Sergio Perez, Force India, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Perez suggests heavy Halo may make overtaking harder

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez suggests the extra weight added by the halo may be contributing to the difficulty of overtaking in F1.

What they say

Perez found it hard to make up places after dropping out of position at the start of the race:

I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t know if because of the Halo the cars are so heavy now, it’s so difficult to follow.

The delta that you need for overtaking is crazy. Unless Pirelli make something dramatic we’re going to have boring races as we’ve been having.

I think Halo, it’s a massive thing. But I don’t understand why it’s impossible really to overtake.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

What amuses me the most is that there is people saying “this is what F1 is about”. Poor them, then.

We are not asking for artificial overtaking, but on Sunday they didn’t even try. It was like Monaco again on a permanent circuit. The softest selection of tyres were more than enough for a single stopper. It shouldn’t be like that.

If they couldn’t race each other on this track, I fear for the rest of the championship, as most of the remaining tracks are harder to overtake than this one.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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94 comments on “Perez suggests heavy Halo may make overtaking harder”

  1. I think F1 should appoint someone just to watch an UFC event on a Saturday and the next Sunday try to watch a F1 GP like the last ones – bar AZE – and then tell what were its impressions comparing both shows.
    I am not sure how much the potential and actual audiences overlap, but I am quite sure that there is some.
    I see no way a guy (25-40 yo) used to the excitement of a UFC card (even a bad one) could be utterly enthusiastic about a GP.
    These two franchises are not equal financially, but UFC – and others similar – are certainly making strides into F1 potential audience. And giving back a better value for money, as one is interesting in fighting.
    Yes, UFC still holds some heinous traditions as ringgirls, but is obvious that women made a bigger progress into MMA than into racing. I’d dare to say that UFC is one of the more feminist sports events today.
    Unless F1 is firmly veeing into an extremely high end audience, the series has to pay attention to its competitor for male and even female audiences.

    1. i tried watching some fights not long ago with a family member & found it utterly boring, far more so than even the worst f1 races i have seen over the 40+ years i have been a fan.

      1. this weekend it wasnt

    2. You do realize that while they may share viewers in the same age group, it is quite likely that said viewers may not share the same tastes in entertainment, right? For example, If F1 turns out to be doggedly boring, I’m going to switch to other forms of motorsport, I’m not going to suddenly find interest in contact sports of this nature.

      1. Agreed. I can’t stand UFC. I just don’t get the appeal of watching two people beat the crap out of each other. But I’ll happily watch anything with a motor in it being pushed to the limit.

      2. The only sports I follow are F1 and UFC.
        If I hadn’t been watching F1 for as long as I have and know so much about it I wouldn’t start watching it now.

    3. I’m a huge F1 fan, but you’ll never see me watch a UFC fight (or boxing, or darts).
      I think UFC fans (generalising here) are more attracted to NASCAR or whatever the current motorsport is with the most spectacular accidents.

      I think F1 can learn more from Football (make it global), (ice)hockey/baseball/beach volleyball (entertaining for live audiences), and sprint/athletics (make the stars heroes like Usain Bolt).

      1. I watch every F1 weekend and UFC event. Nothing else.
        Maybe I am not the average fan?

      2. I watch UFC and F1. Not for watching two people beating the crap out of each other, more for the amount of technique involved. That would be the same as people watching F1 because of the crashes, not the racing.

        1. Yes.
          They are completely opposite sports, that is why I have time for both.
          Don’t want to watch the same sort of thing all the time.

  2. one of the problems with monaco & montreal was that it was the softest compound of tyre resulting in drivers cruising around a few seconds slower than they could be going all race managing them meaning that they were not attacking as hard as they otherwise could have been.

    i was listening to the team radio feeds on f1tv and every driver i went to watch was managing tyres and i had hamilton up for a bit and he upped his pace to start catching ricciardo but just before he caught upto him enough to start attacking he said his tyres were overheating & had to back off & i heard similar radio calls in other situations.

    give them tyres they can really push on throughout a race or at least throughout a stint & we would almost certainly see more prolonged, closer battles with more overtaking attempts.

    for as long as they stick with this tyre philosophy with silly operating windows, artificially high degredation & all these other gimmickey tyre rules we will not see this. it’s getting back to been all about tyres (something that was noted on sky’s commentary over the weekend) & this is not & never was a positive.

    it will be the same next year, they may come up with cars that can follow a bit closer but if it’s still all about tyres, tyre management & silly operating windows the racing will be no better.

    oh also in reference to COTD montreal isn’t a permanent circuit.

    1. Maybe the option tyres should pay out for an additional pit stop.
      thinking further, maybe it would not be worthy as the power unit would be overworked on 10 20laps in quasi qualifying mode.

    2. I have to respond to the COTD, Ed and PeterG have correctly identified the tyres as the problem, tyre degradation is a multiplier of the turbulence problem, but Ed in particular has reached the wrong conclusion, more pitstops due to even more fragile tyres will only make the problem worse, it will ensure that all drivers save their tyres until it is (hammer)time for an in-lap to under/over cut, in these circumstances the racing will be like a series of rolling re-starts with the leader slowing up the pack until he feels that their tyres are starting to go off, at which point he will sprint off on his less damaged tyres to pit for new ones and resume the game for another 20 laps.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        12th June 2018, 2:53

        @hohum We had tires like that in 2013, an example of why you don’t do tires that fragile.

