F1 should stay a “pure sport”, fans don’t want artificial racing – Capito

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 risks devaluing itself if it introduces gimmicks which artificially enhance the competition, Williams’ new CEO Jost Capito has warned.

Williams has finished last in the championship for the previous three seasons in a row. But Capito does not want to see F1 take steps to artificially increase the competitiveness of teams such as his.

The series is debating the introduction of Sprint Qualifying races at selected rounds in the upcoming season. A previous proposal to include reverse grids, an idea Capito is strongly against, was rejected.

“I believe that Formula 1 is the pinnacle of the sport and it should be attractive because it’s an attractive sport and not because it’s gambling,” he said.

“That’s why I’m not in favour of reverse grid. This is not because I think we are now in the front of the grid. That’s not why I don’t want reverse grids.

Jost Capito exclusive interview
Interview: How a ‘dream’ chance to lead Williams put Capito’s retirement plans on hold
“If we talk about the regulations, I have to talk about what is the best for the sport, because only if the sport is in the right way, the teams can improve and be in the right way. If the value of Formula 1 goes down, then the value of everybody who is involved goes down.

“I will push strongly that when we discuss within the teams, we discuss what is the best for the sport. And when we decide what is the best for the sport, without just focussing on what is the best for my team in the regulations we have right now, it’s then what’s the best for the sport. Get that aligned and then fight within these regulations and have a competition there.”

Capito previously ran Volkswagen’s highly successful World Rally Championship team, which won four consecutive championships. He doesn’t want to see F1’s top teams being punished for their success and pegged back by the rules.

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“In rallying, at Volkswagen, when we were quite successful, [FIA president] Jean Todt came up to me at one rally and said, ‘hey, Jost, you are winning too much’.

I said, ‘go to the others and tell them they are losing too much’. Because you shouldn’t blame the guy who does the best job.

Feature: F1 almost had Saturday sprint races 35 years ago – this time it probably will
“I think in motorsport, and especially in Formula 1, there shouldn’t be a balance of performance or some artificial competition because the guys who do the best job and the drivers do the best job should win. And if they win for 10 years, they win for 10 years, fine. Then everybody has to catch up and have to do a better job.

“But you shouldn’t be punished in Formula 1 for… doing the best job. If you do a better job and you catch up, you shouldn’t be punished by a balance of performance to move back again.

“I really like in Formula 1 that it’s a pure sport. It should stay a pure sport without making it artificial[ly] interesting because I think that it’s not what the fans want to see.”

Read RaceFans in-depth exclusive interview with Jost Capito who explains why he canned his retirement plans to take up the top job at Williams

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41 comments on “F1 should stay a “pure sport”, fans don’t want artificial racing – Capito”

  1. Nice story, but he is wrong as we have DRS which is so artifical as hell. Some experiments can gives us advancement but could be still experiments if we don’t like it and we go to other new things. (even the current Qualify was a experiment which is accepted)

    1. I don’t think you can label DRS as ‘artificial’. It’s a consistent parameter that’s the same for all of them, that they have to be within 1s to deploy, and even then gives a pass much less than half the time. Any sport takes place within boundaries, and that’s one of them. People tend to notice DRS when it works, not all the many times it doesn’t.

      The new aero resource handicapping is artificial, that’s a more correct use of the word, because its purpose is to enable someone to win while not doing it best.

      1. @zann Indeed. What I’ve been pointing out before.

      2. I agree with you but used the DRS as the plain ‘artificial’ we can see. I find the new aero not so artificial as it’s not on the car. They are more to prevent richt teams to rule the poor ones. Doing the Best is a team like Force india/Racing Point/Astin doing the most with the smallest budget so this rules are as it was in the fifties just a car, motor, mechanic and a driver and 4 wheels nothing more.

      3. DRS is totally artificial as it gives the following car a speed advantage over the one in front who simply can not defend from that. Without it, many overtakes you see today may not happen. Remember Alonso’s defense against Schumacher at Imola? It would not have happened if DRS was in place. It takes immense driver skill to both overtake and to defend but with DRS, any competent driver can overtake with ease.

        1. @99Hawk Imola is one of the harder tracks to overtake on, so even if DRS existed in 2005, the lead battle would probably still have lasted until the end. Most of the time, DRS doesn’t guarantee a passing move, given the difficulty of following and staying close enough to take advantage of it on the straights.

