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Big week ahead for F1 in Monaco
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Dec 2009   |  9:11 pm GMT  |  87 comments

The world of motorsport is gathering this week in Monaco for a series of meetings culminating in the World Motor Sport Council on Friday and the gala World Championship presentations on Friday night.

There are a number of items on the agenda at key meetings for F1 teams and stakeholders this week, the first with Jean Todt as president of the FIA.

The F1 commission is meeting for the first time in four years and although it is unlikely to agree any significant new measures for next year, because teams would have to agree unanimously, it looks like there could be some interesting refinements of how the race and qualifying will be run and there could be some votes on measures for 2011, which only require a majority. There is talk that some in season testing may be voted back in 2011, as the current situation has proved to be difficult for teams, particularly with bringing on young drivers.

With regard to what can be done about 2010, there has been a lot of dialogue recently among the stakeholders in F1 about how to improve the show and to get the most out of the new rules package. There are a number of concerns at large at the moment. First is the feeling among many in the F1 community that the racing without refuelling could be quite dull, so there are many suggestions as to how that could be rectificed. One possibility is to increase the minimum number of mandatory pit stops from one to two, which would mix things up a little more. Drivers will still have to use two types of tyre in the race, as this year, but that would tend to lead to one stop races, unless the soft tyre was very marginal.

There have been extensive discussions on how to perfect qualifying in the no refuelling era; Bernie Ecclestone proposed a lottery system, which was rejected. At present it looks like it will stay with the same three part format as last year, except that the final session will be run on low fuel, like the first two. Again, there are studies as to whether this can be fine tuned to add variety.

As it stands it will have the effect of putting the fastest car at the front and there would be no reason why that car should lose the race, barring a retirement. If one of the two tyre choices was quiet marginal on wear this would increase the importance of tyre preservation, which could spice things up a bit.

Hard on the heels of the confirmation of rescue of the British Grand Prix, in which Todt is believed to have played a significant role behind the scenes, the 2010 calendar will be confirmed. If all the venues are confirmed there will be 19 races including a new race in South Korea and a return to Montreal.

British Grand Prix organisers announced today that they had sold just under 6,500 tickets, worth more than £1.2 million pounds in less than 24 hours for the race on 11 July.

Meanwhile in Monaco for the next two days there will be the Motor Sport Business Forum which I am chairing and from which I will post with news and insights. First up tomorrow morning is Lotus boss Tony Fernandes, then it’s Gerard Lopez, one of the bidders to buy the Renault F1 team.

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  1. Tom - Australia says:

    Hey, i posted this idea in an older thread but thought it might be more relevant here.

    As we all know – KERS v KERS was a bit of a non event in 2009. The systems basically counteracted one another.

    My idea to increase overtaking and “racing” in general;

    KERS becomes mandatory. A standard system is developed which all cars run.

    The energy storage capacity of the system is increased by say 3 times but the resetting of KERS only occurs after every 3 laps (instead of the current 1 lap reset). This would add a lot more guess work as to when the trailing car is actually going to use KERS. Thw whole concept of KERS would become much more dynamic.

    A trailing car may use it’s full quota of KERS on the first lap of a three lap sequence, make the pass and then the other car still has 2 laps to get back in front before the “reset”.

    What is achieved is short term cycles where some cars have a short term advantage over others, increasing the likelyhood of a passing move being made.

    1. ElChiva says:

      therefore all drivers will use the full bang for your buck in the run for turn 1, as with no refuelling and overtaking almost impossible (with current aero and circuits),track position at turn 1 is prime real estate..

      add heavy fuel load and cold hard tyres= carnage

    2. John F says:

      KERS has a push-to-pass gimmick has no place in F1 imho.

      KERS as part of a greener F1 with the new engine formula (as planned for 2013) is already mandated. How they apply this system may not be known at the moment, but to contribute to fuel efficiency (which is the only real meaningful application for KERS), it should not be left to the driver when to employ it, but be permanently enabled.

    3. Gabriel says:

      I like that idea. One problem I can see is explaining it on TV. Also would the slower car in front then not just ration KERS for the bits of the track for which it is likely to get overtaken? Would need a bit of trialling – a computer game seems like the perfect place!

  2. Imoldgreggg says:

    So far I have been impressed with Todt. I know it hasn’t been long but get the impression we would have already heard Mosley’s crass opinion on the recent issues with Toyota and Renault.

    While on that subject, I am on a factory tour of Renault F1 tomorrow, could be interesting, hope it’s not too awkward!

    1. James Allen says:

      Enjoy – you won’t see electronics genius Tad Czapski there, he’s on gardening leave. I think he may be on his way to Mercedes to be reunited with Ross Brawn

  3. Chris says:

    It was the case for many years that the “fastest car” qualified first. But if they won every time, then Senna would have won at least 65 races, and he hasn’t!

