A return to winning ways?
Marina Bay 2014
Singapore Grand Prix
Reflection on a past great a timely reminder for F1 of what makes the sport special
News
Reflection on a past great a timely reminder for F1 of what makes the sport special
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 May 2014   |  2:02 pm GMT  |  108 comments

The scenes at Imola in the last 24 hours and the expressions of passion and enthusiasm that the Senna memorial event has aroused, come at a useful moment for the sport of Formula 1 as it contemplates what it wants to be in the future.

In future years, this 2014 season will be characterised as one where the sport went through something of an identity crisis. The change to hybrid turbo engines is supported by many, but the FIA, the manufacturers and the supportive teams have not carried everyone with them on this project so far. And they have failed to get their message across about the amazing technology behind the new formula which promises so much for the wider society.

Granted there have been some teams and some powerful figures who have had an agenda to undermine the message and the changes, but the dissenting voices do have one common message; that F1 should be about hard racing, pushing to the limit and fighting.

This was what came out of Imola loud and clear; the symbol of Senna, the ultimate fighter, the man who pushed the limits harder than anyone else. That is what made him so popular. Also the true essence of what makes Formula 1 great is that it is the meeting point of technology and driver skill, neither one dominating the other to an excessive degree and, at is best, the two should be perfectly balanced.


Many would argue that this is not the case today.

The question for the F1 Strategy Group, which has been tasked with steering the course for the future, is how to ensure that the sport presents itself in this appealing way, rather than as a dry technical exercise as it currently appears to many today, while at the same time maintaining a strong technology story, which also wows the fans.

The F1 Strategy Group is tasked with looking into the future. But you don’t need a crystal ball to see that already there are problems with this approach.

The Group met yesterday, there was no communication of what was said nor what was decided. The primary aim of the meeting was to discuss cost control, after the top teams threw out plans to introduce any kind of cost cap last month. As the voting structure is split evenly between the FIA, Bernie Ecclestone’s company and six leading teams, it was fairly easy for the “anti” lobby to win the day and FIA president Jean Todt’s desire to see meaningful cost control was pushed back on this occasion.

It looks like the only way the big teams will agree anything on costs is for it to be written into the regulations, but this could end up a compromise, a piecemeal measure. The big beasts will not accept the kind of measures that the other teams feel are essential for their survival.

Not surprisingly the medium sized and small teams do not like this; they have always been opposed to the idea that the future should be decided by the monied elite and as the meetings take place and nothing comes out of them the frustration grows. There are a few teams which are close to the edge and the second half of this season will be very interesting. They have been asked to submit ideas for cost control and will no doubt do so, but they’ve been down this road before. Without buy-in from the big teams they cannot carry the day.


What everyone is waiting for now is to see whether this “disenfranchised” group will go for the nuclear option, which is to challenge the legality of the F1 Strategy Group under European law. They aren’t likely to do that as things stand. But as Ecclestone entered the court room again today in Munich on the second scheduled day of his bribery trial, the question being asked behind the scenes is whether a legal challenge to the F1 Strategy Group may arise later in the year should the judges find against Ecclestone.

Either way, Ecclestone has said that he sees himself working on strategy for the business of F1 and increasingly leaving the day to day running of the business to others.

What this week’s events in Imola and the powerful response around the world have shown is that F1 is hugely popular and capable of pulling in new young fans.

There is a strong future for the spirit of intense F1 competition which Senna embodied; provided that it is presented in the right way.

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
108 Comments
  1. Sebee says:

    Many of us are idealists. The reality is that the F1 ecosystem is just a reflection of the world and of the thing we call democracy.

    I hear we have a new GP soon. Here is what I read about the latest addition ot the F1 calendar on wiki. > Corruption in Azerbaijan is widespread and the country is widely regarded as among the most corrupt in the world.

    More importantly…

    …amazing technology behind the new formula which promises so much for the wider society,

    That point above, I think should be debated. You have the opportunity and the means James. I for example, am not at all sold on this point. Perhaps we need a proper pro/con analysis as to why you think this is so. I simply do not see any scenario where anything developed with this power plant is applicable to safe, reliable transportation. Simple point is that performance while a marketing tool of many companies is not a factor in mass trasport vehicles. We only take it under consideration or desire it because marketing firms hired by car companies tell is it should be so. Performance is also the source of margin and premium prices for cars.

    The reality is that this individual desire created by car companie telling us we NEED performance in a car is the single largest obscticle in getting us to real green technology.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      You’re right, F1 is a reflection of western society. The western world is decadent, hedonistic and corrupt, but its also progressive, democratic, stable, co-operative and peaceful. With some bad does come good and all that.
      It’s that old cliche that democracy is a flawed system, but its the only system we’ve got in the West, so lets make the most of it, and let’s try to improve it.
      Same for F1.

    2. Quercus says:

      I don’t agree. Performance and efficiency are synonymous. Performance can be used to make a car go faster or to make a car go further, both on a given amount of fuel. The technological developments we see on the 2014 F1 cars will have many spin-offs for all transport, not least by giving hybrid technology a cachet it didn’t formerly possess.

      1. Sebee says:

        You are confusing performance with efficiency.

        Performance is 0-60 and top speed and how fast you get to that speed. Things we look for as features because we are told to by car commercials that simply get in the way of a really green car because they suck energy to accomplish.

        Car marketing has told us we are special, unique and should express this through a nice fast coupe with a 340hp V6 or 430hp V8. Performance is what we deserve. Nothing less.

        Also, why are green cars so darn expensive? It’s like no one is willing to make the corporate commitment. VW XL1 is an amazing achievement, but $100k?!

      2. KRB says:

        Hmm, not sure they’re synonymous. For example, when the missus and I are knockin’ boots, she’s all about the performance, whereas I’m all about the efficiency. ;-)

      3. Sebee says:

        Note sure your comment helps KRB.

        First, honestly, you need to be all about performance.
        Second, I think she’s all about efficiency and arriving at destination safely and in a timely manner.

        Finally, someone has to keep traction in mind in all of this.

      4. Sebee says:

        KRB,

        Regarding your more serious comment below, I actually wonder how sustainable the F1 model is going forward without more companies willing to dedicate the huge marketing budget it requires.

        The reality is that Bernie above all else is a fantastic salesman. He has convinced many to spend fortunes on this sport for us to enjoy. During transition when he leaves, I’m not sure this will be so sustainable. Just as it is proving to be not sustainable in other disciplines. Look at the X-Games, more and more the Olympics for youth of today.

    3. Andrew says:

      Sebee, would you agree that ‘performance’ from the viewpoint of better (read: easier) car control makes them safer to drive ?

      I know I feel much safer driving in marginal conditions if my car has good suspension and tires, some sort of limited slip differential, (I’ll admit ABS is debatable …), but predictable power delivery also has a big impact.

      There are a lot of performance features in modern cars that could be considered as contributing directly to how safe a car is to drive.

    4. AlexD says:

      I completely agree with you and I have written the same in my comments. F1 is just a reflection of where the world is – plastic, artificial, no strong value, focused on money and consumption, no ideals, no truth. F1 is no different…it fits the world.

    5. Curro says:

      Spain is very corrupt too, believe me. Just to put things into perspective. Democracy is another step in human history, nothing more.

    6. Elie says:

      Sebee are trying to take the p%^* out of us. Not a single point here is accurate.

