IndyCar too scary, Formula E not exciting – Button

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Jenson Button rejects future moves to IndyCar or Formula E for very different reasons.

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Brendon Hartley’s F1 debut should provide some interesting talking points this weekend.

I hope we get another comparision between WEC and F1 from an experienced endurance driver. I enjoyed Andre Lotterer’s comments back in Spa 2014, but he was driving a Caterham and he didn’t even get to complete the race.
@Fer-no65

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Keith Collantine
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  • 64 comments on “IndyCar too scary, Formula E not exciting – Button”

    1. Following on yesterdays round-up comments, I still find it hard to believe that there are fans who still claim “Bernie did good”, track safety a case in point, Bernie seems to have hijacked the credit for track safety but the fact is he was dragged kicking and screaming into track-safety by Jackie Stewart and the drivers union he organised, it took the very real threat of a drivers strike to get Bernie onboard. Another example of BCEs greed resulted in the loss of “Free” TV coverage, despite Bernie knowing full well, and saying so, FTA coverage was essential to increase the fan-base, FTA broadcasters were prepared to pay very good money for F1, enough in fact for everyone involved to make very good money, but payTV would pay more and with Bernie shovelling BILLIONS out of the sport and into tax free trusts, the extra money was needed to keep the teams going even while their sponsorship revenue was declining due to lower viewing numbers.

      1. @hohum Your points are all valid. It makes me sad when I think of how popular F1 was before the rights were sold to a Pay TV provider and how F1 has been lost for so long that hardly anyone knows what it’s about. This week a New Zealander is racing in F1, the first time since … I think it is the 1980s. I did contact the online side of the Pay TV provider to see if they could do a “special” because it happens to also be a long weekend here.
        I had started a comment regarding Mr Ecclestone, but there wasn’t any point. He had his chance to make things right and he missed it.

      2. @hohum I don’t want to defend Bernie, I’m glad he’s gone and I lament the approach of maximising FOM revenue at the expense of the teams who suffered declining direct revenue through sponsorship, but statements like “with Bernie shovelling BILLIONS out of the sport and into tax free trusts, the extra money was needed to keep the teams going” you’re deviating from facts into the land of leftist fiction. Sure, Bernie made a lot of money out of it but the money going into the shareholders’ pockets was an agreed proportion of revenues and, quite frankly, it’s up to no-one but those shareholders what they choose to do with their money. The fault here lies largely with the teams who failed to stop someone who had once represented the teams from becoming a liability to the sport – they let FOM take on the commercial rights for a pitance without any protection to stop FOM competing with the teams and putting taking commercial rights decisions which reduced the value of teams’ own rights. Much of this also happened after Bernie had already sold control of the company so by the time there was a significant move away from Free to Air Bernie wasn’t even shovelling billions anywhere, it wasn’t his money (no doubt he was still well paid and did well out of his residual shareholding though!).

        My point is – stick to facts and you have a largely good comment, a single sentence risks turning your comment into a rant.

        Finally (just one more little defence of BE) there is no doubt that Bernie created the value for F1 teams in the first place before he began to erode it. The net result is much wealthier teams than without Bernie, but they’re probably less wealthy than if he had done the initial great job he had and taken retirement at state pension age.

        1. @jerseyf1, Point taken, however Bernie had already put billions into his family trust account by selling the rights Mad Max virtually gifted him, that money plus dividends had to be earned back at the teams’ expense. Bernie didn’t have to retire to leave F1 in good shape, he could have made himself an equal partner with the teams, most people would be happy earning 100million pa doing something they loved, but not Scrooge McEcclestone. I apportion no blame to investors.

        2. …leftist fiction

          You mean just “fiction”, yeah? Let’s keep the politics out of it.

    2. …Button didn’t beat villeneauve… Button did alright from 09 onwards.

      1. I’d say third in championship in 2004 in a BAR Honda was ‘alright’ too!

      2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        17th October 2017, 7:52

        He outperformed JV, combined with Jacques losing the team now ran by Richards (who didn’t like JV and resented his mega bucks salary) is what effectively ended JV’s career. He was never the same driver after that season. In contrast it was the turning point in Jenson’s career.