    2. ColdFly (@)
      18th March 2021, 9:52

      I think he is still right in this case as most fans don’t like DRS, @macleod.

      Where he misreads many fans though IMO is in the use of SC and Red Flags. Fans (also on this site) rate those races very highly (check Rate The Race for Monza 2020).
      Resetting races (SC) and artificially benefitting teams (consequences of Red Flag rules) go against Capito’s stated “the guys who do the best job and the drivers do the best job should win”.

      I’d argue that the SC reset and Red Flag consequences are as artificial as a random mingled grid, and can be even worse than a structured mingled grid (e.g. each car to start from pole at one race).

      1. @coldfly I agree with you on full SC phases and red flag stoppages.

      2. @coldfly I agree with you regarding full SC neutralizations and red flag stoppages.

        1. @coldfly I didn’t intend to post the same thing twice, just some glitch.

    3. DRS is there to counteract the speed and grip loss you get from the dirty air from the car at the front. Basically if you manage to get within DRS 1 second range *while* in all that dirty air, you deserve that speed boost already. This is why cars that are leading the race also get it when behind lapped cars in front of them.

      It is just compensating the cars with speeds they should have gotten if they were no dirty air and it needs to be earned too by showing they can get within a second.

      It is not ideal of course, but necessarily evil until you minimize the dirty air, whichis something they are working on with 2022 regulations. DRS is being kept on for that year case it doesn’t but it will be phased out after if the regulations do their jobs in regards to dirty air.

      1. The biggest problem I have with DRS, @yaru, is that it tries to ‘offset’ the problem on the next straight rather than giving the DRS when it is needed (in the curvy bits).
        It cannot be that difficult to allow cars a DRS type of moveable (front)wing to create more grip when in the dirty air.

        1. That is not hard to create at all, @coldfly. In fact, we already had that.

          The result was that drivers were instead using it to tune the car to make the tyres last longer, not for recovering DF lost when running in traffic.

          1. I still think they gave up on the idea too soon, @bascb.
            As there were no restrictions on using it (like DRS has) teams decided to set it up and use it for tyre management. I wonder what would have happened had they allowed more drastic adjustments, but only to use it when closely following a car.

            But maybe my ideas are simply outdated and proven not to work.
            Back to working on my perpetual motion machine to generate energy ;)

        2. @coldfly DRS in the curvy bits would be unnecessarily risky as it generally doesn’t mix well with corners, especially the higher-speed ones.

          1. @jerejj, the DRS I am advocating is Downforce Recovery System. It increases the (front) wing angle, and gives you more grip on the (front) tyres.
            Developing this well will allow the following cars to take the corners faster even when in dirty air.

    4. Jockey Ewing
      18th March 2021, 13:08

      I think the definition of atrificality, as every other words is debatable.
      To my definition artificality at F1 is something that is intrusive to the clear idea of what racing was way before. So bravery and individual and engineering skills not necessarily coming for a lot of money. So most of the artificalities are those things which having effect what we see on-track.
      As there is already too much money involved in F1 (as it could be innovative and comfortably quicker than Indy for likely one fifth of the current costs) I see, that with a strictly enforced cost cap would not be intrusive to the on-track sight. (Long prison years for cheaters, no matter how prominent ones, especially as it is about hundreds of millions yearly per constructor, so we can’t say that it’s not about a lot).

      Nice words from Capito, we will se how much of those can have real effect.
      I understand that basically every car which has significantly more complicated aero than the old cigar-shaped torpedos is quite affected by turbulencies, as the more complicated their dowinforce generating aero devices are (the reciever sides of the generated turbulencies), the more they are reliying on clean air. Therefore solving this problem is not easy at all, even the quite speccy Indy cars are still affected by it, so basically all formula cars are affected by it, and we can’t go back to the era of cigar cars.

      What could be done then? Enormous but much simpler wings, but with not so restrictive rules on aero design? I’m naive but maybe I would like that. Or if it would be possible to accurately and reliabily measure the dirty air coefficient of a car (that is likely impossible yet, and will be very challenging even in the future for a while), let’s have a BOP based ot that, or let’s punish a bit the consturctors which are having higher dirty air coefficient than a threshold (and be very liberal on the aero rules otherwise, so every counstuctor can decide if they want simple aero, or they want exaggerated aero and be punished a bit). Probably by deducting points, or financially, to stay off track.

