Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Silverstone, 2017

Alonso took grid penalties at Silverstone to benefit in Hungary

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso reveals McLaren deliberately took power unit component change penalties at Silverstone to maximise its chances in Hungary.

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Comment of the day

Lots of you are very happy to see Robert Kubica appears to be on course for an F1 comeback.

I’m Polish and I’m really happy to see all that positive comments about Robert Kubica. Thanks for that. The news about him going back to racing in F1 it’s absolutely amazing and I can wait to see him in Hungary.

This is gonna be most important test of his life witch I believe he is going to pass with flying colours. Kubica is prepared and so determined to get back like no one else.

For those who don’t know, it’s not like he didn’t race at all, hi did participate in races around Europe in different categories to rebuild strength and he was always saying that he would love to get back to F1.

So now it’s the time to put him in the seat and let him do what he does best.


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IndyCar’s new 2018 superspeedway configuration was revealed ‘in the flesh’ for the first time yesterday. More piuctures and video here:

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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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  • 124 comments on “Alonso took grid penalties at Silverstone to benefit in Hungary”

    1. This chick hating on Darren Heath is hilarious.

      1. I know right. I see the offended generation are having a field day on that post! Jeez.
        (I’ll admit the pic is a little bit pervy but the reactions to it were over the top!)

        1. if that was the only photograph Darren Heath took the entire race weekend, I would agree, there’s a problem.

          But seriously, folks– hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have emphasized secondary sexual characteristics as an important part of the evolutionary process.

          As long as you remember those curves belong to real, live, breathing, intelligent women who should have the same rights and opportunities as their male counterparts, where’s the actual (not perceived) harm?

        2. Lets all be offended by everything instead of enjoying. Not many real men left is there? The day that a picture like that offends me I’ll be dead.

      2. Neil (@neilosjames)
        25th July 2017, 1:31

        Thing is, he’ll have known exactly what sort of response he was going to get from certain people, so at least part of the tweet (if not the entire point of it) was a fishing expedition to see if he could snag an angry person or two. Or as he might put it, see if he can catch some snowflakes.

        I’m of the view that, if he wants to get excited about looking at (and taking photos of) female backsides, fair enough. Bit silly getting angry with him and accusing him of being all sorts of bad things over a simple tweet…

      3. @toxic Hungarian girls are spectacularly good looking, but… isn’t that too much? so many things to show from Budapest and F1 and you select the girls backsides? from a respected motorsport photographer, you’d expect a bit more…

        Like it or not, you can’t deny it’s a sexist comment.

        1. @fer-no65
          How exactly is it a sexist comment? And what’s wrong with showcasing “Hungarian girls which are spectacularly good looking”?

          1. @andrewf1 What’s wrong with showcasing girls? Hey the 21st century called and didn’t leave a message…

            I guess since Heath doesn’t call himself a journalist it’s his right to post whatever he wants, just like it’s everybody else’s right to take him up on it. If I took that picture I’d show it to my best bud no doubt, but I wouldn’t be posting it online because some stuff is cool private but in bad taste in public, you know?

            1. Haha this whole thing is comedy gold

            2. @maciek
              Again, the question was – what’s wrong with showcasing girls “which are spectacularly good looking” as the user above me mentioned. You haven’t answered it.

              And it’s rather funny to have you say it’s kinda the wrong thing to do and then proceed to admit that you’d do the same but only show it in private.

            3. @andrewf1 my point being that if you put something out for public consumption you also open it up to public opinion, and please of course we all do and say things in private that we don’t in public and with good reason.

              And about showcasing girls, if you don’t get why that’s a notion that goes against any social vision where people are equal then think on why it is that we don’t ‘showcase’ other specific groups of people based on physical traits… anymore.

            4. @maciek
              So in your first paragraph you argue that such a photo should be kept private.
              In your second paragraph you argue that such a photo shouldn’t be taken in the first place.
              Seems like you’re still unsure on what type of argument you’re trying to make.

              If you think that taking such a photo is in itself wrong, you do you keep on making a difference between whether or not you keep it to yourself or share it with others. Surely on principle alone, you shouldn’t have such a photo at all.

              And about showcasing girls which are very good looking – you’re still not answering the question – why is it wrong to do so? How does highlighting one’s attractive physical appearance go against people being equal? Your most probable assumption that this somehow reduces the subject being photographed speaks more about yourself than it does about the girls. It’s a highlight, not a reduction of anything.

            5. Well the vision is wrong then, we should of course treat people equally, but the truth is people come in different size and shapes, they are all quite different, which is of course great! What’s wrong with showing the truth???

            6. Duncan Snowden
              25th July 2017, 15:50

              “some stuff is cool private but in bad taste in public, you know?”

              Oh yes. It’s just too, too, terribly common, isn’t it, plastering poor delicate young ladies’ bottoms everywhere? That nasty little Heath person ought to know his place, my dear.

              (Just a thought: has anyone bothered to ask the girls themselves how they feel about it yet? At all? I mean, as far as I’m aware, Hungary overthrew its socialist dictatorship thirty years ago; nobody’s dragooned into a particular job under pain of imprisonment any more. Presumably they volunteered for this, know what it entails, and are free to quit at any time. If you care so much about people, how about crediting them with some agency and free-will?)

            7. @andrewf1
              a) I very most pointedly did answer your question, if you refuse to acknowledge the answer, not much I can do about that

              b) you seem rather intent on restating what I say as something that isn’t what I said and then arguing against that, which doesn’t seem like much of a proper discussion

              c) to be clear, I think that:
              1) taking that picture is fine
              2) putting it up on social media is in bad taste for an an established photojournalist
              3) if someone feels the need to call that sexist, because it is, that is their right and
              4) it’s rather telling that when someone calls sexism the angry male brigade goes to the barricades with an old school bully mentality of ‘she cares about stuff, what a loser’

          2. @andrewf1 ‘what’s wrong with showcasing “Hungarian girls which are spectacularly good looking”?’
            Except that picture offers no way of telling if that is true, since the only thing I can see there are butts. This picture isn’t, ‘Here’s a pretty girl I saw on the gird,’ it’s, ‘Hey, look at these asses, phwoarr!’ Are you honestly going to pretend you can’t spot the difference between those two?

