Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2018

Alonso backs FIA’s “zero tolerance” approach to track limits

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says the FIA is right to set firm rules on drivers exceeding track limits.

What they say

Alonso had a lap time deleted in qualifying for running wide at turn 11 last weekend, and missed out on pole position at the Fuji World Endurance Championship round for a similar reason.

They’ve been changeable sometimes and inconsistent. It’s something that we all spotted a couple of times already and all drivers we agree on that. But it is the way it is and we adapt to that.

I prefer when it’s zero tolerance. In Fuji we crossed the white line [by] one centimetre and they deleted the lap time and we were not in pole position because of that.

We didn’t gain time because it was a correction, like [on Saturday]. You have a big moment, big oversteer, you end up off-track, they delete the lap. The rules say if you are over that red and white [line] they delete the lap. They don’t consider if it was a mistake or correction or pure gaining time, the line is there and you cross the line, they delete the lap.

They do in other series so it works fine. I’m happy with how it works here.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Max Verstappen deserves praise for the way he’s turned his season around, says Nitzo:

It amazing to note how close Verstappen is to Bottas in the world drivers championship. On the one hand, we have been witnessing the meteoric rise of one of F1’s prodigies and a potential world champion. On the other, the struggles of a driver who has been trying so hard to match the heights of the colossus called Lewis Hamilton whilst also playing his wingman.

I think we should all take more than a moment to appreciate the achievements (improvements) of Max in since Monaco.
Nitzo (@Webtel)

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On this day in F1

  • 30 years ago today Ayrton Senna won his first championship at Suzuka

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “Alonso backs FIA’s “zero tolerance” approach to track limits”

  1. Damn you Round-up, I’d successfully repressed any memory of that awful Will Smith message and I’m pretty sure it would have remained forgotten if you hadn’t brought it back up. Now I find myself cringing again and staring blankly at the screen with my best dismayed, confused, utterly bewildered expression frozen in place, asking myself why anyone would think spoiling the moment with something like that would be a good idea.

    On a less negative note, I wonder if they made him (paid him to?) record one for Vettel as well, in case he won… or was Vettel going to get The Rock or Tom Cruise instead?

    1. I like Will Smith, who doesn’t , but it was cringeworthy.

    2. Completely agree. Why is will smith suddenly congratulating Hamilton on his radio? And why is he using the most cliche of statements from a movie like Bad Boys on his radio? Completely ruined an epic moment in the sport when one of the greatest drivers (Hamilton) equalled a record of another driver that is regarded as the GOAT (Fangio). If they archive this moment in the sport’s history with a cheesy statement from Will Smith… I’m pretty sure future generations of F1 fans will cringe as well.

      Glad to see that it was probably an inside joke between Hamilton and Will Smith, and not a genuine Will Smith motivational speech. It would have just been better to have Will Smith post it on twitter instead of broadcast it at the end of the race though. I get Hamilton is all about Hollywood.. but come on.. this is a little cringeworthy for anyone’s taste.

      1. +1 Even Hamilton looked a bit bemused by it.

    3. Last year was Neymar Jr on the radio. It was already embarrassing, but this is becoming a yoke.

    4. @neilosjames – you know, you could have just ignored the tweet, and refrained from commenting. But noooooo… you had to go listen to it and comment on it. That in turn made @todfod and @dbradock do likewise.

      Put together, that made me scroll back up and listen to the tweet. Now I want to stab pencils into my ears.

      Oh well, good thing we’ve got this COTA/IndyCar tweet to wash away his grating voice with some sweet engine sounds. Let’s put those pencils down, everything’s cool.

    5. I thought it was OK until the last line about “That’s how you drive” after HAM struggled all race.

      1. I’m really grateful that I had the sound off then judging by all these comments!

        1. @nullapax – they’re all lying. They want to deny everyone the pleasure. Try it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

          (ducks as atlas comes flying towards Phylyp’s head)

          1. No need to duck … considering my grasp of Geography!

    6. Thought it was tacky when I heard it live, now think it was downright dreadful knowing it was just a playback. That’s just pure keech.

