F1 won’t resemble a ‘spec series’ in 2022 – Steiner

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In the round-up: Haas team principal Günther Steiner dismisses concerns that F1’s 2022 regulations will make it more like a ‘spec’ series.

In brief

Steiner: 2022 regulations not too restrictive for designers

Despite concerns that a showcased 2022 example chassis suggested F1 will resemble a spec car design next year, Haas boss Steiner said that there will be nothing like as much similarity between next year’s cars as has been suggested.

“A lot of interpretation of it is like ‘yeah it’s a spec car’ [but] there’s still a lot of room of development,” said the Haas boss.

“The spaces where you can develop, they are smaller, but they are still free. It’s not like an IndyCar, which is spec, you cannot do anything. You’ve still got room to do things.

“It will be less noticeable, to be honest, when people do different things because the devil is in the detail. At the moment, for example, if you just take the barge boards behind the front wheels, there’s so much going on there in parts and pieces. They are gone [in 2022] and you don’t see them.

“But there’s still a lot of things you can do to get the diffuser to work, from that side. So they are different. I wouldn’t compare it with an IndyCar because that is obviously a spec car, a Formula 2 car is a spec car.

“A Formula 1 car, there’s a lot of work and areas you can work on still in the new regulation. What you saw was a principal of a car, how the base will look like, but the cars will be quite developed. When a few hundred engineers in each team work on it, they find places if they’ve got the opportunity to do something different. So it will be still very competitive technically as well.”

No one knew who I was last year – Dennis

Jake Dennis expressed his gratitude to outgoing Formula E manufacturer BMW and the Andretti team for taking a chance on his at the beginning of the season.

The Red Bull simulator driver entered Formula E as a rookie at the start of the season, replacing Alexander Sims at the team. Having not raced in single seaters since a stint in Formula 3 in 2017, he became the only rookie in Formula E history to take two wins in their debut season and finished third in the championship standings, having looked set to take the title before a brake failure in the final race.

He said BMW ‘took a chance’ on signing him, rather than going for a seasoned Formula E driver. “I think this time last year none of the Formula E teams even knew who I was,” said Dennis. “Obviously I was racing sports cars at a high level, performing well and I massively thank BMW for taking the chance, they had so many other drivers they could have taken and taken the safe route but obviously they took the chance.

“For me to be sat here even in title contention, going into that final race, is a testament to the season we’ve had, the BMWi Andretti car’s been performing well all year and it’s a shame, the way it ended but nonetheless to finish third in the world championship as a rookie is something special and we can enjoy that.”

Dennis has re-signed for Andretti next season, who will continue with their current BMW powertrain despite the factory team’s departure.

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Comment of the day

After Mercedes confirmed their departure from Formula E at the end of next season, Red Pill looks at how its driver market is beginning to converge with IndyCar’s in competing for the top junior talent that doesn’t make F1.

The factor about what will happen to the drivers and the influx will be an interesting one, when you think about so many of the big dollar teams leaving Formula E, there’ll be six top seats less available in FE. These spots were normally for ex-F1 drivers and top F2 drivers.

When drivers can’t get into F1, Formula E was a softer landing compared to other alternatives. I think we’ll start seeing a snow ball effect of Euro drivers wanting to get into Indy (when missing out on F1) even though it’s pretty much perceived that there’s no chance of getting back to F1 after joining Indy as FIA Super license points are pretty much non-existent (that should change).

It will be interesting to watch what will happen with existing aging Indy drivers seat and how they compare to the new ones, especially if they include more road races? Might be time add some new teams or more cars to handle the demand. This should be very good for Indy’s pocketbook with all the increased world wide interest.
@Redpill

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  • 20 years ago today Michael Schumacher won his fourth world championship in Hungary, becoming the third F1 driver to win four titles

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  • 42 comments on “F1 won’t resemble a ‘spec series’ in 2022 – Steiner”

    1. Interesting page of articles. I liked reading all three of them. Especially the last one, makes me want to get back into Karts but that would also mean I would need to lose a bunch of kilos to fit in one, so maybe its a win-win situation if I do?

    2. I’m happy that Steiner is optimistic about the ability to make independent changes to the cars to improve performance.
      But I do not have as much confidence after reading this interview of Ross Brawn with The Race published on msn cars a month ago.

      Max Verstappen said it looked “interesting”, adding that the “most important thing is that the racing is better” with Lewis Hamilton agreeing.
      “It’s a serious challenge getting used to a new era,” he said, “and if this car makes following easier then it will be amazing for the fans and the sport.”

      While F1 sporting director Brawn says the comments coming from the drivers were “encouraging to hear”, he told The Race: “We will be monitoring what the teams have done and incorporating that into our modelling to make sure we don’t compromise any of the targets.”
      That target is, quite simply, better racing.
      However, Brawn and his think tank, comprising of Pat Symonds, Jason Somerville and Nikolas Tombazis, have already given the teams some leeway with the rules. Rules that Brawn says he is open to tweaking if need be.
      “Part of the feedback from the teams to the initial proposals was that there were not enough opportunities to make a performance advantage,” he explained.
      As a result of that, we did open up a few areas. Pat, Jason and Nikolas took a very detailed look at what we could do there and as a result, opened it up a little.

      “So, yes if that has brought about a bit of visual variation it’s encouraging. But if it compromises the aims, we will tweak things so that they aren’t compromised.”

      Brawn is hoping that next season will herald the beginning of an era of closely-fought battles.

      “While 2021 has been a great battle we still have cars struggling to follow each other during the race,” he said. “The regulations for 2022 will address this problem and create an opportunity for closer battles and more wheel-to-wheel racing.
      “The combined effect of the new aerodynamic regulations and financial rules, in the form of the cost cap, will create the conditions for a more balanced championship and for the gaps across the grid to close.”

      So it looks nearly certain that Liberty are going to remove the World Constructors Championship leaving only a World Drivers Championship. It remains to be seen who will supplying PUs after 2025, I suspect it will less than are currently involved. Anyway I suppose we’ll see.

      1. Weird, to me Ross is saying exactly the same as Steiner. Variations, including visual/bodywork, as long as it doesn’t negatively impact the close racing objectives.

        I’m not sure where you see the contradictions.

      2. Hang on, what?!

      3. So it looks nearly certain that Liberty are going to remove the World Constructors Championship leaving only a World Drivers Championship.

        Sensationalist tosh. 😂

        1. Lol @johnrkh likes to spew this stuff out like the teams would agree to not having a WCC portion of F1, like they’re just bystanders bowing to all that Liberty and Brawn say and do, just signing on to anything they say, and like their main mission is to rid themselves of the WCC component. Like he has no faith in whatever team he cheers for and just thinks they’re wallflowers like all the rest.

          I predict that not only will Mercedes, Ferrari, and Alpine be making their own pus after 2025, but so will RBR, and perhaps as well will be Audi or Porsche.

          I suppose we’ll see, while others will not see everything given the blinders they have on.

          1. @robbie

            Totally agree, makes zero sense. How do they expect to attract new manufacturers to get involved when taking away the WCC points?
            Ferrari would also be laughing their @ss off if hearing that or simply we would not being seeing any more red cars in F1.

    3. Fears of next year being a spec series are massively overblown. Teams wouldn’t have sacrificed a whole year, or in the case of Haas 2, if they didn’t believe they could make bigger gains in 2022. They also wouldn’t do it if they are expecting only slight variations between cars as any innovations could be copied and integrated at a much lower development cost in a couple races.

      1. Have you seen the strictness of the zones which bodywork can be placed within? Or the tripling in length of the regulations for next year when it comes to the external surfaces? Both of those means the 2022 rules are the strictest regulations by a long way – the rule book exceeds the previous three major rule changes combined in terms of length.

        It is also worth noting that Prodromou has said that he thinks the main impact of the new rules will be to make it easier for teams to copy each other.

        It may not be a complete spec series, but the rules have a clear intention to restrict development to an extent that many feel goes far beyond what is needed to achieve the objectives that Liberty Media have set.

        1. Prodromou says the main impact is cars easier to copy? Wow I would have thought the main impact by far would be cars able to race closely and the potential to rid themselves of drs, or at least drs used as is currently.

          Let’s face it the cars are already nearly identical, and as we know from AM, easy to copy. Let’s recall what has lead them to all agreeing the budget caps and the regs for the cars, namely the gulf between the have teams and the have nots, and the cars badly effected in dirty air as has been the case for decades and as needs to change.

          Changes were badly needed and are afoot, and as Brawn indicates are subject to tweaking which has always been the case in F1. Nothing is written in stone, and suggesting ahead of seeing them race in anger that the new regs have gone further than needed for Liberty to achieve their objectives is to assume one knows already what to expect, and I doubt that is the case for anyone. What they have tried to avoid is a team finding a loophole and dominating for the next number of years, and that has taken a lengthy rule book to try to achieve.

          The rules have been agreed and set between Liberty/Brawn and the teams, they’re working on their cars with the new and lengthy rule book in hand, and they’re going to go racing next year and with the hundreds of variables each session brings we’re going to see some amazing action I predict.

          1. Are you paid to be a shill?

          2. @robbie yes, Prodromou’s opinion was that, even if it did succeed in what it claimed to be setting out to do – a goal that he was not completely certain it would achieve – he noted that the extreme prescriptive nature of the regulations, which only permits a single aerodynamic philosophy, makes it fundamentally easier to just copy and past a component from one car to another without any real effort. He expected the pattern would be an initial divergence, followed by rapid convergence – but the convergence would be more due to the ease of replicating ideas from one team to another.

            The regulations do quite explicitly set a number of features – all of the cars will have to have a monocoque with a near identical profile, since the curvature of the monocoque is fixed. The sidepods all have to taper back to meet the rear crash structure within a very narrow permitted envelope, the elevation of the top of the sidepods is fixed – the intention from start to finish is to force the cars to fit within an extremely narrow window.

            Those who have also been questioning whether the regulations really needed to be quite that prescriptive are also doing so on the basis of a serious technical evaluation, including the sorts of CFD modelling work that mirrors the sorts of studies that Brawn commissioned to develop these regulations in the first place. Have you looked at any of the technical studies on the 2022 regulations, or are you basing your arguments only on Brawn’s press releases?

            1. So one guy’s opinion is that cars will be easier to copy, which they already were, which has been a common practice for a long time. According to another guy’s opinion, namely Steiner above, whose opinion you seem to choose to ignore, there is room for innovation, meaning some variance, meaning that even if a component is easier than ever to copy with little effort, that doesn’t automatically mean it will work on another’s car.

              Otherwise your description of the one-way-to-do it restrictions could be said of today’s cars as well. As well, you acknowledge Prodromou isn’t even sure if the new regs will do what they say they should, so I think if all he is sure of is the ability to copy, which isn’t new, that isn’t really newsworthy.

              I’m just not willing to sit and whine about the unknowns and assume only negatives when the necessary measures they are taking, as agreed by the teams, are for the good of the sport on the track as well as off it in the financial and sustainability side. Why whine about an unknown? Let’s see what happens once they race in anger, and then let’s see what tweaks they inevitably and always do, and then let’s carry on the story of F1 from a much better base point than they are currently on. If it turns out the biggest problem is cars too easy to copy, they’ll address that. For now there is likely more that Prodromou doesn’t know than there is that he does. The copying concept doesn’t seem to have been at the top of Steiner’s list to mention.

              The rules are the rules, for now. The teams have agreed them and they’re building cars and we’ll all only know the whole truth of it all once they’re racing together in anger. Then F1 will continue to evolve from there as always. I’m good with that, and not going to let individual speculative negatives of one aspect, after the horses have left the barn, anywhere near overwhelm the new reality and the huge leap F1 and the teams have jointly agreed is the best way forward, touching on all vital aspects combined.

              Cars can be copied? Meh.

            2. @robbie with due respect, it feels like you are just labelling all criticism as “whining” to dismiss it out of hand, even when that criticism is based on technical studies, such as CFD modelling, that replicates the work that Brawn commissioned in the first place.

              Again, I would like to ask the question – have you taken the time to look at any of the independent technical assessments of the 2022 regulation package, or looked at what the 2022 technical regulations themselves? Your viewpoint comes across as being founded solely on what Ross Brawn says – have you looked at any technical discussions that come from sources other than Liberty Media?

            3. No not all criticism, but when one F1 principal speaks of room for some innovative freedom and F1 not becoming a spec series, while also we all acknowledge more restrictions than ever, and that opinion gets ignored in favour of another opinion having to do with copying, then yeah to me that starts to head towards the whining zone. Why have you chosen to ignore Steiner and rather go with what Prodromou has said?

              Of course I have looked at the technical regs and the criticisms about the lack of innovative freedom. But my point is, to what end? From what I have read nobody has actually used the same amount of time and computing power in a wind tunnel and/or with CFD modelling that Brawn and his team, with the teams’ involvement, have over 4 years. Two cars nose to tail in the scale they have chosen. Has that really been replicated?

              You can isolate the negatives upon speculation all you want. It is what it is, we will see what comes of it, and there is always room to tweak things as problems arise, including potentially disgruntled teams that feel they have no room to differentiate themselves from others, if that indeed becomes a main sticking point.

              For now, we can analyze all we want from our armchairs, but as I have said, this is what we have right now, what F1 and the teams have agreed, and once they are racing together in anger we will know much more. That ‘many feel’ that the rules have gone stricter than needs be in order for F1 to achieve it’s goals remains to be seen, but certainly we do know that teams can not be trusted (and I don’t mean that in a bad way) to not look for loopholes and ways to innovate that are clever and within the rules and unthought of by other teams until they cotton on, and Liberty and Brawn have made the rule book the length it is because they are trying to avoid those loopholes.

              Yes it is restrictive, we all get that. We also should understand the reasons why, and what lead to F1 becoming like this, and we should also respect that rules can be changed. This is not Liberty/Brawn against the world. This is Liberty/Brawn trying to right the ship, and they have the teams’ signed on blessing to continue as they are, and Liberty has shown themselves to give in certain areas too. Let’s just take it for what it is and see where it evolves starting once we see how they all race in anger. Let’s see, once we know more, if existing teams and potential new teams are so disgruntled with the restrictions that it becomes a major point of contention, and a turnoff for new teams entering, and I bet we then see some lightening up of some of the restrictions.

            4. @robbie it is not just Prodromou who has been rather critical, with Newey also being rather more critical of the regulations. Both of those individuals, being technical experts who are directly involved in the production of the cars, have given a more detailed assessment of the technical merits of the 2022 regulations than Steiner, who does not have a technical role within his team and is not directly involved in designing the cars. By comparison, I would therefore say that their opinions carry more weight than that of Steiner.

              Loosening of the regulations, which you then go on to speculate about, does not appear to be something that is being actively considered either – there has been plenty of talk of “closing loopholes”, which raises the question of what exactly Brawn would define as “a loophole” in the first place, but very little indicating that any relaxation of the regulations is going to be considered in the future.

              The idea of loosening the rules to draw in new teams seems very unlikely to happen either, not least because the indication is that there are no new teams on the horizon that might be inclined to enter even if the rules were relaxed. Where is this mythical new entrant meant to come from?

              It won’t be an independent, since the new financial regulations have effectively excluded them – as for the continued speculation over a VW Group entrant, we’ve been speculating for nearly 30 years now over such an entry and it’s never come to pass.

              Even the news that they’re attending the 2025 engine regulation discussions isn’t really confirmation – they did so when the current regulations were drawn up, but still refused to commit – and they’ve set enough caveats in place to allow them to back out easily of the current discussions. The idea of possible loosening as a way of attracting new entrants looks like a chimera, a suggestion thrown out there that is very unlikely to be acted upon.

              It is also interesting that you are very often mixing the technical regulations and the financial regulations together into this idea of “righting the ship”. Why are you yoking the two together in that way? Why is it that innovation must be constrained at the same time as budgets are constrained? The WEC does not seem to have the same issue with their Hypercar regulations which, after an initial rocky start, is doing more to draw manufacturer attention than anything Liberty Media has been coming up with for F1.

          3. In concept and human behavior, I would have say absolutely yes that we’ll be seeing more copying.

            This is a totally new rule book with narrower parameters on what can be done. Imagine if you’re a team that got it wrong and one team totally nails the concept and is clearly faster than everyone else? Then your options will now be more limited of what you can do as a designer other than adapt (copy is a bad word) the winning concept to stay competitive and then follow it much as possible. Teams are left with very, very little amount of R&D abilities making it even harder to come up with your own unique design and then validate it. they’re left with little choice.

            I think the cars right now look very different to each other when you look closely at all the bits & bobs on them and how they influence the car going through the air; the devil is in the details.

            I also think the cars will not be able to accomplish nearly what they promise, passing will be just as hard and there will be a lot of following without much improvement. The main problem is that the cars have become waaaay too big, Too long, too wide and very heavy for the existing tracks they’re racing on, F1 cars are now the same length as a Ford 150 pickup, 20% longer than a LMP Audi race car. The size difference between F1 cars now and from 10 years ago is shockingly large, massive difference in size making them much harder fit on the track and pass on all the tracks we know and love. I see that as the biggest reason why we’re seeing so many parades now a days in F1 racing.

            1. F1 had parades in 90s even, and earlier. DRS has been a godsend. The cars being bigger make no difference to passing. 90s indycars were heavier and had great passing with no DRS. Power delivery and aerodynamics are the culprit.

    4. I don’t know another business where you can do that and touch your customers.’

      I bet you though he doesn’t kiss on the mouth either.

    5. Touch customers, literally?

      An interesting COTD. Presently, IndyCar indeed seems to be the favored series for ex-F1 drivers or drivers who don’t get an F1 chance. I would’ve thought Super Formula to also be high up, given that series is the fastest after F1 + Not really any further away from Europe than the US. Maybe cultural difference makes a Japanese national series slightly more unfavorable than a US-based one.

      1. Language barrier, sponsorship/funding issues, the relative lack of ‘prestige’ and the now obvious travel difficulties contribute most to F1 drivers not going to Super Formula.

        They’d more likely be welcomed into Super GT, as that is the premier racing series in Japan.
        Several ex-F1 drivers have competed and won there over the years.

      2. @jerejj

        Super formula is another racing class that could perhaps benefit but as S mentioned above, I think its become less favorable with it getting less press, fewer international viewers now a days. It seems it’s escalator is going down and Indy’s escalator is going up? Especially since about two years ago when a lot of people got excited about Super Formula getting Super License points from it, foreign drivers did head over there but that seems to have really wanned since then. All the traveling issue and covid also seems to have made more distant and more isolated but you never know, there seems to be a void in racing now a days and some existing classes could really benefit and get back into the limelight.

        LMP & WEC could be another class to benefit. I think any class that is getting more attention and attraction will also get the attraction of good drivers. There does seem to a large influx of good drivers now a days and they all want to drive fast, win in front of cameras and get paid good money doing it; they’re race car drivers after all.

        1. @S Good point about the language barrier, given Japan’s English level generally isn’t the world’s best.
          @redpill You also have good points.

    6. All this ‘spec series’ chatter smacks the same as the “2014 cars will be so unreliable only half the field will make the chequered flag” and “F Ducts will give a 1sec advantage” and “bendy wings will give 6 tenths on the straights” and on and on.

      Teams management love to speculate and overblow things. Engineers just crack on and find a thousand different solutions. You may not see huge complicated bargeboard variations anymore but optimising ground effect and the myriad of different aero solutions under the cars will be just as complex if not moreso.

      All a load of fuss over nothing as usual.

    7. Saw the main page and thought it was Ron Dennis who was struggling with a lack of limelight…

      1. Same!

    8. Groundbreaking moment will be the first FE to F1 driver. My money’s on Dr Vries. Could a previous F1 driver get another shot?

      1. @njf03 Russell will need a new wingman at Mercedes, and Vandoorne could be it

        1. @balue Vandoorne has been away from F1 racing too long for a driver who hasn’t achieved anything in the series, so he’s unlikely to become a regular F1 driver again.
          @redpill I agree.

      2. @njf03

        I say it will be Nyck de Vries, there’s a lot of chatter of him getting the nod for the Williams seat if Russell gets upgraded.

        Vandoorne already had a chance in F1 and beat recently him, de Vries is younger and is also the won the F2 Championships, he’s coming across as a hot commodity for a driver not yet in F1 under Mercedes’s umbrella. I don’t think he’s as good as Russell, Lando or Schumacher when you watched him race in F2 but Merc doesn’t really have any other drivers to develop so he’s it.

      3. @jerejj @redpill Vandoorne is currently the Mercedes F1 reserve driver, and as you also should know, being good has nothing to do with being wingman there. It’s all about willingness to swallow pride and accept whatever you’re told to do as a support driver, and be on one-year contracts. Giving up wins for example. Not many who would accept such a fate, especially from the younger generation. Vandoorne could well be the new Bottas to Russell.

