Start, IndyCar, Long Beach, 2017

Long Beach begins formal study into reviving F1 race

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Long Beach, which last hosted an F1 race in 1983 and has been a venue for IndyCar racing ever since, is investigating whether it should bring F1 back.

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How long can Honda stand the negative publicity they’re getting in Formula One?

My favourite was the one during pre-season testing where McLaren claimed they can take all corners flat out because of the power deficit. Then the jabs taken by Hamilton in a press conference about Honda, and now, non stop radio rants.

I think, by the end of the year Honda will just end up leaving the sport because they’ve been publicly humiliated to such great extent.
@Todfod

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  • 62 comments on “Long Beach begins formal study into reviving F1 race”

    1. I hope the Long Beach race stays as an IndyCar race. Next to the Indy 500 it’s the most recognizable race on the calendar……. and a bad thing for IndyCar if it switches to an F1 race, in my opinion.

      1. Pretty sure that Liberty would be open to putting both on the same bill in the US. No F2 in the USA so why not an Indycar F1 double header! Awesome!

        1. It would be awesome but it would show indycar fans how much faster f1 cars are around the same track in same conditions.

          1. True, but it would also show F1 fans how much more competitive the racing is in Indycar. Put them head to head and I’m not sure which series would come off looking worse.

            1. Really? F1 > Indy any day all day.

            2. @flatdarkmars Judjing by how I’m sure a decent part of the population looks at the Miata I’m inclined to think the overwhelmingly noticed thing would be how much faster F1 is – which would be unfortunante.

      2. F1 should be somewhere in California but probably not Long Beach.

      3. My abiding impression of Long Beach is of a track with u-turns that create multiple-car low-speed pile-ups more than once per race. Perhaps these occurrences are rare but constantly re-broadcast. Yes or no ? If yes, the randomness of the results is too great to be included in a championship series.

        1. @hohum I think it’s more that there are a few that get replayed a lot. This year for instance there was 1 silly crash on lap 1 but the only other cautions were brought out due to cars suffering mechanical issues & stopping on track. There have been races at Long Beach that have suffered a lot of silly accidents but that isn’t every year.

        2. Yup that’s precisely what it is. Terrible track with a lot of manufactured ‘history’. The only overtaking is ridiculous hero-to-zero stuff.

          It’s not like there aren’t any amazing tracks in California, and if they need a street circuit Vegas would be a much bigger deal and attract way more attention.

    2. I do love the technical articles with their beautiful drawings, but oh dear, how is one to get excited about a variation in the slots on the wing endplate. I doubt even Adrian Newey could look at those illustrations and know that one had advantages over the other. In my school days I pored over the cut-away drawings of both race and road cars illustrating such things as ground-effect, independent RWS, 4 valve motors, 6 speed gearboxes, and I could understand the way they worked and the advantages they bestowed, nowadays I think F1 design is way too restricted and this forces the teams to spend untold millions looking for infinitesimally small improvements in the way air flows over the regulation sized wing instead of trying to decide if a bigger or smaller wing surface would work best within a simple overall car size-limit.

      1. There would be tons of interesting stuff to show about f1 car but the teams are so overly secretive that literally nothing is shown. If you go to youtube there are few very good old documentary films where the teams have given excellent access to the film crews all the way into the engine dyno rooms for example. The teams were not afraid to show it was difficult to get it all to work. Nowadays the teams put mechanics to stand in the way of the cameras if they get too close, they put up walls and do their best to hide the cars.

        As f1 fan I’d love to see a rule where all the cars need to parked without engine covers and nose cones and without tires and photographers can go and take pictures of everything. Or do something else. Livestream the process when the stewards are checking the cars fulfill the tech rules. Or fia could put couple of cameras into every garage and make that video stream available to be broadcast when the cars are being put together before every race weekend. Or broadcast the streams by themselves on f1.com.

        But the issue is not design restrictions. It is the secrecy surrounding the sport. The cars are more detailedly designed than ever before. There is stunning amount of detail even in the smallest parts that goes into the cars but none of it is ever shown. F1 is all about hiding everything. It is kinda easy to understand why they do it. Designing parts is expensive and you don’t want to show off anything because you could be giving away competition advantage. I think the rules could force the teams to show more of their stuff.

        1. I think that’s a brilliant idea! Making everything really accessible, even to other teams, may help reduce the speed gaps between the cars. Of course they each have their own concepts and aero solutions so not everything would be transferable, but it should cut the RnD costs of smaller teams. The teams still have to design and manufacture their own versions of the component so you could hardly say it’s unfair. And of course, as you mention, the all access footage would be great for fans.