      I would leave much more to the perception of the driver, especially about warning them about others around the DRS window. That would make races more eventful, and relying on perception is not artifical at all, that is very much part of a great race driver’s skill set. I would just prohibit providing information and plans (how to use ERS, which section to push) about how one can keep out a competitor of one’s DRS window. Probably it would be ok to inform them until they are outside of a 4-5 secs window, because of course they were informed about gaps and margins before, but then I want to see how the driver does.

      I would like to see less corporateness, and smaller cars, because it was astonishing to read that many cars are almost 6 meters long today. That’s 1.5x of an old school family saloon, is not it I don’t know what :) ? BMW M6 memes are maybe quite solid at F1 too.

      And of course before the new season: let’s zoom out a bit, and if cars are finally nimble at about like they are at F2 because of having appropriate size, weight, and aero, we would have more sense of speed and dynamism, instead of large sponsor logos.

      That must have been an interesting conversation with Jean Todt, he most interesting part I guess, was Todt’s answer to Capito’s answer, which he not provided :)

      1. Jockey Ewing
        18th March 2021, 14:35

        To the aero problem:
        Or have large floors (although they were already large), big more effective diffusers (I don’t know why they cut downforce coming from the fllor to this year instead of cutting downforce from aero, apart from likely the floor is simpler.)
        The fan car was at least innovative, and likely were not built on a budget of hundreds of millions / year.
        Let’s have active wings, active suspensions, their costs will be nowhere near to the current power units R&D.
        With a more lenient tech rule set, all team could have DAS, or toe setting on a car on the move, for example with a much simpler switch on the steering wheel, like the one for the brake balance, instead of the way Mercedes had to contrive how to fit this already existing system into to the set of the current not so permissive set of rules.

        Why it is a problem to have tech diversity, to make constructors to have compromises, because it would be impossible to have everything the rivals having? Would not that be the real technical diversity instead of complaining about having to field cars nowadays which are still more well tested than basicallly cars of any previous era (even considering the lower and lower test and free practice mileages)? Because it is all about the consistent return of investment at a sport which became too expensive? Was not the root of Todt’s words to Capito womething similar?

        At the reduction of the test sessions mostly I’m sad for the drivers who would like to drive more, but for example one of my favourites Danny Ricc said that he is quite bored with FP sessions, he would race instead. But only about 20 times a a year? Many are having much more maniac attutide than his likely.

        1. Jockey Ewing
          18th March 2021, 14:57

          It was funny to hear Hamilton asking sometimes whether he is full on DAS (so I guess, whether he already set it to maximal or minimal to maximize tyre saving or to achieve the opposite, to heat the tyres a bit). This means that nice system, came without being easily adjustable, without an indicator or feedback at the cockpit. Had the rules be more lenient the could see the toe angle on his dashboard on the fly, and could set it gradually. That would be the space technic like F1 or DTM used to be.
          This reminded me a bit when I simraced with the throttle on mouseY axis, and the steering on mouseX axis, that was quite compromised, almost worked although. The worst part of it that the two axis is obviously interlinked, so I had to use very different sensitivities for throttle and steering to reduce this effect. And the other worst part: in the case of throttle you don’t know whether it’s full on, because you just pull it pull it, and don’t have obvious physical ends of the axis. So I very understood Hamilton’s struggle at thet moment, and it was very funny.

          So I think, because of this, loosing DAS is at most a mediocre loss for Mercedes this year, as to use it they had to change the front suspension, and they now could revert to the older widespreadly used one, and the DAS system was a bit compromised, so they were far from extracting everything from it. They had some quicker than the others tyre heating with it before SC retarts and quali flying laps, and maybe some opportunity to reduce tyre degradation at the opposite end of the settions. But it was not easy to use, and if it had no clicks, and fixed settings, just like the steering to left and right, how they went back to the optimal toe for the actual track? Beceuse without that the whole race is baaad. If that optimal mid-point was not a fixed setting, likely it was better to only have the optimal setting as the lowest, and the tyre heating setting as the highest… Or the optimal as the highest, and the tyre saving setting as the lowest for some abrasive tracks. Sadly I know quite few about how they used and implemented this system.