        1. Very true

    3. I still don’t understand the tyre complaints.

      They introduced the new hyper whatever tyres because the teams thought it was boring to be on tyres that could 1 stop and complained constantly.

      Now they have tyres they can push on, they are fast and they drivers can push. We see lap records fall every week. But yes they also come at the cost of high degradation. If the teams choose to use them in the race and then nurse them for long stints that’s their choice, but that’s not the intent for the tyre. They’re supposed to be an option for a short stint where they do push and they do degrade.

      The problem with short stints and fast degradation is not with the tyres. It’s because the cars can’t overtake even if they are a lot faster so the multi-stop strategy doesn’t work.

      Also teams are locked in to choosing a strategy before the race even starts with tyre allocations. In an ideal world they’d have all the time they want to test unlimited numbers of the different compounds in free practice to choose what they think will work best for the race.

      If the softest tyres don’t degrade, then what’s the point for a tyre choice and strategy at all? Just bring one compound the drivers can push on and be done with it.

      1. I think the tyre issues that Formula 1 is experiencing is compounded by the turbulent air issue. The teams could likely go on a 2 stop and run faster during the race, but if they need to be that much quicker in order to overtake, the tyre life suffers too much. At the moment I doubt the teams feel it is worth going on a 2 stop strategy that will put their cars back into the field, when they can go a bit slower and easier on the tyres (but not slow enough to reduce the turbulent air deficit), hold their position and pit when everyone else does. The only way teams will go for a 2 stop is if even the hardest tyre of the three cant make it to the end.

        This issue is also coupled with the power unit component life requirement, whereby drivers can’t push their power units for fear of decreasing their life. Further, the cooling suffers as well when you follow a car closely, which makes overtaking opportunities limited and the window of opportunity smaller.

        The cars are all designed in isolation and for performance in clean air only. With the advances in CFD, and even things like system engineering and staff management, and inherently in the regulations, the teams have been able to work the air more and more to gain performance. It is of very little surprise to me that when the airflow is not meeting the car in the same way as has been assumed when the car was designed, then you cannot overtake.

        As for the tyres, I don’t for a second put all or any of the blame on Pirelli. The teams are using the situation they have in front of them and using it as best they can. The teams are full of smart cookies, and it would be remiss to assume that the teams are at the peril of Repelling, rather it’s really the other way around.

        1. *Pirelli, not Repelling!

      2. @skipgamer, the whole tyre problem is because they are designed to artificially achieve something that happened years ago at Montreal (iirc Button with newer tyres passed Vettel after rain to win) but the teams are not stupid so have devised strategies to avoid the trap. A typical Bernie idea that has (as always) had the opposite effect to that desired, way past it’s sell by date.

        1. designed to artificially achieve something that happened years ago … but the teams are not stupid so have devised strategies to avoid the trap

          @hohum – I think that nicely sums up various attempts to “improve the racing” that ends up fizzling out once the collective smart minds across teams get cracking.

  3. I wonder when and if are we going to see the super hard after the hypersoft lasted for so long for Grosjean here…

    1. @fer-no65 – quite likely at your local tyre dealership, Pirelli will release the super-hard for road cars, given its hardness and longevity.

      Humour aside, Pirelli did state that that compound was made only as an emergency measure in case the other tyres were too soft, it wasn’t planned for use under normal circumstances. Given that, and how the tyres have been this year, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the super-hard hit the race track.

  4. I really hate knee jerk reactions, but at this rate any race not featuring a late safety car or out of position drivers from the top 3 is going to be a procession. Maybe they could make 2 stops mandatory? It could help spice things up.

    The bummer is that we have the most competitive season in many years (at least since 2012), especially in the top of the field, but the races still suffer. Can’t help to notice that besides the halo, asking the teams to run the engines for 7 races is really hard, so other than qualifying and the few “hammer time” laps, I don’t think they are really pushing.

    1. @afonic that’s a good point about engines, I’m not sure the teams are prepared to use those engines for so long without holding back performance. 3 engines per season is a stretch…

      1. I wouldn’t blame the engines, @fer-no65.
        Even 4 engines per season requires teams to ‘holding back performance’. They even held back performance when there was a new engine for every race (and used special qualifying engines on Saturday which could not go a race distance).

        Maybe go the other direction: 1 engine per season, but any change of a key performance part gives you a (mere) 1-2 spots grid demotion. (change ‘cheaper’ items – ES, TC, electronics – as you like)
        This way the ‘poor’ teams can save money, with richer teams making a strategic call every race (grid position or a fresher engine), and we’ll see some ‘new engined top teams’ a few spots back making the overtakes we are all yearning for.

    2. How about no mandatory stops?

      Enforcing 2 stops is almost as bad as DRS in terms of sticky plasters. Also cut the wheelbase of the cars.

