2018 F1 cars will be ‘heavy like NASCAR’ – Hamilton

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton is frustrated Formula One cars are going to get heavier again in 2018.

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Can Liberty Media strike a balance between making Formula One competitive, affordable, yet still have it be the technological pinnacle of motor racing?

Carey is correct, letting teams spend what they want is to the detriment of the racing. The problem is a budget cap would be a nightmare to police. It would be so easy to get around.

I believe in Liberty. I think in sporting terms they are coming from a good place. They want the best drivers in the fastest cars with the chance of at least eight, nine or more drivers having a reasonable chance of winning on any given weekend.

The rules need to be framed such that customer cars can be competitive, or it should be possible for a team to buy components to assemble a car at a reasonable price that allow them to be competitive. F1 has some clever people, surely they can work this out.

I understand some fans concerns at the mention of standard/spec parts etc to cut costs and make the racing closer but something has to give. I don’t believe F1 should be a 100% spec series but the rule makers may not have a choice soon. Surely someone can think of a better way. It can’t go on the way it is.

The way it is:
1. The best drivers quite often dont get into F1 because pay drivers get priority in the less well off teams.
2. Only a few drivers and teams have the chance of winning titles – boring.
3. The current cars are so aero dependant, most of the time they can only overtake with the unfair and ridiculous DRS.
4. The cost and complexity for a new engine supplier, even with the new proposed rules is off the chart and not worth bothering with.

Don’t get me wrong. I love F1. I just want to see some good close unpredictable racing. Is that too much to ask?
Sean N (@Sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)

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93 comments on “2018 F1 cars will be ‘heavy like NASCAR’ – Hamilton”

  1. Pay drivers always existed in F1.
    Few drivers and teams having a chance of winning it’s part of F1. It always have been like this.
    The fans have to make up their minds. Aero dependent or engine dependent? Ir changes from week to week.
    F1 doesn’t necesserily needs new engine supliers, if they come, good, but if not, no problem. What F1 need is to Renault and Honda to up their game.

    1. Don’t mean to take a personal shot, but this is such a ridiculous comment. Typical Bernie Ecclestone-esque era or school of thought. Things have always been this way, this is Formula1 for decades, this has been the tradition for years etc etc.

      Have we ever stopped to think… if that’s good though? What could be better? What would make it a lot better? Can it be transformed to a whole new level, even if that means foregoing some age old traditions but building on the core uber-competitive, extreme engineering DNA of Formula1?

      F1 fans are a tough bunch to please sometimes. I really don’t understand the harsh criticism of the 2021 regs from some quarters already! I can understand the existing manufacturers’ bias and valid corporate reasons to protect their trade/empires (see the stark extreme opposite reactions from Christian Horner and Sergio Marchionne for example, both are valid from their respective sides), but the fans can be a bit open right? No one has a crystal ball to predict what would work & what doesn’t, but we so often jump to give our expert opinion that the ideas suggested are dumb and would never work!

      I salute what Liberty is trying to do, in what seems like a proper, well researched manner. Or can at least be excited about the fact that they are genuinely trying… it might or might not work, but who knows that already!

      For the record, I think good competitive sport is borne out of a level playing field, and great innvovations are borne out of limited resources. If only throwing more money were the solution… And needless to say I 100% agree with COTD @Sean

      1. I don’t think @edmarques comment is ridiculous. In Red Bull era, people are whining about F1 is too aero driven. 2014 comes, and now we hear people whining F1 is too engine driven for the past 4 years. It’s not about “keeping tradition”, but I think it’s logical to expect in meritocracy, the people behind try to catch up to the leaders instead of holding back the leaders. Renault is the one pushing hybrid formula and Honda is confident to jump 1 year late, it’s not Mercedes fault that they actually the ones who built the best engine and still ahead after 4 years.

        I do agree with you about we should try to made things better but not with the goal of making everyone competitive like COTD suggests. Set other goal like “cost cutting” or “road relevance” or maybe “active aero” with clear road map. Let the teams (and drivers) do their best to build the car. Formula 1 is always being about do your best within a set of rules. Naturally some team will do better than rest and by merit domination is actually expected. Do you have people in your work or class that seems to be able to do better than anyone else (or maybe it’s you who do better)? Should we lower the task or tests to please “lesser” people then? It’s the same thing.

    2. I’m really worried liberty is going down a direction that encourages random results and doesn’t reward excellence. F1 should be a meritocracy, if you build a good car you should win races. Yes it’s maybe not super exciting every week but it gives the sport legitimacy, someone in a bad car shouldn’t expect to win in a dry clean race. There are plenty of series with crazy races where anyone can win, but then great cars and drivers don’t shine. F1 needs to have the best cars, that means constructors need to compete with each other which inevitably means sometimes one team will nail their car and clean up, it’s up to the other’s to catch up. I’m definitely in favour of sorting out the stupid prize money to make it more fair, but I’m not sure about budget caps or spec parts, it limits where teams can innovate. I loved F1 when smaller teams could gain performance by innovating areas other teams had ignored (side skirts, turbos, f-ducts etc). Renault and Honda can’t really up their game because the engine designs are so prescriptive and they’re behind in development when compared to Ferrari or Merc. If we want many engine providers just limit things like fuel flow and a fuel limit then give them the freedom to design a W16 or a V12 or whatever they want to catch up. That’ll engage the fans with the technical side and keep true to F1’s DNA.