          3. @andrewf1 as @charleski says… this isn’t a picture showcasing the beauty of hungarian women, it’s the objectification of women in its pure form. Just buttcheeks and nothing else? and the comment pointing it out as if there were any doubts…

            I’m sure you can see beyond the image. It’s the ideas behind it that disgust the most.

            1. @charleski, @fer-no65
              This silly notion of “objectification” gets thrown around all the time and yet it is most often meaningless. It’s only objectification and a reduction of a person’s integrity if you choose to view them solely in such a way.

              If you see someone’s derrière and immediately think that’s what they amount to, the problem is with you, not the photo or the subject. There is nothing obscene about the photo, it’s just highlighting an attractive physical trait.

              You can either have a “that looks great” type of reaction, which is perfectly fine and natural, or you can have a “that looks great – and that’s all they represent to me” type of reaction, in which case, that’s your problem.

            2. @andrewf1 You know what? I know exactly what Darren Heath thought when he took that picture, and I know exactly why he posted it. How do I manage this feat? Is it because I’m a mind-reader? No, it’s because I’m a man, and I know why men do these things. This has got nothing to do with the wishy-washy post-modernist relativism you’re trying to embrace.

              But please, carry on, it’s always fun to see someone keep digging when they’re in a hole.

            3. @charleski well done on proving my last point and also on answering to absolutely none of the arguments I raised! Also, I’m sorry if “wishy washy” things are too complicated for you to understand, but it was worth the try.

            4. @andrewf1 that’s an oversimplification of the matter, but it’s alright. A lot of people are equally wrong, so don’t worry, you’re not alone! :P

              Joking aside, I respect your opinion, but I do not agree with it at all.

        2. Indeed @fer-no65, that picture was clearly put online to attract the kind of discussion that it got to boost Heat’s profile. It is a well made picture, the colours jump out at you. But it certainly is a sexist tweet+picture and not the best advertisement for Budapest nor for the F1 race at all.

          1. So if a woman posted a tweet of a row of grid guy’s (just imagine for now) asses you’d call it sexist too?

            As I guy I wouldn’t be offended or think it’s sexist at all.

            1. One word answer – yes.

              Longer answer – anything that objectifies anyone, regardless of gender, isn’t something I’m happy seeing in sport. I’ve always thought grid girls detract from the sport. It’s got worse over the last few years with the drivers on the podium having to pass through a group of clapping women as they make their way up to the weigh room after the race – it’s just completely unnecessary and to me seems pretty sexist.

            2. @sato113 What makes you think women would want to do the same thing as you would do? And because you wouldn’t feel offended means women shouldn’t too? That’s a fallacy you can’t just reason like that. Projecting your state of mind on others is a flawed reasonning.

              I dont feel particularly offended by the thing btw. It’s just a bit lame and so yesterday. F1 is already sufficiently mysogynist that theres no need to add more.

        3. If you employ girls in tight clothes to model at your event, I guess you put them there specifically to be looked at and photographed. There is virtually no other reason for them to be there. So if you are offended by a photo of models’ butts, blame the event organizer.

          1. @zimkazimka

            blame the event organizer

            I agree but just because they’re there doesn’t mean everyone has to treat them in the same way. That’s why there aren’t galleries of grid girls on F1 Fanatic, as is the case on some other F1 sites (though not as many as was once the case, it seems).

            Of course the World Endurance Championship did away with the practice of having grid girls a couple of years ago, a lead F1 should definitely follow. I don’t think F1’s treatment of women in this way is the worst (the DTM promoters are particularly bad) but it does need to be improved for reasons which I think are obvious.

            Incidentally when we had a poll on whether F1 should continue having grid girls, the majority were against it.

            1. the DTM promoters are particularly bad

              their youtube page actually has videos from each season named “the best of grid girls”

              DTM has been stuck in the past for quite a while now in every aspect really

            2. @keithcollantine

              Of course the World Endurance Championship did away with the practice of having grid girls a couple of years ago, a lead F1 should definitely follow.

              In general (not directed at you personally), the selective indignation (hypocrisy even?) surrounding this subject is sometimes astonishing.

              This add for Israel tourism is shown frequently on Dutch tv (and internationally as well, I guess). It has the same intent as the Darren Heath photo: focus on the girl’s bum. So far I haven’t noticed any complaint about this tv ad. Incidentally, this ad was often shown on Eurosport during the Tour de France broadcast with cycling being a sport women watch to look at mens’ bums. And the fact that Peter Sagan has more female followers than Chris Froome is not all about personallity.

              In the Netherlands at least, tv-viewing numbers for womens field hockey went up noticably when the tight skirt was mandated (as opposed to the pleated skirt used before). I haven’t noticed any feminists standing up against another sexist exploitation. I did notice a number of female players appreciating the increased attention for their sport.

              I have never seen outraged women protesting beach volleyball, a sport that has maximum clothing dimensions and basically restricts women to a bikini.

              I recently saw the documentary “Ukraine is not a brothel” about the feminist activist group Femen. These women protest by taking off their tops and writing motto’s on their upper body. There is a rather funny twist in this docu, when it appears that the spiritual leader of the group is a man and this guy admits on film that he founded the group in part just to meet girls.

              Of course, there are several (good) arguments to do away with grid girls, but we’ll have to conclude that it will change nothing at all. It won’t make the world a better place. Men will always notice the female form and women will always be opportunists.

            3. Who will take care of all the unemployed models?!

            4. @johnmilk

              DTM has been stuck in the past for quite a while now in every aspect really

              I bet the only reason F1 doesn’t have such videos is because they didn’t even have a youtube presence until recently. Such a video would be right up Ecclestone’s Rolex and newspaper target demographic.

          2. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
            25th July 2017, 8:46

            I think what put me off most was that I respect Darren Heath as probably the best photographer in F1, and therefore I did sort of expect him to underline my values. If that were the case, he would have opposed against objectifying women as done by the event organisers, instead of giving it a platform. But hey, here’s a reality check for me: Just because I really like Darren Heath’s work as a photographer, that does not mean that he and I are the same people with similar values.

