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A big month ahead, behind the scenes in Formula 1
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Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Apr 2014   |  9:05 am GMT  |  399 comments

In the back corridors of F1 the next month will be an interesting one, and the next week in particular. Bahrain is set to be a meeting point of key players to discuss changes to the new Formula 1.

From a simple raising of the engines’ decibel level, to more radical ideas like shortening the races and abandoning the controversial fuel flow meters, it seems that discussions held so far will channel into a significant meeting of teams, FOM and FIA, a gathering of the F1 Strategy Group to frame a new policy and then possible ratifications of any changes at the next FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting on April 11.

FIA president Jean Todt will make his first appearance of the season in Bahrain, so will Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo and McLaren’s Ron Dennis will no doubt be there too with his Bahraini powerbroker shareholders.

One significant pre-meeting takes place today in London, with the Ferrari president flying in to meet with Bernie Ecclestone at FOM’s Princes’ Gate headquarters to discuss changes to the sport, ownership of the sport and other matters of the moment.

Montezemolo has criticised the new hybrid F1 as “Formula Noia” (Formula Boredom) with drivers not pushing to the limit for energy management reasons, incomprehensible rules around fuel flow meters and not enough noise to impress on TV or in the stands.

And he wants to shake the tree at this early opportunity, with the third Grand Prix of 19 taking place this weekend in Bahrain.

Cynics would argue that if Ferrari were in Mercedes’ position they would not want the tree to be shaken, however bad the sound or the spectacle. And they would be right.

Mercedes will see the attackers coming over the horizon, after two Grands Prix which have shown clear domination from the works team – two poles, two wins – and a healthy points count for their three customer engined teams; McLaren, Williams and Force India. They occupy first, second, fourth and fifth places in the Constructors’ Championship (the table on which prize money is calculated) and have amassed 150 points between them already.

This group will be resistant to change, but at the same time will be forced to accept some ground “in the interests of the sport.”

Niki Lauda, chairman of the Mercedes team, admitted over the weekend that something needed to be done about the noise. Although Melbourne’s Ron Walker has been vocal about the lack of noise and spectacle, other promoters are believed to have had a quiet word with Ecclestone that they want F1 cars to sound more impressive.

But the suggestion emanating from Maranello that the races should be shortened so each driver can push harder, will be met with resistance as will anything which harms Mercedes’ competitive advantage at the moment. The German giant has been building up to this shot at the world championship for six years and will not let its advantage go easily.


Also on the “Urgent” section of the agenda at the moment is cost cutting, after the decision taken by the F1 Strategy Group and World Council in December to introduce a cost cap in F1 for 2015. Todt and the FIA are keen to see this and they would be the ones to regulate it.

To achieve this, the teams will have to agree to it and set a budget level by June 30th, the deadline for legislation for the next season. This leaves just three months to square the circle.

At the moment the signs are that several teams are not in favour of a cap. McLaren, now under the leadership of Ron Dennis, has stated that they have given enough “for the common good” during the FOTA years and now want to focus on what is good for McLaren. Red Bull has always opposed a cap and is the most difficult of all teams to bring to the table when it comes to reducing spend in F1.

Also under discussion at the moment is what happens next in F1′s ownership and its management once Bernie Ecclestone’s bribery trial begins in three weeks in Germany.

CVC, the managing shareholder, has made some indications recently that it does not intend to sell its remaining stake as it sees great opportunity ahead to monetize the sport.

There are suggestions that Ecclestone’s plan is to try to reacquire the sport from CVC, possibly with the teams, while there are also suggestions that CVC is considering putting an interim CEO in to Formula One Management, alongside Ecclestone, to steer the ship while he is in court in Munich and for whatever comes afterwards.

Ecclestone, CVC boss Donald Mackenzie and Christian Horner spent many hours in a series of meetings on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur, with Ecclestone on the record as wanting the Red Bull boss to work alongside him.

Much is on the table, then, in this fascinating month ahead.

What changes – if any – do you think are appropriate at this stage? Make your voice heard in the Comments section below

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399 Comments
  1. Matt W says:

    Cut the race distance and I am officially done with F1 and will migrate to Moto GP. They provide better officiated, more exciting short races than F1 could ever dream of matching.

    1. Wayne says:

      I could not agree more, I’ve threatened it again and again over the years but that will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in my case. I already hate all the punditry and flashy graphics and two hours worth of nonsense before the race. I dislike the ‘personalities’ in place and their own ego’s getting the better of them (this site and JA well and truly excepted). F1 race distance is fine as it is. I’m not going to put everything on hold on a Sunday or get up early etc for an hour’s worth of racing and two hours of build-up which I already don’t watch at all.

      As for making changes, WHY is F1 the only sport in the world that cannot leave things alone for five minutes? Is it just that people need to justify their existence and feel as though if they are not changing something they might become redundant? And why are these changes never in light of what fans actually want, i.e. the instance of the double points fiasco which we already have to live with, despite an overwhelming majority of F1 fans despising the idea?

      Engines: Everyone had the same chance to develop an engine, Merc have invested three years in getting to this point, why the hell should they not have the opportunity to reap the rewards now? And how can they be forced to give ground, I thought they had a straight up veto? The last time Renault were allowed to ‘catch-up’ because they did a poor job they went on to win the next four years worth of titles!!!

      Engine noise: Really? Is this matter so very important? I actually like the new sound, it feels as though I can hear the machine and its systems working and hear the engineering at work. The sound is nuanced and attractive to my ear, and better than a flat out scream. Besides, I’ve heard more from Bernie moaning about this than the fans.

      LEAVE F1 ALONE!!!!

      1. David says:

        You expressed my feelings. Couldn’t have said it better.

      2. JackL says:

        Well said!!! The sad reality is all of these changes are cosmetic and not actually fixing the real problem (weight limits, fuel flow limits that dont work, high costs, not enough fan involvement, CVC stealing money from the sport, etc).

        The only change I would make is to the double points rule. I would keep it, but not for Abu Dhabi. For the old Nurburgring. If ever there was a track that justified double points based on the risks that drivers take, its the old Ring. And I think true racing fans would love to see that.

      3. Basil Binx says:

        Dude! This would be amazing, put this man in charge, I like his thinking.

      4. GP says:

        The old Nurburgring! And to make it even better the drivers won’t wear their helmet. Dude!

      5. BritishRacingGreen says:

        I’d open up engines, you can design what you want Valve size and layout wise. Keep all the hybrid stuff to keep the suits happy, maybe bring back something like 1.5 litres for turbos or 3.0 for normally aspirated.

      6. Brax says:

        Very well said sir.

        100% agree.

      7. Bruno Menilli says:

        Too right !!!

        The pundits, the ill informed media people and money [ greed ] has turned this sport into another version of Saturday afternoon wrestling.

        The money aspect is the main culprit to my mind, with circuits being charged enormous fees by Bernie, which gets passed onto the fans’ tickets which leads to fewer attending and then to the rules having to be changed all the time, to add perceived drama and competitiveness.

        Manufacturers should not be forced to use this sport as a testing ground for new leaner/greener objectives as they are no doubt already doing this within their research programs.

        Yes, times have changed – but we want to see out and out racing from F1 !

        Bruno

      8. Kit says:

        Yup. Including monetizing the live timing. Greed knows no bound

      9. Kit says:

        Yup. Including monetizing the live timing.Greed knows no bound.

      10. The paddyman says:

        +1,000 Wayne
        Just cause Ferrari are on the backfoot doesn’t mean they get to call the shots
        The same with Renault…
        The noise is perfect, perhaps add a bigger rasp to the exhaust note at high revs

      11. Truth or Lies says:

        It’s not noise, its sound and its not perfect. Ever been to a Formula One race ?

      12. The paddyman says:

        If you define noise,

        a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance.

        I have a surround sound system, and I lower the center speaker sound Level.
        I can still hear the commentary quite well, and hear more of the actual racing sounds..I would say puts one center stage at a race…
        I have not been at a race…

        You say it’s sound and not perfect….that means that you say it’s noise, ie. unpleasant!

      13. Ben says:

        I’ve been to 5 races in the V8 era and agree with the Paddyman, they sound great. VERY different to the old V8′s, but not worse, just different.

      14. Brent says:

        Well said.

      15. Mr Makesense says:

        I don’t hear an engine, I hear a power unit. We had plenty of buildup to a new change here, why wouldn’t we expect it to sound different… It’s good to hear the other noises IMO. Love the spools, tyres, MKU etc

      16. Byron Lamarque says:

        Agreed…

        Why so much fuss over the noise? and why the surprise about Mercedes. Everyone knew going into this season that engines we’re going to make a big difference to performance and it appeared Mercedes had the edge. The writing was on the wall months ago.

        I think the best thing to do moving forward is allow all the manufacturers to keep working on their engines. They can spend unlimited resources until it’s determined that the engines are more or less evenly matched. Then they can lock em down. Obviously Mercedes should profit from their hard work so maybe mid season allow for new engines.

        Let’s see if Renault and Ferrari have what it takes to compete in the number one auto racing formula in the world ; )

      17. Phil says:

        Isn’t the fuss about the noise just to divert attention from from the elephant in the room – that the boss of the sport goes on trial for corruption in three weeks’ time? After all it seems to mainly be coming from Bernie and his pals, and stirring up diversionary stories is a familiar modus operandi.

        It even seems possible that’s why RBR appealed after Australia (and likely that far dafter F1 headlines will start appearing a couple of weeks).

      18. Red Rider says:

        I like your comments. Interesting about allowing development on the motors.

      19. meltwaterfalls says:

        @Phil

        Bernie, using diversionary tactics whoever would have thought it.

        On a completely unrelated note, it has been a little while since we heard about the London Grand Prix.

      20. Richard says:

        Well said. I agree the sound is actually quite good. Good on Merc for producing a great car. Reckon there is more to Horner being present at meeting s than we will ever know.

      21. devilsadvocate says:

        take good long look into the mirror and ask yourself if you would be this adamant about not changing if Merc( well really Hamilton who are we kidding) was in the same place he has been over the past 5 years…. silence? that what I thought.

        Your whole spiel about Renault being able to change and suddenly winning for 4 years straight betrays your apparent attempt to be neutral.

        Just admit that your man is in the pole seat right now and you want him to stay there… same to all you 100% agree people who have responded. What is sad is that if Lewis wins with all the mickey mouse nonsense going on this year everyone out there knows it will be a meaningless trophy in the trophy room, no one wants to win (unless they are truly a narcissist) on such an uneven playing field.

        Nothing is awe inspiring about a V6 turning 12k rpms and fuel flow limits, I dont care how geeky anyone is, I can go drop USD 9k on a plastic, japanese made motorcycle that turns higher RPM. Formula 1 was the pinnacle of technology and this is just completely uninspiring.

      22. Wayne says:

        [mod]
        Firstly, what on earth is the point of saying ‘silence?’ before I’ve even had a chance to respond? What on earth is that about?

        Secondly, I would and HAVE said exactly the same thing when ‘my man’ Hamilton was not in pole position. I have said here that the RBR cars are a marvel of engineering and RBR deserve their wins because they did the best job with the rules. I’m not keen on VET but that’s nothing to do with the engineering job RBR did.

        Thirdly, are you actually suggesting that if the guy with the best car wins then it’s meaningless? Or are you suggesting that if a driver wins while there is (heaven forbid!) F1 politics going on behind the scenes then the win is meaningless? If yes (notice I say if rather than determine what your answer is before you say it or simply give you no chance to reply at all) then you are saying almost every F1 champion in the history of the sport is meaningless and you should turn over asap.

        Fourthly (is that even a thing?). The playing field is 100% completely even. All of the teams and their suppliers had EXACTLY the same rules to work with. You invest (money, expertise and time) to be the best and it should pay off. Are the Football League Champions meaningless because they have the best team and it’s therefore an uneven playing field?

        [mod]

      23. James Allen says:

        Remember – Please respect the rules and other posters – Mod

      24. Red Rider says:

        Hi Devil. I didn’t have to look in the mirror. I’ve never been a Hamilton fan, but he is fast , and Mercedes did their homework and so my hat off to them. Be careful of pushing them too far. Toyota and Honda walked away from the F1 table. Merc. could too. I agree that such an uneven playing field can only last so long before everyone picks up their marbles and goes home. They will have to allow development at some point.
        The sound doesn’t bother me, … at all.

        Finally if Ferrari, McLaren & Williams were to walk away, hand-in-hand and form a new series where would the audience be? With Ferrari et al, or with Red Bull et al? I know where I’d tune in.

      25. Simon says:

        Ok so as a McLaren fan for over 30 yrs I couldn’t care about Lewis and Mercedes,I’m only interested in a UK team (with thankfully Ron back in charge). The noise of a tyre screeching as the car pulls out from the pits or over cooks entry into a corner far more preferable to the utterly ear shattering noise of the old V8.
        As for Bernie,no-one can deny what he’s done for the sport but he’s not doing it any good any more,his stupid cryptic comments every time he gets asked a question by a pundit is so annoying !
        As for all the talk about changing things mid season,I consider it an absolute disgrace,Red bull got lucky by selling the type issue on a safely clause the other year but I think the sport has to evolve or become extinct just like everything else,Honda wouldn’t be returning without a more interesting engine !

      26. Byron Lamarque says:

        I think F1 should be cutting edge technology that excites the vast majority of people who buy cars. The fact is I want a high performance vehicle that isn’t a gas guzzler. I want that for my wallet at the pump and my conscience.

        A V8 with minimal KERS isn’t the future. It’s the past. The future is a small turbo charged engine with the most energy return that science and engineering can provide.

        That’s what I as a consumer want from my next vehicle that’s what is inspiring right now. If I want noise and vintage engine racing I’ll watch Indy car or NASCAR. But that’s never been what F1 is about.

        Maybe I’m alone in feeling this way?

      27. Archie says:

        @devilsadvocate
        well said, +1

      28. Bring back V12's !!! says:

        @devilsadbovate: I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume you’re a diehard fingerboy fan? How can you possibly say Lewis winning now is like winning on an “uneven playing field???” Have you not been watching Vettel for the last 3 years?!?!?

      29. Urko says:

        I also wouldn’t change the lenght of the race…i even like all the “nonsense” pre & after the race.Lots of good info! I also don’t mind saving fuel, cos that’s something i’m doin’g on daily basis. Saving energy is what we all do every day. The only thing that bothers me are those highly degraded tyres. That’s ridiculous! I would never buy highly degraded tyre. And I’ve never seen a tyre test where that would be awarded as good characteristic, quite the opposite. It’s a shame to the sport & it’s basic logic and it insults me as a viewer, cos i dont need that highly degraded rubbish to enyoj in sport or whatever has left of it. It also prevents real racing (attackig & defending position)which is contrary to the essence of motorsport. I’m 100% sure, this-Pirreli- period will be in history of F1 remembered as shameful period. That’s all!…..Oh! Oh!…..Just one more thing. I would also like to see that Lewis wins the championship this year;)

      30. Juzh says:

        You 100% have never been to an F1 race live. highlight of the melbourne weekend was an old V10 f1 car, while actual race was underwhelming to say the least.
        Also renault didn’t to a bad job with it’s V8 when before it was allowed to modify it. It was because merc and ferrari were exploiting the “reliability” excuse much more often. Ferrari further modified their engine on performance grounds in 2010.
        You’re not very educated about the subject, are you?

      31. NickH says:

        Agreed. I would hazard a guess that all the people saying ‘I quite like the sound’ have never been to a race when they had the V10 or V8

      32. fausta says:

        Well said! I a fan of Alonso but Merc deserves to enjoy the fruits of their hard work. Stop constantly trying to screw with the sport, let what we have now bed it for a while!

      33. Micke says:

        The truth.

      34. dimitar kadrinski says:

        Very well said. Leave F1 alone!!! Just please get rid of Bernie, then it will all fall to place. He did good thinks to the sport in his early years, but now he is only damaging it…and soon the damage will exceed the gains!

      35. Tim says:

        Absolutely spot on!! Someone should start a true F1 fans movement – the FOFA. Or we can all vote with our hard-earned dosh, by NOT attending the races.

      36. Simon Haynes says:

        I’d suggest two flat-out 30-35 min races with a 30 minute gap in between for running repairs. Talking heads could easily fill 30 mins with discussion. Best of all, you’d get two racing starts AND a driver whose first race was ruined might still have a shot in the second.
        The following would be a bit more controversial, but perhaps the stewards should also allow the driver ahead in the points to take the other team driver’s car for the second race, if their own is damaged beyond repair. That would cause a few lively debates.

      37. Thabang says:

        Here here…you have said it best.

      38. Bob says:

        “…Engine noise: Really? Is this matter so very important?…

        In a few words – YES, VERY IMPORTANT!

        The mere fact that SO MANY people are complaining about it says so. I would suggest the threat of promoters walking away from F1 simply because of the noise says all you need to know.

    2. Marcin says:

      I’m against ALL rule changes during a season – we’ve seen how well that turns out (and I’m not just talking last year).

      However it must be said, the fans of the sport who visit these sort of fora on the internet, are very consistent in being against every rule change. Wings, tyres, engines, mappings, noises, diffusers, etc every change is decried.
      I think people want the pinnacle of motorsport to resemble a grid full of Lotus 49s.

      1. Wayne says:

        Your second point is astute and well made. However, I think this is a symptom of just how the often the rules are changed. It’s much easier to lump everything into the bad category when the rules change every five minutes. And there is an augment to be made that rule changes in general ARE actually bad when they happen this often as it confuses the hell out of people, and set’s different standards for the sport from one race to the next let alone one season to the next.

      2. Marcin says:

        I agree that the rate of changes is not always necessary. However…

        What I wonder about, sometimes, is are people *really* that confused? If so, which people?
        - Is it the casual fan who sees the the leader drop down to 4th or 5th after a pit stop?
        - Is it a die-hard fan who doesn’t understand why the cars are slower initially as when they used to watch in the early-2000s they had refuelling?
        - Is it the temporal savants who can tell from the TV screen that Button took that corner 0.05s slower than last time around because he is looking after his tyres?
        - Is it the old people who can’t read the numbers on the cars?
        - Is some other random group who want to see positions change every lap, when instead it appears that drivers are not challenging for positions due to tyre/fuel/other issues or considerations?

        Because if it’s the last one, then it’s not a new problem. I remember the V8&V10 era when we’d have 20-odd screaming cars following each other around never making the pass, never closing in to more than 1.5 seconds because it overheated the car or damaged the tyres.

        Cheers, M

    3. dren says:

      I’ve tried watching MotoGP and frankly it’s less exciting than F1. There are the few races where passing takes place, but after the first few laps not much happens. At least in F1 with all of the variables now, we get different strategies to follow and different battles during the race. I remember F1 back in the Schumacher days. We were lucky to see more than two or three passes in an entire race.

      1. James Clayton says:

        You clearly don’t have a very accurate recollection of F1 back in the Schumacher days.

      2. Craig D says:

        Well it’s better than it was back then.

      3. James Clayton says:

        @Craig D

        If by better you mean “more passes” then yes.

        If you define better as “higher quality passes”, then no.

        Just look at the incident with the Torro Rosso vs the Caterham – think it was Kobyashi – the Torro Rosso makes a genuine pass under breaking, just for the Caterham to take the position back. So next time round the Torro Rosso didn’t bother to try passing under breaking and just waited for the DRS zone.

        How is that “better”?

      4. Hansb says:

        Obviously you haven’t seen the MotoGP season opener in Qatar.