      1. Democaracy is not one team having right of veto and 4 teams not even permitted to speak. The world economy has been in tatters for the last 5 years whilst Red Bull and Mercedes have been building death stars with a million storm troopers to rule F1. This alone is the single biggest stumbling block to equality, democracy and progress.
      2. Amazing technolgies… Not a factor of mass transport Your wrong again because you dont have the President of Honda F1 – saying at his very first press conf that the main reason they have returned to the sport is because of the new PU regs and what it means to gaining the maximum performance from a single drop of fuel. You cannot say that the development of Direct Injection, Turbo Charging ,’Hybrid energy systems are not directly relateable to most production cars today..ranging from VW to Mclaren P1 can you- so Im afraid your point is rather mute.
      3. The performance and efficiency these Power Units Displace compared to conventional internal combustion engines ARE A REALITY AND A FACT!! & not just a marketing exercise from a car co. The question of whether we like it or not,is an entirely different one and its clear you dont.. But denying the truth is not the answer either.

      As far as F1 goes these cars are only 4 races old and by the time they are 10 races old they will probably be faster than last years cars despite the considerable loss of down force. Stop being such a pessimist on this subject and if you want to be critical at least make critical comments that are critically valid.
      @ Gaz your getting worse….

      1. Sebee says:

        Elie,

        1. Ever heard of G20? G8? Security Council? All democratic. How much say does some small country have against these big democratic nations? Do some have veto in these groups?
        2. Honda? Please stop. Honda has the most efficient fleet of cars on offer out there. V6 or smaller. F1 is a total marketing effort for Honda, nothing else. I actually really like their product offering.
        3. Efficiency? 100kg to travel 300km? 5MPG? Come on…you are joking right?

        F1 is an elite racing series and as such it is hypocritical to expect it to be green. Just the type of driving and goal of these cars is in direct conflict with what it means to be green.

        These men have to justify their effort and jobs with some PR talk. Reality is this PU is as far away from green as you can get. The criteria is wrong. Goal is wrong. Application is wrong to claim green. And let’s remember that there is a big question mark on the carbon footprint of these batteries, cycles, and if they are even recycled.

        I am critical. Opinions are like you know what. Everyone has one. This is mine. Some share it, some don’t. But to try to link these PUs to real world is a joke. If anything these will work their way into 918 like cars and will make do significant measured difference to moving us away from fossil fuels. Meanwhile XL1 and Tesla will probably make a much bigger difference, and without F1.

        Oh…one last thing. Think about ERS a bit more and you will realize that many engineers don’t even want it on board their cars. The weight penalty is significant and takes away from range as you have to carry that weight everywhere, and many are starting to realize low resistance coasting is more green and beneficial in road application.

      2. Elie says:

        Talking about G8 and G20 have about as much to do with democracy as F1 does. Thats the point – its is about power rather than democracy- (hence my ref to everyone having an equal vote)

        How can you say ERS is not green when last year cars used 150 kg to do 300klm and now they are using 100kg.?How can you say that 5 engines per race per annum is not more efficient than 8??. Ok racing is not the perfect place for ultimate green aspirations but noone can argue that F1 is not the fastest test bed for efficiency and performance. F1 is not/ should not be solely about green technologies – it should be racin and it is ! but your ignorant if you think it cannot make a contribution.

        As for Honda -So what your trying to me is that the Honda chief -an honourable Japanese CEO is a liar. When he says F1 technologies with the new PU are very relevant in developing/ improving efficiency in power trains for their road cars??. He also acknowledged the marketing aspect of their return- but that stated clearly that was secondary to their aspirations.

        Of course car manufacturers like Honda have terrific existing hybrid systems, but what they are looking at is getting more power out of them and make them even more compact,Efficient and seemless with engines etc. Further what do you think happens with technologies in super/ hyper cars like the 918 ??- thats right they end up in your family car just like the 959 and the NSX 25 years ago. Its not always obvious how the technology transfers but it most certainly does. Anti lock brakes , traction control,
        even power steering, all had some development in motor racing / F1, even aerondynamics have totally remodelled what the average car looks like. ERS is just one of many technologies that may be used in the future. Once hydrogen fuel cells can be less complex / costly – we will probably see a return of these. The improvement in all powertains operating on petrol, diesel, electric over the last 20 years has been phenominal and will continue and whilst we dont always “see” it, often we read about it years after it has filtered through.

      3. KRB says:

        Hmm, not sure I’d term the UNSC, G8 or G20 as democratic institutions. If they are, they’re just scraping into the “barely a democracy” area of the dictatorship-to-democracy continuum. Any deliberative body where one can veto the decision of all the others is clearly not democratic. The G8 & G20 are gabfest bodies, good for accelerating consensus where the chance for it exists, and not much good for anything else.

        F1 needs manufacturers. Without them, after not long at all, the whole thing would collapse. So they need some payback. This is what they asked for, and it’s what they got. “He who pays the piper …”, etc.

        Heard a story over the weekend about how horse racing in North America has taken a big hit in recent years. Basically, people just aren’t betting on it like they used to. Without that money, the tap runs dry for others (racetrack operators, horse owners, trainers, jockeys) all the way down the line. As seen at the Kentucky Derby, the tracks now want a bigger share of the betting pie. That cannot help grow the sport, and seems more a downward spiral that will eventually bottom out with the horse racing industry being a shell of its former self.

        F1 may not be on the same sort of knife edge, but it’s nowhere near being in a position where it can guarantee increased revenues far out into the future.

      4. Sebee says:

        Elie,

        Please give me 3 things that were on the NSX that were green and were not available on the 1990 Integra at fraction of the cost.

        F1 is 100% marketing effort for Honda. They don’t need this F1 PU. In fact the NSX already is designed ready to produce and the F1 effort is simply being aligned to fit their participation.

      5. Elie says:

        Sebee I was talking about all technologies not just green. But try Variable Valve Timing ( VTEC), advanced computer, six speed gearbox for starters- these came out even before 1989 and were filtered to other Honda models in the mid 90′s. Some only got six speed grear box after 2000.. So your wrong again.
        Active suspension, 4 wheel steering, next gen anti lock brakes, traction control, torque control, etc these are all the legacies of late 80′s F1 particilarly the electronics.

    7. Jf says:

      Agree. I like the hybrid tech from an efficiency and performance perspective. I don’t buy the green argument. Electric energy come from fossil fuels, mostly, and Bolivia is being strip mined flat to pull out lithium for car batteries, not to mention the vast amount of oil ships burn transporting the stuff all over the planet to make the batteries.

      I like the high tech as we’ll. Sadly today the tech is controlled by regulators not racers

    8. Shure says:

      Sebee,

      I disagree with your point that “performance while a marketing tool of many companies is not a factor in mass trasport vehicles.” 0-100kmh times may not be but performance encompasses much more than that. These engines are so much more efficient that the previous ones, for example, while the reliability demands make for much, much less waste than ever before.

      I think you have confused the desire to be greener with having to be 100% green. F1 is a sport first and foremost – everything else is secondary to that. But the sport has taken great steps year on year to improve their green footprint while balancing this with the needs of their primary raison d’etre. Turbos, for example, are becoming much more prevalent in mass market transportation – even a little Fiat 500 Twin Air has a turbo engine which improves efficiency while reducing emissions, while the next Ford Mondeo, arguably the definition of average family transport, will be provided with a 3 cylinder 1 litre ecoboost engine that gives greater performance and economy (and reduced emissions) than the original 2 litre one did.