            1. Spoken like a true politician

        4. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          25th July 2017, 8:58

          It will be politically incorrect to be attracted to attractive girls the way things are going. Just chill out and enjoy your life, or go and get one at least.

          1. @rdotquestionmark having an opinion and believing in my own words are hardly indicators that I do not have a life, or I’m not “chilled out”.

            Maybe you need to think about that to enjoy your life, instead of telling people to “get one”.

            1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
              25th July 2017, 14:01

              @fer-no65 Apologies my comment was not aimed at anyone particular just the over-reaction in general.

      4. Well, it’s not like we don’t know what he meant. It’s not as if he hasn’t singled out the motive of the picture, can’t really run away from that.

      5. I do not follow Darren Heath but if references to his posts on F1F round-ups are anything to go by, then he is the Jacques Villeneuve of F1 photographers. That is not what I want to read but controversial statements always draw a lot of attention. So this is not really a surprise.

        As for the topic itself, I do not think that liking hot girls or hot guys is something unnatural or something that one should be ashamed about. In my view, the grid girl concept should be changed – WEC removed them but I think ‘grid people’ would probably be a better solution. But right now they are part of F1 and obviously people will look at them and photographers will take photos of them. I have always believed that more followers mean more responsibility though. ‘Ooh, look at those butts’ is not really something that a popular F1 photographer should tweet but hey, this is the world we live in.

        Long story short, you should not follow Darren Heath and F1 should change the grid girl concept.

        1. Thank you. Yours was the only comment that made sense in this mess. And while Darren Heath is a decent photographer, he has fallen many times in the past with pedantic stirs in a futile attempt in remaining relevant.

        2. @girts I’m all for ‘grid people’ as it’s certainly better than the somewhat outdated grid girls in super short skirts.
          This task could be offered as a prize win to kids or fans, that would reduce costs and help reconnect with the fan base.
          I’d be delighted to have such opportunity, be so close of the drivers!

        3. ‘Grid people’???!!!

          Why do we have to make everything so PC and sensitive?
          People need to man up and stop being such wimps. There are so much more important issues in life like war, starving children and disease control.

          And yes I said ‘man up’, problem??

          1. Because if you start removing “pc”, as you so simplistically put forward, then what’s stropping us from going back to selling people of different colour? Or doing crusades? Or interment camps?

      6. My initial reaction was negative, however if it was a photo of attractive men with women commenting on their ‘figures’ I’m sure there would be little outcry.

        However, you have to put it in historical context. Women have been objectified for many years, and hence this photo is outdated and inappropriate. You simply cannot treat everything in isolation without considering the historical cultural context.

        In summary, poor show Heath.

        1. Has anybody asked the grid girls what it was like being forced at gunpoint to be grid girls? Has anybody, whether they agree with F1 having grid girls or not, or whether or not Heath should have tweeted the pic he did, asked anything about the girls themselves and their lives and career aspirations? Seems to me like even the anti-grid girl campaign is treating them like objects just for being there, like they had no choice. I bet they have highly intelligent opinions of their own on the subject since they are the ones who wanted to be there.

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            25th July 2017, 14:04

            This!! @robbie

            Nobody is breaking the law and we live in a free society. Who are we nerds to tell these girls what they should be doing to progress their modelling careers. Live and let live, this is not a dictatorship.

          2. @robbie Pretty sure they’ll just take the money but would do otherwise if they had more of it. I doubt they are motorsport fans but more coming from escort agencies and as such they spend a boring day hearing lame comments and with photographers taking pictures of their butts. Yay.

            1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
              26th July 2017, 9:48

              Poor slave girls having to watch the brum brums.

            2. @rdotquestionmark thank you for your light! And seeing your other comments I’m particularly impressed by what you brought to the debate.

            3. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
              26th July 2017, 17:20


      7. @toxic She’s 100% right. Grid girls have no place in modern motorsports. It’s outdated and absurd.

        I’m a huge fan of Darren Heaths work. For him to be covering the sport he loves tarnishes that somewhat.

        There is no justification for grid girls. That this “tradition” is allowed to continue if pathetic. For an example of how to take motorsport seriously see the WEC.

        1. At the Gold Coast Indy there used to be women going topless and hanging off the balconies (just for the hell of it).
          All the pro photographers would get out their massive lenses, and all eyes would be looking up at them.
          Not saying it’s right or whatever but I wasn’t offended at 14 years old (1999) and neither was my family offended.
          It just seemed like fun and no one was raging over it.
          Everybody has a butt, don’t be afraid of it.

      8. From the instant I saw this comment I knew the thread would be a fun one to read! I’m just going to sit back and see the fireworks fly.

    2. How difficult is it now to permutate chassis and engine in Indycar? That was a great selling point in the nineties. The Reynard versus Lola versus Swift with 3 engines and 2 tyre makers plus the Penskes. Variety and equilibria!

      1. Dallara has an exclusivity agreement which I believe is until 2020. There is no exclusivity contract for engines but to provide engines, you have to sponsor a certain number of races and possibly pay for some other things outside of the cost of supplying engines.

    3. Neil (@neilosjames)
      25th July 2017, 1:39

      On the subject of the CoTD, I really hope Renault take lots of spares with them. It’s not exactly a reliable car at the moment, and it’s be awful if such an important test was stuffed up by mechanical issues…

    4. Fantastic how F1 is turning into Showtime’ Homeland. All the stories are intertwined with one-another.
      This will be the final weekend for Ferrari if they’ll make a mistake in quali and it’s not a coincidence you see those articles. Let’s explain the connection;

      Honda is actively targeting Renault for quali as overtaking in Hungary will be impossible. It will give Force India a great gap for the summer break to ease Ocon & Perez, their finances and trim Mercedes engine upgrades, as Renault growth trend could see them getting very close to 4th by Abu Dhabi and getting in the strategy Group, meaning McLaren-Honda’s only chance of getting someone in the future with Honda engines will be tarnished. because every member in the strategy group will be against aiding them when they’ll make the new regulations as we’ve seen how difficult it was for RB to switch their engine supplier and for McLaren now.
      Getting FI as customer would’ve been the next step for Honda as FI have some cash flow issues and Honda’s engine program is cheaper, the rest of the field is already sold on their engines until 2019 & Sauber will be dissolved within 3 years.

