Paddy Lowe, Williams, Albert Park, 2017

Lowe defends move to three engines per driver in 2018

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In the round-up: Reducing the number of engines per driver from four to three next year will reduce costs, says Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe.

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  • 81 comments on “Lowe defends move to three engines per driver in 2018”

    1. Roughly seven complete races per engine ? Maybe this is nothing more than a dumb solution for saving money now becoming a fatal flaw that Formula One may not survive. The cost to compete with these multiple power source vehicles is almost a sport killer. Why have engines that are so complicated and so costly that the best solution being offered is to penalize fans who pay big bucks to see drivers being squeezed and are having to race way below their abilities. I challenge race fans to stand up and demand a new formula that allows drivers to test their limits and end the techology that is pricing good teams and drivers out of the sport.

      1. TEDBELL, and yet often we see people suggest going back to a system that is not financially sustainable either, such as those calling for a return to the V10 engines that were even more financially crippling for small to medium teams than the current engines are.

      2. I wonder what’s the percentage of the annual budget these PUs take? And how much goes into aerodynamics, composites or vehicle dynamics etc.

        1. @praxis Well it once was 80% for engines and 20% for the rest (for smaller teams a least), but luckily we are a long way from that now.

        2. @praxis – to the extent that you trust a 10-year old Wikipedia image, it’s 50% for the engine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One#/media/File:F1_team_budget_split.svg

          1. @phylyp, the 2006 season is a very misleading season to use though, because that coincided with the introduction of the new V8 engine format – a lot of that high spending would therefore be down to the initial development costs, which would be different to the ongoing costs once the new engine has been developed.

            I cannot find it at the moment, but I know that, when Sauber was lobbying for the introduction of a cost cap in F1 a few years ago, they produced a breakdown of the cost areas within their team (representing the cost for a small to medium sized team).

            If I recall well, they put the cost of the power unit at about €20 million, with the overall budget being in the order of about €115 million, so engine costs made up about 17% of the overall budget. It’s a reasonable chunk, but the biggest chunk, by a long way, was still aero development, which was getting on for about 45-50% of the budget.

            For outfits like Sauber or Force India, engine costs are likely to be a reasonable chunk of their budget, but the overall split of costs within the team means that aerodynamics research is likely to be the largest cost area. For Williams, as their overall budget is apparently a bit larger, I expect that the split between the proportion they spend on engines and on aerodynamics will be slightly more biased towards aerodynamics. However, as a customer team, I imagine that engine costs are still going to make up a not insignificant proportion of their overall budget (it’s suggested that engine costs make up around 12% of their budget).

            For a team such as Red Bull, I imagine that their spending will be extremely heavily biased towards aerodynamics, with engine costs effectively being negligible by comparison – I’ve seen figures suggesting just 5% of their budget going on engines. Indeed, up until fairly recently the net cost to Red Bull was nothing at all, since they agreed to instead give Infiniti – partially owned by Renault through their alliance with Nissan – the equivalent value in sponsorship time that it would have otherwise cost Red Bull in engine fees.

            It’s why Horner is not going to care that much about the cost effectiveness of engines since, as far as he is concerned, engines make up a pretty small part of his budget – even fairly large changes in the cost of engines, such as doubling or halving the relative cost, would only make a fairly small impact. His primary concern will be to maximise the importance of aerodynamics, which is by far the largest cost centre within his team and the same area where his team can also gain the greatest advantage over his rivals.

            For somebody like Lowe, who is a customer and operating a much smaller team, engine costs are going to be a more significant chunk of his overall budget. It’s therefore far more in his interests to bring engine costs down, given they will have a more immediate impact on his bottom line, which is likely to explain why he is much more supportive of the move.

            1. Anon – very nice and insightful points, particularly your last two paras (and the prior ones leading up to them).

        3. The customer engine cost was capped at €14 m and is being reduced to, I believe, €12 m for 2018. The problem these days is less to do with the percentage of the budget (even for Force India, it’s below 15%) and more to do with being a fixed percentage in a series where negotiable costs are more and more the norm.

          For a manufacturer, it’s clearly going to be a much larger amount, even with the reimbursement most of them get from having two customers. I doubt any manufacturer is spending more than €150 m on their engine though, and €100 m is probably more likely. For the manufacturers, the fact that this was initially billed as a seven-year frozen engine formula with a fixed amount of upgrades possible is probably a bigger factor than the total expenditure, because by this point, every year of development is a year that was not anticipated for upgrade costs, and therefore another year that the amount must be negotiated with the board.

      3. Stop the drama!

        a fatal flaw that Formula One may not survive.

        And,

        (drivers) having to race way below their abilities.

