Chase Carey, Ross Brawn, 2017

Give Liberty time to make F1 changes – Steiner

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner urges patience with Liberty Media’s overhaul of Formula One.

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2017

Lewis Hamilton visited Mercedes’ chassis and engine builders in Brackley and Brixworth where he was given a ‘guard of honour’ salute in recognition of his fourth world championship victory.

Comment of the day

Have you already got used to the appearance of Halo?

I can live with the Halo as long as it won’t have any impact on either lap times or the quality of racing. Obviously, I’d rather keep things the way they are, but I’ve already gotten used to seeing it on the cars, so I won’t mind too much as long as the two things mentioned above won’t be affected. Hopefully, in the long-term, they’d resort to either the Shield or the Aeroscreen as they look more fitting on the cars.
Jere (@jerejj)

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On this day in F1

  • Born today in 1943: Jacques Laffite

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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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  • 61 comments on “Give Liberty time to make F1 changes – Steiner”

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      21st November 2017, 2:12

      I hope Liberty can eventually remove this abomination known as DRS.

      1. I call it the way l see it…
        DRS is the Dumbest Racing System

      2. Following a car closely effects the aerodynamics very badly so without DRS it would be impossible to overtake on some circuits. If they want to remove DRS they should first reduce the aero disturbance the cars create which will make them a lot slower. Allowing a fan to create a low pressure area underneath the car might be the best solution but that has been banned after 1978

        1. Yet we do see non-DRS passes, albeit sometimes as a result of DRS helping a driver here and there ie. shaping the race, shaping drivers’ days such that a non-DRS pass may not have been totally unaffected by the very presence of DRS. Nonetheless non-DRS passes do occur.

          I can’t wait for it to be gone and I feel that needn’t be too far away for we have processions as it is and they are a few aero tweeks and proper tires away from not needing the fakeness. Thankfully Brawn has expressed his dislike from day one, of DRS. But he also knows he can’t just knee-jerk it away from teams who have been designing their cars for it. It will be a process.

      3. @mbr-9 It has to stay at least as long as the way the cars are designed Aerodynamically makes following another car closely very difficult.

        1. so what? it’s been hard since early 2000s.

          Sadly i don’t see it going away anytime soon, but i wish they’d at least make some changes to reduce its effect. It is absurd at some tracks

          1. Even before the early 2000’s actually. Which just shows us that the common denominator is cars too dependent on clean air. I do think they need better tires that don’t get ruined by following a car, but even when everyone is on the same better tires, the car behind suffers as it still depends on clean air for optimum performance. Ultimately they are not going to do away with aero downforce, but they can certainly make mechanical grip the greater part of the ratio between it and aero grip so that the dirty air effect is lessened in it’s damage to racing.

          2. DRS is absurd if your car is Mercedes powered, but for those in a Renault or Honda powered car, it often is all they have to overtake.

        2. @jerejj, well done with your COTD.

          Don’t agree with your DRS statement though. DRS does not make following any easier, only gives the follower an artificial push when overtaking!
          Following is difficult on the twisty bits, where DRS is not allowed (nor usefull).
          On the straights following is very easy, and still you get the help of DRS.

          1. Egonovi is right, DRS does not make following any easier. it just makes the pass easier if you can get into position. the main problem with it is that if it works at all it works too well. it seems very rare that it allows a car to attack in the braking zone. ricciardo used it in brazil to normalise his speed deficit to other cars and then launch some amazing late-braking moves. this contrasted sharply with hamilton who just breezed past his rivals long before even reaching the braking zone.

            so it is wholly dependent on the relative straight-line speed of the cars involved, which means it has just shifted one problem to another and does nothing to improve the action. i find the activation and detection points to be somewhat arbitrary at some circuits and the total idiocy of having 2 zones on consecutive straights just makes me lose the will to live/keep watching the sport. when they added the second zone at canada i was so disappointed – zero common sense used.

            was the racing really so devoid of overtaking in 2009 and 2010? i remember loads of good passing in 2009. what made that season good was a healthy variety of competitive cars. we had all sorts competing at the sharp end. now we have 2 teams, 3 on a good day.

            1. @frood19 Yeah, but my point why it has to stay at least as long as the ‘following problem’ is fixed is that as staying close enough through the corners leading onto a DRS-straight is as hard as it is, without DRS the chances to overtake would be next to zero as even with it passing is far from guaranteed due to the effectiveness of the following problem in the corners. If the downforce was generated in a way that is less dependent on clean air then it would be much easier to stay close enough to the car in front through the corners to overtake just via the traditional ‘slipstream effect’ without needing DRS to close the gap that gets lost in the corners due to the following problem, which of course exists due to the way downforce is generated. I’m not really either in favor nor against DRS, but for its defense, on most circuits, it’s very ineffective.

          2. DRS does not make following any easier, only gives the follower an artificial push when overtaking!
            Following is difficult on the twisty bits, where DRS is not allowed (nor usefull).
            On the straights following is very easy, and still you get the help of DRS.

            This might be a crazy but what if DRS worked in reverse.
            The DRS zone would be on the twisty part of the track and instead of being closed by default and open when following another car, it would close when activated. That way the following car would have additional downforce, negating the downforce lost.
            After the twisty DRS section the cars would be on a straight and would be close enough so that they could slipstream each other.
            I appreciate that this isn’t a perfect solution and there would be balance issues of just adding the extra downforce to the rear of the car while cornering.
            Ideally we shouldn’t have DRS but until we have cars that can follow each other but this (DAS – Downforce Augmentation System) might work in the interim.

            1. @theniloc, that was effectively already tried out in 2009, when the teams were allowed to have driver adjustable front wings that were intended to compensate for being in the wake of another driver.

              In reality, it didn’t help that much – most drivers tended to use it instead to compensate for changes in the handling balance as fuel was burned off and tyres wore, which meant that often they had already hit the limits of the amount of changes they could make on the wing. Even if they could still adjust it, quite often the shift in the handling balance that then occurred often made it difficult for them to follow the driver in front anyway.

      4. More importantly than DRS which its less effective this year get rid of the freaking halo.

        1. I’ve actually found it to be more effective this year, somehow.

          I’m just so tired of becoming excited of a potential battle, only to remember battles rarely happen anymore.

          1. @ecwdanselby It’s very ineffective on most circuits these days and has been since 2014.

      5. Sorry totally agree..

        DRS should stay! It has helped overtaking, I remember the days before it existed and most races hardly had overtakes.
        Its needs to stay until cars can follow each other closely on there own.

        1. Disagree not agree lol

        2. I totally agree, that’s AGREE. People have short memories, Alonso lost a WDC because he couldn’t overtake a 2nd rate Russian (not Kvyat – easily confused LOL). You solve the dirty air by ground effects then you take off the DRS.

          We need to also remember that the most tech advanced car was the Active suspension Williams from around 1994. It had the lot: ABS, traction control, launch control, pre programmed gear changes.. etc etc. People who think that if we get rid of hybrids we become a nostalgia series don’t know their history.

          1. I think that you are rather confused there, since 1994 was the year that most of that technology was stripped from the cars. Active suspension was introduced into the sport much earlier than you think as well – Williams were running active suspension systems as early as mid 1987 on the FW11B, though the idea had originally been introduced by Lotus (the Lotus 92 briefly ran an active system at the start of 1983, though was dropped in favour of developing the 93T and 94T, then reintroduced the idea at the start of the 1987 season on the 99T).

            That said, whilst you say that “People who think that if we get rid of hybrids we become a nostalgia series”, most people, when harking back to the cars of that time, often downplay that technology or even act as if it never existed at the time.

            How many people actively praise the cars for having driver aids such as traction control or anti-lock brakes and call for that sort of technology to be reintroduced into the sport, as opposed to those who demand that any vaguely modern technology should be stripped out? You’re a lot likelier to hear people repeat phrases like “bring back H pattern gearboxes” rather than “bring back traction control”.

        3. It doesn’t help overtaking. It has nothing to do with overtaking.
          It is like giving the blue flag, your opponent has no chance

    2. Apparently we don’t all agree crashing out of Q1 is an automatic disqualification from DOTW.

      But there wasn’t a consensus around a more worthy driver.

      Still, if there was 1 driver who clearly should have done better it was Hamilton. That Merc was good enough for pole and a win.

      1. @slotopen +1, it’s a joke that Hamilton won that

        1. Totally devalues DOTW poll.
          There are clearly fanatics here, but unfortunately more for certain drivers than racing/F1 in general.

          1. Totally devalues DOTW poll.

            I agree completely

          2. it’s clearly a result of FPTP voting system.

            1. This is very true!

          3. Unfortunately there’s also no shortage of fanaticism against certain drivers.

        2. @slotopen @strontium Completely agree, I’m a Hamilton fan and I think that’s one of the worst collective decisions we’ve had for DOTW. Binned it in quali and got what was expected of the Mercedes in the race given the new engine parts and the pace advantage of the top 2 teams over the rest of the field. If Vettel was given DOTW in the same circumstances I’m sure there’d be absolute uproar.

      2. I can’t believe Hamilton won that and I’m a huge Hamilton fan. I always give him the benefit of the doubt or a bit extra credit but he wasn’t the best racing driver that weekend. Crashing in Q1 is enough reason for that. My vote was for Vettel in the poll and I’m very surprised he hasn’t won.

      3. Simply a case of people treating DOTW as DOTD…

        1. It’s just the way it is. If you wanted to see who voted for him, try and criticise Hamilton. They’ll all activate “defense mode” and shout at you :D

      4. If the poll was for the best driver in qualifying, perhaps.

        Since it was “of the weekend”, and Hamilton, aside from his slide in Q1, put in blistering lap times in every session, and went from pit to 4th in the race (without any real help from safety cars), at a track that has never been particularly strong for Hamilton… Yeah, I can see the DotW being won by him.

      5. So many Hamilton fans on here there’s not much point even running the poll.

        Crashes out in Q1 and overtakes loads of cars because of a vastly superior car.

        Massa was leading the poll the time I checked, I was hoping he’d get it, actually deserved it.

        1. This, … Massa rearly deserves DOTW.. Hamilton often does. But hey it is as much a popularity contest as is about actual performance.

          And Hamilton is the most popular driver in F1 is he not?

    3. Wow, that is probably the first time we see Horner openly praising (some of) Renault!

    4. Since Ferrari was the one who proposed Halo, would they had advantage of its integration?

      1. @ruliemaulana – in F1, advantages are usually based on “time to track” – the time to get a new idea onto the track and to be the only constructor holding that advantage.

        I don’t think it holds any benefit to Ferrari because:
        – The halo has been knocking around for a few years now
        – It has been trialed by various constructors
        – The shape of the cars beneath the halo changed since its inception (so any benefit Ferrari had when the envisioned it would be altered if not nullified)
        – It is a regulated shape

        All constructors are on equal footing to see if they can find and utilize some aerodynamic benefit out of the halo.

        1. Darn it. So it will be a Merc advantage then…

    5. I think it comes back to the fact that the easiest thing is always to do the same and if there is change then nobody wants change.

      There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, which is usually uttered when people believe a system is working adequately and someone decided it needed to be changed without fully understanding why the system was the way it was. But what about when the system isn’t functioning very well? Should one attempt to fix something if it is a quarter broken or should one leave it? It would probably help to repair it, or you could leave it and just live with it not functioning very well.
      That is the situation Liberty Media are in: they’re trying to fix something that is mostly working right, but it is also failing in some important ways. With faults there is often a major system failure that brings with it minor system failures. Rushing in to repair minor system problems doesn’t fix the major system problem, and its bad influence remains. We may not recognise where the major system failure is until we’ve had a decent look at the minor system failures. Rushing in to fix the minor system failures won’t actually resolve the major system failure, it will remain, and its bad influence will mean previously unheard of problems will appear. However, if one was able to identify the major system failure and to fix it, then the minor system failures would disappear or mostly disappear without the need to do any other repairs, or you may find you need to do a few trivial adjustments.
      Liberty Media have a plan, the plan is to improve F1. Yes, that will require changes, especially changes in the region of major system failures. Fixing those will resolve lots of the minor system failures.

