Mid-season F1 Q&A: Ask James Allen your F1 related questions this week
Posted By: Editor   |  14 Aug 2017   |  3:32 pm GMT  |  147 comments

During the Formula 1 summer break, JA on F1 invites you to field your burning questions to James Allen with a selection answered every day this week, starting today.

Are you curious about performances during the season so far, who’s going where during silly season, where Liberty is taking F1, what Honda’s fate will be or anything else in the world of F1?

Write your F1 questions in the comment section below.

Bottas, Hamilton

Vettel, Raikkonen

Chase Carey Jean Todt

Featured Innovation
Share This:
Posted by:

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.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

In your opinion, which of the 'new generation' of F1 drivers will be the first to become World Champion?


Easy. Ocon.


Whoever has the car.

Tornillo Amarillo

Easy. Lance.


It would be a stroll in the park 🙂


But how would he do after Melbourne?

Rob in Victoria BC

Easy. Max.


Hi James

Majority of the analysts are saying that 2nd half is Mercedes to dominat, with few exceptions like Singapore. Do you share the same view? I remember back in the RBR days that SPA (for example) was not their favorite track but still they found a way to win it. Do you see Ferrari being able to do the same on the remaining power circuits?


Do you think we will see Sauber rebranded as a Ferrari Junior team in 2018? and will Leclerc or Giovanazzi both get seats in F1 next year?


Hi James,
With Porsche seriously considering F1 ( new engine concept recently owned up to) which team do you think is the most likely recipient, or which team would likely be bought?
Mercedes-AMG works squad....a works team more likely?


Is there any possibility that FIA or Liberty Media will cancel the introduction of HALO before season 2018?
If HALO still receives massive negative comments, and the TV views and attendances to live races drops dramatically in 2018, or drivers complain about the worse visibility in rain races, is it possible that HALO might be abandoned?



I can tell right away that it wont happen. It might reduce numbers of a new fans, but existing fans going to continue to be a fans, at least most of them. Change is bad, but it is still relatively small, as it isn't big enough to push existing fans away. Like many other uncomfortable changes in life, it increases bit by bit, so there is no single big change. Small'ish increments allows you to get used to the changes. On the other hand I can't imagine many people would have stayed with F1 if 2018 cars would have been introduced at 1998, change would have been too drastic and too visible.


when we're super conductors introduced to f1 and how are they connected to the batteries?


Do you perhaps mean super capacitors not conductors? I would think the inside of a race car would be too hot for super conductors (they have to be kept very very cool to work), although they would make the collection and distribution of electrical power more efficient. Super capacitors on the other hand would work in the temperature ranges expected. They act like a battery but are able to build up a charge, and discharge it as well, very fast. They are able to do it at rates that could potentially cause a conventional battery to explode. They can't hold as much energy though, so are often used in conjunction with a traditional battery (which is what I assume would be the case in an F1 car).


i thought superconductors were used from the days of kers..some superconductors work best at high temperatures anyway.
but i am interested in finding out about supercaps though..


Err no. The highest temperature superconductor around at the moment is only good for at -70 degrees C. And even that requires 150 GPa of pressure exerted on it to work.


you're right but my interest is in supercaps. superconductors was a typo benm.


you're right, i mean suoercapacitors or supercaps for short..


Two questions related to McLaren. 1. Bouiller has said McLaren will decide on their engine supplier in September, what are the odds they part company with Honda? 2. Has Alonso's options, other than staying with McLaren, dried up?

Paul Buckland-White

Hi James
What are your expectations about McLarens engine supplier for next year? Honda or Renault?


What are your thoughts on the future of formula e budgets


James, given the high profile takeover of F1 by Liberty Media and the ongoing discussions with the teams about the sport's future why haven't any of the current F1 teams taken up the offer of shares in the business? It seems a little at odds with all the positive public statements made by both 'sides' regarding future mutual support and recognition of which direction the sport should be going i.e. fan engagement, engines, etc. Is there something else in the background that we don't know about? Why would the teams turn down an opportunity to own and potentially profit from F1's future?


