Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2023

Full review needed of “poor weekend” at Suzuka, admits Perez

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez admits his poor performance at Suzuka has left him with much to reflect on.

In brief

“A poor weekend overall” – Perez

Perez was consistently off the pace of his team mate Max Verstappen during practice and qualified over seven tenths of a second slower than him. In the race he was blamelessly involved in a collision approaching turn one, but after returning to the track picked up a penalty for overtaking under Safety Car conditions. He then caused a collision with Kevin Magnussen which ended his race.

“I think we need to review the whole weekend to understand what happened because it certainly was a poor weekend overall,” said Perez. “So there’s something to understand.”

He indicated he wasn’t entirely happy with the set-up he settled on last weekend. “There are a few directions that we took on Friday that we need to analyse and see what we are able to improve in that regard,” said Perez.

Albon: No car would have survived lap one incident

Alexander Albon says his lap one collision in the Japanese Grand Prix was always likely to prove terminal.

The Williams driver was hit by Valtteri Bottas, who in turn had been squeezed left by Esteban Ocon, as the race began. Although Albon initially tried to continue, he retired on lap 26 because of the damage to his FW45.

“No car is strong enough to survive these kind of crashes,” said Albon. “I had damage picked up from lap one and then that was it really game over. We tried to push on and see if the race would unfold. A bit of a shame. I think maybe points were possible.”

Alonso believes sixth was possible at Suzuka

Fernando Alonso believes Aston Martin did not extract their full potential at the Japanese Grand Prix. He finished eighth after starting tenth, but ran as high as sixth after a strong start. But an early first pit stop on lap 12 dropped Alonso into traffic.

“We had good pace in the race,” said Alonso. “I think we didn’t optimise the strategy, maybe we stopped too soon at the beginning.

“That compromised a little bit the final result, but we were fast and the pace was a little bit better than expected. I think P6 was possible.”

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Comment of the day

Perez’s tangle with Magnussen shows stiffer penalties are needed, says Rom:

But time penalties never sat right with me cause the severity all depends on the car you drive. Perez destroyed Magnussen’s race today but even if Perez had to give the place back after the spin he would still beat Magnussen by about a minute. Perez in theory can easily cut a corner to pass someone, get five seconds added and still finish ahead of them.

Drive through and stop-go are not it either cause not every pitlane is the same length so the time of a penalty changes with every track. I can’t think of a penalty system where the punishment weighs the same for Red Bull as it is does for Haas, but they should really start giving drive throughs for incidents and drivers ruining races like Perez did today.

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On this day in motorsport

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71 comments on “Full review needed of “poor weekend” at Suzuka, admits Perez”

  1. Why do I get the feeling that PER was playing Mario Kart instead of practicing in the simulator last week?

  2. Of the five drivers in the Red Bull paddock, Perez is the likely weakest at this point. How much longer until the move Ricciardo back to the main team and Lawson gets a full time drive at the B-team?

    1. The thing is, it’s not like perez would be weaker than tsunoda or the other drivers at alpha tauri, he’s just not performing in the red bull since after the first few races, so it’s a gamble, who says ricciardo is still capable to do as well as he did until 2018 in a red bull? He only had a couple of races in the alpha tauri.

      And there’s been plenty of drivers that were ok in the midfield and terrible in the red bull, some of which are still doing fine now, like gasly and albon, who says lawson or tsunoda wouldn’t be some of those drivers who can’t perform in the red bull?

      1. Ricciardo can be slow and bring subpar results, but Perez didn’t bring anything but embarassment these weekend. Impossible to be worse than that.

        Ricciardo was never as crash prone as Perez has been these later races. Crashing left and right at Singapore and Japan, using the access road 20 times because he couldn’t complete an overtake at Monza.

        It will be the curious case of the guy who improved from last season (3rd then to 2nd now) while being much, much worse than in 2022.

        1. Meant to reply to you “Agreed, as I said elsewhere:” [see comment below]

        2. Ricciardo was never as crash prone as Perez has been these later races.

          Neither was Perez.
          So what’s changed to cause this? The team know exactly what it is, and they know that basically the same fate awaits anyone else who sits in their second car.

          1. Perez has crashed alot in his F1 career.
            He is one of the few drivers to crash multiple times on a straight in the wet as an unforced error.

            The fate of the driver next to Max is severe introspection and than crumbling self confidence as there are continuously confronted with their own limitations and weaknesses.

            You have to be really mentally strong, flexible or have the right mindset from the start, to be able to cope with what is considered continuous competitive failure.
            You can have the mindset that finishing behind your teammate is good enough, but that’s something a driver has to develop given that you won’t make it F1 with such a mindset in the first place.

          2. Perez has crashed alot in his F1 career.

            So has Verstappen, Hamilton and Schumacher, to name just a few other notable drivers. And some of their incidents were truly embarrassing also. Even to the point of costing championships…

            I think Perez is absolutely mentally ‘strong and flexible enough’. He knows full well how Red Bull operate and what he’s up against (and I don’t just mean the guy in other car) – he’s not new to F1 and neither is the team he drives for or the people who run it.
            It’s exactly why I maintain (along with Perez and numerous other ex-Red Bull drivers) that what the team are doing with the car has much more effect on the second driver than the second driver themselves.
            None of these guys are progressively forgetting how to drive as the season progresses each time. They’ve all proven to be consistent when their machinery gives them confidence.
            But when they are at Red Bull, consistency and performance always increasingly go missing relative to their team mate throughout each season. I fail to understand how people can think this is just a driver problem when it keeps happening over and over in this unique set of circumstances, but never anywhere else.

          3. I fail to understand how people can think this is just a driver problem when it keeps happening over and over in this unique set of circumstances, but never anywhere else.

            It’s a natural consequence of focussing on the WDC, which even manufacturers prioritise because F1 has always had an odd and somewhat incoherent obsession with the driver’s title.

            It is also rather ironic that the only team allowed to run four cars so often demonstrates they only really care about one of them.

          4. Perez was always crash prone. Even his first race win, he won after coming from the back after a tangle in the first lap. At Portugal the same year, he was in a tangle as awell.

            Austria that year, 2nd race, he was chasing Albon quick and then had an silly accident and finished the race with a broken front wing.

            He’s FAR more crash prone than Max, Hamilton, Alonso AND Ricciardo. No doubt about it. A short 5 race stint beginning this season is no representation of his career.

        3. Yes, it’s ofc hard to do worse than perez is doing atm, it’s just that I’d like to see more results from ricciardo in alpha before promoting him, what he’s done there atm is nothing that perez couldn’t have done, same goes for what lawson and tsunoda did.

      2. I think Perez’s future at Red Bull next year will come to how well Ricciardo performs for the remainder of the year. Both Tsunoda and Lawson have now both spent more time in the Torro Rosso than Ricciardo has had at this point. If Ricciardo comes back and outperforms both Tsunoda and Lawson by years end (given by then they’ve all had time to adjust to the car), then I suspect they’ll move him to Red Bull in 2024 and either Perez or Lawson to the Torro Rosso. If Ricciardo doesn’t perform, then he’ll stay at Torro Rosso with Tsunoda. Perez’s seat with then come down to sticking with Perez, or maybe a chance for Lawson. I guess the other possibility is an offer to another driver given contracts are not always set in stone.

  3. As I said elsewhere: Ricciardo will be more comfortable in the RBR than the AT ironically. He loves the same setup as Max and is the only person to ever beat (even if by the thinnest margin possible) let alone match him. He obviously won’t beat him now, but there’s almost zero risk putting him in the RBR. He can’t do worse than Perez and even at the height of his struggles during his second season at McLaren, whose braking and handling were the opposite of what he was used to, he wasn’t nearly the liability Perez has been since the bottom fell out. The number of times Checo has crashed off by himself, taken out other cars and himself or been eliminates in Q1 or Q2 is endless.

    The potential upside to Ricciardo to huge. The downside is minimal.

    1. I disagree. Not a fan of Daniel, not sure what he had done last few years to deserve all the credit given to him. Compare results from Daniel and Checo: you wil have to go far, far back before you see a series of results as Checo has had at the start of this season, and even during this “down” period. Help him get his confidence back, get him accept he is a number 2, not equal in performance with number 1 in the team, and he will be better then anything Daniel can show, except the overdone smiling.

      1. Help him get his confidence back

        This is what Red Bull really need to be doing. They can easily afford to now that the championships are over.
        Perez knows he is number 2, even if he put on a show for the media earlier in the year. It’s undoubtedly written in his contract in one form or another – and even in the unlikely event that it isn’t, there’s nothing he can do as the team treats him as such anyway.
        Just look at how confident and comfortable he was at the beginning of this year. He wasn’t making driving errors all the time and the team was easily taking 1-2’s.

        And then the car changed….

        Red Bull’s attitude of swapping out No.2 drivers regularly doesn’t do any of those drivers any favours in terms of performance. In that sense, they aren’t really a team – they are merely a difficult contractor.
        By comparison – Verstappen is absolutely secure and has a strong relationship with team management, much the same as Hamilton at Mercedes and Schumacher at Ferrari. It’s no wonder they all continually perform/ed well when in such a positive and supportive environment, especially relative to their subordinate and constantly-temporary team-mates.

        1. How can you blame everyone but Perez for his performance? Most of us don’t know the inner working of F1 team. Those who knows (ex-F1 drivers or team members) do not put the blame on RB, but squarely on Perez. You sounded like Perez’s white knight. It’s ok to be a fan, but please don’t get blinded by it.

          1. How can you blame everyone but Perez for his performance?

            I don’t. I blame the Red Bull team primarily for Perez’s performance.
            It’s not even completely deliberate – they just want to win WDC’s with Verstappen, and whoever is in the second seat will never be of equal importance, whether it’s Perez or anyone else. That’s just the team’s philosophy and it’s working for them at the moment.

            Those who knows (ex-F1 drivers or team members) do not put the blame on RB, but squarely on Perez.

            Good for them. We all have our opinions, and some are more well-informed than others. Most Red Bull drivers also note the way the team operates – especially so when they are no longer employed by them.
            They’ve all said the same things about the cars’ development targets, who gains and who loses from them, and why.

            You sounded like Perez’s white knight. It’s ok to be a fan, but please don’t get blinded by it.

            I’m not a fan. I’m just really tired of people pulling the talent card when it’s much deeper than just that.
            Perez is not a bad driver – he is simply no longer a match for the car that Red Bull have provided for him – which exploits Verstappen’s style very well indeed.

        2. @S
          The first part is utter nonsense. You’re making it up to frame a narrative..

          I’ll agree on the second part. Constantly swapping drivers can’t be helpful. In reality RBR probably want what Mercedes achieved with Bottas, a better performing Perez. That would have them clinch the constructors even sooner. But whom to put in the car then?

        3. Pace difference between Max and Checo was there since first race. Checo capitalized Max’s bad luck at the beginning of season. Now he is unable to do so.

          1. Pace difference between Max and Checo was there since first race.

            You might want to double check that. Perez was much closer in performance to Verstappen at the beginning of the season – especially in qualifying, but also over a race duration.
            Even faster on pure driving performance, on occasion.

          2. Verstappen couldn’t challenge in Baku. Yes he had a setback with the pitstop, but he was very close still and Pérez could match him all the way through to the finish. These days he easily pulls twenty seconds clear.

          3. I’m move of a view similar to S here – Perez did not lose his skills completely suddenly, especially since the last 2 races before that he had been pretty decent, even if Singapore he was a bit too “elbows out” for the taste of many (hitting “popular” drivers doesn’t help much).

            We could see how Vettel seemed completely lost after the team started looking for Daniel for the results (and how Webber struggled to get the feeling of being at even footing with Vettel even before that), we saw how hard Daniel found it once it was clear that Verstappen was the new “driver to perform” for Red Bull and we could see how Kvyat, Gasly and Albon struggled to perform at Red Bull, despite showing decent speed and race craft before and/or afterwards.

            The team clearly gets most/best results from focussing their efforts mostly towards a “chosen” driver and their skill at extracting the maximum, even if it means the other driver has a hard time with a car. It works for them, so they won’t change it as long as they find the drivers like Vettel, Ricciardo (for a while) and Verstappen to be that exceptional driver doing magic with an exceptional car in a clearly well oiled machine of a team focussed at winning.

            I am sure that the team WILL look at what went wrong with Perez here, since they will want him to do better than what we got this weekend until the end of next season. And Perez also will want to do so, so both their targets are aligned here. I have little doubt they will find something to make him work at a decent level.

    2. The downside is minimal.

      That may have been true two years ago, but his subsequent performances (including getting dumped by a midfield team) cast some doubts over such claims.

      More problematic is that he showed himself to have limited adaptability, something Räikkönen also struggled with and never overcame.

      If the car doesn’t naturally suit him, a repeat of the Mclaren years is not a great prospect. Conversely, if the car does suit him, he has shown himself, at least back then, to be competitive with Verstappen. The resulting tension, crashes etc. being the reason he left Red Bull in the first place. And this wasn’t a unique situation: Red Bull was very keen to seperate Sainz and Verstappen earlier as well, as their competition caused a lot of acrimonious antics.

    3. As a matter of fact, ricciardo was ranked worse than perez is now his last year at mclaren, and I agreed with ranking him so far back with such a season, while if anything perez on his more decent races is still ranked harshly here, like getting a 4 or stuff, and his mid season placement was questioned by many as too harsh, but even then it was better than ricciardo’s.

      I agree on the red bull point, can hardly be worse than perez, but not that the mclaren one is any better than perez is doing, performance wise, which is what matters in the end.

  4. On CotD: it seems that a lot of people want to see penalties assessed based on the outcome of the incident. Is there any sport where that can happen? To me emotionally that feels good, but not sure how legally or sporting fair it would be. How long after an incident do you want to judge the impact on the outcome?
    The current system has drawbacks, previous systems had also. Not sure how a fair, uniform usable, penalty system should look like.

    And teams will always try to “optimize” their use of the rules, including the penalty system like RB did in this race. For me this was just a smart use of a loophole.

    1. You don’t necessarily need the penalty to be awarded based on the outcome of the incident; you just need the starting point for a penalty to be a bit more appropriate to the kind of incident it is.

      At the moment it seems like the standard penalty is 5 seconds regardless of the type of incident – so for example in Singapore, a race-ending collision got the same penalty as someone accidentally crossing the white line at the pit entry, which does not seem fair. Occasionally the stewards have extended themselves to 10s penalties for collisions but only when there is a high degree of culpability or suspicion of intent (e.g. Silverstone or Jeddah 2021).

      After Russell admitted gaming the system in Monza I argued that penalties should have a “restorative” element – for example adding on an amount of time equivalent to the gap Russell had pulled over Ocon before the penalty was issued. Harder to do this in a case where you’ve crashed into someone and ruined his race, but it’s clear that a mere 5 seconds does not reflect the damage caused.

      1. For me, a penalty should cost more than a driver is likely to gain by breaking the rules. The problem with that is it’s difficult to predict what a driver will gain.

        Take a simple situation like overtaking off track. The standard penalty is 5s, but there are many times when a driver knows he will gain at least 5s. We saw it a while back with Perez, where he chose to stay out rather than give a place back because he knew he could gain more than 5s. Yet 5s could also cost half a dozen places of, for instance, there was a safety car, but this won’t be known until later in the race.

        5 and 10s tine penalties suffer from being applied a long time after the fact. With a drive through or stop/go you must serve it within 3 laps, but by the time a 5s penalty takes effect you can easily have nullified it. It’s really difficult to judge an appropriate penalty in these cases, when there are dozens of laps between giving the penalty and it being applied, and impossible to set a standard penalty which affects drivers consistently.

        Personally, I’d like to see something like a “slow lap” introduced similar to MotoGP, basically a way to add to a drivers lap time within a few laps of the penalty being handed out.

        1. The timelessly indeed doesn’t work. I see a solution in using positions instead of seconds. So the 5 and 10 seconds penalties would become losing 2 and 5 positions in the final classification.

          1. Timelessly = timepenalties

    2. Felipe Massa has entered the chat

  5. Seems that broadcasters are concerned & unhappy at the prospect of the championship been decided in the sprint race on a Saturday and calls have been made to look at making sprint races completely stand alone next year and not award points to the overall world championship.

    The idea of a sprint cup has been put forward with points as well as other prizes on offer for the full grid during sprint races. Under such a format the thinking would be with the sprint not affecting the world championship they would have a bit more freedom to go nuts and focus them purely on creating as much entertainment as possible regardless of how artificial what they do may be.

    1. Seems that broadcasters are concerned & unhappy at the prospect of the championship been decided in the sprint race on a Saturday

      They should be much more concerned and unhappy about it being mathematically finalised in September – and in reality, several months earlier than that.

      calls have been made to look at making sprint races completely stand alone next year and not award points to the overall world championship.

      Those calls were made prior to the introduction of the sprints – but were rejected because it simply wouldn’t work.
      Which team will take sprints seriously if they aren’t part of the championship? There needs to be risk and reward, and outside of the actual championship there is only risk.
      And when the teams aren’t committed, the product will inevitably be poor and fail both in a sporting and commercial sense. As satisfying as that might be to many viewers, it’s not how the F1 business operates.

      If F1 really wanted to make sprints work as a standalone, highly entertaining product – they’d put the F1 drivers in F2 or F3 cars instead.

      1. F2 and F3 aren’t highly entertaining. Barely any one watches them.

        1. They are, but they aren’t. They don’t attract big audiences, but that is true of pretty much all autosport outside of F1 and a few historic events like Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500.

          The product is largely irrelevant, people want to watch F1 because it is F1. Not because of the drivers or because the racing is more exciting, competitive or entertaining.

        2. F2 and F3 aren’t highly entertaining.

          Well, that’s entirely subjective. I think they are often (usually) far more entertaining than F1.
          But then, I think most car racing series are more entertaining than modern F1…

          Barely any one watches them.

          A very, very large number of people watch them – just a lower number than watch F1.

          Regardless, my point was that the ‘star’ F1 drivers competing in equal machinery would indeed be more valuable to most viewers (from a sporting/entertainment viewpoint) than watching a non-championship F1 sprint which counts for nothing and with few, if any, competitors treating it as though it carries great importance.

          1. Entertainment can be objectively measured by viewing figures and engagement. F2 and F3 aren’t interesting for almost all people, and almost all interest is derived from the fact it’s associated with F1.

            Also we’ve had these kind of events with Paris-Bercy. They tend to not survive the long-haul.

          2. Entertainment can be objectively measured by viewing figures and engagement.

            No it can’t. Viewing figures are a measure of engagement, not entertainment. They can not be substituted for each other.
            F2 and F3 will always have less engagement than F1, as they aren’t marketed or positioned with the same importance. They are, by design, referred to as feeder or driver development series – and thus, not as deserving of expensive media time or attention as F1 is. F1 relies on it entirely, and does everything it can to attract it, in fact. Without pimping itself out as it does, F1 would quickly die a commercial death – and has already (subjectively) died a sporting one.

            F2 and F3 aren’t interesting for almost all people, and almost all interest is derived from the fact it’s associated with F1.

            F1 isn’t interesting to the vast majority of people either. Not even a clear majority of motorsports enthusiasts.
            And yes, as I just said – F2 and F3 are positioned as lower tiers in the FIA ladder.
            However, none of these factors has any bearing on their (subjective) entertainment value.

            I know you think everything is inferior to F1 – but don’t get confused. Each series is different and positioned/targeted to achieve different things for, and appeal to, different people.
            And again – F2, F3, Indycar, Super Formula, etc are not, and never will, try to compete with F1 for viewing figures and range of interest points. Only when they do can you attempt to compare them with each other.

          3. No one cares about feeder series, they just don’t have the time if they have families and work commitments. Formula 1 is what it’s about: always has been, always will be.

            This site was so much better when it was honest about that and was named F1Fanatic.

            It’s gone downhill since it’s been Racefans, and I’m struggling to justify the subscription cost, even as good value as it is.

          4. Lots of people make time to watch these series – some because of the relationship to F1, and some regardless of it.
            They are perfectly valid and interesting racing series in their own right – and regularly more exciting and entertaining than F1, in no small part because they don’t suffer from many of F1’s major negative aspects…

            But then, you wouldn’t know that if you don’t watch them, would you….

        3. I always watch F2 and F3 but early in the season you see the greeness of the drivers but the second part of the season is great to watch…

      2. They should be much more concerned and unhappy about it being mathematically finalised in September – and in reality, several months earlier than that.

        They no doubt are. It was their complaining in 2013 that pushed F1 to introduce double point races (eventually negotiated down to one) at the end of the season.

    2. The prospect of the championship being decided in a sprint race was always there from the beginning, and naturally, the more sprint races you have and the more points you award for them, the more likely it becomes. If the broadcasters have only just noticed this possibility in a format they’ve enthusiastically championed over the last three years, then they only have themselves to blame frankly.

      A standalone championship is unlikely to work as the teams would likely take a conservative approach to the event in the same way they did when sprints set the grid for the main race. Additionally you may end up reopening cost cap discussions which is something the FIA presumably wants to avoid.

      It is increasingly clear that sprint races as a concept are unworkable and the only viable solution is to scrap them and collectively memory-hole them so we can all pretend they never happened.

      1. Yeah, the prospect has been there literally since the very first time they brought up sprint races and giving points for them (while NOT giving points for them would make them completely pointless for the teams to bother with seriously competing off course)

      2. @red-andy The prospect of it been decided in a sprint was always there but it was always naively hoped that the 2022 regulations would ensure that championships would be close enough that it wouldn’t happen. And in fact that was always the narrative Liberty pushed to the broadcast partners.

        Incidently the reason it’s something broadcasters are making a fuss over now is because there are many broadcasters who don’t (Or can’t) air the sprint race live & many who only have the rights to air it as a highlights program packaged with Friday qualifying (Channel 4 in the UK for example).

        Additionally something else basically all broadcasters have seen is that the sprint races aren’t a ratings or advertiser draw. Fewer people watch the sprint races than usually watch the standard qualifying session in that slot. It was again hoped that the sprint race would bring in a higher audience so some broadcasters were initially not so concerned about the prospect of a Saturday title decider, But with them drawing a smaller audience (The Sprint audience has actually been going down since the first year they were introduced which is why they keep altering the format to maintain interest) the championship decider happening in one has become significantly less appealing to them & advertisers.

    3. A Sprint Cup Championships seems tacky if you ask me. Sprints are bad don’t get me wrong, but a standalone situation is worse. That’s not accounting for the fact in the age of restricted parts and budget caps you can’t fully separate a Sprint from a Grand Prix. They are interconnected. You smash a gearbox in a sprint it has a material effect on the Grand Prix.

      The worse thing about Sprints is they have opened the Pandora’s Box. Now any idea isn’t off the table by default. Why not reverse grids? Why not 3 heats and a final? Why not BoP?

      1. Why not reverse grids? Why not 3 heats and a final? Why not BoP?

        Now we’re talking! :)
        All of these idea do absolutely increase the sprints entertainment value.

        1. … while destroying the value of the Grand Prix and F1 brand as a whole.

          1. Don’t think so.
            The bits the traditionalists and protectionists covet so enthusiastically would remain completely intact – plus there would be other points of interest for the broadening audience.

            F1’s brand value directly relates to how many people consume and engage with it. The broader and more diverse F1 itself is, the broader and more diverse that engagement can be.

            As for the value of individual GP’s – well, that’s subjective. What I think their value is isn’t what you think their value is, I’d bet. Equally, what affects their value to me may not be what affects the value to you.

          2. @S
            Well I’m inclined to be on the side of the fence with @Alan Dove
            I think it does devaluate Grands Prix because it uses the same cars, same everything.. but it’s not the same. You could argue it would be easy to differentiate for ‘us as fans’ but we would have to realize we’re not normal fans. I think we’re outnumbered by DTS fans, if we would have to label them (darn casuals ;-P). Also, there is a point where the fans will switch off just because it will become too much. For some 24 is already over the limit. Then do 2 races every weekend. I already dislike the sprint, there is no way I’m investing time to watch 48 races.. For me that would be a huge devaluation.

            Having said that, dropping the Sprint but adding other engaging content might achieve both targets. More action for fans to engage with and still leave Grands Prix alone (and their value). If they kill off the Sprint, but add a field of BMW M1 Procars for them to have a go in, I’d absolutely watch that. That would cut practice times like many seem to like (I’m not a fan of less testing but hey) and give more track action at the same time.

            I also like the karting events we used to have at Bercy…

          3. I already dislike the sprint, there is no way I’m investing time to watch 48 races.. For me that would be a huge devaluation.

            Then don’t watch the sprints…. Do you watch practice sessions?
            It’s not twice as many races by time, anyway. Sprints take much less time than a 1 hour practice session, so you’d actually be less burdened…
            For me, the value rises when more of each event’s track time is spent in competition rather than in practice. Audience numbers at events seem to correlate with my preference, given that race days are the most popular by an order of magnitude over non-competitive days and even mixed (practice/qualifying) days… People want to see racing, because that’s the whole point of a racing series.

            If they kill off the Sprint, but add a field of BMW M1 Procars for them to have a go in, I’d absolutely watch that.

            Those days are long gone.

          4. @S
            I begrudgingly watch the Sprint because it hands out real points. I prefer a normal weekend because I like Quali on Saturday and a GP on Sunday. I read up on each practice session, mostly because I can’t watch action on Friday. Which is a gripe because on Sprint weekends I miss Quali. So for me the time spent argument does not hold up. Watching practice sessions is not the same because it does not give the same action of course. So that matches what you want since you say that for you the value increases with competitive track action.
            Question: where is your cut off point? How many races and sprints could there be until the value starts to go down in your view?
            Personally for my taste 20 normal GP weekends seems optimal, no sprints.

            Those days are long gone.

            Well yes, but what I’m trying to say is for me that could be a new hook. That would make me watch more content without the value of Grands Prix going down. I’m sure someone could think of a 1 car make like in those days and revive the idea..

          5. Question: where is your cut off point? How many races and sprints could there be until the value starts to go down in your view?

            For me, it depends entirely on the quality. 20 boring, predictable weekends are 20 too many, while 40 excellent (sprint or not) weekends wouldn’t be enough.
            And no matter what, I’ll always place a higher value on competitive sessions than non-competitive sessions – for hopefully obvious reasons.

          6. @S
            I would like to explicitly state it is a fine opinion to have (have to do that these days) but I do feel you’re an outlier with that. I think for most people the optimum is significantly less than 40+ weekends with Grands Prix and Sprints.

          7. That’s probably true – but then a lot of F1 viewers probably don’t consider quality such an important factor (a deal-breaker) in regard to their commitment to watching F1. They just watch it anyway, and then complain about the quality afterwards.

            I can honestly say I’ve never looked forward to a season of any motorsports series ending on the basis of there being too much of it.
            40 was just a random number, of course – but you get my point. I don’t think there is ‘too much of a good thing’ in this context – but far too often there is too much of a bad thing.

    4. Seems that broadcasters are concerned & unhappy at the prospect of the championship been decided in the sprint race on a Saturday

      It’s a bit myopic to complain (or boost your own Tweet) about a potential WDC decider during the next Sprint race.
      Had there been no Sprint races, or points at those events, then the WDC would’ve been decided in Japan.

      I do however support to have a stand-alone Sprint Cup, as long as FIA finds a formula in which teams get compensated fairly for additional component usage (e.g. extra PU after X racing KMs).
      In other sports (e.g. football) it seems to work well that teams fight for different championships within one season.

      PS I would also support having sub-championships for the AustralAsian, European, Americas, Desert races, and maybe even for street races and historic circuits.

      1. “In other sports (e.g. football) it seems to work well that teams fight for different championships within one season.”

        I wouldn’t say that’s a fair equivalence. The Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League are three distinct events because of the qualification criteria. FA Cup is for all clubs down to Level 9. Champions league is top European Teams and then the Premier League or whatever league your in. So there’s a real differential in the ways those trophies are structured from a qualification perspective. F1 can’t emulate this because there’s just 10 teams on the planet.

        The Sprint Cup would be like having a 5 a-side game on Saturday then the main match on Sunday and a separate league table. Football fans, naturally, would think that’s a bit silly.

        To emulate other sports the FIA would need to open F1 up to vastly more potential teams. The era of non-championship events is long behind us as well in F1.

  6. some racing fan
    25th September 2023, 6:43

    “Poor weekend” is unfortunately the theme of Perez’s season this year. He has not gelled well with RB19

    1. Only since about May. He messed up qualifying in Australia, but he also won races and took poles.

      Perhaps that allegedly ‘enormous’ development penalty Red Bull has because of their rule breaking ways has actually had some effect… Unfortunately for F1 it seems it affected only one of Red Bull’s cars.

  7. What a long pit stop.

    COTD: I agree in principle that penalties should be more fitting for the offense, & drive-throughs & stop-and-gos among penalty options as they were in the past for more flexibility.
    Regarding them, I’d also add that some tracks have 60 km/h as the speed limit rather than the usual 80, so this factor also impacts how effective those are on a given circuit.

    1. New week, #2 and #7 already…

  8. Good to see Norris highlight the detrimental effect these poor tyres have on the racing. It’s high time for a change.

    1. Pity he didn’t highlight how much the cars have a detrimental effect on the racing and what challenges they present to their tyre requirements…
      Heavy, high downforce cars will never get tyres like people think they want in F1.

      1. “It’s because of the tyres, but that’s because the cars are so heavy you have to make a tyre like this. It’s not to do with Pirelli. Making a tyre that has to deal with the weight of these cars, the power of these cars, the downforce of these cars is a pretty much impossible task. The main thing is the cars need to be made lighter again and things would come back to life.”

        A direct quote from the interview.

      2. Prototypes are heavier still and generate plenty of downforce.

        Michelin makes tyres for them that race very well, last very well, and don’t need to be excessively managed. Pretty much every former F1 driver who races these raves about them.

        Pirelli knows how to fix it. They are one of the world’s premier manufacturers. But F1 is addicted to pre-warmed, 80km lasting, ultra soft rubber.

        1. Prototypes are heavier still and generate plenty of downforce.

          That’s true, but they don’t share F1’s pedantry in regard to having to go ever faster and break records all the time.
          Nor do they criticise and reject tyres that are more durable simply because they “aren’t fast enough” and/or “don’t feel nice enough” to drive on.

          Of course, what endurance racing series want/need in a tyre and what F1 want/need are very different things – not just from a technical standpoint but also from a holistic sporting/entertainment/business standpoint.

  9. We need to review what happened? Please…

    I understand many of Perez’s comments about him not clicking with the car anymore, how it developed into something he has no confidence in, a car he struggles to drive at Max’s pace.

    But how can you explain those two incidents with Albon in Singapore Magnussen here at Suzuka? he could’ve been driving a rocketship tailor made for him and those were still two very clear brainfart moments. Magnussen’s one specially, it was a shocking piece of driving. The kind of move you expect from a pay driver in the lower end of Formula 2.

    There’s nothing to review there. I like Perez but please, just put your hand up and admit you’re struggling in more ways than just not connecting with the car.

    It’s very difficult to accept him being second in the drivers championship. I really hope Hamilton can catch him before the end of the season.

    1. Funny part is that Baku that race Max unlocked the car. Max said he was wondering why Perez was so fast with that car and he couldn’t get the car working but at the end of Baku it came to him and the rest is history.

      1. @macleod
        Perez has said the same (on multiple occasions). A big part of the performance gap comes from Verstappen simply improving a lot. But I also believe it’s not the complete story. It does not explain silly mistakes like Monaco Q1 and the latest Magnussen wheel tap. Those were mental. In the sense that after Miami I feel Perez wanted to set things right and overcooked it. And on Suzuka, he wanted to rush past to make up for him being out of position yet again… making it worse.
        I’m sure RBR employ psychologists?

  10. Perez was never this bad. He is defeated as a driver. The team have messed with his head.

  11. Honestly, Lawson in for Perez when Daniel returns to AT. Might as well give the young guy a feel for the car before the season ends, they’re wrapped up the Constructors’ trophy so nothing to lose on Red Bull’s side.

    1. Red Bull rushed drivers like Kvyat, Gasly and Albon in that second Red Bull seat. That didn’t work out for them.

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