      1. @drycrust +1. Everyone has got that colleague that will invoke this saying to systematically resist any change. Classic.

      2. @drycrust I remember working for a company that, despite bringing in newer systems over time, merely put those systems on top of their old existing work-system instead of properly integrating them. So for someone just coming in, everything felt backwards. And in general, it took far too long to get anything done, with too many hoops to jump through.
        It felt the equivalent of having a new phone, but never saving contacts on the phone because they’re already written in a phone-book, that you can never find when you need it, and is now old and tattered.

        Their excuse was “That’s how we’ve always done it”.
        Sometimes that’s not a good enough reason.

        And I say that knowing I’m as guilty as anyone else when it comes to systems and methods we use in day-to-day living, in some extent.

    6. My 3rd COTD since the US GP a month ago. I didn’t expect to receive that many in the space of a month, LOL.

    7. Jacques Laffite was born in 1943, not 1953. In those days you had to be an experienced man to get an F1 drive, not a boy.

      1. In the earlier days most f1 drivers were fighter pilots so not so old as you thought. Later on the playboys took over and drivers became older.

        1. @macleod, he’s certainly demonstrating considerable ignorance of that era considering that Laffite entered F1 at a time when Fittipaldi became the youngest ever double world champion in the history of the sport – a few years after setting the record for being the youngest ever champion – with Lauda, a few years later, being only marginally older than him (and both drivers still being in the top 5 youngest ever drivers to achieve that feat).

          By the standards of the time, Laffite was abnormally old when he entered F1 – it was much more normal for drivers of that era to enter the sport when they were in their early 20’s, such as Rindt, Fittipaldi and Scheckter, and in the 1960’s we saw teenagers entering the sport (Ricardo Rodriguez and Chris Amon were 19 when they entered the sport) – unless, by Gary’s logic, you did not need to be “an experienced man” to enter into F1 in the 1960’s.

          Quite a few of the older drivers that entered tended to be those who were driving for privateer teams, or privateers in their own right – Laffite, for example, entered for Frank Williams. You also tended to have a number of privately run teams by older drivers who wanted to stay in the sport – Bonnier and Graham Hill, for example, who ran their own teams to enable them to compete in the sport when they were in their 40’s – which I think also tends to bias the perception of the age of the grid.

    8. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      21st November 2017, 9:01

      I think the halo debate will erupt and hit mass hysteria when the car unveiling’s commence. After that we will just get used to it with the odd snipe here and there (like the engine noise debate).

      1. You can call it a halo or anything else, but I know a zimmer frame when I see one. I guess in another 20 to 30 years I will not mind seeing zimmer frames on F1 cars.

      2. Its a bit more of an ‘odd snipe’ regarding engine noise.!!

      3. I don’t know, man…some of the guys on instagram who make those gorgeous concept liveries have really started to get the halo to grow on me, especially from the side profile.

        1. I haven’t seen any of the colour schemes you refer to, but I’m expecting what you say to come about. As I think about it, it may not be long before the halo is as distinctive for each driver as their helmet currently is.

    9. Lewis Hamilton crashed in qualifying and is DOTW. This is insane.

      1. Has there been any word from Mercedes on whether it was driver error or a suspension problem? The back of that car seemed to be zebedeeing about quite alarmingly on corner entry.

        1. Lewis addmited to driver error as a racing driver ever will.

          But hey, good enough for DOTW.

    10. get rid of DRS
      include movable aero parts and let the teams loose without restriction to develop it onto any surface of the car.

      that would make F1 standout completely from other categories

    11. What’s harder to integrate on a F1 car? a complex hybrid system, a complex suspension setup, a complex aerodynamic package or a some carbon fibre g-string?

      Yes, you guessed it, it is the g-string

    12. the twisty but challenging section over the mountain builds anticipation before the wide slipstream + overtaking zone to Lisboa.

      Similar to what they did in Korea. I was never a big fan of the twisty section of that track though, bit samey.

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