Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

It will take a long time to close up F1 field – Steiner

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says Formula 1’s 2021 overhaul of the rules will only be a step towards closing the field up.


What they say

Am I confident that in 2021 the level playing field is there? I’m confident it will not be but it will get closer to it.

But it’s a process. We need to be fair. I think it has moved too far apart everything and you can’t bring it back within a day. It took a long time to get this far apart, it will take some time to bring it together.

I think what Liberty Media is trying to do [is] to have a process that everybody is happy and to make it go in the right direction. In the process what they need to be careful is they are not losing anybody out of it because the change is too drastic.

It’s not an easy job for them to do. It needs to be done but they need to be diligent and careful not to move something to upset on the other side.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Dirt Rally 2.0
Dirt Rally 2.0

Dirt Rally 2.0 players will be able to get their hands on a roster of new cars when season two begins on June 4th. The new cars and courses on the way are as follows:

Week 1: Peugeot 205 T16 Rallycross, Ford RS200 Evolution, Special Livery
Week 3: Latvia Rallycross
Week 5: Porsche 911 SC RS, Lancia 037 Evo 2, Special Livery
Week 7: Wales Rally
Week 9: Lancia Delta S4 Rallycross, MG Metro 6R4 Rallycross, Special Livery
Week 11: Germany Rallycross

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Comment of the day

Lee disagrees with my view on Zandvoort returning to the F1 calendar:

I disagree. Although I understand the ‘driving challenge’ aspect, there is always Rallying if you want to watch that…

F1 is a race and a race can not be a race unless there is overtaking, otherwise it is simply a flying lap contest followed by a 60 lap victory parade… If it is about the best drivers then there is nothing good about watching an amazing driver just following other cars around the track when something went wrong during qualifying…

I am glad Zandvoort is back on the calendar but it would be nice if it had some small changes to allow more overtaking.

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

  • 50 years ago today Graham Hill scored his final F1 victory, which was also his fifth in the Monaco Grand Prix, a record which stood until Ayrton Senna came along.

Author information

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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41 comments on “It will take a long time to close up F1 field – Steiner”

  1. F1 is a race and a race can not be a race unless there is overtaking


    too much focus is put on overtaking now and its starting to come at the expense of the sport.

    how many more circuits need to be ruined just because younger fans have become obsessed with overtaking. there hasn’t been a single track alteration that has been done due to overtaking that has made the part of the circuit been altered better.
    In the same way that none of the newer circuits designed around creating as much overtaking as possible will ever come anywhere close to been as wonderful to drive or as great a challenge as Zandvoort was/is. There is a reason so many classic tracks are as beloved as they despite none of them ever been built with overtaking in mind because in the past when many of them were designed nobody really cared about overtaking, certainly not in the same way newer fans do.

    1. BlackJackFan
      18th May 2019, 2:17


    2. @peterg, While I understand where you are coming from and support it I also think it is important that cars in positions 2-20 believe they can make a pass if they are fast and cunning enough. I just wish the tracks were wide enough to allow more than 1 racing line, the tyres did not foul the track offline and cars could follow without incurring tyre problems.

    3. So you’re satisfied with the results of qualifying then? Just copy and paste… sounds like a great “race”. (25 yr f1 fan)

      1. Things like DRS actually lead to cars not being able to defend. At least lack of overtaking can enable a slower race car to qualify well and defend their position during a race.

    4. Well, maybe the problem is trying to change the tracks to fit the current cars when the current cars are the problem.

      Many of these classic tracks were created when F1 cars didn’t have any downforce. The cars themselves were smaller than they are right now. Sure, I don’t think there’s ever been a lot of overtaking in Zandvoort, but there’s a huge difference between racing 60’s F1 cars and racing current era’s F1 cars.

      The tracks didn’t need to be built for overtaking because overtaking was generally not an issue.

    5. This. Drivers can still be pressured to make mistakes on a track, so long as the cars aren’t so stable (shorter wheelbase please).

    6. Absolutely spot on PeterG.

    7. Tightening up T1 in Hungary has definitely made the track better. There are other good examples. Overtaking is overrated a bit, but close racing is something we should all be asking for. The biggest factors effecting close racing right now is the dirty aero, bad tires and huge cars. Clean up the aero, narrow & shorten and lighten the cars and vastly improve the tires and every track will give vastly improved racing.

  2. COTD

    a race can not be a race unless there is overtaking

    It can be so long as overtaking is seen as been possible & so long as there are realistic overtaking attempts. An overtake doesn’t make a race more exciting. It’s the battling, The overtaking attempts & not knowing the outcome of those that creates the excitement.

    I’ve seen races that featured little to no overtaking that were more exciting to watch, More memorable & which had me on the edge of the seat more than races which featured loads of overtaking.

    Ideally overtaking should be possible but not a guarantee because overtaking should not be easy, It should be a challenge.