      Don’t forget Palmer has the biggest quali gap to his teammate and if he would’ve equalled his teammate Renault would be 5th instead of 8th. So COTD is helping Renault here as Renault seem to trying to ”stimulate” Palmer with Kubica.

      As I analysed earlier. Ferrari have just 3 tracks remaining this year where their car suits the track better. Hungary is one of them. Ferrari after first getting rid of Mercedes famous suspension now made sure RB can’t come back in this vital race before the break.

      With the open secret that one of the top two teams is using oil to burn as fuel the new restriction is ridiculous. The FIA is actually saying ”So we’ve seen all you guys data, AFTER first restricting this method to 0,6 and now with 1 point in the championship and Ferrari losing the development battle, we’ve decided to up it to 0,9. And we will cap it there strictly. So everyone cap to there and make this advantage obsolete.”
      Unbelievable. And yes I know it is banned for next season. And that under Bernie we had the same stories. Difference here is they are actively changing vital regulations on a weekly or monthly basis. Just like with the tyre pressures.

      Liberty is actively influencing the competition just for the sake of entertainment & closer racing. If that is a good thing is up to the millennials who they want to attract but people should notice what is going on here.

      1. @xiasitlo Only FI is in the “strategy group” by the merit of finishing high up in the championship. The others are there more or less as a given, so McLaren won’t be dropping out of it at all, Williams is not dropping out either, despite being behind too.

        I don’t think this ban on oil burning has anything to do with Liberty at all. It is just the FIA making sure that teams are not going to great lenghts to bypass the limit on the amount of fuel and fuelflow that was put on the engines. They first warned the teams, then put a stop to extreme cases (that was Ferrari only) and put in clear rules for next year. Since they still see teams doing it to an extent, they lowered the limits for this year to stop teams from cheating a bit. Exactly the role of the regulator IMO.

        1. @bascb, as you say, it is something that has been part of an ongoing FIA investigation since the 2016 Canadian GP, which was stepped up this year after some teams started to be less subtle about what they were doing (with, as you say, Ferrari reportedly being caught after other teams noticed a second oil tank had appeared on the car). I suppose it is the case that, if you want to believe that a conspiracy must exist, then you can always twist the facts to make it fit your idea.

          As for @xiasitlo‘s claim that Force India is being targeted for a Honda customer engine, I cannot see that happening when Force India are already getting a favourable engine deal from Mercedes due to their Research and Development partnership and their links with Mercedes’s young driver programme (Ocon is, after all, part of that programme). On current performance, they would lose far more in terms of lost revenue in the WCC from losing their current position than they might gain in reduced engine costs from Honda – so financially the Mercedes engine makes far more sense.

      2. Fi cannot afford to have an uncompetative engine.

      3. @xiasitlo I’m not keen on in-season rules changes either but the practice was commonplace before Liberty Media came along. Michelin tyres in 2003, mass dampers in 2006, front-rear interconnected suspension in 2014, these are just three examples off the top of my head, I’m sure there’s loads more.

        1. @bascb
          My Dutch(?) friend you didn’t read my post. I know the permanent members. My point is that they are trying to keep Renault in check to prevent Renault from replacing FI as sole non-perm member.

          The nonsense perpetuated here in the comments is, that it is alright to investigate something, declare it good or ignore any reason to investigate physically or restrict it even after numerous complains and requests AND suddenly declare it wrong and finally restrict it 1 year later just when the market needs more attraction and put a cap in it allowing it. Absolutely preposterous That would be like the UCI deciding between the Giro and the Tour to suddenly allow cyclists to actively use EPO for the remaining year to get their haematocrit level constantly to 55% and cap it there just to get closer racing. I’m not even a Ferrari or Mercedes or RB fan. So don’t throw that on me in advance.

          People also seem to forget how broke FI is actually getting these days. It is not matter of choice at FI. Do you really think they are allowing free racing between teammates for just for the sake of it?

          That’s true, it happens more often then you would think. Just to name 2011 Spa GP or the Flexi wing in 2010 or the quali of the 2011 Canadian GP. Knock-out Quali. And more.

          But the problem I have is that I’m in favour of not changing the regulations in-season if the drivers aren’t in danger. Like with Brawn’s double diffuser. Ban after the season? fine. But now that the Aero and Turbo are so complex you would need to change the construction of the chassis or the engine, which is not often possible and therefore your car is riding around unbalanced so then it changes the championship outcome. That is distorting the competition in my opinion.

          1. I did read your comment @xiasitlo, but I probably missed your point about Renault. And I sort of still miss to see/understand your point. What would McLaren have against Renault being in there instead of FI? Especially since with Liberty the strategy group is rather getting less and less relevant anyway.

            As for the part about the oil etc, that is complete nonsense. The FIA did start to look into it as soon as they got complaints. But they first had to understand the issue and find ways to actually monitor it. Once they got a clear view, they started putting limits on it more and more, to make sure it won’t be as prolific.

            The FIA deciding things during the year, if they find out about tech edge cases during the year and find a way to police them. See the rulings against cross threading of tyres, the numerous changes to how they treat tyre pressure in recent years, exhaust blowing the floor, flex wings and floors etc. It is part of regulating the sport, where the teams constantly try to find new gray areas to exploit and the FIA constantly tries to haul them back in.
            They only put off changes when it means great technical problems. With the blown floors, banning them mid season would have made all teams have to build completely new cars, something just not possible to do.

            With the oil the range they put in is probably deviced after discussions with engine manufacturers who pointed out that their current engines currently are not able to go lower because there was no strict limit in the past (since noone had yet explored the potential for gaining an advantage). It is a compromise between what the FIA wants and what is technically possible without having the whole field take engine penalties for changing their engines all at once.

            1. @bascb
              The strategy group is wayy more important then you image it to be at least until making the new Concorde agreement. I’ll leave that there.

