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Does F1 need more change? A fan’s view
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Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Apr 2014   |  9:55 am GMT  |  229 comments

This weekend there has been a lot of talk about the 2014 rules and the possibility of making some changes, under pressure from Red Bull and Ferrari in particular.

We’ve had lots of comments, especially in light of the criticism voiced by Red Bull’s Adrian Newey on Friday, and here we post one of the most eloquent and well argued of them, to give a fan’s perspective and to give voice to the views of those who watch the sport week in week out.

Both Ferrari and Red Bull and their senior figures have been talking down the sport recently, as has its commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone; trying to shake the tree and make changes to things like the noise, the fuel flow meters and even the race distance, putting pressure on the FIA and current pace setters Mercedes.

FIA president Jean Todt will meet with Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and Bernie Ecclestone today in Bahrain to discuss this, but he has already said that while he can sanction a raising of the decibel level of the engines, he will not approve any other changes to the rules, which were agreed some years ago by all the teams.

Here is the point of view on the talking points of the moment from one of our regulars, Ferggsa.

Noise
Do I like it? Yes. Is it essential to F1? I would say no, and besides it doesn’t seem like the V6s are mute anyway. Will it drive fans away from the track? No more so than expensive tickets.

Speed
Someone already proved speed is relative. If the car is doing 280kph or 320kph you can’t tell from trackside or on the TV screen. The new cars are faster on straights and slower in the corners than the previous ones; so what? The main thing is that they are driven to their full potential, [it doest matter] how fast they are actually going.

Race management
In the old days drivers had to manage tyres, fuel, engine, gearbox or the [cars] broke. Now they have to do it [because of] imposed conditions: degrading tyres, fuel limits. [However,] the end result is similar, otherwise it would be racing for one or two laps and then following each other for 50 laps – more so when cars speed is largely defined by a team’s budget.

I do think, regardless of strategic decisions, drivers should be able to push closer to the car’s limit.

Having less driveable cars, like these new ones seem to be, is one of the few elements that adds to the sport and the show.


Sport or Show?
The FIA’s toughest job is to regulate a sport that provides a good show. Some of us like the sport more, regardless of the show conditions, others want a better show, regardless of the fairness of it.

And on top that it has to do this by dealing with state-of-the-art technology, so who has the best solution? Todt, Bernie, Newey, Random, Goferet? Hell, not even James Allen has it.

Bernie
Like most dictators, Bernie was great when he started and he singlehandedly put a little-known, elite sport onto TV worldwide, but he should move over soon for the sport’s sake.


F1 bosses crying about 2014 rules
I find it hard to believe that Mr Todt decided on his own to change the rules and that Bernie, Luca et al had no idea what would happen.

There are tech committees, sporting committees, commercial committees and a now defunct FOCA which should have voiced opinions beforehand, not after three years of development and manufacturing.

Of course it is difficult to agree with your competitors, but if they don’t even try, then they have to live with whatever the rules say, however awkward they may be.

Red Bull
When RB started I was a big fan, I liked the spirit and the fact that they were giving the big boys a run for their money. They became successful on merit and I admire that, but in a few years they have become more arrogant and ruthless than the worst ever from Ferrari.

Threatening to quit, to leave Renault, to blast the present rules sounds to me like very poor spotsmanship, and even, a bad business decision, they might end up with Bernie cutting down on their money, Renault refusing to supply engines, FIA not listening to their opinions, and even fans not buying drinks.

DRS
I dont like artificial devices in principle, but given present aerodynamics, it is the least worst option to no passing at all, and having faster drivers held up by slower ones.

Besides, I think us fans have an idea where drivers just push a button and fly past, but there are many variables involved, and it is not that straightforward.

The second option is to cut even further on wings and allow for closer racing.

Circuits and filling the grandstands
Want more fans on track? Have cheap races close to larger fan bases. I can’t fly to Bahrain and pay for plane, hotel, plus tickets. Only affluent Europeans, Aussies and Japanese people can. The locals probably don’t go on track in India, Korea, etc because tickets are too expensive, not because they dont like F1.

Fans
Just like the teams, we do not agree on everything, so even with the mother of all polls someone suggested, there will always be different opinions.

The powers that be should listen, and we have become more vocal, but in the end they (the FIA) should decide what’s best.

Do you agree, or disagree with these points? Have your say in Comments section below

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229 Comments
  1. Derek Wright says:

    Interesting, but does Bernie care about the fans? or Honda coming back?

    1. alx says:

      I think it is really important the japanese, and even chinese manufacturers come into the sport.

    2. Sebee says:

      Honda back, Renault may leave.

      End of the day, with each season passing by F1 gets more spayed and neutered in my view. Good or bad it is what it is.

      1. grat says:

        Renault was threatening to leave if the regulations weren’t changed to emphasis hybrid / turbo power trains.

    3. Sebee says:

      Hey,

      Finally I got a good “pro” for these new F1 engines…

      We can finally hear that fabulous 6.3L V8 in the safety car. :-)

      1. Sebee says:

        (Don’t worry, I’ve noticed that they used different track section audio during SC to not let us notice that the SC sounds better.)

      2. Sebee says:

        This one was all for you C63!

  2. Richard says:

    The RBR team are really getting it wrong on and of the circuit this season. There is only one thing worse than a bad winner….it is a bad loser. Amazed to see even Newey has dropped his standards. Listening to him in the press conferance was quite enlightening. I would not be surprised to find a lot of F1 fans wanting to see RBR lose and not liking seeing them win? Is that good P R for a company which invests millions? That’s the real reason they will leave F1 and Newey and Horners reputation in tatters

  3. Waleran says:

    I agree in general but would add, on the question of noise, that the sound we hear on TV is what the sound engineers, Bernie’s sound engineers, want us to hear.

    Simple to resolve but it hasn’t happened. I wonder why?

    I’m happy with the noise but if others want change then it mustn’t drown out the technology.

    1. C63 says:

      is what the sound engineers, Bernie’s sound engineers, want us to hear…

      Exactly so, although I thought there had been some sort of adjustment as Malaysia sounded better to me. There was a post on here, a week or two back, from a sound engineer and he implied it would be relatively simple to get the sound on TV right. Change of microphones and their positioning if I recall correctly.

      1. Rick Albright says:

        Bernie and “his sound engineers” cannot change the character of the current sound, by simply changing mic position.
        I imagine those at a race, sitting near a low speed corner, can appreciate the mechanical growl of the current engine. This mechanical sound is very difficult to capture as the overall noise level increases. For those of us at home (where most of the fans are), what you hear mostly is the cars under full power- and that sound is dreadful. A better mic position at corner exit might capture a more interesting sound, but it will be challenging to properly add that to the mix. And it’s really not a volume or quantity issue, it’s a quality or pleasing “note” that the current motor lacks. Simply increasing the decibels will not make it better.
        Two more cents from another sound engineer.

      2. j says:

        You’re a sound engineer but you don’t think microphone type or placement makes any difference?

      3. Rick Albright says:

        Of course it does you fool. Did you read my entire post ?
        Merely changing the placement will not change the the structure of the waves which are producing the sound. The volume will increase due to proximity. I believe I mentioned a position change in my post which i thought could help.

      4. C63 says:

        Thanks for your reply, I make no claims of expertize in the ‘art’(is that correct) of sound engineering. I was really only saying, that as Bernie has gone on record as not liking the sound of the new engine and his company control the broadcast – it wouldn’t be too much of a leap, to suggest that he would manipulate the sound which is broadcast in order to ‘backup’ his claims.

      5. Mack says:

        In Melbourne there was a sound recording pack carried on the back of a technician -looked like a pack used by moon walking astronauts. A second technician accompanied him. They were recording the cars at various points on the track. The sound was also recorded at places where there was a stationary microphone for TV broadcast sound. At the time I assumed the results would be used to fiddle the TV sound. Trying to take the “bottom of the well” sound out of the TV broadcast?

      6. grat says:

        They have been tinkering with the mic positions, but keep in mind, we’ve gone from

        (18,000 * 8) / 60 = 2,400 pulses per second

        to

        (10,500 * 6) / 60 = 1,050 pulses per second

        … and then they stuck a giant noise absorber on the engine. That’s going to dramatically alter the sound.

        It will occupy a different acoustic “space” for lack of a better term– the sound will travel, reflect and be absorbed differently.

        But honestly, watching Lewis and Nico battle it out for first place made the sound almost totally irrelevant.

      7. variable says:

        i just don’t know how the fia will plan to alter the noise of the engines without altering the specs of the engines. a turbo will baffle the sound from the engine and they are already running the zorst outlet straight into atmosphere so there is no db gain from the turbo end.
        the only thing is to allow the engines to be modified to either run more revs or make more power but there is a current engine freeze on development which could lead to more power. What if the fia has a cunning plan to unlock the engine freeze to allow (on face value) the engines to be developed for more revs and more power to achieve the db level gains they are after, but more so to allow ferrari and renault to play catch up.
        a mid season change to the rules/regulations could be at play here lads and that could be unfair to the teams who already have done their homework.

    2. Jack Young says:

      The cars sound like fart factories. The engine sound does not reach a frequency equivalent to the RPM they are turning. A racing engine should, in my opinion, sound crisp and emit the occasional crackle. I know – the old sounds were generated by various inefficiencies. The new power plants are far more efficient and that makes them sound muted. Still, if there is to be a show, it should include sound!

      1. Jack Young says:

        Addendum – Bahrain was the best F1 race I have seen in years. It just did not SOUND like it….

      2. M_E says:

        +42

        it really was something special, Im talking about the 11 lap jousting between 2 drivers of currently the best team in the world :D

        really exceptional racing, but the night race spectacle of the whole thing made them look like it was some rich arabs demonstration race! – really incredible show from both merc drivers. F1 should be all nighraces! who would prefer to have their weekend daylight hours OUTSIDE their house, with a nitetime race on in the evening/night they can watch :)

        As for most of the points being made, they are about as credible as red bulls appeal against their disqualification utterly laughable. everyone else followed the rules and had the same amount of time to develop their cars and PU for all the new regulations.

        As for the rubbish about “I cant hear the race because all those years at f1 tracks made me a deaf bastard!” the irony is delicious :D

        seriously. grow up. adapt change is good ;)
        it would be funny if it wasnt so sad

      3. KaRn- says:

        Well apparently the engines are never reving past 12k either due to fuel flow limits so it will sound lower frequency than we expect when we were told a rev limit of 15k :s

  4. jee1 says:

    Good points..Agree with everything..

    1. Steve Zodiac says:

      If you think the show is more important than the sport go watch Nascar. This obsession with lots of overtaking has ruined F1 as it’s all contrived. F1 is(sorry should be) all about the best drivers in the FASTEST cars it is possible to make the rest is secondary. When Lester Piggot was top jockey he got the fastest horses and he won all the races, no complained. Also it is all very well taking away the downforce and saying the cars are faster in a straight line but if you slow the cornering speeds too much the you will find Pagani is just as fast or God forbid faster.

      1. Steve Zodiac says:

        one!

  5. Andy says:

    I agree with alot of what has been said, but it’s personal choice. Take DRS being an ‘artificial device’, one could argue that modern gearboxes, driver controlled diff settings etc are artificial.
    Things change and technology moves on, the sport needs to move with it.
    Instead of the likes of Ferrari whinging about it because they are lacking yet again, they should all be celebrating the new technology and massive improvements the teams have made in reliability since testing, and for once we get to see the drivers having to work a bit more.

    1. Goob says:

      DRS is not a technology… it is a one sided handicap device… I prefer the brake bumpers on kid karts to the dumbness of DRS.

      The sound is really annoying now – even on TV…

      Endurance and driving to deltas is the ultimate boredom for what is billed as a ‘race’.

  6. Daphnet says:

    I agree. Let’s stick with it and see how it pans out during the season. Red Bull are playing the “spoilt child” card. The spec. is the same for everybody and it seems the drivers can actually make a difference this time. Bring F1 back to the home of motor racing (Europe) and make the accessibility better for all. We used to be able to afford to go to races and buy or wangle paddock passes and mingle with the drivers, mechanics, etc. It is all so secretive now but I do think the development is good for the motor industry and noise, fuel efficiency, tyre wear etc. will all filter through to road cars eventually. As for double points – scrap them immediately. Why not points for pole, fastest lap etc?

    1. Glen says:

      Agree completely.

    2. j says:

      & what will happen if Ricciardo continues to get to grips with this new car. Each podium or near podium from DR really removes any credibility, if there ever was any, from their arguments.

  7. Alan Green says:

    I can agree on every single point and could not have put it better.

    Do Red Bull and Ferrari realise what they are doing to their own image?

    I don’t like Red Bull (the drink) and am unlikely to buy a Ferrari so maybe my opinion does not matter to them, but it looks like a massive PR fail.

    1. dimitar kadrinski says:

      One think I can not understand at the moment is how on earth are RB refusing to look at the bigger picture.
      They are very much the second fastest team at the moment. in the three races to far they put their car on the from row twice and once on the second row, only behind the mercedes. They are able to get on the podium every race…. they do have a chance to be second in the constructor this yer with the WORST EVER engine/power unit F1 seen recently. Being the second team in an engine war F1 season with the worst engine is hardly going to them bad….
      Really… where is the point?

    2. Jez Playense says:

      In a few weeks all most people will remeber is the bran name Ferari or the brand name Red Bull. All publicity is good publicity. Remember Webber whining? Same again…

    3. pushthebutton says:

      i sure hope you don’t drive a fiat

  8. Tommy Karamin says:

    Good points in General!! However, I would like to see the fuel-flow sensors removed. That would spice things up. Other than that, I agree with almost everything!! Well said!