        Come on!
        Do you (really) think that the more reliable an engine, the easier it becomes to drive????
        If you are so concerned about F1 to remain a challenge for the drivers, then focus on the tyres, and the aerodynamics of the cars.
        And if you want to blame the PU, then it is not the reliability (PU per season) but more the electronics which make it ‘easy’ for a driver.

        1. Game, Set and Match, Egonovi.

          1. @egonovi Agreed and @TEDBELL why would we stand up and demand something that the new regime are already talking about improving? Surely you don’t think it is better for Liberty to just snap their fingers and make huge changes one season to the next? Like that would be inexpensive and some guarantee of a solution? They took over F1 officially in February of this year.

            1. The validity of my aurgument is supported by the debacle that the Honda “power plants” have become. The complexity of todays engines simply isn’t needed anymore. Most fans are clueless in their attempts to even understand how the power is created and put to the ground. Why ?? Because F1 has become something so technologically stupid that only money can solve it. Seek another solution. Keep it simple stupid. The sport wants better racing with more passing. Isnt that right ? All that is needed is simple high powered engines.

            2. TEDBELL, then by that logic, would you have argued against the introduction of the previous V8 era format given that Honda’s engine during that era was also considered to be a disaster?

              Their 2006 season was dogged by reliability issues – seven engine failures that year – whilst in the years afterwards they were universally thought to have the worst engine on the grid (the least powerful on the grid, whilst also having a rather abrupt power curve and a narrow peak power band). Would you have complained those engines were “too complex” because they were lagging behind and that the sport should keep going backwards to even older engine formats?

      4. Antoon van Gemert
        10th December 2017, 18:44

        A new formula? What about “Formula R” and the “R” of course stands for “Racing”! It’s quite obvious that the three-engine rule will interfere in a big way with the 2018 Worldchampionship. 2018 Will not only be about fuel-saving but also about engine saving. The end result will be that drivers can not race so hard as they want. Remember what Kimi Raikkonen said after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when he had to safe fuel: “This has nothing to do with racing…”. Formula 1 is definitely taking the wrong turn (engines, fuel saving, Halo, veto’s that make quick rule-changes impossible) and it has to be very careful to survive the near future. The 2018 Worldchampion will not be the best or fastest driver of the grid, but the one who is doing the best saving and therefore avert as much gridpenalties as he can. The rules are deciding the Worldchampionships and not the hard racing on the track. Is that what we want?

        1. Properly said Antoon !!!!!

          A Formula One World Championship won by saving fuel and driving a racing engine that is designed to go BALLS to the walls but instead has to LAST 1,500 miles. This is as stupid of a decision as one could ever imagine. Since l have to pay to see F1 whether it be the price of the ticket or the fee to watch it televised EVERY race the simple fact is my costs to watch continue to go up and up. If demands are made to force teams to comply with such pretty foolish rules then as a fan l demand to have my costs reduced. The ticket to witness the victory rostrum up close at Montreal this season was $8,000.00 US !

          1. I just think you guys are way overthinking the result for us fans of the new 3-engine reg, which I predict will not even be noticeable to us.

          2. TEDBELL, then you must have hated the 1980’s then, when the strict fuel limits made saving fuel essential in the races and teams such as McLaren were often reusing the same engine for multiple races.

    2. Then swap your Merc with a Renault or Honda and ask Lowe if he still feel the same.

      1. They know this would happen for a while now. If a engine manufacturer isn’t able to have reliability when we are entering the 5th year of the current engine technology, it is their problem, not the rules.

    3. Reducing PU allocation devalues GP racing.
      From a championship perspective it’s part of the game, it has numerous flaws but I’m not going to elaborate on these now.
      A GP may not be happy to know it’s race might be pre-determined by the previous one, that’s a fundamental flaw that should not happen at all, bar as a result of a driver misfortune or a driver transgression resulting on a penalty.
      Another thing I’d like to point out about illogical rule making is the advent of unforeseen consequences. DRS has a couple, engine penalties have a couple as well, and the current PU rules have the following.

      In an attempt to constrain costs, the engine formula is very restricted, unfortunately the rules dictate one interpretation of the rules. The rules are restrictive but more importantly almost every rule is related, it’s almost as if the rules were written after the engine was designed. The rulebook is the answer of a charade, guess the riddle, the one that gets it wins it all. This is way teams must not vote on rule changes.
      The rules culminate into one end result and this affects performance in an absolute and determined way. One manufacturer makes a mistake or takes the wrong route and there’s no other way back into the road. The result is that the best engine is unquestionably unrivalled in every single way, it’s perfect. The mercedes engine is the best in everything, power, reliability, weight, installation, weight. How do we know this for sure, the rules are a description of the Mercedes power unit.