              The difference between us is that I’m not in favour or changing regulations because just like you also say in your argument would lead to if we would do this in the purest most honest form, the whole grid would get grid penalties because they would have to rebuild the cars. And some cars use more loopholes = so it is distorting the competition.

              And I thought the FIA had a clear view, because they were already monitoring the data from the all the teams but didn’t decide to do anything against it although acknowledging it was forbidden (so yes there was a limit). So your argument of the manufacturers not being able to go lower would be they are purposely building their cars pre-season to bend the rules which would be another problem imho.

            2. The strategy group is only importatn, IF FOM and the FIA let them be. When those agree, the teams have little options. And so far Liberty has been working pretty much in agreement with the FIA recently.
              Also, nowadays all the teams are present at the meetings, and without Bernie putting in the agenda, they are almost certain to be less of a blackbox with suprisingly stupid desicions coming out of it.

              Sure, on paper it is important. But in reality it’s importance has diminished.

              You might think that you know it all, but reality is, that things take time. The FIA monitoring everything means that they started to understand what was going one, to what extent and how. Only AFTER that could they even come up with a way to show up an F1 team infringing. So since they now seem to have confidence in being able to actually punish this, they put limits up. Anything else would have been like limiting speed on roads without having any means to measure how fast a car is going externally.

              Off course it would be great if they did not have to change the rules. But in that world, the teams would have long ago stopped thinking up new bits and tricks too. The FIA does have to react to new things coming up, and while not ideal, it makes perfect sense to do it ASAP.

    5. If the engine holds up till the chequered flag, Mclaren stand to score some good points…but thats a big IF.

    6. Formula E is still very young to properly judge it’s sucess. WTCC also had a lot of manufacturers taking part in 2005 and look at it now: barely 20 cars, and just 2 manufacturers.

      Sure they are getting Mercedes. But Formula E’s hype will end once things start to get more expensive and the benefit manufacturers get (marketing-wise) from such a tiny investment wears out. One day one of them will start to dominate and the others will leave… because that’s what manufacturers always, always do.

      1. @fer-no65, well, Buemi has already been fairly dominant this season to say the least, being able to afford to miss the double header in New York and still retain the championship lead – another season or two like that, and we might well see that happen.

        1. Yeah, but it doesn’t feel like Mercedes-like or Volkswagen-like dominance in F1 or WRC. Others still win quite a few races during the year, I think. Or at least are competitive enough to fight for wins, poles and stuff.

          1. @fer-no65, whilst he may have only taken two pole positions, in the 2017 season, out of all the races that Buemi has competed in, he has won six out of eight of them (i.e. 75% of race wins went to him).

            That is a more dominant performance than Ogier managed whilst driving for VW in the WRC – eight out of thirteen races in 2015 and six out of thirteen in 2016 – and, percentage wise, higher than VW managed in 2016 (75% for Buemi, as opposed to 69% for them that year – albeit less than the 84% rate they achieved in 2015).

            As for F1, it is true that Mercedes has been more dominant between 2014-2016, when their win rate was between 84-90%. However, this season that has fallen to 60% for Mercedes, and they would need to win every single race for the rest of the season to have a higher win rate than Buemi this year.

      2. The curious thing for me is its comparatively low popularity with viewers* seems to have no effect on the level of interest from the manufacturers.

        *This is just my impression and not something I’ve researched deeply. For example, I saw only a few hundred people watching the free live race stream at prime time here in the UK for the Saturday New York race.

        1. Levente (@leventebandi)
          25th July 2017, 8:53

          Joe Saward had a piece yesterday where he explains some of the reasons, why manufacturers are interested in such a big way in FE.
          “At the moment, the manufacturers who do not want to pay for F1 go elsewhere in the sport. This generally costs less – but achieves less as well. At the moment the fashionable place to be is Formula E, which costs very little, has environmental credibility and goes into urban areas. The fact that it gives little back in terms of publicity and prize money does not matter at the moment, but it will do when the costs start to rise, which they inevitably will do as manufacturers are given more freedom to design their own powertrains and chassis.”

        2. I’ve tried on a number of occasions to watch it but can’t see myself wanting to continue making FE part of my Motorsport agenda.

          The weird short, narrow tracks seem to not allow for overtaking without contact, the cars all look the same and overall it just seems to be a “person sized” scalextric event. I suspect that’s why it’s not all that popular.

          Maybe that will change, but I’ve yet to see anything either interesting or entertaining in FE.
          It might cater for those that believe electric is the future of motoring, but they need to do something to make it “racing” and not just something that makes people feel good about themselves because it’s “green”.

        3. @keithcollantine Formula E’s YouTube stream is geoblocked in multiple countries. I believe majority of people are streaming it through other platforms.

          1. @huhhii I’m aware of that, I was referring to the UK audience for a race where there was no live coverage in the UK so they made an official feed available on Facebook. I don’t think it got above 500 viewers.

            Incidentally, there was no live coverage because its broadcaster Channel 5 decided it wanted to show other things at around a prime time slot on a Saturday evening instead of the championship’s much-coveted race in New York. That also says a lot about how the series is perceived at the moment.

        4. I don’t understand why manufacturers want to get involved either. Is FE not still a one-car series? Would it not benefit massively (and the whole electric cars sector) from being open to innovation on motors and batteries at least? Or am I missing something?

        5. @keithcollantine I guess it’s a marketing thing, some obscure way of saying “we care about the world, that’s why we’re properly researching green alternatives to fossil fuels”. It’s like being part of Formula E is good in itself, regardless of your sucess, because it costs little money and gets you to showcase your “intentions” to be “a good company”. It’s no the technological importance of it, but the way they are viewed in the most important cities in the world. No other motorsport series constantly visits the city centres themselves, so close to the people…

          It’s like a big, cheap billboard saying: “Look: we care too”

          1. I really don’t think it’s just about that either. Performance electric is coming. Sooner or later… When it does I have no doubt the brand that can boast performance electric sporting success are going to have an edge in the market.

        6. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          25th July 2017, 13:54

          I feel that the main attraction is the growth rate of the fanbase in Formula E. They have leveraged social media in a way that no other global motorsport has, and there are some genuinely talented drivers on the rosters of the teams. The only complaint I have is the cookie-cutter straight-90 degree turn-hairpin-straight tracks, but I suppose they’ll move on to better layouts once the cars are more capable.

