Further signs point to Australian GP postponement

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In the round-up: Further developments indicate the Australian Grand Prix is likely to be postponed,
as revealed by RaceFans on Saturday.

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Comment of the day

Pit stop strategy is key to the way we follow strategy in F1 races; Joshua Miles asks if pushing teams to use all three compounds could encourage more flat-out racing?

The FIA should make it mandatory to use all three compounds during the race, as it is shown that obviously two or more stop races are much, much better races with the strategy variation and other factors.

I also think that this would force the drivers to push their tyres a bit more rather than just conserving from lap one, so more flat-out racing.

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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47 comments on “Further signs point to Australian GP postponement”

  1. We as a planet may not be ready as of the start of the new year to resume to much of anything normal. Get the vaccine into everyone and when we cross that five billion mark the tide should begin to turn.
    Reading tonight about the planning going on in Melbourne and it appears the bigger picture is starting to be seen. Stay on track for a safe race. Even if it means a new race date. The event is doing their part and all of us should too. I hope everyone gets better and it may take the better part of 2021 to notice improvement in medicine needed to live.

    1. This was the reason to move Zanvoort to september as the vaccination takes 5-6 months (in the Netherlands) and today they are starting it. So lets hope everything goes well.

  2. COTD- NO thank you !

    1. Indeed. I would go completely the other way, zero mandatory stops.

      1. @john-h Same. One mandatory stop (to use at least two different compounds) is already enough, so two (three compounds) wouldn’t be any better.

    2. I’m in the minority camp of people who like mandatory pit stops (not compound requirements), @hohum.

      But my reasoning is different; as F1 is a team sport, I want to see the team doing those orchestrated tyre changes rather than only seeing a car going around in circles.

      But better yet than mandatory stops would be a situation where the pit stop time loss would be less, and teams decide voluntarily to do one or more pit stops.

      1. @coldfly fair enough but we need a achieve that through the design of the tyre. We all like pit stops, that’s not the point, it’s more the fact that we have to force racing on two compounds instead of allowing for mixed strategies on a range of tyres. Even with these tyres, I doubt we really need mandatory stops to prevent teams not stopping at all.

        1. Yeah one of the problems with the cotd is that it suggests that by having to use all three compounds via at least two stops per race, they’d be able to push their tires more, rather than conserve. Problem with that is they can’t just push these tires and expect them to stay in their optimum tire temps. They unfortunately have to spend way too much time and effort at all times with setup work, driving techniques etc etc just to make the tires work, let alone just push them willy nilly just because they would theoretically have a shorter stint and will be replacing the tires sooner anyway.

      2. @coldfly, each to his own. Pit stop choreography as a team sport can be impressive but Speed TV tried it as a 1/2 hour program and it failed. I prefer an uninterrupted race with pairs or groups of cars constantly dueling for position.

  3. Dean Franklin
    6th January 2021, 4:17

    The virus is out of control in the UK. Teams might not even be able to leave the UK if Bumbling Boris doesn’t get the pandemic under control. I don’t hold much faith in a guy that went around shaking hands with COVID patients.

    I think this will end up being a European/Middle East based season.

    The vaccine doesn’t give immunity just stops the disease from progressing, so social distancing and restrictions will be in a place for a long time to come.

    1. The vaccine doesn’t give immunity just stops the disease from progressing, so social distancing and restrictions will be in a place for a long time to come.

      The authorities, particularly those in the UK, are not making that clear enough. Your average Joe seems to think the vaccine will make the virus magically go away.

    2. Yes you are correct about the virus and my mind was thinking on how to vaccinate at least five billion ( 5,000,000,000 ) for that then by shear numbers will prevent Covid from growing and will die off. It’s a good theory and must work for us to ever hope to see a safe as possible race weekend. I got ahead of myself. Thanks for the clarity.

    3. @Dean Franklin But if the F1 folks in the UK wouldn’t be able to leave the UK to anywhere in the world, how could any race take place as long as this was the case? I doubt races would happen with only Ferrari, Alpha Tauri, and Alfa Romeo able to participate, LOL. Nevertheless, I’m not this pessimistic at this point.

    4. The vaccine doesn’t give immunity just stops the disease from progressing

      It’s the opposite: the current vaccines DO give immunity in some 95% of the cases, but they do NOT stop people from being infectious when they have the virus (but not the disease).

      But that is not the end of the story. The transmissibility is still being researched and we will only get first results in a couple of weeks. It is widely expected that even though vaccinated people will still be able to ‘shed the virus’ it is also expected that the transmission will be less likely (e.g. no coughing) and the viral loads lower. This might be enough to drastically reduce new infections and why a 70% vaccination rate might be enough.

      1. Correct @coldfly but i will keep the number a bit lower around 85% as the second vaccin was a bit lower. But vaccination rate could be higher like 90% then the virus wil die out !