      1. @peartree.. I don’t think there’s any doubt the PU parameters were pioneered by Mercedes who presented them as a fait accompli and delivered it in such a way as the others meekly followed suit. They may have even been tasked by the FIA to devise the concept. They have a massive, possibly 2 year advantage and the only way to redress this is to allow the competition to ‘catch-up’ by increasing the limit on PU’s per season. I accept completely that these hard rules drive development but at what cost? Honda used 20 or so PU’s in the season, how is that saving money? I also like your point about a grand prix’s potential results being impacted by the events of the previous one. It’s almost like asking drivers to race cars with extra ballast on board because their PU failed the race before.

        1. @baron, no, Mercedes were not tasked by the FIA to devise the current concept, nor did they present the power unit parameters as a fait accompli and somehow made the other teams follow suit.

          We know from the work that Adam Cooper has undertaken that Renault were the first party to put forward proposals for the current power unit regime – he received a copy of the original technical proposal put forward by Renault in 2007, and the core of those proposals (the thermal and kinetic energy recovery systems) formed the basis of the current regulation package.

          BMW, who were participating in F1 at the time, were also one of the early advocates for the implementation of thermal energy recovery systems from the exhaust stream as this was an area that they were actively researching in the mid to late 2000’s (in early 2009, BMW showed off a prototype thermoelectric generator that they were planning to develop for the 5 Series and would have directly generated electricity from the heat of the exhaust gases).

          From Newey, we know that the original concept layout for the engine – the inline four cylinder design – was actually proposed by the VW Group, who were a participant in the original technical working groups (incidentally, Honda was an active participant in those technical meetings) and had tentatively committed to entering F1 if the current rule set was adopted based around a four cylinder engine based on the “Global Race Engine” concept (which was the idea of having a basic modular engine format – which would have been a four cylinder engine – that could then be adapted for use across a wide range of motorsport series).

          After the VW Group then backed away from F1 as the Global Race Engine proposal fizzled out, it was Ferrari who then pushed for the switch to the current V6 format. If anything, at the time it was reported that Mercedes was initially opposed to the change to a V6 format, preferring the four cylinder approach that was also supported by Renault – it was Ferrari who talked Mercedes into the V6 engine format, not the other way around.

          If anything, when you look back at the initial reports on the proposals for the current power unit format, Renault were expected to have an advantage because they were the ones who put forward the original proposals and had the greatest influence on shaping the initial outline of the regulations.

        2. @baron You are so completely and utterly wrong it’s you even dare put something so silly up.

          From every article about engine regulations from the time it was clear that Mercedes did NOT want this engine formula and neither did Ferrari. They had the supposedly better engines already and they didn’t see the point in spending a huge amount of money just to get the best engine again.

          They were 100% right.

          It was Renault and VW mostly that were behind these new engines.

          I’m glad “anon” put together a good transcript to correct your warped view of history.

          1. I completely accept what you say but I don’t believe anything I read. I am still convinced that todays engine formula in F1 was both developed & devised by Mercedes and Ferrari. and that, despite popular protestations to the contrary..

            Anyway, it’s all good. I respect your opinions my friends.

            1. @baron, can you provide any evidence for your convictions then that would otherwise support for claims – and I am referring to evidence that dates back to the time that the regulations were being devised, not people looking at what is happening now and then rewriting the past to make it fit current events?

              After all, verified documentation and communications between Renault and the FIA from 2007 that put forward proposals that are very similar to what we see today is a pretty strong indication that it wasn’t Mercedes or Ferrari that put forward the proposals (and I note that you now seem to have changed your claim from it being just Mercedes to now claiming that Ferrari were also in on the act).

              The only way that they could have pre-empted the efforts by Renault would be if Mercedes or Ferrari were lobbying the FIA in 2006 or earlier – something that seems rather unlikely given that Mercedes’s High Performance Powertrain division had only come into existence six months earlier (they only completed their buyout of Ilmor Engineering in mid 2005).

        3. @baron Exactly as you say. @patrickl I don’t know why you are in such a defensive mood. We’re specifically discussing the current PU regulation, everything Baron added is well documented. We heard about the engine focus group, who was working on it, whom “eventually” employed some of these people, how the votes and alliances steered the regulation towards some interests, and it’s not like Brawn himself hasn’t had a few many, he practically explained how did they end up playing their cars absolutely right for the new Pu’s…

          1. @peartree Perhaps because it’s complete nonsense? It was exactly like anon said.

            Renault even had their engine already mostly done even before they decided to go with Newey’s advice to switch from cylinders in-line to V6 instead.

            It’s also well documented who were the main drivers for the new engine rules. Hint, it wasn’t Mercedes and Ferrari. They had no reason to.

            Renault (or rather Red Bull) had the idea that a shake up of regulations would give them an opportunity to come out on top. Nice idea, but founded on dreaming.

            As if it really was a surprise that the people who designed the best V8 engine also created the best new engine again.

