Weekend Debate: What is future for F1 as world moves towards ban on petrol cars?
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Aug 2017   |  9:45 am GMT  |  431 comments

This last month has seen some momentous shifts in the journey towards road cars becoming zero emissions and one can’t help but speculate what impact this is going to have in the long term on motorsport in general and F1 in particular.

Volvo announced it would soon stop making petrol and diesel cars, the UK government joined other European governments in setting a date by which the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned; 2040 in the case of the UK.

These moves are being replicated by governments around the world and will be replicated by other manufacturers, giving a clear indication of the direction of travel for the automotive industry.

So the question is where F1 fits into this, as the world’s most high profile fossil fuel powered race series and what its future will be? Will it eventually be forced to merge or be taken over by Formula E?

John Malone’s Liberty group owns both series, so has its bases nicely covered.

This is the first of a series of posts considering some of the factors around this debate.

As the world goes zero emissions, how will motorsport be viewed?

One of the most interesting things I’ve learned in the last few months came at the FIA Sports Conference in June when Vincent Caro, who is responsible for historic racing at the FIA, said that his sector was the fastest growing in all of motorsports.

In terms of new entrants, new championships and new licence holders, people are flocking to historic and classic racing. There are several reasons for this: it’s much more affordable to buy a 1970s saloon or a pre 1984 Formula Ford than it is to go racing with a modern car. It’s simple, cheap thrills at the basic level.

The cars are simpler technically so can be tinkered with by enthusiasts, there is a great community spirit around the classic racing scene (witness the immense popularity of events like Goodwood Revival and Silverstone Classic).

But crucial for me is the idea of nostalgia that runs through this. In many cases these are men and women who have made a bit of money and want to satisfy their long held dream to ‘have a go’ so they buy cars from the era in which they first fell in love with the sport.

Nostalgia is a fascinating thing and a very powerful emotion. It drives trends in other sectors, especially fashion, art and music. When achievers from each generation reach their late 30s or early 40s and have a wider influence on the world around them, then the period in which they came of age gets a spotlight put on it and there is a revival of some of the things that featured heavily back then.

Of course we are now seeing young entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg having a huge influence on the world in his 20s and that trend, downwards in age, could well strengthen.

I think nostalgia plays a huge part in how fans follow their passion, as they mature. Many readers here discovered F1 in the 1970s and 80s, when you could bolt a Cosworth engine into a chassis and be competitive. They don’t like modern F1 much.

Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley were always nostalgic for that era, when they came of age as team owners, and wanted to take F1 back to that kind of model.

They failed because technology is a wave that you cannot order to roll back and that’s why F1 is where it is today with hybrid turbo engines and manufacturers like Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault (and even Honda) in a very strong position in the F1 ecosystem.

What has to happen next is a long term plan to go from where we are today towards an F1 where the cars are closely matched as they were in the 1970s Cosworth era, but where the sport is also seen to be helping the automotive industry – and by extension society – towards a zero emissions future.

It needs to do this both technically and in communications.

F1’s global platform is spectacularly powerful to tell that story and I suspect that FIA President Jean Todt and F1 CEO Chase Carey have already had discussions on this.

For example, the drive to zero emissions will put huge emphasis on charging infrastructure. Qualcomm is a world leader in this and very much part of the journey in FE. It is also a sponsor of Mercedes in F1. Using F1’s communications platform to tell the story of how charging infrastructure is being ramped up around the world helps consumers feel more confident in buying an EV and making that switch.

But F1 then also has to square that role with the nostalgia of the fans for noisy, outrageous looking cars. And if it ultimately decides to diverge and retain noisy petrol engines (albeit hybrid) as part of the spectacle, then it would be making a big bet that nostalgia would maintain the fanbase.

That could sustain quite well for a while; kids today who are taken to a Grand Prix or Le Mans or even the Silverstone Classic by enthusiastic parents, get just as excited by a racing engine, the speed and the smell as did previous generations.

As the world’s roads become more silent and smog free, the cars more perfect but lacking emotion, there will be a hankering for the old noisy petrol engined cars that can be seen down at the race track. Hopefully the Governments will allow them to continue to race there, even after the roads have become zero emissions.

So F1 as a series based on petrol driven engines clearly has a sell by date on it, although interestingly the UK Government has confirmed that hybrids are not part of the 2040 moratorium, only ‘conventional’ petrol and diesel cars.

How can F1 be part of the solution, not part of the problem?
It’s no co-incidence that while all these announcements have been going on at Government level, Formula E has received a massive shot in the arm with Mercedes and Porsche committing to the series, joining other manufacturers in throwing their weight behind the race to go faster and further on a single electric charge.

McLaren Applied Technologies, under the project leadership of Rodi Basso, are developing the batteries for Season Five which will do the whole race on a single charge. That will be a game changer and if the story is well told, it will draw a lot of attention to Formula E.

F1 needs to be part of the solution here, not the problem. If the world is going zero emissions, then F1 must surely become obsolete, be overtaken by Formula E, or it must adapt?

But F1 has a vastly bigger fanbase, while Formula E has many admirers but struggles to find ‘fans’, in the sense of passions being ignited. Manufacturers try to sell their EVs speaking of the ’emotion’ of owning and driving them, but while they are easy to admire they are hard to love.

If Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull dynamic duo were racing Formula E cars, would it be exciting?

It would if the cars were going much faster and the TV technology were optimised to show it both to fans at home and in the grandstands. That is a journey, a technological journey, as has been the whole history of this great sport.

There will be more on this discussion, but please send in your thoughts on what you have read and your own thoughts on what the move to zero emissions on roads will do to motorsport. Leave comments in the section below

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Formula E will always be dull as long as they race on street circuits where there is no overtaking and no fast corners


Agreed - the tracks are a massive part of the problem. Perhaps, as the cars get better, faster and run longer, they can slowly move to purpose built circuits - the notion of being 'green' in the city centre having by then run its course. It will also become much more interesting (to me, at least) when it ceases to be a spec series and the cars are really pushing some more boundaries


The circuits are in the cities because they want to keep it accessible to fans, bit as the cars get faster they will undoubtedly move to more traditional style circuits, maybe even purpose built


Not necessarily look at Monaco.


There can't be fast corners in FE because the batteries would go flat even faster. For the same reason there can't be fast straights either. Becuase of battery life the circuits have to have long braking areas, short straights and slow corners. If an FE race was as long as a F1 race and as "fast" then there would need to be 8 to 10 pit stops, to change cars. The fact is there can't be "fast" anything in FE, if the races are to be longer than a few minutes anyway.


Yep, the greatest variety in corners seems to be a 90 degree barrier bend covered in a cage to an 87 degree barrier bend covered in a cage.

The greatest variety in tracks seems to be seeing St Pauls Cathedral through a cage fence to spotting the Eiffel Tower through a cage fence.

Every track is flat because they couldn't do interesting tracks like Spa or hilly cities like San Francisco.

Who cares what city it is in when it all looks the same and it sounds like a terrible swarm of high pitched wasps.

F1 should stay high tech engineering but be separate from any tech that makes the racing boring. Separate from tech that allows a company to pretend they are environmentally friendly to improve their marketing and sales. Separate from any company that spends to dominate because of one item st the expense of all other F1 engineering areas.

Ok, so in the good old days of movies, say black and white films, they don't ban them all when colour came along, they don't ban movies from the 20th Century when it hit the year 2000, they don't stop showing Its A Wonderful Life at christmas time because Jim Carrey's The Grinch came along later...

The car manufacturers need to set up their own series with their best looking road car shells powered by electric or other goody green sales stuff and leave the rest of motorsport alone to focus on their engineering and wheel to wheel racing.


Send them round Spa on a conventional F1 layout and see how slow they truly are in comparison. It won't always be that way (they will catch up eventually) but for now they don't evoke much passion!


Forget about slow, they won't make it more than a few laps.


