Danilo Petrucci, Marc Marquez, Moto GP, Mugello, 2019

Russell wants F1 to be more like “incredible” Moto GP in 2021

2021 F1 season

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George Russell hopes Formula 1 racing will be as exciting as Moto GP after sweeping new technical regulations are introduced for the 2021 season.

The sport’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media is planning drastic changes for the 2021 championship which are intended to make it much easier for drivers to follow each other closely.

Russell, who describes himself as a “fan” of Moto GP, says he wishes F1 could be more like its bike racing equivalent.

“Its just, their racing is incredible. It reminds me a bit of karting where you can almost overtake in every single corner and swapping for positions.

“It is a bit of a shame Formula 1 cannot be more like that. But I think Liberty are very on top of that and hopefully come 2021 we’ll be slightly more in that direction.”

Lewis Hamilton has expressed an interest in sampling a Moto GP bike and Charles Leclerc attended last weekend’s race at Mugello. However Russell, who hasn’t ridden a bike before, said he’s not prepared to try a Moto GP machine at this stage in his career.

“Not at this stage,” he said when asked by RaceFans. “I’m fully focussed on Formula 1 and don’t want to risk unnecessary injury.”

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50 comments on “Russell wants F1 to be more like “incredible” Moto GP in 2021”

  1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    3rd June 2019, 7:59

    F1 needs to simplify its cars. We need some louder engines. Simplify the front wing even more and remove some of the aero parts. Eliminate power steering.

    The obsession with road relevance is overblown, what matters is engineering relevance. For instance, you can bet there has been some gain insight into powertrain efficiency and combustion tech due to V6s.

    Open up the rules. We have more innovation this way. Ground effect was revolutionary back in the day due to that. The cars are massive. Look at how monstrous and fast the MP4-22 looked back in 07. I hate how they have a million modes on their steering wheels. Give them a manual brake or anti roll. No traction aids or manipulative mappings and launch modes.

    Modernize suspensions and floors and eliminate the snow plow front and rear wings. Clean up the aero regs so thumb noses can go. And make things cheaper to attract new manufacturers.

    Those are some suggestions I feel for 2021 or after. And then you can make racing closer or more “incredible”.

    1. ColdFly (@)
      3rd June 2019, 8:17

      So in short simpler, louder, enigineering relevant cars with less rules.
      Indeed, ‘incredible’ :P

  2. Drop Sochi
    3rd June 2019, 8:06

    Will never happen, If you put a mandated huge draggy billboard wing on the front of each car, and compensate by unleashing more power, the racing would be like Moto GP, but the teams will never have it.

  3. I agree about MotoGP being the most exciting, authentic and real racing series of all the top tier championships. The complete antithesis of F1. Factory teams, satellite teams, established champs, exciting rookies – it’s just awesome.

    How can F1 learn from MotoGP? To me it’s relatively simple:

    1. Aero – MotoGP can follow each other really close as they have severely limited aero. When the winglets got big they were banned. So get rid of front wings altogether, similar to the early 80’s ground effect cars. Free up the underbody and have a simple, single element rear wing as a balance tool. The front wing can’t be affected if there is no front wing!

    2. Dimensions. MotoGP bikes are narrow – they’re bikes after all. Make the cars smaller and there will be more room for passing. While you’re at it massively reduce weight. 500kg with driver minus fuel? But how to do that with the current engines? Easy…

    3. New engine regs. No turbos, no hybrid, instead normally aspirated engines. Limit fuel tank size to control power. 100kg of fuel? That will allow V8, V10, V12 or what ever. Limit the number of engines to cut costs. Keep them simple, cheap, loud and driveable.

    4. Tyres. The current F1 tyres are awful. Go back to Bridgestone or Michelin if need be, but for F1 to get a race like we saw last night they need to be able to push like hell. The current tyres make that impossible.

    I can dream on, but to me the problems are known by fans and we’ve known them for ages. The drivers know them, the teams know them, the FIA and Liberty know them.

    So do something!!!

    1. Sonny Crockett
      3rd June 2019, 8:59


      5. Drivers. MotoGP is structured so that the most talented new riders work their way up through the ranks. They do not need to bring lots of sponsors like with F1. Let’s put it this way: You never end up with a Maldonado or a Stroll in MotoGP!

