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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1

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

2

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

Bernie’s best joke is DRS…

3

What I meant is Bruce knew he was getting on and decided to go out on top. Bernies decisions have been questionable over the last few years.

As for DRS, I ma in favour, why? because up until it was introduced everyone moaned that there was no overtaking.

4

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

I mean what are you all getting excited about? What is it that people like James Allen get paid to dissect in ridiculous amounts of detail? Are we watching cars that are at the very pinnacle of engineering and technological advancement? No. Are we watching exciting, edge of the seat racing? Absolutely not. If you want that go down and watch a kart race at your local kart track, or if watching cars pass each other down a straight using DRS is your thing perhaps you should think about standing on a bridge over the M1 for two hours on a Sunday afternoon.

Are we watching gladiators risking their lives trying to tame a ridiculously powerful and terrifying racing car? No. In light of the recent events regarding Michael Schumacher and Gerhard Berger, it appears an F1 driver is at greater risk skiing during his retirement than he is driving a modern F1 car.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5

Amen – this is so right.

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

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

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

6
robert christian

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

7

Some of the comments on losing all wings etc focused on the lack of down force and this would make the cars slower than Formula Ford etc.

Simple solution, install the under the car sucker fans that I believe Brabham installed on their cars back in the seventies. These sucked the cars down to the track the same as wings forced them down. But of course the FIA banned them after one race. They also banned the innovative Tyrrell Teams front four wheel car.

Loved the look of that baby.

8

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

9

So simple…

1) Increase mechanical grip

2) Reduce aero

3) Wider chassis

4) NO DRS!!!! NO DRS!!! SLIP STREAMING ONLY

5) Increase BHP

6) No traction control/ABS etc

7) NO ENDURANCE TESTING

8) Choice of tires

9) No penalties for contact

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

10

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

Fuel consumption/flowrate/downforce

Simplify it – a set amount of fuel for the race

– you do not need to limit maximum flow rate – if you have excessive flow rate you run out of fuel.

– you do not need to limit rear wings etc – extra downforce = extra drag = you run out of fuel.

All you need is the fuel limit.

11

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

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

PLEASE DONT SHORTEN THE RACES THOUGH!!!!

I want to see the drivers push to the limit, but make the tyres more durable instead of shortening races.

12

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

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

Rules to make the racing more competitive and thus more exciting to watch is much more difficult.

There will always be differences in performance (due to budget mainly). That is inherent to sport in general. The majority of the teams that reach the quarterfinals in the Champions League are the same every year.

We just have to live with it.

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

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

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

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

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

13
Electric is NOT the Future

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

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

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

14

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

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

Please don’t, this isn’t America.

15

After reading all the above comments, I am wondering about myself. I have followed F1 for a fair bit now and I am enjoying it as much as ever. May be I am easy to please and content myself with little, but I think the new rules should be kept as they are for this season at least, as I have no doubt that the teams will make great strives forward before the end of the year.

For my own taste, there should be a major change in rules every few years, say every five years, but in between we should stick to those given rules.

If there is one thing which I don’t particularly like in todays F1, it is the way penalties are being handled now days. I understand that you want F1 to be as safe as it can be, nobody wants to go back to the 60’s and see wasted talents and lives, but yet it is still racing and racing comes with some risks.

Everytime 2 cars come in contact, it is under steward investigation it would seem. Pack 20 odd cars on a circuit and it is bond to happen, and unless it is a total kamikaze move it should remain part of the sport and be accepted as such.

I have sadly never been to a live event, so I can’t comment on the experience one has or lack of it in this case with regards to engine sound at a venue. You can of course tell the difference even while watching it on the tube, but it does little to affect the enjoyment for me.

The thought of even considering shortening the races does not sit well with me. Not sure if shorter races would translate into more exciting ones, so I hope that won’t happen.

While to each its own, I find the constant complaining tiresome. F1 is not perfect, it never was and you can bet it never will be. It is still the best for me, by a long shot. Marc

16

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

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

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

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

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

The answer is most definitely NOT to shorten the races.

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

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

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

17

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

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

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

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

18

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

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

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

For 2015, I’d like to see:

1. Getting rid of the ugly noses.

2. Scrap the fuel flow rate to allow cars get up to the full 15,000 RPM limit.

3. Allow some downforce to be put back on the cars (they need to be quick)

4. Make the cars louder for the fans

5. Scrap the double points concept.

6. Put me in charge pronto. 😉

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

19

The length of the races should remain as it is, There’s nothing wrong with how long an F1 races goes on for.

I don’t even mind Singapore getting right upto the 2 hour limit most years, Just add’s to the challenge & gives us fans more time to watch the cars out on track which is what I like to see more than anything.

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

Think people need to calm down & let things play out over the rest of the season. Going around complaining about everything after only 2 races & people in F1 going about changing things based on that will just lead to bad decisions been made.

Afterall everyone complained after Bahrain 2010 about how the refueling ban & all that had killed the racing & how everything would be boring from now on yet 2010 actually turned into a classic season with plenty of good racing, A close, competitive title fight & a lot more overtaking than we had seen for a while.

20

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

21
Bring back V12's !!!

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

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

22

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

23

Rule changes!

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

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

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

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

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

24

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

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

25

After followed f1 for 20yrs since 1994, i seriously dont care about the sound, engine, aero etc but the drivers shall be allowed to race at full pace rather than saving the fuel saving the tyres etc.

How sad is it to see a fast driver had to settle back down because of all those savings? I ‘d rather prefer to see them stopped on track bcoz they pushd too hard n run out of tyres/fuel/gearbox/engine.

27
kenneth chapman

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

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

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

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

it would be interesting to see where the lines cross.

28

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

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

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

29
kenneth chapman

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

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

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

30
Christopher Cathles

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

31

God help us! No way.

32

Straight talking is what’s needed here, James.

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

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

33

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

34

Ethics!

Very rare these day’s in journalism.

35
Christopher Cathles

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

36

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

37

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

And remember F1 is still a team sport.

38
Clarks4WheelDrift

I think this would work well.

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

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

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

39

Love it.

40

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

41
Craig in Manila

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

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

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

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

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

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

42

+1

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

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

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

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

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