      Performance in cars is very relevant to many people today. Not necessarily of the fire-breathing kind but the faster a car accelerates the safer it is able to carry out overtaking manouevres, for example. And if cars are able to do so while at the same time reducing emissions and being therefore kinder to the environment then many would have difficulty seeing a downside. The levels of performance are naturally exaggerated in a sport but pretty much every sport is about pushing the limits of whatever specialisation it represents. The fact that F1 can be seen to be the most extreme open-wheeled motorsport while at the same time becoming progressively more socially conscious is a feat which deserves some recognition.

      1. Sebee says:

        Shure,

        What you say make sense. Except here is the thing: If these engines are so much greener, along with these batteries, why isn’t F1 communicating the facts?

        The reality more likely is that the 50kg of fuel per race that is being “saved” simply moved up the production chain. Meaning, it took likely much much more than that in carbon emissions to produce these batteries. I still don’t see some key basic facts about how long these batteries last, how recyclable they are, how many cycles they are capable off, how many of them each team needs per car per weekend, and for the season for that matter. It could very well be that these batteries in fact equal to 250kg of fuel used by each car each race instead of the 150kg it used to use with V8s.

        These are all key points if anyone is going to communicate the green merits of “New F1″ that we have to put up with. If we bring this down to the single point question it is this:

        I had to sacrifice aspects of F1 I consider near and dear as a fan when these engines came into use. Can I please have factual data that will soothe my soul that all this greeness in F1 was worth it and is not just a bunch of PR fluff.

        Now, as far as all the other points you make, I will tell you this. We are not green. Our habbits are not green. The way we drive is not green. The only way to make us green is by taking power of driving away from us – individual transportation must change.

        Here is what things will look like in the future. Google Car. Automated, Efficient. If designed correctly and implemented as it should be it solves so many problems it’s mind blowing.

        Here is how it will play out. Google will deploy a fleet of these cars to their employees and select early adopters. They will drive those cars to work like normal cars. Then Google software will take over the task of driving for them after a while. Shortly Google will release factual data showing safety gains and fuel economy gains through type of driving Google Car can do. They will model the data to illustrate further significant improvements possible if all cars were Google Cars. Soon it will be legislated that for our own good we cannot drive ourselves. I remind you 40K people die in cars each year in North America alone. Network is established and suddenly the way we are moved from A to B is completely changed. No more need for 0-60 times, merging in traffic, etc. It will be done for us. We may not even need to own cars, we may have memberships to Google Car which will be everywhere.

        Best part of all this is not that we’ll be able to save huge amounts of fuel though full elimination of all our bad driving habbits, that we will be more safe and efficient. It will be that we can go to the pub to have a few beers and Google Car will be the designated driver home. No more DUIs.

        Actualy that begs another question, will we still be watching F1 in that pub?

      2. Sebee says:

        I know I know Random, you have one more question.

        What happens to Jermey Clarkson when we all drive Google Cars?

      3. Sebee says:

        …or rather, when we all are driven around by Google Cars is what I meant Random.

        Other point of benefit for Google Car.
        Optimized Use of current road infrastructure.

        Reduced driver stress.

        Improved rush hour average speed. (after all, all the cars are linked, so reaction time of individual car is no longer an issue in accident prevention)

        The more you think about it, the more those dudes working on the Google Car are starting to look like the real future and real pioneers of future driving. Then is just a matter of which platform will Google choose for it’s technology.

        Add to this the fact that car pooling can finally become an optimized reality and that your Google Car will pick you up from your home with a fresh warm latte in the cup holder waiting for you on the way to work and a cold beer in the cup holder for the way home and you try and say no to the Google Car!

      4. Shure says:

        to be honest, your idea of transport Nirvana is my idea of hell! Cars are so much more than just a means of transport to many, many people. There are many like myself who actually enjoy driving and would see any attempt to deprive us of that, particularly on the levels you describe, as unacceptable.

        Once again, it seems from your posts that you equate greener F1 with 100% green practices. At least, that’s what it looks like to me and I’m sorry if I’ve misread you. But the sport may make efforts to be greener and more environmentally friendly without having to become 100% carbon neutral overnight. Investing development resources in improving fuel economy will doubtless have impact upon real world motor vehicular technology, even if no-one actually drives around with a 700BHP F1 engine under the bonnet. Likewise with energy recovery technology – even if it doesn’t happen overnight surely you can see the potential future applications without having to have them described in minute detail?

        And I don’t understand why you feel that F1 teams owe us a detailed inventory of products and systems. Why? Maybe if they were to make outrageous claims on green credentials but by just stating their intention to be more efficient and less wasteful – and demonstrating ways in which they wish to achieve this – isn’t that something to be applauded in itself?

      5. Sebee says:

        I know what you are saying about individualism and driving. But reality is that you need to just look outside or sit by any city road to see that this is unsustainable. What kind of driving to you do in the city? How inefficient it is for hundreds of thousands of cars to be on the road with just the driver in the name of the freedoms you think would be unacceptable to be deprived of?

        Bottom line, something has to give. End of story. It is deeply disturbing to look at a motor way clogged with traffic of single occupant cars and continue to insist that we should have the freedom to continue this. Even more depressing when you realize it is happening in hundreds of cities, twice a day, each and every day.

        I don’t think F1 needs to be 100% green. But don’t spit in my face and tell me it’s rain either. This was a sideways move at best. A PR marketing effort most likely. I DO believe we need exact detail green credentials of these batteries, because if you are going to give me some green label stuck to the F1 logo, you better back it up. Otherwise, it is what I think is better known as false advertising.
        And so, to tell me that last year 150kg of fuel was used per race per car and this year 100kg of fuel was used per car, while sideways shifting maybe another 100kg or 150kg of fuel toward these batteries, well…let’s get real. That’s a bit like me telling you that it used to cost $150 dollars per comment on this site, but now it’s only 100…GBP. You’re welcome. Either we compare apples to apples and get a clear measure of the benfit, or it’s all BS. And on top of that it’s BS for which I have to give up the trademark sound of F1 in introduce what is effectively some type of traction control system that recovers the energy because conventional breaking is not possible if energy is to be recovered.

        That is why I feel they absolutely OWE us transparency on these new PUs. In the end I pay for this sport with my time, my support of products featured on team(s) I enjoy. We’re at race 4 and as you can imagine I’m not on board with this Formula 1. Sure, it’s called F1, but to me it’s not actually the product I expect to see. And I it is further annoying to know that the cause is “green PUs” which may in fact not at all be green.

        Honestly Shure, it would not shock me at all to learn that actual carbon footpring of these PUs is significantly above what it was for the V8 many of us liked quite a bit.

  2. zombie says:

    1. Allow engine development.
    2. Ban DRS.
    3. Allow competition in tire development. Not allowing competition in engineering goes against the ethos of F1.
    4. Stop punishing drivers for driving incidents.
    5. Have more races in US,Canada and South America so it can attract North American motorsport teams to invest. Besides, if Motogp can run 3 races in US alone, I don’t see why F1 cannot ?
    6.Lastly, let F1 setup a fund to sponsor promising drivers in junior Formulas. Many great talents perish in lower steps due to lack of funding.