    1. BlackJackFan
      18th May 2019, 2:17


    2. +3, I well remember the support races in the Tasman series of the 60’s when the minis would be snapping at the heels of the mustangs and jags, feinting left feinting right sometimes successfully most often not, and the same with the lotus Elans and Ferraris. memorable races even if the winner was usually the bigger engined car.

    3. This comment is precisely correct. Well said. We don’t want no overtaking or more or less guaranteed overtaking.

    4. @stefmeister The problem with long battles is that they almost always ends up without an overtake, as the pursuer’s tires slowly gets destroyed in the process.

      Solve THAT, and the longer battles would not only look exciting, but actually be.

  3. If F1 wants to close up the field, quit changing the technical reg and even out the money distribution; rich teams go faster.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      18th May 2019, 11:35

      Lol are you still on that band wagon? Money distribution helps nothing. We already saw what that does for the money. Nothing. Only teams like Renault and Racing point seem to benefit significantly from the new distribution scheme.

      The bigger teams get somewhat less, but the prize money is only a part of their budget anyway.

      500 million euro minus a few bonuses isn’t going to become the same as 150 million plus a few million more price bonusses.

      Budget is the issue. That’s what the budget cap is supposed to fix though, but please lets stop harping on that stupid notion that moving 200 million in bonuses around is going to fix anything.

      1. @f1osaurus The money distribution hasn’t been fixed yet; it would be more surprising if it had helped anybody.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          19th May 2019, 21:46

          @alianora-la-canta Well they gave us a list of what will the new distribution and therefore it’s clear what the consequencies will be. Only Renault and Racing Point would get significantly more money. The top teams somewhat less and the lower teams hardly anything extra,

          So it hasn’t and it never will fix anything.

          Which shoulld have been abundantly clear from the amount of money that would get reshuffled anyway, but sure just keep dreaming that it will amount to anything.

          1. @f1osaurus A money distribution change cannot help anyone unless it is implemented.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            24th May 2019, 15:03

            @alianora-la-canta The point is that it will clearly not even if it is implemented.

            We KNOW right now what the differences will be and they amount to nothing consequential.

            It’s really not this hard. Try to actually think instead of just knee jerking.

  4. Neil (@neilosjames)
    18th May 2019, 3:00

    Re: COTD (put something similar on the Zandvoort article, but thought it’d work here too)

    I don’t think races require overtakes, but they do require the realistic possibility of overtakes occurring.

    People talk about 1970s and 1980s races where a particular overtake didn’t happen and use them as examples of ‘no overtaking is OK’, but if you watch those races you always feel like something could happen at just about any corner. The driver ahead might miss a shift, or spin his tyres up too hard, lock a brake, get out of shape mid-corner (or whatever else), and the guy behind was right on his gearbox ready to either take advantage of an error… or maybe he might dive down the inside from close behind. They’d defend, attack, maybe go side-by-side, always with the possibility of something happening. It was a real ‘battle’ and they looked properly on the limit.

    In a modern ‘no overtaking’ race, the cars are so brilliantly made that they don’t dance around like a 1970s car, everything’s nice and predictable and they’re not on the limit because that’s not the quickest way to the chequered flag. The lack of overtaking in this sort of race isn’t because of great defence, it’s because the attacking car is being so badly affected by dirty air that he can’t even get close. There’s no suspense, no excitement… no one’s going to outbrake anyone from a DRS-assisted 0.4 seconds back into a Catalunya or Melbourne-style Turn 1 at the end of a straight.

    In short… I couldn’t care less if an overtake happens, just as long as I can realistically believe that it could happen. That’s not the case in most modern ‘no overtaking’ races, which is why I dislike them.

    1. + loads.

    2. This is the heart of the issue. Modern f1 cars/circuits are too easy to drive. The race at Monaco is taken at such a slow speed the odds of an error are minimal.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        18th May 2019, 11:39

        @frood19 Lol you remind me of the remark that stewards made after Schumacher claimed to have “lost control” of his Ferrari in Rascasse at something like 25mph.

    3. + loads from me too.
      Racing is not the same as overtaking. But there would be no reason for me to watch the race if the outcome would be the ranking of the qualy. The “battle” part is definitely needed, with more than 0% chance of position change.
      The cars are the main issue here. Too much aero, too many driver aids/communication, too reliable = too much predictability.

  5. We should have in mind that, regarding racing, whoever is faster must have the conditions to pass through whilst the one ahead must have the conditions to fend it off.

    Well, today we run under rules that impede the chasing driver to follow at the same time it impedes the guarding driver to defend. All of that at tracks that impede cars to properly streamline (with too short straights) and to battle & overtake at turns (because most of them are right angled).

    Yes, I’m tired of DRS, cold tyres, huge wings, pasteurized tracks… There has to be a way outta this.

    1. You would think so. The answers seem quite obvious in some ways so I don’t really understand the resistance to them.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      18th May 2019, 11:44

      @niefer You seem to not understand the idea behind DRS.