  2. I get what Capito is saying, but I don’t think it’s that simple.
    If you have nothing in place to keep the field close, then the most wealthy/powerful teams will always be on top by such a margin that they aren’t even under pressure. Williams for example, have no hope.

    Whilst Merc/RBR/Ferrari are going to win most races, having the others close behind them (instead of 30s+) keeps them sharp, and if a team/top driver makes a mistake, a midfield car can win (Gasly). That win was so popular, highlighting how it benefits everyone if the field is close and competitive.
    I’m against BOP (such as in WEC) where power or weight is adjusted, as it punishes building a good car. But the wind tunnel scale is a neat solution, giving lesss successful teams more opportunity to be successful, instead of just handing them performance.
    MotoGP’s concessions rules are similar to this and have made the field fantastically close without harming the legitimacy of the sport.

    1. Maybe they should change the rules (small changes like for this year) more often and that would change the order, yet not artificially. Who adapts to the new regulation best will be the best, ingenuity will be rewarded. Chances are – it won’t be always the same team. Well, if it is, then it is well deserved. Also, teams should not have the opportunity to test everything for hours before each race (and even in a sprint race!?) and fine tune everything so much that nothing ever goes wrong. F1 shouldn’t be a routine job.

  3. Well said. The problem with Mercedes winning the last few years has hardly been their fault nut more the fault of teh other teams not doing a good enough job.
    Sure in the initial hybrid year, 2014, they had a huge advantage because they just did a much better job with their PU than the other manufacturer teams, but after that, the other manufacturers really should have made better inroads.

    1. @dbradock True, but I think what the fact that other teams haven’t made enough inroads shows is that they (F1 under BE) went too far with the complexity of these cars and the resultant absolute requirement that one needs to be an in-house factory in order to do so. So that limited it to Ferrari as the next best hope, who only have come close for a couple of half seasons, and eventually Renault who have been weak, with obviously RBR being a strong customer but not a factory outlet until these recent years as they have worked more and more closely with Honda and now seem to be heading towards an in-house setting with their Powertrain facility. You’re not wrong that others have needed to step up, but it is painfully obvious that is far easier said than done.

      No wonder Brawn wants simpler pus and a more plug and play setting with engines such as it used to be before the hybrid era. Yet it will still remain fairly complex, but at least teams have had time now to get closer to matching each other. More plug and play or not, RBR is doing exactly what they should for it will not hurt them to become more independent and become a works team as the simpler pus coming will still be complex nonetheless.

      1. @Robbie, it was hardly Bernie that made the PU’s so complex as it was driven by the manufacturers in the main, particularly Renault.
        You keep saying that a team had to be a manufacturer post hybrid era but the reality is that not one of the customer teams (if we include RBR as a quasi manufacturer) has been good enough to compete even before the Hybrid era.
        The only one that “may” have had a chance was McLaren who decided to ditch Mercedes in favour of a manufacturer deal with Honda when in reality their poor showing with the Mercedes PU was actually more chassis than PU – they even struggled to keep up with Williams at the time.
        One wonders how they would be doing if they’d kept the Mercedes PU all along. Same argument applies for RBR – there’s a reason Mercedes wouldn’t let them be a PU customer of theirs because they knew that a good team with their PU could actually beat them.

        Its simple really – The other manufacturers didn’t deliver a decent PU or Chassis in the case of RBR, other than Ferrari at one point, but then Ferrari has the capability of being able to lose even if they have a significantly better package.

        It wasn’t Bernie’s fault – he did a lot of things that have not helped, but in this case its been 9 other teams that just haven’t managed to get their collective acts together. Hopefully this season one of them might have and the mighty Merc may just have missed their mark as well so it might be a very different season indeed.

        1. Bernie has become a very useful scapegoat now – all bad historical decisions can be blamed on him alone, whilst Liberty Media is given all the credit for the good ones.

          1. Currently Liberty needs to keep everyone – manufacturers, teams, promoters, broadcasters, sponsors and fans all relatively happy to keep the show together and maintain the bulk of the value of their massive investment, just like their first day after takeover. If/when it’s just the shareholder(s) they ‘need’ to satisfy, their decisions are more likely to be less generally beneficial – that’s the nature of most corporations.
            Likewise, I don’t blame Bernie for being Bernie “Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible”.