  2. I fail to see why the subject of track limits is so difficult in F1.

    Other series seem to manage it fine. Surely the best drivers in the world can cope with a rule that insists they stay inside track limits. The argument of “but what if it’s because it was a mistake by the driver and not deliberate” doesn’t hold water – mistakes should involve some kind of penalty if the driver slips off track.

    Sure, there’s the situation of avoiding a collision but that’s pretty easy to spot.

    If the rule was consistent ( something foreign to F1), drivers would adapt very quickly, just like they do in other series.

    1. @dbradock, it so often seems to be the case that fans will cry out for consistency so long as it is not their favourite driver who is then on the receiving end of a penalty – when it is, those cries for consistency frequently change to cries for clemency instead. In many ways, the behaviour of the FIA is really more a reflection of the rank hypocrisy of a fan base that claims to call for consistency, but doesn’t seem to want it when they think their driver is being hard done by.

      1. I think this is even heightened by the coverage from stations like Sky and RTL who immediately start talking about “the rediculousness of gettting penalized for this” whenever it happens like that.

        1. There are people who think penalties should not change race or qualifying or other results. If you go over track limits but “get the pole then the dirty scum fia should not steal the pole just becasue you went over the line a little bit”. It is the same thing in all sports. In soccer or ice hockey the last 10 minutes of the match it is usually much more difficult to get penalty if the match is tight because the “judge don’t want to or should not decide the outcome”. Even if it is the player or team who makes a mistake and “decides it”. I don’t agree with that but that’s the view of some people. And in f1 charlie has even admitted there are two sets of rules. If a driver is part of the championship fight they allow much more leeway when something happens.

          I think people also don’t want to see the kind of judge interpretations because they know all this. They’d prefer to have tracks where going off is a penalty in itself. You should not be faster by going off the track. Not that you just get penalized if you do. And whether you did it or not or by how much depending on your face, team and position in the championship fight. Or like that alonso’s case. Was he slower because he had to make a correction or would it have been even slower if he had lifted to keep the car inside the white lines.

          And the black and white approach is not perfect either. F1 drivers are allowed to push others off the track on corner exits. If you are on the outside then the driver inside can just push you off. If the driver outside keeps his foot in and still completes the pass on the outside you’ll get these weird scenarios where drivers are pushed off the track and then get penalty on top of that because track limits. There are also many f1 fans who are very unknowledgeable about the sport and don’t understand the difference between going wide on corner exit or cutting the corner at the apex. Interpretation always comes down to fine details and the audience in most cases is not smart enough or don’t want to hear those arguments.

          Even if you automate the system you still need some way to ignore some penalties. If a driver cuts a track because he spun on his own, if he was avoiding an accident, if he “had to make a correction” or because he was pushed or forced off the track… And again with the hardest of black and white rules we are still back to interpretation by someone who admits the rules are not the same for everybody.

          From that pov I somewhat understand the “the ref should not decide the match” idea. If the ref is not neutral and won’t give the same penalties every time then would it be better if no penalty was given at all? I don’t agree with that view but I understand where it comes from.

          1. The worst of all is the NBA, where refs have admitted that stars have a different set of rules with respect to fouling and getting fouled.

    2. Sure, there’s the situation of avoiding a collision but that’s pretty easy to spot.

      And even if it was to avoid a collision there is nothing wrong with deleting that lap.
      There is no current driver who prefers a collision over a deleted lap, and I doubt Maldonado will be back soon ;)

      1. @coldfly – it probably gets a bit messier if the collision avoidance occurs in a race, say a lap one incident.

        The penalties have to be applied quicker and harsher to encourage drivers to hand back any places gained by such a move.

        1. I think that’s why they have this system of only enforcing after 3 excursions beyond the track limits when it’s during the race, @phylyp.