    There’s no need to keep tinkering with qualifying. What we have now is brilliant, the most exciting part of the race weekend, and it should not be changed. Especially now that Q3 is on low fuel, what exactly is wrong with it?

    1. Dale says:

      Hear hear, leave it as is as it will male pole mean something again as it did in Senna’s days where the pole sitter was simply the fastest, so what’s wrong with that :?:
      Answer, Nothing :!: :)

      1. Richard Mee says:

        The cars were way more likely to go bang back then though weren’t they… how many DNF’s from pole were there due to poor reliability vs modern F1? I agree with the article that this current format coupled with bomb-proof engines has the potential to be a real snore-fest – heavy fuel loads or not.

        By definition, barring pit balls-ups, reliability issues (rare) or bad weather every race could resemble an uncoiling spring.

        If does need something to mix it up a bit.

        I keep coming back to the prospect of working a revers grid into the racing weekend somewhere – even if that means 2 x shorter races

  4. the feeling among many in the F1 community that the racing without refuelling could be quite dull

    Perhaps they should wait and see how it turns out before passing judgement too hastily? F1 was better before refuelling.

    One possibility is to increase the minimum number of mandatory pit stops from one to two, which would mix things up a little more.

    Terrible idea – they should be getting rid of mandatory pit stops, not adding more of them. It’s hardly made DTM racing more exciting has it?

    It’s easy to come up with artificial nonsense like this which has no place in F1. They need to get down to the serious question of how can the cars be improved so they can follow each other more closely.

    1. Hans joergen Stroem says:

      there was one f1 engineer who it was just as much if more the layout of the tracks that was the problem when it comes to overtaking. they shold discuss that issue too in monaco

    2. tony presser says:

      i agree on all points Keith.

    3. Dale says:

      I agree. There was nothing wrong with either the qualifying or racing in Senna’s days.
      Looking after one’s is all [part of the skill set the top F1 drivers can exploit :!:
      Racing should be about that and all this interfering with two compound tyres etc is, in my opinion what spoils and slants a race.
      The winner should be the most skilful and fastest driver, however he chooses to to be so :0

      1. Ben G says:

        in the Senna days, though, the cars weren’t so finely designed as to make overtaking all but impossible. Now, we’re stuck in a rut with cars that cannot run behind each other closely, and with tracks that are good for Bernie’s close-up shots of the sponsors, but not much else.

        So I suspect we will regret losing refuelling next year. But yes, let’s wait and see….

    4. Ohm says:

      I agree too. If we look at refuelling races, sometimes the thrill is when some front runners are doing 3-stops and some are doing 2-stops hence the 3-stops will have to try to pass the 2-stops at some point. The same could happen with 2-stops and 1-stop (but usually 1-stop cars are further back in the grid so we don’t see this often). So if we open up the possibility to no-stop, then we also get 1-stop vs no-stop too so there should be more chances for overtaking!

      As for qualifying, I think the current system is already fine. It will be exciting and justified to see the fastest car on pole. And yes they should change the regulations even more so the cars can follow much easier and not wait until another couple of years just for the sake of ‘stability’. Look at what changing the rules has done for 2009 :) Plus stop going to boring race tracks!

      With regards to lack of re-fuelling, yes I think it will be less fascinating to see how strategies work out but I talked to a pre-refuelling F1 fan and he said back then it was about the best driver and the best car and nothing to do with the best strategy or the best computers. Well..I have to say I get his point!

      Now, this is one thing I think they should think about. Spa is considered one of the best if not the best circuit in the world but yet the race is only 1:30hrs where Singapore lasted like 1:55hrs. Why isn’t this the same? Or why don’t we reduce race time for boring races like Singapore or Valencia and increase time for circuits like Spa?

    5. Renn Sport says:

      Yes I also agree with Keith.

      Whats the darn point in banning refuelling and then putting in rules to make the cars stop again! I had thought they were trying to improve efficiency but also stopping passing in the pits. We need to see it more on track.

    6. Kakashi says:

      good point.
      I think there is a need to set the priority right!!!
      overtaking should take utmost priority but not in a way to advantage/disadvantage half of the grid ( recalling last years DDD ruling ). I like the idea of making cars able to follow closely due to the fact that cars are sensitive to dirty air and the aero efficiency declines… perhaps room for innovation for some engineers out there to increase efficiency while the car is in dirty air ( i know its easier said then done but worth a thought )??

    7. FaithHealer1 says:

      I think it’s also easy to look back nostalgically at the ‘good old days’ of Senna, Prost et al, but the races, to be fair, weren’t as spectacular as nostalgia makes them seem. Personally I feel you can pick out almost any aspect of F1 at the moment and say it has no place in the sport. I reckon that the strain the tyres will be put under over a whole race distance with heavier cars and Bridgestone’s limited opportunities to test and develop them make pit stops almost essential. Strategy has now become commonplace in modern F1 and can indeed help spice up races – Valencia was more exciting this year due to the Brawn strategy calls. It’s quite easy to say there was nothing wrong with the qualifying or racing in Senna’s days, but that glosses over the fatalities and injuries that came with racing simpler, more ‘human’ cars. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see purer, rawer racing and I agree that cars should be looked at in order to help them follow more easily, just like in the old days, but that implies more homogenisation of cars which – some would argue – has no place in F1. You’ll never get back to the old days because too many aspects are incompatible with F1 now.