    1. Daniel says:

      Here here

    2. Kramgp says:

      I would like to see and hear the teams that have got it right stick up for themselves. Instead all we here is the wining from Ferrari and Red Bull. RBR are actually doing quite well but for screwing it up for Ric they would have had 2podiums from 2 races. It’s like shooting yourself in the foot and blaming the person who gave you the gun

    3. C63 says:

      How do you know removing the fuel flow sensors would spice things up? Anyway, irrespective of whether it would, or would, not spice things up it would be outrageous to amend the rules mid season. As has been said many times, it’s the same for everyone. They all new about these regulations years ago and it is the responsibility of the underperforming teams to up their game, not try and drag down the leaders to their level.

      1. Tommy Karamin says:

        I admit that what you say is spot on! Obviously, it would be awkward to change any rule mid-season. All I’m saying is that even Mercedes would like to remove this particular sensor. It would make cars and races faster. And I don’t think it would change the pecking order at all!!

      2. Rob Ducker says:

        Oh it would spice things up all right. Mercedes would go faster and Ferrari wouldn’t make it to the end without running out of fuel. Red Bull? Who knows and who cares.

  9. AimHigh! says:

    Refreshingly pragmatic viewpoints! … which apparently have no place in F1, if self-serving Team Principals have their gerrymandering ways.
    Mr. LDM, what’d be good if Ferrari actually spent their time & energy on making the best out of the lemon-engine they built instead of trying to drag down the leading player? (last year, RB was the recipient of your attn, next year it might be anyone else.)
    Bottom-line, LDM KNOWS that the problem is NEVER the Scuderia’s inability to adapt & do what others’ve done, it’s always something or somebody else … the rules, the noise, AN/ RB … it’s always something or somebody else.
    Amen

    1. Doobs says:

      With frozen engines how can they make any improvements exactly? Teams are stuck with the engine they’ve got for the next few years, so of course there should be flexibility, unless you want to see Merc dominate for the foreseeable..

      Merc are just as ready to whinge as any team when it suits them(and rightly so – that’s what team principals are paid for – a second a lap or whatever is just as valuable whether it’s won in the rule book or on the dyno).

  10. Shane Pereira says:

    Another Fans View…

    > How sad that the professional F1 journalists have to highlight “tyre squeals” and the fact you can hear the track-side PA system as “benefits” of this new type of F1.

    > This new F1 has gone “VEGETARIAN”…(it seems they are also embarrassed to use the word “HYBRID” in any of their Marketing efforts – F1 is now a HYBRID-engined racing formula – just an eco-firnedly, socialist, tree-hugging formula that is as gimmicky and fake as Formula-E…and isn’t any more “friendly” to the environment than previous years.

    > It lacks the “wow factor” now for people actually paying lots of money to watch a race at the race venue due to the lack of ferocious noise. The sound of these new cars will simply be lost in a windy Silverstone…(at least you’ll still be able to hear the roar of the V8 in the AMG Mercedes Safety car! and the Red Arrows display before the main race!!)…(Reference Vettel’s opinion).

    > The cars look ugly and are much heavier than last year.

    > The cars are NOT “greener” or more “environmentally friendly” overall compared to last years cars because all the Kinetic recovery systems, motor generator units and highly toxic batteries are all manufactured using energy from fossil fuels anyway!!..(Adrian Newey’s comments)

    > Carrying less fuel is only one measure of efficiency….last years cars were lighter…hence you could argue therefore that they were also ‘efficient’ because of their lightness, reliability and simplicity. They required LESS energy overall to produce compared to this years cars (Ref. Adrian Newey also).

    > We’ve gone from RedBull dominating because of F1 previously having too much focus on aerodynamics – to Mercedes now dominating due to too much emphasis on engine / power units.

    > Why didn’t F1 (or the Technical Working Group) just keep the V8′s and introduce the smaller wings and simple exhaust poking out the back of the car to do away with all the blown-floor wizardry? Surely this would have reduced RedBulls dominance (due to no blown diffusers), and also improved the “F1 show” because the cars would have been much more difficult to drive with much less downforce – especially if they have harder compound tyres on as this years cars have.

    1. Alan Green says:

      Keep the V8′s…
      Fine in theory, but was it a long term possibility?
      The stories I have read suggest that the new engine regs are the result of the Engine manufacturers requests.
      No new manufacturers were interested in making screaming V8′s with no relevance to their everyday products.
      Renault and Mercedes could see problems justifying the expenditure on the same basis.
      Possible result every car on the grid has a Ferrari engine.
      Maybe that would have suited Ferrari (at least they would always win), but not a healthy basis for the sport,

      1. Doobs says:

        That’s a crock. Half a 2.8L V8 is a 1.4L four like your gran drives but with a bit more power. The engine technology is definitely transferable.

        The hybrids were introduced to keep the environmentalists quiet and stop any awkward questions about the validity of F1 (costs) in the middle of the GFC, which was in full swing at the time the rules were being developed.

        The “green” benefits of F1 – that competition would stimulate investment into hybrid technology and thereby save the world – were just a red herring. If the desire was to keep development moving in that field, the engines would not be frozen. Also the FIA wanted Honda and Toyota back as engine suppliers. If F1 is to be truly green, they need to stop flying several hundred thousand tons of cargo, equipment, personnel and fans round the world every few days.

      2. Shane Pereira says:

        Well said Doobs…100% agree with you.

      3. Alan Green says:

        So… half a 1.6L V6 is an 800cc 3 cylinder with Turbo and assorted gizmos.
        Ford has a similar 995cc engine already in its production car range (1.0 EcoBoost).
        Sounds mad and we may not like it but thats just the way things seem to be going.

        Quite agree with all your other points about “greenwashing”.

    2. Nick says:

      Some of your comments make sense but the whole engine complaint seem to be missing the point.

      1. Performance used to be everything, now it’s everything as long as it is efficient and demonstrates new technology that has application to other areas. This is the world we now live in even F1.

      2. If the engines were so bad and not relevant it would not have kept Renault in the sport and attracted Honda back. While currently the technology as a whole may not be amazingly green, the developments from this and future developments should make it worth while.

      3. Engine noise changes over time. Everyone will miss the old engine sound, it was awesome! But things change and as long as you can understand why they’ve made the changes then you can accept the change in noise.

      And Adrian Newey is not always right. His views are a mix of his own personal views and a heavy Red Bull agenda.

    3. alx says:

      Why didn’t F1 (or the Technical Working Group) just keep the V8′s and introduce the smaller wings and simple exhaust poking out the back of the car to do away with all the blown-floor wizardry? Surely this would have reduced RedBulls dominance (due to no blown diffusers), and also improved the “F1 show” because the cars would have been much more difficult to drive with much less downforce – especially if they have harder compound tyres on as this years cars have.

      Totally, totally agree with this comment. So simple. So smart. Cheap. Easy to implement. And a guaranteed positive effect for both fans AND drivers (as I am sure all of them have egos big enough to assume that themselves- and oly they – have the ability to drive with reduced wings and simple exhaust.
      But of course… too smart and simple to be introduced…

    4. cbush66 says:

      I could not of said it better. Well done mate.

    5. Glen says:

      Cutting aero etc is a step backwards to a time gone by. F1 needs to move forward and is doing so. There will always be people who are opposed to green progress. It is for the best.

      1. Shane Pereira says:

        There are already two racing categories for so-called “Green formulas”…they are the “World Endurance Championship” (which Mark Webber has just joined) and also “Formula-E” (electric powered cars only).

        Do we really need Formula-1 to be another eco-fuel efficiency formula as well?

      2. Glen says:

        Yes – it is very important. Formula 1 has more or less been the same for the last 20 years. I didn’t read Neweys comments but it seems the arguments against green technology are convoluted.

        The new technology is interesting and exciting again, which will benefit society at large. The focus on diffuser technology over the last 5 years was uninteresting.

        You may not see the relevance, but I’m sure in 10 to 15 years time you may see how the changes made this year helped to shape a new world.

    6. Cliff says:

      The changes were agreed three years ago! Red Bull were only into their second championship, so one could argue that the changes were not designed to slow the RBR dominance. If, at the time you had asked me which team was best placed to adapt, without question RBR would have been my answer.

      You ask why “Why didn’t F1 (or the Technical Working Group) just keep the V8′s and introduce the smaller wings and simple exhaust poking out the back of the car to do away with all the blown-floor wizardry?. You have to add in the fact that the engines are made my the car manufacturers. Cosworth came back briefly, but sadly they have left the sport. The car/engine manufacturers are looking to the future. Would the likes of Renault be able to continue making engines (V8′s) indefinitely when they don’t have a sports car division that would benefit? Having part ownership in Infiniti is not enough to sustain such a large outlay of money. If memory serves me correct, Renault argued for the revised engine changes, even going as far as threatening to leave the sport. For Mercedes and Ferrari, the question of building such large engines is not as great, but even they are embracing some or all of this technology. Some may say this is due to them wishing to show the world that they take their CSR seriously. Leaving CSR to one side, it no longer makes sense for large corporations to spend a lot of money on technologies that are not transferable to their ‘core activities (building road cars). Had the Manufacturers not made the changes, they would have left themselves vulnerable to their global competitors that do not compete in F1, you might even argue that Honda are coming back because they were now able to build a business case for F1. At the end of the day, the big decisions will be made in a boardroom in Germany, Italy, France or Japan and of them remember some of the arguments in 2009, do you really think the final decision will be based on the sound of an engine or on sound business principles and a Return On Investment?

    7. dimitar kadrinski says:

      Only very few of your points are valid, and only half valid…
      You are obviously one of those newborn RB fans which is ok, it is actually very good, as RB have won the sport more fans over the past few years.
      When you say F1 is not greener by this new rules I do agree, BUT:
      The technology currently involved in F1 WILL port over to the road cars and YOU and ME and everyone else will benefit BIG TIME from it.
      In the end of the day when you really spend some time thinking about it, it is us, the fans, that are paying this teams to develop it.
      So i am very happy as it is at the moment (apart from the Mercedes utter dominance – which i hope will even out by the end of the year)

      1. Shane Pereira says:

        Just to clarify your broad-brush assumptions – I am not a “newborn RB fan”…I don’t even like RB and I hate Vettell!!!

        I have attended many races – especially at Silversone for the British GP over the last 15 years….so I’m rather knowledgeable about F1.

        My wife works for Williams F1…and my sister works for the World Motorsport Council (the WMC decides on rules and regulations for the FIA’s various racing series, from karting to Formula One.

        I think I’m well-informed ;-)

    8. Red Heat says:

      + 1 Well said.

    9. Mark says:

      Excellent we’ll said Shane all valid comments.Tired of reading dribble from so called arm chair experts.Top stuff CHAMP.

      1. Cliff says:

        The new regulations were agreed before RBR’s dominance and no manufacturer was willing to continue making the V8 engines. How do F1 address that particular problem, and why would they want to spend millions of euros on a technology that is dying out?

      2. Shane Pereira says:

        Formula-E and the World Endurance Championship (which Mark Webber has just joined) should be the natural homes of all eco-friendly, fuel-efficient, battery technology demonstrators…..Formula-1 should be about ‘show business’ (as Mr Ecclestone would say).

    10. C63 says:

      Why didn’t F1 (or the Technical Working Group) just keep the V8′s and introduce the smaller wings and simple exhaust poking out the back….
      One of the greatest ironies in all this is that Red Bulls engine supplier, Renault, were one of the loudest (maybe the loudest) voices pressing for the new power units.
      It’s a funny old world, eh? :-)

    11. Brent says:

      Why does Newey’s opinion on environmental impact carry any weight? What qualifies him as an expert? His career is based on unlimited resources and no environmental controls.

      By the way, F1 does no marketing…none. That’s Ecclestone’s companies job and there are no marketing people.

      “Eco-friendly, socialist, tree hugging”. The cry of the moron.

      1. Shane Pereira says:

        I think Newey’s opinion would carry far more weight than Brent’s opinion – on any subject ;-)

      2. Brent says:

        I was sure that would be your opinion.

    12. NickH says:

      +1000

      Tyre squealing and PA announcements. Laughable really

    13. Stephen says:

      Very we’ll said!

    14. grat says:

      Because the F1 V8′s were very cutting edge technology from last century?

      I find it comical that someone can claim F1 is supposed to be about maximizing performance, but insists on using an engine which is effectively a re-tuned 20 year-old engine design.

      1. Waleran says:

        But even if the engine is a re-tune of an old design, the power unit as a whole is cutting edge technology.

      2. grat says:

        The V6, yes… I was referring to the V8′s, which lack direct injection (among other things), and aside from their max RPM, are fairly unremarkable engines in terms of design sophistication.

        They’re brilliant pieces of engineering, metallurgy and precision manufacturing, don’t get me wrong, but the formula limited their technology.

      3. Steve Zodiac says:

        Hey if we’re gonna have new technology lets have it! There’s nothing new about dynamos and batteries or of course piston engines. Go to the Science Museum top floor, it’s all been done before. So lets have something new like turbines (umm still not new). But lets stop trying to pretend that this overweight dull load of tosh we have now is the future.

    15. Steve Zodiac says:

      Shane Pereria, Well done my thoughts entirely

  11. pcoops says:

    The success of the sport is its own main reason for its current problems. There is too much money in the sport, same as football. Little point in fans making any comments at all, because the people who make the rules are the ones making the money, and they don’t care too much as long as the money keeps rolling in. F1 is what it is, all that seems to happen now is certain teams moan about everything if the season isn’t going their way. Ignore them, Toto is right, any major rule changes to fuel restrictions at this stage is absurd, and completely unfair to Mercedes who have done the better job up to now. Horner trying to use the fans supposed “stupidity” as an excuse to remove rules in the interests of simplification is insulting, and quite obviously it will help renault engined teams. Shut up Red Bull and Ferrari, and work on catching Merc…

    1. Daniel says:

      How can they catch them when merc have locked in a massive advantage. Homologation locks in an advantage. Might as well stop watching now because the rules that cut costs are forcing teams fight with one hand tied.