      5. kenneth chapman says:

        now that was thrilling race….if F1 could elevate itself it would be a relief from the ‘noughts and crosses’ games that we are currently seeing.

      6. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        I also missed the MotoGP opener, used to enjoy watching it on terrestrial TV, but can’t get it now as they decided to “monetize” it and as I use a different internet provider it’s gone.

        Lesson for F1, hopefully but won’t hold my breath if it’s a CVC fatcat making the calls.

        It’ll could head the same way as the WRC in did the UK… There’s a race on, oh, I didn’t know.

    4. NickH says:

      Moto GP is already a much better racing series than F1, I find myself enjoying Moto GP races much more probably for the last few years. Low on daft rules and high on the riders actually racing each other

    5. Peter says:

      Right – a marathon is always full distance. A GP is always (except Monaco) just over 300Km. Let’s keep it that way!

    6. James m says:

      That’s not advised. If you followed moto gp you would know that it has been fiddled with much worse than f1 has this season.

      1. NickH says:

        You are referring to the ‘open class’. Fair point but at the end of the day Marquez won from Rossi from Pedrosa in Qatar which is hardly a change in the competitive order. Honda and Yamaha still in front

    7. BritishRacingGreen says:

      I agree if the races are cut in length then I’m moving to the WEC, while F1 is somehow managing to produce such dull racing with such talent on the grid (I do think the budget cap is the way to save it), the WEC is moving towards a golden era with Audi, Toyota, Porsche, Nissan next year and possibly (Hopefully) Ferrari in the near future too.

    8. JB says:

      Are FIA and Bernie panicking or something?
      The shortening race, throw away fuel flow meter and adding spice to noise sounds like thoughts of a three year old.

      I don’t like the lack of noise but it is too soon for any governing body to try and change it.
      I also think that Mercedes dominance will separate themselves from the rest of the group. Still, it does not mean they should tweak the rules within this season. Or did I read it wrong?

  2. AlexD says:

    Ferrari, please focus on your own organization, shake your own tree, finally ensure that is the inspirational leader that can connect all the dots and come up with a dominant car, as is the case with Merc or Red Bull in the last 4 years.

    LDM is a very respected leader and Ferrari is doing good, as a company, but you cannot always refer to the legacy days when talking F1, please show real results and deliver a competitive car!

    1. f1historian says:

      And please sign Vettel Mr. Monte, he will put Ferrari on the front row back again. Let him partner Alonso. The 2 best drivers in our team, that’s what we fans want. I hope Santander agrees and splashes out the cash.

      1. Wayne says:

        Trouble is you would not have the two best drivers in the team if VET partnered ALO… :)

      2. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Yes. You are correct.
        ALO would do with VET what he is currently doing with KIM (a “top” driver).

      3. Steven M says:

        Vettel(or any top driver) would be stupid to sign with a team that has had a driver of the caliber of Alonso and haven’t won a WDC with him. THey obviously cant build a fast car…

      4. Kenneth M'Boy says:

        I think we need to be a bit more patient with James Allison’s input. Did he design this car at all? He obviously built a very fast Lotus last year. Hopefully he can give Fernando and Kimi a faster car as the year goes by, sick of seeing them toddle around in 4th or 5th when they are brilliant to watch when challenging for the lead. They make F1 worth watching whereas sadly at the moment it’s flagging a bit. Just needs a bit of a tune up though, nothing too drastic.

      5. justafan says:

        Prost also failed with Ferrari, Schumi nevertheless signed with them a put the company out of the doldrums. Only because Alonso failed doesn’t necessarily mean Vettel would fail too.

      6. StevenM says:

        Vettel only wins because of Newey, he didn’t build the team like MS, he lucked into it.

      7. Brent says:

        The only thing keeping Ferrari from the front row is the car, as usual. They have been out designed and out developed 4 years in a row. This will be number five.

      8. Gaz Boy says:

        I totally agree. The British teams are clever in that have developed very cutting edge CFD, mathematical analysis and simulation software that is the new way to design and develop a fast car that is competitive all season long. Ferrari’s old method of just wheeling the car out on a test track – the old empirical evidence way – is gone.
        Ferrari are not being out-muscled, but they are being out-witted, out-thought and dare I say out-brained by those clever Inglese with their cutting edge technology.

      9. VintageF1 says:

        now in their 7th year since their last title.

        for those with a longer memory, it reminds me of the lost years of 79′-95. Ferrari were rumbling around in 5th place then as well.

        Which makes one realise the Schumacher era of 96′-06′ (also with its highs and lows) was nothing less than monumental…

        – Todt, Brawn, Bryne and of course, Schumi –

        Forza Ferrari…

      10. German Samurai says:

        Ferrari only ever gave Schumacher the best car in 2001, 2002 and 2004, so I’d say Ferrari’s success was more due to Schumacher’s driving ability than anything.

        Then you had his ability as a leader, he had the complete respect of everyone at the factory, he was a motivator, and was incredible at giving detailed feedback to engineers.

        So really, Schumacher succeeded in spite of Ferrari.

      11. CJD says:

        but schumacher also had not that much respect of his competitors …

        greetings

      12. kenneth chapman says:

        yes. gotta love that brilliant, cutting edge english technology. gill sesnsors are a glaring example…..

      13. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Kenneth Chapman: it is still better than if it was an Italian sensor – Italian products tend to burst into flames like the Ferrari 458 for example…………..not to mention the fact that Italy is plagued by corruption from the Catholic church and government, Mafia bribery and violence, extortion etc………..
        Why do you think Daniel’s mum and dad emigrated to Australia? To go and live in a Anglo-Protestant country that is stable, peaceful, progressive, liberal, democratic, excellent infrastructure, parliamentary democracy, high standards of health and education, and excellent opportunities for its citizens. Go figure.

  3. boulay says:

    surely if other teams want something detrimental to Mercedes then Mercedes should demand and end to the double points for last race nonsense.

    as they are out in front at the moment it is clear that reb bull will develop strongly and those double points could be the difference between a mercedes win for both championships and losing out to red bull at the end with a non-level playing field….

    1. J.Danek says:

      One can only hope we see the EU Directorate-General for Competition involved in F1 again, soon!

  4. Carsten says:

    A big month for F1 should be a big month in terms of racing, speed, burning tires on the track.
    I don’t concur with L.d.Montezemolo very often, but he has a point here. The new F1 has replaced the last years totally dominating team with another totally dominating team, the sound is like a diesel in high rev’s now and the tactics forces the drivers to avoid racing in order to save fuel/tires/the engine/whatnot.
    It’s sad, but I hope this will change into real racing again some day.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Surely it was Formula Boring when Schumacher was just winning year after year and people were switching off in droves? Ferrari didn’t seem to mind too much though…

      1. Anil Parmar says:

        Tbf, at least back then you could tell that they were pushing really hard and the tracks weren’t ruined by being incredibly wide and having excess run off area. There was also V10s…!

      2. Carsten says:

        Exactly my point, domination tends to be boring to all the others.

        In addition to that, we have this year’s special:
        -Diesel noise
        -slow cars racing
        -but: over 1 ton of fuel is saved each race (22x50kg)!

        Unfortunately, tens of thousands of spectators, several thousand team members, journalists and officials then travel to the racetrack, burning 1000′s of tons of fuel to get there and back.
        Well done, F1. (<–this rhymes)

      3. AuraF1 says:

        Just to play Devil’s Advocate (I’m not arguing with your points!) but if the engine manufacturers demanded the power units be made more challenging and relevant to their business and threatened to leave if F1 didn’t comply (as Renault did and Honda wouldn’t be returning otherwise) surely the sport would suffer with less money and less teams? Ferrari couldn’t supply that many teams as they don’t have the capacity and Mercedes were looking for an exit strategy before this chance popped up.

        So the saving fuel thing is more of an advertisement for the primary active sponsors – the manufacturers. We often worry about teams folding with lack of sponsors, it would be twice as bad if sponsors who actually make the power units packed up and left.

      4. Dan says:

        Think about this- because the new sound is so awful, the cars are ugly, and the racing is relatively slow and unexciting, the “new” F1 will inspire thousands of fans to cancel plans to travel to races this year. You can say that the new formula just saves 50kg of fuel per car per race, but I say it saves many millions more than that over the course of a year thanks to the alienated fanbase. Mission accomplished!

      5. CJD says:

        you just hit the point .. the cars look even more ugly then last year (and here i am with newey… those noses are VERY dangerous.

        F1 cars can stand flips easyl, in all directions, without big danger for the driver (webber, wurz, …)
        but getting UNDER another car is very very bad!

        if only the cars noses where the same as last year, i think the sound wouldnt have been a THAT big thing …

        but ferrari looking like a vakuumcleaner and SOUNDING like one, is just to much …

        greetings

    2. Wayne says:

      Have we actually seen much avoidance of racing to save fuel? I was really worried about this but I’m not sure it’s actually happened has it? Most cars in the recent rave finished the GP with more than 10% of their fuel left and they all seemed quite racy to me…

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @wayne….have you listened/read the pit to car to pit radio transmissions?

      2. NickH says:

        Yea but they could be much faster if they ran at maximum revs. The fuel flow rate restricts the revs they can put on the engines, so they run at 12000 rpm the whole race which will pretty much keep them within the fuel limit. If there was no fuel limit they could run up at around 15000 which would not only make them faster but also sound better. Get rid of the fuel limit

      3. Spinodontosaurus says:

        They only rev up to 12,000 RPM in qualifying too, there is no benefit for them to rev it all the way to 15,000 rpm. It wouldn’t provide them with any extra power and would only burn up more fuel which would in turn mean they needed to carry more just to do the qualifying lap, and more weight is slower.

        I believe the Renault engine only revs to 12,500 rpm maximum anyway because Renault foresaw this.

    3. Steven M says:

      Im going to say the same thing that all the Vettel fans have been saying for 4 years. Its not Mercedez fault if the othe teams cant build a competitive car.

      1. SteveS says:

        The other teams built some very competitive cars in the last four years. Some people didn’t like the end of season results, but the cars were quite competitive in 2010, 2012, and the first half of 2013.

      2. Anil Parmar says:

        The cars were not competitive in 2010, but the championship was thanks to reliability and the Red Bull drivers making mistakes/taking wins from each other. Remember, Seb could have won Bahrain, Melbourne, Korea if it wasn’t for reliability and Turkey, Singapore (Quali mistake), Hungary, Silverstone and Germany (the latter two he got awful starts) fair easily if it wasn’t for mistakes. In fact, other than Spa and Monza I don’t recall a race when they weren’t dominant.

      3. Sebee says:

        100% true.

    4. dimitar kadrinski says:

      “and the tactics forces the drivers to avoid racing in order to save fuel/tires/the engine/whatnot.
      It’s sad, but I hope this will change into real racing again some day.”

      There is always a limiting factor to drivers pushing as hard as they want. In the past they have also had to look after the tires, or be afraid to push the car to the limit as it could brake down, or indeed save fuel, because they under-fuel at start to have advantage early race, and so many other thinks some of which we will probably never find out… So please… fuel limit is the same for everybody, so they still race each-other as hard as they can, and I bet it is harder now than ever before.
      I mean honestly if you remove the chance of a driver dying …and the power of the engine… you simply go and watch Go-karts, it will be the same.. accelerator brakes and lines through the corner..
      F1 is a lot more than that now… if you try to understand it I am sure you will enjoy it.

  5. Micky D says:

    Horner to replace/sit alongside Ecclestone?
    How can there be any cost cap if the man who shouts it down most vocally is the one steering the ship?

    1. J Hancock says:

      There will never be a cost cap in Formula 1. The only way to do that is to hand every team an identical chassis, aero package, tyres and engine all with a set price, no modification, approved suppliers only.
      .
      Any compromise at all and the big boys will circumvent it, as seen in Moto 3 with KTM and Mahindra producing cost no object bikes, but invoicing the regulated parts at the regulated price (so the ’12’000 euro’ engine is only available when you buy a whole 300’000 euro bike, but the engine is only 12k, honest).
      .
      So we either have teams paying lip service to a ‘cost cap’ or we have GP2+ with twenty two identical cars separated only by the paintwork, I’d prefer F1 to remain as the absurd money bleeding edge, ultimately the budgets are what the sponsors are willing to pay, if that goes down, so will the budgets.

      1. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

        There should be a cost cap in F1 and it is absolutely possible, as proven by many other (if not all other) high profile sports.
        I would also like they spent as much as they want, but it an obvious obstacle. What will happen as the situation is these days is – the reach team (ONLY ONE) will always win (RB is a very good example – I doubt, have they not pulled out of the FOTA gentleman’s agreement on cost cutting, they would have won those 4 doubles)
        The other way to stop that from happening is to change the rules (in a really drastic way. I mean the whole philosophy or the car’s design) every year, so poorer teams will have the chance to shine … at least at the start of the seasons, before that same team catch them by the start of the European season…
        The problem is that the teams are like a big corporations now, rather a back yard garages from before. So these big businesses need a cost cap to survive… I think

    2. dimitar kadrinski says:

      Bernie is not “steering the ship” on cost saving, its FIA who does. But i still don’t like the idea of Horner (Seb please don’t… and he does) working alongside Ecclestone.

  6. Ian James says:

    Hi all,
    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the embarrassing lack of noise in Melbourne was so bad and obvious that it will very likely stop a LARGE number of people from coming to next year’s race and for years to come. Walker is absolutely right; it’s that serious. The current F1 rule makers have brought this on themselves and on the sport and it should be no surprise to them, or to anyone else, just how quiet and boring the V6 turbo hybrids sound. F1 is about passion and excitement and both have been ripped out of the sport this year.

    As for the fuel flow meters, this is another symptom of the current breed of regulators not knowing when to leave it alone. So what, if a car can pass another at over 100 km/h delta. Limit the tanks to a volume of 130 litres by all means but let the teams use that limited fuel to the absolute maximum when they chose to do so. Including running dry towards the end of the race if they miscalculate and use it all up. It’s just like blowing a tyre if the team miscalculates, isn’t it? And, these guys are not taxis drivers, they are the absolute world’s best pilots!

    Let’s bring back the excitement and passion to this previously fantastic sport. Bring back the noise as soon as the professional engineers have found a way of doing so (hopefully during 2014) and remove the dopey fuel flow meters NOW!

    Cheers,
    Ian (in Sydney)

    1. Kramgp says:

      There was a good post on jamess’ site about fuel flow meters. They are so one car cannot just blow past another because they turn the flow up. I have to agree. That would knot be racing more just 50 odd quali laps because it would be so easy to pass. The only reason fuel flow meters are so out there with the fans is because of what happened to ric in aus and that blame lies with red bull for ignoring directives

      1. Jon Read says:

        Sorry, but i would rather watch a driver going as fast as he and his machinery can possibly go, rather than worrying that they must not exceed the fuel limit.
        The teams want to build the fastest car and employ the fastest drivers. That is what F1 used to and should be all about.

        What is wrong with allowing the teams to monitor how much fuel is used, as long as they do not exceed the FIA’s amount. If they run out of fuel because they have gone too quick, well its their fault. That would be the same as driving the car so quick that the engine blows up. The cars would not run out of fuel as the teams are perfectly able to monitor the fuel usage and adjust accordingly, they do not need the FIA’s interference all the time.

      2. super seven says:

        Do you like artificial passing aids like DRS?

        If the fuel flow were not limited, then every driver would have a massive push to pass booster button, making passing even easier than it is on tracks where the DRS zone has been set too big.

        Red Bull are the only team vocally complaining about the fuel sensors. The others are just getting on with the racing. The simple reason for this is that Red Bull are unable to spend their way out of their current position at the moment, so they’re trying to do an end around in the rules instead.

      3. Jon Read says:

        No im not a fan of DRS, nor do i mean mean use a button to pass, if you have a turbocharger, why not run it at the highest boost pressure you can to enable racing drivers to race with the fuel they have & technology available. Why keep restricting everything, how can that be racing

      4. CJD says:

        they are free to run any boostpressure on the turbo, because the turbo also powers the MGU
        thats the reason the need this stupid fuelflowmeter

    2. AuraF1 says:

      Can we just finally agree though that the fuel flow meters were NOT an FIA dictat brought in for no reason other than to annoy everyone.

      The MANUFACTURERS demanded fuel flow meters to force their rivals to focus on the energy recovery development and to avoid it becoming an exotic mapping arms race.

      Renault demanded this formula or they were leaving and F1 would have collapsed.

      Sure there’s plenty complaining now it’s not worked out for them – but as much as the FIA shoots itself in the foot week after week, the fuel flow meters were NOT even their idea…

      1. KRB says:

        Yeah, it’s more than a bit rich that Renault now wants to get rid of the fuel-flow regulation! They asked for this, agreed to it, went into this new engine formula with eyes wide open. They all agreed to the in-season engine freeze as well. I don’t know why, ‘cos it was assured that you would get whining from any that were caught out. But at the time they all imagined themselves as the one who would benefit, didn’t they?

      2. AuraF1 says:

        I see Renault are now also the most vocal about the noise being impossible to alter…complaining about the formula when you are losing is standard practice I suppose, poison the well, but yes, Renault can’t demand the formula is changed to suit their business and then cry foul when they screw it up. Let’s face it – Renault were the ones who threw down the ultimatum to F1 about changing the power train or they were leaving.

        The FIA are often incompetent and self-involved but there are a lot of fans who seem to blame them for everything under the sun, when it’s often other parties who demand these things.

        The teams are reliant on the engine manufacturers ultimately – the engine manufacturers call a lot of the shots, ever since they realised that leaving F1 is a definite option and they all wanted the Fuel Flow restrictions and didn’t trust the others to monitor it, so they demanded the FIA step in and watch their rivals. The FIA clearly got caught in a bungled bid with the sensor manufacturer and all that nonsense, but the teams and engine manufacturers can’t complain that it was imposed upon them like a bolt from the blue. They have a group to decide rules like this together.

        The biggest failing all round is nobody has explained this to the fans. Even commentators here, on James’ site, who are usually better informed than the average fan keep decrying the FIA and it’s insane rule structures without quite getting that the teams all had a technical working group to invent these rules and they all demanded and agreed to this. The FIA is basically following orders.

        Red Bull/Renault are basically the little kids who screamed for a blue balloon and then when they got it cried because they think Red is better now.

    3. Jonno says:

      How exactly do you know the feelings of people over the noise issue? There are many thousands of people who don’t attend races because of the noise. There’s every chance they will start attending GPs in the knowledge they won’t suffer damage to their hearing.

      Whatever, there are many other issues affecting race attendance – cost being the biggest problem.

      1. Sebee says:

        Yes, let’s cater to those fans who never went to a GP because old V10s and V8s were too loud.

        How about classical music played over PA while the race is on as well?

        It’s too loud for you, put on ear muffs. It’s too quiet for many fans who attended races so far. What can they do to restore the trademark F1 sound?

      2. wolf says:

        It’s not important that the engines have probably maintained the same total power output due to ERS, or that the cars will probably be lapping at speeds the same or quicker than last year within the next race or two. Clearly excitement is directly proportional to the level of noise emitted by the engines rather than the racing itself.
        To ensure that fans receive an appropriate level of excitement for their dollar all cars should be equipped with a FIA mandated amplifier installed on the rear which will augment the engine noise by +40db. To prevent teams from circumventing the rules cars will have their noise level measured randomly throughout the race weekend and anyone who is deemed to not be providing sufficient noise (and therefore insufficient excitement) will be fined for shortchanging the fans and the driver will be handed a grid penalty (for infractions committed in practice and qualifying) or a time penalty for infractions during the race.
        I believe this should address all of the current problems in F1 and we can get back to racing.