    4. The 3 engine restriction isn’t going to mean less engines. Just more penalties. Putting aside the difference in power and reliability already inherent with different brands, top teams would rather an engine that gives a lot of power at five or so races to maximize the chance to win and then sacrifice a race to swap it for a new one, than an engine that gives mediocre power at 7 races where they’ll be stuck midfield. As I think Alonso once said, he’d rather have an unreliable fast car than a reliable slow one (and then he got Honda).

      1. @selbbin The 3 engine rule simply means the cars will have to be slightly slower.

        If the teams keep operating the engines at the same limits then sure they won’t last the distance. So they will have to tone it down a little to make them last longer.

        1. Exactly, so if some teams tune down to save the engine, other teams won’t to get a power advantage in the race. Sure, they’ll have to sacrifice a race or two to get new engines, but the chance of winning or getting better points in most races is much higher, and as we saw, good cars that start at the back can still bag points, so no real loss. Risk and reward. 5 strong races high scoring races and 1 weak one is better that 7 mediocre races that may bag 1 or 2 points against teams deciding not to save the engine. Eventually everyone who wants to win will have to do that just to compete. And BAM, just as many engines used regardless of the restriction, just with more penalties.

          And you know what, given how penalties ‘shook up’ some of the races by mixing up the grid a little, that’s probably the real motivation for this dumb rule. It’s not, ‘will their engine last’ but, ‘where will they choose to take a penalty…. ‘ especially considering they are firming up the rule about the order in which the penalties are given.

          1. @selbbin The worrying aspect here is that probably everyone will just slow down a little and save their engines. So it will be of no use to drive like a mad man to make up a large time deficit. Better to just cruise home and finish with lower engine mileage rather than trying to get the place and risking losing engine mileage for nothing.

            We saw this happening already. When Hamilton had an issue in Baku and it was fixed, he just gave up on the race altogether and simply saved his engine instead and cruised home.

            I’m afraid this will only get worse. Just like with the Pirelli tyres. In principle the idea behind that was that with faster degrading tyres, the drivers would have to change tyres more often and that we would see different strategies. In reality they all simply opted to drive slower to make the tyres last longer and save a pitstop.

        2. @patrickl Presumably they would need to be slightly slower than the slightly slower they are now, since the non-Mercedes ones aren’t meeting the 4-per-season target yet, let alone 3-per-season.

          1. @alianora-la-canta Yes so? They will have to do some work to either improve longevity of the parts and/or indeed run slower.

            Mercedes obviously also can’t run at the same speed because they also just barely manage 4 races per engine now.

            1. @patrickl However, as Mercedes do manage it while the others don’t, then Mercedes will be slowed considerably less than the other teams. They already have a substantial advantage over Renault and Honda, and some advantage over Ferrari.

              The effect is locking in even more advantage for Mercedes, at a time when the level of advantage they’ve had since the start of the current engine cycle has already caused substantial problems.

      2. So correct. No costs will be saved just stupid penalties. Each driver will have 3 engines a weekend but not use them all up possible. After a spec change any old spec not used is binned and another 3 new spec engines will be carted round the world. Just limit engines to 15 a year per driver with a draconian penalty if you go above this. Costs the same, penalties would be rare.

    5. Somehow this rule is no problem in motogp, it doesn’t hurt the racing one bit. F1 problems have nothing to do with nr of engines.

      1. That is because in MotoGP, the regulators checked the engine manufacturers were all capable of producing an engine that met their previous regulatiory requirements before making things stricter, instead of F1’s tactic of only waiting for one manufacturer to do so.

        1. That is nonsense @alianora-la-canta. Nobody waited for anyone to achieve anything in F1. The path down towards 3 engines next year was defined in the rules when they were first signed off.

          It means that ALL manufacturers knew of the target to be able to make it through the season on 3 engines in the 5th year of this engine concept. And they have been working towards that. Mercedes will probably manage it, I think Ferrari could also do so – they only had one real issue that hurt them a lot this season. Renault, let’s see how they go, and for Honda, it really is pretty much nothing to worry about. They are hard pressed to even get close to 6 engines like we had in 2014, so with the enormous amount of work needed, it really is not that important weather they have to cut down from more than 10 units/car to 4 or to 3.

          1. The step down to 4 was in the original set of regulations. However, the original version had 3 engines only in 2021, with the new specification of engines. It was only brought forward because the token system failed. Also, this isn’t about whether the manufacturers knew about the target; this is about them demonstrably not being capable of meeting it.

    6. Perhaps the allocation of three PU elements doesn’t prove out to be as bad as expected after all. We shall wait and see.