Teams have long had the chance to share profit, but also risk, in F1. Max Mosley dealt with this in his auto biography.

In 1978, Bernie ended up promoting the German Grand Prix. He'd looked at the numbers and was sure that the race could turn a profit. He went to the teams and offered them a slice of the pie. If they supplied some funding, they would get a share of the profits.

They did not take the offer, preferring to get what their deal with FOM guaranteed rather than take a risk in order to get a reward.

This situation played out several times as Bernie took over the promotion of other races. Eventually he stopped offering because he knew they wouldn't accept.

So they have long been disinclined to take a share in the risk of running F1 (even though they indirectly do).

It may also be that the shares come with an obligation to participate. They maybe don't want that. Merc, Renault, Red Bull, Has, whoever owns Sauber, would like to be able to walk away when it suits them.


@F1HERO - there are 2 answers,

1 -the shares were not free
2- Bernie


Does it make financial sense to abandon the current power unit formula? I would think economies of scale and development of the current PU would make them less expensive than developing new but simpler PUs under a new formula.


What is the status pertaining to future F1 calendar races, more specifically:
1) What is the likelihood the races in China and Singapore will be renewed?
2) Is another potential venue in the USA still in the table for 2019?
3) Another new venue on the table for 2019? What are the options for a Race in Germany after the contract with Hockenheim expires in 2018?
4) Is there a plan to bring a night race in a European city?

Best Regards


Why are the teams required to use two different compounds of tyres during a dry weather race? Is it for the benefit of the tyre supplier to gain data for developing new compounds, or is it a way of improving track action with varying strategies? I think the teams should be allowed to choose to run the entire race on a single compound if they wish.


What can't the driver choose to run different compounds on the fr and back? Eg. Soft on the rear and ultras on the front?


For many of us here in the UK, next year is the end of Formula 1. After that we can no longer see it without paying ridiculous amounts of money (I don't watch much else on TV). Does Liberty Media's takeover provide us with any chance of a reprieve?


I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion around this. Sky get less than 600,000 viewers for live races, compared to almost 2 million Channel 4 get when races are on live. But even the Ch4 figures are dropping rapidly. 2 years ago the BBC used to average 3.5 million viewers.


There is an answer - Mobdro


Hi James!
There is a lot of talk about "spiceing up" F1!
In NASCAR they have this year introduced a new format where they split up every race in three different stints where every stint is a race of it´s own to a certain degree, you get points for winning a stint but you get more points if you win the whole race.
For NASCAR I think this have worked very well! NASCAR races are often a long transportation for perhaps 200 laps with some real fighting for 15 laps in the end. Now you get 3 different races , each almost as important as a total win in the same timespan.
The F1 races often tend to have the same pattern as the NASCAR races, a lot of laps when nothing happens.
With this new format teams and drivers can regroup and perhaps find new strategies for the race.
What do you think James, could this be worth a try in F1? I know for sure it´s been a success for NASCAR.


Wouldn't work. In NASCAR the cars can overtake during the "sprint" phase (or any other phase), , but it's much harder to overtake in an F1 car due to the aerodynamics. Anyway, more overtaking doesn't always equal better!


Thet looks to me like a "spiceing up" bookmakers revenue ( 2 more bets / race )


Hi James,
I'm curious about the Ferrari situation regarding Raikkonen. Is it written into his contract that he's no 2.
At Hungary, was he unable to pass Vettel or did he not try?
Surely a more ruthless driver (like Alonso) would have overruled the teams decision to call him in a lap after Vettel and took matters in his own hands and won the race?
Whilst I understand Ferrari's strategy of pulling fully behind Vettel, it's a little frustrating, as a fan of the sport, to watch a multi millionaire, seemingly content to cruise around and finish second, keeping young talent out of the sport.


How good is Kimi REALLY? In his championship year he beat Massa. He's been outperformed by two successive team mates: Alonso and now Vettel. So I think he's good, but not that good.

Vettel is Ferrari's best shot at the championship. They know that, and so they back him.