      3. KRB says:

        The only real way is to screw with the engine formula. Because the cars are revving around 11-12k, instead of 18k, and the turbo is dampening the sound, the result is the noise is way down.

        THEY KNEW THIS WOULD BE THE RESULT! Why are they only acting concerned after it’s already done?!?

        F1 governance is like a banana republic deciding overnight that it’s nationalizing various industries after an influx of foreign investment. Sure, you might pocket that foreign money in the short term, but long term you’re screwing yourself over economically. No engine manufacturer will touch the sport if it swings wildly back and forth, the jeopardizes a massive investment.

        It’s a gong show.

      4. NickH says:

        I agree Sebee.

        All they can do is get rid of the fuel limit, so that they can turn the revs up, and this in turn would make the sound better. They literally can’t do anything to the sound with the fuel limit in place because they can’t increase the revs.

      5. JOHN says:

        I would love to respond to this ……… but im afraid i might….. hurt your eyes !

    4. tank says:

      Hi Ian

      Your post rang true with me. Admittedly I am too young to remember the first turbo era. However, I’ve been lucky enough to go to three races and was due to go to Bahrain this year. After Melbourne I cancelled my plans due to the lack of “engine music”. True story.

      Formula 1 is a very different experience track side. The positives have been: 1) awesome company with equally dedicated fans all around, 2) the lack of commentary gives a fresh perspective 3) the smell sometimes 4) the sound all the time.

      The sound could be heard from far outside the circuit, and every time I’ve walked towards a circuit for friday practice while cars were on track, every hair stood on-end. For me at least, it was an absolutely addictive experience.

      The turbochargers even out the pressure waves from the exhausts so it is quieter as a consequence – I can’t see how they would increase the volume without unbolting the turbos. Also, the cars aren’t getting near the rev limit so the sound they do make is more like a GT car. I think this is due to the fuel flow rate limit.

      So one could argue that the sound (which is one of the most evocative aspects of Formula 1) has been consequently banned. Rules is rules, I guess but I’ve very sadly submitted my vote.

      1. audifan says:

        I might consider going again now that the noise levels have been reduced so that I don’t fear being deafened even with ear plugs

      2. tank says:

        sorry what?

      3. ManOnWheels says:

        +1. This is the first year that I’m actually thinking of watching a Grand Prix live on the grand stands. I just love the new sound.

      4. Sebee says:

        Didn’t know there were so many F1 fans who had such sensitive hearing and didn’t know how to protect it at a GP.

        No wonder there are so few rock concerts. Obviously no one goes to save their hearing.

      5. naeil says:

        Hope you drink your dandelion tea cold to prevent possible scolding yourself as well.

      6. NickH says:

        A lot of F1 fans with very sensitive hearing appear to be the only ones who like the new sound/lack of it. If you’re so worried about your ears maybe find a different interest, like chess

      7. Brent says:

        I would argue, if your experience with F1 only covers the noisy era of the V8′s and V10′s, then you have never actually heard the sounds of an F1 race. Just unbearable engine noise.

      8. jonathan says:

        The noise issue does split peoples opinions to which everyone is entitled to, however, after hearing the v12-10-8 cylinder engines, the new format is flat, I do like the sound of the turbo you can hear, but would also like to hear the engine screaming in agony like a tortured soul as the revs rise to insane levels.
        The speed, noise and atmosphere is what makes f1, at the moment some of it is missing

      9. Purple Helmet says:

        These people complaining about how quiet the cars are… they were all wearing earplugs last GP I went to.

        And these people complaining about boring races think 2000-2005 is some kind of classic era, because Ferrari won everything?

        F1′s golden period was probably 2007-2010. Close championships going down to wire, you weren’t sure who’d win going into each weekend, and four different manufacturers won each of those 4 seasons. And no DRS or stupidly flaky tyres.

      10. Sebee says:

        Because the noise was so powerful they could also hear it with their butts, feet, chest. Ears were not a requirement.

      11. J.Danek says:

        Right NOW is F1′s “Golden Era”!

        All the people moaning are just having a good whinge – especially the Aussie “fans”!

        They – in particular – should watch this clip from “The Ronnie Johns Half Hour” and listen to the advice of their Aussie compatriot “Chopper Read” (portrayed by Heath Franklin):

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unkIVvjZc9Y

      12. Sammy says:

        Dear friends, 2014 is the beginning of the end. Beye beye V12, V10, V8. Goodbeye screaming engine noise which gave us goosebumps every single lap during all those beautifull years. I’m trying very very hard to like the new F1 but it’s damn difficult knowing how it was and at the same time realising that it’s over and out. WHY?

      13. Gazza says:

        Last time I went to Silverstone in 2009 I found the noise unbearable and had to wear ear plugs the whole time which kind of defeats the object of listening to the sound.

        I attend a lot of airshows and the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin in a Spit always makes my hairs stand on end.

        Sound is not all about volume.

        So far watching it on telly I like the fact I can hear a lot more going on then just a screaming engine.

      14. C63 says:

        @Sebee
        they could also hear it with their butts…….

        I have heard people talking out of their backsides, but never anyone using it to listen:-)

      15. Sebee says:

        Alright C63, I hear you. I won’t deny that I haven’t let a “fart” slip out here and there.

        But you know what they say; you smelt it, you dealt it!

    5. j says:

      This is like a little kid who goes to summer camp for 10 days. His parents give $20 for the snack shop and the shop only allows the kid to spend $2 per day.

      The kid says “this limit is stupid, let us spend what we want”. He thinks he can spend $10 a day on snacks for 10 days and never run out of money.

      No fuel flow limit isn’t going to let the cars drive flat out all race. The teams will spend 60% of their fuel over 30% of the race and then coast around during the middle 70%, which is 40 laps at Bahrain.

      1. Tyemz says:

        Good analogy. As the teams are always looking to save something, it’s bye to flat out racing no matter what the FIA does, at least most fans idea of flat out racing.

    6. grat says:

      As long as we’ve got turbos, we need fuel flow limits– sorry.

      However, I could see increasing the fuel limit, along with the minimum weight of the car, by some number– say, 20 kilos, and increasing the limit to allow the cars to run at 13,500 RPM (note that the equation (0.009 * RPM) + 5.5 = 100 kg/h @ 10,500 RPM). At 13,500 RPM, that gives 127 kg/hr flow.

      The problem is, if you do that (which would improve the sound dramatically), you also need to allow the teams to re-select their gear ratios.

      1. Dimitar Kadrinski says:

        I am not an engineer to know what that formula is for, but I though they are limited to 15,000 RPM at the moment… so they are already allowed to run at 13,500 or even higher if they want.

      2. grat says:

        The engines are limited to 15,000 RPM, yes. But the fuel flow is capped at 100 kg/h @ 10,500 RPM.

        Since the flow is capped and you can’t get more HP over 10,500, the teams aren’t really using the top 30% of the RPM band, except possibly for overrun or engine braking.

        Silly, isn’t it?

    7. dimitar kadrinski says:

      What does the passion for the sport has to do with the sound of the engine is beyond me…
      Passion should have much stronger meaning..

      1. Rudy says:

        Well mate, for sure you haven’t been to a race. The engine sound makes you feel alive, the ground rumbles and the sound blast is staggering. Racing involves different ingredients: strategy, driver talent, car reliability, race management, fitness, weather, track characteristic, engineering, awareness, sound. I remember watching an Osella from the 80′s. It was a crappy car with an italian driver on it, but oh man listening to that v12 was worth the ticket. Imagine when the Ferrari, the Lotus, the Ligier came out screaming and every corner those drivers blipping the throttle and hearing the manual shifting… And that special smell of petrol an oil burning through the pipes. It is unforgettable!
        Imagine going to a concert (preferably Rock) and being able to chat with the guy next to you! No way! The loudness in concerts and in motor sports is within the soul of the thing itself.
        But we must admit this F1 is targeted to the greenies and new generations. It is the nature of cycles. One ends, other begins. Game over for many fans, that is.
        Maybe you are a new-gen fan. Enjoy the sport, it was taylor made for your generation.

      2. cbush66 says:

        Well said… I still don’t understand what green has to do with motorsport, I think F1 is trying to attract the Honda Prius drivers.

  7. Andrew H says:

    Shorter races?

    Are they trying to kill F1?

    I think I can get use to the new changes for 2014 but I really think they should dump these Pirelli tyres. I think that would improve the racing over the whole race rather than just the first 4 laps.

    The new rules has brought the grid somewhat closer together but it turns back into follow the leader early on due to the tyres.

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      Actually I think that the tires have improved a lot this year. They drop off steadily, they allow 2 to 3 stop strategies to be almost equally fast, they seem to stand a good beating once in a while, the teams do not seem to have such a hard time getting the temperatures right we have less marbles and the rain tires have a good crossover to the intermediates. I’d say these are the first tires that Pirelli brought, since they came into Formula 1, that are actually worthy.
      I had lost hope that they would get it right one day, but it seems they did, finally.

      I’m pretty sure that if the rules stay stable for the next 2 or 3 years, the field and the fight get closer. It’s always been this way.
      Just wait for the middle or end of this season, when the teams have eliminated the worst problems and know well enough how to handle their new toys.

  8. Roth says:

    Ok, shortening the races is an absolute NO! This race distance as far as I am aware has been set since day one. If “push harder” is something that cannot be done by any driver with current distances then they aren’t fit for racing. And none of the current drivers have this issue. If the idea is on the fuel and cars durability than rules will be added with it to limit the power unit allotment further as well as lessening the fuel flow. So where are we now? Back to square one. By the end of the season teams and drivers will catch up to the format of Formula 1 2014. At least let that run it’s course. Then maybe up the RPM’s for some added volume, keep fuel flow rates, add some to the total fuel capacity to compensate. The aero grip side will balance in time. And the tyres seem perfect as they currently are. All these unnessesary rule changes not partaining to the car regulations really need to go and never be considered further. The perfect ‘Formula’ is within the cars NOT the blanket of silly rules atop them.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Shortening the races is one of those strange ideas that men in their 50s and 60s jump to thinking everyone under 40 will suddenly start watching.

      Hint – the duration of the race isn’t what’s putting off the younger generations or women from watching. Viewing figures take a dive every time there’s one dominant figure winning year after year – it happened with Schumacher and it happened again with Vettel.

      And likely the biggest issue to instigating casual viewership decline has been the move to pay TV subscription broadcast. Face it – the kids and young teens who might have watched a season and got into it on free TV can only now become a fan if a parent subscribes and gets them into watching it.

      But, yeah, sure, making the races half distance is going to see the kids clamouring for Sky Sports subscriptions tomorrow. That’s the real kicker…sheesh…because we know EVERY school kid would watch football if they only played one half because y’know attention spans and stuff…

      1. SteveS says:

        Viewing did not decline due to Vettel winning, they declined because in many markets F1 switched from free broadcasting to pay-per-view.

      2. AuraF1 says:

        Did you read my comment?

      3. KRB says:

        Stopped reading after the first two paragraphs?!?

      4. Guyb says:

        Love the irony of SteveS only reading half of AuraF1′s comment!

      5. ManOnWheels says:

        I’m living in Germany and most frustrated by the fact, that I can’t legally get a SkySports subscription to watch it live on the internet.
        The German feed is just unbearable and at the moment I’m rather watching a bad quality SkySports picture via malware and advert infested websites than having to bear the German coverage. I just don’t feel I have any other choice and it is very sad, because I’m willing to pay SkySports for watching the races. This is so pathetic and it supports the wrong, shady people. Ecclestone really has missed the internet train, big time. When will people ever learn?

      6. AuraF1 says:

        Incredibly sad, people will pay for it but subscription tv is not the answer. The internet offers many more models.

      7. Christi@n says:

        I have the same problem….

      8. Gaz Boy says:

        Can you get the BBC F1 website? If you can, you can watch 8 races live this year (Spain, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Russia, Abu Dhabi) and the others are shown as edited highlights a few hours after the race – all online, its an excellent service and website. Having said that, I don’t know if the BBC live internet coverage only covers the UK and commonwealth countries.
        Also, check out the BBC Classic F1 races – although again I don’t know if it covers the German market.
        If – if – you can get the BBC feed online, I highly recommend it.

      9. dimitar kadrinski says:

        Gaz Boy, opening the BBC Sport F1 site has nothing to do with watching live stream. You will never be able to watch live BBC (or Sky for that matter) outside UK border as it is ILLEGAL.
        Well so to speak… you can still use a proxy server to “lie” to the BBC live stream that you are based in UK and watch it, but that is again Illegal, and for the speed you will need, it will most likely have to be a paid service.

      10. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Dimitar Kadrinski: Thanks for clarifying the internet rules to me, the only reason I thought a person in Germany could watch the Beeb online is that the BBC has a World Service, and I wasn’t sure if World Service viewers had access to the BBC’s website – but thanks anyway.
        I think we can all agree the lack of a universal Internet coverage of F1 online is baffling considering F1 is supposed to be the epitome of high technology.

      11. ManOnWheels says:

        Most people will prefer their local feeds, but I don’t see why each TV station that wanted would not be allowed to offer their feed world wide so the customer can chose. If there are people from Hungary who prefer their own commentary, but who are living in some country abroad, why not let them have it? If there are Germans that prefer the English commentary, why not let them have it? If there are Brazilian or Portuguese people living abroad that want to see the grid walk by Rubens Barrichello, what’s wrong with giving them the option? The tiniest minority of regular watchers would take that option anyway, so there is nothing much to lose. And it is still an opportunity to get money from expats all around the globe.

      12. Sebee says:

        So you’d be against two shorter races instead of one?

      13. AuraF1 says:

        To be honest yes, given the technical challenges I think you’d end up with teams virtually giving up in one race to focus resources on the other. It’d end up as even more lop sided towards a spending championship than it is now. You’d get people retiring to save parts more and likely lots if holding station so they could enter the next race. No point in risking it all for one place when you could have another go later on.

        I’m sure there are some benefits to multiple shorter races but I don’t think it’s the panacea so many of the old school seem to think it is. It’s just patronising younger audiences by saying they can’t concentrate for long.

    2. CJD says:

      i am with you, but get rid of this dangerouse noses!

  9. David B says:

    Although the engines don’t sound that good i think fans will get used to it in time. What will never be embraced fully in my view is driving to a fuel strategy rather than driving to overtake. Same with tyres. Keep the hybrid engines, keep the DRS if you really need to but for the sake of the sport just fill up the car with fuel and let drivers race flat out.

    1. dren says:

      Yes, I agree with the engine noise. I don’t see why the fuel issue is such a big deal. Everyone has the same limit. There are still battles going on during the races. I like the idea of efficiency. F1 is an engineering sport more so than a racing sport; the reason why I enjoy it.

      F1 can go back to tires that last forever and let the cars fuel to any level and let the drivers push all race. When F1 had that, we watched boring processions and little to no variation in strategy.

    2. Ben says:

      They have been driving to a fuel strategy for a while – do you remember Malaysia last year? Rosberg was ordered not to overtake Hamilton because ‘the team’ had miscalculated Hamilton’s fuel usage and he was marginal… He had to turn his engine down to make it to the end of the race. This is nothing new

    3. Jim says:

      Fuel strategy is nothing new. Teams have regularly under-fuelled to save weight and then gone into fuel-saving mode during the race. Allegedly Mercedes are already talking about using less than the allowed 100kg, and the other engine manufacturers will catch up sooner or later.

      I find it rather pathetic that although the effects of the new rules have been anticipated for months, if not years, the teams who have not done such a good job are instantly whining like a bunch of spoiled kids, trying to drag their opponents back instead of working harder to catch up. They’re supposed to be adults, they all signed up to the rules, so they should shut up and get on with it.

  10. Kristian says:

    I really hope that shortening the races is not a serious suggestion! Its a Grand Prix, not a Mini Prix, and if there are teams who cannot meet the requirements then its their problem. Also if the promotors are making a fuss about the lack of noise, imagine what they would say about shorter races. And pity the fans who already only get 6.5 hours of F1 action for £300 weekend grandstand ticket in many cases…

    1. Alec Tronnick says:

      Hey I’ve got a great idea to make a 50% reduction in fuel consumption for WSC … The FIA could reduce LeMans to 12 hours!
      Shorter GP’s my ar$€
      Surely this was an April Fools day prank?

  11. Spinodontosaurus says:

    Shorten the races? Who’s silly idea was this? Formula One isn’t a sprint series, never was, never should be. Some races, such as Monza, are probably too short. I hope this doesn’t get green-lighted.

    I’m neutral on the sound “issue” too.

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      A lot of races have a rather boring phase in the middle, but get busy again towards the end. Shortening races will do no good I suppose. It’s the slightly longer run that creates new opportunities for different race strategies.

    2. Sebee says:

      It always was a sprint, it still is.

  12. Gaz Boy says:

    The succession of Mr E is a situation that should have been done years ago, but better late than never.
    Of course, the fate of Mr E, FOM and F1 of course depends on those sensible Germans, so the ball is literally in their court.

  13. James Clayton says:

    Shorter races? That would make me sad. I would personally like to see Quali and the race on the same day – I *like* to spend a lot of time watching F1, but there’s no reason it should have to take up TWO of my days (three if you count Fridays, but I usually manage to get other stuff done then – I only watch Free Practice if it’s convenient).

    But you can’t really expect the venues to accept the inevitable loss in revenue that goes with having both the main events on the same day.

    Of course another option, though certainly not practical for this season, is to re-introduce refuelling. How ironic would it be if measures originally taken as a step towards a more energy efficient formula ultimately led to the re-introduction of refuelling :)

    1. James Clayton says:

      Also, it puzzles me slightly that the teams believe that shortening the races is likely to close the gap to Mercedes. I have a feeling the gap would be likely to INCREASE if the Merc is able to push flat out of an entire race; for surely they’ll only accept shortening of the races on the condition that fuel-flow restrictions are also abolished?

    2. Jon83 says:

      If you have qualifying and race on the same day, what would you do in a situation like Japan 2010 or Australia 2013?

      Sorry, bad idea in my opinion. The way it is at the moment is absolutely fine.

      1. James Clayton says:

        “If you have qualifying and race on the same day, what would you do in a situation like Japan 2010 or Australia 2013?”

        I’m struggling to see your point here? In both cases qualifying WAS held on the same day as the race and everything worked out just fine…

      2. Jon83 says:

        Sorry, I’ve misread what you wrote – my bad.

        To be honest though, the 3-day thing is great if you are attending a race weekend. Plus you get to see some other series racing as well for most weekends.

    3. James Clayton says:

      “Of course another option, though certainly not practical for this season, is to re-introduce refuelling. How ironic would it be if measures originally taken as a step towards a more energy efficient formula ultimately led to the re-introduction of refuelling”

      In fact… I think the only way the FIA could introduce refuelling and still save face would be to INCREASE the distance of a race. Now I’d be all for that! :)

  14. HJ says:

    I like being able to hear more clearly what the drivers are doing. I just understand this push for higher decibels. Higher decibels are more dangerous! Why subject the drivers to them? Just let everyone get used to the difference – and that’s all it is, people don’t like change.

    I think everyone is falling into Ecclestone’s trap; instead of fiddling with things they should be thinking about who should run things instead of him. I know the teams don’t have that choice, but if they thought about it, and presented a untied front with a couple of sensible suggestions, they might have some useful input into those who do decide.