      1. I agree. I see one of the major issues being the level of restriction and the reduction of testing. I am not really sure it saves any money as the teams simply spend more to get fewer gains as there is such little scope to be different. This means they spend all their money refining tiny aspects that they are allowed to in order to gain tiny performance gains. The lack of testing also means that engines can not be tested as often so we get the issue that if you have a great engine at the start of the season then you are practically guaranteed to keep that advantage through the season…

        Reducing the number of components that can be used in a season also does not necessarily save money… This just means that the components that they do have, need to be engineered to much higher levels which means they cost much more to make. It also means that if you have even a small quality issue on a component then you potentially have to keep replacing parts rather than fixing them and while doing so you also get grid penalties which could easily cost the team a fortune in sponsorship money. Surely it would be cheaper to fix and refurbish engines rather than having to have various sealed units that once replaced can’t be brought back in to service?

        Surely a better way to even out the field and make things closer would be to distribute the money in a more fair way to all the teams?

        Plus reduce the amount the tracks have to pay to put on F1 and reduce the share of the spoils that liberty media gets?

        The problem is that the rights holder sucks up huge sums of the money in F1 as they need to service their enormous debts while also trying to make money for their shareholders. As far as I know Liberty bought F1 with around $4billion of loans which adds to the roughly $4billion of debt that F1 was already in from its CVC days (as they also bought it with huge loans. So even at a good loan rate of around 3.5% (which I believe many of the loans are at) this would mean that simply paying the interest costs liberty media around $280 million per year! If I were the teams, I would be trying to put together a new series that is devoid of the debt and cash pyramid scheme… One where teams get a good share of the cash, tracks get to run at a profit and everything is healthy. Unfortunately we currently have a debt ridden series that means the teams do not get their fair share and the tracks can’t afford to host the races. This means that pay TV has been a tempting short term cash injection but ultimately will kill off the sport due to restricting the inflow on new fans and hence reducing the sponsorship value and ticket sales.

        F1 is sick and it may be terminal.

      2. Hucumber:

        If we want many engine providers just limit things like fuel flow and a fuel limit then give them the freedom to design a W16 or a V12 or whatever they want to catch up. That’ll engage the fans with the technical side and keep true to F1’s DNA.

        This might have been true in the 60’s and 70’s, but is hasn’t been true since the mid 90’s. After the first turbo era the engine regulations said “max. 3500cc” and we ended up not much later with everyone running V10’s. Even Ferrari, reluctantly, ditched the V12.
        F1’s DNA today is computing power. So whatever the engine regulations you come up with, someone will figure out the optimum configuration and not much later it will be used by all. Sure, there’ll be some experiments and once you choose a design, you might stick with it for a while for monetary reasons, even if it’s not a winner. But in the end there will be quick conversion to the winning concept.

        1. That is exactly right. If people ever wonder how it is that 2 completely different constructors can design 2 completely different cars and yet be within 1 second a lap with each other right out of the box, the answer is that there are very very few engineering solutions to get an object of a given weight with 4 wheels around a circuit in a given time. That is why, even given freedom of PU form factor the teams would probably all come up with an L4 or V6 Turbo. There wouldn’t be an N/A Motor anywhere in sight.

    3. Few drivers and teams having a chance of winning it’s part of F1. It always have been like this.

      And it always needed to be changed.

      1. @damon Even in spec series domination is happening. If you want many people have a chance of winning then go put winners ballast or even better put kill switch in every car that will retire the car randomly. Do you want to watch that? In high level of any competition, a (even relatively) similar level competitors is practically impossible.

  2. In reference to COTD

    They want the best drivers in the fastest cars with the chance of at least eight, nine or more drivers having a reasonable chance of winning on any given weekend.

    We have the best drivers in the fastest cars already & your never going to get to a point where you have 8 or 9 drivers with a chance of winning a race unless you go spec series & even then if you look at spec series it’s rare to get that many drivers in with a shot.

    The rules need to be framed such that customer cars can be competitive, or it should be possible for a team to buy components to assemble a car at a reasonable price that allow them to be competitive.

    if you allow for customer cars that allow teams to be competitive then what about the teams building there own cars that are getting beat by the customer cars? that would be way more unfair than what we have as you would be punishing the mid-field for doing it themselves which is why many of those teams have been firmly against customer cars.

    2. Only a few drivers and teams have the chance of winning titles – boring.

    That’s not boring, It’s F1, If you don’t like it don’t watch

    I just want to see some good close unpredictable racing.

    i would agree but i would add the note that they should not butcher what f1 is to artificially create it.
    hindering teh top teams to allow the mid-field one’s a shot at success isn’t the right thing to do & neither is going the way of gimmicks.

    a team like force india scoring a podium should mean something, it should be something truly special like giancarlo fisichella’s drive at spa in 2009. a force india grabbing a podium because the top teams have been held back or because force india have brought a customer mercedes or even because they have been handed gains to move them forward would do nothing but make that podium far less special & feel far less deserved.

    for example look at gp2/f2 & other lower categories that use reverse grids. there are drivers in gp2/f1 that have only ever won the sunday reverse grid sprint races because there not fast enough to qualify/finish higher than 8th on pure speed. we don’t look at those wins or those drivers as been anything that special while the drivers that qualify on pole & win from pole in the main saturday race are the one’s we all look at as been the best drivers.

    likewise in f1 pastor maldonado won the 2012 spanish gp, yet many fans & others around f1 look at that as been purely because his setup got the tyres working that day and as a result that win isn’t looked at as been as special or as earned as if he had done it this year or during the bridgestone era.

    good results and especially race wins should feel earned, not handed out.