        2. @dbradock The problem created by BE in his last 10 years in F1 was his handing over too much power to the top 4 teams while he did his CVC money grab. You may call Renault the driving force, but of course they didn’t force the other makers to go along ‘or else.’

          It is not I that have pulled the opinion of the need to be a factory based works team out of a hat. It is what Brawn said ahead of the big debate about whether LH would leave Mac or not. At the time, he said that where a driver would want to be for the hybrid era is with a factory works team, and that has proved correct.

          I find it rather bizarre that you are claiming customer teams were already uncompetitive as customers before the hybrid era even began, considering that RBR had just come off a four year run by plugging in a Renault engine. There are many factual examples in the past of customer teams using another makers engines and winning big time, just as there are cases of factory works teams doing so as well. We all know them.

          The fact remains, and there was much discussion about it throughout BE’s remaining years, that the introduction of the hybrid era made F1 unsustainable for all but the richest of teams, with the rest having had the goalposts moved on them with the complexity and the cost of the hybrid pus. They were financially brought to the brink, just barely hanging on, and were certainly guaranteed to not be able to elevate themselves towards even podiums, let alone wins and Championships. Those are simple facts.

          So you say 9 other teams just haven’t managed to get their collective acts together, and the fact is most of them had it taken out of their hands with the move the top 4 teams had the power to affect with the hybrid era. It wasn’t well thought out with all teams in mind, which is why I appear to harp on the BE era and promote the new owners now. They include all teams big and small, and yes with the sweeping changes to all the big aspects of F1 that had needed changing that under BE had made F1 unsustainable, yeah this will not be the last time I will applaud Liberty for taking F1 out of extinction which is where BE had it headed, as he scurried away with his billions, leaving the majority of the teams destitute, hanging on financially but with zero chance of winning Championships.

          ‘Simply’ up to them to compete? I’ll agree with that in the new chapter much moreso than in BE’s last 10 years of destroying F1 with the bad decisions he made with CVC as his controller. At least in this new chapter about to begin in earnest, all the teams will actually start to head back to seeing some light at the end of the tunnel and having a fighting chance, like they did before the factory hybrid era really accented the poor money distribution, and the excess spending by the top teams.

          I find it quite interesting that it is Brawn, who literally lived through all this, and who has been amongst the most intimate with what needed to be done, and you could even argue was one of the contributors to the buildup of F1’s unsustainability, has been such the driving force in rectifying what he obviously knew needed fixing badly. We’re so lucky for that.

          1. @robbie when you argue against the suggestion that “customer teams were already uncompetitive as customers before the hybrid era even began”, your choice of Red Bull in the early 2010s actually does more to undercut your argument than support it.

            Whilst Red Bull did “plug in a Renault engine”, most of Red Bull’s success came in the period when it was designated as the Renault factory works team and was given a far greater degree of technical and financial support than a customer deal would have given them.

            Horner explicitly and publicly stated in 2010 that Red Bull had formed a partnership with Renault that “makes us the factory team of Renault Sport” and that Red Bull would be placing their own staff on secondment at Renault as part of their joint technical development programme, which would be used to develop bespoke technical solutions for Red Bull’s specific requirements (such as the alternator system that only Red Bull used during that period, or the custom exhaust blowing maps that were tuned specifically to Red Bull’s chassis).

            The degree of technical co-operation that went on between Red Bull and Renault during that period went significantly beyond the relationship between a customer team and their supplier – it was the level of support a team can only get when receiving full backing from an automotive manufacturer.

            In terms of a team being able to win either the World Drivers Championship or the World Constructors Championship, Brawn GP, back in 2009, is probably the only one in recent years that was a true customer team. Before that, you have to go back to 1982 and the days of the DFV to find a case of a true customer team winning a title – either they were a works manufacturer in their own right (Ferrari and Renault), or it was a team which was backed by a major manufacturer (Williams by Honda and Renault, McLaren by Honda, Mercedes and Porsche, Brabham by BMW, Benetton by Renault and Ford and Red Bull by Renault).

          2. @robbie, there is little point in arguing with you about Bernie and Liberty so I’m not going to.

            I’m glad you’ve acknowledged though that your golden boy was in fact right in the mix of those that were responsible for a certain few teams using their financial clout to influence how F1 was managed pre Liberty.

            I will remind you though that RBR was a quasi manufacturer team during its heyday so your argument that a non manufacturer could win prior to the Hybrid era sort of doesn’t hold.