  5. Paul Mc says:

    If last season showed us anything it is that in season testing must return. Even if it for extenuating circumstances such as driver injury and driver replacement in season as well as youth development. You can’t put newbies straight into the middle of an F1 season without preparation. It’s not safe.

    I’m against no refueling during races it will be incredibly duller to watch no matter what the engine or tyre specifications are.

    Am I the only one who misses the old 12 lap qualifying? I don’t like the current format it’s just needless fuel burning. Sure we had occasions under the old format where the track would be empty for half an hour but it’s way more exciting than what we have now…in my opinion at least

    1. ElChiva says:

      is it not safe to put rookies behind an F1 wheel?

      lots of rookies this season, how many deaths?

      this is not sparta this is F1 :(

    2. Ross Dixon says:

      I loved the 12 lap old format. They did less laps so it was “greener” and low fuel. The only reason it was changed was due to tv not having anything to show in the first 20 mins. However easy fix….. state that each car must complete a lap in the first 20 mins! The build up was amazing with 4 fast laps all counting rather than the q1 q2 q3 we have now. I like the modern system but the old one was the best.

      1. Paul Mc says:

        Just to add there is also much more emphasis on the driver in the old 12 lap format. If a driver ruins a couple of runs or gets stuck in traffic they really have only one lap to put in the time. I remember DC never really got to grips with a single lap run for some reason.

        I often remember during the Schumi v Mika days the qualifying would always go down to the last run and the last lap. Great excitement! Plus you actually get to see the lap on TV where as now you can easily miss the pole lap.

      2. Renn Sport says:

        Hmmmn… you have a point Ross. However I for one like the qualifying as it is now. Much more entertaining.

        I think they should to Q1 and Q2 on fumes and then Q3 on race fuel then we’ll see some exciting track moments.

        Perhaps.

    3. Dale says:

      McLaren shown us all what can be done without testing so I’m not so sure it’s needed :?

    4. Steve Micklethwaite says:

      I completely agree. The old 12 lap qualifying was far better than the current format which I find quite dull. As you say the apparent problem under the old format was where the track would be empty for half an hour, simple solution make everyone have one flying lap every 15 minutes. Like you say it was also “greener” so surely this old format should be considered going forward.

  6. george debenham says:

    I find your comments on qualifying and grid format interesting. I can see that mixing the grid up, so the fastest car/driver combination is not always in pole position, could certainly in theory add to the excitement and show who can ‘drive’ to the win and the flag. This does seem to work to a certain extent in touring car series. However we still have the problem at the moment with so many of the current circuits presenting a problem for overtaking and as more street circuits are added to the calender each year the problem will only increase. We have seen so many times this year a car reeling in the car in front at a considerable pace only to end up mired behind it until the next pitstop, the end of the race or with them both in the gravel.
    I would love to see more skillful overtaking but until cars rely more on mechanical grip I do not believe we will see it on the majority of circuits, so until that time I would sooner see the fastest driver lead from start to finish than see him being penalised for being the fastest. I have watched f1 racing since 1960 and cannot remember a season when there has not been discontent about some form of the regs. or spectacle. The purists watch whatever, the problems come in catering for the casual sports viewer and trying to create a gasp a minute spectacle.

  7. Micheál says:

    It’s artifical, and I wasn’t a fan of it this year, but I think if Bridgestone brought two very different tyres to each Grand Prix it would help spice up the non-refuelling racing. Some drivers might be able to get a lot more out of an ultra soft tyre and their might be bigger speed differentials between differing driver/tyre combinations that could lead to overtaking. Or traffic jams I suppose!

    James, any word on who will replace Bridgestone as a tyre supplier in 2011? Are the FIA still committed to a one-tyre series? Everything in F1 seems to be getting so homogenous lately; I’d love a bit of variety and competition between two rival tyre manufacturers!

    1. Phil says:

      +1 for your comment.

      I was going to mention something similar on speed differentials – I think that point seems to be consistently overlooked. At different times of the race there should be bigger differences between cars according to the state of the tires at any point in time.

      Bigger differences between cars should of course mean *more* overtaking, not less. And, of course how ‘overtaking’ in the pits is interesting vs real overtaking, I don’t get.

      Virtually all of the things mentioned by James fill me with dread. I really hope they give the new format a chance, and don’t introduce changes which really mess with the spirit of F1 (i.e. most anything Bernie comes up with nowadays – e.g. gold medals.. yuck!)