        1. Since reliability is one of the big aspects in F1, this year, last year, etc etc, let’s be accurate that JV had far worse reliability than JB that year. In terms of raw talent, JV was by far better than JB in an apples to apples comparison. JV scored half the points of JB, but with a third of the reliability, on a team whose new manager had it in for him publicly from the very car revealing that year, a manger who didn’t last in F1 longer than JV’s remaining career after that season.

          Richards publicly touted JB as F1’s next WDC. When media asked JV about that within minutes of him having been blindsided by Richards skewed remarks, JV said basically that when JB shows us something, he will respect that. By half way through the season JV was acknowledging JB’s talent.

          1. JV was by far better than JB in an apples to apples comparison.

            In the 4 races they both finished, Button finished ahead in 3. Was Villeneuve often running ahead when he retired? I know that on the 7 races Villeneuve retired from, he qualified behind 4 times.

            JV scored half the points of JB, but with a third of the reliability

            Button only had 2 more retirements (5 vs 7, each driver had 1 DNS), so I don’t understand where a ‘third’ comes from. Did Villeneuve often suffer poor reliability even when he finished?

            1. Yes it was 8 to 6 in terms of retirements or non-starts for JV over JB plus JV was ousted and replaced by Sato for the final race. So 9 to 6 or 33% more ‘issues’ shall we say and that doesn’t include issues JV had while still being able to finish races. This all in a car that scored a total of 23 points for the season, so hardly a car either driver could answer to each other with due to it’s inadequacy. Hardly the consistent stuff to be able to equate one driver over the other like we can when each is in a top car that works. This take this season and decide JB ‘outraced’ JV or that he was somehow better than JV is a real stretch of reality. It was JV’s very presence on the team that caused Honda to return to F1 at the time, and it was through their urging and promises to JV that he remained after the first 2 seasons of BAR. Did JB ever do anything like that? Have enough cache to start a brand new team with a group, and to draw the likes of Honda back into F1? JB may have outpointed JV in 2003, but in a highly political atmosphere that even saw JV ousted. That sound like he really had the tools at his disposal, all the while trying things to gain a full second, while JB, under no pressure, could be content with any little increment more.

      3. I don’t understand your comment @peartree. The only year they raced together in BAR Honda, Button comfortably outraced Villeneuve. Yes it might have all been down to Jacques swan song in the team but in motor racing as in all sports, there is no “yes but” in the results, only points. Someone else noted that he dragged that unforgiving machine to 3rd in 2004 no mean feat. I know you have no “love” for Jenson, perhaps it is because he is a middle-class Englishman, I don’t know, but he does deserve his place in F1 history even if he appeared to be “like a singer in a boy band” to paraphrase Jacques. Ouch!

        1. Hmm…around here there sure is a big ‘yes but’ when it comes to LH’s dnf last year. I think there is nothing wrong with pointing out a blokes unreliability. I just don’t believe in singling that out as the only factor, and conveniently playing woulda, coulda, shoulda by metaphorically rewinding the clock and only substituting select aspects, and then saying ‘see…if only that one thing were different…’ I can acknowledge that LH is a better driver than NR was, but NR was close enough to his level to get the job done in 2016. NR’s win happened for various reasons, LH’s dnf just being one of them, and to give back LH that dnf means there should be an equal opportunity to give back NR Monaco, or the race he got spun in the first corner and relegated to the back etc etc.

          JB didn’t ‘outrace’ JV. JV had far worse reliability. The ‘singer in a boy band’ comment came when JV was blindsided by Richards who was promoting JB as the next WDC, a JB who hadn’t really proven much. Once JB showed some stuff, JV acknowledged that. At the time though, Richards had put JV in a difficult spot politically.

          JV, the by then proven WDC, was sometimes asked why his less accomplished teammates would beat him. His response, paraphrasing, was that they were looking for any tenth or two they could find in order to pad their careers, but he was secure enough in his already proven resume to be trying to find the full second or two the car really needed, and so was trying far riskier things with his cars to truly advance them. Things that in the end just simply weren’t within the cars. And drivers are coloured by their cars.

          1. When they were teammates in 2003 Button beat Villeneuve 3 times in the 4 races where they both finished, or in other words Button outraced Villeneuve. You say Villeneuve had worse reliability but Button himself had reliability problems too, most notably in USA when it looked like he would have achieved a podium without the engine blowup, Villeneuve never looked like getting anywhere near a podium that year.