      1. j says:

        How is it locked in? RBR can change the car within the rules all they want. Renault can fix any reliability problems they have. The homologation opens up at the end of the year so all the manufacturers will be able to copy whatever Mercedes has done with the intercooler before next season. They can also change their gear ratios once to better match the torque once they get their software problems fixed.

      2. grat says:

        But, Mercedes knew about these rule changes as long as Ferrari, Renault, Cosworth, and Honda– They all started with the same specifications, at the same time.

        Also, it should be noted that there’s not that much difference between Williams-Mercedes, Force India-Mercedes, McLaren-Mercedes and Red Bull-Renault in performance, and I don’t think Ferrari is that far behind the rest either– if they can get their aero sorted, I suspect they’ll be competitive with the field.

        When you say “Mercedes”, you’re really referring to Petronas AMG Mercedes-Mercedes– the combination of engine, chassis, drivers, and team, is making Mercedes the dominant team they’ve been so far.

        Q3 this past weekend had the two factory Mercedes cars at the top, and then the other 8 cars were separated by less than 0.3 seconds.

      3. Daniel says:

        The engine is a straight line advantage.

      4. Shane Pereira says:

        Daniel is correct. Lewis and Rosberg were over 2 seconds per lap faster than everyone else in their battle towards the end of yesterday’s race.

        The ‘engine / power plant’ advantage that Mercedes has over the other engines (Renault and Ferrari) is huge!

        Expect all the Mercedes engined cars to make up the top 8 positions in China in a couple of weeks time.

      5. grat says:

        Somewhat, yes– more so for the factory team, but Ferrari isn’t that far behind the “other” Mercedes-based teams.

    2. Johnston says:

      But all the money is being raped out of F1 into shark like share holders who give diddly squat about F1.

  12. Charles "Chuck" Jones says:

    The previous comments covered all the major points well and to the point. Not much more to be said. Incidentally I am an X F-1 team owner from the 70′s and 80′s we, at that time, often faced major rule changes and survived them nicely !!!

    1. FuelGreener says:

      Wow. If you’re this Chuck Jones – http://www.sportscardigest.com/chuck-jones-interview-and-profile/ – then you’re a legend.

  13. Brian Hinder says:

    Every fan has a view. Yet we continue to view.

    1. Andy says:

      I’m amazed that I continue to watch,as I think it died when drs was introduced.what has reduced my viewing is the sky thing,sometimes I just don’t bother anymore.i think the key thing is aero,Newey should be using his undoubted brainpower to think of a way to destroy it.only thing I can think of is restrictions on surface area.The cars would probably look much nicer too.Noise wise,a f1car should sound like a f1 car sounds,simple as that.

      1. Andy says:

        Stop press!if I had sky I would be able to see an exciting race!

      2. Rich C says:

        A few years back Champ Cars all had a big, square plate bolted on the back to overcome the slick aero and slow them down.

        This would be the only way to make F1, or for that matter anything else that goes 200 mph, less dependent on aero.

    2. Phil J says:

      Of course we do, we’re fans.
      That’s why the opinions of those on this site are largely irrelevant.
      It’s the casual or occasional viewer whose opinions are important to the future of F1 and they don’t answer surveys on the Ferrari website.

    3. john3voltas says:

      If something doesn’t change very quickly, I (a veteran viewer) will stop watching because to me it’s lost all interest.

    4. Jez Playense says:

      Exactly… The old guard don’t like change. They never have, an probably won’t ever – but it happens and will continue to do so.

      I don’t watch F1 for the noise, I watch the racing. What do you watch it for?

      1. Doobs says:

        F1 should be an experience that stimulates all five senses – the speed and sound should shake the air and make your skin goose-bumps, the smell of hot engines and burned rubber and the taste of victory champagne.

        Otherwise get out the Scalextrix

      2. Jez Playense says:

        “Should” according to you… We get what we are given. If you don’t like it you have two choices
        1) Persuade the teams to change the engine sound to please you.
        2) Stop watching.
        3) Get out Scaletrix and use it with an old sound track recording of a V10 playing in the background…

  14. Dave P says:

    Yes… I agree….but what is unbelieveable in all this is the ‘Ratner’ effect so eloquently put by Pat.

    I have never seen such suicidal behaviour by all parties. In any other sport (including their own) Luca, Bernie Christian, would be pulled up for bringing the sport into disripute.

    Christian publically saying the the fuel sensors are rubbish saying sporting directives are worth nothing etc is shocking

    Allowing Ron Walker to state they are going to sue over noise – shocking

    Allowing Luca a platform to say this is formula boring and he want s to change the rules – shocking

    Bernie saying the noise was rubbish before even going to a track to hear it – shocking

    This whole saga has got out of hand due to these big headed people not acting as professional business men but spoilt children all with their own agenda’s – non of them acting for the good of the sport.

    I feel sorry for Renault, and Mercedes who have spent untold millions developing exactly what these people agreed to, only to be publically humiliated by them. Paddy’s demeanour in the principle conference told everything. Adrian was an embarrasment to the sport and whilst everyone else was doing their best to sell the good message he destroyed it all with a grumpy aarogant stance.

    If I were Mercedes / Renault I would tell them ‘If you attempt to change anything,and we mean anything, we will be off, suing you in the process’. That would get their attention.

    For goodness sake this has happened after 3 races.. no time for anything to develop or settle. It cannot be perceived as anything other than sour grapes by Ferrari and Red Bull. OK if after 2 seasons.. note Seasons.. nothing has moved on then things need to be looked at. But two races..

    For what is meant to be a professional sport they very much run it like the worst local club I have ever seen.

    1. Doobs says:

      Why would any business spend a couple of seasons pouring money down the drain. Everyone has their on agenda true, and the people you disparage are duty bound to their employers and shareholders to get back any advantage they can. I’d be more worried about the sheep bending over and applying the gel.

  15. Rusty says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Ferggsa.

    As a lifelong armchair fan the changes don’t seem negative at all, in fact it’s great to see drivers struggling to handle the new cars.

    It seems to me that F1 is eating itself at the moment. Having key figures talk so negatively in public about the rules changes is cheapening the sport in my eyes.

    F1 needs to be careful as I think the new Forumla E is going to capture a lot of attention when it starts.

  16. Joshua says:

    Excellent post. Thanks for highlighting this James.

  17. Reuben says:

    It is what it is. As F1 has become more corporate and evolved from a sport into a business, the need to please the big guns has become the top priority. Mercedes, Renault, Honda and the like are all holding the cards as the ‘sport’ strives to kiss their feet and incorporate their latest technologies.

    Sure, F1 should be cutting edge but not just to please the fat cats and attract more manufacturers. Why should an F1 car have crossover into road car technology? Aside from four wheels and a steering wheel, an F1 car is NOTHING like a road car (certainly not like my Fiesta) and I don’t see why it should be?! Leave the tyre management and fuel saving to Le Mans and the GT world.

    The problem is the manufacturers. Bring back independent teams that care about the sport as a sport and not some way to promote their latest family hatchback.

    Strap a big engine into the back of a fast car, strip back the fancy add ons and watch the drivers go. May the best man/woman win!

    1. Doobs says:

      The problem is the manufacturers want the cachet of racing in F1 for marketing purposes but them impose the terms they expect to compete under. It means they end up killing what it is they wanted to be a part of. A bit like everyone moving to the country for clean air, well guess what, you jut created a city…

      Bring back the big engines, and if it doesn’t suit Honda, Renault or whoever, well see ya later…

  18. Darrell Steele says:

    I think it should stay the same it’s a different pecking order, Ferrari and redbull are just sour grapes, Ferrari just can’t seem to design a quick car at all, redbull are down on power but don’t think the car has been packaged right, for years some of is have been watching redbull annihilate the field 2013 and 2011 they didn’t complain, and recent years no one has bent the rules more than redbull and got away with it, Merc have invested so much time and money for this year so don’t see why they should reap the rewards, if it all comes down to power then Merc customer teams won’t want a change for the likes of Williams who are having their best season for a long time to change for some teams, if I remember correctly when Adrian newey was asked if he felt redbull were ruining the sport because of their domination, he said it was down to they teams to catch up, and we are three races in and they want a change, come Adrian/Renault catch up.

  19. HJ says:

    And if anyone gives a thought to those fans who can only see the races on TV, stop making it so difficult for them. Many of us can’t afford the pricing structures to watch F1 which are imposed by Sky in the UK – I’d like the option to be able to subscribe for the F1 channel on its own at a reasonable price, since I don’t want their compulsory “entertainment” channel(s). It’s probably too late to reverse the selling of TV rights to subscriber-only TV companies, but it should be done on terms which ensure accessibility for real fans. If that raises less money, would it really be missed given the huge amounts made elsewhere? Without fans there will be no F1.

    Sort out the microphones at the tracks. Presumably their positions were dictated by the dangerously high decibels of the previous version of the cars. When we are given the opportunity to actually hear the new cars, they are not “too quiet” but make very interesting noises which reveal quite about about how they are being driven.

  20. Robert De Rosa says:

    As a F1 fan for years I think you should consider changing the rules First of all no 1 very important the sound needs to be louder the noise and speed around corners is what has kept me and my son and friends going to the melbourne Grand Prix the sound of the high reving scream of the v8 was just great loved it and another important thing us fans want to see drivers driving flat out not driving to save fuel Thank you for allowing me to comment

  21. Bill Nuttall says:

    I agree with almost everything you’ve written!
    Red Bull’s arrogance has gotten so bad for me that I refuse to drink any of their products. Renault just helped them win 4 consecutive drivers championships, and yet 2 races into the season they are already loudly complaining about them and considering dumping them. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    Considering Ferrari and Mercedes would almost certainly not supply them, and Honda being a Macca exclusive until 2016 (I think) then I suggest Red Bull should either develop their own engine, stop whining or leave the sport.

  22. PaulL says:

    In my recollection, sport best served the show. Even without all the overtaking in the world, the sporting competitiveness produced the best, closest, and most intensely fought show. F1 peaked in 2006-2008.

  23. ian says:

    The rule changes haven’t happen over night they been known for years just because they haven’t got the best package at the moment they want
    to change it more to their favour.team domination always happens in cycles.redbull will catch up they have the biggest budget and most staff.
    An you can’t let a team dictate the rules.will redbull
    Be in f1 in ten years .we have to look after the teams who are f1 Williams Maclaren lotus.Ferrari etc

  24. Gaz Boy says:

    Does F1 need changes?
    Yes, and perhaps the best way is for a small man wearing spectacles with a pudding basin haircut to “step aside.”
    Secondly, the income distribution needs to be more equitable to the constructors as its too lop-sided to the teams who have signed Mr E’s “special contract” – if you think I’m wrong, ask Lotus, Sauber, Force India et al.
    Make those two very crucial changes, and everything else will fall into place. Problem is, will those two fundamental changes happen in the near future? Munich, it is over to you……………..

  25. Bjornar Simonsen says:

    I agree with a lot of it, except for his points on speed and noise. When it comes to speed, it is true that it is difficult too actually see it on TV, but we do have _knowledge_ that it’s slower now. And that knowledge does affect how one thinks. For instance the knowledge that these cars are slower than GP2 would destroy it.

    You are simply “forgetting” this human element to make a point.

    Noise.
    For casual viewers this is a critical point. I can make it without the noise, but all of my friends who are only casual viewers have said the same thing. It sounds tame. This is easily translated into less money for the sport.

    It should also be noted that JAonF1 have vested interests in this sport. They economically dependent on each other and it is in their interest to have a popular F1. In fairness, they should voice the opinion of a fan who has different views.

    1. James Allen says:

      That happens all the time in this comments section!

      We take all views into account here, as long as they are not defamatory and criticise the FIA where it’s needed e.g. double points, cost control etc

  26. W Johnson says:

    “The main thing is that they are driven to their full potential, [it doest matter] how fast they are actually going.”

    But that is the whole point, cars are not being driven to their full potential because of tyres, total race fuel limits, fuel flow limits and engine wear!

  27. Seymour Carbinfrag says:

    Noise :-
    Adjust the track-side mikes – they only need to cater for remote audiences.

    Speed :-
    Relative up to a point – else you could argue that it doesn’t matter if they’re reduced to touring car levels as long as they look like F1’s.

    Race Management :-
    Nothing has changed – there have always been limits. It’s just that this aspect now garners more PR attention due to fan ‘participation’ facilitated by the ‘new’ digital media.

    Sport or Show :-
    Athletics and football are sports – human focussed.
    F1 is a show – technology focussed.

    Bernie :-
    If he ‘moves over’ who, exactly, takes his place?

    F1 bosses ‘in tears’ :-
    Not really – the media simply blows their ‘complaints’ out of proportion in order to entertain the fans.

    DRS :-
    To repeat, F1 is a show and thus largely artificial overall so DRS is a perfect fit.

    Circuits and filling the grandstands :-
    Just superimpose animated digital characters on the empty stands to reassure TV viewers that all is well.

    Fans :-
    They haven’t ‘become more vocal’ – they’ve always enjoyed ranting. Once again, digital media fosters fan ‘participation’ and is much a part of the technological show as the racing itself. The sponsors supporting the teams should decide what’s best, not the FIA.

  28. Carsten says:

    So, to summarize, it’s all good. Only the complaining of those who don’t feel that way is bothersome.

    Well, maybe.

    But if these big changes of the rules have been made because of the domination of one team, this clearly didnt’t worked out.

    If this is about saving the earth (by saving fuel), why not get a diesel engine right away instead of just the sound of it? Thousands F1 professionals travelling the globe by plane (about 3 litres kerosin per passenger and 100 Km) doesn’t help the C02-emission either…

    If the changes where about racing (you wish…), the most complicated powertrain in the history of motorsport probably will not help. Or probably it will, if you are a fan of drivers pushing the right buttons when they are asked to, and software glitches causing drivers to loose a race.