  8. Gord says:

    What if they changed the rules, so teams don’t have to use both compounds during a race, which opens up the possibility of not pitting at all ?

    1. ElChiva says:

      depends on how hard bridgestone tyres are and how difficult to heat up they are but no refuelling and no pitstops means they can call it a day on saturday

  9. michael grievsob says:

    The problem with f1 is the technology. Gear changes 50 times quicker than you can blink, the tyre technology. CFD makes the cars all so similiar in performance. All engines limited in revs and are so close. In the “good old days” all the cars were so different and the races were exciting. This is what needs to be changed.

    I’m not sure how people would feel though. A lot of people would say f1 is about the technology. For me it’s not. It’s about the best drivers in tge world. Give them back manual gears with a foot clutch

    1. ElChiva says:

      AND scrap the rulebook and give designers a blank sheet of paper, just specify safety measures and lets race, maybe that would get the manufacturers back in the tarmac

    2. Dale says:

      Yep, Thanks to Mosley all the cars are way too much alike.
      F1 should be free to go in whatever direction each designer wanted, bring back innovation and in so doing it’ll generate more interest for us all as well as pushing the boundaries of engineering no how :)

    3. American_F1_Fan says:

      IMHO, what is needed is two-fold. Scrap 90% of the technical regs as they stand today (except safety related, of course) in combination with a budget cap.

      No regs with no budget cap usually leads to the big money teams with big R&D budgets at the front of the pack, with lots of backrunners because they simply don’t have the funds to be competitive.

      With a budget cap and vastly reduced regs, we can get back to innovative (non-homogeneous) cars from all teams and some truly exciting racing! And not just from the big money teams either.

  10. Flavio Maciel says:

    Hi James,
    Well, I don’t think it will be any different than any other year in a sense that the better cars will always be at the front !!!

    1. Steve Micklethwaite says:

      I think that is the whole point! This is a sport and the best team/driver should win.

  11. Nick F says:

    that qualifying format isn’t going to work too well. where’s the drama moving from Q2 to Q3? Q2 has defined who is the fastest guy on low fuel, and then Q3 happens and on average across the season we will get the same result again. obviously a driver can make a mistake and maximize a lap and so there will be variation….but how much though? the cars were so close this year, but that isn’t normal.

    I don’t think the qualifying format is broken so why fix it? they should stick with race fuel for Q3. If they are not going to do that they have to find a way to differentiate between Q2 and Q3.

    1. FaithHealer1 says:

      Qualifying in Q3 with a whole race’s worth of fuel on board? Doesn’t seem like particularly practical idea to me. And while the fuel-adjusted pole stuff was quite interesting, it wasn’t exactly a highlight of the weekend for me. I’m personally looking forward to seeing some really superhuman laps for pole this year, not decided largely by how much fuel someone’s carrying.

    2. john g says:

      with no re-fuelling, everyone will need similar amounts of fuel to complete the race. there is little point of having everyone qualify on the same heavy fuel load and setting slow qualifying laps, when they could actually set decent Q3 lap times on fresh tyres and minimum fuel when it really matters.

  12. Mark says:

    HI James – I’m concerned that everyone is worried about dull racing in 2010 due to the refuelling ban. Why can’t they bring back multiple tyre compounds which can be used by drivers at any point during the weekend similar to the 80′s & 90′s with A’s B’s C’s & D’s?

    Many memorable races were had where a driver pitted for fresh rubber in order to chase down a rival who did not intend to stop for tyres. Teams would be able to adapt their cars mid race and we might even have closer racing.

    1. ElChiva says:

      common sense is a rare gift in this bussiness

      +1

    2. Dale says:

      [quote]Many memorable races were had where a driver pitted for fresh rubber in order to chase down a rival who did not intend to stop for tyres. Teams would be able to adapt their cars mid race and we might even have closer racing.[/quote]

      What, how dare you suggest anything before Mosley was better ;):lol:

  13. ElChiva says:

    Is it not too late to change 2010 rules? The same happened with Bernie and his medals last year and boy that was embarrasing for the sport!!!

    Lottery system? please we have the safety car for that.

    on the other hand, compulsory minimum 2 stop strategy paired with marginaly softer compound tyres cancel each other, and i dont see the benefit of each alone.

    Fastest car with low fuel in P1? not so bad but in most races where is difficult to overtake they might as well hand out the points on Saturday. Trulli train comes to mind…

    I say scrap the regulations, bring turbos (really big ones with no engine allocation, at the end of the day I think it is more xpensive to optimize every single part of the motor for reliability than to simply build twice as many engines… big green swindle), increase safety (thicker shell around the driver), free aero at the front and impose an standard difuser at the back.

    And let the best team/driver combination win

  14. ElChiva says:

    BTW what happened with Brawns submmital of a dodgy mobile rear wing yesterday? Did it get approved hence no news?