Kimi is a brainy guy, isn't he. No question he could have challenged Vet, but what for? Is he challenging for the title? No. Is his buddy Vet fighting for the title? Yes. So?

Rob in Victoria BC

'Surely a more ruthless driver (like Alonso)'...... l would have added, 'Or Vettel'.


Easy question, why aren't you on holiday?!


With manufacturers leaving other series in droves to focus on Formula E, what will the field looks like in 2-4 years' time? What will it take for Formula E to de-throne F1? What will happen to LMP and DTM as budget and interests wane?


Hi JA,
Thanks for opening the {Pandora?} suggestion box xD
Since there are some personal Q, I really don't mind if you decline it all.

1> Pls tell us about your - racing - driving skills.
2> Do you have/has had any racing/sports car?
There are strong rumous that FCA will be sold to the Chinese.
Do you think Marchionne will split the FCA into two groups: premium {Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Maseratti} and popular brands {FIAT, DODGE, JEEP} and sell the later ones?
Chinese Automakers Are Reportedly Considering Buying Fiat Chrysler


Hi James,

Following on from your Dan vs Max article,
You have detailed how reliability has affected the race results for both drivers, with Max having 5 and Dan having 3 DNF's, but how has reliability affected the quali results?
I feel that Dan has had more amount of issues this year, but coming at different times on the weekend and affecting his qualifying position due to lost setup time and Max having most of his issues in the races.
This has forced Dan to Start from lower positions more times as a result, but recovers well.
Eg: Hungary.
Can you weigh in on this?


If every driver on the grid had the same car, what order do you think the top 10 points finishers would be?


you need to look at TOP GEAR Rankings - RIC miles ahead of VET and HAM.






My Prediction after first half of the season :
1) Alonso/Vettel
3) Verstappen
4) Hamilton
5) Ricciardo
6) Hulkenberg / Bottas / Perez
9) Raikkonen / Sainz / Ocon

Tornillo Amarillo



cant say cause anything on this if that car suits Kimi's style he will be on the top or if it does to Vettel he will be on top so Hamilton, Alonso are the obvious choice to be on the top but really cant say on these four drivers rest of them will be like
Ric due to consistency
Hulk/Perez dependent on track and down-force of the car
Max/ Sainz / Ocon cause there inconsistency on their 1 lap


You got it all wrong

Tornillo Amarillo

Sorry I forgot Lance !


Pretty sure James isn't going to be foolish enough to answer this one, given that the matter is entirely subjective and he would likely infuriate at least half of his readership 🙂


Hi James
The focus of the media has been on the new engine regulations from 2022 onwards. However, for the avid fan like me, who is keen to see visibly varied designs, unpredictable and varied winners/results, and genuine (rather than DRS) overtaking, it's the aerodynamic and mechanical regulations that are most important. It's all been quiet on that front recently. What's your expert view on what these future regulations should look like, and has Ross Brawn given any insight into whether this will be a reality?


Hi James

How have you rated Bottas' performances this season? Do you think he has a long term future at a top team in a lead role, or is he pencilled in as a strong supporting act?


With the unlikelihood of Jolyon Palmer to retain a seat in Renault or even be on the grid in 2018, does his experience in 2017 cars make him a good target for any team looking to join F1?


@Nikki Quieter - sure, Team White Stick.


Can you see Ron Dennis and Bernie Ecclestone teaming up to buy Force India and then renaming it Forced Out-of-ia?


Nice one 🙂


Who do you think will be WDC?
Where will alonso go next season?




James I would like to ask question is Renault using the same engine used by Red-Bull or Red Bull using the different engine settings or electronics as the engine failure is higher side from Red Bull and they are still not complaining for it.


You won't hear any complaints from Red Bull about the Renault engine this season.

You might however hear a lot of "damn clock's stopped again..." 😐


I reckon that Clause 1a in the Renault supply contract is "thou shall not bag Renault"


At the moment, the best driver is in the best car, Hamilon-Mercedes! Hamilton has done more than any other driver to promote F1! Do you miss characters in F1? Right now we have two, Hamilton and Kimi! Who do you miss?


most of will say Kimi 😀


Hi James,

Can you just in maybe one or few words comment on what track favors whom ? Something like

Spa - Mercedes because ....
Monza - Mercedes and ....

That can give us a good read on the remaining races and hence the championship


Hello James,
How and what made you get into F1 journalism?


Do you know who has identified most room for changes to improve their car - Ferrari or Mercedes?


When you look at the current grid it seems there's a lot of top level drivers. Yet in Schumacher's day he stood head and shoulders above the rest, with only maybe Hakkinen being on a similar level.

My question is are there really that many top level drivers today compared to the Schumacher era or has the bar been lowered and today's drivers are actually more comparable to the Alesis, Montoyas and Villeneuves of the Schumacher era?


I just read Gene Haas expressing surprise at the huge gulf between mid-field teams (including his own), and the Top Three at the front. Presumably he assumes if the chassis are OK, there should be little difference between Ferrari's engine and those (Ferraris) in his own cars. Do YOU suspect in reality the engine manufacturers 'secretly' ensure there are differences they keep quiet about, to ensure their own teams stay at the top? (Thoughts turn to Red Bull and Renault engines...)


@Davexxx - Haas buys his chassis from Dallara. If you believe their chassis is up to top F1 standard, you're on your own.


triple x: great point/question, to clarify:
1. do the customer teams really get the same equipment as the manufacturer/preferred teams?
2. do manufacturers retain additional intel, i.e. perhaps compatibilities/software augmentations, which are NOT shared with customer teams?

related, but change of topic:
3. With Ferrari apparently 'making' Sauber a 'junior' team, what is going to happen with Haas, which has been described as the Ferrari "B" team? i.e. what are the whispers on the street about Haas going with Honda (which I think is a very, very reasonable prospect)?


Where can we find the table that shows which cars have used what components of their allowance?


Here. The numbers are in German 🙂 but the first table is the total, then follows a breakdown by race.


Much appreciated Max 🙂


When Kimi has consistently shown that he's second best to drivers such as Verstappen, Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo and Bottas. Why is Ferrari considering at all to renew his contract for 2018? Isn't the likes of Perez, Ocon, Hulckenburg and Sainz better contenders and even cheaper too?


Harmony is the key to develop a Team. Ferrari interested in WDC which and Vettel have a very good relationship with him remember last race replace Kimi with MAX, ALO, RIC or SAINZ you will feel the difference and he is not a good driver only however Kimi ideas are helping them to develop the machine in the right way.


Hey Isuru ?
Are you Sri Lankan ?
I'm asking because it's very rare here in Sri Lanka to have a friend who follow F1 hard.


Another driver might cause problems within the team.

Kimi on the other hand shows up, takes the cheque, and doesn't make a fuss.

I like Kimi so I wish that wasn't the case, but it is.


Isuru, maybe Ferrari know even more than you do about comparative driver talent, and how it would fit into the Ferrari system, non?


Hi James, which team with current team bosses, assuming they were potential front runners, would have the 'guts' to put two top drivers in their seats such as Hamilton and Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton or Alonso and Vettel?


James, did Jean Alesi have the material to become the WDC. Where would you put him compared to the other drivers of that generation?

Tornillo Amarillo

Is Stroll family moving to Force India?


Sir that will be a great news I would like to see De Resta in Williams and OCON at Renault. Assuming Kubica wont make it.

Tornillo Amarillo

According to James, Ocon only goes to Mercedes in the future.


Has Ross Brawn given any useful insight about how he would like to amend the technical regulations? Has he set any timeframes around this and what are his thoughts on petrol vs electric?


Hello James,

1. Do you think if the whole Spygate scandal in 2007 hadn't occured, Mercedes would have not had a separate team - thereby making the McLaren-Mercedes combo the most potent team in 2014-onwards?


Your opinions on Ron Dennis and his firing from McLaren?


In light of recent events in LaLiga where Christiano Ronaldo has been banned for five games for his referee shove, do you think FIA will be watching this and rethinking their priorities when it comes to punishing drivers (no matter their status in the sport)?