Gary, FE don't use the full Monaco circuit as they can't get up the hill after Ste Devote, so no chance of getting up Eau Rouge


@ Aezy D...How many laps of Spa could they actually do? That would put this charade to rest, for the time being.


Electric roadcars don't evoke much passion either, plus they can't compete with petrol cars in terms of practicality either, and might never be able to.

That's why there are plans to ban petrol cars. Instead allowing the free market forces to shape the future of the automotive industry, consumers will have a particular product forced down their throats whether they like it or not. As far as I'm concerned, this whole electric car rubbish should be rejected on principle alone by anybody who values and supports freedom, choice and the right to be unaffected by the whims of the ruling classes.


And what "freedom" will you espouse when the oil is all gone? Like it or not, that is in the cards in 20 years time, with prices slowly moving upwards till then...as the wells dry out. What is your plan?


@Robert; so your reasoning is that oil will run out but Lithium will not? Recent estimates have lithium at about 50 years and then it will all be gone. What's your plan then?

But don't worry about oil. It will not run out in the next 50 years. If that was likely, the peddlers of electric would not be lobbying to ban petrol. That's for sure.


"The ruling classes?" Run for your lives, it's Class Warfare and right here on JA on F1!


Warfare? More like cattle going to the slaughter house while discussing whether it would be more noble to be turned into a hamburger or a steak.


Of course the free market won't produce a shift to electric cars without government incentives and disincentives. Just like the free market wouldn't have delivered deodorant sprays without CFCs unless government had intervened. Do you refuse to use deodorant on principle because it infringes your freedom?


@alexbookoo; yes, I do refuse to use deodorant on the principle that it is not good for me, or for the environment. Plus there are better alternatives. The point is: it needs to be MY choice, and I need to have alternatives from which to choose.

The fact of the matter is that the petrol engine has delivered. It has given us cheap, convenient transportation, it has has put planes in the sky, and it has made our lives that much better. In other words, despite being newer than the electric motor , it has won the battle in the Darwinian-like marketplace where the best option organically becomes the default choice. If the the electric car is so much better it should prove its superiority organically, that is without banning, without subsidies, without taxing the opposition out of existence, and without the bull***t propaganda about the world melting. Otherwise it will not be deserving of its position as the default power unit and everyone will know it.


How quaintly naive. The whole hydrocarbon industry has received masses of subsidies (I rely on them as I work in the industry...). As has the petrol car industry. "Best" option wins? You've got to be kidding. Remember VHS vs Beta? Beta was the better quality product but VHS won the marketing war.

Government policy has constantly shaped the industry. Do you think car manufacturers would improve fleet mileage if they didn't have too? The VW scandal anyone?

The petrol engine won over electric because of particular circumstances of the time (steam and electric were both preferred over petrol at the time, but Henry Ford made the petrol engine cheap enough to win). Modern technology is fast making those circumstances obsolete.

As for the melting world, hopefully you will think differently when the world's oceans are lapping at your feet or you're choking on the smoke of ANOTHER unprecedented fire season as I am right now.


@BurgerF1; if electric is so much better it will win the marketing war and there will be no need to ban anything, or tax the competition out of existence, and there will be no need for scare tactics such as water lapping at my feet or smoke choking me.


Free market economics encompasses all associated costs: Use of natural resources (sustainable and non-sustainable), manufacturing, procuring and delivering fuel, pollution, waste, etc., which are largely ignored in this debate. Understand that electric cars have a larger impact on the environment than most people realize. However, these impacts are reduced due to economies of scale as number of units produced increases. But any debate based on economic forces must go beyond just the choice of vehicles in isolation.

Ricciardo Aficionado

anybody who values and supports freedom, choice and the right to be unaffected by the whims of the ruling classes.

Freedom to pollute??
Choose smoking if you want to inhale noxious gases.
And I think I have the right to be unaffected by your freedoms and choices.
Where do you live beneath a ruling class?? Saudi Arabia? No wonder you're so pro oil.


@Ricciardo Aficiando; the freedom to decide for myself what the better option is. You see, I don't buy the propaganda tha electric is better for the environment and I don't want anybody to shove their propaganda down my throat. That's all.


1.3m people die in car crashes each year.

20m+ are injured.

Ever hear of the holocaust? 6m Jews killed. Everyone is aware of it, right? Well, that is about how many people died in the PU era of F1 so far in car crashes and the media doesn't talk about it much at all right?

That freedom passion, excitement of cars you've learned about in car commercials designed to sell you the second most expensive thing most people buy, yet use 4% of the time only has a cost attached to it. If you think you deserve it and humanity should continue to pay this price in lives in addition to wasted money, your priorities are out of order.

Maybe when some driver busy texting or updating their Facebook while driving killing your loved one will change your mind about need for automation, electrification, taking driving away from humans. Clearly with 1.3m people killed each and every year, we're not very good at it.


i bet you, mercedes have already registered profit..


I'm expecting Formula E to collapse in the next few years. It has survived because it's cheap. Attendance is good because it's free, the grid is populated because all the teams combined spend less than what it takes to put one F1 (or LMP1) team on the grid. That is all about to change, with Porsche and Mercedes coming costs are about to skyrocket. Not only will they spark off a motor development race that Renault, Jaguar and Mahindra canot hope to match, they will push to open up chassis development as well, because that's what they have always done in everything from GroupC to DTM to GT1 to WEC. They'll dominate and it will kill the series as costs skyrocket, forcing teams out.
I think it's long term survival is about as likely as a total ban on petrol cars by 2040.


Yup I can see that as the heavyweights come in the bedrock of the series will get pushed out, I simply don't see how a resource restriction can work either. A major automaker can always fund an internal R and D project and pass the finding to the race team. long term unless hydrogen power cells pick up I can see the ecolgicial, environmental and climate damage of hydrocarbon being replaced by the ecological, environmental and climate damage associated with lithium mining, and battery production.

There is a visceral attraction to aloud powerfull F1 car. Try not to be impressed by Concorde or a Vulcan and you get the idea. Rightly or wrongly the current generation of electric vehicles are still associated with milk floats of the 1970's.

Until tesla or the other manufacturers really crack the endurance and charge time aspects I don't see how the e vehicle is really going to excite. Yes the torque and sophisticated control available make e vehicles capable of far superior acceleration and braking but the complete picture isn't there.



@ james...that's a weighty article there and it needs time and much thought to in order to come to any conclusion. What will happen in the interim period starting from the next gen F1 engine until ...whenever, has so many unknowns that it would be impossible to to forecast. There is one thing that i do feel comfortable in stating though and that is the need for 'sound' when racing. I have tried watching FE and it it just doesn't work...for me anyway. Silent racing is like silent movies without subtitles!!! Another example is watching a major hollywood film without a music soundtrack , just spoken words. it doesn't work. I can vouch for that. I once attended an IMax theatre presentation of a Saturn rocket launch. The sound levels shake you body and vibrate your shirt. Amazing. watching it in silence would be a disaster. F1 EV's cannot match this and as such we will all be the poorer.


Exactly - I watched a formula e race and it was dull as dishwater. What I think everyone is missing is that the excitement of a race usn't just a bunch of cars racing closely together, its viscereal experience - the sound that you feel in your chest, the fury, the speed.

There is utterly zero point chasing green in F1 - how many greenies watch *any* sport whatsoever, let alone car racing? You're abandoning your fanbase to please a bunch of people who will never watch anyway.

Saying the petrol engine is dead is like saying horse racing is dead because the car has taken over as personal transport. Bring back the V10s.


As anyone who has been to an NHRA event and witnessed the fury of a Top Fuel Funny Cay will testify 8 cylinders and be mighty impressive 🙂


The problem isn't that the petrol engine is dead. The problem (for some) is the fact that the petrol engine just isn't showing any real signs of dying, which is precisely why some people are trying to kill it by lobbying to make it illegal. I mean, if it were really dying on its own, why would anyone bother to waste even a second of their time to try to have it banned?