    3. @afonic – I kind of tend to go in the opposite direction w.r.t. pit stops. Given the amount of regulation around aero and engine development, maybe we should open up tyre and pit strategy, instead.

      i.e. For tyres, give an allocation of tyres for a team to use across a season, and let them mix what compounds they want for a weekend. For pit strategy, no mandatory pit stops, no mandatory change of compound, no starting on Q2 tyres, etc. Basically – “these are the 90 dry tyre sets for FP and race in the entire season for your car, they’re a mix of compounds, now go racing”, combined with maybe 90 sets of qualifying-only tyres.

      Fully agree that the 2-3 limit on components feels a tad too aggressive, wouldn’t mind it being set at 4-5 instead like recent years. With the current 2-3 limit, at the start of the season I wondered if some teams (like #2 in WCC) should strategically elect to take a penalty, just to ensure they have engines they can run for ~5 races instead of 7 races (taking a penalty in 1 race would allow them to shorten the lifespan of almost all engines by 2 races).

    4. Please no to 2 mandatory pit stops. We need races that are an easy 2 stop or a very risky 1 stop, Pirelli need to make tires that allow teams a variety of strategies so that on race days we see cars next to each other on track with different tire compounds on pushing at different times, allowing for a delta big enough for overtakes.

      1. I think the problem is that they CAN’T make a tire that will do an easy 2 stop/risky 1 stop with all of the other parameters. Since they can’t pass, pushing doesn’t really matter anyway. The various problems compound themselves, which is a devil of a situation to be in. (And almost always the result when the regulation gets excessive)

        1. @bl0rq I think this is exactly right. It would be a wider window for Pirelli to hit if they aimed for a balance between two and three stops, as Firestone does in IndyCar.

  5. I don’t know if because of the Halo the cars are so heavy now, it’s so difficult to follow. I think Halo, it’s a massive thing. But I don’t understand why it’s impossible really to overtake.

    Why would it be the halo? Heavy or slower cars don’t make it difficult to follow another car. Meanwhile in F1 nearly every week a team is introducing a new flicked or curved aero appendage to the body work to point the air around the car to where it will work the best. And as has been shown time and time again all these upgrades have reduced effectiveness in the turbulent dirty air.

    None of this is news right, there’s been an overtaking working group designed specifically to tackle this issue in the past and it’s been mentioned time and time again even especially around the time these higher downforce regulations were drafted. Lo and behold it should be no surprise that this is the situation when so many predicted it.

    Why is it such a surprise or that the drivers all of a sudden don’t understand it? Have they been instructed not to be negative to the press about the aero?

    1. he may have solved it. it’s a lot of weight to have so high above the centre of gravity, that engineers spend millions lowering for performance.

      1. He was talking about not being able to follow close behind another car. How is that caused by the added weight of halo?

        At best itcould be that the halo makes a car more sensitive to turbulence, but weight doesn’t change when you are drivign alone on track or with another car right in front.

        1. The weight makes the loss of aero downforce exaggerated. And the halo isn’t the only heavy thing on the car at the moment… :glares at complex hybrid system:

    2. @skipgamer, at last, something we can both agree on, especially when we link tyres overheating/degrading due to dirty air which multiplies the problem for the following driver.

    3. @skipgamer – yeah, I did have to laugh at Perez’s comment. Yes, the cars are big and heavy, but that is a problem affecting every car on the grid, not just a following car.

    4. The Supercars in Australia have a minimum weight of 1,410 kg (almost double that of 2018 F1 regs) and have no trouble at all overtaking each other. They also have very little aero; granted they aren’t anywhere near as fast as F1 (it is, after all, a touring car series), but they do overtake each other fairly regularly (often exchanging paint in the process).

  6. I think they should allow drivers going OUT of the pits a higher speed limit to encourage more pit stops.

    Pit stops cost too much time and teams always prefer to avoid them.

    1. maybe the option tyre should allowed for that.
      every other race in indy one sees different pit strategies.

    2. Pitstops should cost MORE time (and be optional) so the drivers emphasis will be passing on track rather than by pitstop strategy.

      1. Perfect formula for processional races. If that was the case, might as well just watch qualifying, the first two laps and 9 times out of 10 the end result will be the same as at the end of lap 2.

        1. @justrhysism, strange logic immediately after your supercar comment above.

          1. @hohum@justrhysism made the point about those cars carrying no aero, that is probably the key differentiator.

          2. @phylyp, right, so let’s concentrate on the real problem instead of trying to add gimmicks like DRS, crap tyres and mandatory pitstops.

          3. @hohum – well, let’s see what 2019 brings, as a start.

            Your original comment clouded the issue as you seemed to be pushing for slower pit stops, with no mention of improving the racing.

            Also, how much cornering speed are we willing to give up while pursuing this? The big highlight of F1 is how they might not be as fast as, say a dragster, in a straight line, but are among the fastest through corners.

          4. I was being facetious.

  7. Hopefully next year Pirelli are asked to make a tyre that can follow for more than one lap without becoming undrivable. It’s no good having these new aero regulations if the tyres can’t take it

    1. @strontium – is the graining problem something intentionally designed into the tyre, or an unavoidable problem of tyre construction? I thought the “designed to degrade” tyre problem was more about tyres shedding marbles through wear, not graining.

      In any case, removing outwash should prevent cars from sliding laterally, so that will itself bring down graining to a great extent, won’t it?