            The difference has always been budget, something that Bernie and Max Mosley tried to address years ago until the mayor players threatened to leave. The fact that a proper budget cap has finally been addressed and agreed is the best thing for the sport in decades and gives me hope.

            As to the turbo hybrid era,

            If Renault has even made the most modest attempt to address its issues in 2014,15 & 16 we’d probably not have seen the single team dominance we have. From 2017 onwards (after they had been gifted an aero advantage) RBR have consistently failed to deliver.
            Mclaren unfortunately were at the, or close to, a downswing in capability. They’ve now started to show up again as the “proper” big team that they once were. Again had they been at the top of their game with a Mercedes PU, things may have been far different.
            Ferrari …. enough said
            As for the others – they all ended up, and continue to, about where they would be expected to given their budgets relative to the other 4 teams, other than Williams who may not ever return to its former glory unless the new owners are prepared to inject a lot of capital.

            The reality for decades is that there’s only ever been around 4 teams at best that can consistently compete. Unfortunately in the turbo hybrid era, 3 of them really haven’t cut it, even when they’ve either had the better PU or been given an aero leg up.

            With budget caps and new designs for 2022, let’s hope that those 3 and others can actually do a better job because there’s really no excuses now.

          3. @dbradock Because of your wording of RBR being a ‘quasi manufacturer’ perhaps I should clarify what I am defining as a factory works team, that being a team that makes both their own chassis as well as engine/pu. This is what Brawn spoke of when he said what he did on the cusp of LH eventually leaving Mac for Merc. Due to the complexity of the hybrid pus, and especially with the energy recovery systems, never has the marriage of pu and chassis been more crucial as to how the car performs, handles, and brakes. I’ve not been arguing who is a ‘manufacturer’ and who isn’t, or has or hasn’t been in the past. However one defines RBR, I’d go along with them being considered every bit as capable (as a drinks company I guess is the implication) on the chassis/aero side as any traditional car manufacturer.

            It’s about who in the hybrid era have the major upper hand, and those have been Mercedes, Ferrari, and Renault, for they can make their pu to suit their chassis in a much more intimate way than a customer receiving someone else’s pu and being inherently less intimate with it’s integration to their chassis. It’s about starting on one’s drawing board being able to make pu decisions that affect the chassis design and performance at the same time as being able to make chassis decisions that can affect the pu design and performance, and to be able to make compromises and changes thusly, on the fly, all in-house, to then come up with a well integrated chassis pu. Ie. the complexity and the importance of integration has taken F1 away from being the plug and play series it was, where a team, and yes I agree usually a manufacturer team, including RBR, could buy someone’s engine and have a better change of ‘slapping that in the back’ and having a good go of it. There is no slapping a hybrid pu in the back of one’s chassis and expecting that to be as successful as integrating everything in-house from drawing board to track.

            Mercedes have proved that, Ferrari has come the closest, Renault has faltered bigtime given their advantages that should have seen them third best at worse, and RBR have shown what a formidable team they are for doing as well as they have firstly as a customer of Renault in this era, and then with their shorter term with Honda, that while being a customer of their’s has has some feel of being in-house, and is only heading more and more that way the more time they have with Honda, and now with the freeze and their exciting Powertrain Unit/facility as they finally ramp up to becoming full in-house integrators of pu and chassis like the other three.

            Oh they’ll still need help as they have never made their own engines/pus, but help they will get and they now have the facility to accommodate that help, and indeed make the ‘help’ actual employees more and more, and perhaps technically they’d have to be called a 90% factory works team (they simply aren’t domestic car/engine manufacturers), and given their strengths otherwise that is going to imho make them as formidable as the rest.

          4. @Robbie, I’m sorry but I can’t agree.
            After about 2015/6 I really don’t believe it was an integration issue at all.
            For RBR it was a case of Renault being hopeless initially, and in later years being unable to deliver a good enough chassis at the start of the season.
            For the only other customer team with a budget, had they stuck with their initial PU supplier, I have no doubt they’d be closer to the front end. To a degree, they fell into the trap of “ we can’t win if we’re not a manufacturer” which I believe in hindsight cost them.

            As I said, none of the others had anywhere near the budget, but those two at the big budget end could have made a better fist of things, RBR if they’d delivered rather than taking 1/2 a season to iron out correlation issues, and Mclaren if they’d stuck with the Mercedes PU.

