Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Hamilton pleased by Honda win after “seriously miserable” return

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton congratulates Honda on their breakthrough win in last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

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What they say

Hamilton was asked if he was surprised to see Honda win a race this year before Ferrari:

It’s great for Honda. They’ve gone through some seriously miserable years obviously at McLaren. I just shows that it’s not always just the engine, it’s a combination of the work that the manufacturer and the team together co-ordinating and getting cooling and all the packaging right so it works well and they’ve obviously done that so congratulations to them.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

F1 should learn from NASCAR’s calendar mistake, says Josh:

All Liberty has to do is look at NASCAR and see how 36 races doesn’t work any more. It worked 10/12 years ago but now every race except for the Daytona 500 struggles to fill 50% of its grandstands.

There is way too much product (36 races plus The Shootout, Dual races and Allstar weekend which makes it over 40) and not enough demand. The NFL is a prime example.

F1 with 20/21 races is what NASCAR needs to do and its what F1 should continue doing. It’s perfect. It’s perfect because I am always looking forward to the next grand prix whereas with NASCAR, it’s on every single weekend. It’s not special because it’s overused. F1 always gives me the feeling that I’m not getting enough but it keeps me craving the next race because each race of the season with the number of races they have on the calendar feels like a gift, it feels special because it’s not something I get to watch 40-plus times in a season.

If Liberty are here for the long haul and not just trying to make a 10 year return and then some back on its investment they surely would recognise this.
Josh (@Canadianjosh)

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On this day in F1

Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Magny-Cours, 2004
Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Magny-Cours, 2004
  • 15 years ago today Michael Schumacher won the French Grand Prix, pitting four times as he kept Renault’s Fernando Alonso behind

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15 comments on “Hamilton pleased by Honda win after “seriously miserable” return”

  1. I see Lewis Hamilton has become a ‘brand ambassador’ for Vodafone. Vodafone dropped out of F1 a few years ago, soon after Lewis left McLaren. It was rumoured at the time, Vodafone left because they’d lost the biggest attraction at McLaren, Lewis Hamilton.

    1. @Jon Bee Surely Vodafone will team up with Mercedes. Exxon Mobile wanted to join too but Mercedes already had Petronas

    2. Errm they left because they had horrible financial results resulting from other areas of business and actually thought spending that much on sponsorship at time would look bad when customers were being ripped off and it was being widely publicised… Nothing at all to do with Lewis lol

  2. Very good CotD, @canadianjosh , I hope Liberty tempers their expectations.

    My thoughts on this topic, and not a response to CotD per se are:

    Personally, I don’t see Liberty wanting to – or even being able to – grow the calendar beyond the ~20 GPs we currently have. For one thing, the international spread of F1 means that there is a significant logistical cost in moving to each venue, unlike domestic series. And if they wish to circumvent this, they’ll have to run multiple GPs in the same geography – something which has always worried race promoters simply because of cannibalization of attendees.

    One alternative would be to have 2 (or even 3) GPs in the US, given its geographic size and broad motorsport interest. We know that Liberty have struggled – and failed – to make the Miami GP happen, and there might not be too many other choices (unless they go back to Bernie’s idea of a street circuit in New York).

    The only possibility they have of truly doubling the races in geographies is to revisit regions/countries that were covered in the first round of flyaways when they return for a second round. So, China’s first GP would be in March/April, and the second something when F1 is visiting Japan/Singapore; conversely, Vietnam in the first leg to ensure it doesn’t lose out to the glamour of Singapore.

    And even in that case, it seems like some of these new venues will only be stemming the loss of other venues that are going off the calendar. Which is why I believe the net growth of the calendar will effectively zero out, at least for the next half decade.

    1. @phylyp The greatest difficulty of running the races on an entirely geographical basis is the climate, though. There can be quite noticeable differences between the climates of venues, even within the same continent. That is why the Canadian GP takes place at a different time of year separately from the US and the Mexican GP as it gets too cold for F1 in October/November while the former of the other two can get unpleasantly hot in June, and the latter unfavorably rainy since June is one of the rainiest months for Mexico City.

      1. Very good point about the weather @jerejj

      2. @jerejj thank you! Makes sense now, I always wondered why Canada is that off compared to US/Mex

        1. @m-bagattini I thought it was/would’ve been rather obvious to everyone as it’s been like this since the early-80s, LOL. The Canadian GP in June I mean.

      3. They had no trouble having the US GP in September before. And that’s the northern part of US.

  3. Re COTD: 40 races per year in F1 is impossible, heck, even 25 races is out of the question given the international spread of F1. So even if by some crazy idea they would look at Nascar for inspiration, they couldn’t do it.

    But what Liberty could try is to have races in a certain venue once every 2 years: this way we get more new tracks, still get to keep legendary tracks like Monza, Spa, etc , and not get bored every single year with races like Paul Ricard.

    1. …also, with 2 years apart from race to race, the crowds will surely fill the grandstands more, giving the promoters a bigger revenue.

    2. @gechichan – agreed, we don’t need to visit every track every year.

      I’m not sure how the finances will work out for the promoters, though – while I’d expect an increase of crowds, I’d be surprised if it doubles. So the circuit promoters might not be too enthused.

      Moreover, the surrounding economy (hotels, restaurants) are likely to hike prices to cash in on the once-in-two-years demand (make hay…), which might again have a cooling effect on attendance.

  4. I thoroughly agree with the COTD. #QualityOverQuantity

  5. I think we’re already at the ceiling with races number. First week of March is week 9, last of November is week 48. That’s 39, say 40 weeks. A race every two week is 20 races. Adjust for some back-to-back and summer holidays, I don’t think it is reasonable to squeeze more than that.

    Last year’s triple header was too demanding for the teams. Season can start a little earlier or finish a little later, but 20-21 is the right amount IMHO.

  6. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    4th July 2019, 14:34

    I agree with everyone’s point on here about the F1 schedule and actually like what Gechi Chan and Phylyp have brought up with alternating some GPs every two years.
    As for my NASCAR comment, 15 years ago I would have thrown a tantrum if they shaved the schedule down but now I can see it’s necessary.

Comments are closed.