        7. It has a brighter future than Formula 1. These are manufacturers who see that the future is electric.

          It’s hard to justify burning fossil fuel at any level at this point. How will F1 survive in 20 years when even luxury sport consumer vehicles are electric? Who wouldn’t want to take the chance of having Ferrari-like pedigree in Formula E in the future? Especially when it’s comparatively so cheap, they can probably run an FE team for 10 years for what it costs to run for 1 in F1… They’d be nuts not to.

          I still see an F1/FE merger coming one day in the future. Perhaps it becomes F1E?

          1. I’m sure Formula E in it’s current form will not exist in 10 years, probably not even 5 years actually. Three seasons down (nearly) and it is clear that there needs to be some major changes if it is going to grow, they can’t just rely on manufacturer involvement to boost its prestige. The one day format doesn’t work, the silly novelty of changing cars during the race wore off long ago, the city circuits are not very good, the cars feel exactly the same as when this started 3 years ago, and fanboost… the less said about that the better. I gave up watching after the Paris race this year, it has lost my interest I’m sorry to say and changes are desperately needed to regain it.

    7. Is that blue IndyCar entered by the Vatican…?

      1. @dutchtreat – heh, you had me wondering what your comment was about until I saw the Chevy bowtie.

    8. Limit to 0.9 litres of oil use per 100km? What about qualification oil usage?

      1. That limit is applicable for qualifying as well @ruliemaulana, they just state it as a ratio of 5l/100km but you can use it for any distance they drive. And they will, since the most abuse of it is happening in Qualifying I’d guess.

        1. @bascb So basically they could burn 900cc oil during last stint in Q3?

          1. No. The regulation says that they can use 0.9l/100km. So if they go out for 4 laps and each lap is 5km, then they will have travelled 20km and thus will be entitled to burn 0.18l of oil.

            1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
              25th July 2017, 8:50

              If the regulation just says “max 0.9l / 100km”, then both you @mickharrold and @ruliemaulana could be correct. It would be in true F1 fashion is such a rule can be interpreted in two such wildly different ways. Love it :-)

            2. Exactly @mickharrold. No @hanswesterbeek, that interpretation is wrong, it is a ratio. If you do 1 km you can use 0,009l max, if you go for the whole race, that means you could use max of app. 3 l, which would about drain half your oil tank, I think the increased size of oil tanks was one pointer for the FIA (that is probably why they use it primarily during Qualifying, because it is enough to use only a bit)

            3. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
              25th July 2017, 13:17

              Ah, that’s clear than. So… now we know that the correct interpretation of the rule is that it is a ratio, I am curious to know how the FIA is going to enforce it. You can measure the oil level before and after the race, and know that in qualifying in, say, 80 km some amount of oil has been used … but how do you know half of that amount was used in one single lap in Q3? Even measuring in between each Q session would not do it.
              They’ll have to install ‘oil flow meters’, just like they have fuel flow meters. Now, my knowledge of (hybrid) engine tech is veeeery limited and sketchy at best, but as far as I understand the oil is all through the system and not just in a few places like where the fuel is (tank, carburettor, pressure chamber, exhaust). If anybody can enlighten me on how oil flow may be measured… please be my guest :-)

            4. @hanswesterbeek
              They will activly measure the levels of the oiltanks next year but what they will do this year to enforce this i have no idea.

              You can use 0.9l in just 1km and no oil for 99km if you choose to but all oilburning is illegal so if you do something like that you need a really good explanation to why the oilconsumption is so uneven.

    9. A nice piece from Maurice Hamilton here, talking about Tom Pryce and supporting the Halo despite it’s looks.

      1. @bascb Tom Pryce? Why don’t we bring someone from the 1930’s into it while we’re at it? Besides, Tom Pryce was a freak occurrence of a dumb marshal running across a track with a fire extinguisher. That could never happen today. And in the same vein as with Bianchi’s freak accident(that no device whould’ve prevented, save for the JCB just not being there, you cannot destroy the DNA of F1, risking alienating many fans(at a time when the audience is shrinking anyway, the promoters are struggling and contracts are being torn up because F1 is no longer the commercial attraction it was previously,no fans=no F1), all for maybe preventing a once-in-40-years fatal accident.

        It’s of course your choice to believe that it’s worth it. But then you have to face truth and realize that the only logical solution down the line is to ban F1(and all of motorsport) entirely. You cannot eliminate every path for a freak occurrence. Motorsport is a dangerous and unnecessary activity, that has no place in the rubbish health and safety conscious PC world of today. Only logical for it(and any other activity thst’s a bit dangerous) to get banned no?

        1. Sorry to have to say so to you @montreal95, but this:

          It’s of course your choice to believe that it’s worth it. But then you have to face truth and realize that the
          only logical solution down the line is to ban F1(and all of motorsport) entirely.

          Is nonsense.

          As you mention, there is no way to eliminate all risk, apart maybe by destroyign everying right now. The accident with Pryce is an example of a crazy coincidence occuring. I would also hope that this cannot occur again. Then again, it is only too short ago that we saw marshalls running around the track with cars going onto the main straight, with little more than a yellow flag to warn them going into a blind corner. And who would have thought about the Mashall getting killed because he was overran by a JCB only a few years back.

          Freak accidents are almost certain to happen again. And the Halo might prevent one of them from ending with lethal injury. THe other solutions tried offered less protection, did not work (the shield) etc, so nothing better is currently available. Therefore it makes sense to introduce it to lower the risk of injury. Just as using seatbelts and having side impact zones.

    10. 10km/h faster on copse does not give any good reference and neither does it mean that their car is faster in the corners because, even though it is just qualifying, Lewis dominated the maggots becketts chapel section. Ferrari was only quicker through Copse and Stowe but loses speed at the exit of those two corners. Whether this is down to driving style or different setups from both Ferrari and Mercedes, Mercedes were nowhere in Silverstone. It mainly goes to the hardwork in the factory by Mercedes knowing how to set their cars. In the race Lewis and Valterri we’re way quicker than both ferraris.