    1. Mark says:

      HJ, you must be new to F1 because F1 has always been about noise,speed and and the smell.Perhaps you might be best suited to watching the Tour de France.

      1. Brent says:

        I don’t agree Mark. F1 use to be about speed and handling and engine technology. We haven’t had a truly leading edge engine since the turbos of the 80′s.

        I see F1 as having been stagnant for 20 years and it is finally back on track. Design, engineering and driving brilliance that’s F1.Noise is just noise it’s not speed.

      2. C63 says:

        Very well written – spot on. :-)

      3. super seven says:

        I’m not new to F1. I’ve watched it since the time of James Hunt and Niki Lauda. I’ve designed parts for F1 and watched races from both the stands and the pits.

        F1 is about speed and pushing engineering to its limits. People will get used to the different noise.

        I’m OK with fuel flow limits, too, though it should probably be tweaked for next season. Force the engines to rev higher by not allowing peak fuel flow until 15000 rpm. I think the limit is currently somewhere around 11000rpm, so there isn’t much reason to rev higher than that.

        Changing the rules mid season can be likened to moving the target after the shots have already been fired, and makes a mockery of the sport.

      4. CJD says:

        +1
        best sugestion i read till now

        its the flowlimiit at 10500 .. and rev at 12000
        but that change would need re-homologation of the 3 (then 4) engines

  15. goferet says:

    Maybe what the FIA should have done is set up a pole asking the fans what changes they would like to see.

    With the fans vote taken into consideration, maybe the FIA would have avoided having further meetings as the customers would have been satisfied with the product.

    So Luca wants shorter races, but why when we saw in Malaysia that 100kg of fuel is more than enough besides, taking the tyres/engine into account, the drivers can’t push from start to finish.

    Shorter races are a definite no-no for the promoters would have a torrid time justifying the ticket prices.

    As for Formula Boredom, I think it’s too learn to judge as we have only had 2 races and so the development race hasn’t kicked in yet.

    For all we know, 2014 may turn out to be the opposite of 2013 with a uncompetitive first half and then a edge of the seat second half.

    As for the budget cap, I don’t believe this will push through for I understand what makes the sport attractive to car manufactures is the fact that they can utilize their resources.

    Yes teams with tradition like Ferrari believe it’s not right for them to battle with backmarkers and so a budget cap doesn’t make sense.

    P.s.

    I think it’s time the FIA entered the 21st century by restricting their meetings to Skype all in a bid to save fuel.

  16. franed says:

    Here again is the opportunity for those with heavily vested interests to screw things up for everybody else.

    Bernie should be gone by this time next year!
    Luca may very well be gone too! CVC may be gone from F1 ownership (now in a minority anyway)
    Red Bull may concentrate on people throwing themselves off cliffs instead of F1. There is the opportunity to develop the air race into a full tv program instead of just seeing planes zoom past.

    It is the financial structure that needs to change. The money needs to stay inside the sport and not be drained away in exchange for massive debt piles which is what happens now. If much more debt is added to allow more “imagined profit” to be taken out F1 will become totally unsaleable. Something needs to be done on the commercial side very quickly.

    At the moment, the remaining years of the existing tv and circuit contracts guarantee
    income for FOM/Delta etc; but the attractiveness to sponsors is declining with audience figures and than has nothing to do with noise! No it is the change to pay tv that has caused the dramatic drop in viewing figures. Of course to Bernie the so called noise issue is a godsend because it covers his killing of the golden goose. It is also a nice distraction from his approaching court appearance in Germany, not to mention the probable Bluewater case in London and the Swiss one. I think Mr Justice Newey’s words have really hit home.

    I think F1 has only 3 years left before commercial collapse of the teams through lack of sponsors, it must change before that happens.

    We have to thank our lucky stars that the BTCC is nothing to do with the FIA, Bernie or CVC and still provides some of the best tv racing ever and again it’s not about noise, but the racing.

    1. Sebee says:

      So you’d rather have 100m customers that pay you nothing vs. 50m that pay you something?

      I ddon’t like pay TV, but I understand it. Plus, you can always go back to giving it away free again…for a while, before monetizing your free customer base again.

  17. HJ says:

    *I just DON’T understand this push – sorry for the missing word!

    And *untied should be united.

  18. Andy says:

    Shortening the race distance is nuts, fans pay enough to watch as it is, without beging short changed further. Teams aren’t going to run around with more than the bare minimum of fuel either, so it won’t change anything.

  19. aezy_doc says:

    Regarding noise levels, what way under the current engine/power unit formula could the decibel level be increased/ Would simple exhaust tuning do it?

    1. Andrew says:

      I think the sound engineers who mic up the track need to change the microphones they are using. The engine note is much lower than last year. Last year’s higher pitched sounds are at a much more responsive range than these new ones.

      I personally cannot understand how the issue of noise can cause so much problem. What I love about F1 is that wild combination of supreme human skill and supreme engineering talent. These engines, or should I say power units, are amazing in how they produce power. Naturally if you put a turbo on you are going to make it quieter just by the pure fact the energy is taken out of the exhaust.

      I can understand attacks on tyres, although I like the strategy it brings; I can definitely understand attack on fuel flow and limits, I don’t like how it is so obvious how drivers are not pushing the limits (I also realise that very rarely in the past they would push anywhere near 100% for every lap of a race) However, criticizing the sound just seems ludicrous in the face of all other genuine complaints. One thing with the quieter sound is that I like hearing all the other almost mysterious and futuristic sounds of the turbo and the energy harvesting that goes on.

      As for double points and shorter race distances now there is something that we should really get annoyed about.

      1. aezy_doc says:

        I quite like the current noise too, but I was just wondering. I am with you every step of the way in terms of double points and shorter races – more points for doing less? What’s that all about?

    2. mel_drew says:

      Piece of cardboard in the wheel spokes would do it.

      1. RogerD says:

        That’d do it for sure :D

        Also, I was thinking that my ’79 Ford Esky sounded well wicked when it had a hole in the exhaust (just before it fell off entirely). Each team should be issued with and FIA-approved battery drill and told to drill some extra holes in the exhaust system.

        P.S. Neons for the night races would also be totally sick.

      2. Rich B says:

        lol :-)

    3. AuraF1 says:

      I think engineers have said exhaust tuning might alter the specific tone and could make it seem slightly louder, but basically it’s the rev limit.

      I would have thought that the more efficient the energy recovery package, the quieter the engine would get though? Maybe someone with a better grasp of physics could help me out there? Isn’t the noise basically wasted energy?

      1. RogerD says:

        Yes noise is wasted energy, but the amount wasted is completely insignificant.

      2. Brent says:

        That’s not true. The V8′s and 10′s were terribly inefficient and all that waste could be heard in the excessive noise.

      3. jonathan says:

        But how inefficient were all those v8 engines, put against all the vehicles that transport the goods from circuit to circuit, I bet the v8 f1 engine v 1 articulated lorry is pretty good. Want to make f1 greener and less pollutant, restrict the amount of equipment required to be moved by air or road and you will have a greener sport which the purists will still enjoy and the greens will be happy as well.

      4. Dave Emberton says:

        They’re not getting close to the rev limit, thanks to the increased low down torque. Raising the rev limit back to 18Krpm wouldn’t make a difference.

        Maybe there’s some change to the exhaust rules that would make the cars louder without messing up all the engine development too much. I don’t know enough about it to say, but I’m sure FOM could do a better job of capturing the sound for TV.

      5. AuraF1 says:

        They could certainly use closer mics, and use those set for the frequency range, they also need to radically update their audio broadcast standards for EQ and limiting – that would certainly make them more thrilling on TV broadcast – but I guess this does nothing for those complaining about the live sound in front of them.

  20. robert christian says:

    i cant understand how no one has noticed how slow these cars are? the race leader would have been lapped 4 times by a 2010 f1 car. who wants to see slow cars racing ???check the facts on wiki the race time 10 years ago was 1hr 31ms compared to 1hr 40ms now

    1. glen says:

      The cars also look very slow on the screen too.

      It is too late to go back, so they need to embrace the new rules and formula now. I think they shouldn’t change the rules for the next 5 years now. Maybe just remove DRS, because it is proper naff.

      The cars are too slow though and thought is needed to make them faster and more on the limit again. That should be the challenge for the future. No one will ever be interested in a motorsport that is too safe.

      There are lots of complaints about the lack of noise, but this brings new opportunities. I heard for the first time on TV the crowd cheer in the grandstand when Hamilton crossed the finishing line. Just imagine Silverstone! The TV people need to put sound monitors in the crowds and the TV will pick up the grandstand atmosphere.

      1. James Allen says:

        They look very fast in the flesh

      2. Mark says:

        Hi james,I have always loved your work on F1,your knowledge,professionalism and insight is second to none but seriously you and me both know that F1 is becoming a FARCE.

      3. NJB says:

        That may be so but the majority of fans experience F1 on television where they do indeed look slow (not to mention ugly).

        Also the broadcast is eerily quiet – during the BBC broadcast the sound of commentator in the adjacent box was audible through the wall.

        It seems to me that some fans and journalists want to appear progressive by saying they like the noise but I think David Coulthard was being more honest than most when, during an underwhelming on-board shot he said ‘I keep telling myself to like the noise, like the noise’.

        Personally I’m not interested in the barely audible crowd noise – we’re not watching cricket. And the novelty of hearing a tyre screech wore off after the first time I heard one.

        As a start I would suggest scrapping the fuel flow restrictions so that the engines can at least be turned up to 15,000 rpm.

      4. James Allen says:

        I think that was me through the wall – our box is next to Ben and DC’s….!

      5. Sorry James – that’s not the impression I got standing trackside at Melbourne. Yes, they were faster than the Mazda 3s, Porsche Carreras and V8SCs but the crowd was truly alive when the old RBR car came out for the Ultimate Speed Comparison shows. Even the 2 seater ride car looked at sounded better.

        As I have said before, the decibels aren’t really the issue – it is more the fact that the engines, running at 2/3rds rev capabilities don’t sound stressed and don’t, therefore, give the impression of being driven hard. I know the drivers are trying to make up for that through keeping higher mid-corner speed and the application of electricity but that does not become apparent to the spectator. The Mazda 3s (almost silent in comparison) were quite entertaining races. The V8Scs, in my opinion, stole the show on the weekend – even though it was a non-championship event for them they still drove hard, made their engines sing and rubbed a few panels. The Porsches sounded better because they had them on the rev limiters so they sounded quicker even though they weren’t.

        The pinnacle of motorsport should be a balls-out contest between the best drivers in the world in cars the look, sound and go great. It is currently a time trial with the aim to win in the slowest time to save the most fuel, tyre life and engine life. Just dull.

      6. kenneth chapman says:

        yes james….looks can be deceiving?

      7. ManOnWheels says:

        I’d say it is a misconception because of the reduced noise and revs. It has been tested that people perceive vacuum cleaners to clean better if they are louder, even though during these tests it was the other way round.

        I know, from my job, that people perceive a program to be faster if it responds earlier by showing a partial result, even though it might actually work slower (because it has to update and render the partial results multiple times).

        The new cars are actually faster in a straight line.
        Jerez: 307.6 km/h (2014) vs 305.2 km/h (2013)
        Bahrain: 336.4 km/h (2014) vs 314.2 km/h (2013)

        And in Bahrain Hamilton’s fastest race(!) lap (1:34.263) was just 1.9 Seconds shy of the 2013 Pole Position lap!
        If you really think the cars look slow, think again.
        Hardly anyone could tell a difference of 2 seconds a lap with the noise turned off in a double blind test.

      8. Which all goes to prove that noise IS an important factor. You are trying to elicit an emotional response from the audience. Sound plays an important role in the type of emotional response you create. Perception is an individual’s reality. If they perceive it to be slow due to noise then, in their mind, it IS slower. The facts displayed by the stopwatch won’t overturn the emotive response generated by the lack of stimulus and engagement of these modern cars.

      9. The paddyman says:

        No no no, no microphones in the stands please….

        It’s not football your watching!!

        Next you’ll be wanting the crowd to sing songs in support of their teams/drivers….

      10. glen says:

        I disagree with you. I was at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and the atmosphere was electric. Every lap the crowd cheered for Hamilton.

      11. The paddyman says:

        That’s all welll an good trackside, but not for the tv viewer….;)

    2. Alec Tronnick says:

      Good point Robert, everyone seems content that 2014 cars a ‘only slightly slower’ than last years, but we need to look back a bit further to see the big picture.
      Eg The Melbourne GP fastest lap was set 10 years ago!

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        *3 years ago, in 2011. Unless you mean the official fastest race lap, then yes that was ten years ago, back when the races were essentially 3-4 short sprints separated by pit stops.
        The fastest ever lap was set in 2011 qualifying though.

    3. R says:

      The fastest lap times this year are slower than Marussia were last year.
      2013 Jules Bianchi 1’42.423
      2014 Lewis Hamilton 1’43.066

      Vettel 2013 1’40.446
      2014 1’44.289

      source: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/03/24/2013-malaysian-grand-prix-lap-times-fastest-laps/

      1. barry says:

        I can’t believe anyone can possibly distinguish 1.5 seconds without a timing device of some kind.
        I like the idea behind the new engine/power units. As numerous respondents have already mentioned, the fuel flow should be left to the teams, and the fuel tank capacity should be limited. f it runs out before the end of the race, better luck next time. It was a constant concern in the previous turbo era and it didn’t kill the racing.
        I also don’t like the mandatory need to use 2 different compounds during the race. Talk about contrived… I’m old enough to remember when Goodyear supplied tires to F1, and the racing was some of the best ever in the history of the sport.
        the biggest changes I see to be necessary to keep the sport viable are reducing CVC’s need to take all the money from the promoters as it limits accessibility to the fans, and pay to watch is just as bad or possibly worse.

    4. Anil Parmar says:

      I just hope the development of these cars is as quick as people say it will be (i.e. about 4s over the course of the year).

  21. Mike Turnbull says:

    I think shortening F1 races will face the same rebuke from fans as double points. Yes, I want to see drivers push themselves to limit. Shortening races is a sticky plaster which doesn’t solve the root cause, I would rather see more fuel being used. The teams should be allowed to develop their engines throughout the season. Increasing engine efficiencies will allow drivers to push more during the race.

    1. Mike Allfrey says:

      The passion . . .

      It would have been very interesting to read what the late DSJ (Denis Sargent Jenkinson) would have written for MotorSport magazine about this year’s Australian Grand Prix.

      Having been an admirer of him for most of my life, I can well imagine his comments!

      Bring back real Formula One racing, to hell with fast degrading tyres, rev limits, shorter races and such ridiculous ideas!

      1. James Allen says:

        He was my mentor in my early years in the sport

        He would have been fascinated by the technology, but probably dismayed by the degree of management needed today

        Remember though, that the 1980s turbos, which he was very much around for, needed a fair bit of managing on fuel etc. Ask Nigel Mansell – he loved all that and there was no better example of a “charger” than him

      2. Jodum5 says:

        I’m really not sure what “real formula one racing” is supposed to be…

  22. rapsac says:

    I find myself worrying that F1 has seriously lost its way recently. Will there be a series of knee-jerk reactions to these perceived problems that will cascade into more and more unforeseen consequences? I sincerely hope not.
    I presume that the fuel tanks are not big enough to increase the fuel allowance to any great degree without redesign – so the races would have to be shortened to allow for more serious racing during a Grand Prix. Will the fuel flow meter be removed and the teams be allowed to monitor their own fuel usage, with all the likely problems of policing compliance?
    Can it really be a good idea that Horner be given a position of such power in a sport in which he already has such a large stake? Can one possibly anticipate that he will be completely impartial?
    And what can possibly be done to make the engines louder, other than removing much of the new technology? Should F1 really have gone down this route?
    I am also seriously concerned about the number of penalties being given in and after races for incidents that I see as racing accidents with no fault on either side.
    I hope my fears prove unfounded.Only time will tell.

    1. David in Sydney says:

      It’s the RPM and the exhaust that kills the F1 sound.

      1. RogerD says:

        No it’s mostly the turbo that kills the sound.

        Previously there was very little between the inlet and outlet valves of the engines and the open air so there was plenty of induction and exhaust noise.

        Now there’s a turbine in both the inlet and outlet pipework and it kills the sound by simply being in the way.

        The physical barrier presented by the turbine blades will both absorb and reflect higher frequency sounds more than the low frequency sounds. That’s just a general rule of noise attenuation rather than anything specific to do with engines and turbochargers.

        So, a turbo car will ALWAYS emit sound lower in the frequency range than an NA car. I am part of a club that has cars running exactly the same engine in both turbo and NA form. The NA cars sound loud and fantastic. Mine (turbo) sounds flat and boring by comparison.

        The high-pitched screaming from F1 engines of the past is because the high frequency sounds were allowed to escape the engine via a very open inlet and exhaust systems.

        Overall, this is why the engineers are saying there’s not much they can do about the sound. The turbo is in the way. That’s all there is to it.

      2. David in Sydney says:

        The turbo is actually part of the exhaust system… but not all turbos sound bad… the lower RPM limit is a large contributor to the sound.

  23. Grant H says:

    so we can look forward to more pointless rule changes…water sprinklers at half way through race or wacky races car upgrades or double points (oh no weve already got that)

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Rocket Launchers. You know it makes sense…

      1. Random 79 says:

        Yes, but you only get to use them if you’re less than a second behind the car in front ;)

        It would put a new meaning to blown exhaust :)

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Random, remember I posted a comment about Formula Jezza with a 3.5 Litre quad-turbo V16 with space thrusters? Got to be worth a thought.
        On a separate note, good luck Daniel this weekend.
        I doubt he’ll win this weekend (although stranger things have happened), but if and when he does finally stand on the top of the podium, as an Australasian/Commonwealth citizen, I’m sure Liz and Phil will send him a congratulatory letter. Jack Brabham was knighted by Liz, Alan Jones received an MBE and Denny Hulme had an OBE, so obviously the queen has a soft spot for F1 drivers from Australia and New Zealand.
        I know we associate HRH more with horse flesh than horse power (the Derby and Ascot), but apparently Liz and Phil like to sit down on a Sunday afternoon in the summer and watch those lunatics in their F1 cars – on the BBC of course.

      3. Random 79 says:

        I don’t know about an MBE or an OBE, but I think he’d like one race without a SNAFU.

        Speaking of accolades though, if something else goes wrong for him in Bahrain he’ll already have broken Webber’s record for bad luck…and that’s no mean feat :)

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        Random, Daniel isn’t suffering from bad luck, he’s suffering from incompetence from his own team – just like Mark did.
        Or is that too harsh?
        An engine failure is bad luck as its something ultimately out of a team’s control sometimes, but ignoring the FIA on fuelling rates and a botched pit-stop just strikes me as intransigence and lack of preparation, which is all self induced.
        Anyway, let’s hope Bull can get actually service two cars properly for a weekend in Bahrain, and let’s see Daniel have a good charge through the field.

  24. Francois says:

    We’ve got gp2 for shorter races. 1h20-1h40 is correct for f1. At trying to catch new fans they might start losing the core ones.
    ???

  25. Alpha16 says:

    Lets hope the powers that be make sensible decisions!!

    Its often the case that they right some wrongs but at the same time create a bunch of whole new issues!

    Like fixing the noise issues and fuel flow meters but then going and shortening races!like WTF

    Chances are after this meeting F1 will just get destroyed even further!