    1. Quercus says:

      Allowing constant engine and tyre development is opening the door to an extremely expensive arms race.

      1. Chet says:

        The sport has been doing just fine for decades with engine and tyre development – it was and always has been the cornerstone of F1.

        In fact it was doing a heck of a lot better than it is now when it’s turned into boring cars doing glorified fuel and tyre economy runs.

        I can understand the backmarkers trying to game the system to drag the front runners back to their level, but they should be trying to win on the track, not trying to drag the whole sport backwards through spending caps. F1 is not a participation sport designed so everyone gets a prize…

    2. Vlad says:

      Agree with zombies ideas fully. FIA has always been a development race. The current engines are the most expensive ever in the sport, why not allow developments on them if we are to find technological genius? From a sporting point of view, no development just means whoever’s is the best at the start of the season wins the constructor’s championship.

    3. Andrew M says:

      1. I’d like it, but I suspect it’s a thing of the past and unsustainable for cost reasons (I seem to remember engine development was far more expensive than other aerodynamic developments).
      2. Agreed.
      3. Agreed, but you would need more than one tyre supplier to want this, and I suspect they don’t exist.
      4. Agreed, to some extent. I do think we’ve gone too far in that now every incident seems to have to have fault assigned to it by either driver, but I do like the fact that certain drivers can’t just clobber cars out of the way with impunity like they used to. Watching the start of Donington 1993 and seeing Schumi just push Senna onto the grass with impunity made me realise that some things have improved for the better/
      5. Not sure I agree with this, I don’t care where the races are as long as they’re good.
      6. Good idea in principle, but it seems fraught with difficulty. For starters, how can an F1/FIA-funded driver be seen to be treated impartially?

    4. Kramgp says:

      We’ll said. 6 points I agree with. Especially don’t understand why F1 would go the huge expense of developing PUs and then not allowing any further progress unless under the pretence of reliability.

  3. Anil says:

    I’ve said it before..in order to make the sport better to watch, track design needs a major rethink. Watching F1 cars in the late 90′s/early 00′s you got a real sense of speed as the tracks were narrow and there weren’t acres of run of space. It’s completely different now; watch a car go through a fast section at a track like China and it doesn’t look fast at all because the tracks are SO wide.

    My flat mate is a casual F1 fan and he always watches Monaco, Canada, Monza, where the tracks are narrow and there isn’t run off because to him it creates excitement. He’s said too often that races at places like Abu Dhabi, India etc, where the tracks are so wide that they swallow the cars up, make the cars look so and insignificant, and I agree with him.

    There isn’t loads to do to make the sport ‘epic’ but too much focus is put on the ‘show’ which is a shame. F1 is a sport, not a form of entertainment like X-Factor, so ditch these silly gimmicks and let them race.

    1. Reuben says:

      Totally agree with that!

  4. Jeff says:

    Say Ecclestone is found guilty, and must pay some (very) large fine and serve some jail time. If he eats a (very) large portion of humble pie, will he be likely to stay on? Is there support for his continuance?

    1. Gary says:

      No. CVC already has the press release, relieving B.E. of his position, written in the event he is convicted.

      1. Peter Scandlyn says:

        CVC were pretty slow getting this out (like years), soooo you can safely expect a position review if the outcome in Germany enables that humble pie to be served.

  5. Dai Dactic says:

    ‘All’s fair in love and war’ –
    And F1 is total war without mortality.

    . . . So forget about cost control and a level playing field.

  6. Richard says:

    Well of course this is exactly what some of us have been saying for quite a long time about about high deg.tyres, aerodynamics and fuel conservation. That said I think this new formula is an improvement over the previous one largely because of the increased power and torque. – More of a racers car! That said just being on board with Senna listening to that rasping engine one realises we have moved some way from the real racers ideal. Personally I think if the cars were given larger rear tyres, and the fuel restriction relaxed then that would be a further improvement from a racers point of view. I don’t really see why we need to set an example in this sport about hybrid technology as manufacturers are quite capable of developing a more appropriate system for their needs. I much prefer to watch genuine hard racing with powerful engines, and less reliance on aerodynamics. – Let the talent of the driver shine through less so the talents of the designer.

    1. Elie says:

      The same manufacturers are in the sport and F1 is the fastest testing ground for advancing these technologies

      1. Richard says:

        Well there are a few manufacturers in the sport, but let’s not forget hybrid technology has already been out there on road cars for some time for those that want it, and are willing to PAY for it! All F1 is doing really is following a trend. Nothing that’s used on an F1 car is directly transferable to a road car because the reliability is no where near good enough. On road cars systems go through stringent reliability testing the like of which not much on a race car would be applicable. – They are completely different animals. F1 simply wants to be seen to be doing the right thing which is far removed from out and out racing.

      2. Elie says:

        Of course things on F1 cars are not going directly into road cars but for heavens sake when are people going to accept that ERS technologies and systems can be adopted for road cars.

      3. Richard says:

        Elie: So why bother? Why not have proper out and out racing rather than follow these ridiculous trends that really are at odds with what racing is all about. But to answer your question peole do already accept energy recovery systewms on cars but they are usually on either expensive cars or the customer pays a premium to have such systems on a run of the mill car. I don’t object to the use of it on road cars, far from it, but manufacturers have already developed systems that are appropriate up to a certain level. The reality is that F1 is paying lip service to it because it likes to be seen to be doing the right thing. Did anyone put the thousands of gallons of aviation fuel, and marine/road diesel fuel into the equation used to ship the F1 circus around the world. – Of course not!

      4. Elie says:

        Richard your absolutely correct on the carbon footprint transporting the F1 circus around the world via planes ,ships, trucks etc.-However its interesting even those have come a long way in terms of efficiency also and there is ongoing development to improve all the time.
        Of course F1 wants to align itself to global strategies in this area but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that- its also a good way of attracting new fans -So long as it remains true to its pedigree of being the fastest category of motor racing- I dont see the problem.
        When these cars are faster than than last years cars by October a lot of critics will be silenced and some may even change their tune. Its the nature of many to resist change

      5. Richard says:

        Well I think you hit the nail on the head when you talk about alignment, but it depends on your point of view as to whether it is a good or a bad thing. The cars are heavier, and the power units are twice as expensive. The FIA wants to control costs but if it does things like this it becomes ludicrous. As Adrian Newey has pointed out a heavier car is actually contrary to going round corners faster. F1 came about because drivers and teams wanted to go as fast as they could, and drive as hard as they could without having to conserve. Of course that principle is limited by the mechanics of the car. I want to see cars with ample power and torque with tyres that are man enough to do the job, in other words proper racers cars. I have nothing against hybrid technology and perhaps it should be fitted to every road car, but manufacturers are quite able to develop it as the market dictates without any F1 involvement. I don’t believe it belongs on an any racing cars. That said I’m really enjoying this years formula because it’s shaken up the order and given a racer like Lewis Hamilton a car that suits his style. If you enjoyed Bahrain then it’s a vote for proper racing not artificially contrained that high deg.tyres have given us in the last four years. I don’t believe in change for change sake as change for no good reason is a bad thing. The sport is engineering lead and that’s why we follow trends or align with a strategy. If you were an athlete you would not expect the organisers to invent slippy grass or spikeless running shoes to do your 800 metres would you.