            1. I remember JV qualifying 3rd in first qualy at Melbourne and having an issue in the 2nd session with the car….

              I like JB but as Robbie said the boss wanted JV out and there wasn’t a lot he could about it. So not the best comparison really. As for someone saying the 2004 car wasn’t very good well that is just tosh that was a great car but they didn’t really know what to do with it so never got the win or 3 it should of had.

              You could argue had JV been there that year they may of as it is funny how when a good car falls into the hands of a fast driver how he raises his game again. Hill at Hungary and Spa springs to mind.

        2. @baron Button was my favourite driver, I still remember the first time I played f1 championship season 2000, I picked JB, of course. I don’t see Button like I used to, particularly after re-watching past f1 seasons. Concerning JV vs JB re-watch their time together, I don’t rate Villeneauve that’s also a factor, but above all wikipedia doesn’t quite cut it.

    3. Wait, there is an aircraft for F1 experiences? What does it do/carry?

      1. If we have to ask, we probably can’t afford it 😊

      2. F1 experiences is run by Paul Stoddart, who owns an Airline…so yeah, naturally he’s got a plane!

      3. I saw the F1 experience plane parked in Denver a few years ago and was curious then who/what it’s associated with. This was before Liberty and the new “F1 experience” marketing campaign. It also had Abu Dhabi graphics on the tail when I saw it, but it definitely said “F1 experiences” on it as well.

    4. I thought that susan g komen charity was a scam?

      1. That’s why it’s teaming up with F1!

      2. It is… they only spend 20% of their budget on cancer research.

        1. @kanundra I recommend you have a look at the link @maciek posted before you wrote that.

          1. @keithcollantine I did read the Snopes link. It includes a link that SGK is a research charity, not an awareness charity.

            20% towards research from a research charity is not good.

            Please read more on SGK, they’re a very poorly rated charity here in the US.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_G._Komen_for_the_Cure#Controversy_and_criticism

      3. It is a scam. And anyone who gives em money is an idiot.

      4. As almost all are. In the US charities seem to be openly corrupt, there’s complete transparency to what companies finance the charity. I think a give away is having a cancer inducing product donating to a cancer foundation.

    5. So a formeren champion coming from a series that will feature the HALO next year says Indy Car is too “scary”….. what a PR disastor for F1 in the US

      1. It’s not the greatest endorsement F1 is it.

        Button seems to be out to ruffle some feathers this week.

      2. Maybe I’m not a good example, but I don’t care if a sport is scary.
        As long as I can recognise the skills of the drivers and the car technicians then F1 is the sport for me.

        Cage fighting seems scary to me as well. Not something I fancy ;)

    6. Button is Welcome to stay home behind the telly…or writing books..

      1. Have you seen his girlfriend? I’d consider staying home too…

    7. wow, that button book sounds absolutely terrible.

    8. joe pineapples
      17th October 2017, 9:45

      Ah another soundbite from Jenson ‘I’m flogging a book atm’ Button .

    9. Haha have to agree with Jeffrey. Button saying Indycar is too scary doesn’t exactly look enticing to non F1 fans, especially non F1 fans in the US who Liberty are trying to pull in. And given the fact that Indycars are going to look like beautiful Indycars again next year vs the jungle gym Formula One drivers will have in front of them…..

      1. +1 I wish Lewis would go to Indy so we could get some proper coverage in the UK. I don’t know anyone who has BTSport!

        1. Hamilton & Alonso (how about Verstappen too) in the Indy 500 would be beyond mega!

    10. Button – the former F1 world champion – making Formula 1 drivers look like chickens.
      If I didn’t know what IndyCar was, that statement – and the beautiful black car in the picture – would make me wanna tune in ASAP :)
      It would make sense to speak in that tone about competing in top fuel dragsters or sth like that, but not about a series that is very similar to F1 and only goes about 30kph faster on some tracks.

      1. Ovals are a whole different ball game though.

      2. Sounds like you don’t really know what Indycar is

        1. @pastaman
          Sounds like you don’t understand the situation from a broader perspective than your own. IndyCar fans know what IndyCar is, but the general F1 public, who will have read Button’s statement, do not.
          On the whole, vast spectrum of motorsports, where you have sports like rallying, dragsters, moto-cross, speedway, monster trucks, destruction derby, motorcycle trials etc., Formula 1 and IndyCar – the two top closed-circuit single-seater racing series – are as close to each other as can be. And the word “top” for all intents and purposes comes down to basically saying they are the fastest, with F1 boasting the official title of being “THE fastest”, which is commonly used to define what F1 is.
          When you explain IndyCar to your uncle, you say “It’s like Formula 1, but they also race on oval tracks where they are a bit faster”, don’t you?