    9. Sorry Günther, we wouldn’t expect you to be knowledgeable of IndyCar rules. If you go to section 14 of the 2021 IndyCar Official Rule Book (available online), there are about 30 different areas that are open for development. Dampers and Ineters, brake ducts, bearings, bushings, gearbox coatings…

      1. Do you also think that Formula 2 and Formula 3 are not standard specification series then, given that several of the items you list are also permitted areas where changes can be made in those series?

        1. Yes , it is not completely spec either. Spec series’ can be far better than capitalist series like F1 because they allow the drivers and engineers to get the most out of a package that is nearly identical to all teams.

        2. Anon, I don’t know how restrictive the rules are in F2 or 3, but there are limited areas of development in IndyCar. Also, with the multitude of setups and component configurations the cars can be quite different at any event.

          1. And how much development work is actually taking place within those areas?

            Even if development is theoretically permitted (under rather strict limits), are teams really trying to develop a new bushing for the brake pedal pivot point or a new front wing adjuster knob? How many of those areas are theoretically open for development, but have such limited development potential that everybody is just buying those parts off the shelf from the list of standard suppliers and can be considered standard specification parts in practice?

            It still seems like a considerable stretch to try and present being able to develop a limited number of areas as justification for IndyCar not being a standard specification series. When the chassis, most of the suspension system and the drivetrain are produced and supplied to a standard specification by third party suppliers, does it make a functional difference in the design if you were using a slightly different front wing adjuster knob?

    10. ‘Won’t resemble a spec series’ is a bad sign for racing. F1 should move away from the old conservative capitalist nature of having the teams with most money win by big amounts. Fans want racing, not one team dominations that are inheritent to F1. Give them equal equipment (can still do it as fastest race series in the world) and let’s see who wins, let them still have ability to develop something’s like power units instead of saving Red Bulls arse with an engine freeze, with Red Bull being perhaps the biggest capitalist company in F1. At the moment F1 has committed to outdated technology so it is not even interesting to see any tiny technical improvements teams make like it used to be in 80s and 90s. The new Tesla plaid and Rimac electric road cars are faster accelerating than F1 cars, where previously F1 was always faster accelerating than any road cars

      1. Coventry Climax
        21st August 2021, 15:44

        What on earth are you watching F1 for then? There’s plenty of spec series to watch if that’s what you’re after.

    11. as long as public noted corporations own the thing and other public noted corps. supply the most important asset (engines), so long we won’t see a proper development race all, core connoisseurs are longing for (multipliers for other more followers);
      Corporations must always opt for safe solutions that minimize all sorts of risks — by definition — no scope for manoeuvring in this regard.

      Whereby in Sports / R&D / Show-Biz it is always and only about MAXIMIZATION of performance.
      (Which suited so well to our dear Formula 1 :) … and still would: investing such remarkable resources, helped by the brightest engineers of the planet, next to NASA — to then NOT make them push all possible boundaries as far as possible, rather instead make them contemplate over ever smaller pieces of the puzzle — this is — that’s so — I mean — AAARRRGGGHHH

      Standard is the enemy of Stunt.
      People prefer to watch, attend and cherish stunts.

      1. the major issue against good sports was the uneven prize pot participation the teams received (which became more and more uneven, apparently);
        When this was aligned, no further action necessary — such major rule changes first must get a chance to materialise, before other major rule changes in the same area are being added (budget cap), diluting the outcome of the first measure

    12. Coventry Climax
      21st August 2021, 16:13

      Closer racing sounds like a good objective.
      But can that objective be met only with a rule book that increasingly diminishes the areas and room for ideas and development?
      With threats that if the close racing suffers, the rules will get even tighter yet? That is -however you turn it- promoting a spec series.
      I’ve said it before and will say it again, to my opinion, the rules should say that a car can only generate so much dirty air. In which units to express this, is something for the almighty, all knowledgeable FIA to decide. How the teams then achieve it, is for them and them only.
      The rulebook should say a car should fit in a box of certain dimensions, and have a maximun weight. Specifying a minimum is against the ‘green’ efficiency idea. Compensate for different driver weights if you will. Specify how much energy the car is allowed to start with, and specify the minimum required strength for the safety cell.
      What the car looks like when it’s taken out of the box, what fuel(s) it uses, where the compensating weight is placed and everything else, is – again – for the teams and them only.

      And then, what is the point of pursuing closer racing when where two drivers as much as wink at each other on track, they immediately get punished by race control?
      The rule book, they say, encourages closer racing, where race control discourages it. That seems rather pointless to me.

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