  15. Bob Q says:

    Well, I can only hope there are no silly rules to “spice up” qualifying. I have been waiting quite a while for low fuel qualifying.

    I’m not thrilled about no refueling, or the two compound rule. Since they are going no refueling, I’d be inclined to have only one compound for each race but make sure it is soft enough that most would opt for two stopper. As it is now, everyne will run the soft tire at the same time- then end of the race when the car is light.

  16. Jason C says:

    19 races is good news, as is Silverstone’s restoration to the calendar.

    I really don’t understand the idea behind the no refuelling rule. It certainly is bound to make things duller, so why do it?

    Something I’d like to see changed though is the way the champion receives his trophy. This should not be behind closed doors; it should be in public at either the last race of the season or perhaps where the champion effectively wins (i.e. Brazil this year).

    Do you think you’ll find out any more about which drivers will be filling the empty seats?

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s a very good point, Jason, about the champion trophy

      1. Mark says:

        +1 on that… The only way you get to see the champion crowned is if they happen to be on the podium at the race the clinch the championship.

      2. Dale says:

        It should be awarded on the rostrum handed over at the last race as until then the previous world champion is world champion that way the former champion is champion for a whole year which is his right :!:

      3. Momo says:

        Indeed. It’d also be a nice touch to see it handed over by the former champion. That allows him to bow out, and graciously hand over the trophy. It’s also a darn sight better than having it handed over by some local mayor or sponsor who nobody knows or cares about.
        It’d certainly be interesting to have seen Lewis handing over his trophy to Jenson on the podium at Singapore.

      4. Neil Williams says:

        It happens in American racing although with the race winning ceremony and then a separate champion ceremony in IRL, Dario Franchitti was given his trophy in front of a near empty grandstand. No amount of ceremonial confetti makes up for that loss of atmosphere!

        With the last two crowned F1 champions not being on the podium in the race they won the title maybe there is a case for them being allowed up to at least take the plaudits of the crowd?

    2. ElChiva says:

      on the other hand i dont care who is the WDC and where, I will watch every single race and comentators and TV make the champion clear anyway

  17. Dave P says:

    Softening the compounds will not work… all that will happen is rubber will be shed.. more marbles more crashes… or the majority of cars will have problems leading to a dull race… they should not tinker in this area…

    1. Jason C says:

      More marbles means only one narrow racing line that drivers dare not stray from. Which means no overtaking.

  18. Niko says:

    I hear that argument about qualifying a lot James, but surely conditions can change enough from day to day to mix things up? And then there’s the cars themselves – the Red Bulls were fastest over a single lap in Hungary but fell off the cliff when it came to the race.

    1. Dale says:

      You’ll also never have one car which is fastest on all tracks so whatever there will always be differences over a season.
      It doesn’t need spicing up, set F1 free and it’ll provide the entertainment we all want:!:

  19. Matt says:

    Two mandatory pit stops – a terrible idea. Just as it looks as if we are getting rid of one artificial gimmick (fuel in qualifying) then something else is proposed. Keep it pure – even at the risk of more boring races.

    Don’t think we would be having this debate if f1 wasn’t graviting toward a spec series. Variety is what keeps races interesting.

  20. johnpierrer rivera says:

    james

    did i not hear somewhere that re-fueling was brought back to spice up the racing. isn’t that what it has done in regards to different fuel strategies, some cars qualify light and get pole, some cars take on more fuel, but go a longer stint. it was always interesting to follow-up saturday qualifying with a quick check of your site, or others to see the declared fuel and then speculate on how everything would shake out for sunday. the occasional re-fueling mis-hap, every once in a while a fire, and when a team and driver work in perfect harmony to lay-down 2-3 quick laps, have an immaculate p/s and gain a spot for a podium or the lead. this combination produced many exciting and nail biting moments from the micheal and mika days to this year as well. can you make light of why the FIA behaves this way.

    1. StefMeister says:

      Refueling was brought back to spice up the racing, it was suggested by Bernie back in 1993 based off the Williams dominance of 1992 & 1993, However for passing it destroyed the racing.

      There are some overtaking statistics I’ve seen which show that the number of on track passes went down by over 100 from 1993 to 1994 (The time refueling was brought back) & its never gone back up, its continued going down.

      Prior to refueling from 1983 to 1993 the lowest number of on track overtakes in a year was 392 in 1993, From 1994 to 2009 when we had refueling the highest number of passes in a year has been 303 in 2003, The lowest has been 186 in 1996.

      I was watching F1 prior to refueling & found the races to be a lot more intresting & going back & watching some older races recently has just reinforced the idea that refueling badly damaged the racing by taking things more towards strategy & less towards racing, Why try & pass a car on track when you can do it in the pits.

      The intresting thing next year will be that the fastest car ON LOW FUEL will likely be on pole, However that car may not be the fastest when you add a full tank of fuel. Cars that were not as fast on low fuel may be faster early in a race on heavy fuel, This should make the racing more intresting.