  4. For the COTD,

    I think in the first few races with this rule will make them unpredictable. But after some rounds, the teams will adapt to the rule and we will be back to normal races. Only with 2 mandatory pit-stops.

    I don’t think we will start with Australian GP. Pre-season testing in Bahrain followed by the season opener will be better suited to the current situation IMHO.

  5. Few good things come after “mandatory”. Making everybody use three different tyres doesn’t seem practical as there are compounds good enough to last an entire race under the right touch.
    That is why I’m totally opposite to CotD, since, IMO, what is badly needed is to drop the obligation altogether. Let teams choose which compounds to use, however, whenever and, most importantly, how many sets during the race.
    Then we’ll be in for some variety.
    Oh, and before anyone comes saying it wouldn’t be good for costs, please consider this: if they really were concerned by it, they’d, for once, make just one proper type of compound instead of this silly (and costly) trial and error game.

    1. @niefer: Spot on!

      Maybe the FIA could make proper tyres mandatory… oh wait… Michelin’s offer was turned down. Oh well. Pretty sure by 2035 Pirrelli will have exhausted all the possible combinations of poor compounds.

    2. Will probably just lead to one-stop races. And even if someone would be tempted for more, with so many on one, there won’t be enough windows to use the extra speed.

      Maybe 2 mandatory stops and free choice of compound is a better alternative

      1. This.

        Take away the mandatory stop and there’s every possibility that at some events there wouldn’t be any stops at all. Why stop at Monaco, for instance? Or Melbourne?
        How boring do we want F1 to be?

  6. It remains to be seen whether Australia goes ahead. And when, if it does.

    And no thanks to the CotD – adding in more mandatory stuff into strategies will just make it differently the same, pretty much how we now have 2 standard strategies (one for the soft starters mostly in the top 10 and the second for those on harder tyres starting further back) that really don’t do much to spice up anything.

    As @lanciamartini mentions, after a few races of the teams having to find the new optimum it will almost certainly settle into a new standard approach.

  7. Does Spain even have a history of minstrel shows with blackeface*, or is this just another example of Anglosaxons engaging in cultural colonization of the world?

    * To avoid the filter

    1. I guess Spain will have to cancel Easter processions, as those hoods look very similar to the triple K ones.

      Or maybe we should all fight the real racism (first in our own society) rather than virtuously fighting tokens in other societies.
      Trust me there is unfortunately enough racism left in whichever country you live.

      Disclaimer: I did not see the image of that karting venue, and have no clue what’s behind it.
      PS – I disagree with a lot of the posts by @aapje, and argued hard in some instances. But I won’t shy away from sharing when I do think (s)he has a point.

      1. @coldfly

        It’s a video of the Three Wise Men karting on track. For those that don’t know, it’s written in the Bible that wise men from the East came to visit Jesus after his birth, recognizing him already as the king of the Jews and bringing gifts. This is commonly depicted in nativity scenes as three guys with fancy clothes, one of which is black.

        The video in question seems very amateurish, just some guys playing dress up (probably people who work at the karting venue). No professional actors, professional make-up or other production values in sight.

        It’s not surprising that there was no real black person available, because Spain has only 2.4% black people and if Spain is like other countries, these tend to cluster together (also when it comes to hobbies and karting doesn’t seem to be popular with black people anywhere).

        1. Thanks @aapje, thus some people celebrating Epiphany.
          I can only imagine the upset we’ll see when people find out that the other wise men used fake beards.

          Racism is more than dressing up like somebody else. It’s the bad intent that makes it deplorable, whilst one should still take into account the (unwanted) impact it can have on others (but you will never be able to please everybody).

          1. agreed, intent is critical, some people in some cultures have no idea/exposure what others find offensive.

      2. @coldfly there is actually some indication that it wasn’t coincidental, but rather that they deliberately appropriated the capirote because of the connotations that it has (of the act of Christian penance and, because it was a symbol of the Spanish Inquisition, the idea of symbolically purging the world).

        1. The first time I hear that about Epiphany and it seems as far fetched as the stolen election claims in the USofA.

      3. @coldfly, likewise, dragqueens must be chastised for their antifeminist makeup
        and displacement of poor female thespians and Shakespeare must be removed from libraries due to many offences including having male actors play female parts.

        1. And how dare some don a fake red nose knowing very well that alcoholism is a serious problem.

  8. I couldn’t disagree more with the COTD. There’s already more mandatory stuff than needed, so not anymore. Instead, F1 should ax all obligations concerning tyre usage, be it the Q2 rule concerning top-ten qualifiers, the single pit stop requirement in dry races to use at least two different compounds, etc.