      6. Rich C says:

        Most F1 cars and engines are built in custom shops that are in no way related to their parent companies’ facilities.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Whatever happens, I hope no one tries to use the anniversary of Senna’s death as an opportunity for political point-scoring.

  8. Gaz Boy says:

    I think what F1 needs is some new leadership to be honest.
    The FIA should be reformed from a presidential system (what’s the difference between a president and a dictator? A name?) to parliamentary democracy – where the prime minister of the FIA would have to get a new regs and rules through via consensus, just like every other parliamentary democracy system.
    Secondly, the fiscal distribution of the F1 constructors championship needs reforming, the likes of the “special group” or whatever they call themselves should be scrapped – that system is just a case of divide and conquer.
    Trouble is, will reformation of the FIA and FOM happen – at least any time soon????

    1. Peter Scandlyn says:

      Ahh Gaz Boy, if only….if only.
      One of the challenges is get Toads backside out from behind the desk first, just having been re-imposed on us all. :-)

    2. I know says:

      The distribution of shared revenue, not cost control, is the big fiscal elephant in the room in F1.

      Today, teams rely almost entirely on their own sponsorship money, while broadcasting rights and revenue from grand prix venues go to the owners of the F1 brand. That’s ok for the top teams – it makes sense to sponsor a winner – but it’s untenable for bottom teams, who attract far less sponsorship. The small teams are needed, of course, to keep the sport interesting, but they can only survive if they receive a larger share of the revenue, which will have to come from broadcasting rights.

  9. tank says:

    “Also the true essence of what makes Formula 1 great is that it is the meeting point of technology and driver skill, neither one dominating the other to an excessive degree and, at is best, the two should be perfectly balanced.”

    Eloquently put, James, a good observation. Thank you for putting into words what is actually hard to express!

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks. We do our best!

  10. mitchw says:

    “And they have failed to get their message across about the amazing technology behind the new formula which promises so much for the wider society.”

    What in the world is new about hybrid and turbo power? Pretending that F1 has a peculiar genius not possessed by commercial auto makers is laughable, arrogant and out of touch. It’s probably right for F1 not to shout about how it is a gift to humanity. Besides which, F1′s technical wizardry is mostly hidden from us fans, especially when there are competitve advantages to be gotten. I would love to watch the engineers’ screens and have the data explained to me. It won’t ever happen, but sadly would likely be more exciting than what happens on the track.

    1. JackTorrance says:

      And what promise does a frozen engine concept do for road cars exactly? Wouldnt Merc and Renault be a lot further down the road if they test night and day at their private test tracks with actual road cars?

      I cant believe Allen posts this PR rubbish about these woeful engines, that seem to have outraged many, many fans.

      1. Liam in Sydney says:

        Well, I am a fan and I am not outraged. Yes it’s a tad contrived, these engine regs, but the manufacturers are still at their factories figuring out ways to get even more horsepower out of a 1.6L engine. So for sure those gains will eventually find their way into road car engines. You can’t tell me the LaFerrari and P1 have not benefitted from this research? As James says, time will tell.

  11. Delgado says:

    Running Brazil or F1. Had he lived Senna could probably have chosen to take up either (or both given that there are term limits in Brazil). I have little doubt that he would have made a success of both projects given his intellectual capacity.

  12. Bhaskar says:

    “….rather than as a dry technical exercise as it currently appears to many today, while at the same time maintaining a strong technology story, which also wows the fans.”

    - I really feel its going that way only. Drivers are told to reserve their fuel and tires… may look intelligent but not as aggressive as F1 should be portrayed. Its like my dad instructing me to watch on fuel and tires, ruining my fun.

  13. Kbdavies says:

    The problem with F1 is there is too much navel gazing, and not enough changes that ACTUALLY impact what F1 should be about – “hard racing, pushing to the limit and fighting.”

    This happens because the very people tasked with moving the sport in the right direction (for the fans) are not independent, and have a vested interest in the direction of the sport; subsequently, their interests WILL always come first. Simply put, they see F1 as a business first, and a sport second.

    It is clear the stupid Pirelli tyres have killed racing. It is clear that the reliance on aero has killed racing. But what is being done about that? Nothing. Instead, they talk about making races shorter, putting Titanium skids underneath cars, bringing back Ground Effects or Traction Control, and creating vortices around wings, plus all manner of nonsense.
    They then give us DRS, flimsy tyres and limited fuel and limited engine/ gearboxes. Madness!

    Why MUST there be savings?? Why MUST we have x amount of teams and cars on the grid?
    Do you see the FA going on about Man United, Chelsea, or Man City and how much they spend? Or arguing that Joe Bloggs and his community team should be able to participate in the Premiership? Do you see the PGA trying to bring down the cost of Golf Clubs and membership fee to courses??

    2014 will go down as the Era of Savings in the annals of F1.

  14. Kbdavies says:

    “should the judges find against Ecclestone.”

    This is a laughable quote James. The judge will indeed find against Ecclestone. It is impossible to convict one party in a conspiracy and not another.
    Gribkowsky has been convicted of accepting a bribe from Bernie; subsequently, Bernie cannot be found innocent of giving that bribe. The trial is simply a formality.
    Bernie will be found guilty, pay a fine and step down from CVC.
    I’m sure all those concerned are furiously preparing for the inevitable scenario. They would be unimaginably stupid if they weren’t.

    1. PxB says:

      …and then Bernie will buy the rights from CVC? After all this is F1 – the pinnacle of Machiavellianism.

    2. kenneth chapman says:

      @ Kbdavies…have you been plagiarising my posts on this very point? hahaha

  15. goferet says:

    Also the true essence of what makes Formula 1 great is that it is the
    meeting point of technology and driver skill
    ————————————————-

    But even in the 80s/50s/60s/90s when the cars weren’t dominated by aerodynamics, we also had seasons were the technology outweighed driver skills >>> Am thinking of the 1988/1989 Mclarens, the Williams of 1992/1993, All of Fangios cars, the 1960s Lotuses etc.

    I think as humans we tend to look back at the past with rose coloured glasses be it films or music but we conveniently forget the past also had more boring races than exciting ones.

    What makes the Senna era better viewing is the human drama for we had drivers hating each other to the point of throwing punches which isn’t the case in today’s sport.

    My guess is with the talented grid we have on offer currently, the future fans will look back at this era as a golden one especially once the other teams pull up their socks.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      You’re right goferet, its very easy to idealise the past, and we tend to do that in both western society and F1.
      When people talk about an F1 “golden age” it tends to be done retrospectively, but you can’t live life looking backwards – the same applies for F1.
      You can only truly understand life looking backwards, but life has to be lived forwards. The same goes for F1: let’s just take things day by day. Don’t forget the past, but lets try and concentrate on the here and now.
      Sorry to go all over cerebral, but Goferet is right: life, and F1 is cyclical, and thus ever thus.

    2. Jarv027 says:

      Agreed!

  16. G. E. Tagrip says:

    “the new formula which promises so much for the wider society.”

    What a laugh.

    Ask virtually ANY engineer in F1 now and he will tell you that F1 tech is extremely unlikely to have any relevance to vehicles which are used on the road.

    1. James Allen says:

      I disagree. I have spoken to many engineers and there are already items which are making their way into the automotive side from the ERS side.