This isn't a Petrol vs. Electric discussion. This is, to use a cliche term, a paradigm shift. Automobile has never lived up to the name in the petrol era. We, humans are the weakest link. That plus our greed and selfishness has been exploited by car makers and their marketing departments to make us believe that commuting is some kind of passionate, spiritual, individualistic experience when really it is hardly so.

When it comes to commuting, petrol cars represent: noise, pollution, unbreathable air, waste, high cost of operation. Mostly they represent selfishness. Tell me on a human scale what makes the person in a Mercedes better than a person on a bicycle or a person walking? Marketing has made many think that Mercedes makes you a better human being Hardly! It has also made society allow incredible amount of space to the car, which is wasteful. It has taken space from pedestrians, parks, green spaces and bicycles and given them to cars. Consider that some of the most enjoyable places humans go are devoid of cars. Parks. Beach. Mountains. Skiing. Nature in general.

Let's make a simple PROS - CONS list for electric autonomous vehicles taking over the world. I'll get us started on the PROS list, and you guys come up with the CONS, OK?

- Electrification centralizes emissions for better control and reduction of particles emitted by petrol cars, which are proven to cut 4 years on average from a city living citizen's life

- New generating tech like Molten Salt Reactors, renewables, solar can be used to charge cars, removing need for environmentally damaging drilling in arctic and other nature areas or growing fracking trends. In case of MSR, it will also get rid of piles of nuclear waste from current generation of reactors we don't know what to do with.

- Cities can be cleaned of emissions particles we breathe and noise we deal with daily improving quality of life in highest density population centres.

- Efficient autonomous car network can be optimized to remove up to 90% of cars off the roads. Eliminating need for parking spaces on roads, instantly increasing road capacity that instead of being used for stationary cars could be dedicated to bicycle lanes.

- As 1.3M people die driving themselves EVERY YEAR! Autonomous cars Level 2 have already been shown to be well over 50% safer than human drivers, and that's primitive old technology by even today's standards. Life saving potential of automation in cars can be counted in millions of lives saved.

- Automation offers complete mobility to anyone of any age, any skill level, any income level, any physical ability.

- Battery technology is already making it possible for car to have a range in the 600 mile range on a single charge.

- Solid State Batteris are safest (non explosive, non flammable, etc.) and offer more charge cycles and larger capacity along with much faster charging.

- Millions of square kilometres of space dedicated to cars could be reclaimed for pedestrians, parks, playgrounds in the city currently dedicated to parking.

Go ahead now you guys give me your CONS list. This will be quite interesting. I'm betting that we're all about to notice how selfish all the CONS reason will be, but go ahead, give it your best shot.


Sorry, I stop reading whenever I hit the bs phrase "paradigm shift" as a matter of principle.


I said it was a cliche as a disclaimer. But how else do you describe move from self driven petrol to autonomous electric mobility?


@Sebee; an answer to a question nobody asked, perhaps?


I agree with most of what you said, but there is a huge problem with current electricity generation barely keeping up with usage (atleast in UK) and far less in the most populous nations of the world, so to enable mass EV upgrades the entire energy infrastructure would require a massive overhaul and with each investment in energy sector comes an increase in energy prices, so you can see where that leads!

Another problem is that China has dis proportionally large percentage of heavy earth metals (I read 97% of all available heavy earth metals are in China), so battery production on an even greater scale empowers the most populous non democracy with questionable human rights! An article in the economist suggested that the next world war could indeed be for the access to these heavy earth metals.

P.s. further read https://investorintel.com/sectors/technology-metals/technology-metals-intel/us-vulnerability-mammoth-battery-disconnect-rare-earth-supply/


You are self centric to think that your solution works anywhere but in large cities. People live outside cities. Check that out sometime. Rent a car and drive an hour out you still see people living. For the record I live in the biggest city of them all and I don't own a car.


Tesla 3 has a single charge range of 310 miles.

How many people would you say drive longer than this distance daily? Is that enough for a 2 hour round trip out of the city? At 65mph or 130 miles each way, it seems to have 50 miles of range to spare.

Soon batteries will allow this to double.

How do you feel about it now?


@Sebee, nobody brainwashed anybody into believing that driving a car or riding a motorcycle is a spiritual, passionate and individualistic experience. It is that all of that because it is biologically determined.

Driving a car or riding a motorcycle is a unique experience like nothing else, and there is no substitute for it. Give a kid a tricycle and he will have ball riding it and seeing how far he can push it and how fast he can go; its innate.

The problem, as I see it, is that we are increasingly "blessed" with people who think they know what is best for everybody, and I'm sick and tired of it. I just want to be left in peace and be able to excercise my god-given right to decide for myself what is good for me and what isn't. In other words words, I don't want anyone to "save" me from that which I want.


Thanks LukeCl - that cheered me up on a rotten day! PC democracy is in danger of disappearing up its own posterior - like a Klein Bottle !


When cars emit particulates that cut people's live short by 4 years by being breathed in, or cause noise, stress, injury or death on scale of 1.3m annually the reality is your freedom to drive your car is over rated and does not rank above my freedom to have those 4 years of my life or not listen you your car or breath the crap your VW Diesel emitted. So, as long as we have to share the place, rights of many over rule right of few. It is actually very insulting how drivers are able to force their will upon the others generally. Is that even close to fair?
Or have we painted ourselves into this unfortunate corner and autonomous electric cars are going to pave the way out?


@Sebee; no, what is insulting is big daddy government and Angela Merkel over in Germany telling me what I am able to buy and what I am allowed to drive.

But what is doubly insulting is big daddy government succumbing to pressure from the peddlers of technologies that are not only impractical but also significantly more expensive than what we currently have. Technologies which the developing world world will never be able to afford and and which will doom billions of people to a life of poverty and a life expectancy of no more than 35 years.

As for particulates, you will be fine. You're much more likely to succumb to a sugar or food preservative related cancer, or to a stress related cancer... Or to to cancer from excessive elecromagnetic radiation emitted by your autonomous electric car.


Be alone. Rent a private race track and knock yourself out.

However, when cars emit particulates


@ Sebee; I don't want to drive on a racetrack... I want to drive through the hills on my way home from work like a free man.


Get a horse LukeC, that's a really visceral experience, and you don't have to plug them in..Seriously, owning a motor car today is hardly an expression of freedom or have you been sucking that marketing lolly again? For the downtrodden masses, the glory days were from the end of WWII until the end of the 1970's. Since then it's been downhill all the way. How can you possibly think of a modern motor car as "freedom", when it tells you what to do, when to do it and ultimately does for you (in secret) Bah! I hate modern cars and cannot wait for electric autonomous transport so that I do do something useful on the journey, like chill out without killing anyone or being killed.


Sorry, Baron, but I honestly have no idea what you're on about in this response. And I will have no objections to you chilling in an autonomous vehicle as long as you have no objections to me driving my sportscar or riding my Ducati through the hills, if that's what gives me pleasure.

At the end of the day we have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise we will all have to accept having tracking chips under our skins, cameras in our houses and autonomous vehicles that dictate to us where we can go and in what manner so that big daddy government can keep an eye on each and every one of us, all in the name of safety.

Too many people have given up freedom in exchange for a promise of safety because they forget that freedom can not exist without some risk. This naturally pleases big daddy government to no end, because there is nothing better than a person going into slavery willingly. Don't be one of those people, for your sake and your children's sake. Fifty years lived in relative freedom is infinitely better than a hundred lived under a tyranny thrust upon you not for your benefit, but for the benefit of those who are only interested in maintaining a hold over every facet of your life.


Or to put it another way as someone once said, the art of govrrnment is to make people want what it suits you to let them have.


if you can extract more speed, but with less sound, (which I think is fact), would you prefer you favoured 'louder' car never beating the quiet one (which has extracted every last bit of energy available for speed)?
Or would mandate wound into the regulations?