          Of course, that will be extremely unfair if you have to avoid the whole Maldonado family on subsequent laps in the same corner during the Open Venezuelan Premio Grande. But even without these rules Maduro would never allow a non-family member to win even when crossing the finish line first ;)

          1. @coldfly – would anyone else be that eager to win? 1st place might get you one bazillion V. dollars, which just might get you a Freddo on a good day. ;-)

            I still believe three warnings in the race is a bit too generous. We’ve seen on occasions where drivers have gained an advantage by opening a gap to a pursuer (which often doesn’t get penalized), as opposed to the slam-dunk overtaking by cutting, which drivers tend to avoid doing. I’d prefer just one warning (or even none, if the FIA are up to it).

          2. @phylyp @coldfly the problem has a very simple solution, tracks limits should be anything other than tarmac. We constantly see people run wide at the start because they push and they know if there is a problem there is free road outside the track limits that they can take, when we had gravel, or grass or whatever the circuits went for we hadn’t as many problems as we have now.

            Of course promoters have to prepare their circuits to receive a wide array of categories, but I’m pretty sure there are cheap methods to physically enforce track limits that can be easily placed and removed as necessary, and if that is a problem in F1, maybe those barriers should be provided by the FIA or Liberty.

          3. @johnmilk – I liked the French GP’s abrasive paint stripes, or something similar to punish the car. Spike strips, anyone?

          4. @phylyp call me old fashion but just put gravel there, or marbles, why not? they go to waste don’t they?

          5. @johnmilk – that would work as well, whichever is easier to install before and remove after an F1 weekend.

          6. @johnmilk

            call me old fashion but just put gravel there

            The problem with gravel is that as soon as somebody goes through it they will ‘send out’ the VSC, or Red Flag the practice session.
            Bollards with compulsory rerouting for offenders might work just as well.
            Furthermore, it leaves the option to ‘widen’ the track for the first few corners of lap 1 (e.g. in COTA)

          7. marbles it is @coldfly

          8. @johnmilk, asides from the fact that there are other series that have raised objections to gravel traps, gravel traps are also not that popular with marshals either.

            Part of the problem is the tendency for cars to dig in to gravel traps, which then makes it much more difficult for the marshals to then recover that car. It makes it harder and slower for the marshals to walk around, and it can also make it much harder, if not impossible, to then push or tow a car to the side of the track.

            That then means that the marshals are potentially exposed to a greater risk, since now the process of recovering the car is more likely to require a mobile crane – an activity which is not without risk – and it increases their exposure time to something else happening, such as if another car were to spin off into the same gravel trap.

            The point is, the FIA doesn’t just have to think about the safety of the drivers – they might be the ones who get the most air time, and the ones whom most fans care about, but the safety and welfare of the marshals is often ignored when people talk about the circuits.

  3. If the track doesn’t naturally penalise for leaving the racing surface it’s simply not fit for use. Tracks need natural limits and if the “experts” currently designing the tracks can’t provide that they need to get new people involved.

    1. And they only need to focus on a few corners where cutting or extending gives you a time advantage.
      All the others have a natural discouragement (slower) line already.

  4. Thanks @keithcollantine for the COTD :-)

    1. @webtel – a deserved CotD. We often get so hung up on talking about the obvious battles that sometimes we miss these.

      It reminds me of something I noticed yesterday, that took me by surprise. I know Sauber have just passed Toro Rosso, but I was surprised and impressed to see Leclerc is just 4 points shy of Grosjean. Leclerc punching above his weight, or Grosjean/Haas leaving points on the table? I’d say it’s a bit of both.

      1. Thanks @phylyp.

        Leclerc is just 4 points shy of Grosjean.

        ~ Its a shame isnt it. He has had 5 retirements in the last 10 races and a few minor collisions that were out of his control. I genuinely feel Charles is still punching above his weight, the opposite for Romain and Co. Whats glaring is Haas’ performance standards post the summer break–perhaps coincides with the developments Merc (and FI) have made against Ferrari (and Haas). There have been a few anomalies–like Mexico. Haas were weak last year too.
        I expect them to do well in Abu Dhabi. Lets see.

    2. max has certainly turned it round from an error point of view – it’s disappointing for both drivers that the car hasn’t been up there more often. DR has had some awful, awful luck with reliability but also his qualifying performances have not been up there with max’s (with some notable exceptions).

      still you don’t win titles on saturdays so I think the most important metric, for any driver, is points per finish. after mexico max is on 14.4 and daniel is on 13.27, which max has turned to his favour in the last two races. even if you factor in daniel’s appalling reliability, he would only be improving on that by having finished mostly in 3rd place and some 4ths (hypothetical what-ifs don’t make for good analysis, but bear with me) – I don’t think this was truly feasible given the typical pecking order we’ve seen, so we can conclude (tentatively) that max has done a better job throughout the year. of course if daniel wins the next 2 and max finishes but scores poorly, then it could change around, but seems unlikely.

      1. 1) Implying DR is no match for VER, even in quali, shows just how much people can be misguided by media (portrayals) and ‘circumstantial evidence’, even seasoned followers of the sport. DR is trailing VER in quali under equal circumstances by 6-8 and is about a tenth (and a half maybe) or so slower on average in quali. No dominance at all.

        2) You continue with the sundays and proclaim, according to you, points/finish is the most important metric. Then you calculate and reason that it would be unlikely that DR would be able to improve on that figure of average points/finish, bc of the pecking order. There are a couple of major problems with that and some of them are:
        – How have both DR and MV been able to come to that avg p/f in the first place then, if the pecking order was that much of a constraint? So already one of your mere presumptions is false bc of a fundamental flaw in your thinking process.
        – You also, surely, make a mistake by equalling tech-DNFs and other circumstantial DNFs with driver error-DNFs. People, again in this very article, always have lots of jokes to tell about Maldonado (and apparently also his family now), but why start cherry picking then? Why hold up another standard for VER then for the likes of MAL, Grosjean and others? The answer is simple, namely FBoyism.
        Those figures you calculated (14.4 and 13.72) are, I presume, retrieved by (#pointsMax/15) and (#pointsDan/11) respectively. DR has had 8 DNFs this year. 6 of them were pure car failures. 1 (Spa) he retired from bc of damage he sustained at the start being hit by a car he never saw coming (Ericsson?). The last but not least DNF was bc of his teammate in Baku. That’s 8 DNFs not due to his own doing. MV has had 4 DNFs: Bahrain, Baku, Sstone and Hungary. Bahrain and Baku driver errors (in Bahrain after banging with HAM, getting airborne and dropping back on the ground with a bang damaging his car and losing drive), Hungary car failure. Britain is a bit ambiguous at best (from MVs and FBoys-view). He drove well outside track limits and rough on kerbs right before he DNFd, before he lost his brakes. So he amassed his tally in 17 or 18 races DNF-free races, not just 15, dropping his avg p/f well below DRs.
        – The total and average points finish of DR were also (heavily) influenced by 5 quali’s bc of back-to-the-grid penalties and Hungary (5) whereas VER only had one.
        – Also some ‘minor’ stuff like in France he also had to deal with a damaged FW (nobody knows how it got damaged, probably either in fabrication or by picking up debris) where he could have been 2nd or at least third instead of 4th, and missing out on a podium bc of a messed up strategy in BRI instead of 5th and in quali he didn’t have DRS in his fastest run. All things VER had not.
        – There’s another fundamental flaw in your thinking that the avg p/f is the most important metric. According to this logic, you’d have rated Vettel untouchable for Kimi after the former won the first race this year. He could have simply crashed every single race thereafter, and still have a maximum 25points/finish rating.
        3) All in all, I’d think the only ones who would agree to use that scoring system, are VER-FBoys bc it suits their same old, non-debatable narrative.

        And don’t forget, DR is being left out now of briefings and what not ever since he announced his departure. He’s hearing jokes are made at RBR about his departure to Renault. The rate of pure car issues have increased a lot also since then. Basically, he’s been amortized and you can’t blame RBR for that; 3rd place was already their share in the WCC, no chance at the WDC and it makes sense not to invest in a sunk cost, but put everything you have in the one’s who’ll still be there next year. It’s first and foremost business.

        So actually when you look at those figures and circumstances, I can only conclude the exact opposite: DR has, three times in a row now, clearly outdriven MV yet again.

    3. Max always seems to be a different driver from start of season to end of season to me.
      The first few races he can be a menace to his own chances as well as others but by the later end of the season he is back to producing mature and brilliant drives.

      When he gains the self control, maturity or whatever to start a season as well as he finished the previous one then I think we will a genuine and interesting challenger for the title.

      I’m looking forwards to it already ;)

      1. @nullapax – I think he’s there, to be honest. He just needs to continue his current trend/momentum into next year. More than anything, I do wish he has a good car/PU under him, to help him take the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari.

        1. That’s another concern of mine.
          I half expect Honda to form a works team once they feel the engine is pretty much sorted and Red Bull will be back as a second hand engine outfit.

          1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Honda ends up buying Torro Rosso.

  5. Whilst I thoroughly agree with COTD, there is an important caveat. Both Max and Jos and all the Red Bull people have said that Max has improved by not pushing too hard (since Monaco), saying that even when he isn’t pushing too hard he’s still fast enough to dominate race weekends. All fine.
    But: what happened? If you’ll remember, Verstappen was universally rated the runner up in the driver rankings last season (Sky, Autosport, F1 team bosses, Motorsport Magazine, and indeed F1Fanatic/Racefans). I can’t remember him overdriving, overpushing the car. Maybe it was partly down to having a more competitive car that year (but was it?), maybe it was because he broke down so often that we never got to see him make mistakes, but assuming that his 2017 was as good as we thought, what changed going into 2018 that made him so eager? How can Verstappen do China 2017 but also China 2018? I don’t get it.
    And assuming that Verstappen does have the potential that COTD and everyone ascribes to him, it is quite worrisome. He went from a brilliant 2017 into a less good early 2018 by wanting to push even more. It doesn’t speak well for his self-assessment and the guidance around him that he managed to turn that momentum upside down. His quali record this year was good but his early race form wasn’t. That he managed to recover speaks well for his recent development, but that he needed to recover at all doesn’t bode well for the future. I’m on the fence here.

    1. @hahostolze – Just go down memory lane and ask yourself those same questions about Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Senna, Schumacher etc.

      It might not answer your question, but it proves that what’s happening to him isn’t at all that weird.

      1. @hahostolze @coldfly ^ This.

        Age. Maturity. Experience. They all play a part. It’s early days for Verstappen.

      2. Sure guys, whatever makes you sleep at night, hahahhahah.
        Could coldfly then give some examples from his trip down memory lane? Senna in his first 4 years didn’t even make half of the mistakes VER made in just the first six races this year. And was a title contender ever since his third year in F1. Schumacher was already a double WDC after 4 years of F1, also not making a fraction of the mistakes of your idol. And both of them dominated their teammates. None off all this can be applied to VER, none. He hasn’t even beaten his teammate for the past three years, yet you compare him with these two. Alo and Ham also took a WDC each in their first 4 seasons in F1, didn’t have the error-filled weekends VER has had and got beaten by their teammates VER has been.

        Hahostolze, coldfly, rhys lloyd, bascb, robbie and all the others living in lalaland, stop trying to rewrite F1-history, stop repeating yourselves into consensus, you delusional oranges.

    2. I think a lot of it was from expectation he himself had put on him to go a step further up with the experience of his first Red Bull season behind him. And probably expectation of the team, and the fans too. And then the car is just not good enough, so you overdrive it and therefore crash more often.

      We’ve seen it before from many drivers, as @coldfly mentions.

      1. @bascb Agreed. That’s about how I was going to sum up Max’s start to the season too. He’s one extremely determined individual. Max in a dominant car is going to be unstoppable. Actually given what he can do in a third place car, even Max in a WCC car that isn’t fully dominant over the second place one, will still be unstoppable. When he doesn’t have to compensate for a weakness in the car and end up overdriving, and qualifies higher on average with fewer cars to pass, he’ll be up the road before anyone can blink.

    3. I see Verstappen as an excellent but hot headed very young driver with an enormous pressure on him. He did make mistakes, criticism rose about his driving and he answered with the classic “won’t change my style”.
      But in the end I think he did work on it and now come up with good weekends, kudos to him. Horner’s race radio in COTA iirc was enlightening: “a very mature drive”, which seems to show that it is a serious matter inside the team – especially if he’s got to take the lead in the team with Ricciardo leaving.

    4. (@hahostolze) Here is a link to an interview with Vestappen 7:45 min approx. He explains what has changed.

  6. Keith, I would love to have a F1 championship without an asterisk as much as you do (at least from your tweet), but surely we can pretend that it wan’t always like this, we had people turning up just to try and qualify for the race back in the day. When was the last time we could look at the grid without noticing a clear gap in performance at some point?

    A budget cap probably won’t do everything, but it could be a step in the right direction surely

    1. @johnmilk – as much as I hate putting limits around everything, I wonder what if aero development is regulated in a manner similar to PU development?

      Today there are some limits around CFD modelling and wind tunnel testing to keep check on aero. That doesn’t seem to be working – because despite the same PUs present in a variety of cars, it is only the well-heeled teams that are streaking away ahead (well, yes, McLaren’s there. Let’s ignore them for a moment, they’re an aberration).

      What, instead, if teams were limited to only 2-3 designs of front wing, rear wing, barge boards? (Mind you, designs are limited, not the number of parts manufactured off each design). Homologate two sets at the start of the year, allow a third one to be introduced at Spain (to cater to learnings in live races).

      With such a change, we could also mandate that there is no data gathering performed in FP1 and FP2, apart from speed and sector timings provided by the FIA.

      And then… let them race.

      Tyre compounds and circuit characteristics should anyway provide a decent amount of variance race to race.

      1. @phylyp I don’t know how you think I will be able to answer this when you drop a bomb like this: “well, yes, McLaren’s there. Let’s ignore them for a moment, they’re an aberration”. It took me half an hour just to move pass it

        Do you think that the PU regulations work? Ferrari and Merc are at the same level but the other two are still far away from them. I have the impression that the more complicated the rules get the more potential grey areas are to be exploited and ultimately that might lead to a performance differentiation that we don’t want.

        Simplification is the way to go I think and control costs and let them do whatever they want (PU included) as long as they stick to whatever limit FIA can impose.

        1. btw, the data gathering thing seems like a good idea, and surely they will have to run more in FPs, since the driver has to do all the work, and surely it will take them longer

        2. I don’t know how you think I will be able to answer this when you drop a bomb like this: “well, yes, McLaren’s there. Let’s ignore them for a moment, they’re an aberration”. It took me half an hour just to move pass it

          I’m sorry @johnmilk . Here, have a Freddo – the official treat of the McLaren F1 team. That should cheer you up ;-)

          No, I’m not saying the PU regulations help, and that it should be used as a model elsewhere (as you rightly say, there’s a gap between the top two PUs and the other two). Let me try and explain this another way:

          Consider the teams that all use the same PU: Merc, FI, Williams. Given the same PU, the difference between their relative performances is down to the drivers, car’s aero, and car’s setup (suspension). There’s also smaller factors like the manufacturer using the optimized fuel/lubricants, and having the best packaging. Ditto for Ferrari. The Renault triad is a bit unique – the biggest spender is not the manufacturer, but they get their money’s worth. McLaren are the big spender, but you can see why I called them the A-word (don’t want to hurt you again).

          So, of the major factors that introduce variations, I want to target aero. There’s a lot of effort and investment poured into aero development, and it is a source of ongoing expense due to the development game through a season.

          By limiting the number of opportunities teams can introduce aero upgrades (2 sets of aero designs at the start of the season, 1 more set after the “Spainish” GP), that will prevent them from bringing new aero upgrades to every single race.

          Now, obviously, this is F1, and teams are not just going to sit idly by. Quite often, after the Spanish GP, they might start designing parts for the next season, and testing them in FP. So, that’s where my other suggestion kicks in – prevent data gathering during FP1 and FP2, so they cannot be used as fine-grained testing sessions for development, but depend a lot more on driver feedback. I’m a bit open-ended as to what happens in FP3 – should we throw the teams a bone and let them turn on data gathering, or do we limit data gathering to only quali and the race? Either way, as you’ve rightly said, this puts more of the onus on the driver, and it rewards teams who bring in talented drivers who can offer good feedback.

          So, you can see where I’m coming from – like PUs, aero parts will also have limited designs. But there will be no penalties associated with bringing new parts of the same design (e.g. replacements for a broken front wing), so that’s where it diverges from the PU model in use today.

          1. got it @phylyp don’t you think however even though teams would introduce less upgrades, still the biggest spenders would be able to come up with more and do in house testing before going for one? Of course they will have less opportunities to mend mistakes (looking at you Ferrari), but it is hard to predict the real effect that could have on actual performance differentiation throughout the grid.

            It could something worth trying

          2. let me just had, that for some reason the notifications when we are tagged are working intermittently @keithcollantine

          3. @phylyp, the WEC has been basically been using the system that you describe for several years now in the LMP1 class – the teams could homologate a single low downforce package and a single high downforce package, and that would be all they could use for the year.

            The thing is, that same system could have a rather negative effect – if a team did get a initial head start with their aero packages, the homologation process meant that they were then guaranteed to hold on to that advantage for the rest of the season.

            That did mean that, back in 2015, as soon as it was clear to Toyota that they were behind Porsche, they announced that they were giving up on the 2015 season because the homologation rules meant there was no way to try and catch up with Porsche – they turned up to the remaining races because they were obliged to, but they didn’t really bother because they knew they couldn’t catch Porsche and that there was no point trying to do so.

            Furthermore, telemetry systems have generally been more important to teams for decades now – modern telemetry systems date back to the 1970s, and mechanical telemetry systems were intermittently used in the 1960s, so the relative importance of driver feedback was going into decline over 40 years ago.

        3. Missed a word, I meant to say “McLaren are the other big spender”

          I hope that this will prove a more effective way of curtailing costs, instead of a budget cap where the side with the most creative accountants wins.

      2. @phylyp I don’t think the number of aero updates is the issue, but rather the complexity of the aerodynamics as a whole. Get rid of anything resembling an aerodynamic device other than a simple front wing, a simple rear wing and a simple floor. I’m sure the big spenders will still find a way to have an aero advantage, but I’m also sure that there’s much less they can do if the front wing can only have a main plane and two endplates rather than a gazillion winglets.

        1. @warheart – true, a simplified wing would cut costs to a much greater extent. It’s just that we need to balance off limiting expenditure with the need to still allow room for the designers to get creative.

          The idea is to reward those who can come up with an efficient design on the cheap (similar to how Force India tend to punch above their weight), and not allow room for the rich teams to iterate through & test tens of designs to find that one perfect one.

          With Force India itself, we’ve seen how their shortage of funds in the first half of their season noticeably impacted their on-track performance, and once they were taken over, their performances immediately jumped up back to what we’ve come to expect.

      3. Lest we forget the horrors of the token system that was introduced at the beginning of the Hybrid era and effectively handed Mercedes 2 free drivers and constructors championships.