      1. Fast in – Slow out versus Slow in – Fast out I guess

      2. By Nowhere you mean fastest cars on track?

    11. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      25th July 2017, 9:08

      Please excuse my grumpy pessimism but Formula E over DTM, more comments over halo nonsense, some sexism nonsense. Welcome to motorsport 2017……

      On the plus side those Indy Cars look fantastic, really slender and lightweight, hope the ground effect idea works.

      Also hurry up and sign Kubica Renault, just go for it!!!!! We know he’s amazing, you know he’s amazing, if there are any concerns just do it on a race by race contract.

    12. Levente (@leventebandi)
      25th July 2017, 9:18

      Well, I think the Darren Heath tweet is blown out of proportion.
      The usual social just warrior from the US or somewhere else may not know, but it’s a long standing mantra, repeated always if a hungarian talks about the country, that hungarian women are decidingly more beautiful than women from any other country.
      It is repeated as a mantra even in the promotional materials the country does for attracting tourist (like tv spots, pamphlets and so on).
      Hell, even the foreign travel shows on travel channel and such are saying the same.
      Even from the feminist groups are only the most radical ones are against this.
      Nobody else has problem with it.

      Yeah the photo attached made the tweet a bit overboard, but not that much what justifies the backlash he faced on twitter because of it.

    13. It would be great to see Mclaren up near the pointy end even if it’s just for the one race, but give their reliability issues so far, I’m doubtful that they’ll get thru the practice sessions and qualifying without incurring further penalties.

      Hope I’m wrong but not feeling confident.

      What will be really interesting is whether anyone can get near Mercedes – if they can’t, we could be facing a dismal run to the end of the season.

    14. Fukobayashi (@)
      25th July 2017, 10:39

      That Indycar Honda livery is to my eyes, stunning. Simple, a little retro in execution, bold colours, clear space and visibility for the sponsors and best of all, more than a little evocative of the classic Marlboro colours.

    15. I don’t enterily agree with Di Grassi so far. But from next year on he might have a point. With manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes joining the already rich field I’m sure FE will gather some more followers.

      Audi vs BMW vs Mercedes sign me up right?

      1. Audi vs BMW vs Mercedes sign me up right?

        There are already secret talks about who wins where… ;-)

        1. Not if VW can have its way!

    16. the new indycar aerokit looks like a junior category car rather than a top tier, high performance indycar.

      they have tried to emulate the look of cart but have ended up making it look like a tiny, lower category cheap knock-off…. can’t say i’m overly excited.

      they need to bring back real chassis competition because the spec formula they have had the past decade or so is very uninspiring. the manufacturer aero kits were a great idea and brought in some welcome variety but sadly not enough & they let them go too crazy with aero.
      indycar can not grow as long as its seen as just another spec series thats not too different to things like f2. if it wants to grow it has to become exciting again & a big part of that is competition & variety among not just teams & drivers but also engines & chassis…. its that which allowed cart to become seen as a rival to f1 by many here in the states & not just been full of great drivers & tracks.

    17. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      25th July 2017, 12:25

      It’s time to end the absurdity of grid penalties for mechanical unreliability.

      It was meant to reduce cost. Does it?

      Surely most of the cost is in the research, design and development and not the production. Wouldn’t it just be better to have engines that were simpler and cheaper?

      Also would it not be fairer if penalties were levied against the manufacturer or team rather than the driver?

      Why not allow a driver to start from his qualifying position and score for his finishing position regardless, with constructors scoring for the finishing position minus penalty places?

      For example if a drivers car requires a gearbox change and 5 place penalty he can start from pole. win the race and score 25 Drivers World Championship points for himself but his team after a 5 place penalty, score 8 points Constructors points for 6th place. Seems fairer to me.

      1. Fukobayashi (@)
        25th July 2017, 13:25


        1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk That won’t work. What if the constructor’s championship was already won by Mercedes while Ferrari can still be overtaken by Red bull but Hamilton has a lead of just 5 points over Vettel. It would be easy to give Hamilton a brand new engine to give him the best chance of winning the championship while Mercedes won’t lose anything.
          In my opinion, we should have at least 6-8(like the v8 era)(preferably 6 or 7 so 2 races per engine on avg) engines per season which is a good balance between spending money to make a power unit very reliable vs the cost of making an engine. Besides, these means that more power can be use per race while not escalating the cost too much. Moreover, 1 outlier(accident or techincal) would not be as costly but a fundamentally unreliable engine would still be. 3 engines per season as planned in the future would be ridiculous.

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            25th July 2017, 16:51

            I think your example does show in a few rare circumstances towards the end of the season my suggestion would be unfair, but imagine Vettel and Hamilton going into the last race all square on points. They qualify 1-2 but Vettel has to take a 10 grid place penalty of a few technical issues? In principle it’s just not fair to handicap the driver for a mechanical failure.

            True there is a small but worthwhile performance advantage in running a new engine but by far the bigger advantage is that it is less likely to fail in the race. Powerful cheap engines could easily be made at a quarter of the current cost. If the regulations were framed correctly fresh engines might not represent such an advantage.

      2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk

        Why not allow a driver to start from his qualifying position and score for his finishing position regardless, with constructors scoring for the finishing position minus penalty places?

        That would be an invitation for teams to sacrifice their constructors’ championship performance to succeed in the drivers’ championship. That would be ripe with potential problems and conflicts of interest. We’d have a two-tier series where teams trying to win one championship would be going up against teams trying to win another.

        I think the logical end point of this idea is eliminating one of the two championships. But I’m not saying that’s a good idea.

        Besides which even if you did go through with this the same complaint would simply shift elsewhere. For example: “It isn’t fair that some drivers are negatively affected by their team’s lack of competitiveness, let’s make F1 a single-specification series”.

        1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
          26th July 2017, 9:21

          You are right Keith there would be a conflict of interest but there is already a conflict anyway. I think my version is more palatable, fairer to the driver and gives the team options. They wouldn’t have to do it so would be no worse off.

          We already effectively have a multi tiered championship for many reasons, driver, team, money resources etc. You know this when a team says it wants to be the “best of the midfield teams” or the like. I think the teams are rewarded by constructors points so I don’t see there being that much of a shift and if a smaller team decided to focus on their driver to give the drivers up the grid a run for their money so much the better.