      On mandatory pit stops, bad idea. It hasn’t worked in DTM, & the similar pit window idea badly hurt the racing in ChampCar from 2002-2004 & they ended up getting rid of it & letting teams pit whenever & as many times as they liked which put the quality of racing back up.

      Final note, someone mentioned about that an engineer (Was Sam Michael of Williams), said that it was the tracks & not the cars that made it hard to overtake, I don’t buy that.

      We often see other series put on great races on circuits where F1 cars don’t. SuperLeague formula for instance put on 2 great races at Magny-Cource, a track where F1 struggled to put on a good show unless it rained. You also often see the F1 support races such as GP2, Formula BMW Etc… put on great races the same weekend that F1 is at a circuit. The GP2 races at Abu-Dhabi for instance were fantastic with lots of passing, the F1 race wasn’t as exciting.

      If you find a way of making it easier for them to follow one another (Banning the double diffuser would be a start) we would see overtaking possibilities go up. Finding a way to increase braking distances (Something heavier fuel loads under the refueling ban will likely do earlier in a race) would also make overtaking via outbraking more possible.

  21. Paul says:

    I’ve been waiting for the fastest driver to be on pole again ever since they changed it so I will be glad if that does occur.

    HOWEVER I have an interesting proposal, that of the low fuel Q1 & Q2, but in Q3 they put in the maximum fuel to last the race. That way we see the fastest drivers reach Q3 but the best at managing maximum fuel and the differing balance on pole. Also if they had to do Q3 with the tyres that they were going to start the race with as well, then that would add an increased risk factor as to whether or not the driver maybe compromises his race for pole or does he think of his first stint and preserve his tyres more than his rivals.

    Just a thought but the more I think of it the more I like it! What say you James / F1 Lovers??

    1. Rich Tysoe says:

      I think that would actually be worse, to be honest.

      If the Grid is ordered in terms of “fastest on full tanks”, then there’s little or no reason for ther cars to change order after the start.

      If the Grid is orderd in terms of “fastest on fumes”, then that order may well be different to “Fastest on full”, and order changes are more likely.

      Qualifying on race fuel made a degree of sense with refuelling, as it gave teams a tradeoff to make. with no refuelling, there’s no tradeoff to be made, and really would make qually a first lap of the race that takes place the day before.

      Let them qualify on fumes, and no mandatory pitstops – it worked for years, and it can work again. If bridgestone is commited to two compounds, then why not have one that will last the race and one that’s a little bit faster that won’t?

      It wasn’t so much refuelling that spoiled the racing, but the fact that drivers could sit back and “wait for the stops” to make a pass. I want to see races decided on the track, not just by who can nail the in and out lap the best.

      1. Paul says:

        In a way i agree with you on reflection, but that would be the point of seeing who’s fastest in Q2 compared to who’s fastest with full fuel in Q3. Those who were at the top in Q2 may not be as fast in Q3 and would be more likely to overtake later in the race. Not too dissimilar to this years qualifying format. However it does rather assume a little too much, in so far as maybe those who are fastest with light fuel might just end up still being the fastest in Q3 with full fuel.

        Totally agree with you on the drivers sitting back point. Too many good ‘drivers’ but too few ‘racers’.

        And on the tyre front!! That annoys me a little. I say Bridgestone make as many compounds as they please but none are mandatory, the teams just choose whichever compound they feel suits them better; let them use their brains and data analysis.

  22. Rich C says:

    James dont lose all your money in one place!

  23. Finn de Finn says:

    Start races in reverse WDC order, or have qualy races on Sat to sort out grid positions: WDC 11 to 20 in one race and WDC 1 to 10 in another race (with qualy races starting in reverse WDC order). Any driver failing to finish a qualy race would fall to the back of the grid.

    Get rid of wings and produce cars which can overtake.

  24. khan says:

    In my view open a slot in b/w Friday practice 1 and 2 and run a 3rd car for young drivers. surely that wont cost much and you get young driver development and some precious track testing and development.

  25. David Emlyn says:

    Why don’t they go the other way and state that each car within a team has to start the race on opposing tyre compounds, for example, if Massa started on the soft tyre Alonso would have to start on the hard tyre and vice versa.

    This would soon let us know who the ‘team leaders’ were too as they would be on the best option tyre for the start of the race.

    Team mates would then get their knickers in a twist about being treated equally and we’d have a season filled with in-fighting and politics – sounds just like F1 to me!

    1. Dale says:

      There are two championships the teams are fighting for and by compromising one car against the other may well affect both drivers and the team’s chance of maximising their result.