      DRS does nothing against the car in front. They don’t need to also have DRS to defend. It’s the following car which loses 10% dowforce and DRS is supposed to level that difference out. So DRS makes it a level playing field again.

      DRS does NOT make for easy passes on the straights. Of course there are plenty times when cars have a massive speed difference already due to tyre differences (compound, age etc) and people who don’t understand what DRS actually does mistake that for a problem with DRS. That’s incorrect though. It’s the tyres causing the drive-by’s.

      1. The trouble with DRS it’s original intent seemed to have been poisoned. i thought it was to allow a following car to get alongside another sona passing battle can ensue. But now it has become so powerful that ii is a push to pass button, no battle necessary..

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          19th May 2019, 21:50

          That’s simply not true. Vettel claimed he was faster than Verstappen. Did he simply push the button and drive past?

          Whenever did two an only slightly faster car simply “push the button” and dri ve past the car ahead? I’ll tell you, never.

          When they drive past on the straight it’s because it would have been an easy overtake already anyway. ie beacuse they are on 20 laps fresher tyres or something.

          Take Silverstone 2018. Vettel was stuk for ages behind Bottas on his ailing tyres. Only when Bottas’s tyres fell off the cliff did Vettel suddenly make a “great pass”. After which also Hamilton and Raikkonen drove past.

      2. @f1osaurus Please could you tell F1 that DRS doesn’t make for easy passes on the straights, because that’s what most of what is called “overtaking” these days now is?

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          19th May 2019, 21:47

          @alianora-la-canta I already did:

          DRS does NOT make for easy passes on the straights. Of course there are plenty times when cars have a massive speed difference already due to tyre differences (compound, age etc) and people who don’t understand what DRS actually does mistake that for a problem with DRS. That’s incorrect though. It’s the tyres causing the drive-by’s.

          1. @f1osaurus No, is not “F1”. It is

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            24th May 2019, 15:05

            @alianora-la-canta Try to read and …. comprehend:

            DRS does NOT make for easy passes on the straights. Of course there are plenty times when cars have a massive speed difference already due to tyre differences (compound, age etc) and people who don’t understand what DRS actually does mistake that for a problem with DRS. That’s incorrect though. It’s the tyres causing the drive-by’s.

            Maybe you don’t really understand English, but if you want to pretend to participate on a forum, at least try to understand.

  6. I’m a bit disappointed with the choice of cars for the next set of DLC package for Dirt Rally 2.0. Still, no sign of the cars I’d most like to get to tackle on the rally stages, which are Ford Focus RS WRC 03-05, Citroen Xsara WRC, and Subaru Impreza WRC 03-05, or even some of the newer cars like the 2015-16 cars. I’m not really into the Rallycross stuff in these games, so a bit too many of those cars within the season 2 DLC to my liking, and older spec rally cars.

    I disagree with the COTD. Yes, overtaking plays a significant role in it, and is one of the more essential aspects, but it isn’t everything. A race can be great even with a little amount of passing if there’s a lot of battling for positions and or interesting tactics in it.

  7. we’d continue to work with Team Penske on how we can continue to improve their needs

    That sounds just disgusting marketing drivel.

  8. For anyone interested in Fernando Alonso/McLaren’s progress at Indy, There actually a fairly realistic possibility they don’t manage to make for the race.

    They have been struggling for pace all week & lost a lot of running thanks to Fernando putting it in the wall.

    You also have people in the team admitting that McLaren trying to run the program themselves with as little preparation as they have had was a big mistake. The feeling is they should have done what the did in 2017 & partnered up fully with another top team or entered for the full season to get everything up & running over the first few races & the testing in-between.
    The cars are very different to the one’s Alonso drove in 2017, They have a lot less downforce & are more on edge so simply turning up jumping in & been on it immediately is harder than it was in 2017.

    It would seem that maybe 2017 gave both Fernando & people within McLaren a false confidence about how ‘easy’ Indy is & that has come back to bite them with how they have gone about getting ready things this year.

    And with the new qualifying format (That not many are a fan of it seems) there’s less time to figure things out this weekend & hardly any time to get back in if you get bumped because bumping is now it’s own one hour shootout session rather than the full day as it used to be. Not many are a fan of that from what i’ve seen, But you know TV deals dictating you try & create as much (Fake) drama as possible & such.

  9. Agreed, he’d have been better off getting a season ride/partnership with Andretti, Ganassi, or Penske.
    Of course I have no idea about Engine/Sponsorships involved that might have prevented that.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      19th May 2019, 21:52

      @budchekov But then Alonso is only interested in some fake sense of grandeur with that ridiculous triple crown. He doesn’t actually care about doing a whole season of that IndyCar nonsense.

  10. @Oh, I’d love to see him win.

  11. Quite sad that the best driver in the world is struggling to get in, but I’d say that’s down to McLaren’s naivety – something that’s also plagued their recent F1 challenges.

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