  26. Rob says:

    Isn’t the point of shortening the races to give the teams more fuel to play with over a shorter distance? Simpler than fitting bigger tanks (which probably isn’t even possible).

    1. Alpha16 says:

      Why not bring re fueling back!

      I miss those days!

      1. Ice says:

        Yeh if they bring re fuelling back cars will be able to go flat out more plus they will be a lot lighter

      2. Jim says:

        And they’ll go back to doing all the “overtaking” in the pits.

  27. Rob says:

    Why not make them start with FULL tanks, then they wouldn’t be running underweight, driving slowly and hoping for a safety car!

    1. Alpha16 says:

      I say bring re fueling back!

      1. D Vega says:

        I agree.

      2. ManOnWheels says:

        I disagree. Banning refueling was the best that happened to Formula-1. Pitwork is full of action again, and good work actually counts (whereas with refueling it was the amount of fuel that counted -> boring!). And all this overtaking in the pits was unbelievably boring, I like to see people overtake each other on the track.
        Refueling turned formula-1 into a kind of individual time trial with occasional pit stops to get by a competitor, it was no race for position anymore. I am absolutely glad that is over.

  28. Agent Orange says:

    Regarding “abandoning the controversial fuel flow meters”

    Was thinking about this over the weekend and with the re-introduction of re-fueling you could do this and still ensure development is biased towards the ERS.

    Assuming I’m not smoking something this would also solve the weight problem affecting some drivers.

    My understanding is the maximum capacity of a F1 fuel tank is 100kgs. Why not half that to 40kgs or even less and re-introduce re-fueling.

    The more you lean on the combustion engine the more pit stops you’ll have to do. Those that can get more out of the ERS will reduce the pit stops.

  29. Bearforce1 says:

    Woe, I am also out of touch. I was hoping for longer races.

  30. David in Sydney says:

    Remove fuel flow limits.

    Increase allowable RPM.

    Wait to see if cars can race with the 100kg fuel limit and sound better at higher RPM.

    There’s not much wrong with F1 right now – it’s very early days.

    1. Chris Ralph says:

      Not bad thoughts there David. Even if you do come from Sydney…

  31. David in Sydney says:

    Oh yes, and triple points for the median race in the season and random DRS zones for individual cars.

    1. Chris Ralph says:

      But you lost me with this one sunshine. Proof that you do really come from Steak ‘n’ Kidney…

    2. Jako says:

      Spot on David, lol

      and ‘Le Mans starts’

      cheers

    3. Gaz Boy says:

      Don’t forget unlimited boost for the turbo – perhaps 8.0 bar?

      1. jonathan says:

        How about this for an idea for F1. The cars must be the same length, width, height and weight. Engines must all be the same cc and turbocharged, all must only use 100kg of fuel per race, all must have 4 wheels, no electronic aids, ie abs, traction control etc. Front wing must be of a design to reduce punctures. Other than that ladies & gentlemen, design what you want

  32. Michael Wells says:

    “CVC, the managing shareholder, has made some indications recently that it does not intend to sell its remaining stake as it sees great opportunity ahead to monetize the sport.”

    This is worrying. They’re not even using the word monetize right. It refers to the situation where a product has been created and found an audience, and now needs to start making money. F1 is already making a ton of money. To further monetize it, there would need to be a large base of customers who would be prepared to spend much more than they currently do on the sport. Given the many and varied ways in which it is already possible to leak income in the name of fandom, I doubt there is much slack left.

    Trying to monetize an already profitable product can easily wind up creating barriers for new customers, without generating much new revenue. It’s indicative of a horrible, short-sighted, by-the-numbers attitude to business management that treats consumer goodwill as a commodity that can be traded for cash. But it’s a lot easier to sell than to buy.

    1. cartweel says:

      And I think you have summed up why the steady decline of F1 will continue. Other professional leagues have been forced to concede a longer term view, but F1 has not. But here we are, still commenting on it- for now.

  33. Ben G says:

    Keep the race distance.

    Drop all fuel regulations – let them race.

    Sort the sound out. The start sounds like a bunch of leaf blowers.

  34. Mark J says:

    Hi James,

    This kind of off topic.

    I think in terms of accessibility it would be better though. This weekend I will be away and won’t be able to watch the GP. I would love for F1 to adopt the same Online subscription as MotoGP where I can stream or replay any race, or other session online in HD. The best part of the Moto GP subscription is I can watch races from past season as well. Will F1 be adopting anything like this? Just seems like a massive missed opportunity for the sport. I’m sure you can make some money out of as well! Bernie would love that! I would be a happily paid up customer.

  35. Ashboy says:

    Would it not be better to let them have 10/20kg more fuel for this year with the aim of 100kg next year? It was maybe asking to much for the first year of a new PU to be so harsh on fuel. That way it’s fair for all teams, because you dont have to put all the fuel in so it will be upto teams to stick with what they have got or try and fit a bigger tank with the knock on effects that will have to the design of the car.

    Also Bernie is to smart to get convected. He is like a Mafia boss he will have a lot of buffer’s and button men! Someone else might get porridge but not Bernie.

    1. Anil Parmar says:

      Yeah I agree with that..give everyone 110kg of fuel with the aim of getting it down to 100kg for next season. I’d like to see the fuel flow limit go away for next year too.

  36. AuraF1 says:

    Sadly there’s no-one looking out for the sport, it’s all self-interested parties. I understand Ron’s declaration that McLaren will only take care of McLaren but it’s just too short term a view.

    Say what you like about Martin Whitmarsh as a team leader or being too passive etc but he at least understood, through FOTA, that a series that ends up abandoned by the fans, the engine manufacturers and prices out all the low and mid-field teams is essentially DEAD. F1 glorifies the top 4 teams, of course, they are winning, but if there were only 4 teams and it was basically Ferrari versus Cosworth after Mercedes and Renault left and Honda didn’t come back – who the hell would watch?

    I’m a McLaren fan and absolutely Ron’s bullish, take no BS approach was thrilling for about 15 minutes – it felt like my team might have a resurgence – I then actually listened to what he’s saying and it was basically ‘I don’t care if the sport goes down in flames as long as McLaren wins a few trophies before the lights go out’.

    Sometimes you have to think about the bigger picture. There’s no point in winning at a sport that nobody watches any more.

    1. Random 79 says:

      And when it all goes south they’ll all be standing around with a dumb expression on their face wondering what happened.

      Maybe we should run F1 by committee:

      JA raises an issue.
      Then we discuss it.
      Then we go with what the majority wants.

      And wouldn’t it be nice if the world was made of Cadbury :)

      1. AuraF1 says:

        I imagine it would be Ron Dennis and LdM stood pushing each other going, ‘this is your fault.’

        Ah – the dream of a sport run for it’s fans…I’m not even asking that much, just maybe a sport not run like a suicidal dare once in a while…

      2. Random 79 says:

        Your comment made me wonder: In a game of chicken, who would blink first – Ron Dennis or LDM?

        But then I realised neither of them actually blink, so we’d end up with a mash-up called Luron De Montedennis who runs McRari.

        *shudders*

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        Do you reckon with this new formula being so weight critical, drivers are banned from chocolate? By the look of Jenson’s gaunt face, even semi-skimmed milk is disallowed.
        By the way, you know that Man Vs Food programme, perhaps they ought to do a Montoya Vs Food special, although having said that it wouldn’t be much of a contest.

      4. Random 79 says:

        Yeah the safe money’s on Montoya, although in an upset a bet on the food would yield a good return :)

      5. AuraF1 says:

        I spoke to one of the nutritionists who works with an F1 team and he said that some of the drivers are now showing signs of malnutrition. They’re not on an athlete’s diet, they are on an anorexics diet much like Jockey’s in the bad old days. Jenson has always been very careful with his diet ever since he got into Triathlons but he’s now eating less total calories than his significantly smaller fiancee. And she’s a model. Think about that for a minute. Here’s a relatively tall adult male who competes in triathlons and is a champion in the highest level of his sport and he’s basically starving himself. Look out for bruises on the taller drivers they are basically not even healing up from minor injuries it’s gotten ludicrous now.

        Forgetting about the purely physiological effects – extreme food deprivation often leads to poor focus and depression. Given JB has lost his Dad and is obviously hit hard by that anyway, I’m amazed he hasn’t been sobbing on the team radio.

        Athletes have to often deprive themselves of ‘enjoyable’ foods but depriving themselves of enough energy to function at their peak is going too far.

        Montoya would be turning in his gravy bowl…though he would be anyway. :)

    2. Antony H says:

      It’s just not F1, I’ve been following the sport since 86 and whilst I agree that inevitably progress is progress, this time I feel that Jean Todt and co may have misjudged things.
      I was at Albert Park and the atmosphere of the event was definitely impacted by the lack of decibels. When the F18 did a fly past people were clapping and commenting that at last we had sound! Even the Aussie V8′s we’re a welcome symphonic treat.
      The cars are definitely slower but I’m sure this will be overcome by Newey and co. through the season.
      I fear Ron Walker may be correct and when it hits Europe there will be a real fan backlash.
      I watched the Sepang race and although the sound difference is clearly obvious on TV, when you go to the track and watch it live it is to be blunt – disappointing.
      I’ve read the comments on this thread and can only assume most are basing it from a TV viewers perspective.
      Sound creates atmosphere, Imagine the EPL without the crowd singing.
      I’m not saying everyone wants their eardrums completely blown out but it can’t stay the way it is. The sport will suffer.

  37. Anil Parmar says:

    James, by shorter race distances do you mean that the sport could have sprint races instead (i.e. only 20-30 laps) or is the idea to cut the race distance by say, 10-15km, to ease fuel consumption?

  38. LeeF1Nut says:

    Shorter races is just ridiculous the fans and the promoters will feel ripped off. It’s always a privilege to see the cars on track seeing less of them will stop people going to the races altogether. Yes please turn up the volume a little no need to be a full V10 scream. I like the sound of the new engines it’s just not loud enough to impress and get the spine tingling!Don’t ask for my opinion on Horner it wouldn’t get posted on here.

  39. Phil says:

    Shorter races would not stop the fuel saving in modern F1. It will still occur as the fast time to the end of the race is to start with less and save throughout the race.

    The only solution would be as post #24 said start with a minimum amount of fuel but then that doesn’t exactly show F1 in a green light which is what they are trying to do for the longevity of the sport. I think we just need to give the sport a chance and see how the next few races go.

  40. Howard P says:

    I know this goes against the energy saving requirement, but they need to bring back the “KERS” button. Of course this means limiting the battery onboard, so that the increased torque isn’t automatic. KERS introduced a level of strategy that – unlike DRS – applies equally to all, but allowed the individual to use it when they wanted to. That translates to a level of excitement that viewers can relate to, when someone behind is using it they think “ooh, he’s going to make a pass”.

    It will increase engine noise too, by “wasting” energy. So essentially a KERS v2, or ERS-lite

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      http://thewptformula.com/2014/03/23/analysis-2014-f1-steering-wheel/

      The black “OT” button (No. 14) on the lower left does just that: Override the ERS automatics and give an extra boost.

  41. Howard P says:

    to add, I’m also a fan of the 2 part sprint and feature races of other formulae.

  42. garyp says:

    If they shorten the races the teams will just put in less fuel as the weight of the fuel slows them down so much. They already start with not enough based on safety car expectation. They will still save fuel and wait for pit stops to push.

    The noise is just a consequence of the turbo it acts as a big silencer. Perhaps they could introduce a rule that says all cars must carry a loud speaker system and a recording of a V10 at full chat, this would be a typical Bernie suggestion that would be no more stupid than sprinklers FFS

  43. Darrell Steele says:

    Can’t help but feel Luca is being a sore loser it’s not Merc fault that they invested so much money and time to reap the rewards and now to change the rules after the season has started and possibly lose their advantage, Ferrari seem like they need a big change, they haven’t designed a quick car in what seems like forever, Luca should focus on his team and stop trying to be F1 president, as for the noise it’s like marmite but I don’t think it’s not horrendous, can the FIA PLEASE LEAVE THE RULES FOR 5 minutes.

  44. WSH says:

    For what it matters – as F1 Business Drivers do not seem to listen to their fans – the following:

    1) Sound of the cars louder? Yes, but different not quite. I can’t hear enough of the car sound because the TV-station I have to put up with (Fox Sport Latin America) like to have their commentators voices to be loud and clear and they reduce the race sound to background noise.
    I like the combination of grumbling, coughing, high pitch whistle of the turbo, and miss the high revs.

    2) Shortening the race distance: No way. That solves nothing. That would be like shortening the length of a football match: Kill the nature of the sport.

    3) Kill the Fuel-Flow meter? No way neither. That whole discussion is the consequence of Red Bull’s whining. Just as we had last year when they did not like the tyres. And Ferrari should just do a much better job as a works team. Quite a shame that they most essential thing that defines a works team – making your own engine – is not good enough at Ferrari. I get tired of the Ferrari talk about catching up.

    I admire Alonso’s capability to hold his tongue and keep trotting out positive words about their potential. Kimi is more silent than ever. Probably Ferrari has censured all his comments.

    I wish we have a season with a lot of action on track instead of the track side quarrels. Jean Todt must stick to his guns for the whole season.

    Mercedes dominant engine gives us at least some other teams doing great too.

    Ferrari is not delivering much for its customer teams. Bang on those drums back home Montezemolo. The red of your cars should be on your cheeks because of shame.

  45. deancassady says:

    Stay the course, see how it goes.
    Only two races have been run in the new formula.
    Anybody with any sense and objectivity knew that there wold necessarily be an adjustment period, for everyone!
    I’m NOT married to the new formula, but knee-jerk reactions are even more boring than the show we’ve had from the first two races!
    Remember 2012 and how good it was?
    Messing with the formula and allowing an illegal tire test killed the spectacle, which was as good in 2012 as it has been since the mid-nineties.
    This formula will attract new engine suppliers who realize that the bus is pulling out of the station, and if they are not on it, business will be gone.
    So perhaps set measurable targets for the summer break, then reconvene and see how close (or how far) the sport is for achieving them, then lay down the change alternatives for 2015.

    And let’s be reasonable, folks, artificially augmenting the engine sound is about the only thing that could be worse than the sound now.

  46. Owen Brooker says:

    It is very short-sighted to start changes rules mid-season. What car manufacturer would invest billions in a sport when the goal-posts are moved after 3 races.
    In the long-term there are plenty of ways to spice up the racing and cut costs how about:
    1) Front wings should be simpler – a single element curved in one plane only. Get rid of all the sub-wings and turning vanes. This would reduce aero costs because there are fewer options. It would reduce downforce and increase the contribution of mechanical grip.
    2) Why not allow teams to use all 4 tyres specs over a race weekend – but in very limited supply (Say max of 2 each for both quali and race). Include a tyre spec that can last most of the race and one that will last a couple of laps. That will give endless strategy variations, and enable drivers to push hard.(May need incentives to make participating in quali 3 important.)
    3) Massively reduce downforce – hugh sums go into the aero development, but it makes overtaking far harder.
    4) If you want to have short races, have several over a weekend, some with reverse grids.
    5) Let teams have a “joker” race (or possible two) when they will score twice the normal points.
    6) Why not let have teams have three cars – that would change the team dynamics and you are more likely to have have team mates fighting for places. Only the first two cars would count towards championship points to avoid one team dominating. (Even more radical make it only one car that counts).
    Essentially I think that it is about making overtaking easier (without it being artificial), and introduction variables where there is more than one-way to get from start to finish in the fastest possible time.

  47. dren says:

    I for one like this Formula much better than the V8 and V10 era. The PUs are the most efficient they have ever been. The noise may not be there, but you can now hear what the cars are doing. I found that a pleasant surprise. F1 had turbos before, and now it has them again.

    Shorter races is a joke.

    Ferrari is a joke.

    I hope the fuel limit is retained. The ultrasonic flow sensors either need to be changed or pitched.

  48. Dan says:

    It seems to me that most are missing something pretty important here.
    If Christian Horner is at the helm with Bernie, does that mean he leaves RB, or is it in ADDITION to his current duties? Surely being so closely-associated with both RB and Bernie will result in a bias towards RB and their desires.
    Jean Todt led Ferrari, but as FIA president he has little influence over individual teams.
    The Christian/Bernie possibility worries me…

    1. James Allen says:

      Red Bull say CH is not leaving

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Christian would be slightly insane to move from Milton Keynes at the moment; he’s managed to turn the Bulls from mid-grid no hopers into superbly successful world beaters (with some help from those chaps called Sebastian, Mark, Adrian and now Daniel, as well as the Milton Keynes lads and lasses). Why, having worked long and hard for that success would he turn his back on that? Christian is only 40, plenty of racing mileage left in him. He is a very, very competitive animal, and is hungry for more constructors titles.
        Having said that, this is F1, stranger things have happened………..

  49. NickH says:

    Don’t shorten the races, another idiotic idea. Bring back refueling and better tyres that you don’t have to even consider the possibility of them wearing out

  50. Dan says:

    Pre-season testing mentioned quieter cars, but it didn’t seem to be such an issue. I feel that many, after complaining at the loudness, are now creating a ‘near-hysteria’ over the low volume.
    James, if I am correct, aren’t more people following F1 on TV rather than at the track? I can’t help but wonder if they would’ve noticed such a huge difference if it hadn’t been for all this carry-on by some.
    I too was at the Mel GP, and although the cars aren’t screaming like before, they’re certainly not as quiet as some portray.

    1. James Allen says:

      Far more follow on TV than at the track

      Most races get around 60-80 million global live TV audience and around two/three times that if you add in the highlights and as-live audiences from each race

      1. bmg says:

        At the moment we don’t get it live in Australia,last Sunday it was delayed until 11pm.

        With people working the next day this is not an ideal situation.

        F1 needs put presure on some of these networks.

        Even the live streaming is poor quality, it keeps dropping out.

        I for a global sport those numbers are poor and it’s a reflection of the poor management and marketing of the sport.

        In Australia we are about to lose our local car manufacturer’s, will affect the V8 super cars in coming years as it is mainly based on the 2 local ly built cars.

        This a great opportunity to grow the sport here and what do we get? 2nd rate coverage.

        Love sport, just frustrated buy the lack of real leadership at the top.

      2. Dan says:

        bmg, we DO get it here live. It’s Channel Ten that’s screwing us over. The first two GPs were live on ONE during primetime. Bahrain qualifying is on ONE, but the actual race is on TEN, even though it’s on at 12.30am.
        They’ve been flip-flopping like this for years. Qualifying is always on ONE, but some races are on ONE, others on TEN. (ironically, ONE was launched as a ‘sports’ channel!).
        I wonder what FOM would think if they knew that dedicated fans were being treated with such contempt. I hope another channel or even Foxtel get the rights…

  51. Scott D says:

    I have absolutely no problems with the sound of these cars. Thought I would, but not anymore. Always thought the sound of the V10/V12′s was lost on the box anyway, in the same way that it kills the impression of speed. The old noises were great but the racing is more important.

  52. aveli says:

    why don’t they just return to last years cars and rules and let red bull win again and everyone will be happy?