      1. Agree – at least it is the same for all.

        I don’t agree (=believe) that this will only result in more penalties (like the comment above).
        It will actually mean less penalties. A COTD a long time ago proved that with statistics. IIRC: if a PU has a 10% chance of breaking down before its ‘due date’ then this 10% will only occur on 3 instances per car in 2018, rather than 4 instances in 2017!
        If you don’t like PU penalties, then there are only 2 ways to go: 1) abolish/reduce the penalties; 2) make the engine last longer (e.g. 1 PU per season)!

        1. @Egonovi Agreed. I remember seeing that type of comment on this website earlier this year as well.

        2. 2) has already not worked, meaning 1) is the only option – along with the FIA realising that F1 simply isn’t ready for the sort of high-endurance engines it would like it to use.

      2. Four was already a failure, with a lot of credibility lost due to the sheer number of penalties non-Mercedes teams got. There is no reason to believe the non-Mercedes manufacturers will magically be able to make their engines suddenly go from (at best) five-engines-per-season to three-engines-per-season in a single year.

    7. Engine rules are funny sometimes… I would be perfectly fine with one engine per season…

      But then we would need different regulations. Most likeley a performance cap limit maximum output, then have teams work on maximum reliability.

      I dont like the situation we have now when Mercedes can run best power due to also having best reliability.

      1. But then we would need different regulations. Most likeley a performance cap limit maximum output

        We already have that: energy recovery and deployment is maximised and for the ICE there is a maximum fuel flow. I once calculated and at 100% efficiency the max power of the ICE is around 1600 bhp (iirc, not calculating again).

    8. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      10th December 2017, 9:42

      I’m really disappointed in this Carmen Jorda appointment. I can’t imagine how infuriating it must be for all the women trying to compete in motorsport, or even just fans. It’s a massive patronising pat on the head to all of them. So you can go very far in motorsport as long as you look like a model for the men’s entertainment.

    9. Didn’t Jim Clark become a WDC in one year, using just ONE engine for the entire season? I remember reading that somewhere.

      1. @ijw1, yes, in 1965 Clark was given a single Mark 6 FWMV engine for his exclusive use for that season, and which he then went on to win the championship that year with.

        1. And in the 70’s there were quite a few DFV’s that were used for several seasons.

          1. And then some people think that more reliable engines don’t allow for proper racing.
            F1 in those years must have been a borefest.

        2. how can you compare this to what happened 50 years ago ???
          The tires then were only about 4 inches wide and because of it no wonder the cars lasted as long as they did. These cars could have lasted 30 years.

      2. @ijw1 I don’t believe it was until the 80’s that teams began throwing new engine’s in at every race (Sometimes a few times over a weekend with practice only engine’s & qualifying engine’s).

        Prior to that it was normal for teams to run the same engine over multiple race weekends & even seasons. Even as recently as the 90’s you had smaller teams like Minardi running customer Ford V8’s which they would use over a few races until the mileage was up on them because they couldn’t afford anything else.

        One of the reasons Max Mosley wanted long life components is because he felt that the way teams/manufacturer’s were throwing new engine’s, gearboxes & stuff in the car almost after every session was unnecessarily wasteful. You had engine’s that were perfectly capable of doing multiple races in terms of recommended lifetime mileage that were been thrown out having done only 25-30 laps of practice or 12 laps of qualifying (Only 4 of which were on the limit) & that was stupid.

        In terms of now, Mercedes didn’t suffer any grid penalty’s due to unreliability this year so producing a powerful engine that can be reliable over several race weekends is clearly perfectly possible, It’s just that nobody else has managed it.

        1. how much did that have to do with the ludicrous ‘token system’ the equivelent of engineers working with one had tied behind their backs

    10. @keithcollantine

      This is the 2nd day in a row you link a twitter-feed critical of Jorda’s appointment. You haven’t yet stated your own opinion on the subject, but I think I can guess what is. Now the responses in the Leena Gade feed are decent (she’s probably followed by rational engineering types), but when you click the Pippa Mann feed she retweets, there is a long list or deregatory statements about Jorda. Most with very little substance.

      There seem to be 2 main objections against her commission role.

      1. She wasn’t very successfull as a driver.

      This is what her father had to say about it (in the Pippa Mann feed):

      José Miguel Jordá‏
      You have to be good at the track to be a good manager ?, or is it simply that you also think the if you are beautiful you can not be smart ? I did not have money to pay for the races, your father had it?… congratulations !!, you simply disappoint me Pippa

      I simply do not see why her race results matter so much. She reached the lower levels of international motorsport, that’s much further than most women get anyway.

      2. She holds the opinion that there should be women-only racing series.

      We live in a time where men and women are considered equal, which is a good thing. But does it blur the fact that although we are equal, we are definitely not the same?
      As I said yesterday, since the beginning of motorsport in 1894 there has been a level playing field for women in motorsport most of the time. In those 123 years thousands of men have reached the top levels of the sport, yet only a handfull of women did the same. Shouldn’t that tell us something? There’s 123 years of evidence that the level playing field approach does not work for women in motorsport.

      Now Jorda has a different idea, maybe we should listen to her.

      1. The thing is that it isnt a level playing field for women in motorsport and the reason for that is largely a result of our culture and not the sport itself.

        Do we solve it by a womens league or hamfisting women into vip ambassador positions? It isnt elegant but its also trying to solve the results of a problem and not the problem itself.

        1. Yes, there is a social or cultural aspect. But if this was the main reason for women’s lack of success in motorsport, where are the ones that broke through the glass ceiling. We’ve seen that happening in almost every other part of society. In motorsport I can name 1 woman that ever battled for major international title (Mouton in rallying) and a couple more that won (or almost won) big races, but the numbers are so low that they’re completely insignificant. So I think it’s safe to conclude that the cultural aspect is not the sole, not even the main reason that women are not competitive at the highest level.

          1. I think if Susie Wolf can produce comparable times in her racing twilight theres no doubt top women can perform on at the very least Palmers and Strolls levels. When we have a healthy number of women competing and yet they fall short at the very top then we can beginn discussing womens leagues for performance reasons.

            Right now it would just be a pr stunt to get women interested but im not sure how effective it would be. It seems to mostly make the already successfull women angry.

            1. Help me out here, what women are already successful in motorsport? And before you name the few that are competing, ask yourself if those drivers had been men, if you had ever heard of them.

              There is currently one name that stands out: Danica Patrick. If you look at her achievements in American motorsports, there is no other woman that even comes close. You could say her performances are of Fangio-Clark-Senna level in her gender.

              Now imagine a fictional driver with exactly the same resume and results as miss Patrick, a man, let’s call him Patrick Danica. How do you think mister Patrick Danica would be judged on this forum. Midfield in NASCAR, midfield in Indycars, with a single win. I guess he would be called an also-ran, handy driver, nothing special.

              Now if the female Senna is just an also-ran in a men’s racing world and you are serious about women competing in top-level motorsport, you cannot continue the status-quo.

              I don’t know why some female racers are so annoyed Jorda’s appointment. It may be interesting to ask them about it.

            2. Im pretty sure they are angry for the same reason people are angry at Stroll. Fasttracking people seemingly without skill just devalues other peoples efforts and is a sore eye. Doubly so when its supposed to be in the name of equality.

              I think racing is a sport where women can compete on equal terms with men and that is quite unique so lets treasure that instead of devaluing the few women who compete. It may take several generations to get an leveled playfield but better its slow than fake.

              I never believe in shortcuts for big cultural problems, and right now we see shortcuts everywhere which is turning out great….. Its like getting rid of 500years of racism by forcing people to not say the “N-word”. Yeh what a great idea, that will solve everything. Just getting rid of a word its that easy.

            3. Fasttracking people seemingly without skill

              Well, the long list of women who did better in single seater racing is …. yeah, I’m sure you can come up with someone.

              I think racing is a sport where women can compete on equal terms with men

              Yes, maybe in a few forms of motorsport, for a few exceptional women. In general though I think you’re wrong. Please read my reply to @alianora-la-canta below.

            4. Susie Wolff never won a race in her whole career. Nor a pole or fastest lap. Her best championship positions were 5th and 9th with her only podiums (4)

          2. The main reasons were identified back in 1997:

            – over-scrutiny (boys were allowed to “sail close to the wind” in their driving more than girls, and all-male teams’ got less attention in scrutineering)

            – puberty hitting at different times for girls and boys (girls have puberty earlier than boys, puberty often results in a temporary performance “wobble”, and the later it is before a driver gets a performance “wobble”, the more likely they are to get a second chance and the more likely they get replacement sponsors if that doesn’t happen)

            – more supportive social environment for boys than girls (not just talking about the casual sexism here – though that was identified as a factor – but also that boys are more likely to have friends that understand their single-minded focus and remain friends anyway, whereas the friends of girls are more likely to exert more pressure to quit and conform to whatever that particular friendship group does for fun)

            – discrimination by sponsors (women’s sponsors see a male-dominated environment and don’t sponsor it, even if there are women in it who would like their money. Men’s sponsors want men to be the face of their products. Advertising has been mostly gender-segregated, even for things that one would expect to be gender-neutral like banks, for decades. Also, sponsors that sponsor women often want them to do things they wouldn’t ask a man to do – particularly to service stereotypes that then cycle into making motor racing a less socially acceptable sport for girls)

            Now, the research conclusions I cited are 20 years old. Please ask yourself what, exactly, has changed in the last 20 years to address these elements?

            1. The Danica Patrick notion that she isbsome kind of succesful female driver is moronic.

              Her win in Indycar at Japan was nothing more than a gift. At no time in her career has she dominated a race and won it by displaying anykind of craftsmanship and talent. I take it back she does have talent, just even to get lucky. As for NASCAR she has done absolutely NOTHING. Now she returns to Indycars and prove me wrong its likely she will only play the role if becoming a mobile chicane
              AT BEST. Please name any women who has win at any upper levels of racing anywhere.

      2. Leo B, #2 is a completely valid complaint, because the Commission to which Carmen has been appointed has “equality of women” right there as part of its mission. Appointing someone who believes that to be impossible (as Carmen has said) contradicts this. It would be like appointing Lewis Hamilton (a vegan) into the British Meat-Lover’s Association because he happens to have a lot of social media followers.

        The Commission’s existence shows the FIA is aware that the playing field between men and women is not equal, so anyone claiming that it is or was somehow equal, is considered to be wrong by the FIA itself.

        #1 becomes relevant when considering how FIA committees are required to be composed. They are supposed to be composed of people from across the full range of motorsports. Selecting the single-seater representative as someone who failed miserably a few years ago and whose only notable success since has been in marketing (a completely different area that already has its own representative on the same board), rather than any of the women who had more success (including Alice Powell, who scored points in a lesser team in GP3 in the exact same year that Carmen Jorda failed to do so in a title-winning team)… …the most charitable interpretation is that the more successful women, past and present, opted not to apply.

        Carmen being the only applicant for the role would be strange because being accepted onto a FIA Commission is generally considered an honour. This brings into question the motivations of the FIA having such an unqualified candidate in the committee rather than a better-qualified applicant. We are unlikely to hear if anyone else was a candidate, unless they were so offended that they never wish to be considered for a FIA committee position again.

        It is very convenient for a misogynistic organisation to have the one known misogynistic woman on a committee where her views can be platformed far above any value they might have merited. It means she can promote their views and sanctify their desires. These may well include the mooted woman-only series that seeks to remove women from the overall series and put them in a mockery of F1 that isn’t even international-standard by FIA rules yet Carmen has been in favour of it. It is striking that the FIA has never pointed out that such a series would conflict with Article 1 of the FIA Statutes and thus be illegal for them to sanction – which hints that it may well be their long-term desire to sanction it and cause irreperable harm to the ability of women to access racing at their actual level of skill.

        Remember that when we have these discussions, there is at least one woman (Christina Nielsen) who is a double and current reigning champion in her class in IMSA (arguably the second-highest sportscar series in the world after WEC, and certainly the second-most challenging). Among the majority of women races, the question of whether women can compete with men given an equal chance was settled long ago in the affirmative. Now they’re trying to convince the FIA, sponsors and all the other doubters of the actions necessary to make “an equal playing field” a reality in motor racing for the first time.

        1. #2 is a completely valid complaint, because the Commission to which Carmen has been appointed has “equality of women” right there as part of its mission.

          It’s only valid when you think “equal” and “same” are synonym.

          If we take fluid loss as a measure of stress on the human body, then we know that Grand Prix drivers often lose 1 to 2 kg in fluids during a race. This is roughly in the same league as the fluid loss of marathon runners. Now male and female marathon runners are completely equal. They run the same course and distance and when they win, they get the same gold medal. Yet no one expects the female winner to compete with male winner on time.

          So the physical side of motorracing is ignored. In some forms of motorsport this might be okay, but in Grand Prix racing it clearly is not. Women who think they can compete with men in endurance events under high physical stress should read up on biology and physics. Sure there will some women with physiology very close to that of men and they’ll have a better chance to compete, but they are the exception.
          In my view equality should not be limited to the exceptional few. I do not think equal and same are synonym. I don’t think that ackowledging physical differences between men and women reflect badly on women. I don’t know anything about marathon running, but I do know about cycling. And I know I admire Annemiek van Vleuten more than Nairo Quintana, although Quintana will probably be quicker up the Alpe d’Huez.

          #1 becomes relevant when considering how FIA committees are required to be composed.

          Well, the thing is, there are very few women who did better in single seater racing than Jorda. You name Alice Powell, whom I actually heard of, but I had to Google her to find out she’s not racing anymore. Now I hadn’t heard of Christina Nielsen and I don’t follow IMSA, so I don’t want to take anything away from her performances, but I do think that GT racing is semi-amateur sports. To illustrate, a 50-year old Dutch supermarket mogul raced at Le Mans earlier this, in what was his 3rd or so real motorrace, and he came 14th overall.

          Now you keep implying there currently is no level playing field, but that is only true for the ‘environmental’ factors. Jorda and Powell and Nielsen drive/drove exactly the same machinery as their opponents. Now your claim is that if the motorsport education and the overall treatment of women is the same as men, that women will compete on the same level. I think that’s an illusion for many forms of motorsport. I think Jorda’s opinion is along those lines and therefore she’s a welcome addition to the FIA commission that so far seemed to have spend their time on the equality of the exceptional few.