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        3rd June 2019, 13:33

        The only reason the likes of Maldonado and Stroll can survive in F1 is because the cars aren’t equal enough and they cost too much.

        If they can get in a well funded midfield car they can finish in the midfield.

        If the cars were cheap to produce and run competitively, a team could not afford the luxury of a make weight pay driver. They would need the best drivers possible.

      2. Maybe you forgot about Karel Abraham. But I can give you a much better counter argument for this: 80% of the MotoGP grid (meaning Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP) are actually paying to race, be it via sponsors or with their own money.

    2. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      3rd June 2019, 9:00

      Clay I think you are hitting the nail on the head with Aero.

      1. Aero – Bang on.
      2. F1 cars can fit 3 abreast on most places on most tracks so I don’t think width is an issue. However length may be more of an issue.
      3. I’ve no preference on engines except they need to be more powerful. This will make them harder to drive.
      4. To open up strategies I’d do away with the two compound rule.

    3. Authentic no… Let them MotoGP riders compete on 1 meter wide tracks, then overtaking will be pretty much like motorcar racing. Just because 6 riders can all go into a cormer because of 20m wide tracks does not make it better.

    4. I agree with your points, especially with the front wing ban. They are ugly, expensive, disturbs racing and are not road relevant.

    5. Oooh you forgot to mention the biggest thing, Customer Cars!!! Which is another reason why the MotoGP field is so competitive, 5 of the top 10 bikes who qualified for last weekends Italian MotoGP at Mugello were customer bikes.

      We have seen the response to the idea of customer cars in F1!

      1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
        3rd June 2019, 16:18

        Yeah! Imagine George Russel in a Green 2018 Ferrari hassling Vettel for a podium place…

    6. Making the cars narrowed achieves nothing. A typical f1 track is over 12 meters to 20 meters wide. Having the cars 20cm wider or narrower makes no differences whatsoever. Monaco is a special case and it makes no sense to design the cars just for monaco. Wider cars also look much better.

      New engine regs. No turbos, no hybrid, instead normally aspirated engines. Limit fuel tank size to control power. 100kg of fuel? That will allow V8, V10, V12 or what ever. Limit the number of engines to cut costs. Keep them simple, cheap, loud and driveable.

      The number of engines is pretty small cost factor in f1. The main thing in the f1 engine that costs money is the development. Dyno runs, simulation, engineering team, building numerous test engines and the facilities to do so. Times 10 the more parts you have. Merc has spent easily over billion euros just on the engines. The actual manufacturing costs out of that number are a small fraction of that. I’d say especially with cheaper engines we should go back to using more engines. Lemans is about endurance. F1 is about speed. 10 engines for full season is about right. Furthermore the engine durability can be set with rules (materials and dimensions) so the teams have minimum desire to drive slowly to save engines.

      A naturally aspirated v10 is a proven technology and there are many companies that can make those engines. So even if there is a bottleneck with production new companies can come in and become competitive relatively quickly. The easiest way to limit costs is budget cap for engines.

      100 liters is too little for a race. F1 should not be about fuel saving but all out racing. Efficiency as a goal can be achieved in two ways. Either you limit the maximum amount of fuel and force teams to use it to their best ability which means fuel saving and slowing down to go as long as possible with a tank of fuel. Or you can force a minimum amount which means efficiency still matters but it is not about mileage but extracting maximum power out of whatever fuel you put in.

      A 3 liter v10 for example would easily shave almost 100kg of the car weight. The hybrids are massively heavy. A 3 liter v10 with race fuel is still lighter than hybrid + race fuel both at the beginning of the race and at the end of the race. V10 without traction control is also more difficult to drive because the power delivery is not computer controlled like it is almost completely computer controlled in hybrid.

    7. Lee H (@stopitrawr)
      4th June 2019, 10:13

      One of the things that people always miss about MotoGP is that until recently, MotoGP was dying on its feet, manufacture wise.

      If you wasn’t a Honda, Yamaha or Ducati, you were nothing.