@ Deancassady... Speed is relative. The reason we don't mix and match is because of the disparity between motive systems. If you recall, when Bernie threatened to introduce cheaper conventional type engines if the manu's didn't both guarantee supply and at a reduced price the said manu's folded! One of the things i absolutely dislike is that being an engineer [non practicing] i am always in awe at the technical superiority of engine design/build/operate excellence that will be replaced by a 'battery and an electric motor'. Modern engines are like a piece of art...to me that is. Unfortunately not a lot of people think like me.


Didn't think I'd agree with Kenneth......................but, he's correct - modern day engines are a marvel (assuming he means road cars). Mercedes new 2 litre four banger diesel has nearly 200 BHP - that's nearly 100 horses per litre - from a 𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘭! Compare to my neighbours old Jag XJ12, whose 5.3 litre V12 had 280 BHP - that works out to 53 BHP per lite..........still, that's crappy old British Leyland for you (C/O Red Robbo Derek Robinson).

In the mid 80s, Ayrton Senna's Lotus-Renault could be pumped upto to 5.5 Bar boost for qualifying, and from just 1.5 litre and a 6 cylinders, the engine topped out over 1350 BHP. That's 900 BHP per litre.............even in race trim, the Renault-Gordini, TAG V6, BMW M13 four banger and the Honda V6 had 1000 BHP - well over 650 BHP per litre.

Ben Hur only had four or five horsepower for the Eternal City chariot race after all............


Nice to see 'Red Robbo get a mention in these hallowed pages🙂 only last week I went for thre first time to the massive business park on the site of his old stomping ground the BL Longbridge factory. While sipping my latte I commented that it should be named the Red Robbo business park as it probably wouldn't exist without him!


@ Gaz Boy...I am talking about road car engines [not all ] and F1 etc etc. They are a marvel of moving parts that combine to give us great entertainment and great reliability. I once drove a CLK 63 Mercedes for a lengthy period on a Mercedes experience day on superb winding country back roads and I would challenge anyone to say, given that experience, that it was anything but 'excitement +++' The sounds were enough to send a shiver up the spine and the sheer delight in being able to use some, not all, the power on tap was exhilarating and pulse quickening. Now i haven't had the opportunity to sample an EV as yet and most likely will not get that chance but i feel reasonably confident that it would be, by comparison, a huge disappointment.


funny, I've never heard anyone complain about the noise/or lack of re turbine engines.


How many turbines have you heard? Where were they installed? In what were they installed? Up close to a take off of a 747 is an awesome experience which simply communicates 'sheer massive power'. That can be exciting to some people.


Try the 1967 and 1968 Indy 500 races.


What is needed in this period of consumer transition is for F1 to anchor identity to a concept idea.

That anchor is simple: F1 should be to automobile what fighter jets are to flight. F1 should be as close to fighter jets on wheels as you can get. Let FE represent the passenger planes.

How are those electric fighter jets coming along? Hybrid fighter jets?

I rest my case.


Yeah...VW is dead to me. What they did with Diesel gate is unforgivable. No VWs. No Porsches. No Audis. No Skodas. No VW product, ever.

Some corporate indiscretions are unforgivable. I don't care if the car is on sale. I don't care how sorry they are. If consumers weren't such easy bought forgiving fools, maybe companies would be much more fearful of this type of behaviour.


I thoroughly agree Sebee. Liberty should take this moment in time to reflect on the identity of F1 as a sport. There's never been a better time to cut the chord on Hybrid Tech and to get back to basics.
F1 can define it's own version of cutting edge technology without having to dip into hybrid technologies. That agenda can be prosecuted by FE.
The contention on whether the future generation will have an interest in traditionally aspirated racing is an academic one as further moves toward environmentally sustainable cars will kill interest and thus the finances well before we get to the future social state.

Would manufacturers continue to invest heavily into a racing series that bears no resemblance to their on road product?
Isn't that what they have always done?
Budgets may indeed shrink...but it's hybrid technologies that drove them up in the first place!


I actually think that budgets sinking would be a kind of budget cap in itself, forcing F1 to become a leaner, meaner better product. Right now the product is a bit lazy, depending on large car brands to carry the load.

Which actually makes me wonder about the fact if Ferrari, Mercedes, etc. need to be featured in F1. Why do we feel it does? Some type of aspirational mumbo jumbo? Some marketing that stuck in our heads? What is it really? Not like other fantastic car brands are here. Toyota is the biggest car maker by 1.1M units, not in F1. VW, second (and hopefully falling fast after taking a giant dump on humanity with their diesel crap), Ford...all not here. Honda is one foot out the door.

I mean, when Red Bull, a sugar maker was beating Ferrari 4 years straight - wasn't that a little confusing? Wasn't that really really bad for Ferrari brand? It wasn't even beaten by a car maker, but rather by a completely automobile unrelated brand and effort. It was so much worse than a 488 getting smoked by a P100D in a quarter mile in my view.


The 488 could be smoked by a milk float if you stuck enough batteries on it. It does not mean much unless you are marketing Teslas.


Love the fighter jet analogy!
Now all F1 needs is shed loads of tax-payers money?


Actually they are developing pilotless fighter jets so maybe driverless F1?


Yes, they're called super drones.


Hands up all those who would watch F1 without drivers.
No, I thought not.


That is unstoppable.

DYK - most plane accidents are attributable to human pilot error? Yet in a recent survey more than half of passengers said they want a human in the cockpit.


Whilst it is a fact that poor human performance is associated with many aircraft accidents what you are missing there is the ability of a trained pilot to recover from an incident. You will hard to find to find figures that show how many time crew actually have intervened and landed safely when other systems have failed. Look up Gimli Glider for possibly the best example where human skill and knowledge made the difference. 🙂


The piece I've read clearly indicated that human error is a huge factor in accidents. Therefore, you have to question failure rate in situations where avoidances or recovery numbers are quoted, as the outcome would seem to indicate otherwise perhaps.


First of all, I apologize for my bad English.

I think there's a big problem in making F1 sustainable, and it's hypocrisy. F1 gets a bad publicity because they're basically cars driving around, emitting CO2, NOx et al. Well, can we just focus in real figures, real effects instead of "green image"?

Do you know that just doing one transoceanic flight less during the season we could save as much as fuel saved with the introduction of V6 hybrid PU?

Do you know that while millions of people are watching 20 F1 cars driving in circles, they aren't driving a car to do anything else?

Do you know that Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Chelsea... all the big football teams have a much bigger environmental impact during their pre-season stages (flights to America, artificial light...) that 20 cars driving less than 13 hours a month (yes, this is the time a F1 engine is turned on)?

Why is nobody asking football, NBA... any other sport for its environmental impact? Why can't we just realize that there are a lot more ways to effectively reduce the pollutant emissions? If 1 million people stops watching F1 because the new engines are crap, probably they will do another activity using a car and will use much more fuel than the amount saved with the V6.

This is the typical lack of vision in F1. Knee-jerk reactions, purely for a green image instead of measuring the real impact of them.

With only one or two changes in the F1 calendar, we could afford to revert to V10. More revenues (disenchanted viewers will be back), less costs (these engines are cheaper than hybrids) and a better environmental impact. Just using our brains.

And yeah, all sports are as obliged as F1 to improve its environmental impact. We are not the only evil ones.


Mate, you made a few good cases here. Well said.

And definitely F1 is not the main one polluting the world. Cows and the likes with their CH4 and insane population increase with all the bad things to quote a few are far-far-... more dangerous for this fading world, than ~20 racing cars. Why not trying cutting them down for start and leave those ~20 raging and beautiful cars alone.

Bring V10+ and bring the fun back!


Agree, but it's not all about F1 as a greener image, it's about the car manfacturers presenting a false green image as marketing for sales.

If only Mercedes road cars sales fell because they ruined competition in F1 in recent years, then they might get lost with their green F1 marketing while still putting v8s and v10s in their road cars have engine capacities that guzzle fuel.


Here are some funny things about marketing gone wild.

While Mercedes pushed for the PUs in F1, and is here with their Mercedes AMG Hybrid and now EQ Power+ brand the facts are these:
- There is no Mercedes AMG Hybrid or Mercedes AMG EQ Power+ car we can buy at all.
- None of the technology of the PU has transferred to the road, even though it is year 4 of PUs and over a decade since conception of this formula and push by Mercedes for it.
- Mercedes is #17 in 2016 brand wide fleet reliability ratings

Meanwhile, Toyota's Lexus brand, a direct Mercedes competitor:
- Has 6 hybrid models available now, and had them before way before PUs were introduced. Choice includes compacts, sedans, sports cars and SUVs
- Lexus is not in F1, and has not developed a PU, nor needed to derive any technology from PUs for road, as none of it is applicable or makes sense in road application. F1 hybrids derive most of the regeneration through extreme braking forces found only in F1, not on public roads.
- Lexus is #1 in the same brand wide fleet reliability ratings, and the only one to come with a score above 80. This is done by Consumer Reports and is one of the most reliable measurements of brand reliability anywhere.

These types of market results, and the fact that F1 was ruined to please Mercedes marketing message of deception is what should really irritate F1 fans the most. But that would require some type of critical thought by the sheeple, wouldn't it?

At the end of the day, as consumers one has to separate the wheat from the chaff, right? What do you think the PU is?


In a previous post, one commentator mentioned that Mercedes has a very successful hybrid fleet, which I had questioned - compare to Toyota. My wife was interested in a C 350e - google it. It has been out for about 2-3 years, and there are problems with it apparently, because you cannot even buy one at a dealer - they don't even know what it is. It's the coming German 48 volt stuff. But yeh, Mercedes has problems with hybrid relevancy.


Very well written. Couple of other issues. Where is the electricity for all these electric cars coming from? Apparently Tesla charging network is net positive but that's now, what happens when there are 50, 100 million electric cars? Oh, I know, another fad - autonomous driving and not having to own a car! Do you remember last time you were on a bus or a train in the morning? All these people who either had no shower or did not brush their teeth? Welcome to the future.

Furthermore, what about places far up north where the temperatures go down to -30, -40 celsius? Good luck with an EC over there.

Another aspect. This article here https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/is-there-enough-lithium-to-maintain-the-growth-of-the-lithium-ion-battery-m is quite interesting, a short excerpt:

With known lithium “resources” at 39.5 million tons, we get about 50 years of supply with 100 Gigafactories, which is a bit more comforting, but still not exactly a viable long-term solution.

So, are we basically switching from one unsustainable resource to another? I don't want to sound like a naysayer but the electric car is a fad sold under the eco, zero emissions label. It's not your emissions, the emissions are just somewhere else. We're saving the resources so the imperia can send their jets and warships to blow up another part of the world. To be honest, I'm glad I'll be dead by then and have no kids.


That's a bit dark rad_g!


And I have to live with him 😉

Tornillo Amarillo

The reality is that 75% of the world electricity is still made from coal, gaz and nuclear, dirty resources.


Well written. Instead of 'low emissions' F1 should be pushing the 'less polluting' credentials of fossil fuels vs batteries and electricity generation.


Look I don't think anyone has a clear picture of F1 in 40 odd yrs time. Can anyone say they knew in 1977 that F1 in 2017 would be racing V6 engines with MGU-K and MGU-H?
I'm going too stick my neck out and say no.
The fact of the matter is we current fans F1 posting here will be dead or very old in 2040. I guarantee I won't be driving my Alfa around very much. Everything thing is changing not just F1 get over it.


+1 for simply driving an Alfa 😀


Utter crap!
You are comparing F1 races to the way the participants and fans of other sports travel to get their events. F1 fans also use cars, plains and trains to get to a race.


I don't think the poster compares that to the fans. I think the poster means that shifting all the gear in a rather erratic way around the globe using cargo planes and ships has much more impact on the planet than 20 F1 spending a maximum of 133 hours each excluding testing on track every year.


I think the poster means that shifting all the gear in a rather erratic way a

I think Liberty are going to address that.
Yes as far as I know F1 engines are the most efficient petrol engines in the world and have been for a long long time. But unless it's to become a niche sport it must remain relevant. I wouldn't try to put a time line on it. It all depends on what the big players want Merc, Fiat Renault, Honda E.T.C.


In the green world it seems as though the motorcar has been painted as the 'evil' one and very little has been said about the aviation industry, the rail industry and the massive pollution by shipping. None of these are candidates for 'battery power' in the foreseeable future. We have diesel electric trains and other forms of marine propulsion but they are all linked to massive oil burning technologies. One example i can give dealing is with the latter category, i sailed as 4th engineer on a vessel named TE Sulaco, a British registered banana boat chartered to United Fruit co of New York. This vessel was built in 1938 by memory and was unique as indicated by the naming nomenclature. The TE stands for 'turbine electric'. It was a radical design by Westinghouse of USA. We ran four main boilers providing superheated steam for the fixed speed turbines which in turn ran massive electric motors with the armature forming the prop shaft! A normal days steaming at 'full ahead' used upwards of 40//50 tonnes of heavy fuel oil. So what were the advantages over standard steam turbines? There were none, that is why the technology never went anywhere.


This is my main problem with the whole green movement. The automobile is being vilified as the only culprit. Yet nothing is being done to any other area such as trains, planes, boats, trucks etc... The reason being that most people don't purchase those. They want green automobiles because it something that is sold to the masses and now with the battery life continually improving they have the business of Apple to copy. So that people upgrade their cars every year with a new improved battery life, better rear camera, better parking sensors etc.... I think they are just looking to make the car like the smart phone and using the whole green movement as the justification which is bull in my opinion. If you are really green go stop the deforestation of the rain forest. Plant trees etc... Also the safety aspect of automobiles is also bull. If they wanted to create safer drivers they would make obtaining a license more difficult and have people perform at a certain level before giving it to them. Yet to get a license the exams are laughable in the USA at least. As a petrol head I have done karting, car control, karting in the wet on slicks all which have made me better and perform at a higher level than most people who can drive yet still not developed to a high level. If safety was indeed a concern why not require people to be able to handle oversteer, understeer learn to race in the rain on slicks so that when driving on road you can not be caught out.


I don't believe that the automotive industry is evil but with current technologies, they're the only ones who can do something about it now. Look at air quality in the cities of China at the moment. Cars and trucks are the main culprit


If you study China's issues its more industrial pollution, and a huge reliance on coal fired power stations (75% of world coal being bought by China) although this is being addressed.


@ Tone...I didn't say that the automotive industry is 'evil' . read it again. I said that the image of the ICE driven car is considered y the green left et al as being evil. Big difference. As for China, well AFAIK there are many two stroke engined vehicles in China and they are massive polluters. You should really look at the context of what is being played out here.


v10 = extinct.


Technically you're perhaps right, but, again, emotionally as JA expresses, they (V10) IMO are the most finest units F1 ever had. Even I can distinguish Ferrari F1 2001 engine sound (a symphony).

Technological breakthrough is one side, a very important side and the future path, but the emotions and feelings are not subject to rationality.


i agree with you nik...they sounded fantastic but their sounds were not intended and were sideshows...their objectives were laptimes dependent.
they are now extinct and all drivers say the current power units are light years ahead of anything before them, in terms of driverbility and power delivery. i also prefer the current f1 to anything before..


You haven't posted as insha or NONAMEID for a while.

Is that because you were found out?


@Nick H...FYI ...Insha has copped such a battering in the past that he's taken a well earned mid year holiday in Bali and he's passed the baton to 'streets ahead' Aveli. He'll be back in full form come Spa i hear, hahaha. {in one form or another]


@Kenneth... Hahaha yes he does appear to be having a breather.. but 'streets ahead' aveli is certainly more than making up for his 'absence' on this thread alone.


if athletic stadia stopped being packed around the world and there weren't enough fans to watch the sport, athletics would stop being a global event as it is. tv companies will not pay huge amounts of money for broadcasting rights nor will companies pay so much sponsorship for their brands to be atvertised on that platform.
sticking to the point, cars not being driven by humans for transport will not change fans desire to admire f1 races as they are now, driven by humans..that's the point being discussed..i know you're desperate in trying to find a weakness but keep trying..


So extinct that Viper ACR V10 8.4L is at Nurburgring right now about to top 918 and P1 lap times for fastest production car? Without a factory backing! A bunch of privateers are going to do it.

May I remind you...it will do so with a manual transmission, not those fancy quick paddle shifting automatics in 918 and P1.

Long live V10s!


Is this an argument about noise, speed or both? Not sure I get the digs at the McLaren or Porsche. Both have got pretty lively petrol engines in addition to the hybrid tech, which should surely be celebrated. Some people want a properly engineered road car that can do the race track thing, or be equally as happy across country or driving down to the shops, ala McPorsche. I suspect the ACR is a bit of a one trick pony - a thinly disguised race car that will rattle your fillings out and give you tinnitus within a mile. Apples and oranges really. I know McLaren will convert a P1 GTR to road spec for you if you want to go and chase Nurburgring times.


This is a dig at hybrid, and at claims that V10 is dead. It's niche these V10 cars, but it ain't dead yet. And if it is on the way out, it is sure as heck going out on top.

I've now ridden in the ACR, and can tell you it is quite a fine sports car. Like any performance car you make compromises, but looking over that giant hood is a pleasure. Ride height is fantastic, and based on what I read before higher than 918 and P1 - thus more useful and safe on public roads. Also, both 918 and P1 feature suspension that lowers in track modes by 2inches to not street legal levels. ACR is at 5" ride height. Yes it is firm, but nothing unusual for a high performance machine. It has AC, killer stereo system, etc. Very comfortable overall for what it is.

Digs are deserved because 918 and P1 are over million dollar cars, and here is a car with a V10 at 10% of the cost without any tech mumbo jumbo that's smoking their lap times into also run irrelevance. P1 is nothing compared to the raw F1, and even McLaren has admitted that successor to P1 will be 100% electric.

To call ACR a one trick pony vs. 918 and P1 is not genuine. Based on videos I've seen of all 3 cars, it is clear to me that ACR is easier to live with, more likely to see track time, and at 10% the cost and much lower costs of ownership, it is by far the most fun toy in the toy box compared to the other two, which likely spend most of their days in the heated garage doing little in terms of "passionate driving experiences" for the drivers. They are too scared to have anything happen to it and impact their "value". Cars as some investments? That's funny. Read that Road and Track link I included in comments here about what will happen to these investments in the not too distant future.


Haha yes well said Sebee.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Yes, turn the back end green and (Fossil)1 can breath easy on its race-lap consumption. Put these current hybrids in the fleet of trucks F1 use and don't race anywhere they can't drive to.



FYI, V6 PUs didn't save any fuel at all. They shifted it to the front end when the world isn't watching them run on TV, then they started to make deceiving claims during that limited time window.

Each track planting 2000 trees at track or elsewhere would offset the weekend of V10 F1 cars running there, CO2 emissions wise. #FeedtheTreeswithV10s!


you can plant the trees sebee, then put in a strong case to bring them out of extinction..


You're a promoter? You want to host F1? Part of the contract is 2000 trees planted.


I apologize for my bad English

What an excellent and well written post. And you could not be more correct👍🏻


Predicting the demise of F1 as we know it is very premature. For today's fans, Formula E is of no interest at all, however successful it has been at attracting manufacturers wannting to demonstrate to politicians how politically correct they have become since Dieselgate.

I predict that in 2040 when i will be 78 my son will be getting the same thrills as I currently get from driving my Ferrari 575M with its V12 petrol engine.

If F1 is then so PC that it is no longer exciting, petrolheads will turn their attention to historic racing. Without the huge disadvantage of so much debt, it will be possible to rerun a championship with V10 engines and generate enough cash for teams to be profitable again with races watched by bigger audiences on Free to Air TV


I predict that electric and autonomous wave started a few years ago already and will grow very quickly.

I predict this 2040 rule is lame because consumers will make the switch anyway, and way earlier. Way before 2030.

I predict autonomous driving will be mandatory because human emotion and passion = endangering the public and causes hundreds of thousands of road deaths each year.

I predict that you will need a very special permit to drive a petrol car yourself by 2030 (at latest) on public roads.

I predict that F1 offering the opposite is exactly the play here. As F1 mocks around with these silly PUs, the nostalgia building isn't happening and fans are no longer getting what they want from F1. F1 shouldn't be more of the same, but exactly the opposite. F1 to automotive should be what rockets and fighter jets are to flight. How are those electric space rockets coming along? Electric fighter jets? Ever been to an air show? How does the crowd react when the jet flies by? And how do they react when the glider is performing? Case closed.


The Avro Vulcan live will never be beaten for noise!!!!


The definition of visceral. Shape, sound menacing projection of power.


@ Dan....I was at Farnborough in 1960 and witnessed a demo scramble by six Vulcan V bombers in a simulated 'war time' exercise. They took off two by two and climbed almost vertical until they disappeared. It still remains one of the most impressive displays of jet engine power i have ever seen. The noise was loud and very very deep...amazing!!!!


I understand what your saying but that's still a very subjective view, speed and noise are what some people look for but then again surely if that was their priority in a motorsport then drag racing should be right up their street F1 can draw fans from a whole bunch of areas, personally I'm more into the engineering side, I like to see the evolution of technology, the ingenuity, the creativity and how it translates into the track, I like to see different approaches to the same problems and see who wins, that to me is what F1 is, that's it's soul, engineering excellence, the format it takes, electric or conventional fuel to me is irrelevant it's what the sport is, what defines it, continual open development to find the best solution to a set of regulations, that's F1, that's where it started and that's what it is


I understand your point about technology and it is a factor on following F1. Why does this have to come in the area of engine? Why cant they find a new carbon fiber to make the cars light again? or find a way to make the wheels lighter, Also technology is being innovate in other areas such as Mercedes working with Qualcomm on downloading the cars information faster pushing that innovation where they have data downloading from car as it enters the pits reducing down time. Where does the technological/ engineering have to come from? which areas?


@ Stefan Davies...I appreciate what you are saying as i share similar views but i simply cannot get excited by a couple of electric motors and a huge battery? Clever ? not really an engineering triumph.IMO.


@kenneth yes but it has to start this way , this is something that has to start from the ground up and its inevitable that the FE cars will increase in performance and complexity and I do genuinely believe with the support of major manufacturers it will make huge strides in a very short amount of time

As for an engineering triumph, right now no your right it's not that much to shout about but watching it evolve is of genuine interest to me, the lap times drop significantly since its inception, the switch to a single car next season, these are not improvements brought around by a regulatory body trying to "mix it up a bit" but with no real direction, the year on year improvements in the FE cars a brought around by technology evolving an improving and it's a lot more clear to see and you can track it better, from an engineering point of view it is very intriguing to watch

F1 sometimes forgets that, f1 cars are not 5 seconds a lap faster than last year because we've all of a sudden learnt how to do some things a lot better, they are 5 seconds faster because The fia said "ok let's make them more aggressive because it might level the field a bit"

In FE the cars are getting faster because of what they have learnt from scratch


@Stefan Davies... your opinions are as valid as any other but despite the relative infancy of FE the future remains in the realms of 'a couple of electric motors and a battery'. That does not excite me one bit.The true potential for F1 has been dramatically reduced by the FIA in their endless quest to dumb down the engineering excellence available on the specious grounds of safety. Every time a breakthrough technology arises the FIA ban it. In the modern era we've never seen the true potential of ICE powered F1 cars. Obviously, over time, progress is made in all manner of technologies but the question really is, where is that best applied? I fully embrace technology especially when it come to automobiles but i draw the line when i'm being forced to choose what motive force i decide is best for my own needs. I see hybrids as merely a stop gap in the quest for alternatives. If we are to have 'electric' then the Fuel Cell is by far and away the very best of the best.


@kenneth I see your point but surely just through lack of options you've been railroaded into using ICE and never really had any choice with what you drive before anyway so this lack of options has always presided over what we drive, this is just a shift from one type to another

However when it comes to using an electric vehicle for Personal use that is imo entirely up the individual and I would t dream of telling anyone they should be driving a electric car, it's entirely personal choice but when it comes to motorsport I do think too many people use their preconceptions to block their ability to see it's potential and it's impressive performer given it's so early in its development, there are already cars that can lap the Nurburgring in 7:05 which is not a million miles away, so it's nearly that with continued investment from major manufacturers that gap will be reduced to practically zero in a shorter small amount of time than most people would probably like to believe


Nowhere near case close; in fact it's just the beginning! Sebee and everyone else, remember that everything human is constantly evolving so it not only be cars but everything else. We may end up with teleportation which render planes obsolete! Whatever will be will so just relax and enjoy the rest of your life cycle👴🏽


Elon's hyperloop looks very interesting indeed.


How is it case closed? Jets are government funded project that serve a military purpose, f1 serves no purpose and is funded by manufacturers who to the r&d into the power units which every single team uses , it's just the most irrational comparison I've seen yet

F1 needs to be relevant because if it isn't there's nobody to build he power units unless of course you want the teams to build their own, which goes hand in hand with cost cutting doesn't it?


When there is no war on a fighter plain doesn't serve any purpose.


@ gary...hahhaa, that's as plane as the nose on your face.


Jets are killing machines. F1 isn't.

What I'm saying is that the fighter jet attributes that connect to the crowd should be present in F1. What attributes are those?

Speed. Noise. Fire shooting out of the exhaust. Like this.



F1's purpose is to entertain.

R&D? Toyota owns 75% of hybrid market. They don't need F1 to do so. Mazda just developed a petrol engine that saves an additional 30% of fuel. Where is their F1 R&D? Mercedes AMG Hybrid branded cars won last 3 F1 championships, there are no Mercedes AMG Hybrid cars for you to buy, but there are V8 and V12 ones. 2017 Mercedes AMG EQ Power+ graces the grid. There is no such thing for you to buy. EQ Power+ hybrid will not be here till 2021. In 2019 under EQ Power+ however, there will be a 100% electric SUV. Ask, what are they selling you here? What are they really developing?

Your brain has been washed with this idea that F1 is road relevant. It isn't. If anything it is relevant to a few hundred if very expensive cars that have no impact to humanity and actually the world would be a better place without those cars.

What it comes down to is this. In all this discussion, I don't see a path to increasing popularity of F1 in years ahead. All roads lead to decreasing fan count. We have not hit bottom yet. Not until F1 comes back begging to be on Free To Air.


By the the F1 wants to be on FTA it might be so marginalised as not to be wanted!


haha imagine driving through a mountain road with AI having the controls on it...It will be fun to watch..
here's an example, on one of my drive through mountains in himalaya.
I can't think, how a sophisticated ai will drive through such unpredictable conditions...I definitely wont be leaving my wheels to AI.
so the main point...F1 can't follow what tech is doing to be relevant. If AI are driving our cars...will we then switch to robo race or something? There needs to be some sense of reality check here. These paths don't align. This behavior of F1 trying to be something its not in its dna should be adjusted or its death of F1.


I've watched your various comments (and there have been many) with great interest Sebee. I'm 42 and I've hardly missed an F1 race since 1985. As owner of a Tesla MS and MX I can confirm that, contrary to this post, they are both very easy to love. There is only one direction of travel and the tipping point is closer than many people realise. I'm confident you share that viewpoint. There isn't a 'but' here as I also completely agree with your view on the future of F1. It needs to buck that trend and go as noisy, smelly and fast as possible. My only caveat to that is a simple one. Kids love Teslas. It amazes me that adults look quizzically at my cars but kids seem to have instant recognition. And they think it's really cool. We shouldn't assume that the next generations will think noisy and smelly is cool.


The undeniable fact is Teslas are just plain stupid, how can anyone takes seriously a car with 550 kgs of batteries that lasts a couple of hundred K's then needs hours to refuel. They are just an expensive impractical golf cart, a toy for the rich greenies who travel 30 k's to work, charge the battery and think they are doing good for the enviroment. I can't believe anyone could possibly be sucked into buying one.


Richard, I'm currently delaying buying a car slightly. I will be putting in a high voltage charger feed shortly, and will wire panels on the roof. I'm looking for a solution that will charge the car through solar and allow the car to be a storage pack of electricity in an emergency for the house as well.

I agree that electric cars are cool, not all of them, but certainly all Teslas. I think a P85D or P90D or P100D smoking Ferraris in quarter mile is hilarious and super cool.

I think the smell of F1 fuel is unique, but agree with you that it is an aquire taste. Noise is too. I hear your points, except...back to fighter jets. They smell different. They sound like nothing else. Few of us will ever get to fly one. Yet we are all amazed when we see one and desperately wish we could fly one. There used to be a reason F1 drivers were called pilots. That's hardly a reference for them anymore - for a reason. Machines they control sound nothing like a fighter jet. Time to get back to that 20,000 rpm V10 sound, fire shooting out of exhaust pipes, engines glowing red hot, smell of racing fuel gracing our pallets. #MakeF1GreatAgain


I'm in the odd position of both agreeing and disagreeing with Sebee. The sooner the general public sees electric as the new normal the better, hopefully it will start with cars and filter down to solar panels on roofs etc - the more every individual switches to renewable/zero emission options the better. Climate change and dirty air is real, the science is solid, and we may already be too late, but if we are to tackle it every member of the population has to as soon as they are able. (Yes, I'm aware that at the moment a lot of the power charging your car will be from coal etc, but that will also change over time, and that is the responsibility of governments to ensure it does). My next car (as soon as I can afford a new one) will be electric, they are now just about feasible for daily use, and will only get more so as more manufacturers commit to them.

And it is for precisely those reasons I can't sanction F1 going back to obsolete technology. Even if its all a marketing exercise and a load of baloney, as Sebee consistently posits, the fact that the biggest, fastest motorsports series at least pretends to be thinking about electrification and efficiency has to be a good thing for getting that sort of thinking into the general public consciousness. Yes, the FE technology may ultimately prove more useful, but the general public doesn't know about it that series yet. I also think there are far better ways F1 can go about improving the show than mucking about the engine rules and going back to old fashioned technology - starting with actually thinking through aero rules properly so cars can follow closely, and forcing some kind of equivalency rules onto the manufacturers after the first 2-3 seasons of any new engine rules so that they can get an initial performance benefit from the investment if they do a great job (a la Mercedes), but that by now the PU would no longer be a performance differentiator. They should also have introduced a proper cost cap on the PUs, forcing them to be supplied at a loss so the small teams didn't have to waste so much of their budget on a thing they can't control.


This will take much longer than 20 odd years. 2040? no chance.

It odd that now the west is/has lost control of the 3rd world resources and we are turning "Green".

The West speaking to the 3rd world.

"I know when we controlled you and your resources it was ok to burn them. But now with the Amazon rain forest (that was meant to be all cut down 20years ago) and with Global warming (That was meant to be boiling us to death today). You guys can't use your resources anymore and must use our new technologies that we control".

To the 3rd world. Use all your resources. Sell them to China,........ do what ever you want with them.


Try 2025. Try 2022.