    I am still a fan of formula 1, but I don’t see a point in pretending it’s good when it’s not.

    1. Doobs says:

      Amen, except I’d let the drivers pedal the cars. -Someone said the speed doesn’t matter ;)

  29. Balsac says:

    I like the idea of hybrid tech but open up the rules if you can make it produce 300 hp for 60 sec good if you can make it produce 500 hp for 75 sec then great and maybe this tech will do some good. Then let’s see the best drivers drive hard for most of the race. At the moment there pushing hard for maybe 15 or 20 laps maybe.

  30. Francois says:

    The first two races were maybe not as exciting than the previous years because teams are still learning and conservative but mostly because tyres are harder, it’s a bit between hard bridgestone and crazy pirelli years. I like to watch the new cars and drivers fighting with it. Mercedes dominate but good on them, at least it is equal fight between Lewis and Nico and would be very interesting to see how it develops this season, like boxing fight, round after round. Behind it is very close. The problems of F1 at the moment is these negatives comment from these boses who only see their own interest and do a mockery of f1 fans.

  31. Kingszito says:

    The thing that irritates me on all of this mid season rule change of a thing is that if Red Bull or Ferrari is winning, they would not mind about the noise or the speed of the car.

    I will say with certainty that no Red Bull fan or Ferrari fan would criticize the regulation if they are winning.

    Why didn’t they protest these new regulation from onset. If I am not wrong the regulation was given to the teams about three years ago. They had 3 years to study and develop their respective cars according to the new regulation. They won’t tell us (fans) that they did not know that the engine noise won’t be the same as V8 noise or that the cars will be slower in the corners and faster in the straights.

    Mercedes and all the teams included has invested a huge amount of time and resources into this regulation. Apparently Mercedes did a better job, Red Bull and Ferrari should let the regulation be. Instead of wasting time trying to change the regulation to better suit them, they should be putting time to make their cars better suit the regulation.

    The truth is that gradually the noise of the V8 is fading away from my memories, while I am liking the noise of the V6 each time I hear them.

  32. Jonathan says:

    I don’t agree that Bernie should move on, I dread to think what will become of F1 after he’s gone.

  33. Diaminedave says:

    Good post.

    A couple of ideas that would change the dynamic.

    1. No live telemetry during race and no coms except in emergency situation (controlled by race control. Pit board to be allowed? Al decisions would go back to driver then.

    2. Drivers completely independent of team. Each team has two cars. Max number of teams equals half the races in the season. Drives sorted by lottery at start of season to decide which driver gets which car for which circuit.
    Drivers championship becomes independent of constructors championship

    that should mix it up and keep the interest for most of the season

    ;}

  34. jonathan says:

    Good points, however noise does play an important part of sport. Spectator noise is not really part of f1, the cars are. I’m sure we’ve all been to watch our football, rugby teams etc when the fans have been quiet, its not the same, to me, the noise of these f1 cars are just flat and take away some of that excitement, I like hearing the turbo, but would like more revs from the unit.
    Would also love to see the front wings heavily modified, especially if the design allowed the cars to get close to the gearbox of the car in front. To make the racing better really is simple, why can’t the rule makers see this..

  35. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    RICCIARDO’s time in qualy yesterday shows Red Bull is half a second behind, it’s not the end of the world for such a big team, because improvements, tire management, strategies can play a big role during the season.

    There is not just a Vettel-like driver winning everything (or there’s not a WEBBER-like NUMBER 2 DRIVER at Mercedes).

    This year HAMILTON and ROSBERG are competing each other and this is new after the 2007 campaign where ALONSO and HAMILTON put a hard fight (and lost it both).

    HAMILTON’s fans were waiting patiently for this opportunity of watching Lewis trying to become Champion again and, if a Ferrari or whatever agent achieved to alter the rules and the results, so as a fan I will wrap my TV Monitor with a T-shirt of Bernie and heavy chains and I will dump it to the swimming pool!

  36. Craig Comley says:

    Been watching f1 for 35 years and these technical advances are challenging for drivers and teams and make watching very interesting
    This technology is in keeping with an increasing awareness of climate change and reflect a commitment by f1 to mitigate the effects.The IPCC report re the effects of climate change released last week makes some very sobering reading.Besides,on a more superficial level…my wife actually sat and watched a race with me saying she much preferred it quieter and didn’t realise how interesting it actually was.

  37. Iwan says:

    Noise
    Do I like it? No. Sounds slow and underwhelming. F1 needs to howl like a raven wolf

    Speed
    Speed is relative especially at the scale F1 operates in, but something is not right. If it’s not outright speed then it must be the combination of speed and sound.

    Drivers seem under-stressed behind the wheels even with all the torque spin.

    Race management
    Yes, there has always been an element of it, but more because of the teams and drivers managing the fastest way, given the tools, to get to the finish line first.

    Managing an engine to make it to the finish of one race is quite a way from managing an engine to last 5. Keep everything as is and lift the engine allocation per driver form 5 to 8 and we will already see more action.

    Same with fuel. There’s a difference in managing fuel because X amount of liters is the combined fastest way, with the least trade off,
    to get to the finish line. Big difference between that and “you only have 100 to make it there, go make it work”.

    Sport or Show?
    There is no one without the other. The point of sport is show. Even the most obscure sport or tradition in the most remote of villages attract a crowd. And then the point is to proof superiority. Better, faster, further, more.

    The focus has gone from testing stuff while you are racing to go racing to test stuff.

    Yes, F1 is the pinnacle and there should be benefits to the manufacturers, but when that starts becoming the sole reason then it’s time to move along to running a mule around the Nurburgring in the middle of the week while AutoCar tries to figure out what it is.

    You don’t have Gilbert saying “let’s change rugby to suit the development of our new balls we’d like to sell on Mondays”. There are lots of forms of Motorsport that can be used for testing road based tech. F1 should be fast and glorious and sexy and balls to the wall crazy.

    Bernie
    “Like most dictators, Bernie was great when he started and he singlehandedly put a little-known, elite sport onto TV worldwide, but he should move over soon for the sport’s sake.”

    AGREED

    F1 bosses crying about 2014 rules
    “I find it hard to believe that Mr Todt decided on his own to change the rules and that Bernie, Luca et al had no idea what would happen.

    There are tech committees, sporting committees, commercial committees and a now defunct FOCA which should have voiced opinions beforehand, not after three years of development and manufacturing.

    Of course it is difficult to agree with your competitors, but if they don’t even try, then they have to live with whatever the rules say, however awkward they may be.”

    AGREED and on top of that I believe the time has come for less people to have a say. Democracy is great, but it’s close on the best way to ruin and over-complicate something. Make a damn executive decision and move along.

    At the heart of all of this is the amount of money that gets wasted week in and week out.

    Red Bull
    “When RB started I was a big fan, I liked the spirit and the fact that they were giving the big boys a run for their money. They became successful on merit and I admire that, but in a few years they have become more arrogant and ruthless than the worst ever from Ferrari.

    Threatening to quit, to leave Renault, to blast the present rules sounds to me like very poor spotsmanship, and even, a bad business decision, they might end up with Bernie cutting down on their money, Renault refusing to supply engines, FIA not listening to their opinions, and even fans not buying drinks.”

    AGREED

    DRS
    There were easier, less complicated and less expensive ways to have solved the overtaking problem. Just look at DTM and how aero advances have spoiled racing and over-taking.

    You wanna drum on about road biased tech? Dump all the aero bits that will never have any road relevance. And at the same time save a sack of money.

    Circuits and filling the grandstands
    “Want more fans on track? Have cheap races close to larger fan bases. I can’t fly to Bahrain and pay for plane, hotel, plus tickets. Only affluent Europeans, Aussies and Japanese people can. The locals probably don’t go on track in India, Korea, etc because tickets are too expensive, not because they dont like F1.”

    AGREED. And to add: Solve F1′s business model. Racing is expensive so sponsorship is expensive and teams want more money from the sport. That drives up hosting fees which drives up ticket prices. It’s riduculous that RBR spend 4 to 5 times as much money to lap a circuit a couple of seconds faster than a Caterham. It would be cheaper to lift some of the stupid restrictions and let them race as fast as hell.

    Anyone here watched the opening round of MotoGP. Holy heck was it tense. (And only 45mins long…)

    Fans
    More have gone than come. F1 has been destroying itself for years and will need to stop the bleeding first. Two races in and there are already cries for change. Say what you want about Ferrari this year, but last year it was RBR with Pirelli.

    Watching F1 on screen can’t compete with watching it in person – get asses in the seats. Spread the love and the money will come.

  38. Jenks says:

    Don’t want one team to dominate? Budget caps. Stop jiggling the rules every few years. No manufacturer teams. Single chasis/engine series.
    Done.
    Next.

  39. Pete Harper says:

    With regard to the noise of the new engines, even as a long term F1 fan I have never once been interested in the sound of the cars, I’m much more interested in the actual racing.

    I’ve never been to a race, I’ve only ever seen F1 on TV – I watch the racing and I LISTEN to…the commentary. The sound of the engine is but a background noise, something that I’ve never focused on unless the speakers make a point of listening to the engine note on a long straight or if there’s possibly a problem with the engine. Of the hundreds of millions of F1 fans that watch the races, probably only 1 or 2% do so from trackside where the noise MIGHT be an issue but this will only come to light 6 months or even a year down the line because won’t the majority of fans already planned and payed for their tickets to this years races? The main F1 audience are TV viewers and if they consume the product the same way that I do then noise is not a problem that needs fixing.

    On a possibly separate note, as it hasn’t properly come up so far this year but no doubt will do sooner rather than later, I take offense at any suggestion that ‘fans don’t understand the new rules’ or ‘fans don’t understand race strategy’ or how DRS works etc etc etc – how stupid do they think we are?! Again, watching on TV, we get all this information, we get it explained to us, there are features as part of the programming. The fans at the track won’t get this information, true but if they’ve made the effort to actually go to the race, to pay for the ticket, to travel, then surely they are proper F1 fans who will otherwise watch the other 18 races in the year ON THE TELEVISION, they’ll read the articles online, they’ll buy magazines, they will have an understanding that more is going on than what they’re seeing directly in front of them for the few seconds the cars fly passed every lap!

    A bit more respect for us please, Bernie and a realisation as to where the main audience is watching from.

  40. David Hope says:

    Agree on DRS. The aero has to be countered, it’s like having a wacky races oil slick coming out the back of the car in front with modern aero!

    Would like to see drivers able to push more – you want to see who is fastest. When you follow the live timing these days no one is going for it or taking risks. All about car management where the only position changes happen if someone runs out of tyres.

  41. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Raise the minimum car-plus weight limit in such a manner to not penalize the driver.

  42. Mike says:

    I like the new regs, it’s shaken things up a bit. The sound seems to have improved this weekend (Bahrain), but that’s probably down to microphones and sound engineers letting us hear it better (even if they sound like V-twin motorbikes), so we’ll get used to that. I also like to see the drivers struggling to put the power down and having less aero grip.

    Let’s not forget that change was necessary. Renault were going to pull out of F1 if engines didn’t become more relevant to manufacturing road cars. Without change, we’d have been down to only Merc & Ferrari unable to supply all the teams and hence no F1. Honda is coming back in next year so there will be four manufacturers. Yes, it may be expensive, but Red Bull have spared no expense in the past. No one ever said F1 was cheap.

    F1 is about fast CARS and leading technology. It’s not an arms race for more cylinders, bigger engines or about strapping a rocket to some wheels. That’s drag racing.

    What amazes me it that Bernie & Red Bull (a PR company) continue to badmouth their business. McLaren & Sauber aren’t complaining, they’re say “we need to do a better job within these rules if we want to win races.”

    Messing with the regulations now just smacks of amateurism. If Bernie is really concerned about what the fans think and wants to avoid F1 becoming a laughing stock he should dump the ridiculous idea of double points at the last race. If he insists on having a “get out of jail card” for the championship, why not have “throw-aways” in the results, like many other sports series do, where you could drop the worst 2 or 3 results out of the 19 races?

  43. Ruse says:

    Thank you for such a balanced opinion..

    I think the points put forward on Bernie and RBR are particularly poignant:

    Bernie is now getting in the way and interfering to the detriment of the sport.

    RBR are demonstrating a level of arrogance that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Oh..

  44. Mike Martin says:

    What a great article. It really sums things up very well.

    Noise:
    I truly don’t care. In 10 to 15 years nobody cares about these smelly, polluting, old fashioned combustion engines.

    Nobody cares about steam engines these days. The world and time have just moved on. What we need is to find solutions for those who do care. Dolby surround speaker systems on the
    tracks or high end headphones. People can choose what kind of sound they prefer during the electronic race. V8,V12 etc etc.

    Speed:
    As long as people can die and break every bone in their body F1 goes fast enough. We really do not need entertainment with 220Mph trough corners.

    Race management:
    Let it be a mixture between cunning, strategy, tactics, bravery and skill. We already had putting things to the max in the 70′s and 80′s. We have just moved on to a more future racing format.

    Sport or Show?
    I vote for show. I would not care at all if things would be more WWE like. Who cares if things are directed. Place these pollution free sprinklers, Driver team jokers, feed Alonso birth control pills, kidnap Lewis’s doggs give, Vettel fart pills. I don’t care. As long as it gives more safe action on the track it’s fine by me. (things are directed very much already most people just don’t now)

    Bernie:
    Let the old fart finish what he started. Who cares who calls the shots. All decisions are made to make money anyway. Does not matter who is on top.

    F1 bosses crying about 2014 rules:
    Same story every year with Ferrari as the leader. What we need to do is give Ferrari even more money. That shut’s them up most of the time. I kind of like it. They receive the lion
    share and still don’t deliver. Kinda funny.

    Red Bull:
    Hmmm, I love the smell of Red Bullying in the morning. Please let them have it there way. Let them bully their way into a tire change or engine mapping change. Their defeat will taste
    even better at the end of this year. K.O belly up. Uuhh Vettel? What’s wrong? Your traction control not working?Mhuwhahaha

    DRS: Love it, hope it’s stays. If Bottas was so much fater why did he not make a DRS move? That’s what’s it for.

    Circuits and filling the grandstands:
    I think you nailed this one James. To visit a GP in a foreign country could only be done/mixed with a family vacation. A short weekend trip is just to expensive.

    Fans:
    Yes,fans are a great way to make changes to the sport and should be heared. Fans should also learn to give things a chance and trash it at the end of the season. Give this format a couple of months. Who knows.

    I know who is happy with the new format and those are dentists. Vettel fans are going in for some teeth grinding weeks/years.
    James, how is your dental care these days? :)

    Great site, good article…more more more!

  45. Johnston says:

    @ James Allen,

    What is your view on what will happen to F1 when
    Bernie does/eventually leave his F1 command post?

    More corporate like than ever before?

    1. James Allen says:

      New younger management team

      a big change in how F1 content is distributed

  46. Random 79 says:

    Nice summary Ferggsa.

    Whether this (or any) season is a success or not they should just let it ride, take some time to learn from it, listen to the fans a bit, and hopefully make better decisions in the following season(s).

    Snap decisions will just make things worse.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Indeed. The best cheese and wine has been given time to mature; the same can be said for this new Formula.
      Having said that, are the drivers allowed to eat cheese or is that something else barred to keep the weight off – a la Jenson?

      1. ferggsa says:

        No, eating matured cheese might lead to an F duct running from the drivers suit to the exhaust pipe in order to compensate for turbo lag

      2. Random 79 says:

        It’s okay so long as they’re not already the big cheese.

  47. Rod Shephard says:

    The comments have really hit the mark as far as I’m concerned-especially the remarks regarding the incredible dummy spitting by teams who want to set their own agendas regarding the new rules. I went to my first overseas GP at Malaysia and loved the atmosphere at a magnificent circuit-and watching the drivers really putting it on the line in a soaking qualifying-fantastic efforts from everyone. I like the sound of the new cars with a lot of reverberation around the grandstand area-they sound busy-a little louder would be good and no doubt that will happen. If the teams don’t want to embrace the changes-then go and compete in something else. Acting like a spoilt child and wanting to have the rules changed is showing a complete disrespect for the SPORT-and the spirit of competition. It’s been like that since 1950 and I believe F1 will evolve accordingly-the sport has to be bigger than the individuals who want it to suit them.

  48. kenneth chapman says:

    some of those points have credibility but in the main not at all impressed. i do think that some of adrian newey’s comments are being taken out of context on the premise that it gives free rein to the armchair brigades to diss on red bull.

  49. Robert says:

    I find this pity party, of specifically Red Bull, very interesting. When these changes was originally introduced/agreed, a number of people suggested that Mercedes will be terrible and Renault the best off, based on experience on road cars and F1 engins. I assume that if it was the case at this moment, Red Bull would be very happy with the new rules and would not criticize every aspect of the new power units.

    True character always shines through when you are under pressure, but maybe, I am not objective, because I support a team with a Mercedes power unit.

  50. LeeF1Nut says:

    I am so glad someone has covered all the points with the same opinion as me. The genuine F1 fan with a knowledge of the sport and not a blinkered view towards one team or driver.I would only add that Red Bulls arrogance has ruined Vettels obvious talent and turned him into a petulant child. He will now never be regarded as a true great he could have been. His tantrums so far this year are only going to get worse.

  51. Ben says:

    I largely agree with your views. But not all. I think the sound is immensely important. That is because it goes to why is why I watch formula 1 as opposed to Indy car, moto gp or any other motor sport really – it’s because Formula 1 is the pinnacle of man and machine.

    Now that may still well be the case, but it doesn’t feel like it. The sound of F1 cars made F1 different to other motor sport categories. It made it feel like F1 cars were the best; the sound made it feel like the cars were just that bit more extreme.

    I will still watch formula 1, and I think everyone who reads James’s blog will still watch. We’re not the marginal voters, so to speak. It’s the people whose imaginations aren’t captured by F1 now and in the future because it’s just not quite as cool, quite as special. That’s why F1 has a problem.

  52. Richard Jackson says:

    As with everything there are valid points from either side.

    I agree with most of the comments in the article, but the crux for many viewers is dealing with the conflict of sport vs spectacle/show.

    F1 was built on frankly some pretty brave or stupid guys who were ultra competitive and willing to go to extremes to be the world champion. Many people died chasing this, and unfortunately some of the appeal was because of this. This courtship of danger showed how brave and talented these guys were. That got packaged up and marketed into the spectacle that is F1 today.

    Like any business though, there is a drive to increase profits and this leads to all sorts of attempts to reinvent itself and to find new markets etc. Often though this comes at the cost of damaging the essence of what the ‘company’ was originally all about. Think business startup mentality and enthusiasm when it eventually becomes a global empire. Actually think Bruce McLaren…

    Me, I’m about the race. I hate the idea of DRS and I think that if the cars can no longer get a traditional slipstream ‘boost’ then we ought to be addressing why that’s the case, rather than creating a bandaid for the problem.

    The KERS idea is cool and I’m all for it if it brings something to the table performance wise. Like the DRS though, it shouldn’t be limited artificially, so none of this you have 2 seconds per lap boost stuff.

    Fuel is similar, if you’re going to physically limit it, then do that. If cars use more (than some weighted average) at any one time then let them. They’ll pay the price if they can’t finish the race. Likewise if you’ve used your KERS too aggressively.

    There was a cool article many years back that I must find again, where it was presented that to make it exciting you have to look at where mistakes can be made. If a mistake happens it needs to be big enough to create an opportunity for the chasing car to capitalise on. With traction control and automatic gearboxes there just weren’t enough mistakes, and if they did happen their impact was too small for the chasing car to gain from.

    So, sorry, long rant here, in conclusion there is a problem with two areas:
    1) Who is the future target audience? It may lose existing viewers/supporters and I’m not really sure that they’ve nailed a product to attract new viewers?

    and

    2) There’s that issue now between F1 being the peak of technology vs the reality that this now means computers, traction control and cars that could drive themselves. The raw appeal of old doesn’t quite fit with the best cars we could create today. And there’s the safety aspect also which prevents us from providing that go as fast as you can mentality also.

    Personally I think someone needs to man up to the fact that Racing as fast as you can to be the world champion just aint a good fit with eco initiatives. Fundamentally now we’ve got a race at the start, a race at the end (where typically they’ve left it too long to actually do anything), and a race for tiny periods in the middle.

    I don’t like sounding negative, but there are some honest truths not being accepted here. How it sounds is the least of our worries really.

    1. Richard Jackson says:

      Actually after hearing that grand prix race, and specifically listening out for the engine noise, it certainly is a growler sound.

      So, I move to put the issue of the engine sound back on the table again also.

  53. nicolas nogaret says:

    I don’t believe that newey really believes what he says , I think he is just following the party line
    he is a highly intelligent man , that’s clear ; he must therefore realise that whether or not F1 is greener is completely irrelevant , if it was less green that would still be OK

    the point is that the series should drive the development of technology which is needed by the vehicle manufaturers ; if it doesn’t , it will be for the first time in the history of F1
    having aerodynamics which would enable a F1 car to drive upsiide down doen’t exactly do that , does it !

  54. Craig N says:

    Gotta say I love the new rules,the previous cars looked like they were on a monorail but now you can see how much harder the drivers have to work.
    Driver skill is a joy to watch,its why I watch.
    Granted the cars could be a bit louder but its great to hear the turbo’s,tyre squeals and the car hitting the ground.At one point the formula had grooved tyres and traction control for goodness sake,the good old days weren’t all better.

    It’s ludicrous to hear LDM and Christian Horner say the fans find the new rules too complicated when in reality it seems the rules are too complicated for Ferrari and Renault,Mercedes did a better job,end of.
    Had to laugh when Adrian Newey tried to say the current formula isn’t relevant to road cars.There is a hell of a lot more road cars fitted with Turbos and very few fitted with a V8 engine,USA being the exception as their petrol is dirt cheap.
    Quite fitting the Red Bull cars have some purple in their paintwork,they really should bring out a ‘Sour Grapes’ flavoured drink!

  55. Yohann says:

    Great points. I have enjoyed F1 for many years and the noise of the cars will not change that. The only thing I may like to see change is the penalties. Riccardo should not have a 10 place penalty this weekend. I have enjoyed the season and am looking forward to today’s race and the continued debates.

  56. Cliff says:

    Very hard to disagree with the comments in this article. Just a shame that F1 continues to look inwards and the powers that be very rarely listen to such comments.

  57. franed says:

    Maybe I should call the police!
    Bernie is obviously trying to kill me by raising my blood pressure to the point where my heart explodes or I have an embolism.

    Does he imagine that we cannot see past this?
    Luca is playing to true Ferrari stereotype if we cannot win the rules must be changed in our favour. With his falsified 2nd survey in pocket, his trip to Prince Gate last week was obviously worthwhile. Bernie leapt on yet another distraction from his legal troubles, if this pans out it could save Bernie a lot of money, and he will need that to pay off the German court.I is more than somewhat ironic that German courts can legally be bought off by the payment of large fines in criminal cases. Then he has only the other two remaining court cases to worry about.

    A change in the rules to allow Ferrari and Renault to catch up would be the most blatant piece of skulduggery in modern F1. Dumbing down the race to 1 hour because his 6 year old mentality cannot follow it is just the same as complaining he (Luca) could not follow it after two tyre changes last year. Maybe he needs a mental age limit imposed on all F1 fans the race is for 6 year olds and under!!!!

  58. John says:

    I think somebody needs to turn up the sound recording levels. Somebody is misleading us as to how loud they sound. If you go to you tube and type in “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvHaj8X8tFQ”
    the cars sound so much louder. In fact they sound more interesting in tone than 2013. This is how I imagine cars from the sixties to sound. Raspy and deep throated that hints at complex technology under the skin. Not to forget that these cars are technological marvels in their own right …800 bhp from a 1.6 litre engine. My 1.9 diesel can only manage 130bhp ! I think Pat Symonds made a very cutting analogy when he mentioned how a certain jeweller used the word s..t to describe his product and then people stopped buying it. We should talk up the wonder of these cars….

    1. Rick Albright says:

      Thanks for posting that link. The cars do sound great here at the test, but most of them are slowly accelerating, and you are hearing only one car at a time. In this instance, you can hear the nuances of the motors. When going full chat in the races, they don’t sound nearly as good.

      1. John says:

        I still feel closer to the intensity of these engine sounds at Jerez from an amateur video than I do from the pros at the FIA. All the talk about the sound at the track…..what about the millions watching at home. Perhaps there is a technical reason why the sound is not as intense as the Youtube videos. They have to blend the sound from every camera angle maybe.

  59. aveli says:

    all inline with my views, including the crying.

  60. aveli says:

    I think the fia should use a new fuel flow meter with a switching capacity in a way that if anyone exceeds the fuel flow rate, the engine would switch off near therapist entry point. that will eliminate arguments.

  61. dimitar kadrinski says:

    I don’t think anyone else could have put a piece better than this one. It absolutely comply with my vision of the sport, politics and the “show” we currently have.
    It is so close to what i think … I had to read it again to believe it :)

  62. panagiotis says:

    No more change, let new rules reveal them shelves, give us time to learn them, let new f1 show its potential before new actions to be taken, there always be barriers for change. Nevermind after just 2 GPs I don’t like new f1, you know, New f1 is not loud, is not fast, is not green, it is more expensive and complicated. Two sides of the same coin. Hey f1 people get back to basics if you want to get it right and ask your self what is our product? That’s Right speed and racing, there you go, all the rest comes from people that have to say something or come up with something in order to justify theire existence in f1 and their huge salaries. We are getting tired with you people …

  63. oskaalb says:

    I agree. If the show is exciting we will soon forget the changes. I think the ticket prices are driving more people away from visiting an F1 race than the possible lack of noise. And I cannot understand why people who earns billions from the sport now tries to tell all the fans it’s s**t.

  64. Truth or Lies says:

    I cannot respect the views of someone who starts by saying the sound doesn’t matter.

    Is this the best JA on F1 can do ?

    Another FIA friendly insiders article.

    In all fairness and with due respect to James Allen (who provides a really great web site) how can someone who has a professional relationship with the FIA, hammer then relentlessly in the way they should be right now, for destroying Formula One.

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s not fair and you know it

      I ask the questions in official FIA press conference for a reason, because it needs to be done professionally and impartially

      And when FIA slips in our view we say it e.g. Double points, ducking confrontation on cost controls etc

      We provide a unique platform for fans to voice all kinds of views, pro and contra the sport. Who else does more?

      1. Truth or Lies says:

        Dear James,

        I unreservedly apologise for my earlier remarks, my concerns about the noise are real but my comment was a step too far and grossly unfair on a personal level. For this I’m truly sorry.

        Leah

    2. ferggsa says:

      And I cannot respect someone who starts by commenting he has no respect for someone elses’s comments

      Just for the record, one of my earliest memories of F1 is listening to the different screams and roars of V8 Cosworths and V12 Ferraris and Matras in the late 60s
      You could hear them coming from a distance and you could tell them apart

      But I insist, ear splitting noise is not the only reason for following F1, and through the years the noise level has been quite different
      How do you think a 1.5 liter Climax engine sounded in the early 60s? So Jim Clark’s title should be crossed out because it wasn’t loud enough

      Would I like more noise? Yes
      Can we get a lot more noise from a 1.6 turbo V6? I don’t think so
      Will I stop watching F1 because it is not as noisy as last year? Hardly

      And also for the record, JA kindly used my comments and clearly stated so. I find it unfair to blame him or the site for my words
      I am a long time follower of F1 with absolutely no connections to anyone in the FIA, the teams, the drivers or even the sponsors

      My comments come only from having the chance to express them in this forum, which I think is great

  65. ManOnWheels says:

    I very much agree to this fan. I would like to add that the once penalized teams very hard for discrediting the sport (Podium procedure in Austria after the controversial team orders, the “Liegate” scandal at McLaren, etc) and I’m pretty baffled by the fact that the FIA doesn’t seem to have a strong word with Ferrari, Red Bull and Ecclestone about them damaging the sport with these remarks. And this is very necessary.
    It’s one thing if some loud mouth fans are shouting out their dissatisfaction, but the teams should not make their show look bad. No one wants them to lie and put a smile on, but for god’s sake don’t make it worse! How do they want to sell a product if they’re openly admit to hate it? How in the world do they think that will attract sponsors? “We’re having a shit show, give us your money and your company will be part of it on TV”? Genius strategy.

    If there is one thing that I really have to add to this fan’s opinion it is that I don’t think that we need more “show” like double points in the last race. We’ve had a good amount of seasons that were exciting to the last race, even if it wasn’t for the first, but for the second place or the constructor’s championship – and these were memorable. We really don’t need double points and I don’t see why some races should be worth more than Monaco, for example.

    Formula-1 should really concentrate on being accessible to the fans (pit walk, cheap tickets) and on compressing the field. It’s not some engine noise that kills the show, it’s that no smaller team has a chance to play with the big boys anymore. And the budgets have increased to an amount that made it hardly impossible for new teams to come in and stir up the competition, like Stewart and Sauber did when they joined the club. I think it’s not that Formula-1 doesn’t attract sponsors anymore, it’s that there are hardly any sponsors left that have a budget large enough to make sense of Formula 1. Other racing series are full of sponsors and have a smaller reach, but these stickers don’t cost as much.
    Formula 1s greed is eating itself.
    Does that contradict with the new PUs? Sure new power units cost a lot of cash, but we have to move on, I appreciate the change anyway. These PUs are there to be frozen in a few year’s time, they will eventually become cheaper. But they have the potential to be modified for the WEC, Formula-1 should also create the possibility to have WEC engines to be modified for Formula-1 (what about the Porsches? Turbocharged V4 engines, nothing wrong with that). A bit more freedom on the engine side is not that bad, only the homologation/freezing process, fuel type, fuel-flow and fuel consumption rules need to be the same for every one, no matter which type of engine they use.

  66. Chris Manning says:

    So now we have a new oligarchy ready to run F1 off the rails.

    I like the noise of the new cars and hated the turbine-like scream of the V8s. These new cars are, for now, diffiicult to drive and entertaining to watch.

    By mid season the renault powered cars will be much more competitive and v. likely the double points race will help Vettel challenge for the championship. No doubt next year will restore the status quo ante, so why are the oligarchy talking down the show? Gotta be something to do with trying to buy out CVC and them controlling every aspect of the sport.

  67. jmv says:

    If Bernie was not so close pals with RBR people (Horner, Vettel, Mateschitz) then he´d be in a better position to speak. But the fact is that Horner and Bernie are spending their vacations together, and RBR is now not as superior as their four year spell. Bernie has become the spokesperson and primary lobbyist for RBR which is wrong.

    The rule changing has been great for F1:
    - its again relevant technology and pinnacle level
    - the order has been shaken up: mercedes and williams moved to the front, others will catch up
    - the new noise is great to listen to if you love to hear the technology at work

  68. German Samurai says:

    Disagree completely about the noise. In person it feels like watching a completely different category compared to last year.

    It used to feel special to go to an F1 race and hear cars that you could hear nowhere else. It never ceased to amaze me how such relatively small machines could generate such ear splitting sounds. Experiencing F1 cars was such a visceral experience.

  69. Neil says:

    By far the biggest problem F1 has is DRS. Races are no longer exciting because of this terrible invention.

  70. Derek Bryant says:

    I have to disagree, this is a Formula 1, the pinnacle of Motorsport! It should be the fastest, loudest, most exciting racing and it’s not this year. The cars look ridiculous, the racing is boring especially bc you can’t hear the roar of the engines. Heck indy cars sound better. When I go to the track I want to hear loud obnoxious racing engines, not hybrid toyotas trying to save fuel. That’s not racing, racing is going all out and being that fastest you can ever lap. And the double points still just blows my mind, turning into nascar and that’s pathetic. Btw I will not be attending the usgp this year for those reasons

  71. AlexD says:

    James, a very good article and thank you for the opportunity.

    One thing is certain: Red Bull or Ferrari as well as Red Bull and Ferrari fans would not be so vocal if it was Red Bull or Ferrari winning/dominating. I am a Ferrari fan and I think it would be a bit easier for me to accept the new Formula if it was Ferrari winning.

    There is a lot of truth in everything Jean Todt says, but he is just one side, he is not objective. He has an opinion just like other people have their opinions.

    BUSINESS SIDE Of THING:
    Everything is changing super fast these days. Companies like Nokia or Microsoft that used to do well and dominate in their space can no longer do it and instead you see new business models and new companies emerge. Even Apple, Tesla or any other company out there cannot be certain of a long term success if they do not go through a continuous change and keep defining the future. F1 should also be doing this, but what is difficult is to understand the direction. Change is needed, but which way to go?

    CASUAL FAN:
    I watch F1 since 1998 and it has always been a big part of my life. Even though Ferrari was not winning lately, I was still watching with interest. This year I have to admit I was not able to watch a full race and it is because of the noise. Maybe I am more sensitive to the noise, but for me it was always a key part of F1. I went to multiple races and it was mainly because I wanted to feel the atmosphere and noise was 80% of it for me. I prefer to watch races on TV with Live Timing on my iPad and have a good meal with my friends. I am 1000% certain that I will not attend a GP anymore unless it will change.

    HARD TO UNDERSTAND:
    I honestly lost my interest. Do I have to watch it because of the sentiment? Every day we have more and more duties in life, things that we are responsible for and this is where our energy should be. F1 was an entertainment and so I watched it, but right now it only causes frustrations: rules that I do not fully understand, inconsistent penalties, no racing on the edge, drivers that are not encouraged to be personalities.

    LACK OF DIRECTION:
    It is not clear what is the direction and what is the strategy. What F1 wants to be and what F1 doesn’t want to be? It must be clarified and as soon as this will become clear fans will make a decision whether they are part of it or now. Some people will leave, some new will come. You have to be clear what are you after because you are only confusing people and causing frustration.

    Many people want the old F1 back – noise, racing on the limit, drivers that are personalities. If FOM and FIA is going to say sorry, but we have a different vision…then at least they will be fair. They might be right, they might be wrong. Time will tell and fans will vote eventually. Statistics are going to give the answer.

  72. Antonio Palmiotto says:

    Well i generally do not agree. First of all, cost CAP and test ban: you don’t have to stay in F1 if you don’t have money. Just rum a gp2 team. Too many stringent regulations. Cars all look the same and are ugly too: F1 is not just a driver’s sport, let the engineers be unleashed. Drs is ridiculous. I love the sound whatever, i will love formula E as well. At least, to save the season, lift any ban on engine development as soon as you can!!!!!!

  73. Antonio Palmiotto says:

    On a side note i feel unconfortable with drivers on a stringent diet for two tenths a lap: i mean, you cannot be serious in campaigning road safety then live with this.

    1. Doobs says:

      F1 should award extra points for the driver that loses most weight over a season which will promote and lead research into eating disorders and obesity.

      By reducing the demand for land clearance(for agriculture)it will also be environmentally friendly.

      The cars could also be given a “Methane boost” (similar to the way KERS works) the extra supercharged fuel being provided by the driver.

  74. neilmurg says:

    I pretty much agree with everything you said.

    The head of F1 badmouthing the sport? Incredible. Serious damage being done to F1 by Berni, Red Bull and Ferrari.
    I think it is very poor and selfish behaviour, let them leave.

  75. ferggsa says:

    Thanks Mr Allen, you made my day (or late last night, actually)

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for your valid contribution to debate

  76. Mark Shenton says:

    “[it doest matter] how fast they are actually going.”

    Really?

    1. Doobs says:

      Pedal racers!! How green would that be? Surprised it hasn’t been suggested before.

  77. Leslie D'Amico says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say again, I personally don’t like all this “political correctness”, “green technology” and “hybrid race cars” Formula 1 has become. It appears some of the teams don’t like it either but they were the ones who approved of all these changes. It appears to be hypocritical of the teams to whine and complain about it now.
    As far as the fans go, the teams didn’t listen to us before, what makes anyone think they will now?
    Shut up and race!!!

  78. MK_Chris says:

    +1 for most of the above and I start with a couple of quotes.

    1. From another F1 site. “The new F1 is like a smoker who’s given up the cigarettes. All of a sudden there are new tastes that have been masked by the old habit. The new F1 is a non-smoker”.

    2. On the battle over the Rugby Heineken Cup and of cross-border Rugby in Europe. The accusation was “having big egos trapped within small minds”, followed by “once the egos got out of the way, it was fairly easy to find a solution”. F1 anyone ?

    What is missing in F1 is unpredictability. Hence the claims of races being boring with the comments of not much overtaking, etc.

    The quickest always starting at the front and slowest starting at the back !
    What are fans expecting to happen ?

    An alternative could be to do away with qualifying and base the start position on driver championship order. Make the grid positions read 6, 5. 4, 3, 2, 1, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 and so on.

    The championship leader will have to make at least 5 overtakes to win — thus limiting push and cruise. Meanwhile further down the field I can hear JA shouting that if 7th can only get a couple of points more than 6th in the Championship then the reward will be to start First instead of Twelfth. Something to drive for all the way down the field. A sort of four divisions of promotion / relegation.

    Use the redundant qualifying period as a one hour race and development session. Only use reserve / test / new drivers – i.e. testing and experience. The first three or four teams in the constructors championship only allowed one car. The remaining lower order teams two cars if they so wish. Cars on the track for the full hour — something continuous for the Saturday fans.

    And now what next ? When the new power units are better developed the traction, the torque and the braking will be so computer controlled and consistent that driver influence will make little start line difference. We will be past the limit of human reaction times and down to the lottery of who hits who first. Maybe the start should become an immediate Stop & Go at the end of the parade lap. But will the die-hards will still want to see their first lap carnage now and then. Plus of course the charm of watching yet more safety car.

    In all honesty I am not too bothered about F1 — but I would really like to see the new Formula E try the above and be different. At least get some input from Strategy experts to give an assessment on possible out comes.

    When watching many of the processions on offer I have thought on occasions that a length of lane disciplined dual carriage way at Monaco — and elsewhere — would at least allow something to happen. I for one do not miss the Trulli Trains. DRS might be redundant if this was tried.

    I am still fascinated by the technology and by the informative many articles on this site. So a really big thank you from me.

    Regards to James from an avid reader.

    MK_Chris

  79. NickH says:

    Disagree on the noise front.

    The only thing they should get rid of is the fuel limit. It would not erode Merc’s engine fuel efficiency advantage because they can just start the race with less fuel. Then every driver can push as hard as they want and we don’t have economy run racing

  80. dmac1965 says:

    I am sure I am not the only motor racing fan not to be shocked or surprised in the least with the sound of the 2014 F1 cars??? “We’ve” already heard the eerily quiet turbo diesel Audi R10 TDI Le Mans Prototype racing cars back in 2012, and the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro hybrid turbo diesel V6 racing cars of just last year. The 2014 F1 cars sound mightily similar to last years LMP hybrid racing cars albeit with a slightly louder turbo petrol engine rather than the quieter turbo diesel engine of the LMP’s! To me and I am sure to many other motor racing fans the sound of the 2014 F1 cars is a NULL issue. F1 and LMP motor racing is a showcase for automotive technology, driven by car manufacturers and racing car corporations, and I hope will always be. They both have nothing to do with what Bernie Ecclestone may want to see and hear, or what any motor racing fan may want to see and hear. We/Bernie don’t pay the F1/LMP teams financial bills guys, and our miserly F1 ticket price only goes to fatten Bernie Ecclestone’s wallet.

  81. Horoldo says:

    I like the new rules, and the new technical challenges the team has had to face, but there was always going to be the possibility of one team getting an advantage due to limited testing before power plant homologation.
    The only thing I think could have been better was to see a technical race for the first one or two years before homologation, due to the many unknowns.
    I’m in favour of onwards and upwards, these new power plants are more powerful than last years v8′s and are new tech. The only reason the lap times are slower are due to the aero changes, which nearly everyone has been asking for. Now the drivers are having to work hard for the drive out of the corners, and it looks great on tv.
    OK the noise is less, and I am worried about seeing races where drivers are having to save fuel, but haven’t seen it yet.
    Also this year, the focus hasn’t been on tyres, another positive.
    It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, if F1 didn’t go to the new tech, it wouldn’t be the pinnacle any more.

  82. Bruce says:

    These are good comments and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them all and agreeing. I have been an F1 fan since 1974 so have seen and heard a lot over the years, including the Harrier Jump Jet hovering just behind me and the South Bank at Brands Hatch, wow, what a noise!
    The noise I don’t like but will get used to, the 70′s and 80′s cars sounded better but times change. The engine technology will eventually get through to road cars but I do wonder how long it will take.
    I am more concerned by the weight limit on the cars and the effect it is having on the taller and heavier drivers. Why should they be penalised? When the safety of the drivers is paramount shouldn’t that have been taken into consideration and the weight limit increased to compensate? How long before a driver who is taller and heavier overdoes his training and diet and passes out in the middle of a race and has a horrendous accident? Will the rule makers take responsibility?