      I say less interference and not more, set F1 free from the over burden of rules set by the FIA :!:

      The FIA’s role should be no more than referee, that’s it. The teams should decide the rules as they and not the FIA own F1. It’s these stupid rules that have caused al the problems with what should be the greatest sport on earth. :)

  26. Dale says:

    It’s be suggested by some that Todt worked in the background to make the British Grand Prix happen, is there ANY proof to this :?:
    Remember in Mosley’s early days he just went quietly about his business, the time to judge Todt is in a few years time and not now.
    It’ll be very interesting to see what happens as the end on the short concord agreement approaches and the new engine rules are brought in etc, then we may get a better view as to the new governance at the FIA, time will tell 8)

  27. I just had a load of emails telling me there were replies to the comment I posted. I don’t remember ticking anything that said I would receive these emails, can they be turned off please? Thanks.

  28. Sven says:

    Wide supersoft tyres and no wings. Yeaah!

  29. Lee says:

    Maybe if they concentrated less on “The Show” and more on actual sport the rest would follow naturally? I don’t want a artificial spectacle like NASCAR.

    F1 Should be about driver skill and manufacturing ingenuity in car design…

    But once on the track, leave it as it is…. a race!

    As previous posters have pointed out, correct the issues with track layout and get the cars following closer.

    Kers, forced pit stops, lotteries, medals! I know lets just have them go round in circles and stage the finish, we could have rival story lines and intro music for each driver, autograph signings and press conferences during each of the 18 pitstops with fireworks and smoke and and

  30. McLaren_Monkey says:

    I have read that the double decker diffuser compromised the cars from being able to follow more closely. If thats the case then they should ditch the DDD. We might then see some more overtaking if the cars can follow more closely.

    I also like the idea of introducing a standard KERS system which offers more power, say 150bhp is a good idea, especially if they can only use it every 3 laps.

  31. Duncan says:

    For a silly but interesting qualifying…

    Qualify on pole, assume that’s 10 points. Driver can sacrifice up to 10 places on the grid for up to a 5 (10/2) point bonus if you can make up the places again during the race.

    So 3rd place -> up to 6 places to sacrifice.
    Choose to take a 4 place hit to start from 7th, if you finish 3rd you get your 6 points plus 2 more as the sacrifice. If you managed to win you’d have 12 points.

    1st place could sacrifice 10 places, if they won from 11th they’d have 15 points. If they just dropped to 5th (with confidence in their fuel strategy/tyres/pace) then they could get 12 points from a win instead of the usual 10.

    Fine fine, silly idea ;)

  32. Law Riva says:

    This refueling thing i think may end up being something they back track on, if the are worried about excitement of the races why not just leave it in? The only problem is would they not look silly saying you can’t refuel, but then make the cars stop twice as the y did anyway with the need to refuel?
    What was the purpose for the refuel ban? safety?

  33. Gary says:

    I don’t think qualifying is broke, so no need to fix it. Heavy fuel loads will impose more wear on brakes, which might become more marginal towards the end of races and hence add some element of chance. Time will tell. The biggest problem is still the aero side. The aerodynamicists performed wonders within the 2009 regs, way more downforce than had been expected. The regs need to change to reduce the benefits of aero, change the bias towards mechanical grip instead of relying on downforce so that cars have a chance of actually following the car ahead through corners closely enough to pick up tow on the straight afterwards. Then you will see more overtaking.

    1. john g says:

      everytime the same happens – the regulations relate to design restrictions and are changed in a way that they think will result in the cars having less downforce – however the actual amount of downforce is never regulated. therefore, people more clever than the FIA just manage to get the same downforce with the new regulations – all that’s happened is that they have spent a shedload more money on an artificially imposed and totally redundant to the real world problem.

      with downforce, following another car becomes a problem rather than an advantage as you lose downforce in the corners, therefore it’s inherently difficult to pass someone. for overtaking, you need it to be advantageous to follow someone.

      they need to do something to actually and precriptively limit the downforce. instead of wasting money on aero development that has absolutely no application outside of F1, they could be developing more powerful and efficient engines that actually allow manufacturers to look at new technology that could contribute to the wider world. it would be self regulating to an extent, as there would be no point chasing massive power if you don’t have the grip to use it, but certainly more power and less grip would be a lot more entertaining than the dull over-gripped and under-powered CFD iteration slot racers we have at the moment.

  34. Xymoria says:

    Just go back to having freedom in tyre choice, but once a driver has picked his compound for qualifying, that’s what he has to use for the race. Then you’ll have drivers on the softer tyre having to make more pit stops & a strategy might even develop in trying to weigh up going all out to secure pole and then having to pit one more time than the cars behind him & trying to make a tyre that’s past its best last a bit longer. If you want to generate excitement for Q1 & Q2 make it that the drivers that get knocked out can choose any compound for the race and anyone that makes it to Q3 has to use that for the race.