  53. Daniel Spiller says:

    Just dumbfounded me people on here suggesting that more fuel will solve all the problems with the racing. Or better tyres would allow them to race harder. The simple fact is teams will find the most efficient way to finish the race. If it’s a quicker strategy to eke out tyre life, they’ll do that and not push the car. If it’s a quicker strategy to under fuel and turn the engine down or lift and coast they’ll do that. The pit lane speed limit is probably a bigger decision to teams designing their strategy due to the loss time than the fuel limit is. In not suggesting that you should increase the pit lane limit, but I can’t believe that so many people can be so blind to see that these cars are NEW designs and will improve in pace as this and further seasons continue. I’m getting to the stage where I can’t be bothered to read the forum comments because it’s just moan moan moan Hamilton this Rosberg that blah blah blah and I used to really enjoy knowing what other people thought but now I feel people want to change something that doesn’t NEED changing.

    1. Sujith says:

      @Daniel Spiller, Well said man! See folks? A thinking fan! :) The technology is real and exciting and Hitech but in infancy! Give it some time folks!!

    2. ManOnWheels says:

      Absolutely spot on.

  54. cartweel says:

    Regarding the spending cap: why don’t the teams talk about an agreement like American Baseball where you have rich teams that can overspend, but have to pay a “luxury tax” which is distributed to the lower teams. It seems to work there- and the Yankees spend a lot on luxury tax because they make that much more money just selling hats…

    These self-interested parties would never agree though… they don’t understand who pays their bills and don’t care because by the time the damage is felt they will be off on something else extolling how brilliant they did their last job.

    1. David Howard says:

      I’ve seen this comment before and while it would financially bolster the smaller teams it would do nothing to make smaller teams more competitive. The fact is, the lack of a salary cap in baseball convinced me to finally dump the sport several years ago. When you’re a fan of a mid or small market team (Such as my Padres) and know before the season even starts that your team has no chance of winning it gets old real fast. In addition, you regularly lose any good players you luck into to the large teams and you’re better off watching EPL since it’s the same model and at least you have relegation battles.

      In that vein, Ferrari is beginning to remind me of the Oakland Raiders. A tired franchise living off past glories while it screams to the world that they have a culture of excellence. It’s becoming sad and I’m a Ferrari fan.

      1. David Howard says:

        BTW..I apologize for a post that mentions both baseball, American Football and the EPL in a F1 forum but it seemed appropriate at the time.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Could be worse David, you could have mentioned FIFA and their incredibly wise and informed decision to host the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 in those democratic, fun loving, liberal, permissive, progressive countries of Russia and Qatar.
        Having said that, F1 can talk – the grand prix circus is going to Sochi this October. Or maybe the grand prix will be transferred to the Crimean peninsula – if not this year, then next year?
        What next, a grand prix or World Cup in Somalia, Iran and North Korea?

  55. Red Rider says:

    I agree Aura, especially with paragraph one.

    But in your final sentence you wrote: “There’s no point in winning at a sport that nobody watches any more.”

    I understand what you mean but this is true for the business, be it F1, football and all the rest. But for sport no audience is needed. I go to a YMCA to keep my old body in shape. At lunch time much younger men, taking a break from work, play basketball with no audience at all. They play for the pleasure. That’s sport. Once they are paid it’s the road to business. Generally, it comes down to this; the more there’s business, the less there’s sport.

    Having said that, I read this blog regularly and have been following F1 for 45 years or so. So I’m mighty tainted.

  56. fox says:

    I think that gang lacks Briatore!

  57. Sujith says:

    I really don’t understand how some fans can be this stupid!!!

    How are we gonna Increase the sound unless we raise the revs? And can they do that and still maintain the fair amount of reliability that they have now? More-over I am hearing the fuel flow regulations are in place to limit the chance of safety issues. The FIA argues that if there was no limit on maximum fuel use, then drivers would be lifting suddenly on straights, which could lead to collisions. (keeping the 100 KG per race rule in-tact).

    I don’t know if it is true or not because I have not done my research! It has just been 2 races… The technology is there and is exciting. The problem is, at this infant stage, should we really need to judge it? I say wait until we’ve been to every configuration of track on the Calendar and then listen to the fans and review the technical challenges to improve the formula!

  58. OldTimer says:

    Fascinating to see all the comments against shorter races because I’m in favour! My motorsport mate and I have both said in the past that F1 races are too long and the extra laps don’t change anything. If the cars were all evenly matched then things might actually change as the laps went on but it’s been a long time since that was true in F1. Normally one car establishes a lead and we watch it controlling the gap for the next hundred minutes or so. I’d much prefer a shorter motoGP style race and I’d bet that the result would be exactly the same every time. Sorry folks but my passion for F1 (watched every race since mid 1980) doesn’t mean that I’m not attracted to a shorter format.

  59. Ironman_333 says:

    “CVC, the managing shareholder, has made some indications recently that it does not intend to sell its remaining stake as it sees great opportunity ahead to monetize the sport.

    There are suggestions that Ecclestone’s plan is to try to reacquire the sport from CVC, possibly with the teams…”

    So, BE + friends want to buy while CVC sees a bigger monetization opportunity. Well the only way CVC would sell is if that opportunity disappears.

    Seems to me that this is starting to happen already. This may take a few years, but then again BE, even at his age, is still a long term thinker.

  60. Rich says:

    I cant believe they’d shorten the race distance, goes against history of F1.

    Also, people saying that F1 is too slow at the moment need to sit back and let the teams get to grip with the technology. Once they get a handle on that they can then start driving consistently at a faster pace. As they get more fuel efficient they’ll be able to drive faster, give it time it’ll come – I do accept its dull at the moment but no need to hit panic button just yet.

  61. Steven M says:

    Luca, buddy, stop trying to change the regulations to favor Ferrari and focus on building a faster GOD DAMN CAR!! Its not the other team’s fault if Ferrari cant build a competitive car…

  62. Kieran says:

    Been watching F1 for the guts of 20 years. Many of them, sadly, have been more boring than exciting but you never knew when the next gem of a race was going to pop up or when the next big crash would be. That’s what kept me watching all those years. Slowly, things have changed. Single-lap quali, one tyre per race, no refuelling, DRS, etc. Has the racing improved – no, not really. If I think about what I enjoy about watching a Grand Prix, it alas is usually the first 3 laps when the racing takes place (and there are a few knocks). Thereafter it just becomes follow the leader and you settle down to a 90-minute vegetation session hoping for something to happen. In the past, drivers would make mistakes on the limit and crash – this seems to happen less now and I conclude that it is (a) because drivers are not as on-the-limit as they used to be and (b) because the “casuing a collision” penalty has ruined the racing with those who might have had a go in the past now thinking better of it. Now, in the current formula, I have no issue with engine noise – it’s not as emotive as the old screamers but it has it’s own qualities. I also don’t mind the fuel flow limit – it’s the same for everyone. DRS is artificial and pointless. Tyres are killing the formula and racing – deliberatly keeping a two-second gap to the car in front just so you two-stop does not make for good racing. As for shorter races – it’s all over after 3 laps anyway, isn’t it? I’m not against long races per se but there needs to be some justification for the extra 90-minutes where everyone just goes through the motions. My 2 cents: (1) add a short sprint race to race weeekend (possibly with reverse grid) with no fuel flow limit and no fuel limits, make it short enough so that tyre degredation not an issue. (2) Award points the whole (or most of the) way down the grid so that each position is important but stagger them in such a way that the jump up to the next position is hard to resist going for. (3) Continue to reduce reliance on aero to allow cars follow each other more closely – without this nothing will really change. (4) There are a lot of old men worried about their large sums of money directing the sport – this means that without change here, the sport will be led by money rather than anything else so change is needed here too – maybe we can hire the A-Team to sort it out (if we can find them!).

    I’m prepared to give F1 v2.014 a chance – it has some potential but I think that there are larger problems in F1 as a whole than engine noise that are preventing it being embraced by the current generation, let alone the new generation.

    Hmmm, I meandered a bit there! :)

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for a very constructive post.

      F1 decision makers do read these posts, so rest assured your voice has been heard!

      1. Jarv027 says:

        Well if they really do James here’s my views!

        1. 90 minute time limt instead of 2 hours (Spa and Monza would even be a few laps longer :)

        2. Make the cars quicker I want to see Fastest lap records broken again.

        3. FP1 for test drivers only. I want to see new drivers been given more of a chance than a run up and down a airfield.

        4. Allow more defensive driving. Don’t mind the DRS but if you can’t put up half a fight whats the point?? DRS overtakes are becoming boring.

        5. Maximum of 10 teams 3 cars per team. I don’t want to see new teams folding every 2-3 years. There have been over 60 teams that have folded since Formula One started.
        If someone wants to buy a team they are going to have to pay big bucks like buying a Football Club.
        Can you imagine if Di Resta/Hulkenberg/Perez were in the same team, It would be awesome!!
        Susie Wolff may even be given a chance in the 3rd Williams.
        Obviously they would have to extend the points system to say 15th position.

        6. Why is Abu Dhabi last race of the season? Brazil was perfect, great track with the chance of rain for added title showdown drama!

        7. Double Points are absurd. How can it be right a driver who finishes 3rd in one race receives more points than a race winner in another race??

        Just some of my thoughts James. I could go on longer but that will do for now.

        Sure the sound of these engines don’t seem the best (especially on-board) but i will wait until i have heard them properly when i visit Monaco for the first time this year :) Hope i’m not disappointed.

    2. Purple Helmet says:

      I think F1 became boring when they made all results count rather than you taking your best 9 from 15. That encouraged drivers to take some risks, and there was also less focus on reliability and playing it safe.

      But let’s be honest – it is some of the safety rules that really ruined the excitement. Not being able to block cars, weave back and forth to defend, etc. I understand why that was changed, but it doesn’t change the fact that things were much more exciting when drivers could really defend their position from a faster car.

      1. Kieran says:

        Well, I don’t agree with the current premise that the lead driver in a battle can simply close the door on an overtake by keeping the racing line. I’m much more of the opinion that, once a car is in any way alongside you, it has as much right not to be crowded off the track as you do. Some racers do sometimes leave enough room for fair racing like that but it’s all to easy to kill an overtake that way. All too soon the tyres are getting marginal and the battle is called off. Number 9! Number 9! Come in, Number 9! Assume the position 2 seconds astern of rival until further notice please!

      2. Jarv027 says:

        Agreed. I liked seeing a bit of skillfull defensive driving.
        Senna in Monaco 92 brake tested Mansell a couple of times but Our Nige said it was great driving.

    3. deancassady says:

      Kieran, good post.

    4. Olivier says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with you that sound is merely a cosmetic issue.

      Regarding the reverse grids. What about:

      Starting the race in the order you finished the last race? This will sure encourage everyone to go flat out as it will determine your start position in the next race. Also, many cars will start the next race out of position as different tracks suit different cars.

      I disagree with the fuel flow limit. Modern racing is all about intelligent performance. Porsche captures it really well with their revolutionary 919 (Webber’s car). I believe the FIA should only set the parameters. Let the manufacturers decide how to respond to the challenge. If they manage to be fuel efficient and competitive with a V10 turbo charged engine, why not? In Le Mans you have a Porsche V4 battling it out against the Audi V6 and Toyota V8. I love the diversity. Exciting stuff.

    5. Kieran says:

      Thanks guys! There are a lot of good ideas in many of the comments for this article and I believe at the core of it, regardless of fuel, engine noise, race length, etc., is the desire to see the best drivers in the world battling it out against each other (not just their team-mate) on the track. It is a craving for real, wheel-to-wheel action and the possibility of some daring-do. Being punished by your tyres or fuel consumption for trying to race or being punished by rules/stweards for having a go that goes wrong or being punished for being in the wrong place at the wrong time with DRS or being punished by being so close that you’re crippled by dirty air or tyres that go off a cliff an penalise you for trying to eke on more lap out of them – there are so many things that discourage it! I know that the people running the sport are no fools and it seems clear from the many surveys over the years what fans want. No sprinklers, no double-points and basically no artificial devices. I think that if the real racing that we crave was present, we’d be less inclined to be worried about the other details.

  63. Jodum5 says:

    So if races are shortened will ticket prices be reduced?

    1. kenneth chapman says:

      no,…..just more commercials!

  64. Brace says:

    When I saw the photo of Bernie and Luca, I instantly started reading it as “A Big Mouth…”

  65. Kieran says:

    Also some really good comments made by AuraF1 on some of the bullish-ness in F1 (e.g. Ron Dennis worrying only about McLaren) and about how the move to a pay-TV model will not win it any new fans (and may lose existing ones). Can only agree with them. Great to see a high level of passion here anyway!

  66. beka says:

    What we have today is not racing, this is car management. F1 drivers should be called F1 car managers now

    1. AlexD says:

      It is called nursing a car and therefore they should be called nurses.

    2. jonathan says:

      Absolutely spot on!!!

    3. kenneth chapman says:

      no that would be wrong…the new name is ‘puppets’. the pit wall pulls all the strings. listen to the pit to car to pit calls and you will see just what i mean.

      daniel ricciardo is what i would now call an ‘anti-puppet’ for his call last sunday.

  67. Ian Spencer says:

    If the TV feed was properly miked up, we wouldn’t have a problem. They’ve clearly just used last year’s set up.

    For example, why is the in car feed nearly silent? A tweak to the miking up and we could have lovely 5.1 Dolby digital feed off the interesting sounds of the engine and a decent analyst would soon start being able to comment on the way the engine is working.

    1. Kieran says:

      Definitely worth a try!

    2. Nic Maennling says:

      Speaking of noise (actual car noise not F1 noise), why do they have a rev limit of 15,000 rpm but they only use 12,000 rpm ?

      I agree with Ian. Even in the V10 and V12 days the in car sound was very poor. Stick the mike out the back.

      1. Kieran says:

        Believe that is where the main power band is in these engines so there’s no point in taking about raised revs as they simply wouldn’t be used. AFAIK

  68. jmv says:

    F1 seasons:
    silly season, winter testing opening of the season followed by politics & controversies season!

    I’ve followed the sport since the early 90s and one of the good things in the sport has been the de-personification of the FIA by Jean Todt. He facilitates the rules to be drawn up and then steps backwards to let the FIA’s body’s do its work.

    The same should happen for the sport on the side of the FOM…

    Bernie with all his skill and love and determination for the sport… I believe cannot continue to micro-manage the sport, cutting deals left and right as it pleases HIM alone. There should have been a gradual increase in institutionalization of the work of the FOM.

    Bernie is still a fixer of things which one can question if it is still good. This is the reason why we still have every season a number of controversies which are not good for the sport. When Mosley was around there was from the FIA’s side a lot of fixing. Thank God that Todt keeps to the background.

  69. darren w says:

    The fascinating thing about all this crisis talk is that nothing has actually changed from a racing perspective.

    1. Faster cars end up at the front of the grid…unless weather, mechanical issue, on track incident or strategy artificially alters the starting grid.

    2. Slower cars cannot pass faster cars during racing (strange that)…so a procession of sorts takes place.

    3. Cars look and sound fast.

    4. Someone wins…unless they are proven a cheat.

  70. Sam Duncombe says:

    Every time Renault performed a ‘reliability upgrade’ on their engine, Red Bull got faster.

    By the end of the last evolution, and I suspect for some time beforehand, the Renault engine was the pick of the crop.

    The perception that the Renault was slower on the straights wasn’t true for most of 2012-2013. And by the end of the evolution Red Bull had all boxes ticked.

    Sorry Renault, your fault this time.

    NO MORE RELIABILITY UPGRADES!

  71. darren w says:

    Let’s get real. No one can “see” the fuel savings regulations on track. To suggest that drivers are engaged in economy runs and that the new power units and fuel limitations are slowing F1 down is BS.

    The slower lap times are down to the aero restrictions, not the power units.

    The only outward sense of the new efficiency is the updated sound of F1. But this is the sound of cutting edge high performance. Screaming louder won’t make the cars any faster, in the same way that screaming louder in the bedroom won’t make you a better lover.

    This is the new sound of performance.

    By all means go home, throw an old vinyl record on the turntable and listen to the old sounds of F1. Have a drink, relax and relive a great era of the sport. But then come back to the track and see and hear where performance is going.

    The “seeing” part is where I think f1 needs a proper rethink. With the new sound of F1, there has been little change in the look of the sport. That makes us focus even more on the sound. We have seen heavily winged cars for about 4 decades now and they don’t look like the future anymore.

    Take a cue from some of the newest and best super cars and rethink the open wheel formula without all the appendages. Active aero and suspension technology could lead to some beautiful modern racing cars…and drivers might even enjoy some ride quality along the way.

  72. Marcbob says:

    I’m now 100% convinced that the reason the track volume level on the TV feed still hasn’t been adjusted to take account of the new engines is Bernie playing politics. It could sound much better than it does, they could easily afford to sort it, and should have done before first race. But someone seems to have decided to leave it sounding rubbish….

    1. PeterG says:

      Theres nothing wrong with the sound coming from FOM.

      Its when it goes through the various broadcasters (Sky, BBC etc…) & the audio is altered to add commentary where the volume is decreasing for some reason.

      Take this video from the raw FOM feed & compare volume levels & sound quality to what you actually get through Sky/BBC-
      https://vimeo.com/90182226

      Its the same with the onboard cameras, the raw feeds sound much louder & better than what were getting from the tv broadcasters main feeds-
      http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1k6tgd_brief-magnussen-onboard_auto
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3iblgIIDoY

      1. Athlander says:

        Thanks! That’s a big difference between the actual FOM feed and the TV network broadcast.

        I can confirm that the Spanish broadcast also has quiet engine sounds – there are times when the internet stream is showing the race but the TV broadcast is still showing commercials so there is no commentary, just the quietened FOM feed.

      2. rasbob says:

        Thanks for that, interesting….. I guess I will have to let Bernie off that one then!

  73. darren w says:

    In terms of making the sport healthier, they need to make it plausible for any team on the grid, if they are clever enough, to win the F1 World Constructor and Driver championships.

    Sharing revenues and controlling costs in such a way as to make F1 profitable for the teams and venues would go a long way towards levelling the field and making it exciting year to year. There is enough money floating around F1 to make this happen.

    This levelling of the playing field would reduce the level of high pitched bitching and moaning accompanying the sport’s politics and in-fighting. Purist will deride the quieter sound, but it could make for better racing on the track…if that is what F1 actually desires.

  74. Graham says:

    The problem with modern f1 is that the race is run by the techies with the drivers as their puppets. All the managing of tyres, fuel etc would be eliminated if you turned the radio off.
    I would alow continuous data gathering to alow development but no transmission or control of systems from the pits to the car except in the pit lane.
    That would leave the drivers to race and make decisions and get onwith racing.

  75. Matthew M says:

    I like the sounds and if they want some real racing.

    Lock every possible adjustable setting on a car the second lights go out. No changes to the engine mapping, PU settings, wings etc. Lock them all in. have the cars turn off thier engines before tyres can be changed in a pitstopp and only turned back on after the tyre change.

    I have no love for all these radio messages during a race about multi mode3 dl5 etc.

    just let the drivers race and ban all team instructions to a driver from lights out till the flag drops.

    The teams are doing way too much babysitting of the cars and drivers during a race. It has to stop.

  76. German Samurai says:

    Races are too long because the cars are too slow. I agree with shortening Singapore because there’s no way they’ll complete it in 2 hours this year, but no other races.

    In person they are visibly slower compared to last year. The sound is terrible considering how good it used to sound. Going to Sepang was the same feeling as going to a concert where the acoustics are terrible. Attendances will plummet at the European races next season.

    I loved DRS, driver activated KERS, soft tyres, and loud engines. Just compare the first two races of this season to first two of last year.

    Everything in F1 is regressing. Worse sounding, quieter engines. Slower cars. Less passing.

    Once Bernie leaves the sport it will fall apart.

  77. Charlie says:

    F1 has effectively become an arms race. Exponential increases in spending by teams bring about inversely small performance gains, making it impossible for a level playing field. There definitely needs to be cap on spending.

    There’s a line in the MotoGP doc Faster, where a race engineer compares motorcycle racing to automobile racing, saying that performance is 90% rider and 10% bike while in a car it’s the opposite. And in the context of F1, I have to agree.

    Why do we watch racing? Because we want to see people fail as much as we want to see people succeed. My favorite race of recent memory was Canada 2011 where Vettel cracked under pressure from Button on the final lap. That was awesome racing. It was all about the people behind the wheel.

    I would advocate for cars/rules/tires that result in a car that is less forgiving. Flip that 10/90 ratio more in favor of the driver and rely less on the car. That means less aero, less grip, but also less power. The last one is particularly important because high hp allows drivers to quickly recover from their mistakes. Entering a turn incorrectly in a car where you have to rely on momentum (low HP) really hurts your exit speed and leaves you vulnerable to attack from other driver.

    The notion of F1 cars being too slow is absurd. Speed only matters in the context of the competition on the track. If everyone goes the same speed, it doesn’t matter how fast cars went 10 years ago because they’re not on the track.

    Unfortunately, people assume newer means faster, but it doesn’t guarantee better or even good racing. Slow racing (relative to F1) is a lot of fun. Watch some vintage racing from Goodwood Revival.

    At the end of the day, F1 is a sport and sports are about entertainment, not merely a platform for branding. There needs to be compelling racing.

    F1 can still be the pinnacle of motorsport and push technology while catering to fans. I vote for an impartial panel to rewrite the rule book with the fans in mind, instead of bowing to political pressure.

    Please excuse any grammatical errors.

  78. David Morton says:

    In the classic racing years of Senna and Prost, when cars were passing each other on the straight slipstreaming at close to 200mph. All the FIA wanted to do was slow down the cars, but they didn’t have to guts to remove the wings etc which would have slowed them down and bought back real driving and sliding etc. But these days they seem to be all about being “politically correct” in everything from controlling how the drivers talk to the media, (let them be human beings and not robots) to being green, ( I had a Prius and now an electric car….and these choices had nothing to do with F1) regulating fuel and tires, (who cares how much fuel they use, and I’m not going to buy my tires based on F1. I use my own brain to make decisions like that.) fake passing with wings that move and boosts of electrical power, (get rid of all that phony crap) tires that last a limited time and must changed during the race, (let them use whatever works best for each teams car/chassis.)
    So where does all this lead us……basically to racing which is a dumbed down version that is supposed to appeal to the moronic masses. Well the masses are smarter than the powers that be think. Instead of the FIA deciding things and making it more and more complex with crappier racing, how about going back to basics. Look at any business or sport that loses its way, and the answer is always to go back to what worked in the beginning. Like Bill Clinton said when he was running for president, “Keep it simple, stupid. It is always about the economy.”
    When a car cannot pass the other cars because of the aerodynamics, don’t tinker with everything else, just remove
    all the wings, winglets, etc. Of course they will lose downforce, but now the drivers have to keep the car on the track through their skill……they won’t have the luxury of zipping around corners glued to the track, now they will have to actually drive the car around the bends slipping and sliding, drifting etc. Then we will have some real racing.
    James, it would be interesting on your website to hear from retired F1 drivers and their opinions of the present state of the sport. And I mean real statements of truth, and not pandering to any outside pressures.

    1. Fred Kiias says:

      Yeh!

    2. Red Rider says:

      Excellent David. There are no wings on my Subaru. None what-so-ever.

    3. Craig D says:

      Fair enough but I think part of F1′s appeal is also the level of cornering grip the cars have. The engines this year actually have more max power but lap times are slower (currently) due to loss of downforce and some people are complaining at the slower cars.

      I like these new cars and think they’re a step in the right direction. We just need there to be close competition and that’s not something messing about with rules will ever help, it’s about each team getting their act together!

    4. PeterG says:

      “When a car cannot pass the other cars because of the aerodynamics, don’t tinker with everything else, just remove
      all the wings, winglets, etc.”

      The problem with that would be that you would have to do the same across the board in every other class of racing. Because removing all the wings would result in such a massive loss of grip that F1 would almost certainly become one of the slowest forms of MotorSport around in terms of lap time.

      Fans are already complaining (Wrong in my view) that F1 cars have gotten slower over the past decade. Image the outcry if they got significantly slower & was overtaken in terms of performance by most other categories.

    5. Steve C says:

      I totally agree with your comments David. I have earlier today cancelled my Sky subscription and will no longer bother to watch and pay for a “sport” that has slow near silent cars that are now nothing more than a test bed for car manufacturers. The sport is over seen by a un-elected, self-appointed, quango called the FIA who are so bogged down with PC crap that they are just a joke. Last year we had to put up with tyre saving nonsense now its fuel saving and arguments about that. After watching two races that’s enough. I have been watching for over twenty years but cannot tolerate the rubbish this has now become. Its not a race at all. A great website James but its time to leave F1.

    6. Sully says:

      The problem with going to slicks and no wings is that you’re back to 1967. A load of power the drivers cannot use, and downright dangerous when they can.

      Not to mention, they’ll be the same speed as Formula Ford cars.

      The sport needs strong leadership.

      James, get the batphone out. Shine it over a trout river somewhere…the chosen one will surely see it.

      (Come back Ross. COME BACK)

  79. Juzh says:

    Solution for F1 is actually very simple:
    -ditch pirelli, bring back bridgestone
    -ditch DRS
    -ditch ERS-K
    -ditch ridiculous fuel flow limit
    -ditch ridiculous max fuel carried limit
    -keep unlimited boost
    -keep ERS-H to help spin up the turbo
    -unlimited revs

    -profit?

    1. aveli says:

      ditch the cars.

  80. UncleZen says:

    incomprehensible rules around fuel flow meters

    Well, you have to be a bit thick not to understand the 100kg/HR limit. And the fact that they have 100kg for the race and a race lasts approx 100 mins that equates to approx 1kg/min fuel consumption.
    Simple.

  81. Rory W says:

    I’ve enjoyed both races so far and I like the new noises. I’ve just been turning the telly up, trouble is I can’t lower the voices so surely the answer is sort out the audio mix.

    Crank the car mix levels to 11 and you’ve instantly improved things for 60-80 million viewers.

  82. Craig says:

    All of these considerations are coming too late as Todt is set to reveal the 2017 formula as being 100 percent solar powered machinery. Pit stops will be increased to a mandatory 20 minute minimum for charging under flood lights. In lieu of the dead silence experienced during the race, each venue will play circuit-wide recordings of their respective 2013 race. As the F1 machinery will no longer be a match for even Formula Ford, all other FIA race series will be banned. The cars will carry gasoline but only as ballast. Similarly, solar powered helmets will power driver drink bottles, and drink bottle battery packs may be harvested for drive boost.

    1. Red Rider says:

      I’m in.

    2. Mike W says:

      Craig don’t forget drivers will switch teams & cars at the pitstops but only after putting on a dry firesuit as Bernie’s “wet down parts of the track” will have come online as well.
      Oh and points will no longer be used, DOUBLE GOLD, DOUBLE SILVER, DOUBLE BRONZE, then single gold, single silver, single bronze, pewter, crystal, bone china and plastic medals will be awarded to the top ten. The driver with the most “weighty stuff” will be declared super fast guy of the year.
      The final race in Mongolia will have 5Lb gold rope chains added to the DOUBLE GOLD medals.
      Ugg, F1 was never this run so stupidly by so many smart people.

  83. Fred Kiias says:

    Theres at least the following that should be done to restore credibility to f1:

    The rules should be losen on the freedom for the teams to find alternative solutions technicaly.

    More downforce, mecanical grip and power! F1 should be faster and demanding for the drivers.

    Its not an economy drive. Flat out racing is what f1 is about or at least used to be and should be!

    Equal playingfield for the teams. No unjust gimmics to favor certain teams unfairly on the expence of other (smaller) teams.

    Make sure f1 only race in places where they have audience and atmosphere and that the tracks are fast, demandind and interesting with possibility to overtake.

    Bring back the balls to f1!

    1. Fred Kiias says:

      On the notion more downforce, well Im not 100% sure on that one. There should be enough to give covincing cornering speeds and tecnical innovation aerodynamically but not so much that it would make overtaking and wheel to wheel racing impossible.

  84. Richard says:

    I really don’t like the idea of shorter races. It is a shame that too often we have a boring race, or season, like last year. But we have seen definetly some insane races (I’m only 19 and have been watching since 2005 so I’m not exactly flooded with examples), but I doubt those races would have been as good or even better when they were 3/4 or even half the distance.

  85. Paul D says:

    Please please don’t shorten the races!

    Some of the decisions taken over the last 12 months just go to show how out of touch the powers that be are.

  86. eric says:

    I’ve already migrated to MotoGP. F1 now gets the same level of attention I gave to MotoGP 3 or 4 seasons ago. I no longer watch it live. I don’t watch practice/quali any longer. I have no plans to attend in the near future. I am far more interested in WEC when it comes to cars. If I got the call tomorrow what would I do to change the sport. 1) go back to normally aspirated V-10s. 2) Fuel stops brought back 3) eliminate the whole penalty system 4) eliminate mandatory tyre changes. 5) Increase the tire supply to insure there are always sufficient numbers of tires. 6) when it rains they RACE in the rain not follow behind the safety car.

    1. aveli says:

      your fingers must have deserted the rest of your body to do this.

  87. KARTRACE says:

    1. Two heats. 1st 45 laps. 2nd 25 laps sprint race on one set of tires. Race results based on the outcome of the second stint. Starting grid of the sprint race in the reverse order of the endurance race.

    2. Tune that exhaust to sound as the proper race car not as the kitchen blender and electric shaver combined.

    3. Every 6th race additional points for those finishing in top six in at least four races out of each six.

    4. Unlimited fuel flow. Maximum fuel amount to be increased to 120 liters per event.

    5. Holder of 10 fastest laps in sprint race, per event, extra 10 points. 7 fastest laps 8 points….

  88. BeaverBill says:

    This whole concept of a “greener” F1 , reminds me of vegetarians who eat fish and chicken, sounds good in words but not really vegetarian now is it…..

    Cars running around in “circles”, seeing who goes faster and gets to the end first.

    How many sets of tyres do they throw away every race?

    Moving all this equipment all around the world by land and air also takes fuel.

    How many one off parts are made for each race, and what seriously contaminating chemicals and processes go into making these parts, not to mention the rest of the car.

    It’s a Greenpeace vegan horror story if you thinks about it!!! … So who are they trying to kid apart from themselves?!?! Just let the boys go racing, for the fans at least, and let the racing cars be racing cars 8, 10 or 12 cylinder!!!. (Thank god they didn’t go four pot!!)

  89. Jake says:

    Seems to be a lot of people now defending the possible demise of the fuel flow restrictions claiming that this would give the drivers a veritable ‘push to pass’ function.

    What a load of nonsense. This is what racing is all about, using your engine, not driving around staring at the fuel gauge. In any case, how could it equate to a ‘push to pass’ if all cars have the same ability? It’s not another DRS.

  90. Brian Storey says:

    Increase the sound? No!

    For me, knowing the sound is increased is artificial. I just won’t be able to stand that.

    I think people are also forgetting it won’t just be as simple as increasing the sound.

    The questions to be asked would be..

    – To what level should the volume be increased?

    - Would there be a performance gain if it was quieter or louder?

    - How do you ensure the minimum volume is being adhered to? What is the measurement

    - Is there a maximum? Could louder cars be more attractive commercially?

    Last year I watched a few races knowing it would be the end of that level of noise. I was comfortable about it, having spent a couple of years really looking forward to this season.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the sound on the inside of turn 4 at Melbourne and the phenomenal bouncing of sound in the covered empty stand at turn 5 during FP2 in Barcelona (it was relentless), but it’s over. I’m over it and happy to hear the new age and enjoy everything else that comes with the new regs.

  91. Adnan says:

    1. No need to reduce the race length please.
    2. Increase the engine sound.
    3. No need to ditch the fuel flow meters.
    4. Decrease the races per engine allowance so that drivers are encouraged to attack as much as they can during a race distance.
    5. Allow engine modifications through out the year for the sake of enhancing engine performance, driveability and fuel consumption.

  92. Spectreman says:

    Ban radio. That should favour intelligence and experience over mere fast reflexes. Also, points only to the first six. 9 (or maybe 10), 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. No more settling for 7th, that’s pathetic. I’m on the fence regarding the old system in which drivers discarded their worst results. I like it, but I can see safety being affected.

  93. john says:

    If they do change the fuel flow rule, i hope they reduce the tank capacity and bring back refueling to even out any advantages some teams may get by the change.

    As for the noise, afte two races im used to it now. The sound of the future is quiet, its time to move on. The noise is an asthetic thing like the noses, and to be honest i think the noses are more of an issue.

    Red bulls domination is over and thats a good thing, I dont think merc will have 4 years of domination like we just saw. I think alot of this has to do with RBR wanting to be the dominant team and if they cant be that team then no one should be, Ferrari have had the same mentality since the schumacher era.

  94. SaScha says:

    The Fia made the rules, they developed them over several years, now they should stick with them.
    If they are going to change them after a few races F1 makes itself more & more ridicolous.
    the FIa already looks like clown, now if they change the rules 3x a season it will not help to attracct more viewers as the rules are already silly and confusing for a lot of casual viewes, if they change again, it won#t help, i already feel fooled as a F1 fan and comider to go to no race this year, as I usually go to 3-5 races each season

  95. Tim says:

    I think the cost cap can be handled really easily with introduction of a new rule:

    “The minimum weight of a car will be 600kg, and increase by 1kg for every $1m the team spends in a rolling 12 month period.”

    So teams spending 80m/year will get to bring their cars to racing at 680kg. Ferrari and Red Bull will have to find a cost/performance ratio that works for them if they want to race a 1,000kg car – in all reality that figure might come closer to $100m.

  96. DaveFLO says:

    I was in the stands at Sepang & didn’t think there was anything wrong with how the cars sounded, I thought the new engines sounded brilliant.

    Also they were nowhere near been as quiet as I thought they were going to be based on all the internet outrage.

    I also took my cousin with me who had never been to a race before & the new V6 turbo engines been quieter than the V8s certainly didn’t put her off.
    She was amazed by the speed of the cars, How quickly they lost speed under braking, How fast they accelerated exiting corners etc…. She said she’d like to go with me to other races in the future so they certainly don’t seem to be turning new fans away.

  97. Craig in Manila says:

    There’s only three things that I would change at the moment :

    1. Turn off pit-to-car communications and let the drivers determine their own speed/strategy based-on certain data (not comms from the pits) appearing on their screens. Strategies determined by faceless men and their spreadsheets are killing the excitement.

    2. Make the pitstops take longer by only allowing a smaller number of crew in the lane. One person per side plus two jackmen. At moment, having a one second differential between a good stop and a bad stop rarely does anything to alter the balance of the race.

    3. Dramatically alter qualifying as continually having the fastest car start from pole and then lead for the whole race is one of the things than will kill the sport in terms of attracting fans. Start-order should be based on fastest-laps from prior race. At least that would give a few odd grids and therefore upset the status quos.

    The above changes would be easy to implement and control, cost basically nothing, and would definitely spice-up the racing and create alternate outcomes.

    I would not change any technical aspects at all (except for maybe doing something about the sound of the cars) : leave the cars alone for a while and just let the DRIVERS drive them to the limit !

    1. Matthew M says:

      +1
      Craig, agree with everything you say. I also like your ideas for solving the issues.

      This spreadsheet racing has been killing allot of potentially great races for many years now. Every race rather than racing for the win the teams are on damage limitation mode. No1 ever chases the pole man anymore. Its all about team orders and protecting/nursing the car.

      The pitstop safety you touch on is also something that needs to be improved. We almost had yet another instance of a tyre flying down the pit lane in Malaysia. We need slower pitstops.

      Send the drivers out there and let them think for themselves.

  98. Christopher Cathles says:

    Here’s a silly suggestion – stop all pit-to-car communication, let the drivers drive their own race and make their own decisions. Free them from the shackles of team management, and see if it makes things more competitive and less predictable. Comments anyone?

    1. James Allen says:

      Good idea on one hand, but it takes away a lot of insight from the races. Team radio on broadcasts would be missed

    2. bmg says:

      Love it.

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      I think this would work well.

      Less team orders, less boring lap by lap manipulated strategies, less preservation more pushing by drivers unsure of exact positions or gaps, more unexpected pitting for shot tyres, more interesting pit strategies and safety car strategies.

      Let them see only their own lap times on their steering wheels. Usual pitboard signs allowed.

      If it will be missed then allow only one way chat from the driver to the team, with most of it being broadcast?

    4. Andre says:

      I don’t see why that would make it more competitive and less predictable. The people in the pits want the same as the driver in the car and that is to finish in the best position possible.

      And remember F1 is still a team sport.

    5. Jodum5 says:

      There’s a thing called pitboards. What’s to stop teams from putting codes on them?

  99. kenneth chapman says:

    just a thought james but you might care to consider the following suggestion. on this site you have a great spread of posters with an extraordinary understanding of F1 across all spectrums, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

    it is obvious that some posts are extreme nevertheless they are all valid opinions and do need to be taken into account.

    my point is this. if you could find the time [i doubt it] then maybe you could nail your colours to the mast by adding your opinion to all the various ideas/loves and hates.

    my observation leads me to think that you have a great deal of respect and you also have a prime position within the F1 media to be able to express an opinion that reflects a very serious cross section of the avid followers matched with your own outlook. a powerful tool used correctly.

    it would be interesting to see where the lines cross.

    1. James Allen says:

      I have always deployed opinion sparingly here, there are many other sites where the writer’s opinions are the main offering. This site is about insight, unique content and bringing the fans closer to the sport

      I have no plans to take to the soapbox more often than at present.

      Readers with a keen eye can discern my feelings from reading between the lines in many cases anyway ;)

      1. bmg says:

        Ethics!

        Very rare these day’s in journalism.

      2. Kieran says:

        If Mark Webber ever becomes an F1 writer then that might be the best forum for that suggestion :) His blogs on BBC F1 weren’t bad actually

      3. Monza 71 says:

        Straight talking is what’s needed here, James.

        Reading between the lines is all very well but everyone in F1, except Seb and Sergio and Bernie are keeping quiet at the moment and that just adds to the frustration of long term fans such as your contributors here.

        Are we to draw the conclusion that those in F1 don’t care about entertaining the fans as long as the money rolls in ?

      4. Christopher Cathles says:

        James, it’s good to read your responses – short, sharp and to the point, always answering the question posed. UK Politics needs you!

      5. James Allen says:

        God help us! No way.

      6. kenneth chapman says:

        thanks for the reply james. one of the reasons i come to this site is specifically for the reasons that you stated and that, yes, by reading between the lines i do see your POV most times.

        maybe i didn’t express my request as well as i should’ve. i wasn’t talking about your opinions as an ongoing ‘dictat’. i was specifically meaning that right now there appears to be whole host of issues up for discussion. i don’t recall when there has been so much ‘noise’ surrounding F1 as i am seeing this year. there are major upheavals that need to be addressed and i just thought that maybe you could nail them, one by one, just to get an opinion from within the circle.

        however, i do appreciate the fact that your working life must be full already and taking on a subject of site analysis and applying your own take would be just too time consuming, but thanks anyway for responding. it is appreciated.

  100. Kevin Shiel says:

    After followed f1 for 20yrs since 1994, i seriously dont care about the sound, engine, aero etc but the drivers shall be allowed to race at full pace rather than saving the fuel saving the tyres etc.
    How sad is it to see a fast driver had to settle back down because of all those savings? I ‘d rather prefer to see them stopped on track bcoz they pushd too hard n run out of tyres/fuel/gearbox/engine.

  101. DebsW says:

    I don’t think there is much wrong with F1 (or we should at least give this new Formula time for the teams to get to grips with it instead of making any knee jerk reactions). We are only 2 races in, the teams are still learning how to run the cars (only 2 months ago at the 1st test many cars were unable to run – they would lose entire days over a small issue, Renault teams had difficulty running at all, Red Bull caught fire after 2 laps, teams were struggling to get the brake-by-wire system working correctly. Only 1 month ago after the final test there was panic amongst fans/journalists/teams that over half the field would not finish the first race, and Charlie Whiting had to explain what would happen if all cars retired). The teams have made giant strides in a very short space of time (and we should spend more time applauding this rather than moaning about how loud the engines are) They will continue to learn and as they understand the cars and become more confident with the reliability and how the races pan out then they will start to take more risks. They will bring updates and over time the cars will get closer in pace which should give better racing. Yes the engines are quieter and I won’t lie, when I first heard them in Jerez I was disappointed but it didn’t take long for me to start to get used to them – with each passing car I liked them more, and by the end preferred them. You lose the volume but gain so much more with the variety in sounds, differences between cars, other sounds like tyres and I expect the crowd at a GP will add to the atmosphere. Also I (and lots of others) used to wear ear protectors which muted the sound anyway – its nice not to need to now. The sound of the old engines never came across on the TV anyway so it shouldn’t even be an issue for TV viewers. I’m sure the microphones can be improved slightly to get a better sound if the TV companies really feel it necessary.

    The race length is absolutely fine, the thing most people don’t seem to like is anything artificial (see double points for unanimous dislike amongst fans) – the thought of shorter races and ‘reverse grids’ makes me shudder in horror. The only thing I would change (especially for this year whilst the engines are so new) is to relax the rule on amount of power units, 5 for a season with such major grid penalties for extra units could be an issue for a lot of teams. Maybe if they increased the amount for this year teams would feel able to push their power units more and not conserve them as much. Also I can’t wait for the race commentators to have to start explaining all the grid penalties towards the end of the season as extra parts of the power unit are required (He has a 10 place penalty for a 7th ICE, + 3 carried over from the last race as he needed a 6th MGUK and MGUH (5+5) but couldn’t take them all then as he only qualified in 15th – good luck with that James) – or maybe reliability won’t be an issue, like I said earlier the rate of development in 2 months has already surprised me. So to summarise this ridiculously long post (I’m so sorry) I think we need to give this new Formula a chance and not rush to implementing a solution to a problem that may not even be a factor a few months down the line. If there are still major problems by the mid-season break, then discuss it as teams will also be in a better position to understand any issues and what may be required to solve them.

  102. NJ says:

    Rule changes!

    1) Qualifying is one session, one hour, anything goes. Pirelli will issue a spec of Qualifying Tyres good for that one hour.

    2) All compounds, from supersoft to hards, will be available from FP1 to Final Practice. Teams can determine which compounds they wish to use.

    3) All Teams are allowed to choose whatever compound they wish to run on Sunday Morning. This way you will have the 3 stoppers fighting the 1 stoppers during the race.

    4) The return of 10,6,4,3,2,1 scoring

    5) Ban DRS. The torque levels and lack of traction should bring back opportunities to overtake anyway. Bottas is able to pass cars without using DRS, and he’s a rookie.

  103. meridabob says:

    I admit that I haven’t read the whole feed but personally I feel they haven’t listened to the fans to date so what’s going to change….lip service. If they admit they have forked up then they shouldn’t keep their jobs. This is no longer a circus, it’s a telenovela. James, you sound fed up yourself.

  104. Bring back V12's !!! says:

    All I want to see change in F1 is that the sport shows a little more respect to its fans and their wishes. The last few years of F1 have been tragically boring and fake in my opinion.

    We need to get real racing back and more passion in the sport!!

  105. Aussie_Pigboy says:

    bring back the KERS button.Also too much new things were introduced at the same time,a big mistake i believe

  106. StefMeister says:

    The length of the races should remain as it is, There’s nothing wrong with how long an F1 races goes on for.
    I don’t even mind Singapore getting right upto the 2 hour limit most years, Just add’s to the challenge & gives us fans more time to watch the cars out on track which is what I like to see more than anything.

    On the sound, Im still not sure things are as bad as a lot of people are going round saying it is. OK there quieter than what we have become used to, But the cars are still fast, The power units still producing a ton of power & the engines still sound like race cars.

    Think people need to calm down & let things play out over the rest of the season. Going around complaining about everything after only 2 races & people in F1 going about changing things based on that will just lead to bad decisions been made.
    Afterall everyone complained after Bahrain 2010 about how the refueling ban & all that had killed the racing & how everything would be boring from now on yet 2010 actually turned into a classic season with plenty of good racing, A close, competitive title fight & a lot more overtaking than we had seen for a while.

  107. Rayz says:

    Well this subject is clearly dividing opinion right up and down the world of F1. For my two cents, I think F1 has taken a huge step backwards in the pursuit of moving forwards. I fully accept the desire of those within F1 to be at the cutting edge of new technology. However, when the new technology leads to “lawnmowers” as many have described it, hurtling around the tracks several seconds slower than what they used to, one has to question whether changes are indeed required.

    No doubt James Allen is right when he suggests that Montezemolo has selfish desires foremost in his mind when he talks about needing change. Ferrari have missed the boat on this new era of F1 and have a huge catch up job ahead of them for 2015. (2014 is already gone for them in my opinion). However, whatever his intentions, his words do make sense. The spectacle that is F1 2014 has been well below expectations so far. The noise is underwhelming and for fans who attend races, the noise is a crucial element of the race weekend. It’s very hard to follow what goes on sitting in a grandstand, but the lack of knowledge as to strategies and commentary etc is easily compensated by the thrill of seeing the cars scream by at bone chilling speeds and a noise that can only be rivaled by a major explosion of some sort. All of that has simply been ignored in favour of “greener” power units. A drop in the ocean frankly. A political statement and no more.

    F1 needs changing in my opinion, but 2014 should be considered a bad year for the sport and major changes should only come into effect for 2015. Mercedes put all their efforts into 2014 and any rule changes that would negate their advantage would be wrong.

    For 2015, I’d like to see:

    1. Getting rid of the ugly noses.
    2. Scrap the fuel flow rate to allow cars get up to the full 15,000 RPM limit.
    3. Allow some downforce to be put back on the cars (they need to be quick)
    4. Make the cars louder for the fans
    5. Scrap the double points concept.
    6. Put me in charge pronto. ;)

    In all seriousness though, I agree James, it’s a big month for the sport.

  108. JohnBt says:

    Enough said the past weeks from fans. All the major faults has been spelt out LOUD and clear.

    So for us fans who have every right to criticize or some say we are moaners are sending the chills to Bernie. Now for the man who’s hiding and sneaking behind, of course it’s Jean Todt….. will be answerable to us fans.

    Now I’m going to take my time to read as much comments as possible.

    James I’ve been waiting for this, thanks mate!

  109. Monza 71 says:

    F1 is now so far from what it was at Monza in 1971, it’s not the same sport at all.

    At the 1971 Monza race, the closest competitive result in F1 history, the top 5 cars finished less than 9/10ths of a second apart and cars ran flat out from start to finish.

    The sound was glorious on the straights, particularly that unique sound of the Matra V12s

    The lack of spectacle now is not just down to the engine noise but that’s bad enough.

    However, we now know where the problem really lies : it’s not the restriction in revs to 15,000, it’s because for fuel saving reasons, the drivers are often limiting revs to no more than 11,000 during the race !

    The answer is most definitely NOT to shorten the races.

    For next year I would like to see refuelling return but that’s not going to happen, is it ?

    Instead we need to see fuel tank capacity increased and tyres of the right construction so that the drivers can drive the cars flat out throughout the race.

    Do the FIA and the grandees behind the teams really need to be reminded that this sport is supposed to be about Motor RACING !

  110. cometeF1 says:

    After reading all the above comments, I am wondering about myself. I have followed F1 for a fair bit now and I am enjoying it as much as ever. May be I am easy to please and content myself with little, but I think the new rules should be kept as they are for this season at least, as I have no doubt that the teams will make great strives forward before the end of the year.
    For my own taste, there should be a major change in rules every few years, say every five years, but in between we should stick to those given rules.
    If there is one thing which I don’t particularly like in todays F1, it is the way penalties are being handled now days. I understand that you want F1 to be as safe as it can be, nobody wants to go back to the 60′s and see wasted talents and lives, but yet it is still racing and racing comes with some risks.
    Everytime 2 cars come in contact, it is under steward investigation it would seem. Pack 20 odd cars on a circuit and it is bond to happen, and unless it is a total kamikaze move it should remain part of the sport and be accepted as such.
    I have sadly never been to a live event, so I can’t comment on the experience one has or lack of it in this case with regards to engine sound at a venue. You can of course tell the difference even while watching it on the tube, but it does little to affect the enjoyment for me.
    The thought of even considering shortening the races does not sit well with me. Not sure if shorter races would translate into more exciting ones, so I hope that won’t happen.
    While to each its own, I find the constant complaining tiresome. F1 is not perfect, it never was and you can bet it never will be. It is still the best for me, by a long shot. Marc

  111. Hello says:

    The drivers now have to work behind the wheel. It’s the first time since 1999 that I’ve seen cars that handle like they do now.

    Oh and please don’t shorten races. There’s been a lot of stupid safety cars recently. Are they setting us up for….”Well there’s always a few safety cars so why now take TV breaks”.

    Please don’t, this isn’t America.

  112. Electric is NOT the Future says:

    Could someone please remind me WHY the regulations were changed in 2009 in the first place, when we had just come off four of the most exciting seasons in recent memory? You could even go as far back as 2003 for another exciting season, if you overlook the 04 domination.

    Let’s be honest here, the regulations only change for political reasons and nothing else. If the FiA don’t turn a blind eye when (insert dominant team here) are blatantly breaking rules, then we wouldn’t have such boring seasons of domination anyway. I mean come on…. mechanics walking away with wrenches when adjusting the ride height is against the regulations. What kind of sport is this?

    James, if the powers that be actually do read these comments, I just want to make sure that they see my big fat middle finger to them all.

  113. Andre says:

    I think all F1 fans want a sport that has competitive racing, is safe and is at the forefront of engineering.

    Making rules for safety and engineering are the easiest to make up and most fans probably all agree with the rules made in those areas. Except maybe those that don’t like the new sound.

    Rules to make the racing more competitive and thus more exciting to watch is much more difficult.
    There will always be differences in performance (due to budget mainly). That is inherent to sport in general. The majority of the teams that reach the quarterfinals in the Champions League are the same every year.
    We just have to live with it.

    My personal believe is that there are too many variables in F1.

    The more variables the more change of difference in performance, but fewer variables also leave less room for improvement, so its tricky.

    For me we could do without the degrading tires but leave the different compounds, so teams can still choose what works best for them. Then we could also have more tyre suppliers but that’s not really important.

    And I would add a mandatory 2 pit-stops in a race, at least one in the first part and at least one last part of the race. It sounds a little manufactured but at least it will be the same for everybody.

    But most importantly they have to figure out a rule that will allow cars to drive closer to one another so more overtaking is possible. So we can go without DRS. Maybe restrict wing construction to two tiers or whatever. But it will be difficult.

  114. Supersi says:

    I can honestly say that there has been some good racing in the first 2 grands prix.

    Ok raise the desabells if you feel the need to, it is nice when the cars sound beasty. I dont think its a tragedy that there has been little noise though.

    PLEASE DONT SHORTEN THE RACES THOUGH!!!!
    I want to see the drivers push to the limit, but make the tyres more durable instead of shortening races.

  115. David Hunter says:

    Noise – F1 engines are still very noisy – the issue on TV is probably that Flat screen TV’s have small speakers that can’t cope with the lower frequency bias of the new engines – and/or people just don’t like change – give them a chance and buy yourself a soundbar for the TV.

    Fuel consumption/flowrate/downforce
    Simplify it – a set amount of fuel for the race
    - you do not need to limit maximum flow rate – if you have excessive flow rate you run out of fuel.
    - you do not need to limit rear wings etc – extra downforce = extra drag = you run out of fuel.

    All you need is the fuel limit.

  116. Goob says:

    So simple…

    1) Increase mechanical grip
    2) Reduce aero
    3) Wider chassis
    4) NO DRS!!!! NO DRS!!! SLIP STREAMING ONLY
    5) Increase BHP
    6) No traction control/ABS etc
    7) NO ENDURANCE TESTING
    8) Choice of tires
    9) No penalties for contact

    A car should require man handling – not stroking like a cat…

  117. BrumCar says:

    Di Montezemolo and Bernard need to sort this F1 out asap. Open the fuel taps and let it flow like a river, and wind those engine revs up to the hilt!

  118. David Morton says:

    Some of the comments on losing all wings etc focused on the lack of down force and this would make the cars slower than Formula Ford etc.
    Simple solution, install the under the car sucker fans that I believe Brabham installed on their cars back in the seventies. These sucked the cars down to the track the same as wings forced them down. But of course the FIA banned them after one race. They also banned the innovative Tyrrell Teams front four wheel car.
    Loved the look of that baby.

  119. robert christian says:

    remove the plank and give the cars more down force cheap and effective and faster cars around corners

  120. Ashley says:

    I don’t know how the Formula One still has the following it does; put simply, it is no longer a sport, and really hasn’t been one for the last decade at least. All it is now is a bunch of mobile advertising hoardings going around in circles for two hours.

    I mean what are you all getting excited about? What is it that people like James Allen get paid to dissect in ridiculous amounts of detail? Are we watching cars that are at the very pinnacle of engineering and technological advancement? No. Are we watching exciting, edge of the seat racing? Absolutely not. If you want that go down and watch a kart race at your local kart track, or if watching cars pass each other down a straight using DRS is your thing perhaps you should think about standing on a bridge over the M1 for two hours on a Sunday afternoon.
    Are we watching gladiators risking their lives trying to tame a ridiculously powerful and terrifying racing car? No. In light of the recent events regarding Michael Schumacher and Gerhard Berger, it appears an F1 driver is at greater risk skiing during his retirement than he is driving a modern F1 car.

    What we are left with then is a bunch of rich, characterless pretty boys driving not particularly fast or challenging advertising hoardings around not particularly challenging and very bland Herman Tilke designed tracks. It is of no surprise then that some of the most passionate F1 fans today are now women, no doubt tuning in to drool over Nico Rosberg.

    A Quarter of a century ago I tuned in to the BBC to watch my first Grand Prix and was instantly hooked. Watching real men race overpowered, low grip racing cars on a knife edge around beautiful and raw, classic motor racing circuits. Drivers like Mansell, Senna, Prost, Piquet and a young Michael Schumacher performing heroics in cars with manual gearboxes and round steering wheels that did nothing other than steer! And it was all played out the heady sound mix of V8s, V10.s and V12 engines. Fundamentally the only rule was that they couldn’t be of greater capacity than 3.5 litres and had to be normally aspirated. If a driver was to get ahead in the race he had to force a pass, a real pass by either forcing the driver n front to make a mistake through a poor gear change perhaps or by getting lose enough in the preceding corner to pick up the slipstream on the straight or being braver on the brakes. No pressing a ‘push to pass’ DRS button or waiting for the pit stops in those days, since there was no guarantee the driver would make a pit stop.

    The sad truth is that the sport I loved has gone so far down this route, and has become so sanitized that I really don’t think it can be rescued. I remember thinking in 1997 that what the sport needed was a reduction in aero grip and an increase in mechanical grip, but instead the sport went the other way, introducing grooved tyres and narrower chassis for 1998. There followed numerous screw ups with qualifying formats, points systems, reducing engines to feeble 2.4 V8s and now the even worse hybrids. Yet the racing only got worse, but rather than reduce aero and increase mechanical grip the powers that be thought it sensible to create fake drama and fake overtaking through DRS, KERS, silly tyre rules where everyone must use both compounds blah blah blah. And now we are left with the non sport we have today.

    I honestly think its too late for F1, but if a rival series was to start today I would like to see it built on the following principles.

    1. A simple engine formula whereby each manufacturer could choose whichever route they wanted to go down. I.e A maximum capacity, normally aspirated. You choose how many cylinders etc.

    2. Large, sticky, slick tyres of various compounds, the choice of which is left entirely to the teams, if you want to attempt to complete the entire race on one set of the hards, then go ahead.

    3. Limited grip available from aerodynamic wings, so that cars can still follow closely even through corners, and perhaps some of the lost grip regained through a form of ground effect.

    4. Paddle shift semi automatic gearboxes banned. Instead all cars should have three pedals and a manual gearbox. This would increase driver involvement and increase the chance of mistakes, increasing the chance of overtaking.

    5. Ban the use of telemetry and pits to car radio. If a team wish t communicate with their driver it should be via outboard only. This would increase the possibility of error and so increase the drama

    6. Race on classic Grand Prix circuits and have nothing to do with Herman Tilke and his bland circuits that look identical no matter where in the world he builds them.

    In the meantime you can find me down at the kart track racing my Rotax kart with like minded motor racing fans who actually want to race. I shall leave the Sunday afternoon, two hour advertising slot to the rest of you.

    1. Goob says:

      Amen – this is so right.

      F1 has been neutered – the drivers are just pretty boys, driving advertising boards…

      I guess greed always rule… it always makes me laugh to see Vettel booed… what is the point of pretending the WDC even matters anymore.

      DRS prevents me from watching anything but the 8 min highlight show.. and even that is uneventful.

  121. Gareth says:

    Viewers turned of because BERNIE decided to go to pay tv, what did he expect? Secondly, without these new rules there would be no Renault, that would leave Ferrari and Mercedes to power 11 teams. Honda would not be joining and F1 would be looking at a manufacture issue. As for the sound of the V6 Turbos, who realistically cares, people pay to watch racing not to listen to the sound of engines. Although I disagree with the fuel limit, brining back fuel stops would be a bad idea but if BERNIE is really that desperate to make it exciting then how about all times in practice and qualifying count towards the grid? Instead of Ricardo being disqualified, let him keep the points but Red Bull don’t or do 2005 again bring in refuelling but don’t change tyres. At 85 Bernie needs to do what Bruce Forsyth did today, stand down. My hunch is hes saying all these negative comments to devalue f1, then buy it back before selling it to the teams ( Red Bull and Ferrari) and placing Christian Horner as the man in charge.

    1. Goob says:

      I have a lot of respect for Bruce Forsyth… he understands what makes for genuine entertainment… Bernie does not have a clue about what entertains the F1 audience…

      Bernie’s best joke is DRS…

      1. Gareth says:

        What I meant is Bruce knew he was getting on and decided to go out on top. Bernies decisions have been questionable over the last few years.
        As for DRS, I ma in favour, why? because up until it was introduced everyone moaned that there was no overtaking.

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