wrong on either side – the “too dangerous” or “too anodyne” side – results in a total loss of fun from the situation.

            Motorsport would be fun even in a hypothetical universe where its danger element could be completely removed. However, it cannot do that simply by removing the danger (even in that hypothetical universe). This is because the many challenges that make it fun, and the many aspects that make it a good sensory experience (which is also part of the fun), can be altered by just about anything – let alone something as major as changing the danger factor.

            For F1 to work at all, there has to be a fear of failure, one plausible and serious enough to be taken seriously by athlete and spectator alike. For it to be the pinnacle of motorsports (single-seater or overall), it has to be more plausible and serious than in other comparable series. It does not need to have artificial danger, and where natural danger can be removed without damaging the challenge involved (or the challenges/aspects referred to in the previous paragraph), then removing it is not only a moral duty in the “protecting people” sense, but is likely to increase the overall amount of fun F1 provides over the long term.

            In this case, reducing the already-short braking area is likely to decrease the fun of overtaking (as it will increasingly tilt things towards the “blunt shove and hope” approach rather than anything taking skill) and increase the danger, so it is difficult to see how the 2017 rules’ danger increase is going to lead to more fun.

        2. I bet it’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make to thrill up the races a bit.

        3. That depends what is meant by increased danger.
          If it’s the danger of having more accidents and incidents that damage the cars but leave the drivers unhurt, then yes, I’m more than happy to tolerate that.
          If it’s the danger of increasing retirements, then I’m happy to accept the too.

          The most serious accident we’ve seen in the last twenty years occurred under double waved yellow flags, and at relatively low speed for F1, while most of the high speed crashes look awesome, the drivers have, far more often than not, walked away without any serious injuries.
          As such, I’d have to say that the simplistic “more speed = more danger” argument doesn’t add up in real world conditions. And that making the cars faster doesn’t mean they’re more dangerous than in the past.

          Danger isn’t just influenced by speed, higher speed may result in increasing the probability of an accident occurring, but if improved safety features result in reducing the probability of an accident resulting in injury, you can end up with the result being more accidents with fewer injuries, which is exactly what’s happened on the roads of the UK over the last few decades. There are far more crashes on UK roads now than twenty years ago, and many of them involve higher speeds as road cars have got faster, yet there are far fewer fatalities and serious injuries as the cars involved are far safer, and many of our roads have been made safer.

          1. @beneboy, I’d agree that it is indeed simplistic to say that more speed alone will result in more danger, but it is coming amidst a raft of changes that are being introduced that are likely to result in an increase in the accident rate (such as regulation changes that effectively encourage the drivers to act more aggressively on track towards each other), the unpredictable results of which are likely to result in increased danger that do potentially increase the risks of the driver being injured or killed.

            There are a number of posters here who talk about wanting to see the racing become more “dangerous”, but never seem to be entirely clear about what exactly they mean by that. You talk about the potential for seeing more accidents, but usually when we see a collision on track we see most posters here looking to angrily criticise the driver they see at fault (not to mention that there is something of a contradiction in talking about how the sport should showcase the great skills of the drivers, yet then seemingly derive pleasure from the times when the drivers make mistakes). It feels implicit from the responses of some that they are happy with the idea of an increased probability of seeing a driver injured or killed whilst racing, but at the same time are unwilling to publicly admit that they are willing to accept that.

            1. I don’t see any contradiction in wanting to see more of the driver’s skill, and taking pleasure from seeing their mistakes. By putting more emphasis on driver skill you are making it more likely that drivers will make mistakes as they’re driving closer to the limits of their abilities. Driver mistakes don’t necessarily mean accidents, getting some snap overstear coming out of a corner is a mistake, but in most cases results in losing a few tenths of a second on the lap, not crashing out or hitting someone else. Outbraking is a mistake, but generally results in a lock up, or missing the apex far more often than it results in an accident.

              From my perspective, more of these mistakes means more entertainment, and as the FIA have requested imorovements to barriers, and other safety systems at the circuits, doesn’t necessarily mean more danger. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I certainly don’t want to see anyone getting hurt, but I do want to see drivers having to work hard to get a decent lap time, less intervention from stewards and fewer penalties.

            2. A request to see more skill from a driver, if actioned, leads to higher expectations of demonstrated skill. In much the same way as athletes in elite branches of other sports get more viewers than their colleagues in lower tiers of the same sport, but also more criticism when they err. It’s part of pedestal construction – the higher the pedestal, the narrower it is, until it’s too narrow (or otherwise flawed) for whatever is being placed atop it (the statue in the metaphor, expectations in the request). From what I’ve seen, the only sports that don’t do this are ones which retain certain traditional customs restricting criticism throughout their structures (cricket and sailing to some extent, but a better example is the part of disability sport which regards Special Olympics and/or World Games as its apex competition, as distinct from, say, the Paralympics).

              Apart from anything else, the number of errors made by lower-performing colleagues on the same track gives context to the greatness of the best, and acts as an illustration of the level of demand being made on all of them. It is not only a contradiction, but an illustration of how the entire skill judgement mechanism works.

        4. Absolutely.
          In my eyes… The only question is;
          Would I still do it myself?
          Would I accept the risks?
          The answer is yes.
          I have a pair…. and I expect the same from an F1 driver.
          It really is that simple… (for me)
          To hell with this over protective wimpy world of today. That’s my take on things. (I don’t expect other to agree… Nor do I care what they think)

    8. Deliberately setting out to make the cars quicker is questionable because all the rules for the last 40 or 50 years brought in by the FIA have been to make the cars slower

      I’m sure the front running car will be faster, but I’m not so sure about the cars that follow it will be quicker, or rather quicker compared to the leading car. My suspicion is the price of increased downforce on a leading car must result in reduced downforce on a trailing car, meaning the distance behind of the trailing car as it exits a corner has to be an increased distance behind compared to when entering the corner. The reduced downforce of the trailing car would be seen by increased braking distance, reduced speed at the apex, and reduced acceleration out of the corner, or running off the track. Overall I’m expecting it to be more difficult to race this year compared to last year.
      I am sceptical of the claims the racing will be better compared to the last few years. Maybe we will see faster cars, but I think it will be a procession of fast cars, not fast cars in a race.
      I think these rules go against the basic concept of the open wheel format, which is the leading car has to be punished for being in front, while the trailing cars are given an advantage by being behind the leading car.
      As I see it, the closer one is to the front row of the grid the better one’s chances of winning are, and the best chance is to be is on the front row. A good start is essential to winning.

      1. Valid points… until front car has an inherent aerodynamic advantage, we will see booring races for first place.

      2. Hi Mr Mosely, do you remember that quaint thing called refuelling you introduced back in 1994, that made the cars quicker and was always going to do so?

    9. Gustavo Woltmann
      5th February 2017, 9:20

      Need more tracks, with good run off areas.

    10. At Spa the the big hill at the entrence of Puhon was already an orange army. I sat at the exit there this year, opposite that hill, and both in the he middle and exit of Puhon is plenty of room for more grandstands. However, those places were all general admission (€135) and I fear they’ll make it €400 grandstand sets now… :(

      Btw, I read somewhere in Dutch media that Verstappen gets also gets his own stand (5000 capacity at T1) at Austria. This must be akward and a bit annoying or the other drivers, but it’s good for F1 in general.

    11. Sure it’ll be more dangerous. But F1 will still remain considerably safer than many other forms of motor racing. With run-off areas which go on seemingly forever then the risk will remain minimal in that respect. However arranging a solution for the one area which remains clearly exposed [the head] keeps getting delayed.

    12. Bernie Ecclestone: Former F1 chief swaps pit lane for ski slope

      After reading only the headline, I thought maybe Berny had signed up for Channel 4 ‘s “The Jump”.

      1. No way – that’s on free-to-air!

    13. Increased cornering speeds can indeed be more dangerous. But if you get rid of DRS that nullifies a lot of the danger on straights caused by higher differences in speed with draggier cars.

    14. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      5th February 2017, 11:57

      They have to get faster eventually though surely? Lap times haven’t really gonna up dramatically since 1992. That being said entertainment > lap times

      1. 1992 cars are far slower than 2016 cars. 2004/2005 were fastest since then they have gotten slower but as soon as they approach 2004 times new rules slow them down. This year they may be the fastest ever but maybe 2018 they will try and slow down what we end up with at the end of 2017.

        As to 1992 was that Sennas fastest ever lap of Monaco but his nephew easily beat the time some years later in a HRT?

        1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          5th February 2017, 13:45

          I said ‘significant’ difference. It’s hard to compare because I can’t think of one single track that used the same layout in 1992 as now but even Canada that had the back straight broken up the lap times were within 6 seconds and that’s with the crazy top speeds we have now. Monaco was only 6 seconds a lap slower back then also with a slightly different layout. The active suspension Williams with TC was insanely fast in 1992 and I was merely suggesting 25 years of development and crazy development costs for 6 seconds a lap is not significant. I presume a 1992 F1 car would comfortably beat a current GP2 car as well. When you think about where technology was 25 years before that in the late 60s it’s a fair difference. To be honest I don’t even have a point lol I just find it interesting @markp

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            5th February 2017, 13:51

            Suzuka I think was an almost identical layout and the difference was 7 seconds in quali. Not massive for 25 years development. When you think they’re talking 5 seconds faster alone next season!

            1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
              5th February 2017, 14:33

              While I’m in full geek mode @markp….. Bruno Senna’s 2010 quali lap was only 2 seconds quicker than Ayrton’s 18 years previous. 1 second quicker than Mansell’s pole (albeit on a slightly different layout)

    15. Speed doesnt equal danger end of

      if so there are thousands of planes in the sky at this moment that would fall out of the sky

      however a plane coming into land at 500mph is dangerous

      same as taking 2 paracetemal for a headache is ok but 50 will kill you

    16. I think its important to remember where Max is coming from with his comments about safety.

      A lot of fans have either forgotten or simply don’t know what F1 was put through in the aftermath of Imola 1994 & the subsequent significant pressure that was put on F1, The FIA & Max Mosley by the media & even within some governments & some of the sponsors.

      Those within the sport & the fans that understood the sport know the risks & accept that risk, However from the outside those risks are not understood & are often not accepted or considered reasonable when things go wrong. For weeks after Imola all you heard of F1 on the news broadcast’s, News papers & even some of the magazines were replays & images of accidents & discussions about Senna’s death & how unsafe & dangerous F1 was & how it needed to be regulated or banned because that risk was unacceptable in modern times. I recall a French paper of the time ran a headline labeling F1 a blood sport.

      As a result of all that Max felt that he needed to put his focus on the safety & that drove a lot of the early years of his presidency & that is still something that he is genuinely & deeply concerned with.

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        5th February 2017, 12:53

        Yes good point. I would much rather they had brought in the wider cars and tyres but completely stripped back the front wings. Ideally keeping lap times comparable to last season but achieved through the additional mechanical grip and less aero. Hopefully removing some of the dirty air effect. Lap times were plummeting anyway as teams grasped the new technology and we’ve seen lap records broken, so this seems too big a step too quickly. The fact tracks are having to make safety modifications backs Max’s concerns.

    17. Deliberately setting out to make the cars quicker is questionable because all the rules for the last 40 or 50 years brought in by the FIA have been to make the cars slower

      You’d have thought that over the last 40 or 50 years, someone would have considered making the tracks, cars , barriers or helmets a bit safer… Oh wait, yeah they did that.

      F1 is much safer than it was 10 years ago and yet the speed hasn’t increased.

    18. Isn’t it possible to use full-size pictures from F1fanatic as computer screen backgrounds anymore? I just keep getting this strange “copy link” dialog that doesn’t lead to anything else but a fullsize picture with another “copy link” dialog. Can’t right-click and use it as background anymore..((

      1. @melthom see my comment below.

    19. If you’ve had a crash in a road car built after 1997, you basically have Max Mosely to thank for thank for fighting for your safety. It’s easy to laugh at an old man with a dodgy family and funky private life, but let’s not forget that whilst he enjoyed a power trip and a big cash incentive, he actually put a little back. Far more than Bernie did, though he gets ‘respect’ for his bullying tactics and megalomania, or Jean Todt, who loves a handshake and photo op but has no tangible achievements so far in his career as FiA chief.

    20. Have you tried saving the image to your hard drive, and then setting it as the Wall Paper from there? I’ve just tested this method on my computer and it works, but I am using the Centos operating system. I have no idea whether Windows will do this as well.

      1. I’m on a Mac and it just behaves strangely. Last year I could copy anything with a right-click but now it doesn’t work at all. Weird.

    21. Trying to apply the doctrine of track limits to 1996 Indy Car is a dead end. The concept of “track limits” is a very European one that simply doesn’t exist in the history of US motorsports.

      What are the track limits on a dirt oval? On the outside, there’s a wall. On the inside, there basically is none. You can cut to the inside as sharply as you want, but you won’t be able to carry momentum due to the tighter radius and less banking—especially as the track evolves over the course of the night and the cushion and racing line moves up the track.

      For decades at Indianapolis, there were also no limit on the inside—cars were allowed to use the apron and pit-in and -out lanes as much as they wanted. It widened the track and improved the racing. Trying to apply an F1 “track limits” framework on 1996 Indy Car simply makes no sense. Different cultures, different norms.

      In addition, at the time, that track really was set up to punish those who exceeded the limits, which is partly why Zanardi’s move was more-or-less accepted by all of his peers, even the guy he passed. At the time, the Corkscrew was lined with steep curbs—like you’d find on the side of a road, not the rumble strips of today. It was considered a great feat of car control to leave the track and rejoin while not upsetting the car and keeping enough momentum to complete the pass.

      Here’s what Herta said afterwards:
      “It totally surprised me. I’ve never been passed like that. Not there or anywhere. No one has. I don’t think I have ever been more disappointed in my life, but I have to hand it to Alex. He pulled it off.”


    22. Wouldn’t mind India returning, quite like the circuit.

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