      Here is Mercedes’ Andy Cowell, for example, speaking at the start of the year to me

      “In terms of technology from these F1 power units filtering down into road cars and mass transport, I think you’ll see electric turbo innovations, energy management systems will get transferred for sure. Also there will be huge gains in electrical conduction, high power switching devices, which are 90% efficient in F1 now. Lots of little improvements add up to something impressive

      What we showcase in racing transferred to road cars will lead to a significant improvement in CO2 reductions.

      1. Sebee says:

        Interesting.

        Then may ask for a few points?

        1. Why is the pinnacle of Mercedes green effort in the market place a fully electric powered SLS?

        2. Why is the simple logic of F1 weight efficiency not transferred into cars? They are overweight and as a result require larger amounts of fuel to move all that mass. I think F1 weight savings and safety systems have more to offer as point of linked technologies applicable in real life.

        3. ERS has already been present for a decade on Hybrid efforts from various makers. Are we to believe that it required 10 years and a PU change in F1 to have Mercedes recognize the validity of hybrid cars and ERS? And now we must wait years for the future for this to filter into their road efforts? What exactly does this say about Mercedes raod car division R&D department?

        4. The truth is that more effciency and relevance will come from new battery technology such as the M13 virus based MIT battery effort than from other places. I find it hard to believe that it took this PU change in F1 to improve Mercedes efficiency. I find it more likely that existing technology was adopted and miniaturized for size and weight to address F1 requirements. Basically, the wheel was not reinvented with this F1 PU.

        Please James, forgive my challenge. I simply feel that if green is the goal, F1 is not the lab or R&D place for it. F1 is about performance and as I mention above performance and green are not likely to be aligned. Car makers and their marketing firms will have us belive that performance and green don’t have to be mutually exclusive. However, truth is that any push for performance comes at the cost of energy efficiency, and as such is always less green. We need to have a reference point like that new VW XL1 car for fuel efficiency. The goal for the industry should be to top the best newest most efficient technology. Not give us fake green numbers under lab conditions that compare efficiency agains some average fuel economy in 1988.

        You want green? Here is a formula for it. Here is 1L of fuel. Who can go the furthest with this weight of car? But that’s not what F1 is about. We wouldn’t watch that on TV.

      2. Rudy says:

        +1 Truly spot on.

      3. Elie says:

        Agree James, I saw that Merc clip with Andy Cowall making thise comments. it is staggering to read some posts here from people who think engine manufacterers lobbyed F1 for years for this kind of a change then collectively spend 1/2 billion & not aim to gain some benefits along the way.

        I dont think Mercedes would have stayed if this did not happen and Im certain we wouldnt have Honda starting next year also.

      4. Elie says:

        1. Who said its the pinnacle & how many other hybrid cars do you think Mercedes makes & sells.. Honestly ridiculous
        2. Road cars hold up to 5 passengers not 1. They are not designed to be the fastest racing cars on earth.
        3. No it took several years for F1 to come to agreement to apply the bew rules. F1 will accelerate the development of road car initiated technologies and find new ways to implement yhrm to road cars.
        4. No but what makes you think that F1 wont develop more effiecient & lighter batteries . I think these PU batteries are already far more efficient and powerful than those in road cars already!

        Finally who is to say F1 cannot be more efficient and outright faster than before. & If ultimately Co2 emmissions are to be minimized then Zero is the target– But hang on thats what Formula E is for.

      5. Sebee says:

        Elie,

        VW XL1 is derived from F1?
        Tesla a direct F1 evolution?

        Please, let’s not be insulting to non F1 participating companies who have innovated on green, while we stroke the only company to deliver V12s into the market because they are in F1.

        As for cars and drivers, go ahead grab a latte and stand on an overpass of a motorway in rush hour and see how many occupants are in each car. Hopefully you won’t be shocked to learn 80% are single occupant. Oh…and how about I point out to you Elie that 40k people die in North America alone each year so that we can have the car.

        There has to be a better way for mass transit. We just need to break the pattern.
        F1…that’s just entertainment.

        Can someone tell me the CO2 footprint of these F1 used batteries and how many each team uses?

      6. mitchw says:

        Borg-Warner has already made strides with electric turbos. They call it eBooster.

        http://www.3k-warner.de/en/products/eBooster.aspx

      7. Ronnie says:

        Turbo is to make a better buggy whip, when the next thing to happen is pure electric cars, which will render switching devices irrelevant. Understood that Formula E racing will represent the e-cars, and it will take a decades before most new cars are electric.

      8. Rich C says:

        Sorry, James, but that’s just a load of Mercedes’ PR-Speak.
        Day-dreaming about the future does not mean it’s actually happening, much less “already.”

      9. JackTorrance says:

        Hes right, its laughable.

        Renault doesnt even have a hybrid engine in their road cars.

        I also fail to see what relevance a 650 bhp, 1.5 million dollar costing engine has for relevance to road cars.

        You want CO2 reduction, stop having babies.

      10. Jarv027 says:

        It would be interesting to see what percentage of cars have paddle shift gearboxes after 25 years service!!

      11. Sebee says:

        Actually it just came to me.

        F1 is going green by going to remote places where no fans attend because of cost. By having 20k or 30k fans instead of 120k or 130k they are making huge reductions in CO2 emissions. ;-)

      12. JF says:

        I think the efficiency of these pu are great, that will go down to road cars. But I am not naive enough to believe the green propaganda. Any savings in gas is more than paid for by the high environmental cost of battery manufacture. Ask Bolivia how much they enjoy the green aspects of lithium batteries aside from the profits.

    2. Jeff says:

      owned by James Allen.

    3. KING Arthur 2 U says:

      Guys guys why don’t we all take a chill pill.Yes f1 is going a bit green unfortunately we have got lost in the debate/arguement because of one small issue,I believe that it has gone green because we are not saying f1 will revolutionise the world but in its own carbon footprint taking into account the shipping,air cargo all the way down to the racing they have taken out that fraction by fuel reduction and number of engines used in a season which will not save the world by has reduced the f1 carbon footprint .it is also still early days they can only reduce it more with time (ie when they bring down fuel limit to maybe 90kg per race).So as an overall f1 carbon footprint has been reduced slightly and do not confuse f1 with formula E, but f1 has to do its own part to some level of responsibility.its the way of the future

  17. goggomobil says:

    I may be considered a yesterday Man,but in my book the yesteryear F1 was by far more innovating,exciting,regulation were not hamstrung which apply in today F1,competition was at its peak,the drivers drove regardless of how heavy the rain may be falling,in fact Senna first break in to F1 was in the rain drench Monaco F1 in a dog of a car,how time has changed, in current days that would strictly be a No,No, and it goes on and on.
    One may ask why curtail the competition.

  18. Hugo says:

    What we watch now now is NOT F1.
    Formula has ALWAYS BEEN a Drivers World Championship,even the italians go to the races to watch drivers driving the best cars in the world at maximum speed.
    Nobody cares about the teams,nobody follows the Constructors Championship besides the sponsors.

    Right now we have drivers that need to press a button to overtake and complaint when there is no run off area big enough,look how FIA have destroyed Monza.
    F1 is not longer a sport,is a business more than ever.
    And to top it off right now we have drivers that are marionettes.
    I remember Gilles Villeuneve all he cared was to break Stewart’s 27 wins record,such a big deal was when Prost did it in 87.
    Last race Hamilton did not even know he matched Clark and Lauda’s record.