            All moot now anyway, this season being the first with budget caps, and next with a whole new ball game, so woulda, coulda is probably no longer worth worrying about.

          5. anon I have only just seen your response above. I agree with everything you have said wrt to manufacturers ‘backing’ teams in the past, and strongly, including the relationship with Renault and RBR going back to 2010. None of that changes for me though my opinion that never before this hybrid era has it been more crucial to be an actual engine/pu maker and chassis maker at the same time, all in-house, and have the ability to integrate and develop and make changes to both pu and car on the fly that full in-house operations afford.

            I am simply not convinced, and to me the proof is in the pudding, that anyone but a full dual maker of pu and chassis will win the titles until perhaps the next gen of pu. And even then I think we will have to just see. I am certainly hopeful that RBR/Honda can do it this year, or soon, and that is taking for them to finally have a Powertrain Unit for the exact purpose of what I speak, that being to be able to integrate both chassis and pu and pu and chassis on the fly in a much quicker and efficient way than in the past when an engine was made elsewhere, shipped to the team, yes with tons of support, while the team then puts that engine in their car and proceeds to work with that at that point.

            And we are talking degrees here. I am not trying to claim it wasn’t important to have the relationships in the past of which you speak in order to succeed, but now it is absolutely crucial, and customers, even of Mercedes with their mighty pu, will never beat the factory works outlet doing their intimate integration fully in-house. If it wasn’t crucial I don’t know why Brawn would have said so in 2012 or 13 on the cusp of this chapter, nor why he has spoken about heading back towards something closer to plug and play with the next pu, nor why RBR would bother with the push for the engine freeze and a Powertrain Unit of their own.

    2. @dbradock
      If you just consider the other manufacturers as competitors to Mercedes, then yes, a team like Ferrari has only itself to blame for not matching Mercedes. RB was in another position for a long time, so not really comparable to the two other big players.
      But what about the others? Do we also consider their customer teams to be competitors? If we do, then the matter is not as simple as it may look like. We can’t expect a private team (Williams or FI/RP/AM) to beat a full works team, who spend almost 10 times more money per year. Is that really fair?
      The next couple of years will show, if it was just down to Mercedes doing a better job than the rest of the field or if their budget had an significant impact on their dominance.

  4. While I take his point the fact is reverse grids has been dropped so I don’t know why he needs to bring it up, other than for comparison I suppose. I note he isn’t seeming to speak specifically of Sprint Qualifying. And the other fact is that F1 has never stayed with a team dominating for 10 years, and would not without losing audience that is. So all well and good to speak of it being a meritocracy, on paper, which it largely is, but indeed F1 will put in a balance of power on occasion with a major rules reset in order to upset the apple cart that way and try to change the channel on a team’s run of dominance when it becomes too unpredictable to keep a portion of the audience enthralled and their enthusiasm wanes.

    1. Of course that should read ‘too predictable…’ lol

    2. I think Capito brings it up because he know as well as we do that there is immense pressure to completely replace qualifying with this quali sprint thing. And there will be new pushes for reverse grids (just listen to the whole Sky team losing it whenever they dredge that one out again) and other artificial things in the future.

      1. @bascb I don’t believe at all that there will be new pushes for reverse grids, for I think the clean air independent cars and the better money distribution amidst a more affordable entity in which to compete, will take care of the ‘forced variety’ shall we say that the idea of reverse grids and the hope for a rainy race brings.

        1. @robbie how confident are you really with your assertion that there will be no new push to introduce reverse races in the near future?

          Would you be prepared to put something of value on the line with regards to that particular bet? What would you do or say if Liberty Media did push for reverse races again?

  5. I totally agree with Capito on that. The more I hear from him, the more I like him.A proper, purist, racer.

    I’ll be supporting the Williams stable this year (and hoping their car can live up to it’s improved, and rather striking, livery).

  6. In my opinion the regulations since 2014 have been too tight, and that has only been getting worse. Forcing all teams along one development path, obviously will give the one with the most resources and momentum the win. Having different tires, engines, aero and chassis philosophies brings more diversity and competition to the field in the long run. The formula has been ruined by politics. Now, everything is supposed to be “relevant” (according to who).

  7. I’m with Capito.

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