What is the real deal behind the oil burning clarification and which team(s) is (are) behind this sudden technical enforcement/crackdown from Monza Grand Prix. Will the changes affect the performance of any of the teams on the grid - e.g. will Mercedes lose its qualifying edge. Is Ferrari using engine oil to control a thirsty engine at full power? or is this Red Bull just throwing the cat amongst the chicken to see what happens?


Should F1 go to rock hard tires, and let us forget about this tire marble business and the "dirty line"?


Is it at all possible to increase the engine noise without increasing the revs or CO2 emission?


getting rid of the MGU-H will help with more noise but will decrease the PU's efficiency so CO2 will go up


In the modern era, do frontrunning teams plan, (or have to plan) too long term to, although an outstanding talent that he is, give Alonso a one or two year swansong


Hello! Is it true that Vettel is hedging his bets and is willing to sign only one year contract for 2018 with Ferrari, with the red team pushing for a multi-year deal?


Sorry, can only comment by replying to someone.
My two questions are:
1: do current F1 cars have an on-board fire suppression system?
2: why does the pit lane straddle the start/finish line? What isn't is just part of a lap without affecting two laps?


I'd probably say it would be. I think sometimes these multi year deals can be bad because you don't know who is going to be on the up


Realistically what are the chances of Kubica making a full time comeback to F1? Does he still have the pace to be a world champion if he can get a top line drive?


James whats the magical number that Sky has to give you to be the face of their F1 coverage??


What would your vision of F1 for the future be. From a fan perspective


1. Overall Strategy/Sporting Regulations: Do you see a longer (even medium) term coherent strategy taking form with the new ownership executive, and how that will translate into sproting direction (in the arena of Ross Brawn; and, how do you see this being implemented, vis-a-vis team co-operation/participation?

With the understanding that much hinges on the above:

2. Governance Structure: Is there anything on the horizon for revising the entire governance structure, if so, what directions do you 'suspect' any governances changes will take?

3. Venues: With talk by the Liberty head honcho about venues, do you have any early takes on potential inclusions/exclusions for 2018+?
(have they announced the 2018 schedule yet, if not, when is it expected?)


Hi James, personally I have always considered rain to be the great equalizer in F1, who do you think would win a race in the wet in similar cars, Max or Lewis?


A simple question: How does F1 keep me as a fan?

I've followed this sport for 30 years, but am feeling increasingly disenfranchised.

I could not care less about the sideshow that Liberty is bent on building around the brand, and yet I am being forced to dip deeper and deeper into my pocket to watch a sport that at its core no longer offers the same emotional connection that had me hooked in the early days.

The fact that I might miss a race used to fill me with anxiety. Now, for half the season I must enforce a complete digital blackout until the highlights are available.

Increasingly, I don't care - illustrated by the fact that I am unwilling to pay for Sky. I'm simply losing interest, and am unwilling to sacrifice the cost or the time to follow this business much further.

Don't even get me started on engines, halo and Liberty's unique brand of anemic corporatism...

Then again, maybe it's just me.


Probably only you can answer that question. When it moves from channel 4 I'm afraid I'll not be able to watch the races anymore as I don't have Sky and couldn't afford it even if I wanted to


Maybe it's just me


I don't think your alone in that question.


Hi, James! I was wondering why consecutive GP races are not held according to their geographical proximity? For instance, GPs in the Americas the last weeks of the championships: Montreal, Mexico, Austin, Sao Paulo. the other weeks the European GPs in a set, Australian and Asian etc. Last year we had Baku, a week after Montreal. Isn't that expensive and a logistical challenge for the sport?


Hi James,

Is it safe to predict that Felipe Massa will be moved on from Williams at the end of this year and that someone from the Mercedes junior team will take his spot? (Eg. Werhlein to Williams?)


Hi James,
Any rumors where Wehrlein can go if he has to leave Sauber? Toto had mentioned recent intersting developments after hungary.



1) Do you think we'll see Jenson Button in F1 2018?