          And then your uncle hears a former Formula 1 World Champion seing he’d be scared… not to take part in a Dakar Rallye, where you could die falling off a cliff, no to race a crazy dragster that may explode at 400kph, but to race in that other racing series that is like F1, but just a bit faster here in there.
          Do you see the point?

          1. I think you are underestimating how dangerous it is to race on super speedway oval tracks.

            1. Irrelevant.

      3. The ridiculous thing is that Button’s comment about FE not be exciting enough, where then we take ‘excitement’ in motorsport to mean, high speed, danger, risky situations and manouvers, everything Indy Car has, yet that’s ‘too scary’
        Without an F1 career Button would have jumped at the chance of Indy Car. The truth is he’s had a very comfortable career in F1, very comfortable lifetstyle with disproportionate wealth. He has nothing to prove. He did better than most people expected with 1 x F1 championship. He struggled in his recent return to F1. Hardly surprising he can’t find something he fancies.

        1. He would have jumped at IndyCar in his early career, but there were two events that happened since then that would make him scared
          The death of his friends of Dan Wheldon(2011 Las Vegas) and Justin Wilson(2015 Pocono) are what scares him from doing ovals

    11. Everyone who drives Formual E seems to enjoy it

      1. How many of those drivers would ditch FE if given a F1 drive? I’m betting most.

        1. Like Button they were no longer competitive for F1, so what’s your point exactly?

      2. most of the drivers in formula e are there because they have nowhere else to go so there not going to say they don’t enjoy it are they.

        the cars are slow, unexciting with rules that are some of the worst, most gimmickey in motor racing history. total joke of a series full of drivers not good enough for f1 with a lot that were in f1 and failed to do anything of note there so got booted to formula e because no other open wheel series would take them.

        harsh but i think fair.

        1. You’re talking out of your backside. The only other open-wheel series to go to, without going back to junior or feeder series, is Indy car, which Button has said is too scary.

          Whatever you say about Formula E, it fills a gap and drivers enjoy the cars and the unique environment there, not to mention technology and progress is guarnteed to be fed into the series

          The most exciting racing and a Formula drivers still go back to regularly is Karting, but *you* and very few people watch, do you, I wonder why.

      3. Do you know of a racing series where the drivers say they don’t enjoy it?

        1. Funnily enough and contrary to opinions here, Formual 1

        2. Schumacher and Alonso have both stated on occassions they thought Karting was more enjoyable. You would never watch that though would you. Not real cars, top speeds not high enough, not enough of an ego massage?

    12. Do you know of a racing series where the drivers say they don’t enjoy it?

      Formula 1?

      1. @kbdavies lol. Such as? Let’s have some quotes (not just after a car has broken down…)

        1. Senna’s closest ever rival, Terry Fullerton, ‘I didn’t like F1’

    13. Can’t wait to see those “scary” IndyCar’s next year! With considerable less downforce they’ll even be scarier, and they sure are beautiful.

      1. They will not have less downforce! They will have less downforce coming from the wings, but more downforce coming from the underbody. On the whole, downforce levels will remain the same.

        1. You haven’t done much reading. The new car will have considerably less downforce. It was part of the design criteria. Read any comments from the drivers regarding testing, such as this QUOTE from Ed Carpenter at Phoenix.

          “The car’s definitely different, you can immediately feel how much less downforce it has. It’s forcing a lot more lifting in the turns and a lot lower corner speed, and then it definitely accelerates faster, given as much drag reduction as this kit has. It requires a different style from us as drivers – the line we’re taking is pretty similar, but we’re working the pedals a lot more, and going down a gear.“

    14. It’s a bit late in the day in this thread but Indy Car is definitely more dangerous than F1. Look at the horrible accidents and deaths which have occurred in Indy Car in recent years.

      I think Jenson is basically just being sensible. Why put himself at a high level of risk at this stage of his career. He doesn’t need to do it and there are alternatives.

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