    Shame.

  19. Becken Lima says:

    Great post and reflection, James. Thanks.

    Anyway, I´m not sure that tecnology is in the core of F1´s identity crisis. What I truly think is that F1 drivers today lacks character.

    And this lack of carachters let us to a F1 without sense of drama, with no rivalry, neither a narrative in F1.

    My point is that in the last years, F1 PR machine is sanitizing any clue that we could be have about drivers personalities and their dislike for each other.

    And that – his personality – was what made Senna the great and ultimate F1 hero: he was great enough to face and fight Balestre, and let be honest: can we see any driver today with this kind of bravery to face and fight the F1 politics in his own terms?

    Drivers with strong personalities: thats what will make F1 more appealing to the average F1 fan.

  20. Nenslo says:

    An idea on the cost capping issue: you set a cost cap per year and ask the teams to join. If they say no that is fine. However, those that do not join must give a proportion of the money they spend to the other teams who are in the cost cap. This way the big teams get to spend what they want and the smaller teams get their limit and a bit more

  21. Rich C says:

    To all you ppl always banging-on about aerodynamics, please tell me how you avoid the effects of the laws of physics on *anything that goes 200 mph.

    I guess you could make the cars all identical like NASCAR or IndyCar and then ppl wouldn’t want to spend any money on it?

  22. rasbob says:

    One of the things that made F1 so special in the past was fans who didn’t expect every race to be a thrill fest and constantly whinge if it was not. It was expected that often races were not that exciting, that it was a slow burn sort of thing, and that you paid for the moments of true greatness with a certain amount of not very much happening.

    Now we have a deluge of moaning on social media the moment there is a less than stellar race. Big money gets frightened. Cue ill-thought-out ‘fixes’ for the ‘spectacle’. Cue what actually made F1 special in the first place being further diluted. Cue more and more grumpy fans. Cue the slow decline of a once great sport. Hey ho, nothing lasts for ever, but to be honest the fact that so many modern viewers have such seemingly insatiable need for constant stimulation is a big part of why the sport feels less gritty and real to many of us these days..

    1. Basil Binx says:

      Very true. Well said!

  23. Pkara says:

    I say
    Lets get the mad crazy looking cars back like
    The 6 Wheel Tyrrell P34 Elf Car
    Or the cars that were tested but never racedd like…

    The MARCH 2-4-0
    Or
    The WILLIAMS FW08B
    Or
    The FERRARI 312T6
    Less normalization. . . A few standard rules on car development but lets get back to sparks flying off the plates under the car. Crazy over taking moves. No to DRS & more adrenaline charged racing.
    Only rule that must be formalized & uniformed is Racing Officials & their judgements on racing incidents. Seems to be a lucky dip from one Grand Prix to the next.

  24. Silverhatch says:

    “How to ensure that the sport presents itself in this appealing way, rather than as a dry technical exercise as it currently appears to many today, while at the same time maintaining a strong technology story, which also wows the fans.”
    I don’t think the technology story wows the fans. Just look at all the complaints we had during 2001 to 2007. Cars full of technology, all kinds of electrical bells and whistles, complicated aerodynamics and whatnot. But the fans were yelling “there is no overtaking!”.

    Today, we have tonnes of overtaking. Now in China, for a change we had “only” half a tonne of them and these message boards were filled up with “the most boring race I’ve ever seen, zzzzz” type of comments.

    These days, people don’t even understand their roadcars, not to even mention race cars. If you look at the majority of car magazines, all we see is shiny photos and some wannabe jeremyclarksonish review with no technical content in it. And probably the most popular car TV show about cars(Top-G…) goes no further than the number of gears, 0-60mph or on a tough day, miles per gallon kind of talks.

    This is where it comes from, all this DRS nonsense and desperate, desperate rule changes every year to keep people watching the races. As „Formula 1 contemplates what it wants to be in the future“, I would suggest directing F1 back to racing fans, for those who really want to understand the sport. You may try to attract every housewife to make her buy more goods advertised in F1, but you can’t beat „Game of Thrones“, it will always be more exciting than a motor race…

  25. Mazdafarian says:

    The comment about technology and driver skill is spot on. However, the issue that I (and I suspect many others) see with F1 today is:

    What are the drivers using their skills for?

    Tyre management, fuel conservation and strategy are all-important at the moment, and only when drivers are equal on all of these measures do they resort to trying to out-drive one another. I want to watch racing where the dominant strategy for victory is to produce 50 qualifying laps back to back, not some nonsense about ‘driving to a delta’.

  26. alexbookoo says:

    I agree with James’ sentiment. Someone once said that opinion polls “take the poetry out of politics” (I think it might have been Enoch Powell, unfortunately, but anyway). I’m starting to feel that telemetry takes the poetry out of racing. F1 is still capable of providing the odd magical race, like Bahrain, but most of the time it can feel more like watching a NASA mission – very precise and impressive, but not exactly exciting. When drivers are told that they are 1% above fuel target or advised where to deploy ERS, the feeling of a driver being out there fighting on the edge is lost.

    Moto GP doesn’t have team radio, even though I’m sure it is technically possible to have a radio in a rider’s helmet or on their leathers, and so when Lorenzo is holding the entire field up to try to back Marquez into the pack in the last race of the season, and then suddenly bolts off because he has lost interest in the tactic, the viewer knows it was his decision, the race was in his hands. In F1 the radio has become a key feature of the show so it shouldn’t be scrapped, but if they got rid of a lot of the telemetry the teams would have to rely on what the driver felt and reported back, restoring the idea that the driver is in control and bringing back some unpredictability. The predictability of most races is what kills the sport.

    Other than that, superficially the camera work could be so much better in F1. On big wide tracks with big wide camera angles and foreshortened zoom lenses the cars don’t look like they’re going fast, and speed is supposed to be the main element. And watching some clips of Senna from these past few days, I do agree that sparks from the floor hitting the track look super cool. And the onboard cameras from those days were much more exciting because they were at driver eye level and weren’t stabilised at all, they were shaking around and it was hard to see, which is how it should be. The onboard cameras today are crystal clear and totally dull.

    But most of all it should be about the team building and preparing a car to hand over to a driver who decides how to race it.

  27. JackTorrance says:

    “And they have failed to get their message across about the amazing technology behind the new formula which promises so much for the wider society.”

    ..to the point ive stopped watching F1 alltogether after 25 years of following F1 at each and every race, and am now turning to other sports that value the fans opinion a bit more.

    Good luck with ‘getting the message across’.

  28. chris green says:

    watch the ‘in car’ video of senna at suzuka.(youtube)

    then watch the ‘in car’ video of kimi at suzuka in 2013.

    there is simply no comparison. the senna footage is a complete sensory assault. the video of kimi looks like he is out on a pleasant sunday drive.

    if drivers can’t lean on the tyres then it can’t be called f1.

  29. Marybeth says:

    I took Physics in high school. Watching F1, it always amazes me the way the cars hug the track. They should not be able to corner & take the hills as they do. But they do! :)

    1. Marybeth says:

      …the hill in Turkey is high on the list.

  30. kenneth chapman says:

    in contemplation of the future of F1 and regarding a level playing field i have searched for an appropriate analogy and it seems as though the political/socialist/conservative line is appropriate.