  83. Kai Talledo says:

    absolutely brilliant article!

  84. Roger W says:

    This is all a bit too late – what exactly did they all imagine would happen ??

    1. Doobs says:

      The new rules were formulated at the height of the GFC when several teams pulled out of F1 and compromises were made to help keep those that remained (Renault) and those who may have been persuaded back (Honda)

  85. Josef Willsher says:

    I’ll try and structure this as you have done…

    Noise
    This to me is not that important- it is just one aspect to the sport which most people do not experience anyway as most people watch F1 on the telly.

    Speed
    As always the FIA have tried to limit speed on safety grounds, which is not only acceptable but necessary. I also would like to say that the cars cannot get too slow- this is (unlike noise in my opinion) a key part of the sport, one which makes it exciting and sets it apart from other formulae.

    Race management
    As you said this has always been a part of the sport as a part of the strategy, it is now regulated; Williams even started Malaysia with 90kg of fuel. I do not understand how key people like Luca and Bernie can say that F1 is being ruined by these things- it is truly irritating.

    Circuits
    The prices need to be lowered- you put it perfectly.

    DRS
    I believe this has done a very good job; an idea I have had (to address the ‘boring overtakes’ argument) is that maybe the system should be changed to increase downforce in the corners instead of cutting drag on the straights- this would mean the car behind would be have the advantage in the corners, what do you think?

    Weight limit
    I feel that this may be unfair to the heavier drivers- but ultimately the team has to design the weight out of the car if you like, so it is not just the regulations’ fault, but the design teams. On Sutil driving without a drinks bottle, no rule says that he cannot use a drink bottle, it is his team saying that they need to save weight.

    ‘Complicated rules’
    This is the one comment that has annoyed me most this year- I believe that the technology is what puts F1 ahead of other sports; in the last few years the engine regs have been irrelevant and stagnant, they are finally producing innovative, interesting and useful technology. I feel that it is the role of the broadcasters to inform people about how brilliant these new cars are, and that this whole debate could be solved, or at least improved by more information

  86. Grant H says:

    I hope they stop trying to change the sport so much, with every blow it becomes more like a gimmick with rules that just confuse the average casual fan.

    With every new rule they create problems and then try to fix them with new rules e.g. I found it ironic that this year teams get extra sets of tyres in qually and practice to promote on track action however at the same time they give teams only 5 engines so now teams now appear to do the bear min laps to get a balance….so what next another rule change round the corner….

    Please please just leave the sport alone for a while

    Seriously if its not broken dont fix it

  87. Aliaksei Kandratsenka says:

    I agree.

  88. Grant H says:

    Teams should stop moaning about new F1 and get behind it. Those moaning are the uncompetitive ones hoping if they moan enough they will change the sport for their own benefit, but what they dont realise is that the negative moaning will drive fans and money away from the sport.

    They have created some fantastic engines (okay the are not loud enough) and should be shouting afrom the rooftops about this achievement

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Indeed. Give this formula time to mature, like a fine wine or cheese.

      1. Doobs says:

        They have substituted processed cheese in place of the cheddar, and fizzy pop in place of the champagne.

  89. Byron Lamarque says:

    Thanks for sharing James, I agree on all point of this article well stated.

    I wonder if this year, with the Honda McLaren union on the horizon , I wonder if Mercedes has created a B-spec engine which is aggravating the competitive order this season.

    It would be interesting to learn if it’s the engine or the McLaren that’s so much slower then the Mercedes team this season. It would be rather an unusual situation if it’s the McLaren. In general these guys are really close and they have to do something wrong or the other team has to do something brilliant to get over a one second advantage per lap.

    Is it possible Mercedes has a B-spec engine for McLaren and is that creating a situation where no one can get close to the Mercedes team this season?

  90. KARTRACE says:

    Just because you didn’t get things right doesn’t have to be wrong. I am Ferrari supporter and we had hope that 2014 would be new page and fresh start with a better design and team management, but it doesn’t seem to be. On the other hand first two GP races were horrible not because of Mercedes dominance, nothing wrong with that it is well deserved result but this formula is dreadful. Sound is far worst them some street going supercars, looks is depressing, rules are ridiculous. I am just waiting to see some time soon a Monopoly game rules being implemented. Going Green was superficial, political and not genuine concept. Millions of tons CO2 are send into atmosphere by those transport jets taking this F1 circus around the Globe. Then production of those batteries and systems to utilize them is environmentally unfriendly. How much of that stuff would be disposed just over one race season. No,no the objective is lost in the process of making this new formula. And it is so boring.

  91. Michael Prestia says:

    I was looking forward to this year with the new rules changeover because I was hoping that it would create a tighter battle for the championship. However it is now evident the year is over… only 2 drivers are competing, and I think its safe to assume Lewis has the upper hand. I turned the race off after lap 25… completely bored. They are so far ahead that no updates from any other team is going to close the gap until its too late.

    All the experts new the Merc engine was the best last year… So for a year Ferrari and Renault new they had to improve their engine. How do they expect to do it now? All Ferrari worries about is reliability but they forsake speed and technological innovative ideas. Red Bull has the downforce but not the engine. What has F1 come to when you can predict the winner before the year even starts. Last year they claimed an easy year for Vettel which it was and this year they have done it with Merc (Hamilton). All the press will come out and say he is the best driver, this year he is so determined etc etc etc. All drivers are determined… the car makes them a champion. Vettel is a 4 time champion but without a car he is fighting for 9th position… same with Alonso, same with Button, same with Kimi.

    I don’t care who wins the championship so long as it is a fight and not a cake walk. I think F1 needs to work on making it a competition and not worry about the noise volume for the reason of losing viewership. I love F1 but when you know who is going to win its not fun to watch…

  92. Dmitry says:

    After today’s race I am all for keeping these rules!

    F1 is back and is Epic!
    Yes, we have a new domination on hands (with Mercedes), but hey – just look at others – except Marussia and Caterham – everyone is racing each other! That’s great!

    And yes, I am Lewis’ fan. Sorry =)

    1. Doobs says:

      It was close only because the SC. When cars finish 2-by-2 (as Martin Brundle said) then the result is purely a function of the car.

  93. Kevin Green says:

    Completely agree with all the tech regs/new engine power units and aero changes etc def better for the sport and motor industry etc etc going forward outward of thesport lets face it some of the teams will have good tech to sell on or use on there own products to the public I also agree with the new fuel limits too as this further drives tech to burn our precious fuel sources slower going into road cars etc etc BUT i do not agree with the flow regulations at all that certainly is encouraging F1 to be a borefest they should have there fuel quota for the race to use and use it wisely i also believe the fuel quota should extend into all track use for the yr from winter practice right through to the last lap of the last race of the season with say penalties for any teams going over there quota and of course any car/driver that has ran over the quota should not be eligable for the title.

  94. SteveS says:

    It seems pretty clear that the F1 press (who always seems to speak with a single voice on everything) are wholeheartedly in favor of the new rules. And they drive fan perceptions so that’s an important point.

    As for the points raised ..

    Noise – I don’t like the noise of the new engines, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being “Hate the noise” and 10 being “love it” I’d rate the noise as a 3 or 4.

    Sport or show – Unfortunately the FIA keeps making changes to ostensibly increase the “show” at the expense of the “sport”, and even more unfortunately, they keep ruining both show and sport. The practical consequence of the new rules is a season which is over before it even begins. You’d have to go back to 2004 to see a season in which one team was so overwhelmingly dominant.

    Less drivable cars – Lot’s of people are repeating this one but I see no evidence that these cars are “less drivable” then those that came before.

    Race management – It’s true that driver were never able to drive at 100% for an entire race distance. But they’d typically drive at 90% when they were not driving at 100%. Now they’re driving at 50% or 60%.

    F1 bosses crying about 2014 rules – F1 bosses crying about the rules is hardly a strikingly new development. Mercedes were vociferously critical of the tyres last season, for example. “The rules are the same for everyone” is always the cry of the team currently on top.

    Mercedes is anxious to keep things as they are, naturally. So are their customer teams, for the most part. So are the F1 press, as mentioned. So are the Hamilton fans, though only because LH drives for Merc. If he drove for Ferrari they’d be demanding a rules change right NOW. That’s too large a block in favor of the status quo to permit any change.

    The underlying problem with F1 is that rules changes are always political. They’re never neutral, they’re always aimed at hurting some teams and helping others. This goes back to the FIA’s belief that it is putting on a “show” rather than a “sport”.

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t agree with your premise at all. The press are v divided on this one

      But after today’s race it will be interesting to see what people have to say about the potential for this new formula

      1. SteveS says:

        “I don’t agree with your premise at all. The press are v divided on this one”

        Can you name me the members of the press who are critical of the current rules?

        “after today’s race it will be interesting to see what people have to say about the potential for this new formula”

        After today’s race it’s apparent that the WCC is already over, and that the WDC is a private contest between the two Merc drivers. So I don’t see all this “potential” you speak of.

      2. James Allen says:

        Loads of them. half of Fleet St, loads of Italians, there are plenty, trust me!

        It’s a real division. Quite a few hadn’t made their mind up, but may be a bit more positive after this race. But it won’t always be like today

      3. Jose Sanchez says:

        Divided!
        Roebouck said he hasnt found a single journalist in the paddock who prefers the sound of the v8 than the v6. Is he lying? Or he just didn’t walk the paddock long enough?
        I can’t understand how the soundless engines can be liked in a f1 race. Unless you work in the paddock, and are getting deaf, and want to have a better working environment.

      4. James Allen says:

        Not seen him in F1 paddock since last year

    2. Benalf says:

      I would agree about the lovable sound of the V12 but I don’t miss the soul-less scream of the latest V8s. Today’s powerplants are less noisy but with personality; it’s interesting so hear the different pitches the engines makes when downshifting and when throttles up. If people want decibels, why not adding loudspeakers to the cars? The engines are fine, incredibly efficient with higher power than the previous engines….why people complain, they just want noise? I don’t really understand. Before the end of the season these new V6s will be racing faster than last season, they will separate the kids from the men and at the end of the day, each race will test the racer rather than the car more than in recent years. With exception of Merc, the group of RBR, Force, Ferrari, Williams and even Macca are very close with each other so I expect a lot changes on the final positions after each race. If people only want noise, they should probably go somewhere else; there’s plenty of racing championships besides F1.

  95. FerrariFan says:

    We dont need to change anything. The race today at Bahrain was the best I have seen in the last few seasons. If this season throws up some more races like this one its going to be a great year. Luca and Dieter can throw tantrums all they want but I think in the end we all have to give credit to Merc for the awesome job they have done.

  96. Peter says:

    Please no change, but continuity.

  97. No matter what your personal favorites might be the jury should still be out. Based on this morning’s race in Bahrain, one would think that maybe nothing needs to change in the regulations at the moment in spite of the political lobbying. We had close racing within the entire field and between “team mates” as well — isn’t this what FIA and Bernie have been saying they want? This year the only real difference from last year is that a different group has done a better job than the rest.

    Certainly there is some heavy engineering to be done. Exercising one’s design and development skills instead of jaw muscles might be more productive and less of a drag to the “public” observers.

    Only one fan’s view, but why punish those who have made it work within the rules by legislating them out of the fruits of their labor? Can only give F-1 more of a negative persona and more negative baggage to drag around.

    1. Benalf says:

      The only thing FIA could do to spice things up would be to ban Merc from the rest of the season. Since that’s not gonna happen, let’s enjoy the privilege to see how RBR, Force, Williams, Ferrari and Macca fighting to be the first of the big losers this season!!!!

  98. Vipin says:

    Today’s Bahrain race was one of the best races I have watched.

    The Best was – No team orders. (Baby crying to move his team mate out of his way)

    Not won by a single driver everytime and his team mate finishing somewhere down the grid.

    1. SteveS says:

      “The Best was – No team orders. (Baby crying to move his team mate out of his way)”

      You mean, other than Ricciardo crying for Vettel to be moved out of his way, and RB giving that order?

  99. Ed Bone says:

    Great to have a featured fan post, with good insights.

    I’d agree that Newey is being curmudgeonly and little sour in his attacks on the new regs, and many ther points that have ben made by Ferggsa.

    What is being missed here is that it’s the battle between the drivers that really counts. The circumstances that they find themselves in, be it new regs, new technology, the track, the weather conditions, set up, tyre managmemt, race incidents, race strategy etc, are all factors that every driver has to deal with every single race and ultimately of course makes every single race potentially fascinating.

    Today was a prime example!

    It is also worth remembering there in the good old bad old days of the Schumacher dominance, there was more excitement off-track in FIA headquarters than there was back on the circuit at times.

    I did not believe that John Todd would’ve made such a good president of the FIA but I do now believe he’s a firm hand and is doing an excellent job.

    Nor do I think that it’s time for Bernie to go. Quite the contrary, if he is to leave, the only burning of rubber will be as F1 goes scudding off-track and into the barriers.

    There has been some suggestion that a successor will come from a retail background which of course is a joke. Despite Ecclestone’s astonishing business acumen, he is at heart an F1 man through and through, having driven, then managed and then promoted the sport to the heights it has reached today.

    Anyone who thinks that Formula One is just another high-street business to be marketed to “customers” will have very short shrift in F1.

    So all you fans out there, be careful what you wish for!

  100. Jose Sanchez says:

    Well written, but I can’t agree on the sound part. To me they are just too quiet.
    Fuel, i would give them more than they need and reduce it every year, to a point, where they don’t have to drive at less than 100% because of it.
    Ugly noses must go.
    So to the question if I agree. I have to say… No I don’t.