      1. In any case, removing outwash should prevent cars from sliding laterally, so that will itself bring down graining to a great extent, won’t it?

        I think what ‘removing outwash’ will do is that the overall downforce creation will depend less on the front wing. Thus when following (dirty air) you lose less downforce. Hence, it’s easier to follow (more specific, you encur less ‘downforce loss penalty’ when following). @phylyp

        1. @coldfly – ah, so everyone is equally affected with lower downforce, not just the following car, is it? That is a bit worrisome, because that is going to accelerate graining throughout the lap when cars are cornering, not just when chasing a car isn’t it. That might have a negative effect of making people drive even more cautiously (but can reward someone willing to get pushy with an attempted overtake).

          1. @phylyp, that’s how I understand it.
            It is expected that teams will seek downforce in other areas which will be impacted less when following closely.
            And even when it results in more tyre wear, then at least that opens the opportunity of different pit stop strategies; the issue this year is that even the softest tyres can result in a single pit stop.

  8. @hazelsouthwell The F1 Broadcasting links back to the round up btw

  9. So… there isn’t enough uncertainty because all teams converge on very similar pit strategies as the best – both for a circuit, and in relation to their competitors.

    Also, F1 loves numeric limits. Limits on engine components, weight limits, testing limits, oil consumption limits, tyre pressure limits.

    Combining the “best” of both these – I propose “Limits on Pit-Stops”. Namely, every car must make a minimum of 35 pit stops in a season. Retirements do not count, drive-through penalties do not count. Teams are entitled to make these 35 pit stops as they see fit – they can run 19/20 races without stopping at all, and then spend one boring race doing nothing but pit stops, or else spread it out strategically.


    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      12th June 2018, 6:26

      @phylyp I won’t lie, that sounds quite crazy, very “out of the box” and a bit gimmicky, but it would work and be very interesting in fairness

      1. @vettelfan17 – yeah, I put this out here for a bit of a laugh 🙂. However, I do think that the proposal others have made previously (of restricted tyre sets for a season, not a race) is probably more interesting, as it will force teams to work a bit harder in FP to pick a good set of tyres, and it will also help teams conceal their strategy for longer. I gave a brief write-up of this above.

        I think the key element of both these ideas are aimed at making a season strategic, while individual races are more tactical, instead of teams running races in isolation from a pit/tyre standpoint.

    2. @phylyp, yes all those limits, mismanagement of the formula that started as the post war revival of Formula Libre (free formula).

      1. @hohum – ha, I didn’t know there was that format of racing, interesting.

  10. I still think it may be a good idea for them to bring back re-fuelling, giving the teams more reason to make pitstops. It does mean there’s risk but it can be mitigated and Indycar and WEC can provide plenty of examples on what they need to do to make it as safe as possible.

    1. And refuelling, extra pitstops, is also safer as there is less need for overtaking on track :p

      1. I’ve always been a bit on the no side about refuelling, but if you want multiple stop races and strategic variances, bringing back refuelling is probably the best way to do it. It will also stop the problem of drivers not pushing as each stint will become a sprint, well as reducing the overall car weight. Admittedly it may not help overtaking particularly, but it’s not like we will be losing much looking at the last couple of races.

        Maybe even go back to making the cars start on their Quali fuel load with the intention of introducing a performance differentiator into both Q3 and the 1st stint length from car to car. Qualify further up the grid with a lighter car or go long from a lower grid slot. Not sure about this though.

        Either way, it’s not like we risk losing the masses of overtakes that we already have and will at least have the satisfaction of seeing cars being pushed throughout the race.

        1. Maybe even go back to making the cars start on their Quali fuel load with the intention of introducing a performance differentiator

          @asanator – hmm, I’m on the fence about in-race refueling, but I don’t want qualifying to occur with a fuel load. I like the current qualifying format where all cars are pushing as hard as possible on Saturday, with the qualifying order reflecting the best that a driver + car could achieve, it’s a bit of a driver + team report card, if you will.

          1. @phylyp I fundamentally agree with you about Quali, but I think we need to perhaps stop trying to influence the number of pitstops and strategy by focusing solely on the tyres. Surely it has been attempted for long enough without success that we should look at other strategy influencers.

  11. The essence of sport is to bring out the best within a certain framework/formula. Changing the framework would result in a different category of the same sport but needn’t necessarily improve it. Any new rule changes naturally result in compromising the interests of at least one team. Now if you any of us were part of that one team (out of just 10) we’d never agree to that change.
    But all this talk about making the sport better is shifting to a another level. Changing regs to ensure cars can follow each other closely is one thing–overtaking is another. To be able to get close to the car a.k.a. closing the gap is something F1 should be worried about. In Canada, the driver running in sixth (Kimi) had lapped the driver running in seventh (Hulkenberg). That is appalling. Easy for us to blame it on the tyres and the track. But it is a simple problem of a 100m dash; with 10 runners–Bolt, Gatlin and de Grasse + 7 joggers. No matter how hard you change the regs–100m , 200m, 129m with a 10 sec water break in between, the top 3 will finish as the top 3. Fans dont want to see racing only in the top 6 (w/wo DRS)..there are 14 other cars. We are clamoring for good racing while also saying “let the midfield be the midfield but we want to see them race with each other”. The fan has already (and easily) categorized the grid. Changing the regs in such a complex sport would never suit all. I think the only meaningful way forward would be to simplify the sport; not for the sake of fans but for the sake of teams (joggers) to help them improve (run faster).
    At the end of the day, it is very easy for me to sit in a couch and bash the team management and governing body…tt is simply a shot in the dark.

