Start, Suzuka, 2017

Engines aren’t F1’s biggest problem, costs are – Lowe

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In the round-up: Williams technical director Paddy Lowe says the huge difference in wealth between the front and rear of the grid is the biggest challenge F1 faces.

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Yesterday’s announcement is the latest in a series which have left @AmbroseRPM disappointed in F1’s new owners:

Liberty have been running F1 for 11 months now and I’ve been left severely unimpressed.

• The Austin introduction fiasco, gee that went well.
• The podium in Mexico was odd to say the least.
• Asinine ideas like three-two-three grids
• No indication of a reduction to ticket prices to attend Grand Prix.
• These engine regulations (which they have been a major part of) have little appeal whatsoever. Road car development is moving towards the hydrogen fuel cell, not V6 energy recovery. F1, in my eyes at least, is a marketing exercise for the manufacturers so they should be enticing to fans. If I were running F1 we’d be having V10 twin turbos with MGU-K for 2021 and beyond, that would bring more fans to the races and retain existing fans, I’m sure.

Liberty are looking little better than CVC. This is sad.

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On this day in F1

  • Gerhard Berger won the first Japanese Grand Prix to be held at Suzuka 30 years ago today

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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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  • 76 comments on “Engines aren’t F1’s biggest problem, costs are – Lowe”

    1. Another Ferrari International Assistance strike? Referring to the Vettel track limits. Although, it did not affect the race outcome. But hade he overtook Hamilton, I am sure that he would be told to give the place back in USA.

      1. @krichelle And then you see Whiting at the driver briefing dismissing this fact with yet another bizarre display of total lack of understanding of how racing actually works. Who cares if Vettel took the same amount of time going through the corner, when came out of it with much more speed.

        Although I don’t think it’s actually FIArari this time again. Whiting just keeps showing how incompetent he really is. I wish we never had gotten to see these driver briefings. I always held the guy in some regard. Perhaps not that high, but at least I assumed someone doing this for decades had some idea of what was actually going on.

        By now he is so far down into his own reality that going wide doesn’t give an advantage that he can’t suddenly acknowledge that he was wrong all the time. He’s going to keep this nonsense up until everybody forgot he said these things and then perhaps we can get a proper ruling again.

        1. I have no doubt without going too far out on a limb that Whiting knows a vast amount more than you do about F1 and racing. I’m sure you are misunderstanding and/or misinterpreting his meaning and intention, perhaps because you want to.

          I’m going to speculate a bit on the reasons why they didn’t have a strict rule about going wide at T19, and I think is has to do with not being too over policing, and allowing the drivers to keep up momentum for the sake of showing that the cars are lapping faster this year than last. I could be wrong but suffice it to say it was fine all weekend to go wide at T19.

          My interpretation is that whether or not it gained a certain driver on a certain lap in a certain session or the race an advantage, all the drivers were obviously free to do it. When they are all free to do it you can see that LH’s complaint about SV doing it would fall on deaf ears. LH could have done it too if he felt it was that advantageous. When they can all do it for no penalty, then no one driver has an advantage over the other drivers who are free to do it too.

          Max on Kimi was completely different as it was on the inside of a turn nobody had been cutting, and was for a pass for a trophy. Far more consequential to the race result than anything going on all weekend at a corner where everyone was free to go wide. Nothing stopped LH from gaining the same advantage he accused SV of getting.

          1. So it’s ok to exceed limits and gain time so long as you don’t actually overtake at the same time?

            Sounds stupid to me. Exceeding limits is exceeding limits, if time is gained then a penalty should be served. If it’s ok for everyone then it should be explained in the briefing before the race.

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        1st November 2017, 17:45

        No action taken on that move is consistent with similar moves, so it’s not FIArrari at work. In my view, it’s an illegal overtake if you pass the car on the track but then go off the track because you outbraked yourself or something like that.

        If Whiting thinks extending the track on the exit does not give a driver an advantage because they are adding more distance to their race (which is true), he can’t go back on that without contradicting himself if drivers choose to use the entire runoff in the last two turns of Austin.

      3. @krichelle What? Vettel should’ve been penalized for hitting Hamilton but he shouldn’t be penalized for being forced off track by Massa, it’s not like he cut a corner.

    2. Although I don’t agree on everything with the COTD, I sometimes think that it would be better if F1 were owned by another European company rather than a US-based one.

      1. I’m glad Liberty Media bought F1. Prior to Liberty Media buying F1 the intention seemed to be to wind down the operation to the point where it could be shut down and the assets sold off. Now the intention seems to be to keep it operating on a sustainable basis.

      2. One point on the COTD, we cannot ever expect prices at the track or on TV to ever become affordable due to Bernies greed and Max Ms complicity. In the 1st. contract between Bernie and the teams, Bernie convinced the teams to give him 50% of revenue after expenses but with a guarantee that the teams would not earn less than they were at the time, no doubt Bernie justified his take on the basis of the risk that he was taking by working full time without salary and the need to double revenue before he could claim his full 50%. As we all know the stars all aligned nicely for Bernie and F1, satellite and cable TV boomed allowing live coverage from anywhere to all the major markets, and without any competition from future technologies, the broadcasters were desperate for content. When it became time to re-negotiate the contract (Concorde) F1 was well established and booming but Bernie clung to his 50% determined to keep his share or destroy F1. We all know how he gained total control over the TV rights, and sold his rights for Billions rather than share more of the revenue with the teams, that poison pill of Bernies has ensured that F1 as we know it will always be hugely expensive to own or watch.

    3. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      1st November 2017, 9:47

      Absolutely awful, negative COTD. Liberty have been a breath of fresh air and it’s only the first season.

      We have much better social media, marketing and fan interaction. And Ross Brawn’s team making all the right noises about how they envisage F1 of the future (No DRS, closer competition through a smaller performance/cost ratio, and already the engine regs which are a step in the right direction).

      Yes it will be slow going to get there and I’m sure they will do a lot of things that don’t please us all but to say they are just as bad as those asset strippers at CVC is ridiculous. I’d also like to add that that there is a lot less negativity in the paddock than there was a year ago.

      1. Agreed – the Formula 1 YouTube channel for me has been the most impressive change. Plenty of great content on a weekly basis.

        1. Not only the official channel… they’ve also started going after individuals posting FIA footage as visciously as they did in the days of Bernie.

          Someone rewatching a pass/crash/other individuate is GOOD for the sport. People aren’t gonna cancel their pay tv subscriptions because there are five minute highlight clips on YouTube…. but they just might spark an interest in f1 from someone new to the sport.

          1. @they also STOPPED going after…@

      2. I agree. seems whoever wrote that isn’t aware that things take quite a bit of time and seems to sit in the camp that confuses volume with excitement.

      3. Agreed.

        COTD needs to look at the wider picture before making such judgements. If you think that the focus is moving away from providing the slickest 3hr TV programme towards providing a better fan experience (specifically increasing driver access) trackside and via social media some of the changes and things they’re experimenting with might make more sense.

        Ticket prices and the delivery of a proper online subscription service will take a number of years due to the nature of the existing deals in place with local promoters (the cause of high ticket prices) and the TV networks (sold as exclusive rights).

        Hydrogen fuel cells have been the future for the past 15 years and they’re still 15+ years away, in the meantime the focus is on getting the most out of the energy systems that we do have in which F1’s been pretty relevant in improvements to turbos and MGUKs which is prob why they’re sticking with them. Do fans really care what type of engine is in the back if it’s the fastest? I don’t remember dragster racing, monster trucks etc being that popular across the world and they’ve got massive engines.

      4. It’s a wonderful example of rose-tints.

        Have they forgotten sprinklers? Medal systems? Bernie’s fixation with going to countries with zero Motorsport heritage because of the $$$?

      5. exactly @rdotquestionmark – I couldn’t disagree more with today’s COTD.
        Even the TV coverage is much better: better angles, less ‘advertising shots’, grid interviews, etc. etc.
        Amazing what Liberty achieved in less than a year. Even the TV coverage angles

        1. And I too agree with you posters in your disagreement with cotd. Liberty have not even had a full season in charge yet.

        2. RE: Advertising shots. I agree that we get much less superwide angles that focus on a billboard rather than the car. But I do think we actually get more on-track advertising, only it is done better and smarter. Those animated huge boards we see behind the track are eyepopping. With previous billboards, you kinda stopped noticing them after a while. These – not so much. But I’m totally fine with it since the race itself is better covered.

      6. Totally agree; COTD is nothing more than negative opinion with no facts. The only thing I do agree with is the ticket prices. Having just gone to the COTA race, even one-day tickets were a little steep and food prices were beyond ridiculous ($14 for a burger). That said, I understand Liberty is looking to re-negoatiate the circuit contracts for more acceptable fees which should address ticket prices in turn.
        Liberty has been a total boon to F1 with the increased fan involvement and actual marketing for the races. I expect both to expand over the next few years. Simply the fact that they want to invest in the sport and ensure historic circuits are kept is better than Bernie/CVC taking races to whatever dictatorship is willing to pay. The dirver intros at Austin were well received by the fans there and each track should do their own program to cater to their fans. You are not obliged to go or watch if it offends you.
        3-2-3 grids are a damn sight better suggestion than Bernie’s reverse grids and sprinklers!
        Not sure where the commenter gets his info on manufacturers moving towards fuel cell cars being the wave of the future.
        Number of maufacturers with fuel-cell cars on the market now: 3; Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai
        Number of manufactueres with hybrid cars on the market now: well, pretty much all of them to include Ferrari, Porsche, and McLaren

    4. Regarding COTD, I’m half and half.

      I was on the fence for the driver introductions; I liked the idea, but in practice it dragged on and the announcer could barely pronounce driver or team names longer than 2 syllables. I’d perhaps only be willing to see it again if they only introduced, say, the World Champion, the top 2 in the Championship, the last race winner and the home drivers.

      The DJ idea in Mexico actually sickened me… clearing off the winning drivers from the podium as if to say “right folks, that’s finally over, let’s have a party!” Hated it with a passion.

      As for Liberty as owners, I’m willing to give it time on all fronts. Technically, I have huge faith in Ross Brawn to produce something that is forward-facing, but also competitive and open to interpretation. Commercially, I’m sure prices will drop, accessibility will increase and personality will return. In short, these things are not going to happen quickly. They needed a year or so to understand the in’s and out’s, find out what contracts exist and get a good plan in place. I will remain as optimistic as I am currently for at least five years, as that’s when I expect to start seeing real change for the better.

      1. I actually liked the DJ on the podium thing. Not as much for the drivers but for the fans. I feel like it was good value for money and kept the atmosphere going on for a bit for the fans in attendance. They should, however, delay it until the driver’s are well and properly off the podium.

      2. I agree with you on the fact the driver intro thing dragged. Surprised they didn’t lift the Indy 500 idea of introducing the drivers row by row rather then individually.

        The DJ was a bad idea on the podium. I thought it was something showy to crown Hamilton as champion, but it ended up looking ridiculous. Hopefully it’s confined to that podium and if they use it again then they have the good grace to let the drivers leave and TV return to their presenters.

    5. @cotd: What more could they have done? Many things are locked for years because of the way Bernie organised the governance. They are an american company, and the intro at Austin fits that audience. I think reaction where mostly positive. At least they try new things, and I believe they are methodical in their approach – so they learn from the hiccups. Next year it will be an improved version.

      They would have to start giving money back to the venues in order to lower ticket prices. I don’t think that would go down very well with their shareholders, as they are not an NGO. But I expect them to do this in the long run by lowering the price of admission for new contracts and helping venues get more exposure (OTT broadcasting will also help with this).

      Engine regulations are complicated, since you need to attract new manufacturers and retain current ones. So you’d have to balance all interests. It was always going to be a concession. In the end the main thing is a competitive sport, with enough elements to be able to get temporarily ahead of competitors by technical innovation. Chances are good it will be achieved with these new regulations.

      They seem to be in this for the long run, and 11 months to be honest is awfully short to expect real results..

    6. Also on this day in F1: The sport’s first ever day-to-night race the inaugural Abu Dhabi GP took place on this day in 2009 and same with the 2015 Mexican GP.

    7. F1 is about prototypes. I don’t mind Liberty trying new things that don’t work provided they aren’t cemented like DRS and the knock out qualifying were.

      The driver announcements were quite cringe inducing. But were a bit of fun and with refinement could work. The podium disco was appalling, that needs dropping and never speaking of again. 3-2-3 grids might work, only one way to tell.

      And ticket prices need something doing.

      1. Agreed all round.

    8. Aren’t we living in the era of obsessing over simple answers to complicated problems? Let’s keep worrying about how these engines sound and introduce another set of regulations for spending millions more…. and skip over the current problems.

      If F1 brings back V10s or V12s, all shall be fixed. None of these balanced regulations, cost reduction, nurturing the supporting formulas, palatable ticket prices or cost-control is going to work. A few extra decibels will…..

      And, while we are at it, let’s get rid on Ross Brawn, he seems like he absolutely knows what he’s doing….unforgivable!

      1. Is anyone actually claiming that sound is everything, and fixing it will solve all F1 problems? I don’t think that’s true is it, and if so who is saying this? Surely most people know that there are many aspects to the problems in F1 to overcome… or am I missing something here?

        1. Loud noise papered over the cracks in the past and they just want to paper over the cracks again.
          Not enough people will vote with their feet. It’s too glamorous

        2. @john-h, comment threads on sites like f1fanatic do represent a tiny, tiny portion of comments or reactions of F1 viewers worldwide. Don’t assume that the sensibility and rationalization you see here applies to all.

    9. The driver introduction at Austin was a fine example of fans having selective memory and hearing. Everyone ran amok, and commented that “It’s a rubbish idea and would not work in spa/silverstone/blahblahblah” But that wasn’t the plan at all.
      Actually it was meant only for the USGP, and to bring some local flair to the event, as Liberty tries to differentiate the GPs in their camaraderie. It needs some polish, but it worked out well for the home crowd.
      One of the drivers, maybe Max said in the Thursday press conference, that previously the pre and post race events were all the same (and boring). I don’t see any wrong in giving the races a bit more personality, to have some local flavour.

      Also guys, be thankful to FIA, to not trying that hard to play the ‘Road relevance’ card, as we would see 3 cylinder 1L engines…
      The only thing buzzing me regarding the new PU formula, that there is even more spec parts, and even some parts are not said spec parts, their design and dimensions are even more tied to the regulations.

      1. Yeh, I really fail to understand the hate for the introductions. I thought it was pretty clear that it was only for the US GP, and introducing the idea of portraying the culture and making each race feel more like a tailored ‘big’ event for each country.

        They clearly never had any intention of carting Michael Buffer around the world to introduce every GP! I think people hugely misunderstood.

        1. It was just so… how can I put this… ‘tacky’.

        2. @ecwdanselby, even then the response from quite a few fans in the US was mixed at best – some might have enjoyed it, but others felt that some of the introductions for some of the drivers made little sense, along with the observations that some others have made that the whole event was not choreographed well and ended up dragging on for too long.
          Some have also commented that, in some ways, the introduction felt like it was pitched at the wrong kind of audience and that the average viewer in the US who watches F1 is probably not the sort of person who wants that sort of show either – quite a few seemed to be more embarrassed than entertained.

          1. People watch Formula One because they are better than that.

      2. It would have been nice if anyone had bothered to tell all the fans that the driver intros were planned to be US-only. Channel 4, at least, had no idea what the plan was (other than a driver intro of some sort was going to occur), and there was nothing on the internet to say it was from what I could see. Patchy provision of information does not inspire confidence, rather confusion.

        The FIA is trying the road-relevance card, and specifically cited that for not going to V8/V10/V12.

    10. Good old Sir Jackie Stewart… Anyone else notice in the pre-race Sky coverage how when asked about his feelings on Lewis Hamilton setting the new British record for World Championships how he proceeded to talk about himself and his era for a couple of minutes? The only time he referred to Lewis was towards the end of his reply when saying something along the lines of ‘you don’t become the best by having the most dominant car and most wins’.

      I mean I’m not in any way surprised given his past comments, and not saying what he said was right or wrong, it just gave me a good chuckle!

      1. Yeah, you sort of expect it of him, don’t you @ninjenius.

        On the “it’s deeper” thing, I am sorry to have to say, but i cannot ignore feeling that the reasoning there is only “skin deep!

        1. I’m inclined to agree. Especially after how Stewart went on about how stupid & ungrateful Lewis was for leaving McLaren for Mercedes, repeatedly referring to Lewis as “a lucky boy” (never heard him call any of the other drivers boy… not even the teenagers) & saying how he’d never do any better at Merc. I also recall him calling Lewis a “ballerina” at Mercedes for not rolling over & conceding the championship to Rosberg & I’ll never forget it. It’s pretty obvious what his feelings on Hamilton are, & at least one of his reasons for said feelings is just as obvious, IMO.

      2. @ninjenius I thought the same! would Jackie have expressed the same opinion about Andy Murray’s Knigthood! Who over the years has been significantly outperformed by his three main competitors!

        1. It’s tennis, so he probably wouldn’t talk about it unless he absolutely had to.

        2. Pardon my ignorance but wouldn’t Andy Murray have to be compared to other British tennis players success for a knighthood? That’s what I’m getting from Stewarts comments. He’s naming other successful British drivers who won 2 championships apiece. Sterling Moss didn’t win the WDC. So there’s got to be some validity to what Stewart is saying about receiving knighthood?

        3. A knighthood should only be given for doing good works outside your day job, having been outstandingly successful within it.

          In sport, preferably also given when you’ve stopped taking part. Annoyingly ‘early doors’ winners, in no particular order, Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah, Andy Murray.

          Big Lewis fan, but no way do I want him to be Sir Lewis right now, suspect he doesn’t either.

      3. Its abit unfair on sir jackie as he is so old, I have always liked him but his attitude toward Hamiltons incredible sucess is embarrasing now, its all because he doesn’t like his fashion which is rediculous.

      4. Sir Jackie was often very critical of Schumacher too. I think he’s just gotten old and crusty and enjoys telling people to get off his lawn.

        1. Some pretty disgusting insinuations about SJS, far harsher than anything he’s said about LH I would suggest. And of course he’s going to talk about himself when he’s asked about his record being broken and his thoughts on that.

          1. And of course he’s going to talk about himself when he’s asked about his record being broken and his thoughts on that.

            @robbie Not saying he shouldn’t, of course he can and should. My point was that his answer appeared (to me at least) to avoid praising Lewis’s achievements when the purpose of the question was to highlight the Lewis’ status as statistically the most successful British driver.

            Of course, he’s been quoted as placing Lewis amongst the best drivers ever, I just find his method of answering questions on the subject intriguing, whether right or wrong.

        2. It’s probably more of this. lol

    11. I believe he won’t be knighted because of his tax avoidance plans amongst other obvious reasons

      1. @theessence Yup, because that’s how it worked out for Sir Jackie Stewart, who lived in Switzerland for almost 3 decades…

      2. Given the royal family invented tax avoidance, that’s quite funny.

      3. @theessence, as @ninjenius notes, Jackie Stewart moved to Switzerland decades ago (he’s actually underestimated his time out there – he’s officially been resident there since 1969, or nearly 50 years), yet has received multiple honours despite his tax avoidance measures.

        Equally, Jim Clark received his OBE after he’d moved to Switzerland and Mansell received his CBE despite being officially resident in Jersey. Damon Hill, similarly, has received honours despite being resident in Monaco (and, in his case, he has taken far more measures to minimise his taxes by routing his money through Irish subsidiary companies), and Button has received honours even though he has been resident in Monaco for pretty much his entire career.

        It’s not as if other nations haven’t awarded their sportsmen with major awards either despite them being in tax exile, such as Prost receiving the Légion d’honneur whilst being resident in Switzerland. Hamilton is no different to the other drivers who have received similar honours, so I do not see why he is being singled out for criticism.

        1. so I do not see why he is being singled out for criticism

          Well there is one thing that very obviously singles Hamilton out from the rest of the drivers your listed … but that’s just a coincidence right?

          1. Well spotted, Martin. But most cannot spot this pink elephant in the room.

        2. If you honestly believe that tax avoidance has no adverse impact on the equation, well you’re just plain wrong unfortunately. Also, any reasonable person who isn’t a ‘Hamilton fan child’ will absolutely agree that relatively he has contributed very little to society. Disappointingly Lewis’ self obsessed, hollow, Instagram life- is what it is. Hence there is nothing outside of motorsport which warrants any serious recognition for Lewis, which is why he will NEVER get that recognition which he craves (as a narcissist). But maybe it’s just because he’s black. Man…

          1. @theessence

            If you honestly believe that tax avoidance has no adverse impact on the equation, well you’re just plain wrong unfortunately.

            If you actually pay attention to what is being said, you’ll find that we’re providing a fact-based counter-argument to your claim that a driver would not be given a knighthood due tax-avoidance. Not denying that it might be looked up adversely, just obviously not enough to deny somebody of a knighthood. But evidently you’re the kind of person that likes to construct arguments by putting words into other people’s mouths.

            Also, any reasonable person who isn’t a ‘Hamilton fan child’

            Correct me if I’m wrong but I get the impression that, to you, a person can only be “reasonable” if they share your opinions and perspectives? Given your posts are largely based on opinion and bias, I wouldn’t go around implying that you have the “reasonable” view here…

            relatively he has contributed very little to society.

            You do know that the word “relative” is a relative term, yes? You need to elaborate on who your comparing his contributions to otherwise your statement is meaningless.

            1. I wasn’t going to respond to you as you’re largely a lost cause, however I thought I’d direct you here Open your eyes haha!

        3. because he’s Lewis Hamilton….

    12. I think I disagree with, or have a different point of view of, almost everything in the COTD today…
      • The Austin introduction fiasco, gee that went well.
      – They tried something different. It wasn’t everyones cup of tea but it probably suited the US market. With some refinement (like Buffer walking down the grid and introducing the drivers by their cars rather than the walk out) I think it could work

      • The podium in Mexico was odd to say the least.
      – again, something different. New things aren’t always going to work but if we kept doing everything the same we wouldn’t have the fantastic podiums at Monza and Silverstone

      • Asinine ideas like three-two-three grids
      – gotta say this is the first I’ve heard of this one…

      • No indication of a reduction to ticket prices to attend Grand Prix.
      – I would assume this would be connected to a reduction in the fees for holding GPs. They’ve said they’re not going to renegotiate existing deals but they would like to ensure that certain events remain on the calendar. That could ultimately mean a reduction in the race fee and a corresponding drop in ticket prices by the promoters. Right now they seem to be concentrating on giving you more for you money at each event.

      • These engine regulations (which they have been a major part of) have little appeal whatsoever. Road car development is moving towards the hydrogen fuel cell, not V6 energy recovery. F1, in my eyes at least, is a marketing exercise for the manufacturers so they should be enticing to fans. If I were running F1 we’d be having V10 twin turbos with MGU-K for 2021 and beyond, that would bring more fans to the races and retain existing fans, I’m sure.
      – They’ll be louder…which is apparently designed to appeal directly to everyone who’s been whinging about that since the new regs came in. Yes, F1 is in part a marketing exercise for the manufacturers (and that’s a good thing because if it wasn’t they wouldn’t bother), but more importantly a development area for relevant technologies. Most road car development is moving towards plugin electric rather than fuel cell but either way, neither of those tech are anywhere close to being ready to run a 2hour race at F1 performance levels.

      I think the 5 years that these new regs last will be the last F1 engine spec that has ICE as the main power component. I can see them moving to something like 4WD electric with a small ICE used only to keep the batteries charged. If it’s quick and technologically interesting I’m all for it ;-)

    13. Great choice of COTD Keith. Now, I could pick on the seperate points mentioned (overall, I think it’s good that they think about new ideas how to make the event more fun and test them on a small scale), but I think the point where it get’s things completely wrong is with the ticket prices.

      Sure, Liberty DID promise to give us better bang for our buck with the races. But anyone who expects them to do that by lowering the ticket prices (even if they could, it’s the race promotors in control of that), should look around them at other top events. It’s not going to happen.
      Just look at how much you pay for a rock concert – 1 evening, maybe 3-5 hours, or a champions league football game, or just something like visiting an amusement park. When I look at them, an F1 race already seems like a decent deal (going on prices for the lower tier granstands and GA). The way forward is to make visiting races more fun, more value for money. Not to lower prices.

      When even the local wine feast in a smallish town here costs 8-10 EUR to visit for a day, you pay about 40-60 EUR to visit a real zoo and you pay about 15-20 EUR for an afternoon in the aquapark (prices in a country with about 15-17.000 EUR a year average wages), you are not going to get lower than it gets. We got GA tickets for Austria for 70 EUR, how is that too much money, unless off course the experience is bad.

      The biggest positive I see, is that under Liberty the atmosphere has changed. FOM and the teams seem to at least try and work together with promotors to change things, to try and make it more fun to visit. And they have started to put footage out there, so that we can actually share things about the sport and get others excited too.

      Under Bernie, every single change seemed targetted at getting us to stop going and instead shell out increadible money to pay for seeing some of the action on Pay TV. Not to mention his toxic divide and conquer approach to rule making and dealmaking making every issue the sport has to deal with worse.

    14. Great choice of COTD Keith.

      Still a ‘great’ choice tough; it fills the comment section on a slow news day ;)

      1. as response to @bascb

        1. PS – Am I the only one struggling with single clicks being seen as ‘double clicking’ on this site??

        2. Oh, you are certainly right there Egonovi – it IS a great choice for the CotD, because it does exactly what it is supposed to do: spur discussion about a topic by using a stronly worded, sometimes controversial view.

    15. There may be duller motor sports talking points than “will [insert driver name] get a knighthood?” but none spring to mind.

      I can think of a few from recent round-ups:

      – Hamilton planning movie about his life and amazing rise to Formula One (The Sun)
      “I can’t wait to share the full story visually. There will be a movie.”

      – Champion-elect Lewis Hamilton not impressed by victory cigar (BT)
      “I guess it’s like that movie Independence Day and they had a cigar to celebrate victory. I thought it was kind of neat, but they taste disgusting.”

      – How the most interesting man in sport is taking the fight to Donald Trump (The Telegraph)
      ” […] Lewis Hamilton is considering whether to take a knee for the Star-Spangled Banner when it plays out before Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.”
      [Yeah, the last one is controversial, but still, there were like 10 articles about Hamilton going back and forth on that question, and it was nothing but hot air in the end]

      Those are just a small sample of articles that make a lot of sense if you do think Lewis Hamilton is the most interesting, most importantest person in F1. But if you don’t, they’re beyond dull.

      On the other hand, a single article on the question of knighthood for F1 drivers doesn’t come close to dullness, in my opinion. It’s a valid question, albeit not one of great importance. But if we contrast the example of Stirling Moss, who had to wait an eternity for this particular recognition of an outstanding career in sports (as well as setting standards of sportsmanlike behaviour that are completely alien to current drivers), and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (who was knighted within a year of winning the Tour, under circumstances that make it seem vanishingly unlikely that he adhered to the most basic rules of the competition), it becomes clear that there is indeed plenty of room for speculation and different views.

      But I guess the irritation and consequent reproach of ‘dullness’ stems from the fact that this very discussion puts Lewis Hamilton’s status as the most interesting and most importantest person in F1 into question.

    16. Michael Brown (@)
      1st November 2017, 15:47

      The podium DJ was cringey but I think the circuit organizers should be allowed to do what they want to promote the race weekend in their own way.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        1st November 2017, 15:48

        Sometimes it’s good, like in Australia with the graffiti art and by Hungary with the artwork of Alonso on the deck chair.

    17. That Pochettino comparison is a bit woeful. Alonso has virtually zero chance of winning a race, unless the rain gods help him out considerably. or Piquet Jr. makes a comeback. But Spurs have a way better squad than Leicester, who won the title just two years ago.

    18. It’s really sad that no one listens to what Lowe says. Although there is always an end to a set of regulations.

      Besides that he says that new regulations won’t bring teams closer together and instead will do the opposite, he brings up the spending chasm between the top 3 teams and the rest.

      I agree that is the biggest issue F1 should deal with if we want more competition. And then we’re not talking about a few million extra from the prize money. But budgets of close to half a billion compared to those around the 100 million to 150 million range.

      1. True but I don’t think Lowe is saying anything that even we in our armchairs don’t already know. He says ‘we need to find some great wisdom’ when it comes to controlling costs, but doesn’t suggest he knows the answer. Rules stability sure, and isn’t that what we are seeing with the announcement of the pu format for 2021? Not a huge departure from what they have. I think Lowe is saying the things Liberty and Brawn already know, and we just need to give them time, as this is only their first season in control.

      2. The first thing that came to mind reading what Lowe said was what was unsaid. If not engines being the biggest cost issue, then what? Aero! Seems that simplifying aero would be a way of self limiting budgets without having to institute actual spending limits. And as an added bonus it could increase competitiveness on track between all cars. Hopefully something in that direction is in the works by Ross Brawn and his tech team.

    19. Paddy Lowe’s comments about the spending problem in F1 are one side of the coin (to use the metaphor of money) with the other side being prize money distribution. The problem can not be fixed on either side of the coin alone but instead both sides need to be addressed in some proportion to achieve success. The announcement of the 2021 engine formula with the note that it was discussed with current and prospective engine manufacturers signals to me that FIA are trying to address the cost issue by standardization and simplifying the design, this is something that would entice more engine builders to the sport. I have also heard Ross Brawn comment on the unfair distribution scheme of the prize money as it is defined currently, I presume this is on their agenda to fix as soon as they can. Progress is being made, that’s my point of view.

    20. You Go Shave-z
      1st November 2017, 18:52

      There was me thinking the costs were too Highe !

    21. There may be duller motor sports talking points than “will [insert driver name] get a knighthood?” but none spring to mind.

      — Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) October 31, 2017

      How about engine noise?

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