  101. roberto marquez says:

    The only thing I would change is the fuel limit.Put 120 liters and let them run as fast as they can. No more aerodynamics help either.

  102. zx6dude says:

    To me we need to see our this year pans out. The only change I would do is increase the minimum weight, drivers should not have to do extreme diets.

    And yes I do miss the V8 scream… but the change is in, we have had interesting races

  103. Seized Up says:

    Overall I like F1 2014 [as seen on TV]. Today’s race was super entertainment. Showing the sport can roll the dice and create conditions for a humdinger of a showdown. But it’s not always a given, we need the drivers to be on it and up for it. Regarding:

    Noise: Luca di Montezemolo described the V8s as musical, that may be but soundtrack of the new power trains with growls, whizzes and pops is way more interesting.

    Sport Versus Show: The parties nagging about sporting rules were involved in their creation it can only be sour grapes. The show has *improved* this year qualifying changes are testament to that and watching the drivers deal with snaps of oversteer is great too.

    Speed: Looks fast. And it’s getting faster. Only going one way this.

    Race Management: It’s good and better than the previous years. This year the drivers have to manage the whole package: tyres, fuel, energy and strategy. Nothing is dominating [yet].

  104. Paul du Maître says:

    I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one that didn’t like the loudness of the V8s! The new V6s turbo sound much better to me, i like their lower pitch.

    Am i also the only one thinking that the whole discussion about the loudness of the engines is immaterial for the people watching the races on the TV (99,9% of us…)?

  105. Nick Hipkin says:

    Make the engines louder (James do you actually see this being done by Barcelona now?) change these awful willy noses and scrap double points (sure Nico and Lewis won’t mind!) and F1 will be looking good long term

  106. Benalf says:

    What happened last season when MrE and FiA approved to twist the rules the RBR way is probably the main reason why the bulls and the reds want to change things once more. If yo let it happen once, why not twice?
    Obviously, if the don’t change some regs, no team will be able to catch Merc; what Hamilton and Rosberg did right after the SC shows how beyond reach the silver arrows are….there’s no way a team will be able to improve 2-3 sec in the rest of the season….well maybe so but Merc will also improve so forget about 2014.
    Congrats to Ross Brawn and the engineers who design those cars….during the last seasons I thought F1 has only one designer genius but now it seems there are a few more -not enough for all the teams, though. Sorry to see Macca and Ferrari down the mid-pack.
    It’s interesting to see how the new rules has provided a playground for smaller budgets to get into the fight. Love to see The Force and Williams ahead of the usual suspects…..I think it is time for LdM to stop whinnying and shake things up within the team. The red ones don’t deserve the drivers they have

  107. Red 5 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. alternatively, 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 am awesomely 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, 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 to the heady sound mix of V8s, V10s and V12 engines. Fundamentally the only rule regarding engines back then was that the engines couldn’t be any larger than 3.5 litres and had to be normally aspirated. The racing was real and genuinely exciting. If a driver was to get ahead in the race he had to force a pass, a real pass. He did this by either forcing the driver in front to make a mistake through a poor gear change perhaps, or by getting close enough in the preceding corner to pick up the slipstream on the straight, simply by being braver on the brakes. There was no pressing a ‘push to pass’ DRS button and sailing past in those days. Likewise there was no sitting back and waiting for the pit stops either,since there was no guarantee the driver would even make a pit stop because there was no silly artificial rule requiring each driver to use both compounds of tyre.

    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 and introduced grooved tyres and narrower chassis for 1998. There followed numerous screw ups with qualifying formats, points systems, reduced engine capacities, first to feeble 2.4 V8s and now the even more pathetic ‘whisper’ hybrids. Yet the racing has only ever got progressively worse. When faced with the irrefutable truth that the sport was becoming a snooze fest, rather than reduce aero grip and increase mechanical grip, the powers that be thought it sensible to create fake drama and fake overtaking through DRS, KERS, silly tyre rules, increased use of the safety car to bunch up the fields late in the race and numerous other pathetic gimmickry. And alas, we are left with the non sport we have today.

    I honestly think its too late for F1, but if a rival series were 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 with respect to cylinder number and configuration.

    2. Large, sticky, slick tyres of various compounds, the choice of which is left entirely to the teams. If a driver wants to attempt to complete the entire race on one set of the hard compound tyres then they should be able to. Likewise another driver might choose to stop multiple times on faster, softer rubber.

    3. Limit the grip available from aerodynamic wings, so that cars can follow closely to one another through the corners. Then the grip that is lost could be reclaimed through a form of ground effect.

    4. Paddle shift semi automatic gearboxes should be banned. Instead all cars should have a three pedal setup and use a fully manual gearbox. This would increase driver involvement and increase the chance of mistakes, thus further increasing the chance of REAL overtaking.

    5. Ban the use of telemetry and pits to car radio. If a team wishes to communicate with their driver it should be via pit-board only. This again 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 race tracks that look identical no matter where in the world he builds them. These tracks should also replace the endless Tarmac runoffs and replace them with old fashioned gravel traps. If a driver makes a mistake I want to see him punished by that mistake, not b some artificial stop go penalty but by being beeches in the gravel. Where is the test of skill if a driver can screw up a corner and just drive over the runoff and continue on his merry way??!

    In the meantime, and until this happens 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:

      Thank you for writing that… couldn’t agree more…

      Yes Bahrain was less boring then most recent F1 races, but it was as I predicted… just a few inter-team battles.

      Formula 1 is an insult to race drivers, no doubt… advertising at its evil worst. Turning race driver into sheep…

    2. M_E says:

      some people just wanna see the world [drivers] burn dont they :D

      I have a sport for you, bullfighting! :)

      :rolleyes:

      1. Red 5 says:

        I have no interest in seeing drivers burn. I am old enough to remember Gerhard Berger’s terrifying inferno at Imola in ’89 and would never want to see that happen again.

        However, what I do want to see are racing drivers doing something that makes me say, “wow, that is incredible, there is no way I could do that!”, and that I’m afraid to say hasn’t been the case in Formula One for a least a decade.

        So no, whist I thank you for the suggestion, I shall not be turning to bullfighting.

        The question you need to ask yourselves is what is sport? Why is it that we tune in every week to watch it? It is emotion. It is a vehicle for us to experience the highs and lows from the comfort of our own living rooms. I watched my beloved Chelsea mount a spectacular come back to reach the semi finals of the Champions League on Tuesday with a late late goal from Demba Ba. The elation I experienced was incredible. But that was only the latest in a long line of similar moments I have had the pleasure of witnessing with Chelsea over the past few years.

        I used to experience similar moments with Formula 1 but I honestly can’t tell you the last time It moved me to anywhere near that level. Michael Schumacher and Jaques Villenueve at Jerez 1997 maybe????! Possibly a few of Montoya’s races,……maybe….. But we are going back at least a decade here.

        There is something very wrong with this picture.

  108. Mike84 says:

    LOVE the new noses, now instead of the guy behind flipping over twice, the guy in front gets flipped over twice, plus the guy in back is at risk of decapitation. GREAT improvement!

  109. bronnie says:

    I LOVE it this year. I was at the track for the 3 days of the Australian GP and I loved the new sound. It is deep and strong. It seems to appeal more to the girls. Perhaps we like the maleness of the deep and strong sound and men prefer the more female shrieking sound!!! I must admit that the sound gets lost on the TV though. You need to be there to appreciate it. The only bad thing about this year so far is the terrible treatment Daniel Ricciardo has received, through no fault of his own! How can Maldonado only get a 5 grid penalty for what he did and DR received a 10 sec stop AND a 10 place grid penalty when it wasn’t even his fault? AND give him back those 18 points please FIA!!!!!!

  110. JF says:

    Not a particularly insightful selection of opinion for the article, a bit to moderate. Today’s race at least indicated that F1 still has some balls. Let’s hope it’s not an anomaly

    1. Goob says:

      Yes – this was written up by someone who clearly does not get it… accepting DRS as the only solution to excess aero, tells me this is not a race fan at all… maybe a fixed-wrestling fan.

  111. Tom Penney says:

    Would I stop watching if Ferrari and Red Bull decided to say screw this we’re going home? Nope. Ferrari needs F1 more than F1 needs Ferrari. Where would Ferrari go to get the media coverage as they get in F1? Nowhere. Red Bull could go back to sponsoring X-Game type sports, but still wouldn’t get the media hype that they get from F1. Man up and get on with it. The fans don’t want to hear it.

  112. Jason says:

    Hmm things I’d change about F1.

    1. CVC – get out you bloodsucking leeches.

    2. Unfair money distribution – give the small guys equal opportunity.

    3. Microphones – put some in the car, in the kerbs, you want sound let’s grab what they have right now. It sounds ok, it is just not loud enough.

    4. Bring back James in a more prominent role instead of some of the annoying people Sky and BBC have now.

    5. Fire the stewards who think the psychotic Maldonaldo using his car as a missile is less of an offence than someone who forgot to put the wheel on Ricciardo’s car last week.

    6. Send lapped cars to the back of the safety car queue or if you must let them unlap themselves, release them from the delta so they catch up in one lap rather than waiting years.

    7. Have a broadcasted LOL session pointing fun at LdM and Horner each time they moan.

    8. Tell Alonso that Kimi is faster just to hear the reaction. See if he moves over like Vettel did today.

    9. Ask DC if Webber was REALLY that good given he did rubbish in the Red Bull vs a Vettel who for my money is not as good as Lewis or Alonso.

    10. Tell all the people on TV that every rookie should not be compared to Lewis who had more mileage than most race drivers in testing.

    11. Lower the ticket prices. And give proper access like NASCAR does. Let fans ask the drivers questions.

    12. Get a proper cost cap in place so random rich guy can make a team and at least keep up. The elitist billionaire thing is annoying.

    I think that is all.

  113. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    Good article and some quality comment arguments as usual.

    I’d also add to the list:

    Drivers PR speak:
    The drivers need to be allowed to speak freely, show emotions and come over as if it’s not some patronising PR rubbish. Recent examples are ‘Kimi’s’ team statements and especially the nonsense from Ham and Ros in Malaysia with their I’d like to thank Petronas for providing us with such great fuel, no I’d like to thakn them more, well I love petronas more than this, actually I’d sleep with Petronas and I want to marry Petronas… or something like that.

    Another, extremely minor, thing they could sort out is some better spraying stuff for Bahrain instead of the rosewater. Heck they’d be better off on the podium with a 2 litre bottle of coke and a pack of menthos mints to drop in it!

  114. OldTimer says:

    Thanks to ferggsa for his views which show a different side from many we have already heard. I think F1 needs to have simple rules and I would address the two main problems as follows:

    Aero – An overall downforce limit should be enforced at a set speed, say 500kgs at 100 mph. Whatever the limit is it should be based on an amount that is known to have produced exciting racing, perhaps the downforce that a late eighties car produced. No other restrictions should apply. At the end of a race the FIA should just put a car into a wind tunnel, run it up to the reference speed and measure the downforce. If it is no more than the allowed limit the car is legal. All of the teams will be able to meet this target easily so their development effort will go into streamlining and other benefits. Such reduced down force will eliminate the overtaking problem and make close racing the norm.

    Engine – We don’t need the manufacturers! Racing engine companies exist and are quite capable of supplying F1. We have seen the likes of Ilmor, Judd, Hart and Cosworth at different times and these companies only exist to make racing engines not to sell road cars. Let F1 design an engine that is good for racing and commission one or more of these companies to build it. There is simply no need to put the interests of road car manufacturers above the interests of F1. As other posters have said there are already racing series driving road engine development, such as the endurance cars, so the world won’t be losing anything if F1 concentrates on racing. There really is room for everyone.

  115. Jim says:

    Good piece and I agree with most of it. The bits I don’t would be knit picking and possibly unfair. My issue is still with the noise, although not so much on the TV, 3 races in and I’m getting used to them. The issue I have with the noise, is this has just switched my sport from something I watched on the TV, because I could only afford to go to a couple a year, max (you mention prices), but now, even though I can still comfortably afford to go to at least one, I won’t be. It’s now a TV only sport for me, and that does spoil it. Cotton Pickin Great TV this week though. Just wow!

  116. Tim says:

    Safety car process – a simple improvement suggestion.

    Rather than allowing lapped cars to pass through and un-lap themselves, simply require them to drive through the pits, while the safety car takes the lead lap snake ahead. This will reduce the number of safety car laps substantially, while not causing any undue risk.

  117. dmac1965 says:

    Am I the only motor racing fan not to be shocked or surprised in the least with the sound of the 2014 F1 cars??? “We’ve” already heard the eerily quiet turbo diesel Audi R10 TDI Le Mans Prototype racing cars back in 2012, and the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro hybrid turbo diesel V6 racing cars of just last year. The 2014 F1 cars sound mightily similar to last years LMP hybrid racing cars albeit with a slightly louder turbo petrol engine rather than the quieter turbo diesel engine of the LMP’s! To me and I am sure to many other motor racing fans the sound of the 2014 F1 cars is a NULL issue. F1 and LMP motor racing is a showcase for automotive technology, driven by car manufacturers and racing car corporations, and I hope will always be. They both have nothing to do with what Bernie Ecclestone may want to see and hear, or what any motor racing fan may want to see and hear. We/Bernie don’t pay the F1/LMP teams financial bills guys, and our miserly F1 ticket price only goes to fatten Bernie Ecclestone’s pockets.

  118. M_E says:

    I agree with all the points the poster you quoted made james pretty much exactly. the main one being you cant expect the teams who developed and got it right over the 3 years to be penalised because some bitter teams throw their toys after they have had their ass handed to them since melbourne and will continue to be fed it for the rest of the season :D

  119. Ohm says:

    I’m not just saying this to court you on your own website James, I agree with every single point.

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