  35. JoeyC says:

    I think the refuelling ban is good for F1, but only if they allow any number of stops during a race (i.e. 0 stop strategies to be allowed). Drop the silly 2 tyre compound per race rule. Allow the teams to bring 4 types of tyre compounds (i.e. Super Soft, Soft, Medium, Hard), then allow them to mix and match (e.g. a team could run Hard’s on the left and Medium’s on the right), hence making 0-stop strategies possible. Hmm this sounds familiar… (Berger at Mexico in 1986 springs to mind)

    One of the problems with refuelling (1994-2009) was when you were stuck behind a slower/heavier car and you were nowhere near your pitstop window, you’d have to trundle around behind this slow car for lap after lap until your fuel came down and a pitstop was viable. With refuelling banned if you get caught behind a slower car, the team can pull you in at any time, get you on fresh rubber and find you some clear air to pump some decent laps in. The whole thing is more flexible because everyone is on the same fuel. Also if you’re stuck behind someone you could just choose to look after your tyres and possibly make 1 less stop then initially planned (last year this wouldn’t have been possible because of rigidity of fuel strategies). Add in cars that aren’t stopping at all and you have some interesting viewing!

  36. Pete says:

    I hated the single lap qualifying – too much of a gimmick decided by track conditions rather than skill, the new one is much better, the worst thing about it was the race fuel in Q3, you never knew if the pole sitter was there because of the way they drove or the amount of fuel. As there is no refuelling either low fuel or race fuel for Q3 would work.

    Please don’t go down the road of adding silly gimmicks like two required pit stops and silly tyre compounds drivers are forced to use. Trying to dumb it down with things like this won’t actually attract casual viewers as intended because they just get fed up with silly little rules that make it more complicated.

    Try explaining to someone who doesn’t normally watch it why they are pitting and putting on non suitable tyre compounds and see how interested they are then!

    FIA should stop messing around with silly artificial ideas and Bernie should forget his lottery/medals nonsense and retire.

    The best way to ‘spice’ it up is to use the old tracks, why do you think Brazil and Belgium are always exciting??

    1. Paul says:

      Absolutely 100% spot on Pete!

      And stop these boring tilke designed tracks entering and classic ‘overtaking’ tracks being left off or being put in jeopardy like Spa (Awesome), Suzuka (Perfection), Silverstone, Interlagos.

  37. Carl Johns says:

    I think that the more variables in F1 the better.

    I would like there to be refueling, kerds and two tyre manufactures within formula 1.

    I know people might say that a new fan will not understand the format, but if its exciting due to all the different variables at least they will watch it long enough to at least have a chance to learn the rules. I also think that qual is fine the way it is, and also if they wana make racing interesting please someone sign kobayashi!!

  38. Imoldgreggg says:

    It was fasinating, I saw the RS30 minus bodywork and met the electronics team, they even let me have a go on the simulator.

    The engineers were all happy to stop and chat, and although I never been a fan of Renault, I hope they do well next season in whatever outfit.

    They did still have the Singapore 2008 drivers and constructors trophy on display in reception which made me chuckle! :)

  39. Imoldgreggg says:

    I think this is a great idea. I have no idea why they don’t do this! I am relatively new to the sport- was this done in the hill/hunt days?

    They should award the winner at the last race of the season, but don’t they create new championship trophies each year at the moment? I think the teams get to keep them.

  40. Brian Matthews says:

    Nobody else on here has suggested what myself and all of my F1 friends have discussed as a good idea…….Give the Friday practise to the reserve drivers, this way they would not be such a danger to the races/drivers if they need to replace the main drivers in any unforseen circumstances!

  41. pd says:

    Someone has to ask the question: why ban refuelling? Is it for safety? If we didn’t ban refuelling, there would be less of a need to yet again fuss about how we can artificially spice up the racing.

    This year was brilliant, why change anything?

  42. Rik McCrossan says:

    Here’s an idea for qualifying:

    Give the Q3 drivers a max number of laps based on their finishing position in Q2 – but reversed so that the fastest car in Q2 would have only one shot to be fastest in Q3.

    So if Jenson finished 1st in Q2, he would get 3 laps. (out, timed, in). Lewis finished 2nd in Q2 so he gets 4 laps. And so on..
    Or maybe just split it into the top 5 get 3 laps and the second 5 get 6 laps.

    Or variations on that theme.

    It would add a lot of interest to the qualifying as drivers would need to get through the Q2 qualifying time, but would want to be as low down the order as possible! So the risk is they’ll not make it while slower cars will be going as fast as possible just to get into Q3 (and might make it).

    Then in Q3 the pressure is on to deliver in the laps you have – an off, a yellow flag, poorly warmed tyres, and you’re stuffed!

    We all love the adrenaline we get while watching a couple of drivers in their last do-or-die laps in q3 – imagine that happening right the way through Q3!

    I accept that it might be a little confusing for the viewer trying to keep track of who’s got how many laps left.
    And you’d also need to give enough laps so that Q3 isn’t too short.

    Just an idea. How does that grab you all?

    R

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