      This led to big changes that have helped a great deal. With CRT and then the Open class, the smaller teams got more engines and development compared to the big teams. Once they achieved podiums, they lost this status.

      it worked. We now have a strong field in MotoGP and we need to do the same to Formula 1. Restrict the development on the likes of Mercedes, and allow smaller teams to catch up. Once they do, you level the playing field.

      This, rather than changing the rules entirely, will produce results. Changing the cars to be “simpler” will not sure anything. You’ll still see the teams spend hundreds of millions and you’ll only see the disparity between teams increase as the smaller teams will struggle to cope with the changes.

      We need a MotoGP approach, and doing so will produce more competitive racing by default.

      1. @stopitrawr If you want to see a ‘level playing field’ they watch a spec formula, F1 has never been & should never be that.

        F1 is all about finding performance & getting an advantage over other teams & that has been what has pushed it to be the pinnacle of the sport that is also the most popular form of motor racing on the planet.

        People always go on about how much better moto gp is but how many people watch compared to f1? Same with things like indycar, formula e, f2 etc.. If all people wanted was a level playing field & more passing then surely those series would be more popular than f1 but they simply aren’t because they don’t offer the performance, technology and spectacle that f1 has.

        F1 isn’t even as bad now as it has been in the past and interestingly in the past when the gaps between teams was larger and many of the things fans complain about now were worse in some ways F1 actually became more popular. It’s there attempts to equalise performance and artificially create better racing that has seen the start of F1’s decline in popularity & further pushes down that avenue will only make that worse because they will do nothing but strip away the things that make f1 stand out above the myriad of boring single make, spec, balance of performance ridden series.

  4. Yesterday’s MotoGP race in Mugello was probably one of the best races yet across all of high level motorsport in 2019.

    Petrux overtaking on San Donato reminds me of Matt Campbell’s winning move at Bathurst 12 hours last February, very beautiful and satisfying to watch. At one moment there were 6 riders challenging for the lead (some were even non factory riders), with actions on almost every corner. I’m not sure we will see that in F1 two years from now. The tension was as exciting or better than this year’s Indy 500 or Monaco GP. Even when watching through the screen, I can feel the atmosphere of the race, with airhorns and people singing the Italian anthem during the podium ceremony.

    If the report of plans on parts standardization being withdrawn are going through, I would be happy if F1 can be at least half as exciting as the Mugello MotoGP race yesterday.

    1. Sonny Crockett
      3rd June 2019, 9:07

      Agreed. As much as I love F1 it rarely gets anywhere near the excitement of a decent MotoGP race.

      You’re also right re: the atmosphere. I’ve been to quite a few MotoGP races and the vibe is very different to F1. Much more relaxed and FUN. I was at the Circuit de Catalunya a few years ago and people were knocking inflatable beach balls around in the stands and just enjoying themselves. By comparison F1 feels quite stuffy!

      Obviously the size difference between a MotoGP bike and an F1 car is huge. F1 is therefore never going to quite have the sort of racing MotoGP enjoys. George Russell is right though, Liberty need to push as much as possible to ensure that F1 gets as near to MotoGP-type racing as it can.

      Alternatively… maybe Dorna, who hold the rights to MotoGP, fancy buying Liberty out?!

      1. I’ve never experienced a live race yet, but with Lombok happening in 2021 hopefully I’ll be there to watch live. We don’t have any motorsport culture to speak of, but I reckon there are many MotoGP enthusiasts here in my country. Hopefully it will be as good as your experience in Barcelona :)

        Yeah I hope they shrunk the cars for 2021, and shave down the weight as well. The current reg cars are probably the most fun to drive with all that downforce, but they can’t race on 1/3 of the calendar. To be honest even if Liberty wrote the most competitive-permitting regulation in F1 to date, I am sceptical that more than 3 teams can nail the concept and fight for the win. Oh well I’ll just hope that there will be teams that can fight for the win then, unlike this year lol.

  5. The biggest difference in F1 to most other Formulas has been driver coaching via engineers, with data from the increasing more powerful pitlane computers and clever software.
    Is MotoGP still resisting this?

    I think it was Sam Michael who said an engineer’s job is to make F1 races boring.

    For heaven’s sake forget papering over the cracks again with loud noise. How about let Hamilton, Verstappen, Vettel and Co make their own human choices.

    1. I think MotoGP is pitboard only. I remember 2 years ago or so at Assen, Rossi was leading in the rain and I think he was the only person watching that race that didn’t know that the guys that had changed tires were out of site, but catching him like mad. It was fascinating to watch if I am remembering the situation right. This I would say is my biggest gripe with F1 and I have many. Make the drivers drive. The cop out that the cars are too complex is BS. Make the drivers have to deal with all these complexities and we will at least see some interesting strategies play out if the driver actually has to make the calls.

      1. There is no radio communication with the riders, but they have implemented a small, 2 line text display in the last few seasons. Race control can send information(like you have a ride thru penalty) and the teams can send short messages. There aren’t many messages sent apparently, and most of the ones the MotoGP feed broadcasts have to do with the teams reminding a rider to switch an engine mapping to help reduce tire wear.

        They have been used a few times to try to implement team orders(most notably with Ducati last season), but 90% of the time the riders have ignored these messages.

      2. @darryn they did try doing that a few years ago and fans complained that they missed the team radio communications and that drivers races been ruined because they couldn’t be told how to change something was not a positive.

        i like this element of f1 and it’s also not as if it’s an f1 only thing as drivers are ‘coached’ just as much in most other series. in the indycar race over the weekend for instance the leader was been told when the car behind was using his p2p, when he had a good run and when he was seeming to be looking at trying an overtake. the last few laps were pretty much constant radio call’s and nobody was complaining about that so why is f1 different?

  6. MotoGP nowadays is fake, artificial “spectacle” setted up to keep popular riders unnaturally closed to the front of the field.
    Plus, motorcycle racing is a totally different activity than autoracing; F1 has never, NEVER had as many overtakes as Motogp. Not even in the so called “golden eras”.
    Russell should get his facts straight.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      3rd June 2019, 13:43

      MotoGP is not fake. Its a very pure form of motor sport.
      Yes F1 has never has as many overtakes as MotoGP, who said it did?
      Russell never states any ‘facts’ to get straight, he just ‘hopes’ F1 can be more like MotoGP. Nothing wrong with that!

    2. Gavin Campbell
      3rd June 2019, 15:13

      Unlike DRS and spec fall apart tyres in F1?

      All they did in Moto GP was heavily limit the electronics by making everyone run their own software strategies through a standard spec-ECU and also allowed a bit more fuel to stop them having to do very clever engine management. F1 did the same thing years ago (McLaren make one ECU for all).

  7. To be honest though when was F1 filled with multiple cars dicing lap after lap for an entire race with the winner making a pass on the very last lap.

    Yes I’ve seen some over many many years but in the main one driver has driven away at the front and fields have spread massively for years.

    I sometimes wonder what F1 people have actually watched and what they watch it for because this sort of “close racing lead swapping” dream has always been just that.

    What we do get is incredible machines developed to the maximum by skilled engineers (although these days with so many limitations not as much) driven by equally skilled drivers where it’s pretty common that one team will dominate and a couple of others will be close and the rest of the field makes the occasional appearance near the front due to accidents or car failures.

    None of that really has changed and given what an F1 car is (I.e. not spec) that’s the way it will remain.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      4th June 2019, 8:17

      Hmmm.. the Luddites sound worried. Change is a’cumin’.

      The last time

      multiple cars dicing lap after lap for an entire race with the winner making a pass on the very last lap.

      consistently happened was at Monza in the 1960’s and it was breathtaking. I’m not sure it should happen all the time. My heart couldn’t take it, but it was amazing.

      George just says he wants F1 to be more like MotoGP. It reminds him of the overtaking from his karting days. Lots of people love F1 as it is, but also think it can be improved. More overtaking for lead positions would be a good thing. Its called racing. What’s wrong with that?

      1. @sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk those races at monza were the exception rather than the rule, that sort of thing didn’t happen anywhere else & only really happened at monza for a couple years late 60s/early 70s.

        they were also something that didn’t really happen all race. they played out very similar to something like the indy 500 today where drivers would take it easy for most of the race to look after the car & ensure they were where they needed to be for the final 5-10 laps which is when you would get the slipstream battles & passing/re-passing.