2) What team(s) do you think Fernando Alonso will be driving for in 2018?


More of a request than a direct question James, can we please have more technical information/data? Not looking for RaceCar Engineering levels of course, but the readership of jamesallenonf1 seems to me to really enjoy the technical content that you provide currently, eg; the race analysis supplied by Williams. A little more perhaps.


Hi James,
The halo is being introduced on the basis of reducing a risk that already seems quite small. Far more accidents, some very serious, have been caused by wheel to wheel contact launching cars skywards. Do you think that it's inevitable that F1 will eventually head to a covered wheel format? If it does, what will distinguish F1 from other categories such as sports cars given that open cockpits and open wheels will be no more?

History in F1 and other open wheel categories tells us this is probably the biggest risk of all, but likely the FIA will only move on this if there is another accident where someone is hurt. I despise the idea of closed wheels, but it's depressing to see decision making based purely on a fear of litigation and not on actual risk, and so disingenuous to claim this is all about protecting the driver.


Hi, James, several questions for your work:
1. Subjectively speaking, who/what were your favorite drivers and/or cars in F1's long history?
2. People from different generations tend to glorify different 'glory days' for F1. Personally, which era was yours?
3. What lead to you accepting to be bought by Motorsport? It seems everyone's just following what everyone does these days...
4. Who was the most difficult person oh have ever had to work with? It can be drivers, team members, FOM staff, and so on.
Thanks for your time!

The Slug Balancer

Currently in F1 there is a single tyre supplier, who specify the compounds used at each race, with additional regulations governing tyre selection in the dry, and with race strategies restricted by qualifying strategies. This means that there's minimal opportunity for tyres to become a factor in the outcome of a race, despite the fact that they remain a hot topic. Do you think there is an appetite, within Liberty or elsewhere, for a return to the days of multiple suppliers and/or less prescriptive regulations, to offer more opportunity for variation in how things are played out both within a race and across the season?


Is it likely we will ever see proper broadcasting of F1? I'm sick to death of watching the crowd, the pits, the back of engineers heads as they watch computer screens, Russian presidents, cars being pushed into garages, back of grid teams changing tyres and all kinds of similar nonsense during a race. Okay, I accept some races are woefully boring, but in recent years to padding we're suffering is getting well beyond acceptable.

At the same time, can we get to see the actual speed of the cars and put a stop to the constant zooming in to a single car at every corner. When I attend races, I see a panorama of the event, I can't zoom into a corner. Just because a camera can do it, doesn't mean the director has to broadcast arty rubbish for hours on end. At times the only shots worth watching are coming from the helicopter, because they can't zoom in as close. In fact, I'd be happy to watch a whole race from that perspective. At least it would make a change from seeing Tonto bashing the table and the adverts on the side of a Ferrari.


@ james....i can think of quite few questions but which one to choose? OK. Decision made. So much has been made of th ridiculous amounts being paid to supply these PU's. My question is simple, how are the costs broken down by components ? This seems to be one of the keys to what has been stated by LM as wanting engines that are 'faster, cheaper and louder'.


Hello Mr. Allen,
Have you heard anything concrete about new teams joining F1 in the near future?
I don't mean current team changing ownership. Will we ever see 12 teams competing in the serie again? Thank you. Marc


There seems to be a lot of young talent coming up the ranks lately and yet we also see many seats seemingly occupied by less deserving drivers due to the money they bring in. Do you see that change in the future when the concord agreement is reworked? Marc

Fulveo Ballabeo

I think most fans who love the sport yearn to see beautiful open-wheel/open-cockpit F1 cars, that sound awesome, allow for racing/passing, and are a handful to drive (so we can see driver talent make a difference).

Instead we repeatedly get garbage like the Halo, tipped noses, shark fins, T-wings, vacuum-cleaner PU's, and elimination qualifying.

How can so many smart people, get it so wrong, so often, for so long?


We all know that Alonso is one of the best drivers on the grid so what would be his options for 2018 other than McLaren?


I have to ask what you think Mclaren should do?

All over the forums I hear people saying they should definitely dump Honda, and if they don't they will loose Alonso etc... But realistically, My thinking is that Ron's logic is ultimately right. If you are not the works team, you cannot really hope to win at F1. Has anyone really been super successful at F1 as a long term customer team, continually winning and beating the works team?


Is Cyril Abiteboul the man to drive Renault back to the front of the grid, or do we need to see someone less French in their approach to managing this F1 team?

Who do you see pairing Hulkenberg next year? If McLaren stay with Honda, is Alonso a realistic prospect?


Hi James,
It's being a while now after your last one on HONDA.
With considering all the updates, modifications and other things you know up to now (and for future) about HONDA, How competitive will they be in next half of the season & most importantly in next year when comparing other three engines ?
Hope you Golden answer.
Thank you James.


Hi James,

What do you feel is the biggest cause for the drop in F1 fans? and do you have a solution?



Hi James, I am actually starting to believe that Stoffel will soon be giving Nando a headache. It may well be that in 2018, when Mclaren Honda can fight for podiums, we could see Stoffel in a giant-killing act because it's hard to imagine someone of his pedigree not delivering in a competitive car. Your thoughts on this and also what Boullier meant when he said Stoffel needs to change his driving style?

James not Allen

James, recently there seems to be renewed discussion about the lack of on-track action and the difficulty of following cars. Is there a feeling that the new owners of F1 are looking at reducing aero influence and sensitivity in future regulations? Equally, may people like Ross Brawn be looking at tracks 'suitablity' to promote lively racing and even encouraging corner combination modifications?
Regards, James


What's really going on behind the boardroom doors at McLaren Honda? Will there be a customer Mercedes engine in the McLaren chassis next year and if there were to be, where would that leave Honda?


We are again seeing that following in the "dirty" air of a car reduces downforce for the second car, which reduces overtaking. If they can measure how much downforce is lost, why don't they just make a rule that says a car cannot disturb more than X% of the air in its wake? It could be tested in a windtunnel at the start of the season when they do the crash tests, and then they could leave it to the teams and clever designers to figure out what design to use. Surely that would then improve the chance of overtaking?


"Superswede: A movie about Ronnie Peterson" is opening today at cinemas in Sweden. A documentary with Emerson Fittipaldi, Niki Lauda and others who survived Formula 1 in the 70's speaking about Ronnie.
What is your opinion about Ronnie? He seems to be a little forgotten nowadays...


My question revolves around Williams. We saw some amazing machinery at the 40th anniversary at Silverstone and I can't help but wonder where everything went horribly wrong (sure money has a lot to do with it, but can't be the only major reason). You have been in the pit lane for many years and have seen them in their prime, only for them to hit their all time low in 2013. I know it's a big question, but what do you see as the pivotal points of regression for this iconic team? And is the direction and leadership with Paddy Lowe/Clair Williams enough to take them back into the big 4 teams as it was with Sir Frank and Sir Patrick?



Excellent initiative, James! You should do this once or twice every month as it makes the site even more fan-related. Keep up the good work 🙂


Since Ferrari stepped in to grab back Sauber from the influence sphere of Honda, what those this say about Haas? Haas never really was a B-team of Ferrari, but has this move of Ferrari opened a pathway between Honda and Haas in the far future or will Haas get a small financial compensation by re-badging the Ferrari engine as Alfa Romeo?


Hi James,
All this discussion about 2021 engines not taking a step "backward" to V8 or V10 but still becoming louder, cheaper, simpler seems a bit convoluted. Is it not possible to build a V10 twin turbo using the affordable technology identified in the current PU specifications? Surely that will create louder engines that are cheaper than the current formula?


Hi James, my question relates to the weight of an F1 car and how it seems to have just got fatter over the years. Are you able to advise on what weight is non discretionary ie safety monocoque ,tyres ,fuel load and basic aero weighs and where the discretionary weight is ie what does the mgu k plus batteries weigh, the mguh plus its store and maybe the combustion engine itself. I'd like to know what it would take to shave 10% weight out of the typical car or 70 kgs. Understand there would be a compromise. If they ditched the Mguh how much more fuel may you need to compensate? Just trying to get an insight into where technically this could all be heading. Cheers Tony


James, Is Carl Haas bypolar?
First he admits he is a big supporter of Bernie's money distribution scheme saying to change it would be bad for the "sport" and now he is moaning about the huge advantage of the big budget teams and how outside the top three nobody has a chance. What gives?


What are the approximate weights and dimensions of the MGU-H and K units?


Where's Red Bull heading?? They have the resources, the budget and arguably the best driver line up, but even if Renault gets the engine right, they're not the works team and Renault F1 will probably end up with a better package. So what's the future because they won't settle for being the 3rd or 4th best team, nor will their drivers? Glenn


Question for James: How do teams identify drivers with potential? Force India were able to test (so to speak) both Ocon and Weherlein and form an opinion, but this is a rare situation these days.

So how do they identify who is hot and who is not? Or is it all down to hunch?

Kevin McCaughey

James, are we going to see a BIG engine simplification for the next cycle to save us from this nonsense that we have right now were only Mercedes or Ferrari can win?


James, how about an analysis of why Grosjean is so troubled by brake problems? We've been hearing about it for a year and a half, but I've yet to fully understand why he's the only driver on the grid with this problem; why the team can't seem to sort it out; and why the problems continued when they switched to Carbon Industries?


There is continuous talk of trying to improve engine noise. Even though I like a throaty V sound just as much as the next guy, the thought of forcing this in F1 sounds rather artificial and counter to cutting edge development, as I am guessing it would reverse effeciency of the cars, increase mechanical vibration, reduce smoothness etc. Maybe F1 fans have to accept the progress and enjoy the silence. What are your thoughts?



In regards to the halo device. Why not just lengthen and increase the height of the cockpit sides? Or make those sides out of tubes like the halo is, which would maintain some of the view of the drivers helmet. It would give head protection and maintain the open cockpit. Has this been explored at all? And if not, why?


Do the Race Stewards have any formal protocol on penalties to be given for various incidents on the circuit. There are two lists in the SR but no advice on this. If it is just 'professional judgement' or 'custom & practice' is there a collated document of past Stewards Decisions? I can only find previous decisions individually under each previous event. Even those usually only give incident and penalty; no explanation.
Whenever the system comes into disrepute, such as last 2 Vettel incidents, FIA always cover the root problem with comments on the decision made, not the process (or lack of one).


Do you think the present crop of drivers is fairly level?

Of course there have always been bad, good and exceptional, but my perception is that unlike the "old days" most drivers are there because they are very good and have had training and knowledge past generations did not have

Taking out one or two exceptions at both ends, I think if you put PER or HUL or GRO in a winning car they will win, as BOT has, and if you put HAM or VET or ALO, at let's say a McLaren Honda they will struggle to get points (now where did I figure that?)

My perception also is that most fans do not see it as I do, thinking PER or GRO, or.... are just also rans


Do you think personally that F1 is perhaps losing more viewers than anyone could imagine ? (Look at the difference for the last decade)


There appears to be a lot of young drivers complaining about a lack of competitive cars. It is obvious that the ambition of every young driver is to become world champion but is it true that have fewer new world champions compared to the past or even less variability between already crowned champions? Looking at the statistics since 1950 I do not see any major deviations. We have always had periods of dominance (Fangio, Schumacher, Vettel) followed by periods of change (5 consecutive new champions from 1978 to 1982 and 4 from 2007 to 2010). Even in terms of teams winning the drivers title for the last 5 decades at least one new team has been able to take a driver to the title in each decade. I wonder if you have any further considerations on this topic? If either Bottas or Vettel win the title this year we are back on track with 4 different champions this decade with 2 years to go for either Ricciardo or Verstappen.


With regards to the engine sound, why haven't the FIA allowed the rev limit on the V6's to be increased to around 18,000 like in the V8 days? Will this put too much strain on the parts and then the 4 engine limit per year wouldn't be realistic?

Top Tags
SEARCH Innovation
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!