Turning the Tide?
Marina Bay 2017
Singapore Grand Prix
Gerhard Berger: fix Formula 1 to stop fans “falling asleep in front of the TV”
News
Gerhard Berger
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  25 Jan 2016   |  5:58 pm GMT  |  174 comments

Former Formula 1 driver and team boss Gerhard Berger has said that he “sometimes falls asleep in front of the television” when watching races and has put forward his ideas on how to fix the sport.

In an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, the former ATS, Arrows, McLaren, Ferrari and Benetton driver explained that F1’s regulations need to be completely re-written as the current problems could not be fixed simply by altering the current power units.

Gerhard Berger

He said: “If you want to repair [F1], you will not get far with standalone solutions, and the engine is only part of the problem that we must solve.

“[F1] needs to be rethought from the ground up. But we are talking about the engine because it is current. The topic has multiple facets that demonstrates the problem.”

Berger believes that each engine manufacturer must supply a set number of F1 teams and that all customer outfits should receive an up-to-date specification of power unit to avoid a repeat of the long-running engine supply saga that occurred at Red Bull last season.

Gerhard Berger

He said: “Each manufacturer would have to deliver a certain number of teams and also provide the capacity for being able to deliver this. How many teams depends on the number of manufacturers and teams. But the field must be covered.

“This would exclude the possibility that a manufacturer like Honda equips only one team. More importantly, all teams get the same specification by the manufacturer and homologation [rules]. The differences are then only in the fuel and the electronics, [which] is 20hp more or less, and can be compensated with a good car or a good driver.

“Then the sport remains a sport and not a controlled or put-up job. It was originally covered by the rules, but was softened again. It cannot be that Mr Marchionne says: ‘you get only a 2015 engine’ and you must prevent such a thing in the regulations.

“I understand the auto companies that they want to protect themselves against a team like Red Bull. But that’s not in the interest of the sport.”

Gerhard Berger Bernie Ecclestone

The FIA, Bernie Ecclestone and the teams recently agreed on ways to bring down the cost of the current V6 turbo engines to around €12m a year, in part, by simplifying the power units. But Berger believes this is the wrong approach and explained the F1 should keep the advanced technology and split the cost among the manufacturers and their customers.

He said: “I believe that simple is not the right word. It would be wrong to completely abolish the technology. The manufacturer must be able to prove their competence.

“Why not with a motor that runs for the entire season? That would technically be at least as demanding as a battery development at the high level of performance.

“[But] the motor and its ancillary equipment just cost too much in development. The customer team should carry only the cost of the material and working time. Development costs must be borne by the manufacturer that have to have some image of success if their engine wins.

Gerhard Berger

“The engine itself could remain as it is, perhaps with a second turbocharger to improve the sound and performance. It would also be closer to road cars.”

The 10-time Grand Prix winner also reckons that any future changes to the F1 regulations should be shaped to make the cars more difficult to highlight driver skill and reward the better racers

He said: “The car must have more power than grip. The best example is the MotoGP [where] they have 270hp, weighing 160 kg, [and] have zero output and a limited contact surface of the tyre. So each viewer immediately sees what the guys have.

“This is pure motorsport [but] in Formula 1 we have the opposite. This, combined with the quiet motors, is neither a show nor challenge spectacle.”

Sebastian Vettel Gerhard Berger

The Austrian driver, who also led the Toro Rosso team between 2006 and 2008, also reckons that F1 needs a neutral organisation to make decisions on future regulations as the current arrangement means the governing body, promoter, manufacturers and independent teams are unlikely to readily agree on rule changes,

He said: “The question arises as to whether Bernie [Ecclestone] and Jean [Todt] can enforce a new regulation, [as] I believe, without the consent of the teams it will not go.

“That’s the real problem. One participant always observes the subject through his own glasses. Of course, Toto Wolff, with the Mercedes star on his chest, says that Formula 1 is really interesting.

“In reality it is so that I sometimes fall asleep watching television because I already know after the first round, who will win the race.

“Therefore, it needs a neutral body, which represents the fan and the sport to make the final decision. In democratic elections with the teams, there are way too many bad compromises.”

Gerhard Berger Lewis Hamilton

Sound poll results

Following the announcement from Mercedes technical boss, Paddy Lowe, that 2016 F1 engines are set to be louder than their predecessors thanks to rule changes that allow a second exhaust pipe, fans of the sport have been voting on whether the engine noise levels need to be improved.

In a poll conducted by this website, 36.5 per cent of the 2,474 people who voted said that that they would like F1 to return to the level of noise produced during the previous V8 engine era.

But the second most popular choice revealed that 30.88 per cent of voters are happy with the current levels of sound produced by the V6 turbo power units.

F1 exhaust pipe

Do you agree with Berger’s ideas on how to improve F1? What would you do to improve the sport? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

Featured News
Editor's Picks
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

174 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

“The car must have more power than grip."

This. Reduce aero. Make it so the driver actually has the fight the car to stay on the road. Cars on the ragged edge of traction, sliding cars, are thrilling to watch and really separate the most-skilled drivers.

Driving to a delta, preserving tires is just not as fun to watch.

2

You want more power than grip - watch Rallying ..... perennially more power than grip, more skilful drivers and plenty of action.

3

Rally cross is also good -- more power than grip and cars going sideways a lot. F1 certainly could use a bit more power, but going sideways is not what it's about, no matter how deliriously some people want it.

4

how's is it possible to have excessive power when the fuel flow is controlled?

the idea in f1 is efficiency so teams would use as little fuel as possible to complete races as fast as possible. in other words they will use computer software to regulate how much power is produced by the power unit each second so the most efficient power unit wins again.

5

The cars do have massive power, despite the fuel flow limit. The problem is the drivers are too good at controlling it. I remember Bottas struggling a few times last season to get that 900 horsepower into the road, I think turn 2 at Canada? It looked like a complete beast!

6

@aveli, it's a boring scientific challenge, and I know I'm not alone in thinking this. A more interesting scientific challenge would be who can build a screaming, insanely powerful engine that the drivers can push to the absolute limit every lap of every race and which lasts the entire season without a rebuild and without breaking.

7

@lukec....it's not the problem it is a scientific challenge and the better ones build a more efficient engine or power unit..

8

It's not possible to have excessive power when fuel flow is controlled. Therein lies the problem.

9

I wonder who ticked John Marshall's post down. He hit the bullseye.

What we really want to see is drivers wrestling beasts whose natural direction is sideways - all propelled by an engine that actually wants to leave the car behind!

We don't want world class drivers having to exist in Bernie's strange world of "the show"; forced to race to artificial delta's, whether it is to save fuel or because of silly tyres or because the FIA has painted the Sun pink and thinks we can't see it.

10

@ quade...you are absolutely right. there are those who would deny you the right to say what you said and classify you as a 'moaner'. may the progressives win out in this argument. F1 does need improvement......

11

Why is It so hard to believe that not everybody believes that taking downforce off is the panacea and that not everybody wants F1 to become a more powerful version of formula ford? Especially when indycars have rear wings the size of parachutes and the racing is closer and better than it has ever been in F1-- even in the sixties.

12

What? This survey must be totally flawed! As someone like myself who is 33 years old and been watching f1 for almost 25 years and been to many live races with different engines I find those simplistic stats dumbfounding to say the least.

I couldn't quite believe the sheer lack of atmosphere (live) at Melbourne when the v6 turbo came in.

F1 has been very contrived in recent years but at least there was the amazing sound, something so fantastic you wouldn't hear from anything else to make it a spectacle of the senses and worth the price of admission alone!

I believe those days are long gone but don't ignore what used to make f1 so good!

13

Your not alone Tim it was the sound that got me hooked on F1

14

@ tim w....a 'minority' is by defintion 'small'.

15

NickH, I'd like to see a simple starting point poll about state of changes at this point myself.

1. It's perfect as is.

2. It needs immediate improvement and changes.

16

NickH, a small minority. It was closer than you thought though, wasn't it?

17

@ aveli

The people happy with the current state of F1 are the minority, as illustrated by James' poll. You are the minority.

18

you are just one fan and they are more than you.

19

If you just decrease downforce the cars will be very slow in the corners and fast down the straights. The last thing we need is to have a who- can- go - fastest down a straight competition. The cars need to be challenging to drive all the time, and the only way to achieve that is to make them faster in the corners and to give them so much power as to be virtually uncontrollable even with high levels of grip.

20

look back in time and you'll see that f1 has always been about efficiency.

they make the lightest most streamline car to use the least amount of fuel to go fastest.

21

But, with the aero we have and have had for a long time, it makes following close nearly impossible. I'm all for increasing mechanical grip, or using safe ground effects that don't impact close racing.

And, as I said, I'd prefer to see drivers fighting for grip in corners. To me, it really shows the skill of car control.

You said, "The cars need to be challenging to drive all the time, and the only way to achieve that is to make them faster in the corners and to give them so much power as to be virtually uncontrollable even with high levels of grip."

But, they're not challenging to drive. Many (including current and former drivers) have said as much. Giving them more power is fine, but if taking away bits of aero is just as effective at making them uncontrollable. Why not try it?

22

That and make the cars much much more powerful.

People die in motorsports all the time, they have gone too far making it safe.

I don't see people not racing the TT just because you may die... that's the damn reason why people do it.

23

are you serious? the drivers have all decided to have a canopy over their heads..

they want to limit the risks so if you really want the drivers to decide, they have decided.

24

@Mes

A human life is a sad thing to waste no matter what. I am not in disagreement with that.

What I am saying is, ANYONE in a race track knows the risks. I myself have been in motorcycle accidents had both my legs broken and my arm. I know that it's not entertaining watching people die I am not stupid.

Now a racing driver wants to go as fast as possible and win, hence why people race a Dakar and a TT race. Even a Red Bull air race and yes Nascar and also drag racing. Safety should not take president on what type of racetrack the cars should race on, a car will go as fast as it is driven.

What I am saying is let the driver dicide how he wants to race and how fast he wants to go, Do Not limit the driver with fuel regulations and terrible tyres, a rev limit etc.

If people die they can choose to go slower!

25

Badly phrased, but 'danger' does appeal to riders/drivers... nobody wants to see death, but without any danger at all, where is the drama? F1 drivers of old are hailed as 'gladiators' because they faced enormous danger, put in day to day terms, who hasn't driven their road car too fast and nearly crashed as a result... it gives you a buzz, it's just not PC to admit it.

26

@johnbo I find that a disgraceful comment. I've seen possibly the greatest of all time die. Wonderful and talented characters like Jules, kids burnt to death, and just far far too many taken before their time. I saw ZERO entertainment in it and am glad safety has been improved dramatically.

I wonder how you would feel if someone like you was hoping to see one of your family members die in the name of entertainment? I feel a rethink as to how you get your kicks is in order.

27

Plus 100,000,000,000.

Visible (by which I mean obvious) display of car control and opportunities to overtake on-track by means other than DRS/push to pass and similar gimmicks; spectacle; visible (or aural) distinction between the cars; road relevance, and in that order, are the things many fans crave. Berger clearly understands this.

The aerodynamic evolution of F1 racing cuts against these traits. I say again: Eliminate wings, period (note that I believe that this should apply across single-seat racing, including Indycar). That can't happen, in part because of a perceived (marketing driven? Bragging rights driven) need to produce the fastest possible lap time; aero downforce is the best way to get that. But if that turns the racing into sleeping pill, what's the point? Better to just have two days of single-car time trials and decide the winner based on lowest aggregate time.

Forget lap times. Take the wings and diffusers OFF, ban them period. If the fans see racers deciding the contest by means of what David Hobbs calls their "attachments," wrestling their cars into submission, the lap times won't matter.

One more thing. When he came into office, Jean Todt spoke of establishing Commissioners for the various categories and FIA Championships and that these Commissioners would have regulatory authority over the various series. That idea should be implemented and Berger seems to allude to it here, consciously or not.

28

Toto Wolff, with the Mercedes star on his chest, says that Formula 1 is really interesting

-------------------------------

Actually Wolff said that Mercedes dominance is bad for the sport and is also bad for the brand as the team would become villains like Red Bull.

In another article Wolff also urged the fans not to romantise the past as the past had dominant teams too but ultimately, the competition caught up.

29

You do know that people are perfectly capable of saying one thing and doing things that are contrary to what they have said. Bottom line: the manufacturers should not make the rules. All rules should be engineered with the show and the fan in the grandstand in mind; and this is very difficult to achieve when teams and manufacturers only look at rules as a vehicle through which they can gain an advantage for themselves.

30

They have influence, maybe too much at the moment, but I think it is correct that they have some say.

31

@TimW, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the teams effectively make the rules -- at least in some cases.

32

LukeC, bottom line, the manufacturers do not make the rules. The FIA make the rules and the teams do get a say, but to say they make the rules is incorrect.

33

I'm not anti- Wolf or anything, but I'm pretty sure that if it came to the crunch and a rule was proposed to improve the sport, but which would disadvantage Mercedes he would likely say "no". It's human nature, which is why the teams should not be so influential when it comes to making changes meant to rescue a sport which is, let's face it, in a lot of trouble.

34

@ LukeC

But Wolff hasn't done much contractually to what he has said.

Because of the team's dominance, he has tried to let his drivers race it out.

Also he said if the team were simply looking out for themselves he would have blocked the token system for future seasons

35

Do you believe everything that comes out of Toto's mouth? Saying and sprouting stuff is one thing, actually doing something about it is another.

If he said Mercedes dominance is bad for the sport, then he should have provided engines to RBR to make it more interesting as an example. It's much like Lewis when he used to say he could never win like Sebastian because it'd be too boring yet when the idea came around to give RBR engines he shut it down because he was afraid of the competition.

Ultimately, every team principal has their own self interests their main priority even if the sport suffers from it.

36

Never has a post been so true!

37

@ Pete

But Wolff also said that if the team were simply looking out for themselves then Mercedes would have blocked the token system for future seasons.

As for why Lewis said he didn't want to give Red Bull engines, well we would have been contradicting the boss if he said otherwise.

38

Agree with Berger 100%, in order to see something attractive, the sport needs excitement -------> competition -------> parity.

He is right without Max spicing the midfield up, I would have switched off after mmm..... lap 2 just as I did pre-max. it can not be that my younger nephews and nieces don't understand why their uncle will get up early in the morning to watch the Japanese GP and worse don't even ask who won!!

39

Haha well now max didn't splice the field up he just pitted early and finished pretty much where he started every race.

F1 is boring. At least in 2000-2004 the cars where low on fuel on the edge pretty much all the time.

Now it's just quali and then wait till the next quali unless it rains or someone blows a tire

40

We do need to put the emphasis more on the driver, however engineers and designers do their work to make the best car which is then faster and normally easier to drive.

The main problem is we have too much grip and too much of that comes from aerodynamics. The cars are too sensitive and have to run 2 seconds apart to keep their downforce levels up and their tyres in shape.

There's no magic bullet but fans want to see wheel to wheel and carbon fibre being rubbed races. But also when someone scampers off into the lead it never looks like they are driving a level above - the tracks are too easy on mistakes, a commanding drive doesn't really look like it anymore.

We have had a dominant car, possibly the most dominant car ever (at least in that last 20 years) over the past two seasons but its proved pretty impossible to follow or overtake the same car due to reliance on aero grip and the associated wake.

Tie into that a move away from Free to Air (A disaster long term for a sport that people in general don't compete in before following the sport a la football, rugby, cricket etc.), races in un-inspiring overseas Tilkedromes (Im not a complete Tilke basher, some are quite good - Austin, the return to Mexico, Sepang, Bahrain all not bad tracks) and theres plenty to be down about.

41

Dont forget brake-by-wire which took the control of the brake pedal from the drivers and handed it to the computer.

42

Plus-2000,0000,0000.

43

Many here have said many things many times - this is my list based on hot topics or obvious issues
1) Engine noise - doesn't matter so much to me. Fine with the way it is but not against change. Won't change the racing so not very important to me. If people want more noise when watching the same boring race then turn on the washing machine in the same room. The race will still be boring.
2) Current aerodynamic spec does not allow cars to follow each other and so is not good for racing. This very obviously needs changing
3) DRS is not real racing - kill it (or limit its use massively to 5 times a race)
4) Fuel-saving: always there to an extent but it's affecting the show these days. Rules can certainly be changed here and engine consumption measurement techniques can be changed here so that going at full tilt most/all of the time becomes possible and the manufacturers still get their eco headline fuel usage figures
5) Tyres - if people can't race because it hurts the tyres then what's the point in running the race. Another no brainer for change!
6) Penalising drivers who try to overtake: some drivers go for it, it doesn't work out and then there's a penalty. Sometimes justified, sometimes not but probably makes some drivers think twice about having a go
7) Allowing drivers to "own" a corner - having fought so hard just to get alongside a leading car, a pursuer can be simply edged off the road by the leading car because he is somehow allowed to own the corner. I believe that some changes here would lead to some great snaking battles through corners and more of the overtakes and racing that we would like to see. Some tie-in with point #6 above
8) Remove as many driver aids as is practical. Personally I don't believe that the engine should be mapping differently for different corners or 100 adjustments should be done to the car every lap. The car setup should be more or less set by end of qualifying and the driver should have to deal with it in the race. Compromises of set-up for corners, straights, kerbs, whatever for each driver could lead to more variance on race day and removing aids should promote pure driving skill that everyone wants to see

44

Maybe one more thing too - steel brake rotors.

It's nigh on impossible to do all your overtaking 50m from a corner. Heck, what do they use even the 100m braking marker for?

Give the drivers more time to perform overtakes and more overtaking will occur.

Having said that, I expect it'd be as popular as a fart in a space suit to the drivers…

45

"DRS is not real racing – kill it (or limit its use massively to 5 times a race)"

Not a bad suggestion to limit it's use - Might add a bit of strategy 🙂

46

Well the poor fellow is getting on. So I assume he probably falls asleep alot while sucking on a Wurther's original toffee in his chequered flag carpet slippers ????

47

That car is from the days when Ferraris were proper red!

48

Proper Red ????

49

Off subject sort of.....but what a great looking F1 car that Berger is driving

50

Yes, that the other things that's been missing for a while: F1 cars that actually look like F1 cars. Fingers crossed that 2017 delivers. In fact all I want is good- looking cars. Don't worry about bigger diffusers or cars that are 6 seconds quicker, just deliver well-proportioned, attractive cars that look like F1 cars and that people won't make fun of.

51

Yes indeed, make the engine last one entire season. It is the distance of One Le Mans Endurance race. If Porsche manages to do this, with a vastly more complex V4 hybrid, then F1 must sure be up to the challenge as well.

Also, it is frustrating to witness how LMP1 manages to reinvent itself with new engines every year while the engine concept of F1 gets frozen for a couple of years. As a result, if one manufacturer gets it right, we end up with three years of monotomy. Wake me up in 2018. It is WEC all the way. See you in Spa, Mark!

52

Oliver a couple of points. LMP1 hybrids are not "vastly more complex" than F1 hybrids, they are less complex. They produce less power, use more fuel and are heavier. Making an F1 engine last an entire season would result in a much heavier and less powerful engine than we have now, how would this be better? Nico Hulkenberg and his pals covered 5383 km while winning last years Le Mans 24 hr. this around 1000 km less than the F1 cars will run in races this year, plus there is around another 4000 km of practice and qualifying on top of that, so not really the same.

53

Toyota's WEC Hybrid produces 1,000bhp

54

We hail Bernie as a great negotiator and salesman. But he just sold control of the sport and regs to get these team's signature on the agreement till 2020. And he gave them buckets of money too. Anyone could sell that deal. Now we are here. F1 is paralyzed and becoming irrelevant. All hail POOs! Hybrid is the best. Repeat. Repeat. Don't shout it, I can hear you just fine, these aren't V10s you know.

55

Your right dude.

2020 stuck with hybrid and Moto GP sounds amazing with just 4 cylinders...

56

For F1 to suceed, may I suggest:

Take the best drivers in the world

Put them in the most powerful cars

Take away the downforce

Bin DRS

Bring back refuelling

Take away the engineers ability to manage everything

Race on the best race circuits

Make it free too view

57

100% agree!

58

It looks as though there is quite a demand for a sort of formula ford with more powerful engines. I think it would be good to have a championship featuring such cars in conjuction with F1 and GP 2, or even as a feature category. It wouldn't be F1 or a pinnacle of anything but the racing might be quite good, but only if the cars were all identical. The problem is, if you allow allow teams to bulid their own chassis and engines you are bound to get performance gaps, which means no, or very little, racing and overtaking. Sound familiar?

59

Plus 500,000000000000000000000000000000

60

"Remove engineers controlling the race!"

"Bring back refuelling!"

Make up your mind!!

61

@F1ONA

I absolutely do want to see more action on track, I just don't think refueling is he answer that everyone is looking for.

If all the cars are lighter, how will that increase the action? Ok lap times might drop a few seconds, but it will be the same for everyone. If everyone is effected the same way, how does thst increase the action? Or are you one who claims they can spot the different in laps seperated by a few seconds when watching on TV?

Personally, I would rather see the fuel flow restriction lifted, and see teams make a strategy decision between running a heavier car that burns more fuel, or a lighter car which burns less fuel.

I just see refueling as another gimmick to falsely spice up the action.

As far as REDUCE THAT ABILITY, that to me seems as probable as "get rid of all the guns." You can't go back in time and un-invent the the F1 engineer. At a track that holds tests, you can't magically erase all the info collected over the years saying, "we know you know this track very well, but you arent allowed to use any of your previous knowledge when setting up your car." That's just not going to happen. Do you propose F1 teams start hiring dumber engineers?

The whole concept of "ban this, ban that..." is rediculous. This is competition at the highest level, the rules are not their to be respected, they are there to be pushed and broken. That is the very nature of human competition. Any attempt to ban engineers from doing this or that will simply result in teams wasting resources figuring out ways to circumvent the ban. A better approach is to mould be rules In a way that the offensive practice simply isn't worth while.

Also, on test tracks, driver knowledge plays a huge role, especially at Catalunya. Some of the guys on the grid have thousands upon thousands of laps there. They know the track inside and out. They know every bump, every line, every alternative line, every passing spot, and how to defend those passing spots. No driver will do something at Catalunya which hasn't been done before. So, along with removing engineer's ability to refer to their notes on how to set a car up at a familiar track, would you propose the drivers be given a brain wipe before Spain in order to spice things up a bit?

I just....its 2016, you can't un-invent the engineer, you can't un-invent CFD, you can't un-invent the computer, you can't delete decades of aquired knowledge.

I mean, Max Verstappen can sit in his living room, on his personal sim rig (which is quite accurate), and put in 300 laps of Catalunya before lunch on Tuesday, then maybe knock off another 300-400 laps later that night...all in socks and sweatpants. Obviously a sim is no substitute for the real thing, but those hours upon hours upon hours do add up to a difference maker. Are you going to tell Max, or any other driver "playing video games which simulate F1 in your spare time is forbidden." Like, c'mon.

62

My point Twitch:

Refuelling allows varying STRATEGY with light, fast, more chuckable cars = more action.

Engineers will fine tune the car to near perfection and manage everything if you let them. An example would be tracks where testing is permitted generally have processional races as the engineers have honed their set-ups. REDUCE THAT ABILITY and there are more variables = more action

Don't know about you but I'd like to see more on track action......

63

Well, "falling in sleep of the TV from F1" has been a meme in Austria since the seventies. I'm sure Gerhard has heard it before.

64

270bhp to 160kg

We need

That's over 1600hp per ton.

So we need that in F1 damn it!

65

Just checked and the minimum weight of an F1 car is 702kg including the driver. So assuming the top teams are at or around this figure then the power to weight ratio with a qualifying level of fuel on board would be around 1285 BHP per tonne!

66

160kg plus the rider remember. F1 is currently around 1300 BHP per tonne, so not that far away.

67

NickH, apparently "Skinny" Seb Vettel only weighs 58kg!

68

NickH, Lorenzo weighs 66kg, Lewis weighs 68.

69

The riders aren't exactly porkers though are they, Pedrosa makes Massa look like a tank !

70

Johnbo, the Hybrid element is there when you need it, unless your in a McLaren of course!

71

Johnbo, the figures for the MotoGP bike is a dry weight as well. I think if your looking at an F1 car as it goes out for qualifying it will be around the 775kg mark assuming 900bhp a 70kg driver and 5kg of fuel, thats 1160 BHP per tonne. The Moto GP bike would weigh around 230 with rider so I make that around 1170 BHP per tonne, even closer!

72

Btw you can't use the hybrid the whole lap... its gotta charge dude

73

Well no thats not true, the cars weigh around 800-850ish with driver and fuel so that's about 1000hp per ton. Not 1600

74

Yet when they can't educate their equine keeping that method,

they assume a dumb or untrainable steed.

75

Ahh yes, the good old days! Every single race an edge of the seat thriller from start to finish, no single team domination, no races won by huge margins and of course no fuel saving whatsoever......

76

True. Hamilton, Vettel, Schumi - Jim Clark won an awful lot of races, and both of his World Championships, in the same way.

That doesn't mean that engineers (and I'd add drivers and fans) shouldn't re-examine solutions from earlier periods. There was a fascinating column on just this issue in a recent issue of Racecar Engineering. The fact is we don't quite know how a modern, high-powered wingless car, built to the state of the art, would perform simply because no one's tried it. Why not give it a shot?

And if that sounds strange and a waste of time, remember: The Rear Engine Revolution revisited a once discredited idea. Executed well, Cooper won consecutive world titles. Executed better, as by Ferrari and BRM, and then brilliantly, as by Lotus, a new orthodoxy emerged. The same could be said for four-valve cylinder heads pre-Cosworth.

77

Rudy, I appreciate your efforts, but have to disagree on the lap time thing. If F1 were slower than the feeder series it would make the championship meaningless. A big draw of F1 for me is the knowledge that those cars will get round that track faster than anything else, lose that and you lose a big part of what makes F1 special.

78

Well said Rudy Pyatt

79

Ah ha! I just paid an online subscription to Motor Sport to do it, but I found the DSJ column I referred to. It's his "Continental Notes" of February 1970, available in the Motor Sport archives. I won't do more than cite to it here, because I don't want to violate copyright. James, if you and Alex have access, perhaps you could have a read (and please delete/mod this post if it's out of line).

80

Jerks was a mentor to me at the start of my career

When I was at Autosport from 1992-94 I brought him over from Motor Sport and we did half a dozen great interviews with leading F1 figures

Great man, albeit eccentric to say the least!!

81

Tim, the status argument is understandable, especially given the way F1 has presented itself post-Ecclestone consolidating power and building it up to the marketing and financial success it is. But prior to that time, it simply wasn't true that F1 was either the fastest or most advanced form of motorsport.

It took a long time for F1 to catch up with the original CanAm on horsepower, technology, and lap times. And even as the DFV was taking F1 by storm, the supposedly "antique" four-valve Offenhauser, at 2.6 liters, was putting out more than 950bhp in its turbocharged form. Of course, the CanAm 917-10 and 917-30 Porsches were also putting out about 1000bhp during the same period. And the NASCAR crowd was lapping Daytona and Taladega at greater than 200mph during the same period.

And none of these, or F1, can match the speed and power of an NHRA Top Fuel dragster or funny car.

Some may read this and think I'm wearing rose tinted glasses. Not true. The history is there: Denis Jenkinson wrote a column in Motorsport Magazine making these observations, and did so in 1970. If I can find that column online and provide a link to it, I'll do so. Fascinating reading.

Some may read my remarks as F1 bashing, perhaps demeaning to F1 by comparing it with "lesser" series; of heresy in any event. But this isn't about bashing F1. I love F1, but I'm also ecumenical. I love all forms of racing.

But I plead guilty to two counts of heresy. First, I don't buy the notion that you can't question success, what used to be called "arguing with succes." Stated differently, F1 is NOT ENTITLED to be the last word in speed, technology and power simply because it is F1, or even because (by such measures as back up the assertion) of its oft-quoted status as "the world's most popular form of motorsport." To say otherwise, especially by claiming that it has always held these three distinctions, IS viewing things through rose colored glasses.

Second, I believe that F1 is too insular and too contemptuous of, and condescending toward, other series, a view that perhaps includes parts of the fan base. Certainly that came across from most of the teams at the four Indy USGPs I attended.

I believe, heretically, that F1 can be the best series WITHOUT having to be the fastest and most technologically advanced series. As history shows, F1 HAS played catch-up and rediscovered or adopted (and it must be admitted, often improved upon) techniques and technology long in use by other series. Those series did, can, and should learn from F1. F1 did, can, and should learn from other series, even from something as lowly as FFord, or as deceptively simple as drag racing.

82

Rudy, I see your point but ultimately Formula one has to retain it's position as the fastest series in the world. Significantly reducing the down force levels would drop them below GP2, LMP1, Indycar and many other series.

83

@TimW

+1 🙂

no fuel saving whatsoever……

You omitted to mention that they ran flat out from lights to flag - they certainly never had to nurse their tyres. Oh and the summers were sunnier and the days were longer and the beers colder and etc etc....

84

Kenneth, well I assume that roughly half the population would prefer grid boys!

85

@ tim w...the grid girls were in fact girls. what has happened to the world when we now have 'grid boys'. that is so close to the bottom of the barrel....... and i make no apologies whatsoever to anyone for making that comment.

86

Your 100% correct.

Looking after fuel and tyres is killing f1 so badly.

87

The grid girls were prettier, the tracks were all great and Bernie was an honest man.....

88

Yes and nobody lapped cars twice or often won in,in minutes not seconds

89

Of course they didn't, and all the teams had plenty of money and there were no pay drivers.....

90

I definitely remember those days...strange thing though, I can't seem to find replays of any races from "those days".

What I do find is a lot...I mean A LOT...of races from the last 40 years that were extremely precessional, leader lapping the whole field, not much overtaking (at least not on TV, we're too busy watching the leader set hotlaps to bother with overtaking. Look at him go, left, right, left!!!), and one team completely dominating a season and/or era.

Yes, there were some amazing moments. Many of the early ones simply involved faster cars desperately trying to overtake a much slower overall, but fast in a straight line, turbo car. The vast majority of the unpredictablility that people drool over was due to the atrocious riabililty. If no one blew up, it was usually pretty easy to pick the winner on the grid.

F1 doesn't need to go back to anything. It needs to move forward. Problem is most F1 fans are old farts who resist change and progression like its the plague while being blinded by their yesteryear goggles.

91

Good points Twitch, I loved F1 way back when, and still love it now. There have always been people who claim to be fans but then spend a lot of time slating the sport, and there have always been people like me, who realise that perfection isn't possible and there will always be problems and boring races, but there is no alternative to F1.

92

Cars on low fuel "refueling" era where so exiting to Watch go around a track.

A light car is always so good to watch, drive and race with

93

Just to clarify, I don't really mean that F1 should ignore its past. That is a dangerous approach in any endeavour. I say F1 fans need to forget the past because it seems like too many people are focused on "how good things were when they were younger," when in reality, they weren't really that good. It just seemed that much better when you were a kid, because everything was cooler when you were a kid.

Obviously people are resistant to change, I too am sometimes. I just wish more of us would make a concious effort to not dwell on the past so much, instead focusing on moving forward and progressing, while still remembering our roots and doing what is possible to maintain the integrety of those roots.

94

Hush you! With all your reasoned facts and arguments - EVERYTHING was better "When I was a lad" Didn't you know? 🙂

95

The races were processional and the cars had half the downforce of the current cars. In fact, just today I saw the 1969 Australian GP from lakeside and the cars had no real downforce to speak of, and yet I don't recall seeing any real overtaking' other than lapping. That's why I no longer find the " lets strip a bit more downforce off and the racing will be fantastic" argument convincing anymore.

96

Resisting change is part of the human condition, as it seems is looking at everything that happened when you were younger, healthier, and more attractive through rise tinted spectacles. As you say F1 had some great moments back then, just as it does now, and some boring moments, but we don't get the high farce like we used to. I remember a race at Imola in the turbo years when one after another all the leaders ran out of fuel on the last lap!

97

Let's not get those stats confused! Saying 30.88% of people is the next highest choice is misleading...

Nearly 70% of people polled wanted louder engines than we have. That's the important part.

The other 30% are clearly dummkopfs and should be ignored. It's thinking like theirs that got us in this mess.

98

Remember that one of the options was for the engines to be a bit louder, this is what we will have with the wastegate pipes, so those people are effectively voting for no (more) change and should really be lumped in with the "happy as it is" group, or "Dummkopfs" as you so insultingly called them...

99

67.89% of all statistics are made up.

100

@Matthew

Nearly 70% of people polled wanted louder engines...

And that is what you/we will get - so what are you complaining about?

101

"Let’s not get those stats confused!"

But that's what stats are for 🙂

102

Can you explain how louder exhaust will make the racing better? If you turn the sound of your TV off, will you notice any difference? Is the sound what stops you from falling asleep?

Or are you someone who watches F1 primarily for the sound, and not the driver skill. Perhaps you prefer grid fashion over overtaking? Glitz and glamour more than racecraft?

103

You obviously have never been to a race.

Gp2 sounds more exciting than f1.

And f1 is meant to be the big exciting race of the weekend... it makes it BORING when are cars sound dull.

104

Reading this article I swear an almighty aaaaahhssshhhhaaaddddaap! Just swoll up inside of me........

Berger drove during my favourite era mid 80's to mid 90's was in a championship winning car but was a no.2...... Always!

He drove in an era where the disparity between cars was huge. McLaren Honda and nowt Williams and zip, Williams/Benetton Renault and nadda! a near 10yr stretch of single team/engine dominance - i don't recall any outcry for change!

Like Montoya he should do what he does and be happy. Maybe the question should be how would HE manage in today's cars or how competitive would he be today - would he still be a #2?.

I try to stay away from F1 during the break,, I only popped in to see if anything was happening - Berger ggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrah!

105

One of my all time favourite F1 quotes is Piquet re Berger

"Berger is the most impressive driver in F1. He never did anything, and is still there winning a lot of money."

106

it is interesting is it not C63 to hear all these people

complaining' about what they see as the current problems besetting F1. should they all refrain from putting their POV?

107

@kenneth

respond to your ‘ad hominem’ attack...

Eh? Attack? Really?

Either I'm not explaining myself or you are deliberately misunderstanding me. So, I will have another go. I didn't say people aren't entitled to express an opinion, or that anyone who criticises F1 is a moaner. It's the constant never ending stream of negativity from certain posters - you know what I mean - they moan and moan about everything; PU's too quiet, bring back refuelling, tyres too delicate, fuel flow is stupid, GP2 times are too close, engines sound better etc etc etc . If it's so bad why do they continue to watch something which they find so distasteful ? Personally, I find it odd - as I said, I wouldn't keep doing something I didn't like. It would appear that you don't agree with me. That's fine, whether you agree with me or not is quite low on my list of things to worry about - as in not on the list at all 🙂

108

That's fair enough Kenneth, we all want to see competition. The thing is there were races last year with real competition, and from memory you didn't enjoy them either.

109

@ tim w...my very last comment to you on this . if you read my posts they would convey a distillation of what a lot of people have been and were saying. watching races that are, to a great extent, completely predictable is not fulfilling. you may enjoy it but you surely would've noticed that the great majority feel the same as i do. the WC's were as predictable as the sun emerging at 5.00am tomorrow morning. i want to see real competition, simple but not really evident.

110

@kenneth

i do think that you are seeking a get out here...

Seeking a get out from what? I've expressed an opinion that you don't agree with - no more, no less.

111

Kenneth, I am not at all trying to prevent freedom of expression, nor do I have a problem with people having a different viewpoint to mine. I am just questioning why anyone would continue to watch a sport that they clearly don't enjoy. I have been a regular visitor to this site for around 4 years now, how many positive posts do you think that you have written in that time? When was the last time you watched a race and thought "that was great, I really enjoyed watching that"? If you wish to continue watching F1 and being unhappy, then coming on here and telling us how terrible it all is, that is your perogative, go ahead fill your boots, but obviously people are going to wonder why you do it to yourself!

112

@tim w...with comments like that it isn't possible to have a rational debate. i have watched and enjoyed F1 for longer than you've probably been around and i still watch it and i always will. you just don't want to believe that there are some people that have a different viewpoint. i happen to think that there are many things that could be done better and ,yes, some people have said that they don't watch it anymore but continue to comment...so what? if it offends you then just ignore it. much like i am going to do in future when i see posts like yours and C63's who simply don't the concept of freedom od expression. i'm sure james and the mods know what to do if it gets out of hand.

113

Kenneth and others, if a football team loses every single week then the fans will stop going, but if they only win one game in 10 that gives the fans a good day here and there, and might just make some of them want to go back. There is a certain type of poster on this site who never says anything positive about the sport at all, and clearly enjoy precisely nothing about F1. I think maybe some people could have a look at their writings on this site, and if it is a never ending barrage of negativity, then maybe ask yourself why you put yourself through this every other week? I don't think F1 is perfect, (it never has been) but there are plenty of things that I do enjoy, if there really is nothing in it for you, then the "stop watching" solution seems valid to me.

114

@ C63...i do think that you are seeking a get out here. yes, some people find certain areas of F1 to be less than satisfactory...so what? gerhard berger was quite explicit in his observations and i guess that you have him down as a moaner? same with bernie E who said that F`1 is a crock of 'merde' so is he the 'chief moaner' of all!!! i presume that you have sent him a note and told him to butt right out. give me a break here. yes, we all get it, you are incessantly moaning about people expressing their own opinions ad infinitum. do as we all do, either get right in there or ignore. the choice is all yours, but stop moaning for a change and smell the roses or whatever......

115

@kenneth

it is interesting is it not...

First of all a great many of the comments on this thread aren't complaining. They are countering the complaining. And second, if you would care to re-read my post - I said it found it strange that people , such as yourself, who profess not to like the sport, bother to watch it and then go to the trouble of finding a website, logging in and then telling everyone how much they didn't like it. If I don't like something I don't do it - at least so far as is possible whilst maintaining good relations with Mrs C63 and operating within the law 🙂 Why do you pay good money (to Sky) for a product that you profess not to enjoy - it doesn't make sense to me . If you stopped subscribing, and could find enough like minded people to join you, then that is far and away the most likely way to get the change you say you desire.

116

On the football analogy, C63. Yes, some fans do pack it in when there team is consistently useless, badly run, financial struggle.. etc.

However, that's an exception to the rule. The vast majority carry on going regardless, and enjoy a good moan down the pub afterwards! Similarities to what we're seeing on here and just like how johnbo explains.

117

@NickH

The world would be a very peaceful...

Indeed it would 🙂

118

@Johnbo

I was at Goodwood last year - I didn't see an F1 hybrid - are you sure about that ?

As for your football analogy - funnily enough I was chatting to one of my clients the other day, and he was telling me how he is a die hard fan of some relatively minor club (can't remember which, but it wasn't a premiership side). Anyway, apparently he had been a season ticket holder for over 20 years and he gave it up. He said it was making him miserable, watching his side play badly, losing all the time etc so he stopped going. He told me he wished he had done it years ago as he's much happier now. Maybe there is a lesson there for all of us.

119

@c63...i shall respond to your 'ad hominem' attack later. what you are saying is that anyone who offers up a criticism of F1, is, by your definition, a 'moaner' as that question was posed by james/alex and you want to shut down the freedom to express an opinion by all who responded with ideas? just who do you think you are. so you think F1 is perfect? if not then you are a 'moaner'..no?

120

The world would be a very peaceful place if everyone went by your logic C63.

121

Hey C63.

I pay sky money for the F1 I do not enjoy because.

I am a massive fan of F1, I go to SSilverstone even year.

I hate these stupid engines but like a football fan I will not sit out while my team looses.

So I will keep going to Silverstone and watchig f1 and complain about F1.

Need refueling back, the cars look stupid on full fuel tanks, the first half of the race they are saving fuel and no racing is happening.

Hybrid is making the cars way to heavy and they look heavy around corners, this is putting pressure on tyre companies.

The whole show is hampered by quiet engines, and the tone of the engines, there really is a HUGE difference.

I was at good wood last year, we had a v8, a old v12 and v10 and then a burnout from the new hybrid.... not impressive.

122

Alex, I think it's a bit disingenuous to portray the poll result as 50/50. The other choices in between were 'a bit louder' and 'a lot louder' if I recall it correctly.

With this in mind, we can safely say only 30% of JAF1 readers like the current noise levels and the vast majority of people - 70% - would prefer louder F1 cars.

Statistically, 60% is enough to justify a change of specs. Conduct the poll again next year and we'll see if the second tale pipe has done enough to increase the sound volume.

123

The problem is not just the lack of noise in total but its frequency. With fuel flow limitations there is an irresistible urge to reduce the engine's rpm. Lower rpm = less fuel flow. No matter what configuration engine, one running at 10,000 rpm is not going to produce the volume or frequency of one running at 18,000 rpm.

Take look at the rpm display from cars in 2015 and compare them with the rpm of cars from prior years. Maybe I'm mistaken but over the last couple of years I seem to have observed ever decreasing displays of the engine's rpm compared to previous years, let's face it 10,000 rpm is not as "amazing" as 18,000 rpm to the viewers.

124

Yes, that's a very good point Gary.

If I recall, the new 1.6 V6 ICE were running at an average of 12,000 rpm while capable of going up to 15,000 rpm.

In retrospect, 18,000 rpm from the V8 era was probably still a little too loud, especially for the guys working in the garages. But something close to it would be great.

The Aus grand prix promoter reckon the cars will be 25% louder this year. Let's see. I'll go and find out in Singapore, so until then...

125

Tail pipe of course is what I meant. 🙂

126

A tail pipe will not make the v6 sound any better.

Why not a v12 1.6.... we had 1.5v12 back in the 60s

127

We have to decide what we want. should the cars be the stars or the drivers. If we want the drivers to be the stars then a spec series like Nascar would work. personally I want the cars to be almost undrivable no wings/ skinny long lasting tires

128

James and Alex:

Just a follow-on to the Commissioner issue: Has there been any inkling that Todt is revisiting that concept? I know Berger was chair of the FIA Singlseater Commission and that Stefano Domenicali is now. They've gotten F4 up and running as the bottom rung of the single seat ladder. F2 is being prepared. Given this progress, and the state of the Concorde Agreement, I'm curious as to how much room Domenicali has to operate with regard to F1.

129

I asked about that

It was felt that this person would have too much power and confuse the picture

130

"It was felt that this person would have too much power and confuse the picture"

Ah, Commissioner Ecclestone!

131

Thanks, James.

132

Maybe he should be watching porn instead of F1

133

He did once say in an interview that he would like to be in porn. This was in 1997, so he was ready in his late thirties.

134

Another team boss using the current poor racing to push his own agenda. Really forcing honda to supply 2 teams for 2015/2016.

I fail to see how that would've helped the racing especially with how RB were bagging Renault. We almost saw renault leaving the sport last year because of RedBulls problem with them. Imagine if we had another team boss screaming the same about Honda. Could've seen them both walk out.

1 engine per season? What happens if 1 entrant has such a bad engine they had to use 11? You gonna shuffle them to the back of grid? that certainly got the best out of Mclaren did'nt it?

His suggestions sound ridiculous to me.

I do agree with him. Using a 2015 engine in 2016 should not be allowed. But with the engine costs and resources theres not much you can do now. Should've been more aware of the cost risk against these hybrids in the first place. Then they'd still be driving around on more affordable engines.

135

I definitely agree that the power should be taken out of the manufacturers hands but let them have a non voting rep on the council that decides the rules (a team member from every team with equal rights not based on prize money or budget), obviously no colluding between the teams.

It should be a case of here are the rules (with due consideration to the teams point of view, tyre supplier etc), comply with them or quit F1. What other motorsport allows the manufacturers to dictate the rules, I'm not sure.

I do not have any real solutions (some of the 2017 ones are a step forward) as to the problems in F1 but the following could help improve the spectacle:

- more mechanical grip could be great

- not restricting engine development, I think if they open that up for a period of 5 years, any new manufacturer would get unrestricted development within their first 5 years in F1

- remove driver aides or engineers telling them what to do, study the data at night in debriefs but not through FP 1, 2, 3 and race

- refuelling so drivers are not coasting to the finish or conserving engines

- force manufacturers to supply a min number of teams, sorry Honda, I mean Dennis

- provide incentives for new manufacturers to come in - would live to see Audi come in and partner with RB

- distribute money to teams evenly then extra based on number of points plus for every year in the F1 comp add 100,000

- have a single driver steward for every race so we get some form of consistency

- enforce track limits more aggressively even in FP 1, 2 and 3, penalise by adding 5 secs to race time or pit stop

- restrict radio to driver to only emergencies relating to the car and track plus when to come in for a pit stop, don't give a commentary on other drivers whereabouts/going ons like we heard with ROS and HAM

- allow more practise time

I'm attending the Australian GP and hope Honda and Renault have made some significant horsepower gains so we have an entertaining race otherwise I'll be content with the V8 Supercars and the speed comparison test.

136

James,

Like Gerhard Berger former Ferrari and McLaren driver Stefan Johansson recently suggested a lot of changes how to improve F1. There was a lot of good ideas he had in my opinion...

Have you read them?

And what are you're thoughts about them?

Do you think there will be any big changes? Bernie and Todt seems to be powerless...

PS. As Gerhard I also often fall asleep nowadays watching F1. Actually I decided to not start watching this season until Monaco and that's cause the raise in pay-per-view charge because I don't think it's worth the money anymore. And I think I'm not alone in that opinion...

137

Thanks for the heads-up on those articles, Mike - a good read

138

Thanks yes.

Out of interest what country are you in?

139

Sweden. And for your knowledge they raised the cost to watch F1 with over 40% for this season, so the tv-company aint making any favours for Bernie here 🙂

140

By the way, I seem to have real problems posting comments if I include blank lines. Has only started in last month or two. Never used to have the issues that others reported. Using Firefox on Linux if it's any help in diagnosis!

141

I think we only need rule stability, maybe with an engine equalization period, to let other teams catch up with Mercedes and get a competitive field. Continual rule changes lead to an uncompetitive field.

142

How about this for regulations ...

The car should fit in this box. Then provide box dimensions 🙂

143
Clarks4WheelDrift

Berger is spot on with most of his comments. Don't like the one engine per season though.

But, F1 doesn't need to be portrayed as completely broken and change everything though, or very little will actually be done...

144
Clarks4WheelDrift

2nd improve car following, 2015 was worse than 14 for Ham Ros overtakes...

145
Clarks4WheelDrift

F1 2015 and now is under control of Merc and Ferrari, the racing for victory was pathetic and if Ferrari can't match Merc, F1 will be in even deeper trouble with the FIA and Bernie powerless. Only recently, we had Merc V Ferrari V BMW V Renault V Toyota and Ford coming back in, plus there was no danger that a title sponsor wouldn't be found for an F1 team like McLaren! It needs these small changes to bring back the sport and the racing ASAP

146
Clarks4WheelDrift

Finally, it's ALL about improving the racing to improve the show on TV. The exhaust noise thing has nothing to do with the racing. It should be louder but shouldn't be used by Paddy as some sort of concession to his dominance and is distracting from the real solutions to better racing

147
Clarks4WheelDrift

...Start with the easiest, make Merc and Ferrari supply the same spec engine to all customers, including making the latest software available, engine updates etc. Merc should never be allowed to control, say Williams, to ensure they can make their first pit stop and exit way in the lead, lapping all customers most races. They should never make a massive spec leap in the final third of a season without supplying customers as well, even if they may change engines like Lotus in 2015. No team should be allowed to sell a year old engine without updates like Max and Carlos in 2016 as a last ditched stay in the sport or quit option. Unlike before, all current customers look like they have zero chance at innovation to allow even a single race victory. This should be a done deal by Todt, if F1 is to remain a sport and not manipulated fully by Merc and Ferrari

148

Clarkes, do Mercedes lap most of their customers? Lets have a look, below is a list of all the races last year and the number next to it is the number of Mercedes customer cars that were lapped in that race.

AUS, 2

MAL, 3

CHI, 1

BAH, 4

ESP, 3

MON, 1

CAN, 2

OST, 2

GBR, 1

HUN, 0

BRL. 0

ITA, 1

SIN, 0

JPN, 2

RUS, 0

USA, 0

MEX, 0

BRA, 6

ABU, 1

So we can see that the number of races in which "most" customers were lapped is 2.

149

First of all the radios need to come out of the cars so that the drivers are choosing when to come in for tyres. It would also mean that tweaks to this and that would need to be discussed with the team at the pit stop or on pit boards, it works in Moto GP !! . How many times to teams arrange for a driver to come in before the tyres are shot because they can slot them in to a clear bit of track, surley this is giving instructions to the driver. The only reason for a radio in the car should be for safety, where the clerk of the course can warn drivers of a hazard. The most exciting bit of F! these day's is when it rains and the driver makes the decision to come in.

it has to be more the drivers ability rather than how good the car is in order to provide the entertainment, cause that's what it is at the end of the day..entertainment !!

150

Ya, let's continue to increase censorship of radio communication...because we all know censorship works so well in all aspects of life.

I know, the FIA could come up with list of appropriate phrases. Teams would only be allowed to say the words on the script, any deviation would result in a penalty. ya, that sounds fantastic....

151

The idea would be that none of the teams have radios. Only the safety guys would have any communication with the drivers.

I totally agree with Mr Burger. In the days of Senna et al I would be up at daft o'clock to watch the fly away races live, but last yearI record all the races, purely so I could fast forward to anything considered exciting, not because I have lost my love of motorsport, but it seems the cars and the drivers aren't what they used to be........both laking charisma. Soon I realised, that I only needed to see what order they went round the first to know who won the race result.

152

I'm tired of overpowered cars like Red Bull and Mercedes. 2013 was the most boring season I've ever seen. Vettel won 9 races in a row and pretty much lead every lap of those races. Qualify was also boring all Vettel had to do was do one lap. There hasn't been an interesting Constructor's championship since 2009

153

So tell the other constructors to get the poop in group. Such a loser attitude to blame the winner for being too successful:

154

I agree with Gerhard's comment, cuz honestly I have fallen asleep too watching these season's races and then when I used to woke up the race usually use to end as expected a day before, see the point is nowadays the car's or u say manufacturers are racing, as a f1 fan and the viewer we want the drivers skill to be seen on track and honestly f1 needs a lot of alteration to make it competitive on track...

155

KISS - Keep it simple stupid! Just look back to the 70s and 80s when the racing was real exciting, there were no tire changes, no refueling and basic simple aerodynamics which allowed the cars to draft and pass. Also there was Bosworth supplying engines to all of the non manufacturing teams so engines did not play an issue.

156

How to improve the F1 spectacle?

1. More overtaking -Allow ground effect but reduce wings to 5 % - for trimming only

2. Remove all aerodynamic excrescences to make cars more attractive

3. Make tyres which can be driven flat out for entire race

4. cars should have 20kgs of fuel left at end of race - no refuelling

5. Pit radios for emergencies only

6. 5 points for fastest lap, 3 for second fastest, 1 for third fastest

7. Equitable distribution of money to all teams.

8. Large numbers on cars so we know who we are looking at and name of driver above steering wheel for those in car shots.

157

Now we need refueling and we need pit stops but...

Refueling should be back but just put a certain size tank in the car to make the cars lighter.

Pit stops need to be there for tires but there should not be a radio. driver presses button inside car when he feels he needs a tire change. BUT yes tires need to last longer and be pushed 100%

158

They should get rid of the flappy paddle gearboxes and give them a manual and a foot clutch.

159

They should go back to drum brakes too!!

160

Obviously Gerhard is right. It's puzzling how so many drivers and insiders can complain about these ridiculous tires and still the sport doesn't change.

161

@ bernd....how very true. BE has now come out and said he agrees with the drivers but in the next sentence says he backs pirelli!!! who's idea was it to build in thermal degradation to enforce pit stops and make drivers drive to a delta?

162

I'm still not getting suspicious when my comments don't get posted, though I do take care writing them and checking them over. Just saying.

163

He makes a good point regarding MotoGP and the power / weight ratio. It's really something watching those guys wrestle with so much power going through one wheel.

164

@ james....is there any chance that we can get these anomalies fixed. this morning i have tried to reply to posts and they are just disappearing. some, mainly one liners get through but that is all. it is all very frustrating and has been happening for quite a long time now.

165

Me too. I just wasted 10 minutes typing out a reply, and now it's gone. I hit "Comment", the page reloaded, and my comment is gone.

I love this site, but the mechanics of the comments section is infuriating at times, especially when posting off a smart phone.

166

I believe in the KISS principle. Select a maximum amount for a team to spend per season. Retain same track safety rules and points. No more rules.

Call it "Formula Libre".

167

Errrm Gerhard, I fell asleep when you were racing too.

168

I would like to see FLAT OUT RACING, with overtaking on track and not as a result of remarkably fast pitwork (fuel/tyres).

The cars and drivers are capable of so much more!

169

Fake engine noise with the waste gate pipe,

Fake tyre degradation with Pirelli having to produce a tyre that wears too quickly,

Fake overtaking with DRS,

Drivers driving like taxi drivers having been told 5 laps in to a race to turn everything down and lift & coast to save engine life / tyres.

And everyone is scratching their heads wondering why it's gotten boring!

For the first time in 20 years I will not be going to a GP this year and I seriously doubt I will be tuning in on TV either. With the current state of F1 I have better things to do with my Sunday afternoons. I will get my race fix from MotoGP and WRC from now on I think. Shame really

170

He"s right. I stopped watching mid year last year. Where has the drama and the passion and spectacle gone? The brute has been removed from the cars. The drivers seem more worried about their hair and ear rings.. If I want to see battery powered hybrids ill watch formula E [Mod]... Formula1 used to be tough stiff jawed warriors doing battle, taming the beasts. Now they are delicate flowers amongst a bouquet of [Mod]. The cars and drivers need a sharp rough edge. Its just not the same as it was.

[Please refrain from using that type of language at all times - Mod]

171

F1 is boring because of the rules at present. DRS is a joke because of the way it's used, name any sport were your penalised for leading an adversary. I'd rather watch a race with no overtaking but drivers trying to pass than the DRS drive byes. A better use would be to give the driver a set number of times it can be used and as many times per lap as they wish to use it(not restricted to once per lap as at present) at there discretion (no coaching from the pit wall)

All cars have a sensor fitted (should be all fitted in the same location), sensors should be imbedded on all track corners, if a car exceeds the track limits by more than half a car width an indication comes up on your display, do it again and you have a 10 second penalty added to your pit stop per infringement. Some may think this idea odd but overtaking opertunitys are brought about by drivers having to slow for corners, this doesn't happen when they ignore the corner limits ''ohrouge'' a case in point. When race tracks had gravel traps the penalty was much more severe, it makes me laugh when we're told by race control that some corners exceeding track limits is acceptable because they haven't gained any time, I beg to differ, if there had been a gravel trap or barriers they would out of the race or slowed much more than the .2 of a second they lose.

An idea to close up car development would be that for the first two races upto the start of pre qualifying for the third all teams could use some or all of there development tokens, from that point on no team leading driver or team championship can use any tokens until they are no longer leading either championship or it has come to the last three races of the season, when any remaining tokens can be used.

172
judy haynes (rob)

I have followed F1 since the mid 1950s, I still do, although I am getting an ominous feeling lately that my time could be better spent sorting my sock drawer. I feel that F1 has lost its way in a presentation sense. All this super technology is fine, but it has come down to the technology overriding the driver input, and created a situation where we have one team with a superior package, disappearing into the distance, with the alsorans trailing far behind. This may be pleasing for the boffins in the winning team, but it leaves the viewing public with a sense of underwhelming dissatisfaction. I fear that Formula one is in grave danger of enduring the fate of the mythical yaya bird, which is said to have flown in ever decreasing circles until it flew up its own backside, and disappeared.

173

Formula 1 (wich is basicly not a sport its a bussiness) has been in terms of overtaking and other things that make it worth watching, become to artificial, big teams have to much influence over decisions regaridng regulations and the evolution of the whole "spectacle"while Bernie and the FIA influence have neen in decline for many years. The result is obvious to see; virtually no real overtaking (except lapped cars and fast cars that pitted trying to past cars on old tires on different strategy), few if any lead changes, one team dominating for years (Mercedes) and before that another for years (Red Bull). The championship is to predictable and so are races. Results are almost computerized predictable, with well over 90% of the last 20 races won by only 2 teams and only 3 drivers. Sounds silly and bissare, but it is true. What about qualifying then? Same story, more predictable than death and taxes. The biggest issue fo rme is the lack of driver skill impact versus machine impact, where the car performance takes to much of the overall impact of results, basicly unless two cars are nearly identical in performance it takes a mistake from a driver (unlikly) skill will not produce an overtake. This notion is confirmed in the steady decline in real overtaking and lead changes (massive decline since 1990s). This "sport"is failing and lack sleadership, drivers have zero influence of it's direction and has abandoned its fans wishes for years and as results are losing fans by the minute. Anyone why wants real racing should tune into MOtoGP or even FOrmule E, for some real exciting racing, where there is no need for artifical fluff like "DRS" and the most disastrous qualifiation scheme ever devised (made to make fans fall asleep).

174

You know. About the engine issues as of late. Don't you think that the reason for this might be because of the fact that you have Engine Manufacturers that are also putting cars on the grid and racing?

Despite the long-storied history of Ferrari and Mercedes. The truth is that when you're an engine manufacturer and a constructor, there is a definite conflict of interest in supplying engines to other teams there. Where you would give last-generation engines to teams so that you always keep them down a peg. So it becomes almost like you have 4 engine manufactures and 18 feeder teams. With the only addition to RBR as the team that had broken this trend and became an established, separate, team. And now we're seeing the results of that with no other engine manufacturer (outside of Renault) wanting to create engines for them.

That's completely, and utterly, messed up. I think this is one of the few great things IndyCar has right. They have effectively taken the engine manufacturers out of having a racing team, created the basis for the engine they wanted created, then if the teams want in, they purchase the engine from them. It's a novel concept, but one that creates relative parity when you think about the fact that everyone has the same equipment. Engine-wise they either have a Honda, or a Chevrolet.

I feel that F1 could capitalize and make it better. The reason is because while IndyCar is doing a smart thing with this concept, they are also taking the Aerodynamic production and putting it with the engine manufacturers as well. F1 only has 4 engine producers (Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault, and Honda...Tag is really a tester at this point). Why not make a Constructors, Drivers, and Engine Manufactures World Titles? Have the 4 main engine providers as strictly engine manufactures, with a set standard from FIA, and leave the Aerodynamic production to the teams?

They could easily sweeten the deal. Constructors could purchase the engines, the Engine developers get prize money per race win, and I could see no reason why the Engine Manufacturer Champion couldn't get free air-time the next season to brag how great their engines/cars are.

I think this is the best of both worlds and the only real way I see of having good-great racing every year. Detach the engine manufacturers from the teams, let them worry about the engines, and let the teams worry about the Aero.

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer

Sign up to receive the latest F1 News & Updates direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!