  8. Im sorry but I will take a weaving darting 4 wheel machine outbraking another over 2 waif like slivers of machinery leaning around each other endlessly any day.

    I recognise that there will be huge disagreement on this but i’d wager that a lot of people do agree with this hence why F1 at it’s ‘worst’ right now is still watched by more people than MotoGP at it’s apparent best.

  9. I’ve never really found MotoGP to be all that interesting because for whatever reason i’ve just never liked bike racing.

    I’ve tried watching it a few times over the years but it’s just never stuck for me. I have enjoyed playing some of the various bike related games over the years though.

  10. George is going to be disappointed!

    Liberty still does not understand how to deal with the teams, they have made very little progress in changing the rules, not that the rules are within their control anyway, that is strictly in the FIA and WMSC domain. But since Todt gave up any notion of being in control of F1 and just handed it all over, first to Bernie and then to Liberty, the governance has been twisted and bent grotesquely out of shape.

    The FIA are supposed to make the rules not the commercial rights holder.

    The FIA should decide upon and then present the regs, the teams then suck it up and build according to them. Not have 200 guidance meetings looking for “meaningful votes” and indications of agreement from the teams, we all know that will never work. But it is abject failure to give in to the most blatant obvious Ferrari (“We can only race if we have an overwhelming advantage”) mewling (“Yes even then we still manage to screw it up every time, maybe we need even more of an advantage!”)

  11. You know what would help to make F1 exciting for a lot less.money than redoing all the cars? Hiring the TV directors from MotoGP or Indycar.

    Last weekend they spent a whole lap onboard Marco Andretti as he was trying the wet track on dry tyres. It was significant to the development of the Grand Prix and they didn’t hesitate on showing it. Meanwhile F1 showed marshalls cleaning the track while Bottas, Verstappen and Vettel pitted together at Monaco, which was their ONLY CHANCE to make up positions.

    F1 broadcast is woeful. I’ve been saying it for years. Compared to other motorsport series, it’s horrible… They don’t even split the screen to show two things at the same.time…

    We’ve been missing stuff like Sainz overtake on the Toro Rossos in Monaco or Albons charge through the field in China during the races. They only, and proudly!, show it AFTER the race is done and dusted which doesn’t make may sense… Like, “look at this exciting part of the GP we all missed!”.

    Highlights shouldn’t tell a new story, they should just summarise what happened in the race.


    1. @fer-no65 The coverage for Monaco isn’t produced by F1 themselves, It is handled by a local broadcaster due to the Monaco Gp been promoted by the ACM & not F1.

      I actually think the F1 race broadcast’s are overall far better than any of the other categories I follow & think the Indycar coverage is usually pretty poor in comparison. I hate there over-use of split-screens, Think there graphics set are awful & offer hardly any information & that they are often following what the NBC guys are talking about rather than what is actually happening on the track.

      During the Indy 500 for instance they were talking about one of the lead cars so we were having to watch that car despite cars running side by side in the background. The coverage is pathetic due to this, Plus they only have about 6 cars carrying in-car cameras & I cannot stand that silly rotating one that causes you to miss things as it turns at a bad time.

      The F1 coverage is not perfect, It was better when they were running that digital+ service 20 years ago but I still think it’s better than pretty much everything else in terms of number of cameras, camera angles, graphics & overall directing been independent of any broadcaster.

    2. Agree. Just the positioning of cameras is awful. I ran through some old races a few weeks ago and while the cars have gotten faster they actually appear slower than the cars did in the 80’s. They used to have cameras set up that were fixed and in the kerbing that gave some indication of speed. In the past they were much better at giving that trackside feeling of speed.

  12. tony mansell
    3rd June 2019, 14:06

    Im bored of even thinking we will ever get meaningful change. Imagine if Man Utd and Liverpool etc voted on the rules of football but then also Man utd could veto any rule change. Be an absolute mess. Well there you go.

  13. By the way Charles Leclerc was in attendence of yesterdays race, both Hamilton and Alonso have been fans of MotoGP.

  14. slightly more in that direction

    Soon: F1 introduces three-wheel formula for 2021

    1. sidecar racing is amazing !