        2. This is a very good point @socksolid

          But the issue is not design restrictions. It is the secrecy surrounding the sport. The cars are more detailedly designed than ever before. There is stunning amount of detail even in the smallest parts that goes into the cars but none of it is ever shown.

          It was the thing I actually liked about that Renault “F1 car of the future” thing – that they showed that they would like to show more of the technical things inside the car with the front suspension visible and showing more of what the engine etc look like in the back.
          To me, there is a huge treasure hoard of interest currently hidden away behind mostly closed garage doors. I would love to have more insight into all of it.

    3. Completely agree with the COTD. I’m surprised Honda hasn’t pulled the plug already. Every piece of news is a new failure.

      I know they keep saying the problems can be fixed, but how long can they keep saying that without results before even their own bosses no longer believe them?

      1. @k-l-waster
        How long can the bosses expect results without providing enough backing for it?

        1. @rethla
          I hadn’t heard that Honda was underfunding their program or starving it for personnel or equipment. As far as I know the problem isn’t resource availability, it’s actually achieving something with those resources.

          From what we’ve been seeing and hearing, this is the second fundamentally flawed engine design Honda has come up with in 4 years.

    4. I just can’t get my head around what really Mclaren wants to achieve with it’s communication.
      Honda would already lose publicity and would work on 100 percent to improve it’s performance without this garbage Mclaren does about them in public.
      I honestly and strongly believe it’s just worsens the whole situation, as it introduces unnecessary friction between them.
      Also they could do much more to help the case of Honda, but instead they wanted exclusivity, which hurts of course the development work, as there is way less data and mileage from the PUs.
      And who the hell speaks about a business partner in such a bad way…

      1. @leventebandi

        who the hell speaks about a business partner in such a bad way…

        Normally, those who aren’t impressed with the work their business partner is doing. If it isn’t up to the levels where both sides expect it to be, then you do sometimes find that companies go and complain.
        It may look childish, but it’s not entirely unfounded…

        1. Well, in busineas, that kind of level of public outburst and bashing is really rare, as it hurts the public umage of both sides.
          Did Mclaren include a performance clause in their contract? If so, then go and vindicate it. If not, then keep shut and work, till the contract is over…

      2. I honestly and strongly believe it’s just worsens the whole situation, as it introduces unnecessary friction between them.

        It might worsen the whole situation to the point where Honda decides to leave, pay McLaren the contractual $100million, and McLaren has to return to their previous PU supplier :p

      3. Red Bull talked a lot worse about Renault than McLaren are now talking about Honda. And the Renault engine was way better than the Honda has been in the last 4 years. I think its really unfair to blame Mclaren for voicing concerns about an engine that has only finished 2/6 races this year! Sure that might not be all Honda’s fault but come on. They looked horrible in testing and now they look horrible in the race weekends. I’m surprised Mclaren/Alonso kept so positive for so long.

      4. Fukobayashi (@)
        24th April 2017, 13:47

        I’m just tired of Boullier and tired of Honda. I’m just bored of hearing about them and their struggles and I just want Alonso back up to the sharp end of the grid.

    5. I’ve read that Libery are open to the idea of F1 sharing the bill with IndyCar…so why not both?

      1. The same I was thinking about reading the article

      2. @jackysteeg @leventebandi Liberty may be open to the idea but Indycar are less so as the feeling is that holding a race on the same track/weekend as F1 would only serve to highlight how much slower Indycar’s are which would not be beneficial to Indycar at a time when there trying to be seen as a top-tier category as there trying to re-build & grow.

        To a lot of the more dedicated fans, They know that F1 is quite a bit faster than Indycar. However the more casual fan that Indycar is trying to grab to help itself grow seeing that an Indycar is a few seconds slower than the slowest F1 car doesn’t send the sort of message that Indycar wants to send them.

        It’s the same reason you won’t see Formula E race on existing race tracks with existing categories, They don’t want the performance comparisons to other categories because they feel that it would hurt them.

        1. @gt-racer, furthermore, Long Beach is one of the higher profile road course races that IndyCar runs, so there is also an element of not wanting a rival series to overshadow them. Were there not rumours that IndyCar used to have a “do not compete” clause in their contract with the event organisers that blocked them from holding an F1 race for that very reason?

        2. Formula E would be embarrassed by 250 cc super karts.

          1. My college used to race in the BARC clubmans champs (1600cc full bodied sportscars). We were at meeting with the supercarts and they embarrassed us! 15s a lap quicker around Donnington than us…. Great to watch too, 4 aside going into Redgate on multiple occasions.

    6. Thanks to this new microsector thing in broadcasts, we will finally see, if the the boring mantra, that the Mclaren chassis is top notch and the best of the grid holds any truth. If so, then in twisty microsectors, at COTA or the Hungaroring for example, we will see 50 shades of purple from their cars.
      But I have a bit of skepticism about it, as they could easily shift the blame in public without public access to the relevant data

      1. I don’t think I’ve seen the microsector thing work besides Australia.

        Anyway, you can’t judge it like that. If you have a power deficit, you have to change your setup to match, e.g. get rid of some downforce.

        1. FOM just put out a video from the Bahrain gp, where it is used to compare the laps of both Mercedes
          https://youtu.be/sFx77CgBu58

          However, in Hungary, I don’t think they will have to do a much compromised setup

          1. @leventebandi
            Interesting, Hamilton aint loosing any time at all in the sector where hes supposed to have had an faulty DRS. Much cry for nothing it seems like, i wonder who made that up.

            1. @rethla, that is because you’re thinking of the wrong lap – that video shows Hamilton’s first flying lap when the claimed DRS issue was supposed to have occurred on Hamilton’s second flying lap.

    7. Not sure I’d like to see F1 at Long Beach given how they would almost certainly look at making changes for safety as well as better pit/paddock facilities which would alter the character of the place.

      Long Beach is as popular as it is because it’s a real challenge for car & driver. It’s bumpy, It’s really narrow in places, There are a lot of surface changes & it’s in general a very old school type street circuit & I can’t see F1 wanting to keep it that way & changing any of those ‘features’ would remove a lot of what makes it such a good, challenging circuit.

    8. Neil (@neilosjames)
      23rd April 2017, 1:20

      I might be in a minority but I just can’t get excited about the prospect of F1 at Long Beach. The only big draw of it to me is how ‘old-school’ and rugged the place looks as it is now, but they’d have to rip half of it to pieces and resurface everything to satisfy the FIA’s safety chaps, then plaster some new bits on to make it long enough for F1, so it’d just be pushed even closer to the world of the generic, sanitized, 90-degree-corner-filled street circuit.

      And in the nicest way possible, Long Beach itself doesn’t strike me as a ‘wow’ location. It’s OK, but’s not Monaco, or even Singapore…

      I’d prefer it if Liberty could quietly convince someone to plonk another COTA down on the West Coast, or even a street race in a more interesting location. But I’m open to being persuaded that Long Beach is awesome, if I’ve missed the point or something.

      1. The real attraction of Long Beach is the weather. It’s about as perfect as can be, quite honestly- it’s a lot like Andalusia or Morocco- constant sunshine, no humidity, 70F temperatures; that is the benefit of the area being surrounded by a desert that is right on the water. Being a native of the Los Angeles area I can tell you that that specific part of Long Beach where they stage the race is really nice but the area west and north of that location is pretty standard and not so nice; it’s really quite industrial. There are shopping malls with lots of restaurants and places to walk and harbors full of boats- and palm trees. Lots of palm trees.

        1. *Any Moroccan coastal city

        2. And it only rains from December to March there- and even so, rain is minimal to non-existent during those months.

      2. It is also very close to Hollywood, which means lots of famous movie people would attend the race- which many have and still do. So of course the glamour factor would skyrocket.

      3. @neilosjames you’ve mirrored my thoughts exactly. I don’t know what it is about Long Beach but I just can’t get excited about it. And I’ve even been there, albeit not when the race was on.

        There’s just no landmarks there, I just think of sun-bleached asphalt, concrete walls, the car park section and little else. You can so worse sure, but there are better. I know it’s a different country but Surfers Paradise blows it away.

    9. F1 regulations would destroy the character of the Long Beach track.

      1. Yeah, probably. I personally wish they would go up to Ocean Blvd. again, and that would give it real character again; and they then could extend the straight leading up to the hairpin.

    10. Lando Norris says Red Bull junior drivers don’t have “the most control over what goes on”, so he chooses the McLaren junior driver program? McLaren treats its drivers with about as much esteem as a wheel nut or a visor tear-off. This is the team that wouldn’t even let their own world champion driver keep his own trophies and helmets.

      Not that he’s wrong about Red Bull; their young driver program is a mercilessly competitive environment, where you can be sacked even if you’re performing well, just because the next guy in line looks like he might be a tiny bit better than you. But that’s the pinnacle of motor racing for you.

      Norris has done well in the (very) junior formulas. He might be right that McLaren is his most likely route into F1. The way things are going in Woking, they won’t have many recruiting options left open to them besides talented juniors or pay drivers. But he’s kidding himself if he thinks he’s going to have any more control over his destiny at McLaren than at any other team.

      1. In regards to trophies obtained by drivers, I thought it was normal for F1 teams to have a clause in the driver’s contract that all trophies belong to the team, and that if they want that trophy they have to get a copy of it made.

        1. That’s only normal at McLaren.

          1. Kgn11, in the case of Hakkinen, I think that it was something of a blessing that McLaren kept the original trophies given that all of Hakkinen’s replicas were destroyed a few years later when a fire broke out at his house.

            You’re wrong that it is only McLaren who have kept drivers trophies, since at least some of the other teams on the grid are known to have kept their drivers trophies as well. For example, Red Bull have kept at least some of the original drivers trophies in their factory – there is a video of Webber from 2011 where he was talking about some of the trophies in the cabinets at Red Bull’s headquarters, and in that video he shows off the one he won in the 2010 Monaco GP (you can tell that it was the original one because he points out where he damaged it after knocking it against the top of the podium stand).

            1. Red Bull kept ‘some’ not all, McLaren’s practice was to give the drivers copies.

    11. You wanna race in California? Go to Laguna Seca…now that’s a F1 race I would love to watch!

      1. Agreed!

        Long Beach is boring.

      2. Laguna Seca in its current format is a great circuit but it is too small for F1. The cars would lap the track in less than a minute, and they would have to extend the track again. Sonoma, another great circuit near San Francisco would be a great option for F1, but it would need to be made safer than it is now.

    12. Long Beach returning is a real long shot for F1. Having it back would be great but quite honestly I wish F1 would go to the Fontana Roval track, which is about an hour and 15 minutes away from the site where the LB GP is staged. F1 needs to be on a circuit like that. And the biggest problem for F1 returning to LB is lack of permanent facilities there. What local taxpayer is going to want to pay for permanent facilities for another series going there when they already have a great open-wheel racing event that doesn’t require permanent facilities? To try to get all the European people on this site to understand- F1 is just not as appreciated in North America as it is in its homeland continent. It’s not a series that originated here in America, unlike NASCAR and IndyCar of course.

      1. I think I agree, mfriere. If F1 returns to Long Beach, it will (initially) be as an experiment and a novelty. The hosts will not want to pay for the additional facilities in terms of pit garages etc that the FIA demands. Also, don’t I remember that the course is very short? I think it’s less than two miles, which is even shorter than Monaco and well below the minimum track length set by the FIA.
        So if you have lots of new facilities required, plus an extension to the track, PLUS F1 will demonstrate the speed deficit that your domestic series has . . . Not going to happen, is it?

    13. I like the idea of F1 drivers doing other formula races during a season but I’d also like the reverse to happen too, which could only happen if F1 teams were allowed to run a 3rd car.

      1. @emu55
        Why do they need a third car for that?
        We got plenty of paydrivers and room for gimmick drivers. Why would a third car be any different than two cars, is the third car supposed to be pointless?

        1. Lower down teams probably could switch drivers for a race but I cannot see the top teams doing this. Would be great entertainment seeing Scott Dixon or will power driving a third Ferrari or Mercedes. Or Montoya in the Monaco Grand Prix in a third Williams.

          1. @emu55
            Well i dont see why they would swap out a driver in the third car if they wont swap out a driver in the second car. Getting a superlicense probably is the biggest hinder for having one of drivers however.

    14. Hosting fee of $2.0 million versus $25.0 million
      Ongoing required capital investment of $2.0million versus $200 million
      And the revenue difference for the promoter would be what, perhaps ten thousand additional bums-in-seats and perhaps a 20% boost in ticket prices across the board?
      And for the city of Long Beach, a hundred million additional viewers around the world will see their city while watching the race, then turn off the TV and never give it another thought, never visit, never spend or invest one thin-dime in Long Beach.
      They needed to hire KPMG for this analysis? Incredible how dumb people in government really are.

      1. The city of Los Angeles has the money my friend, this will not he an issue…

    15. I disagree with @todfod on Honda’s prospect.
      Their philosophy is to go trough the bad times, withstand the flak and come out on top. I read (not sure if this is true) that their original plan has a 10 years schedule.
      The current situation is not ideal, but giving up would be far worse. As far as I know – and correct my if I’m wrong – in the Japanese culture it’s worse to give up than fail while doing your best. Given that they are not short on cash nor time (even though McLaren is short on the latter), Honda can still improve and thus has not shown it’s best.

      In short : I think they’ll be there in 2017.

      1. @x303

        They’ve abandoned their Japanese ideals before when they quit at the end of 2008, just after finishing last in the championship. I think they’ll do it again once again in 2017.

        1. @todfod
          Fair enough. We’ll see…

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