          1. Loosing the same amount of bodyfluid doesnt make racing an endurance sport. Sure its exhausting to race for several hours but its not the fittest driver that wins, Jenson would be the best driver in F1 if that where the case. I find it hard to belive that F1 cars are so demanding that womens physique would be a deciding factor in 2hour races.

            If anything women have light bodies which is perfect for racing.

            1. Imagine a 60 kg woman powerlifting 240 kg. That’s pretty impressive, isn’t it?

              If a racecar corners or brakes with 4G, it means a load of 4 times the body weight is put on the drivers body. If the same 60 kg woman is driving this car, there’s a 240 kg load on her body.

              Newton taught us that it is exactly the same if you put a load on the world (woman lifting 240 kg) or if the world puts a load on you (woman cornering at 4G).

              Now I know there are some differences between those two situations, but the stress on the body is comparible.

              So yes, the physical side does matter.

              Not convinced? Just look at the reality of today. There are a few girls trying their hand at motor racing almost every year. They enter the lower formula, like F4 and F-Renault. Some of them, like Jorda, progress to F3/GP3. But there it stops. At that point most women quit racing or move sideways to GT’s. There are (almost) no women progressing to F2-level, let alone F1. The ones that do, I’ve called the exceptional few in the former post. So the logical conclusion is that at F3-levels of downforce the advantages of the male body become a dominant factor in race performance.

    11. I would use nr 69 because im childish ^^

      1. That would make you the 4th driver to have used 69 (though given they were all before 1970, we can probably assume their reason was not childishness). Hopefully, you’d also be the first one to finish a race with it.

        Duke Dinsmore used 69 in the 1950 Indy 500 on his Verlin Brown car, back when it was eligible for the world championship. He qualified 7th, but unfortunately was among the first to retire from the race.

        The following year, Gene Force entered the Indy 500 in Brown Motor Co. Qualified 22nd, also retired.

        However, the most illustrious part of #69’s history in F1 came in the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix, when Al Pease managed a unique feat in F1…

        …he was the only driver ever disqualified for insufficient speed during a race.

        1. Not surprised he was that slow, as he was upside down in the car.
          (who is childish now)

          PS – thanks for the great stats @alianora-la-canta

    12. Quite a challenge Leclerc faces: First, check the numbers already booked by the drivers. Then, after that, select one for yourself from the rest. That is, from numbers NOT already taken by any driver.

      You see, Leclerc, there is nothing easy about F1!!

      1. I know Charles’ long-term dream depends on Kimi retiring, but trying to get his race number in advance of a retirement announcement seems a bit… …over-keen. Especially since all race numbers are reserved for two full seasons post-retirement in case a driver decides to unretire. So the only way 7 could have been available to Charles is if Kimi had retired at the end of 2015 and Charles somehow not been aware of this (unless, of course, Charles was speaking about hypothetical ideal options and, knowing how the system works, didn’t bother putting 7 on the form).

        (Pierre Gasly’s makes sense, depending on how long ago he put his application in – Charles would have needed to specify his preferred numbers when he got his 2017 Friday-only superlicence, in case he did a mid-season upgrade to a full one on obtaining the F2 title. That would have happened in winter 2017, before Pierre reached F1. This does, however, make trying to get Kimi’s number even more difficult to understand).

        Finally, this is not the first time Kimi’s laziness has denied another F1 driver their choice of race number, although last time it made sense…

    13. Just out of curiosity, Charles Leclerc won the ROY at the FIA gala. Was this award given before to other categories or is this the first time a non-F1 driver won it?

    14. Congratulations to Lotus photo prop on its new job.
      That is a slap to the face to all women in motorsport.

    15. How about just have two engines per car and per season but with quality not quantity. This season the engines didn’t had the quality maybe the closest engines were Mercedes. The engines are in good quality the teams would not have to waste on parts. The second engine would used if the engine is not running properly or if the drivers had an accident durning a Grand Prix.
      The engines should be close to perfect but nothing is never perfect right.
      It is a good idea that the engines are being overhauled for the future of F1.
      I like the idea for teams to have three engines per driver next season.

    16. No wonder. Williams has in their car (still) the best engine available with some chances to become even better, especially in the reliability department. It’s almost impossible next year everybody will catch Mercedes in the engine performance department and in the engine reliability department at the same time. Ferrari still has the highest chances of getting even closer or matching Mercedes in the engine department. So, Williams might gain some points next year simply because their engine held up the entire race while others engine didn’t. Simple…

    17. Fanboost, what a joke, and they expect people take the series seriously.

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