    ‘you’ll never make the poor rich by making the rich poor’. could be transposed to read, ‘you’ll never make the slow fast by making the fast slow’?

    the bottom four teams are not going anywhere really and they are the ones making all the noise. forget the acorn exercise as it won’t happen in F1 reality. they are not going to all of a sudden innovate their way to front of the grid.IMO of course.

    surely three car teams are the way. either that or at least make customer cars available so that we can see the relative talents of the drivers.

    i also believe that there was more talk of even greater homologation of componetry!! just how long before we have a total spec system? if this comes to pass then it just means that F1 is one step closer to becoming an inconspicuous spec on the dust pile of F1 innovation and discovery.

  31. Bavman says:

    What is the Formula for Formula 1 success??
    Been thinking of this for quite a while.
    Best car + Best driver = WDC
    Best car + average driver = WDC
    Worst car + best driver = Nothing
    Its nearly always been the right guy in the right car at the right time.
    F1 (to me) has always been shear amazement at how the rules try to slow the cars and they still get faster. The new turbos are quicker down the straights than the V8′s, and despite lopping wings off front and back only a second slower on average. AMAZING.
    Are the drivers pushing 100% all of the time?
    Have the drivers ever done that? real old school racers required mechanical sympathy, Coulthard drove an old 60′s car and said you couldn’t drive it 100% or it would break. Jacky Stewart scolded his Stewart GP driver for dumping the clutch after a pitstop and breaking a driveshaft. When has an F1 car ever been flogged from start to finish? How do we explain the calls for banzai fast in or out laps, is that when there driving 10/10ths, what does that say about the rest of the race?
    Drivers have always had to drive and manage tyres fuel, gap to pesky teammate, twas ever thus, and sorry lets call it what it is manage fuel/tyres, not conserve,(fuel runs out and tyres wear out)
    I hear what your saying, but fear we could be getting too reactive, There has been big change recently, and im all for it, Honda wouldn’t be coming back if the engine rules weren’t changed, and Honda has a long history in F1. What exactly is wrong with F1? Think long and hard about that before deciding anything, What are we trying to really fix?

  32. AlexD says:

    “Many would argue that this is not the case today.” – James, we need to be honest. Who would argue that this is the case today? It is not the case at all and we just do not see this kind of racing, drivers are political because sponsors demand it. If there is passion and full commitment and it must be, it is not coming our clearly for fans because it is all about EFFICIENCY (fuel saving, car saving, tire saving, engine saving, everything saving). It is becoming normal that we hear team radio where one driver needs to let the other driver go. Can you imagine anything like this between Senna and Prost? Still…20 years later we are more emotional and attached to something that is a history than what we see today because there is nothing that attracts, nothing that makes F1 drivers real heroes, nothing that shows that they cross limits that are not know to normal human beings.
    I think it is the sign of times – everything is becoming artificial and plastic today. Everything is McDonalds-like. You think about Senna or Lauda…and even 20 years from now you will remember Senna and Lauda and not Vettel or Hamilton or Alonso simply because of the format of F1. I think these guys are capable of being great, but they are not given a chance.

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      I think a lot of people will disagree with you. The current generation of top drivers has been hailed as one of the most -if not the most- competitive grids in F1 history.

  33. kenneth chapman says:

    another point to contemplate is that of the FIA forever changing the R & R each and every year.

    why is it necessary to have completely new cars every twelve months?

    if the R & R remains static or even contain a few tweaks then cars could be continuously upgraded and only rebuilt/designed when they hit the wall, figuratively speaking.

    imagine just how much could be saved given this scenario.

    1. Liam in Sydney says:

      Not very interesting though, no?

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        @ liam in sydney… true, but if the rats and mice really are struggling then this may save them some money.

  34. ZioBuck says:

    I was there when Ayrton crashed at Imola and watched the massive funeral in Brazil months later . Ayrton and Roland`s tragic death`s at Imola painted the way forward for safety first before risk in Formula 1 . Eternal rest … and let light shine upon them .. may they rest in peace Amen.

  35. JackTorrance says:

    “Granted there have been some teams and some powerful figures who have had an agenda to undermine the message and the changes”

    Are you saying the pro-change teams did NOT have an agenda to push?

    Renault press statement:” The new 1.6 hybrid turbo engine is called Energy, because it shares technology right down to the Energy engine in the Clio”

    I did some research and found the ‘energy’ engine in the Clio has NOTHING in common with the F1 engine, other than being a turbo engine. Its not even hybrid. In fact, Renualt doesnt have a hybrid car in their WHOLE line up!

    I called the local Renault dealership and they cannot even give me 1 example what technology is carried over from the F1 engine to their road cars.

    And do you expect people that want to buy a family car, telling the salesman they want a car with F1 technology? And what ‘greener’ technology is inside AMG Mercedes models or heavy, gas guzzling ML class or G-class Mercedes SUVs?

    No, the agenda is for F1 PR people to shove a story down my throat how F1 needs to be ‘road relevant’. Im done. Its over. Bye bye. That they treat us fans as stupid is perhaps to be expected, but I dont accept that story from JamesAllenonF1.

  36. erik says:

    Hei James. I do care about f1 and that is why i`m here. I`m looking for a info about f1. But sadly it comes through middlemen like you and other journalists. So, i have to except the info that`s presented here and find peaces that are more or less objective.

    This is very sad day for f1 indeed if people have to go back 20 years to relive the excitement that thrills people about f1.

    People are so enthusiastic and passionate about Imola events not because they are so excited about f1 but quite opposite- they are so disappointed!!!! And only Senna can heal their wounds.

    Maybe i`m not well informed and there is a competition among journalists- who can pull a bigger rabbit out of a hat- then i understand this peace but if there is no competition… .

    I can read personal opinions and accept different views, so i hope that my peace stand along yours.

  37. Steve Rogers says:

    The hybrid engine is a non-solution. The only clean engine is one that does not burn anything, i.e. an electric motor. Personally I would like to see and hear powerful petrol-engined racing cars and efficient, safe road cars and think the idea that they’re related is complete bunk.

  38. kieran says:

    I’m just happy that we have durable tyres again. Funny how that particular fact is brushed under the carpet. Without proper tyres, drivers cannnot truely race. Unlike the last three years, drivers can fight for points. I wonder if in ten years time, everyone will forget about the atrocities of 2011-2013 – the plastic years of F1.

  39. JohnBt says:

    This is 2014, we must not dwell on the past glory years for too long else we can become overly negative. Critics have hail that the cars will be faster with each race, I welcome that.

    Changes has been too drastic that’s why all the ranting so let’s see what happens when the season ends.

    But if FIA is still adamant and think they can fleece us, they will lose out big time as sponsors will run. When fans stop watching sponsorships will stop too.

    Will this weekend race be like Bahrain? If not, murder eyes can help out by bringing out the SC for the last 15 laps?

    1. Sebee says:

      JohnBt,

      Do you know that it is highly likely that there is a level of reverse engineering in F1?
      Here is a theory on how rules and engines come to life.

      Gentlemen,

      We have a 2 hour time window to fill for a Grand Prix. Come to me with a regulation that will result in GP distance of 300km being covered in between 90 and 100 minutes.

  40. football says:

    Stick by your team through thick and thin, despite the wins and losses.
    The different types of defensive football positions are:.

    Among those that came out in the wish list is a better line play, addition of team entrances, and
    crowd atmosphere.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer