Esteban Ocon, Max Verstappen., Interlagos, 2018

Verstappen serves final part of Brazilian GP punishment

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen has served the second half of his punishment for his altercation with Esteban Ocon following last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

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Comment of the day

Is the planned overhaul of F1’s rules for 2021 doomed to failure?

The big teams with uncapped budgets will have the budget to work on redevelopment for the 2021 regulations (if they indeed are announced by June and that’s still no certainty) well before any budget capping comes into effect and will also have the benefit of the proposed (but also by no means certain) glide path.

They’ll be so far in front of all the other teams it will take at least until 2025 for them to catch up.

The only chance a smaller budget team would have would be to abandon any development for the second half of 2019 and all of 2020 – something that perhaps Williams or McLaren might want to consider if they start 2019 badly but they’ll wait to see if in fact the 2021 regs actually become a reality.

Going to be an interesting time over the next 4 months.
DB-C90 (@Dbradock)

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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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  • 31 comments on “Verstappen serves final part of Brazilian GP punishment”

    1. My new year’s Resolution is not to get hyped up for things that’ll never hap- MERCEDES ARE GONNA CHANGE UP THEIR LIVERY???? SWEET JESUS!!!!1111!1!!

      1. Not convinced yet – I think it may be a “camo” livery for testing like Red Bull have done the last few years. Fingers crossed though as it looks interesting!

    2. I was thinking about Verstappen’s punishment and Ocon’s not getting a seat so far this year earlier today, not realising there was a bit more to go for Verstappen. I think the Stewards got it right, that he did have a punishment, but one that wasn’t draconian. I’m pleased with this decision by the FIA.

      1. When hearing of Max serving last part of punishment I’ve imagined him standing for few hours as regular marshall by tyre barrier, waving flags, picking up debris and pulling stalled cars out of the track when needed. But getting involved in stewards programme etc. looks more like free trip to Marrakesh and great fun, not an actual punishment…

        1. Not much of a punishment because it was not much of a crime.

          1. Hahaha…! Nothing changes…

    3. There is so much meme potential with the new overly excited f1 graphics.

      1. The 3 adjustments thing is ridiculous. A normal commuter does similar when avoiding an incident on the motorway.

        If they wanted to highlight initial reaction time at speed that would be fine but amount of ‘adjustments’ in half a second is pointless data.

        1. @tdm Yeah they really need to engage ex-F1 drivers to point out the situations where quick-intelligent decisions were made resulting in a positive outcome.

          The direction of it I do like though; trying to present the drivers as gladiators with super-quick reaction times and incredible control (which for the most part, they have). They just need to improve the execution.

      2. @socksolid – your comment made me watch the video and I nearly had a stroke. I’m in my late 30s and I’m already too old for this s—.

        1. Oh dear god, that better not be what they are planning to fill the broadcasts with.

    4. Maybe what LMP1 proposed is a way to go – to prescribe maximum downforce and let all the teams relative freedom in a way to achieve it? This way all of the teams would hit the target fairly easyly and from then on it will be just a matter of fine-tuning it for better handling. This way we still leave room for spending whatever amount one wants chasing that last tenth but the gap between top teams and midfield should be much smaller.

      That max downforce threshold should be rather low. In my opinion good racing require cars that have high top speed and relatively low cornering speed. This would make braking zones longer and good corner exit would be much more valuable as well. And some of the classic corners would be a challenge again.

      1. If you limit maximum downforce then some of the aero development moves toward generating that downforce as efficiently as possible to reduce drag. There is also the question how do you measure the downforce levels. Putting every car to wind tunnel is not cheap and even if you measure all the cars accurately you can have situations where setup changes increase the downforce levels above maximum. And unless you limit setups as well the teams have big incentive to work on the car setup to gain as much downforce as possible.

        If you have things like suspension loads monitored (to analyze whether the cars are under the limit or not) you could have absurd situations where a car is disqualified because it makes too much downforce during a race. Or a car lifts and coasts on straights because downforce levels increase with speed. One way to get under downforce limit is to simply limit your topspeed. Or a car has a handling issue that despite having as much downforce as others makes it slower. How are these situations handled. Do the teams even have incentive to race in a series where the car is totally locked down when the season starts?

        It is not easy at all to define a downforce maximum limit and enforce it. Wing size limits work better but as long as teams have room to work on aerodynamics they will do so because 90% of the speed of the car comes from downforce. Even if you are not allowed to touch the wings at all you can still make changes to the car that change the downforce that the wings generate.

        1. @socksolid I rather like the idea of monitoring maximum downforce via sensors on the suspension, because it should be very hard to cheat – there would be no arguments about flexible wings or floors, just read the sensors. If you break the limit and get disqualified, too bad. It’s no different from being disqualified for other technical infringements such as wearing down the “plank” too much, or having the wrong radius of curvature on your wings.

          Limiting top speed isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as higher top speeds mean bigger runoff areas and keeping spectators further from the track. On the other hand if teams work on maintaining more downforce at lower speeds it would mean higher cornering speeds which could also mean bigger runoff areas etc.

          Handling issues are down to the teams to solve, as they have always been.

          I don’t see why limiting downforce locks down a design from the start of the season, but developments would be to increase downforce at lower speeds and with less drag. Or to tune engines for mid range rather than top end.

          On the other hand this does nothing to decrease financial disparity in the sport, as teams with money will always find something to spend it on.

      2. I like your proposal, RKfanPL. But, F1 has to quit its aero-addiction. That would probably require an intervention with chainsaws and mobile carbon fiber reclamation systems.

    5. Still no news about the testing line-ups. I’m going to Barcelona in a few days and still don’t know which drivers circulate which days.

      1. @jeff1s Don’t worry. They’ll come out eventually by the first day of testing as always.

      2. 1. Why should you want to know….?
        2. Why should you expect to be told…?
        3. Why should you know what the teams might not have decided yet…?

        Just go and enjoy yourself… ;-)

    6. I am very surprised that Jamie Chadwick winning the MRF Challenge hasn’t hit the mainstream (i.e. non-motorsport) press. A talented female racer winning a competitive, well recognised “winter” series is well worth a few column inches if you want to encourage more women and girls into motorsport.

      1. @geemac yeah, I thought this would have had at least a mention on the bbc – they had a fair bit of coverage of the W series, but nothing (so far) for what is a far more significant development in the ‘story’ of female racers.

      2. If her name was Jane, Mary, Jenny etc. then maybe the non mo-sport press might have noticed.

    7. The F1 gossip-column above is the same piece of writing as on an earlier round-up the other day, though.

      That last-minute change of line defense move still looks quite bad to this day. It could’ve ended badly had something gone wrong. The irony is that in the very next race a more or less carbon-copy move by K-Mag on Leclerc ended in tears.

      An interesting COTD especially the third paragraph, it could indeed they even to the mid-2020s until teams other than Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull could properly battle for the titles again.

    8. It’s seems strange to me that both days of Max Verstappen’s public service days have been to do with stewarding, when that’s nothing do do with what he got this punishment for. If they were gonna send him on any course it should have been an anger management one. Instead this gives the impression that the real reason Max got this punishment at all is that the stewards dislike him because he’s always so rude about them, which is probably an idea Max doesn’t need any more encouragement to believe.

    9. I think Ocon can ‘transform’ as much as he likes, taking a year out was a mistake. From what I can see he’s basically putting all his hopes on Bottas not being retained or Hamilton walking away – essentially waiting on a space opening at Mercedes. Does he have an alternative plan? Williams/Force India weren’t an option and I figure he isn’t looking outside a Mercedes-engined car, so it’s Merc or nothing?

      People in F1 tend to have short memories and despite being more than good enough for F1, I’m not convinced he was ‘so good’ that he can get away with sitting out for a year – especially with how fast these cars change and will change by the time he gets back in one.

      1. @rocketpanda – I think the most unfortunate thing for Ocon is that his manager is Toto, because Toto is looking to cover his (Toto’s) needs first. That’s the reason why Ocon couldn’t drive for TR, since Toto wouldn’t release him.

        So, as long as Ocon is leashed to Toto, his only options are in the Mercedes-powered trio of teams, and IIRC Ocon already said he’s too good for Williams (I could be mistaken about this last bit).

    10. @dbradock ‘s cotd was in response to a conversation he and I were having, and it largely centred around the pessimism that exists about the future of F1.

      I think this comment merely points out the obvious, but from a glass half empty standpoint. Obviously the more resourced teams are always going to be at an advantage when it comes to reg changes. This is why Brawn and Liberty will be spelling out the 2021 regs by June, so that it minimizes the inevitable odds of the bigger teams dominating, by at least giving the lesser teams a long time to adapt.

      What else can Liberty do? I don’t hear @dbradock making a better suggestion. We know things need to change. We know they have to change some time. We know these cars do not lend themselves to close racing and are designed for drs which needs to go. We know F1 needs to at least attempt to find a little better balance between the have teams and the have not teams.

      There have always been changes once in a while to the regs, often to try to upset the apple cart and end one team’s domination. That is needed now but hand in hand along with the opportunity the new owners have, is to improve all aspects of F1 while they’re at it, and after all, it is is their bat and their ball.

      At times when there have been regs changes, indeed the dominant team has seen it’s reign end…think MS/Ferrari, think Red Bull and their blown diffusers that got eroded away. This time around we had Mercedes with their locked in by tokens advantage. Yes change is afoot, and it is badly needed, and I have full confidence that Liberty is doing as good a job at the transition as any entity taking over from Bernie could do. What they’re doing now is badly needed and they are doing it in as fair a way as they possibly can given the multiple complexities involved that they are considering all at once.

      1. All good points @Robbie but mine is that change doesn’t necessarily improve things.

        This past set of regs has been around long enough that we’re seeing convergence. Had Williams and McLaren had their acts even remotely together they both by now should have been closing in on the leaders but their Chasdis development has been woeful.

        All change does is reinvigorate the advantage of the big teams. If the likes of Max can follow a car closely for lap after lap, it’s been proved that it’s possible (surprising but possible) so it’s not an absolute that things need all that much change.

        I’m afraid I’m not as confident in Liberty as you – I’ve lived through far too many corporate takeovers where the new owners have given a lot of lip service to major improvements just to see them fail in a huge way because they didn’t understand the business they bought and didn’t want to.

        I seriously hope you’re right that they’re carefully crafting a great set of improvements as I love F1 and want to see it thrive, I just don’t share your confidence given what has been said by them to date.

        1. @dbradock Fair comment. I do take your point about takeovers, and by no means am I expecting perfection from Liberty and I consider it will still be a constant work in progress. For me I have a ton of faith in Brawn and think that has been one of Liberty’s best moves…hiring him.

          I agree change doesn’t necessarily improve things, but I am trying to clear my mind of the type of changes that went on in the past in the BE era, and, for example, none of them included extensive research into the negative effects of dirty air on close racing. The changes in the past have been borne of self-interested teams with too much power, and I see this as a fresh new chapter.

          I’ll bottom line it like this…with what Liberty has been saying, and knowing they can’t quite act on their desires yet, meaning it has to be research and consultation for now, I cannot see how F1 will be worse in 2021. The Pu’s will be unchanged because that is what the Pu makers wanted. That’s a big amount of consistency right there. They ‘just’ need more balance amongst the teams, and cars able to race more closely. A little less aero dependency and better tires, enough that they can rid themselves of drs for good. I think change for the good is very very doable, especially with the kind of leadership I pick up on from Brawn. But to be clear, I am not expecting them to just make everything perfect from race one of 2021, and one person’s perfect might be another one’s disaster anyway, so….new leadership, new way of doing things, that’s to me already cause to see the glass half full compared to BE’s last decade particularly.

          1. Well… you certainly turned that into a boring thread… ;-)

    11. Many many thanks for the MRF Challenge link! So, I’ve watched my first 3 races with @JamieChadwick and I have tears in my eyes. Go, Girl!!!!

      :O)

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