    1. That’s not boring, It’s F1, If you don’t like it don’t watch

      I can’t be bothered to read comments written by someone who argues in such an infantile manner.

      What are your next arguments – “Getting robbed at gunpoint is not dangerous, it’s Brazil.”??

      1. OP gave a reasoned argument and your retort is calling him infantile? Given your own comment- I would say Pot Kettle springs to mind.

      2. You miss the point, that’s an unfair comparison. In the history F1 there has always only been a handful of drivers with machinery to win races/championships. Somehow with that history, it is still the most popular form of Motorsport in the world.

        F1 is more than close racing and equality of machinery.

        1. This is not 1955 its not even 1995. The internet has changed everything and we can get our fix of motorsport ‘best overtakes ever’ in 5 seconds flat. The game has to change and become more exiting on a regular basis or it will not so slowly die. See NASCAR, for so many years the ‘this is how you do it’ template, well audiences are down 60%. Why? Cars are still cart sprung fake saloons driven by guys who enjoy a bbq. There are just so many other things grabbing our attention. All sports are losing audience, ‘live entertainment’ is still a big draw, it just has to be worth sitting down for.

          Liberty’s honeymoon period is over. Now we’re going to see what they’ve got. And if they cant even get a rid of the sharks fin, hopes are not high they can push out over the car aero for more under the car ground effects

  3. Lewis Hamilton is right. Next season is going to absolutely suck. Drivers will spend most the races looking after their engines. Won’t be able to push, all because of the fia and I’m willing to guess that there will be no point watching practice 1 & 2 because teams won’t be willing to risk putting miles on the engines. The fia are so desperate to look relevant in f1 they have to force through 1 stupid new rule a year. This year they’ve went all out and forced through 2 stupid new rules with halo as well. If I hear anyone defending 3 engines a year because it will cut cost then you shouldn’t bother because it won’t. Engine manufacturers will have to spend even more money to make the engines more reliable which will then make engines for expensive for customers.

    1. @adamcocker (get an account) Too right Lewis Hamilton is right, LH is a racer, he enjoys racing, watching racing (since I can’t do it on the road) is what I like. Give me racing Liberty, or you’ll give F1 death.

      1. @hohum, bit ironic for you to complain so much, then sing the praises of the 1960’s when drivers would go for an entire season with a single engine (Clark and Brabham in 1964 and 1965).

        1. Not really the same is it? Say you have a broom and the bristles are worn… you change the head of the broom. Then the stick breaks so you replace the stick… is it the same broom? That is what they had back then. They used a single engine but they were allowed to fix the engine and replace parts etc. So the engine was not really the same engine through the season.

          For the record I think that is what they should do now. They should allow teams to fix and refurbish their engines as surely that would be cheaper than having 4 sealed units that once spent were trash. Plus it would mean the engines could be pushed at every race which would make the racing better.

        2. @ANON, as @lee1 points out, and as I responded to you last time, those 1960s engines were stripped down and re-built between races. With 16 engineers on hand to change tyres it should not be beyond the scope of todays teams to do the same.

    2. While I think it’s a good idea to discourage the teams from munching through engines like sweets I think they’re getting a bit too restrictive. 5 complete units for this year was silly enough, but 3 is near enough insanity. 6 seemed to be a more reasonable number.

      1. It was 4 this year.

    3. Except the 3 engine rule is not just out of a whim someday this year. It’s already planned before V6 hybrid era, and they explicitly stated the goal is to reduce engine allocation each year. Formula 1 is called formula not because its about putting a driver into fastest car. It’s called formula because the team and driver should work together within a prescribed formula (the rulebook) and be the quickest to complete the races.

      Either it’s done for cutting cost or not, frankly I don’t care. As long as every team has to do it, then it’s ok. Besides if you think drivers won’t be pushing anymore then you’re wrong. Look it this way: in the old “unlimited” engines time, they pushing just hard enough to not blow the engine in 1 race. Next year, they pushing just hard enough to not blow the engine for x amount of races.

    4. I’m must admit to being sceptical that reliable engines are significantly heavier than unreliable ones. Maybe they are slightly heavier, e.g. 500 grammes or 1 kg, but does building an engine to last 7 races really become vastly heavier, e.g. 20 kg? From what I recall of watching F1 races when engine limits were introduced, it seemed to me the incidence of in-race engine failures went down, which I think adds to the enjoyment of watching the race. From that point of view, I don’t see there is a need to further reduce the number of engines than what we currently have because I don’t see the engines themselves as being the cause of retirements in a race. It seems to me the usual causes are things like turbo-chargers and the like. That suggests to me there is a need to require power unit upgrades to have better bench testing to reduce the incidence of in-race failures. Are there restrictions on this? If so then they should be changed to allow for increased in-race reliability. I don’t think this would add significantly to the cost of an engine, unless it happened to reveal unreliable components.
      When it comes down to cost, what is the cheapest way to build an F1 engine across a season? Is the cheapest way to build an engine that lasts 7 races or one that lasts for 3? I think an engine designed to last 7 races would be cheaper than one designed to last 3, so an increase in life expectancy should be a good thing, especially for a team running on a tight budget.
      If the aim of these rules is to reduce costs, then surely the rule should be related to an average across the season rather than an minimum number of races. That way, if an engine or gearbox is damaged in a crash then it can be replaced without penalty provided it doesn’t reduce the season average.
      As others have suggested, maybe there is a place to allow an engine to be sent back to a manufacturer to have certain parts to be replaced or upgraded after a certain number of races.

  4. Villeneuve is right, Bottas was poor in Brazil, as he has been since the summer break.

    I had high hopes for Bottas to be much closer to Lewis and things did start reasonably well, but it’s all gone pear shaped since summer.

    A few years ago, Williams were saying they were certain that Bottas is World Champion material. Unfortunately, after the events of this season, he looks more like Patrese rather than Mansell.

    I hope to be proven wrong next year.

    1. @jaymenon10 Thing i’ve been hearing from people at Mercedes is that some of the developments they added to the car as the years went on has moved the overall balance of the car in a direction that doesn’t suit the way Valtteri likes it setup.

      Additionally the current tyres are so sensitive to track conditions as well as minute changes to setup & car balance that you can have a car feeling exactly how you like on one compound only to find it’s completely the opposite on another & that the way Valtteri likes the car to feel isn’t always good for how much things change on certain days with certain compounds.

      1. @gt-racer that’s good insight.

        Let’s hope that Valteri can drive around these problems next year. That’s what the best drivers are able to do.

      2. Good insight, although i would say its a bit of a cop-out (no excuse). He should of beaten Vettel in Brazil, which was disappointing as that was his chance. Full credit to Vettel though to win which i thought was a great drive

    2. Hm, given how the Mercedes clearly struggles in traffic, and since Bottas lost about half a second in his pitstop (without that he might have been ahead), I find it hard to understand why people feel the need to talk Bottas down so much.

      If he had been passed by Kimi, Max and then had to relegate a spot to Lewis, I might agree with that, but now, I just think it was close enough between the Merc and Ferraris that it never was going to be easy to fight and Bottas still did a solid job.

      1. Bottas lost about half a second in his pitstop

        Yeah, but that was against Lance Stroll ;)
        Bottas was 4th fastest during the pitstops.

        why people feel the need to talk Bottas down

        Even Bottas ‘talked himself down’ after Brazil :o
        Not firmly closing the door on Vettel before T1 was a cardinal sin

    3. Mansell didn’t exactly look like world championship material in his Lotus days, his move to Williams for 1985 was a shock to many. I am still a massive believer in Bottas. He is quick, he’s a grafter and he seems like a good egg. His only real fault is the fact that he can be a bit too conservative during the first lap of races.

      His performance in Brazil was hampered by two things: (i) Losing time in his pitstop to Vettel, without which he would have come out ahead and comfortably won the race. It doesn’t matter that his stop was the 4th fastest of the day, the acr he was racing went through the pits quicker, negating the gains he made on track. (ii) The fact that the Mercedes struggles in dirty air, even Hamilton struggled to get a run on Raikkonen.

      If you add to those the fact that people are comparing it to Hamilton’s drive, which was remarkable but also massively assisted by the early safety car, it looked underwhelming.

      1. Lewis failed to get past Raikonen for a few reasons. He was held up a lot by a couple of back markers plus by the time he got to Raikonen his tyres had been through hell!

        1. And that one front lockup was all she wrote, fun while it lasted though.

  5. Not related to any of today’s stories but few notes.

    Firstly thanks to @stefmeister for putting the feature that Sky F1 did about FOM/F1 Communications during there coverage yesterday. It’s the 1st time to my knowledge that any broadcasters has been given access to the tent & for me as somebody that was in there it’s interesting to see how much more stuff has been added as well as what they have back at Biggin Hill now.

    Secondly with regards to engines. Speaking to somebody from Renault over the weekend I got a bit of info on the MGU-H & why the current F1 manufacturer’s are so keen to keep it.
    It seems that currently 60% of the total hybrid energy that is sent to the battery comes from the MGU-H & that removing the H would end up with less overall power available to use for less time unless you do several laps of harvesting which would leave drivers running around for those laps essentially 160-200Bhp down on power.

    He went on to tell me that removing the H would also require a new turbo design as currently the MGU-H helps reduce turbo lag & that doing away with it would require they essentially start from scratch with just about every aspect of the current engines because everything would be different, The harvesting, deployment, turbo lag & way the engine transmits the power would all be completely new & require completely new software, maps, harvesting/deployment strategies which would mean everything would need to be designed from scratch with development going back to zero.

    The end result been a big increase in engine development & supply cost’s as well as everything they have learnt the past few years essentially been made worthless.

    1. @gt-racer very nice insights.

      Given my superficial knowledge of how the MGU-H worked, it felt like a step backwards to remove it for 2021, instead of using it as an example of potentially road relevant technology.

      Youe comments from Renault seem to support that opinion.

      1. It is not road relevant technology. The MGU-H is linked to the Turbo. It spins the turbo up to reduce turbo lag (not something that really affects modern standard road cars) and it generates electricity from the spin of the turbo (standard road car turbos are not high performance enough for this the be viable). Plus in a few years all road cars will be fully electric so pretty much non of the F1 cars power train is really road relevant going forward.

        1. I very much doubt all cars will be full electric in future, you just need hybrid efficient cars running Ethanol. It’s cheap and renovable. In Brazil most of the cars runs ethanol. And it’s a lot less poluent too. 1.0l turbo cars like VW Up TSI already do 10km/l in the street, puting something like the MGU-H and energy recovery system I think this number can increase to something like Ford Fusion hybrid run with gasoline (around 17km/l). That solves the petrol extinction and polluition problems.

          1. They will be all electric, partly as they are better cars to drive and cheaper to run and partly because they will be cheaper to make within a couple of years and partly because emissions regulations will mean they are the only viable option. Ethanol is indeed better than petrol and diesel in terms of particulate pollution and could be seen as better with regard co2 if the ethanol is derived from biofuel. However it has a few major downsides too. The biofuel means vats forests are chopped down to make way for plantations to supply the ethanol. Cars burning Ethanol also produce large amounts of ozone at street level which is nasty for those that breath the air in cities…

            Also as I said, the MGU-H is pretty specific to performance race cars as standard road cars would not benefit from them.

          2. There’s no good solution and cheap solution for batteries yet (not even talking about mileage you can run with one charge). Running ethanol is cheaper and more efficient. And with today technology you don’t need to “chop down” forests.

          3. Nissan reckon that an EV will be cheaper to make than an equivalent ICE car by 2020… The battery for the leaf was £12000 when it was released it is now about £3000 and it is a larger battery. This will be down to under £1000 in the next few years. Even right now an EV is cheaper than an ICE car when you take the running costs into account. The car I drive costs me £35 per month to run in comparison to my previous petrol car costing me £250 per month.

            I drive more miles than average and have no issues at all with the range of my current car which is 120-130 miles. This is still true when I make long journeys with the car full of family and luggage. The version of my car now does 230 miles per charge which is more than enough for the vast majority of the population. They are also releasing a version with over 300 miles of range in a year or so.

            There are also around 20 new battery technologies in development which dramatically increase the storage (by around 5 times which could give a range of around 1100 miles) and reduce the manufacturing cost while also drastically reduce the charge time and are also lighter.

            There is no real future for the ICE apart from a handful of niche uses… Even ships are starting to be electrified and there are plans for electric aircraft.

        2. @lee1, both mercedes and VW group have cars on sale with 48V electrics, driving E-turbos. The I C E has been written off before, electric cars are the future but the ICE will continue to improve for a couple of decades and will be needed in sparsely populated areas for a lot longer.

          1. The EZV turbo is not quite the same as the MGU-H as it does not as far as I know generate electricity. It is simply an electrically spun turbo and it is on their 3.0l V6 engines so not exactly a normal road car for the masses…

        3. I think it’s similar to the electric turbo that Audi has in some of its road cars no?

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      14th November 2017, 12:31

      @gt-racer Mercedes also said that they would have to completely redesign their engine if the MGU-H is removed, because the MGU-H is responsible for keeping the turbo spun to eliminate turbo lag.

    3. @gt-racer Thanks for insight, amongst all the partisan garbage in the comments today it was pleasant to find something good. I missed the Sky F1 segment as well.

  6. Just read this article:


    This says that Honda’s deficit to Renault is now only 0.15 seconds. Even considering that Renault tuned their engines downward for Brazil, the max. extra speed Renault had was around 0.2 seconds more (calculated as Max was ~10 seconds behind Seb when he made his second pitstop at lap 50ish).

    0.35 seconds seems like a small-ish gap. McLaren can at best expect to be 4th/5th competing with Force India with the power unit change.

    1. Then again, Interlagos is also one of the shortest laps on the calendar – furthermore, I believe that Honda themselves did suggest that the gap was also partially reduced as a consequence of the reduced air pressure at altitude, so some of that reduction in the gap may have been circuit specific.

    2. it does say that that difference is IN Qualifying Sumedh. And since Stoffel mentioned that the Honda runs out of breath for the hybrid stuff some 320 m. before the end of the straight, that will mean that in a race (when they can’t save up as much before their hot lap) the difference is going to be significantly larger.

      1. correct @bascb,
        the article mentioned by Sumedh even refers to that: “the Honda’s early de-rate”

    3. Oh no, Honda getting their act together. Going to be very interesting next year

    4. The greatest irony would be Verstappen’s first WDC coming in a Red Bull Honda…

      Imagine Alonso’s face!

  7. The way things look now, Bottas is Massa or Kimi territory at best. Which means he could probably win a championship, but would need a lot of luck and a not-so-competitive teammate.
    He seems to be too car dependent.

    Only driver’s I’ve seen in the past 3 decades to be 100% above this are Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton.
    That’s why their teammates will look much worse if the car is difficult to drive.
    Irvine described it nicely by saying that Schumacher drove every millimeter of the track, while most other drivers drive every meter of the track.
    In other words, it would mean that other drivers are driven by their car, while Schumancer (and Alonso and Hamilton) are driving their cars even step of the way.
    For example, the better the Ferrari got, the closer Irvine got to Schumacher.
    And the worse that Ferrari got over the years, the further Alonso’s teammates fell behind him. Kimi was abysmal, but this year he would have been much closer, even though their respective driving would have been the same.
    Hamilton might not have that many examples of bad cars, but in 2009 and parts of 2012, Heikki and Button were nowhere, while Hamilton was fighting for podiums and wins.