  12. Pretty sure its aero not Halo, also why is Halo so heavy? Why not make it from Carbon-fiber like the rest of the car?

    Cars are just to long and to heavy. In race trim with full fuel they weigh 840kg or so and as long as an S-class Mercedes.

    Ideally they would loose 20kg and 20cm every year next few seasons. Currently they are more like LM prototypes than Formula.

    1. Why not make it from Carbon-fiber like the rest of the car?

      @jureo – the specific requirements of the halo as a head-protection device and the loads it needs to impact made titanium the only option. Bear in mind that titanium itself is quite a light metal (though not as light as CF, granted), and is very tough (hence its use in specialist aerospace applications). Carbon fiber also cracks under sudden impacts/load (e.g. all the debris created on contact) while metal deforms first, making metal preferable for such head protection.

      1. Thank you for an excellent answer.

  13. It is the amount of downforce that is the problem. It is clear as day and it was clear as day when these rules were created. It is not possible to create downforce without creating dirty air. The more downforce the more dirty air. It is that simple. You can play around with where that downforce comes but there is no magical bullet. Ground effects create dirty air (and something like 30-40% of the 2018 f1 car is from ground effects) even if ground effect is more efficient way of creating downforce than wings.

    If it was possible to create magical downforce without creating dirty air then every racing series on earth would instantly switch to such systems. Magic tricks are not real. Nascar suffers from dirty air even at miniscule downforce levels. Every single seater creates massive amounts of dirty air. Apart from covering the wheels there is no big game changer for f1.

    So the only way to improve overtaking is to reduce downforce and make the downforce generating wings and parts less sensitive to dirty air by making them bigger with less winglets and smaller angles of attack. But how to do that exactly should be based on research. F1 for the first time in its history has a chance to truly and without bias research for solutions that are all based on facts, measured data, simulations, calculations and windtunnel tests. Not some last minute ideas invented out of nothing by 80 year olds.

    1. @socksolid Look at the F1 cars of the early 80’s (e.g. Braham BT49). Ground effects and no front wings. No winglets either. They were able to follow each other as well!

      1. @ijw1 – the only challenge with ground effect is preventing the cars from flying up if they hit a kerb or are otherwise lifted by another car at a corner, since ground effects will see a noticeable increase in cornering speeds.

        1. that’s why we introduced the halo ;)

          1. @chrisgalaz – LOL, fair enough :-)

        2. Ground effects won’t increase the speeds. If you increase downforce you increase corner speeds. Ground effect is downforce just like all downforce produced by wings. Something like 30-40% of 2018 car is ground effect. What made 2018-2017 cars faster compared to 2016 cars was not ground effects but just a massive increase in downforce.

    2. @socksolid I know the principle you are speaking of is correct but I’m just not sure on a few points. I’m not convinced that the more downforce you create the more dirty air you create. Is that true of all combinations of shapes and sizes of front and rear wings, floors, and diffusers that are possible? Or just the one’s they’ve tried? I think they have only tried limited combinations because the motivation hasn’t been there to change. Now a process for that is under way.

      I’m just not convinced that if it was possible to create magical downforce without dirty air all series would do it. Firstly I doubt anybody thinks ‘without dirty air’ is ever possible, so no need to talk of ‘magic.’ Yes there will always be dirty air. But it is about the amount of dirty air. Unless it is written into the regs, no team would voluntarily design their car to make it easier to pass by making less dirty air. In F1, teams, particularly the big ones, have been only motivated to make their cars harder to pass in part by creating wake.

      Your last paragraph does sum it up well. And indeed it seems like they will likely reduce aero downforce in 2021, but I also envision, through the research they are indeed doing now with two cars in a wind tunnel by Brawn’s team, the back of the car with more of a boat tail design. The car might narrow at the back, not just with the bodywork, but with the diffuser and the rear wing, which at the moment are allowed to flair out and make wake.

      I think overall we’ll see not magic, but a unique not before seen combination of shapes and sizes of ‘slimmer’ wings, combined with ground effects work, cars that make less wake, and then of course very very little has been discussed about tires going forward, and sturdier ones will be able to handle a reduced amount of dirty air much more easily than this year for example, and tires won’t need to be the gadgets they now are, nor will there be drs.

      1. The reason why I mentioned magic tricks is because there are lots of people who think there is a single solution to this. Make it ground effects, take away all winglets or make standard wings. But any kind of actual fix is going to be combination of many things.

        As for more downforce = more dirty air. It is a physical reality really. If you have a car like f1 going 150-200mph and it has wings (front and rear wings, winglets, ground effects, vortex generators…) generating downforce it means the car needs to work the air it goes through. Put energy into the air to move it around the car. Dirty air is nothing more than air where a car has travelled through. Air that has energy. The air is now going to different directions, you have air vortices, pressure changes and overall speed change. As a car goes through air it drags that air with it.

        And just because of simple physics you can not put work and energy into air and not expect the air to capture some of that energy as kinetic energy or heat. In the most simplest form aerodynamic efficiency of an race car is how much downforce it can create with certain amount of drag penalty. The more efficient the car is the more harder it works the air it goes through. The more efficiently it works that air the more the air is affected and the more dirtier the air becomes.

        Are there designs that allow to create lots of downforce with very little dirty air? With the definition I just mentioned I’d imagine such car would need to be very low efficiency. Or it would need to generate downforce without shaping the air almost at all. Fan cars is one such solution. Downforce is generated by motor spinning a fan sucking air through the car from the below of the car. But apart from solutions like that there just is nothing more than fine tuning and removing things that create lots of dirty air.

        But in the end we want downforce. Downforce is lap time. To be the fastest race f1 needs a lot of downforce. A lot especially with these heavy cars. To generate downforce you need certain kind of wings or shapes. Those shapes are very well understood. Coming up with new kind of shape is not likely. Race car engineers have been trying to do it for 40 years. We still have wings, diffusers and we can have tunnels and fan cars. But just like airplanes need wings to fly race cars need wings to generate downforce.

  14. YellowSubmarine
    12th June 2018, 8:38

    How on earth could F1 take a sport that is by nature exciting and features overtaking, blocking, drama in the pit lane, driver hissy fits and team rivalries…and turn it into a boring snorefest at which the only excitement is the occasional accident?
    I wonder whether they’ll just wake up one fine weekend in 2020 and realise that no one is watching the races and no one is interested anymore.

  15. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
    12th June 2018, 8:55

    I feel like Pirelli are currently, with the lack of racing, stuck between a rock and a hard place a bit. On the one hand, if they make tyres on which a driver can run an entire race, it doesn’t make for interesting racing because no one can overtake. If they make tyres which degrade steadily, it opens up more strategic opportunities, but teams end up saving tyres a lot due to the importance of track position over raw pace. If they make tyres which are fine for a while, but then suddenly fall off a cliff, there is again a lack of strategic options to overtake. So, all in all, I don’t think the job Pirelli is doing is so terrible. The racing is terrible, which puts more focus on strategy and tyres, as they are the main outcome of deciding a race, and thus everyone dislikes them more.

    1. @leonardodicappucino I think the problem now (and has been for a handful of years now) is that Pirelli, mandated to make tires that are the overwhelming storyline of a race in order to try to mask the dirty air effect on racing, are making them very very difficult to get working in their right temperature window. Personally I do not watch F1 to see which driver, car and team can master tires meant as gadgets. That should not be the overwhelming task.

      Imho, they need to get back to tread wear deg tires, that drivers can push on. As someone else said here recently, what is the point of reducing aero and dirty air if the tires still can’t handle the sliding that occurs once in said dirty air because they get taken out of their slim operating window.

      We haven’t heard much about tires for 2019 let alone 2021, but I’m sure they must be a very hot topic in the background with the teams and Brawn and his team. The general consensus seems to be that 2 stop races are the best ones, and as Brundle has put it, particularly if the drivers are so spent just finishing the race they can barely be interviewed. So…sticky, fairly degrading tires, and imho tread wear tires that are predictable and last a third of a race.

      We have seen tire competitions before where they made tires that could last a whole race, and we have tires now that many drivers can barely get to work properly, and the common denominator remains that no matter the tires, dirty air is the enemy to cars dependent on clean air, for processions still prevail. So what good are these type of tires?

      Aero is the major issue, and better tires will make the leading car on better tires too, not just the trailing driver, but at least tires should not be the majority story line every race. Brundle has called for lighter cars that drivers can really throw around and that really work the drivers. Monaco and Canada have been excercises in pacing to delta times, drivers unable to push or maintain a challenge on a leading driver. That’s not the pinnacle of racing.

  16. I think these modern cars don’t suite the classic tracks, sadly.

    With the newer circuits, you tend to have longer straights, harder braking zones, and wider track width.

    *Longer straights – these wider cars punch a good hole in a straight line. The longer the straight, the better chance of the car behind eventually closing the gap and looking for an overtake.
    *Hard braking – the above is usually followed by a hard braking zone, giving the follower a chance to take a dive down the inside/outside
    *Wider track width – with the issues of following a car and the turbulence produced, having a wider track can occasionally create an opportunity for variable racing lines, meaning there’s not one ‘ideal’ racing line through every sequence. This allows the following car a chance to step out of the turbulent air.

    I think we’ve seen it this year especially. I still have hope for some good races, but perhaps we need to hedge our bets on some of the ‘newer’ additions to the calendar.

    1. I do think this is a very well made point. In the last couple of years, including 2018, it does seem to be the older, more traditional circuits which are producing boring, processional races. I think the track width is a key component here. I suspect we will see pretty unexciting races in France, the UK and Italy for example.

  17. See, Perez’s comments are, I think, one of the reasons why you need to stop listening to people whose entire racing/engineering experience is in F1/single seaters. The issue is very obviously not a result of the cars being heavy, or having lots of downforce. LMP-1 cars are bigger, heavier, more powerful, and have similar levels of downforce to F1 cars. But while they do lose downforce behind other cars in high speed corners, they can follow closely and overtake without the need for DRS.

    If you want to find the solution, look at other comparable series where overtaking is possible, and work out the difference. This trial-and-error scattergun approach to making changes to F1 cars will *never* deliver the results you want.

    1. @mazdachris I couldn’t agree more with you. +1000.

  18. I couldn’t disagree more with Perez. I highly doubt Halo would have anything to do with the difficulty of following another car. The sport’s long-standing difficulty of following and subsequently overtaking problem is purely about how the aero, and more precise, how the cars are designed aerodynamically.

  19. I’ll say this about the tyres, I think the whole situation with tyres created to degrade at a faster than normal rate since 2011 is perfect proof that artificiality rather than something that happens naturally will never be as good.

    I say this because the whole high-deg concept came about after the 2010 Canadian Gp where tyres suffered higher than usual (For that year) wear which forced 2-3 stops. This race was generally considered great so Pirelli were asked to try & recreate that by creating tyres that suffered degredation at an artificially high rate.

    The problem is that Montreal 2010 wasn’t exciting simply because the tyres suffered a lot of wear, It was exciting because nobody was expecting it & therefore nobody knew exactly how to deal with it. As soon as they came up with the mandate for high-deg & everyone knew to expect tyres to behave that way then everyone prepares for it, Knows how to deal with it & suddenly what was a special circumstance just becomes the norm with everyone prepared to drive around it.

    When you go back & watch Montreal 2010 nobody is really managing the tyres, There all driving as normal because nobody really knew if managing them would even do much let alone how much management would be required to extend the life as necessary & that helped make that race as good as it was…. Nobody really knew what to do.

  20. SparkyAMG (@)
    12th June 2018, 13:53

    There are some very clever people working on a solution to all of these problems for 2021, but until then things are unlikely to improve.

    Managing tyres to make one-stop races work is a symptom of these problems, and not necessarily the problem itself. In 2018 track position is far more valuable than the potential pace available from fresh tyres, and for the first time in years we’re seeing the overcut being used effectively in races so the tyres clearly aren’t as useless as we like to make out. The fact that they degrade more quickly in dirty air is inevitable and although Pirelli get a lot of stick for it, no other manufacturer has ever had to produce tyres for F1 cars with this much downforce and weight so we don’t know that anyone else could do a better job.

    Next season we’ll see some different concepts on the cars due to the changes being made to wings, but it won’t be enough to fix F1. We just need to be patient and hope things are much better in a few years.

    1. The fact that they degrade more quickly in dirty air is inevitable and although Pirelli get a lot of stick for it, no other manufacturer has ever had to produce tyres for F1 cars with this much downforce and weight so we don’t know that anyone else could do a better job.

      @sparkyamg – I’d asked this question elsewhere but didn’t see a reply, so let me ask you this. Is tyre graining an unavoidable outcome once a car is sliding laterally, or is it something that has been designed and engineered into the tyre by Pirelli at the request of the FIA?

      1. @phylyp The graining isn’t something that they have designed into the tyre intentionally, But it is a side effect of the way there engineering the higher levels of degredation.

        Graining is also not unavoidable, It’s perfectly possible to create a tyre that isn’t as prone to graining as the Pirelli’s are. The Bridgestone’s for example very rarely suffers graining & aside from 2001/early 2002 the Michelin’s likewise rarely suffered any graining.

        Something that makes the Pirelli’s so prone to graining is the small working range they have in terms of temperature. If the temperature drops even 1 degree below the optimum range they start to grain & the same is true the opposite way.

        1. Many thanks @gt-racer , that’s some nice information.

  21. Pirelli’s contract is up at the end of next year & early signs suggest that there not the favorite to get the next deal as they don’t have a lot of allies in the paddock now that Bernie’s not around.

    If it wasn’t for Bernie taking Pirelli’s more favorable commercial terms they wouldn’t have got the current contract as the FIA, Teams & Drivers favored Michelin as a sole supplier or a tyre war.

    1. @gt-racer I’ve been wondering why with all the talk about the 2019 changes and of course the big reset for 2021, there has been so little talk of a tire philosophy going forward. I sure wonder if next year’s tires will be just as temp finicky as this year and I’m assuming they wouldn’t depart too far from that without a lot of heads up for the teams to plan for any serious changes such as tread wear deg instead of temp sensitive boots, but then beyond next year?….going to be fascinating to see.

  22. Give Pirelli competition. Add a second manufacturer into the mix and let the teams choose which to go with. Competition always breeds positive results.

    1. For sure. There’s a strong paranoia around that a tire competition leads to processions, and imho that was never the case and the processions have always come from cars too negatively affected in dirty air, and refuelling stops that allowed some drivers to never actually pass anyone on the track but rather to do so through the undercut.

  23. I think the problem with passing and processional races is complex and a lot of people in this thread have made a lot of good points–tires, mandatory pit stops, engines/parts reliability rules, etc.—but I think they are are only part of the issue. I’m going to try to tie it all together (as I see it) and I’d be very curious what others think. I am going to try to keep my opinion about what to do out of it and just state the issues as much as possible, though obviously this is just my opinion.