          I think grid penalties are more to do with spicing up the show than fairness. The grid should line up in order of speed as it always used to. Not in order of speed and arbitrary handicaps for reliability. Yes a driver is unfairly affected their cars lack of competitiveness but this is a natural consequence of a non spec series. Handicapping driver through no fault of there own is not.

          By the way Keith, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again your site is the best place for f1 fans. Keep up the great work.

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            26th July 2017, 9:28

            Plus if the cost of engines was 20-25% of what it is now (an it could be) it would help.

          2. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk

            your site is the best place for f1 fans. Keep up the great work.

            Thanks very much :-)

            I think grid penalties are more to do with spicing up the show than fairness.

            I can see why but I don’t agree. The grid penalties are there because there is no better incentive for the teams to produce power units and gearboxes which last more than one race. That is proven time and again when this discussion comes up because no one can ever suggest one.

            Perhaps the solution is to make power units and gearboxes so affordable that they can go back to having one-race units. Seems unlikely though.

    18. It’s not just about reducing cost’s, It was also partly to prevent the bigger teams been able to get advantages from new engines, gearboxes etc… which the smaller teams couldn’t afford.
      Putting a brand new engine in a car gives a performance advantage as an engine’s performance degrades over time, During the V10 era I seem to recall somebody suggesting a fresh engine was worth 3-4 tenths a lap compared to an engine that had done a full race distance.
      Before you had the long life engines & penalty’s the top teams were using a new engine for every session while the mid-field/back of grid teams were often unable to afford to do that so were going into qualifying & later races with engines that had done most of the weekend & therefore producing less power than the top teams which on some tracks was a significant disadvantage.

      The grid penalty system was deemed the fairest way of providing a disincentive to the top teams without overly punishing the smaller one’s. Things like financial or points penalty’s would hit the smaller teams far more than bigger one’s which is not what they were trying to do.
      Red Bull for example would be totally unaffected by a points penalty as there way behind Mercedes/Ferrari & way ahead of the rest, While a points penalty for Williams or Force India would be massive as it would drop them spots in the standings which would have a financial impact at the end when prize money is handed out.

      The teams via FOTA had several opportunity’s to change the penalty’s & each time decided to stick with the grid drops as they were seen as the fairest way.

      there was a very good article on autosport plus recently that went into more detail on things, worth the read.

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        25th July 2017, 17:05

        Yes agreed regarding the costs and advantages from new equipment but it’s still unfair to punish/handicap the driver for mechanical failures when it would be better to just punish the team.

        I wasn’t talking about points penalties for teams which have the disadvantages that you point out, but finishing place penalties for teams which are subtlety different.

        Sure there is a performance advantage from a new engine but also a reliability advantage which could be huge. The modern engines could have their performance modified very easily to allow slightly more power to combat its age over a number of races.

        If the engines were 20-25% the cost they are now then a new engine could be fitted for every race and there would be no penalties and no disadvantages and the world would be a better place!

        1. I think making engines cost 25% of what they cost now – or just cheap in general – is unrealistic, if not contradictory, for the top-tier *motor*sport racing series that is F1.

          (I also hope that your suggestion of cheaper engines isn’t in any way based on fond memories of the glorified days of V8 engines, because in the past year I have read several articles from reputed and credible sources that those engines were every bit as expensive as today’s hybrid engines.)

          1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
            26th July 2017, 12:52

            No my suggestion is based on the fond memories smaller teams staying alive and being able to compete with the big money guys occasionally.

            I think engine costing 25% of what they do now could easily be powerful enough and this is motor*sport* after all. Its not sport if you can just spend your way to the top as currently.

            But hey lets agree to disagree, we all love F1 whatever. Hungry for Hungary.

    19. Are the FIA going to do something about these hot girls butts burning oil? Or are their butts flexing? Next year will they have a Halo over their butts? Were the butts in the photo a track specific package, will they be used at other races? Lots of ifs and BUTTS.

    20. Had they had powerful enough electric motors and batteries when automobile were first invented, they wouldn’t even have givin the internal combustion engine a looksie. Max torque at 0 rpms VS max torque whenever you can get the revs up to 5 or 6 or 7 grand? That’s a no brainer. Electric motors are not powerful enough for my taste yet, but in 10 years time, they will be. Around that time, burning fuel will start to be considered a total no-no. Don’t get me wrong, humans have done an outstandingly amazing job at designing and building gas engines, and it makes me sad to see all that awesome engineering go to waste, but, the writing is on the wall, and I personally don’t care how they are powered. Just as long as they make comparable horsepower as today’s engines.

      1. The most powerful engines in the world (barring insane stuff like spacerockets) are electrical so its only a matter of batteries. If you look where the batteries go when you recycle its not so clear anymore whats the best option.

        1. Are they? Whats the worlds most powerful electric motor? Why don’t large ships use them?

          1. Large ships do use them.

      2. me, you have made the classic mistake of forgetting that, by virtue of the fact that the spindle is not rotating, that motor would also not be producing any useful work – so the fact that it produces maximum torque at zero rpm is irrelevant as you wouldn’t actually be able to do anything with it.

        You also seem to have failed to realise that the electric motor predated the internal combustion engine by several decades, and the first commercially available electric car came before the first internal combustion engine powered car. In the early 20th century, the electric car was in fact extremely popular – up until just before WW1, electric cars were far more common than petrol powered cars (in the US, for example, they had close to double the market share of petrol powered cars).

        As @rethla notes, the fundamental problem has not been with the electric motor itself, but with the power supply – i.e. with battery technology. Equally, as he notes, the current favourite technology – the lithium ion battery – is not without its own environmental concerns, particularly with some of the experimental methods that are being used in an attempt to boost yields.

    21. Flexible bodywork should be legal! As long as it doesn’t fly off, who the hell cares? Stop trying to legislate all the engineering creativity out of the sport, it is part of the DNA. Same goes for the oil burning.

      1. Parts already fly off and if you are gonna allow them to put fuel in the oil just allow more fuel instead.

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