    1. Very interesting comment. I tend to agree, although I feel like Prost might be included on that list as well.

    2. Oops, as @tim-m pointed out, I’ve actually miscalculated the time period. :)
      Of course Prost and Senna would definitely figure in there, but think of it as actually a time after 80s starts Prost, Senna and Mansell retired. :)

    3. I saw that interview with Irvine. He speaks very well. Adding to that he said, the 96 Ferrari was a dog and he couldn’t get within a second of MS, as the car got better he got closer to MS.

      Being able to hustle a bad car is what separates the merely brilliant drivers, Irvine’s/Button’s/Rosbergs from the geniuses Alonso, MS, Lewis. That’s why they got the megabucks. I mean they all get megabucks but no team would pay Bottas 25 mill. He doesn’t add enough

    4. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      14th November 2017, 18:44

      For example, the better the Ferrari got, the closer Irvine got to Schumacher.

      This is why I expect Bottas to look better next year, they’ll have ironed out some of the diva characteristics.

      1. Which mite make Lewis even more un-beatable

  8. F1 has always been about building the best car. This means chassis, aero, suspension. And to get the best team you need to find a good engine, hire good drivers, get good tires and good fuel/lubricants. And have good team to run it. That has been good formula that has allowed independent teams to win multiple championships. There are exceptions to that rule but that rule has been what f1 is. Not the best engine but the best car with a good engine.

    But for some reason f1 has been taken over by car manufacturers and their road car relevance nonsense. For some reason we now need to put old road car tech into f1 cars. Developed by diesel truck engineers and electronic engineers just to appease some manufacturers who in the end may leave at any moment. All it takes is little economic downturn and they are thinking about. Little worse and they run off like they never were in f1.

    What f1 needs is two things.

    First thing is to create a set of regulations that allow more freedom in chassis design without sky high costs. Wind tunnel test limitations and cfd limitations have been proven good solutions but those can not be cut much more. Banning wind tunnels altogether might be an interesting idea but at this point not a major saving. Limiting staff numbers is nice idea but hard to police.

    Standardization of more parts is a solution that works. It makes no sense for each team to spend big money into developing essentially identical parts which are not interchangeable. But at the same time it is difficult to standardize parts because it could also take some interesting research avenues away. And last thing anybody wants is a spec racing series. But at the same time some kind of solution to limit spending must be in place before opening up the rules can be even thought about. And when done smart standardization can bring down costs while the cars still can be individual.

    The second thing is the engines. These horrible engines just need to go away. F1 needs to forget this road relevance nonsense and focus on high tech solutions and put real racing engines into these cars. But f1 also needs to decide what it wants to be. Road car tech leads to self driving electric cars. Does anybody want to go there? I don’t think so. So why go there?

    The internal combustion engine does have some aces on its sleeve and is proven to provide good racing. Whether that tech is naturally aspirated or turbo is other question. But most importantly f1 needs cheaper engines that are equal. Having two teams win everything is a boring recipe for racing. Having engine manufacturers have this much power as we have now is killing the sport.

    Most importantly the engines need to be lighter. Lighter cars makes the driving look more spectacular because the cars are more agile. No kers and the slipstream effect and real passing can come back to f1 and we can get rid of drs. Maybe even get good sound back as well. Another strange issue f1 has with these toyota prius engines is the focus on endurance racing. 3 engines per year is more than what lemans racing cars do. F1 is shorter races and with more engines the drivers could push harder. F1 needs more sprint racing and less endurance racing. Higher number of engines does not increase costs as much as the complexity of the engines.

    F1 needs to move its focus away from the engines to other technologies. Active suspension and movable wings are both things that can make f1 unique while still allowing engineers to build fast RACE CARS and not try to cram in massive amounts of electronics and batteries to make the f1 cars more like heavy and boring road cars.

    1. @socksolid, so you say that you don’t want a spec series, but then state that the engine performance should be equalised? Increasingly, it feels more like the real motivation behind your posts is a resentment that Red Bull aren’t winning and your proposals are effectively a way that would completely eliminate the engine as a performance variable, leaving only the chassis as a variable (something that Red Bull has been pushing for several years now).

      1. Equal engines does not mean spec racing. It means better racing. Also having equal engines would not just benefit red bull. It would benefit renault, mclaren, sauber, force india, toro rosso and haas. F1 at the moment is two tier sport. Ferrari and mercedes in first division and the rest in div 2. Brazil just highlighted how clear the difference is between the two divisions.

        And just because engine manufacturers control everything they can slow down other teams. Renault is not even selling engine spare parts to toro rosso so renault can overtake them in the team championship. How dirty is that?

        If I am a bitter red bull supporter then you are a gullible mercedes fan who thinks it is great they are winning everything. You love the two tier championship because it guarantees ferrari and mercedes always get the first 4 positions. Not because they do anything better but because they can make others worse.

        1. @socksolid, no, I am simply not a delusional fool who constantly moans for a non-existent past and fantasises about a future that will not come to pass.

    2. With increasingly sophisticated materials, computer power and wind tunnels I don’t see how F1 regulations can be simplified and yet development costs controlled. Inevitably we will have thin grids (because of the cost of entry to the sport) that are dominated by ‘factory’ teams from large manufacturers with deep pockets.
      Increasingly I wonder if making F1 into a spec series would be a good idea. Seems to work fine for GP2 and GP3; Indycar seems okay too. Looking at other ‘open’ series where different cars are developed to formulae, LMP1 is a classic example of where development costs have killed the racing.
      A spec formula for F1 would obviate development costs and you never know, we might even have full grids!
      What would be the problem with a spec series?

      1. It certainly seems true that the car manufacturers now have too much influence over the F1 series as a whole with the leading ones threatening to walk away because their build advantage is not being maintained. I am not sure ‘road relevance’ really helps F1 as a motor sport. The cars were not very road relevant back in the 1980s and maybe even 1990s.

        I think the rules need to be changed to let smaller non car manufacturer teams thrive more easily and allow a more competitive playing field. This is the only way the DNA of F1 will survive. If this means more standard parts or design elements then so be it.

      2. Lmp1 was killed by the same engine regulations that are currently killing f1.

  9. If Bottas’s pace was embarrassing compared to Hamilton’s, then so was everyone else’s. Yes, Hamilton’s a top driver, but he also had a brand new engine with which he could afford to do donuts after the race.

    1. Stop making things up, Vettel did doughnuts after the race. How are you mistaking a bright red Ferrari for a silver Merc?

      1. Sorry, you’re right. My bad.

        Still doesn’t detract from Hamilton having a new engine though.

  10. I’m watching F1 for a long time, since the seventies. With keen interest since the early eighties. I remember in the season of 1982 eleven different drivers won a race. Keke Rosberg was the champion with only one victory. If the cars were more reliable the numbers of victories could have been easily halved, and if the cars were safer two drivers would be alive today. The season started with FISA – FOCA war which continued throughout the season. That season was a complete mess but it was aligned with the spirit of the time, especially on technological side. Now, as stated in the COTD, we need at least eight, nine drivers having a chance at victory on any given weekend. Let’s shortly analyze this season. We had five different drivers winning the race. We know if the pit wall decided differently we could have had a sixth driver in Monaco. To have eight drivers capable of winning we should be having at least four teams able to build a winning car. With current rate of development I see Renault entering this group next season and with engine switch I see McLaren as well. I believe that Nando, Nico and Carlos have the ability to win the race. Nando certainly does. We’re hitting that target without any rule change, things coming together in more natural way not artificially forced. That’s the way we had interesting seasons in the past and it will be the same principle in the future as well.

    1. Great comment. It seems that they change the formula due to impatience half the time, and for the mere sake of change the other half. It is like they want to spice things up before they even let the flavours stew. This era was just getting good, and the qualifying format has never been better.

  11. Also on this day in F1: Sebastian Vettel became the youngest ever world champion by winning his first WDC in Abu Dhabi on this day in 2010.
    Regarding the BBC-article: The minimum overall weight is only going to rise by 5 kg from this season, so how is next season’s car going to be anymore Nascar-like than the current one?

    1. Indeed @jerejj, sure, it’s another 5kg up (because the Halo is heavier) but it’s not that big a difference at all.

      1. yeh talk about complete exaggeration by Hamilton. I remember Champcars being 800kg, and they had great racing.

    2. It’s death by a thousand cuts.

      It’s not ‘only’ 5kg, it’s another 5kg. On top of the 27kg the 2017 cars added, on top of the 11kg the 2015 cars added, on top of the 48kg the 2014 cars added, on top of the 2kg the 2013 cars added. And so on.

      A 2008 F1 car was 595kg, so fast forward to 2018 and you have a car that is 138kg heavier, plus is also fully fueled in race trim. So probably over 200kg heavier at the start of a GP.

      1. @philipgb well said

        I was meant to post this as a reply here:

        To put it in perspective, this years W08 is longer than a Mercedes S Class! An F1 car should be around the size of a C Class at a maximum imho, the cars are too damn big.

      2. Yet the cars are faster and more fuel efficient than ever.

        1. The drivers aren’t obsessed with lap times. It’s about how the cars feel. They’re obviously absolute rocket ships in a straight line. They also have a but load of down force for high speed corners.

          But they’ve lost that agile, nimble feeling drivers used to love, where every driver input felt instantaneous.

          Yes they’re even quicker, but I think the drivers miss the lower mass cars.

      3. @philipgb Yeah, but an increase of 5 kg is nothing compared to the rise of 27 from last season to this or the 48 from 2013 to ’14. That was basically my point why I think Lewis is exaggerating.

        1. @jerejj

          Hence my death by a thousand cuts statement.

          The drivers are already unhappy about how heavy the cars are, and here’s another weight increase. And given the trend it’s likely they’ll be heavier still in a few years.

          1. @philipgb Yes, I agree that this trend should come to an end. I really hope that the increase for next season thanks to the Halo would be the end of it.

      4. +138kg

        Looking forward to Formula BUS!

        3 Racing Engines per season??? Everyone will be starting from the back of the grid after next summer’s break. So this is how Liberty will get their 3 wide grids…

  12. I don’t think that (managing the engine) is too exciting for people to watch. If you look at the most exciting races – particularly when it rains – we don’t have those limitations. (Lewis Hamilton)

    If only a smart guy could come up with an idea to create wet races on dry days ;)

    1. Lol please no. If F1 needs wet races for excitement (while they trundle along 15 or 20 seconds slower per lap, like Bambi on a frozen pond), then they need to address the technical regs, which of course they have needed to do for a long time and hopefully will over the coming years.

      I get excited watching cars racing closely in the dry with everything cranked up on a knife edge. A sharp knife edge, not a butter knife like in the rain. The odd rainy race might be ok, as a novelty and a potential change up in the normal order of things, but would we really want every race like that? I think we’d tire of it, the gadget that sprinklers would be, pretty quickly, and it would be a constant reminder of a series needing better regs.

      This said fully acknowledging your ;)

  13. Labelling Bottas’s performance as embarrassing is grossly unfair. He’s not on Hamilton’s level, to be fair I never expected he would be. He had a good start to this years campaign being respectably close to Hamilton in a new team, I’m sure he probably had the self-belief he could take the fight to Hamilton better than Rosberg did. But I think he got a huge dose of reality once Hamilton got on top of the cars temperamental attributes and I think his confidence took a knock from it.

    He’s had a couple of iffy races where he just had no pace in comparison to Hamilton, but over the season it’s been respectable. And Villeneuve calling it embarrassing in Brazil loses all the context of Hamilton having a brand new, newer spec power unit and a car setup for coming through the field from the back rather than a balance of qualifying and race performance. Hamilton scythed through the field quite well, but frankly didn’t come up against a car that belonged in the same category until Raikkonen and as we saw then couldn’t pass him.

    1. @philipgb I agree for the most part especially your first paragraph. In your second paragraph I think JV has said what many on here said, and it may have as much to do with the lack of fight from VB at the start, which really sealed the day, as his in-race performance vs. LH’s, which yes also got curtailed once he came up to a ‘legitimate’ challenge having been able to fly by everyone else until that point. VB might have done the same had his and LH’s starting positions been reversed and the same crashes and the safety car also occurred.

      But I agree VB was at best always going to be spending at least some of the season getting accustomed to the team and they to him, and he’d never been in a win-capable car in F1 before, and up against LH no less. Filling engrained Nico’s shoes was always going to be a tall order.

  14. To put it in perspective, this years W08 is longer than a Mercedes S Class! An F1 car should be around the size of a C Class at a maximum imho, the cars are too damn big.

  15. Three engines a year is absurd. What is the reason for it? Costs? If you can’t afford to be in F1 then go away. It’s insane! I hope Ferrari leaves. This series has become ridiculous.

  16. You know Williams won with Rosberg, Mansell, Prost, Hill and Villeneuve, but where are they now? Thank you very much FIA rules and regulations. Where are they now? To win is to be penalized, to make it fair those who can’t win.

  17. Michael Brown (@)
    14th November 2017, 14:43

    Lots of power unit penalties this year. The solution? Less of them.
    FIA policy: If it ain’t broke, break it. If it’s broken, break it some more.

  18. Just a point on the drop to 3 engines, That isn’t actually a rule that is been changed by the FIA, It’s something that was agreed to by the engine manufacturer’s & strategy group 5 years ago & something which the manufacturer’s actually wanted to kick in sooner than it has.

    Additionally it should be noted that the manufacturer that was pushing the hardest for these restrictions was Renault who at the time were been fully backed by Red Bull in the strategy group meetings.

    Also worth pointing out that of the 4 engine manufacturer’s in F1 2 of them haven’t suffered any engine penalties caused by failures with any of there customers this year. That suggest’s than it’s perfectly possible to produce reliable power units under the current regulations that can be competitive, Especially since the 2 most reliable have also been the one’s producing the most power. Renault & Honda simply need to do a better job.

    1. Problem is that Renault and Honda have shareholders and the board’s of the respective engine manufacturers may well refuse further funding for development (or even cut existing funding).

      The boards may well decide they are not getting value for money and pull the plug altogether.

      Without Renault and Honda there would be a very naked F1 grid.

      As someone said earlier the manufacturers can pull out (including Mercedes and Ferrari) if the cost to value ratio is no longer viable.

      An alternative is to allow crate motors. No rules on size, no rules on fuel consumption, just go racing.

      You could go big block with one of these


      or small block with less horsepower but in a lighter car and using less fuel.

      Crate motors cost about K$30 (US dollars) each and would be far cheaper and more available than the four engines currently used in F1.

      Just imagine Roush, Edelbrock, Lingenfelter, Chevy, Ford, Shafiroff, Schmidt, Morrison, Nyes, etc. crate engines on the F1 grid.

      Road relevance? Who cares, we want to see and hear racing cars, not glorified pensioner scooters. We want to feel the ground shake, our eardrums blasted, and the sight of a 30 car grid each cpable of a race win.

      Where car designers can build light weight nimble cars or heavy weight scary CANAM monsters.

      Bring back in race refueling, to allow chassis builders unlimited opportunity to design cars.

      Across ALL the racing formulas, standardisation and tight rules have bought boring racing and stifled innovation. Lets open it up.

      No limit on engine size, no limit on chassis weight, no limit on fuel flow, no limit on tire size, etc.

      Only one box rule (relating to size – width, height and length of car). Build what you like and lets go racing.

      Actually two rules. The car must fit inside the box rule and racing starts at 2 o’clock on Sunday.

      1. @Gerrit – they won’t be bringing back CanAm. It was way too much fun.

        1. Yeah, just imagine these as open wheeled single seaters with a carbon chassis, carbon brakes, consequential 6 speed gear box. Turn the sound up really loud. The vibrations don’t just come through the airdrums but through the soles of your feet.


          Love to see 30 of this type as single seaters on a grid. dicing and slicing.

          1. Add a flat 12 turbo Porsche with 1500 HP stuffed into a modern single seater, oh brother.


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