    The Australian GP appears to be a lost cause for the time being because of the country’s strict COVID restrictions. I don’t have any hope left for it at least as far as the scheduled date is concerned, nor even later in the year, given the difficulty of rescheduling a track that’s both far away from Europe and temporary. Mentally, I already think about Bahrain as the season-opener and use its date as the reference for the next season’s commence, even though Australia still hasn’t officially lost its scheduled date the weekend before.

  9. I don’t agree with COTD about 2 mandatory stops / all 3 tyre compounds, however there is a related point that the worst races are ones where everyone pits under an early safety car, then the race is dull as everyone tries to eak out the tyres to the end.

    In my opinion, the rules shouldn’t be mandatory 2 compounds used, but mandatory one tyre pitstop under green. By this I mean, you should still be allowed to pit / change tyres under safety car/ red flag conditions, however such a ‘cheap’ stop should not count towards the mandatory minimum tyre change.

    I know there will be arguments against this, but there are arguments against the current rules too. This however, would stop those dour “races” where nobody dare race at the expense of needing a 2nd stop.

    1. The downside is that people aren’t going to gamble on a possible pit stop. It will make races less interesting in the midfield.

  10. Enough with the social justice posturing already. Seems this thing was not even racially motivated. And how can possibly something that happens on a commercial karting rental place in Spain be “shocking” worldwide news.

    And about the social media quotes, should you really be quoting yourself?

  11. Re Australian GP: Guess we have to start the season in Europe again?

    1. @Dave Bahrain isn’t in Europe, and it doesn’t seem to be under threat of losing its scheduled date.

      1. I don’t mean it like that. I mean if we should start the 2021 season in Austria or Great Britain.

  12. I disagree with COTD, because everything around the tyres is already overregulated:
    – Tyre usage during every session (even having to return unused sets)
    – Midfield-teams having to start on a less durable compound when they reach Q3, while front runners using a more durable one, which means they can pit after most of the midfield did and loose very little time in traffic as a result

    I’d propose the following:
    – Let them start on any compound they like
    – Make the differences in tyre performance & wear bigger (qualy tyre 1-1.3 sec faster than the Medium, but wears more quickly; maybe even scrap the Hard, which could make tyre strategies more interesting)
    – Change the SC-rules and close the pitlane while the SC or the VSC is out. IMO this could make gambling on a SC more interesting, especially on street circuits.
    Let’s say you pit early for new tyres, hoping for a SC. If it does get deployed, you can win a lot of positions, because not only have you caught up to your competitors, but you are also on fresher tyres.
    If it doesn’t work out (no SC), you are in trouble, beause you might have pitted far too early and will have to make an adittional pit stop or you waited too long to make your pit stop, because in the meantime the SC got deployed.

    1. @srga91 Closing the pit lane under SC and VSC, no thank you. Would unfairly penalize drivers with a flat-spotted set or otherwise a very worn one. I agree concerning the first suggestion about race starting tyres, though.

      1. @jerejj
        I see what you mean. Then they should change the rules like they are in F2, where the mandatory pit stop can’t be served under SC or VSC.
        It’s just not fair to be able to serve your mandatory pit stop under SC/VSC. The way it is now, drivers who gamble on SC/VSC can gain positions plus have fresher tyres than their rivals after their pit stop. That’s unfair!

        1. Much better idea as SC or VSC is with a reason and debrie can give flats so people should able to pit. Just make it so that to pit isn’t to serve mandory pitstop and only when there is no SC or VSC then you can serve your mandory pitstop. The only problem i forsee is when someone pit for his normal pitstop a SC comes out while he is in the pitlane that should be allowed.

        2. @srga91 Less unfair than being forced to stay on track using tyres in an unfavorable/undriveable state.

    2. Yeah, because we want to see damaged cars driving behind the SC because they weren’t allowed to pit. Don’t make F1 a lottery, SC/VSC already gives this a bit most of the times.

      1. As you said SC/VSC is a lottery most of the times then a simple rule change is you can pit but it’s NOT a mandory pitstop that is served only when there is NO SC/VSC. (one exception is when a driver already was pitting for his normal stop (past the ballore of the pitlane)

  13. Australia is quite far away. How about a race at Imola?

    1. @jureo Imola is likely to take Vietnam’s place between China and Spain.

    2. NO it isn’t – now 70 days with all the logistic decisions having to be made & put into place before it is too-oo-oo late.

      Here in Brisbane Qld Oz, we are in the middle of a 3 DAY LOCKDOWN to allow track & trace to contact people, as we have a UK strain case by a quarantine worker. Now Northern Territory has a UK strain case.
      As the CoVid UK has 70% stronger transmission, the heat is really on the Authorities to contain it.

      Not rocket science that 2020 Euro/M.E. F1 lockdown season will continue in ’21 and ’22. Be prepared for 5 years to contain, let alone eradicate.

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