  15. I think comparing car and bike races is a little silly. Why not compare with horse racing (let’s add jumps!) or athletics (copy relay by enforcing a driver swap in the pits at least once per race).
    Yes I’m being a little silly myself here.
    I agree way too many driver aids available through that game controller the steering wheel. Not so bad if drivers have to decide themselves which buttons to press rather than ground control with their circuit radar and one engineer /computer monitoring each car part and conferencing /voting what the driver should do next then passing it on to El Duce the radio engineer.
    Again I’m being silly but let’s ban radios and use only pit boards for info. Give each driver a map, parachute, water, rations and a pistol then salute them as they leave the pit wall.
    Let battle commence!

  16. RP (@slotopen)
    3rd June 2019, 18:05

    I think there is a physical limitation that is lost in this discussion. Don’t get me wrong, I agree less downforce would help, as would tires that don’t melt.

    But I think just going faster is part of the problem. This effectively makes the track shorter, reducing passing opportunities. Even before you figure in aero.

    Plus the bikes are so tiny compared to an F1 car. You just can’t make a car small enough to race like a bike.

    The drag/grip/aero/size relationship is so different with bikes it isn’t a good reference. I suggest looking to lessor formulas, NASCAR, and other more engaging car series for inspiration.

  17. DAllein (@)
    3rd June 2019, 19:05

    Let me check…
    MotoGP… Championships (driver\manufacturer)… for the last 7 years…
    2013 – Marquez\Honda
    2014 – Marquez\Honda
    2015 – Lorenzo\Yamaha (and mostly because Marquez’ performance was rather sloppy with 6 DNFs)
    2016 – Marquez\Honda
    2017 – Marquez\Honda
    2018 – Marquez\Honda
    2019 (up until now) – Marquez\Honda

    So he means he wants somewhat more hectic races with the same end result?..

    Let’s bet everyone will start moaning after half of the first season?

    1. @dallein, 2015 6 DNFs, yes because Lorenzo was fast enough to pressure Marquez into mistakes. This is one of the features of MotoGP, try to go .01 second faster and you can be a hero or a zero. Sadly Miller demonstrated this at Mugello, fastest lap and then an off, race over, F1 used to have similar win or lose consequences ( gravel trap, blown engine) but those have mostly been eliminated now.

      1. until 2015 Marquez had just one approach to racing either go for wins or go for broke. In his own words 2015 season was shock after which he changed his risky mentality(Though we did see glimpses of his old risky style in 2016). Since 2017 though he has changed massively and even the best of his competition is finding it hard to crack the championship challenge.

      2. DAllein (@)
        4th June 2019, 14:32

        I say it is a hypocrisy.
        If Lewis and Mercedes continue to come on top 12 times out of 21 (he had only 9 wins in 2017 and 11 wins in 2018), you all will be moaning the next day – how F1 is boring and cruel… totally ignorant to the fact that the results of MotoGP and F1 are totally identical.

        1. DAllein (@)
          4th June 2019, 15:00

          (addition) – ok, we don’t have that “close” racing, but let’s look at broader picture.
          And broader picture shows us the picture above.

    2. 2014: It was victory run for Marquez who won 12 opening rounds and his victories didn’t come from pole or even straight leading from start which makes it even more impressive.
      2016 there were 9 different riders who won races and the most consistent rider who scored points won the title.
      2017: Initially Yamaha’s did challenge for title but they fell back and it was a fight between Marquez and Dovizioso
      2018/2019: Straight fight between Dovizioso and Marquez with Marquez being the more brutal and consistent rider between two of them.

      1. DAllein (@)
        4th June 2019, 14:33

        I can say virtually the same about 6 last years of F1.

        1. Yet in MotoGP races are rarely boring unlike in F1 where races are rarely exciting.

  18. Have to agree with Russell. And yes, being narrower does help in overtaking and not just in space available,, track wide enough for 3 abreast you say, ok, do the math and work out how much faster the outside car has to be just to stay abreast on a long fast sweeper.

  19. Copy some dirty trick from ducatigp?
    Factories without a dry win since 2014 will be allowed to use 5 PUs,
    Those factories will be free to test and engine development …

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