    TL; DR—It is a bit long, and I am sure I am repeating some of what others have said. The gist is this, the powers that be need to decide what are the priorities and then build the rules around them. I am sure that happens to some extent but because F1 has been around, most of the rules and regs are longstanding and go untouched. Make rules and regs (still largely from the existing ones) that support the priorities and rework/remove ones that do not. The main priority should be make closer racing both more possible and more common as it benefits all players.

    The main issue is that they (whoever they are in this instance, FIA, F1, teams, drivers, …) have to decide what they want to focus on, what are the priorities. If the biggest priority is having the fastest cars, fine, but the knock on effect is that other cars may not be able to follow or tires need to be very durable. If the biggest priority is reducing costs, that may lead to strict reliability rules or spec parts as we have seen. You can go down the list and find drawbacks for each priority, and I am wondering whether those in charge have actually done this sort of analysis or not because the knee-jerk reactions in past years seems to indicate that they have not.

    Setting aside safety, as that always has to be considered, it seems like having a close championship and many close races should be one of the main goals. I say this because it benefits everyone. The more interesting the races, the more viewers and attendees. The more viewers, the more ad revenue; the more attendees the more income for tracks/promoters. The more funding, the more profit and prize money available. The more profit, the more the owners make and the more prize money, the more teams’ costs are offset. And for those teams making road cars, the more viewers, the more eyes on their products as well.

    Given the differences in construction it is always going to be possible that a constructor finds a design trick that others do not and steals a few races or even a season while the others catch up. But the rules should allow for convergence if actual racing for position (during a race and during a season) is the goal. This can be done many different ways: top 3 teams have to share their designs; performance ballast; spec parts; vastly reduced aero or at least disruptive aero; budget caps; and surely other options. I am not sure what the answer is, but setting very expensive and rigid rules and then saying spend what you want, will only ever give us what we have. Big teams buy seasons and small teams rarely make the podium.

    Aero has to be addressed and they have already tried making drafting more effective with DRS and many seem to hate it. So increased ability to follow on a straight does not seem to be the answer. That seems to leave increased ability to follow in the corners. While I am not an aerodynamicist/physicist/engineer, the only thing that really makes sense (to me) is to remove the rear wing and leave as little wake as possible. Whether that is replaced by ground effect downforce, or countered by removing the front wing, raising the ride height to rely on largely mechanical grip, enclosing the rear wheels, something.

    Opinion here, I do think it would be great to see design flexibility for power units and some other areas. If you meet x criteria, it doesn’t matter how you get there. You can produce y power and z torque and as long as you remain at that point or under, have a v18, i6, w12, hybrid, non hybrid, all electric. Have minimum weight requirements, max downforce requirements, max wake/disturbance. But I would assume that would allow only the rich teams to experiment and what we have now is safer. If Force India took a gamble and got it wrong, could they afford a year of no points while also redesigning for next year?

    Assuming you find a way to make closer driving and passing more possible with some of the above, then you need to find ways of making alternate strategies plausible. Currently, at many tracks, there is one consensus option each weekend for the leaders, maybe two. The teams will always race to the lowest possible time. So if it is faster for me to nurse my tires for 20+ laps during a race than it is for you to pit again and make interesting moves, then most teams will settle for the former. Especially when it saves wear on the power unit because we only have 3.

    Either mandatory stops need to be removed from the regs and tire lives rejiggered (making some a lot softer, faster, and less durable)–if pit stops are not a priority. Or refuelling must return to give reasons to pit. Currently the only gain I make for pitting is whatever the tire difference is. With refuelling I gain time from the tires and from reduced fuel over the entire race (or the stint difference). I know that the possible knock-on effect is that passes happen in the pits, but that is already happening. HAM lost out to RIC because of outlap vs inlap and pit times; that wouldn’t be new with a return to refueling. Plus, if tires are actually spread out appropriately and the compounds per race are well-chosen (lot of ifs) you can choose to not refuel and run long if you think that’s faster.

    Reliability and efficiency are reasonable goals. I get that is opinion, but even in terms of engineering, efficiency has benefits. If my engine is much more efficient, I can reduce size and consumption and cooling and weight and all of those benefit my entire car. There are also reasons for engine manufacturers to want to pursue it for green/”green” reasons to benefit their bottom line. If the decision makers think it is a goal, then open up power unit regs and provide a stipend for those teams who are doing R&D in the area or purchasing hybrid power units to offset the increase costs of development. If one team wants to use a non-hybrid V8, and another wants a hybrid V6, the latter gets some amount of cost reduction covered by F1 or FIA.

    For the reliability portion, I recall the weekends of blowing through half a dozen engines and multiple gear sets per weekend and that is too far; but so is 2-3 per season. Five seems reasonable given how far teams have pushed reliability. And I do think that because reliability has increased in recent years, dropping back to 5ish per season would allow penalties to remain harsh. If you cannot make a season with 5 power units when you are supposed to only have 3, you deserve a penalty. But they could be spread over two weekends (5 places each race) or you could lose 2-3 spots every weekend you have an additional power unit. So you cannot take an extra power unit a race early and then benefit next week, you will always lose 2-3 spots.

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