  7. ”They don’t consider if it was a mistake or correction or pure gaining time”
    – But that’s the thing. A lap time shouldn’t automatically be invalidated for leaving the track with all four wheels just for the sake of doing so, only if it’s obvious that a driver has gained an advantage whether it’d be a direct impact on the lap and or sector time improvement and or gaining/maintaining a position by doing so; If it wasn’t advantageous before to leave the track briefly at the exit of T19 at COTA or at the exit of T11 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (where Alonso left the track in Q1) then it shouldn’t be any different today either, so I don’t understand the sudden change in the approach towards these two particular corners.

    – I agree with the COTD.

    – Interesting the race chart graph in Keith’s tweet. The difference between the top teams and the rest indeed was significant in the last race although not the first time in F1’s history that’s the case, far from it.

    1. BTW, I forgot to add: From the tweet by F1: ”My favorite moment was in Germany when Vettel crashed” – LOL.

    2. The problem I see wasn’t so much that Alonso went so far over the white line as to be penalised, but that he didn’t leave enough time to do another hot lap if he was held up by another driver or some other problem arose, and indeed “some other problem” did arise. If he’d given himself enough time to do another hot lap then maybe he could have got through to Q3.

  8. Re Gold Coast Indy: To recommence the event just as it used to will be next to impossible. The previous configuration of the circuit now has a section of track (from the first chicane all the way to the double left at View Avenue) that has been resumed for a tram line.

    The current circuit used for V8’s is significantly shorter (barely 3km long), and extending it can realistically only be done by utilising roads to the north of the current layout, which will take a significant redesign of residential streets with all the traffic furniture that is in place around Main Beach/Southport.

    It is going to be a big task to revive this event.

  9. joe pineapples
    30th October 2018, 12:40

    Only way I’d like the Mexican GP to carry on is if they redesign the awful car park…I mean, stadium section. Not even sure why its even ‘great’ for the fans there, apart from seeing the cars trundle past in formation.

  10. What is Rosberg even doing? I don’t get it.

  11. Does anyone still care what Alonso thinks of F1?

    1. You’d think Max, your idol, cares, since he’s a fan of and likes to compare himself with Alonso.

  12. ‘When Max is angry, he is even faster’

    Excellent Smithers… EXCELLENT

    1. @rpiian Simpson’s references aren’t appreciated enough are they?

      1. @johnmilk I don’t know why but it’s the first thing I think of when I think of Jos and Max.

        1. but Smithers and Burns? Why not Bart and Homer @rpiian?

          1. @johnmilk I mean that would make more sense, father and son, but I don’t see them as angry and scheming.

  13. @rpiian yes Homer and Bart aren’t the brightest so scheming would be out of the way

    btw, out of curiosity, is that a formula student on your profile picture?

    1. @johnmilk Very true!

      Why yes it is – I was on the RPI Formula SAE team between 2007-2009. Chassis group leader and endurance driver. The car in the picture got 16th in Michigan & 9th place in California. Had the time of my life!

      1. that’s very good @rpiian, makes us understand your username too

        I wasn’t involved within the project at my university, since my field of studies wasn’t in line with it, but we followed their progress throughout the year and on the competitions, this is their car if you want to take a look.

        It is a very cool project actually, makes me wonder why F1 doesn’t give it more importance

        1. @johnmilk Very cool! I love the wing-ed cars. FSAE got me where I am today. Major resume booster.

          We had a small budget and resources so we took the KISS approach, but splurged where it made sense. Our chassis weighed in at 428lbs wet w/ a restricted F4i CBR 600 engine making 84hp, carbon hexcel stressed body panels bonded to a tig welded chromoly spaceframe, custom dyno tuned DB cane creek dampers, bespoke cam/pawl diff, and our signature, eardrum blowing, rapid prototyped glass filled nylon intake. Even down on power 0-60mph was around 2.5s. Geared only to about 90mph specifically for autocross tracks. It was such a hoot to drive.

          Now you can see where my love affair for open wheel racing came about!

          1. @rpiian

            Now you can see where my love affair for open wheel racing came about!

            I see I see! Amazing

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