These rules aren't needed. Consumers will make the natural switch to electric autonomous, and likely not even owning but buying just rides as needed - which will make the switch a zero risk proposition for the consumer.

What I'm convinced about is that by 2040 you will need a special permit beyond a driver license to drive yourself. And you may not even be allowed to drive petrol cars on public roads for many reasons, including safety, breathing air pollution, supply of petrol, noise, etc. Eventually autonomous cars will result in driver licenses not being issued at all. Are you a child 10 or under today? You may never have or need a driver's license.

As a side note, watch out as market is soon flooded by collector cars no one will buy as lack of nostalgia for them along with lack of ability to drive them on public roads becomes reality.

2016 Ferrari for $5000 anyone? Low miles, well maintained. Offers accepted.


Seebee, how do we get around the Kobayashi Maru scenario? Will you buy a car that's programmed to kill you instead of the little old lady (or bunch of school children) who walked out in front of you? How much insurance premium do you think you will have to pay if your car is programmed to kill the little old lady and save you?


How do I get around it?

I get around it by knowing that even if the choice made there is wrong, the % of humans killed this way in the 1.3M killed annually driving is minimal. Meaning, the error % here still means milions of lives saved each decade by automation.


Sorry Seebee, you are confusing an accident with deliberate programming. How many of your 1.3m are deliberately killed because a computer programmer made a decision on who lives and who dies? There's a world of difference between a split second decision made a driver compared to a planned, tested and executed (sic) program by an expert in the field employed by a car company to specifically write code for exactly that situation. Months, most likely years in advance. If the driver kills someone because of a decision they made then they are subject to all levels of charges up to manslaughter. Would not the same apply to the computer programmer or the car company that instructed him?

Let's try another tact, what if you walked into a Mercedes showroom to buy a car and asked the salesman "in a Kobayashi Maru situation who will this Mercedes decide to kill, either me or the little old lady?" "Well, sir it will choose to kill you". Do you still want to buy that Mercedes?

Let's make it a bit more complex, if the salesman assures me that I'm safe and it will choose to kill the little old lady then am I somewhat culpable? I mean I know what the programming is and I choose to buy/drive the car knowing that. Surely there is an argument that says I'm contributing in that I chose a car designed to to save me and kill her?

Can of worms Seebee, that is currently being asked about in courts right now driverless trains. That run on marked and controlled tracks, very different to free roaming cars. That's one huge can of worms.


Electric and autonomous are separate - but both are coming.
2022? For hybrids, yes, noting many car companies have already announced the end of non-hybrids. But not for full electric. Batteries are getting cheaper/lighter fast, carbon is getting more expensive, and oil can't shift enough to change the economics - that in any country aiming to reduce carbon emissions, full electric will become the only mainstream option for light vehicles. But the point where more full electric cars are sold than hybrids is unlikely to be in the 20s. Most analysts would put it in the 30s for Europe, with the rest of the west following behind. And things like HGVs - no one would put a prediction on the shift away from oil yet.


Hybrid? It has been here for 2 decades with huge model selection. Hybrid owns less than 2% of car market. Electrics have been here few precious years with very limited model choice. 1% of world cars are now electric. That was FAST! Choice of models is the only thing that stands in the way in my view.

To me it is clear. World goes autonomous and electric soon. Sooner than you think. Implications of that are huge however, economy wise. I'm talking millions of lost jobs. Huge economic impact. Lack of ability to generate revenue for municipalities. If people don't need a driver's license, license plate, car registration fees, insurance with a tax on top of it, parking fees with tax on it, parking permits, street parking paid, parking tickets...wow...we're talking about HUGE hits to city revenues. But huge savings for individuals too. I wonder how they will make up for all that. That's another issue all together.


Eventually autonomous cars will result in driver licenses not being issued at all.

What a fantastic way of controlling who can travel where. Being able to drive myself, that's freedom.


No one will stop you from driving anywhere. Simply you'll be able to read a book as you go there. Or drink a glass of wine. Or take a nap or get romantic in the back seat with your lady. There is other ways to stir the senses than just looking for a gap to stick your car into. You'll always have video games for that as well, which you will soon play while being driven to your morning destination.


What if Google / Tesla / Lyft or another Uber of 2080 doesn't like you anymore and they cancel your account? Or you find yourself on a government controlled "no-riding" list like some people find themselves on "no-fly" lists today? The thing is, as soon as someone takes away the ability to do something from you, you're out of control and dependent. And that's what these companies of today want: they want to make us dependent on them. Some people go as far as saying "we will not need driving licenses anymore". Unbelievable.


Under what scenario you find that restriction a necessity? Maybe if you were defecating in the cars, or damaging them - then yes, you deserve to be banned.

Or if you're a criminal perhaps. What's nice is that as a criminal you wouldn't be able to move around without the system knowing where you are, which makes finding criminals quite easy. Cops just need to wait for you at destination of the particular ride.

I'm not saying there aren't some loopholes in any technology. Just look how much privacy we've given up with social media. But, in this case, I don't see any drawbacks on your objection. Not everyone is allowed to drive right now. Licenses are suspended, taken away, etc. Any system has potential for exclusion.


@Sebee; recently a Google emloyee was fired for respectfully pointing out that women are biologically different from men. Lucky he isn't dependent on Google for his mobility, otherwise he would be well and truly ****ed.


Have I said it's some sort of necessity? Today, people who publicly state things about our dear corporations sometimes find themselves with their accounts suspended or permanently removed. Just google it (sic!) and you'll find multiple stories like that. You know, years of email, photos, documents completely gone. Tons of annoyances. I.e. having to change all logins for the websites where you used your email for login? Recovering photos from multiple backups? That's nothing compared to what a ban on your transport ability would be. The reason does not matter. Someone at a corporation does not like you - bye!


You're dreaming Seebee, cars will be programmed to stay away from anywhere any government decides that they don't want you to go.


You mean like crowds where they could explode or where they have been driven into people and killed many? Or generally where they don't belong?

And the problem with that is what exactly?


I don't want to read a book, or drink wine, or get romantic with a lady...I want to drive. And I want to drive where I want, and how fast I want and I want to be spontaneous in choosing my routes sometimes. That's true freedom and autonomy. The autonomous vehicle, to me, is tyranny.

I have access to such amazing roads in the hills that to not be able to drive would be like giving a kid a brand new gaming console for Christmas and telling him that he mustn't even touch it, let alone play with it. It's almost inhumane.


My sentiments as well.


It will be us against The Man, Luke!


In short, it's political beneficial to be seen to be "Green" at the moment. F1 going Green is just a little part of a bigger Geo Political event that's been going on since the 1970/1980s. The Western population is being weaned off a product it's leaders have lost control off.

Oh wait sorry, I blackout there for a moment.

Incert Lewis Hamilton stuff in my last two posts.


I wonder what the governments are going to do when they loose the revenue generated by ticketing people for speeding or parking in places they are not suppose to. What about the fees for registering a vehicle or obtaining a license if you can just hail an autonomous car to pick you up and drop you off at your destination. Also what will happen to the insurance industry? Who is liable should an autonomous car wreck? These governments must not have thought about that yet.


The rise of FE and how manufacturers are flocking to it has now slapped a big old exposure on formula 1it basically says "you have until the technology allows us to build cars that are comparable in speed to make F1 relevant again"
And the more manufacturers that join FE the closer and closer that date becomes because they will drive he technology harder and harder, the cars will get faster and faster every year

I would bet that in 10 years time construction would of already begun if not competed on purpose built electric race circuits using wireless charging technology seen here


The writing is one the wall for formula one, it has 10-15 years left and then it will be another historic race format


"The writing is one the wall for formula one, it has 10-15 years left"

They were saying that 10-15 years ago (if not more) but if F1 has proven one thing it's that it's feet are remarkably resistant to self inflicted bullet wounds 🙂

As James pointed out, in the electric powered vehicle future (however soon or distant that may be) there may be a huge market for a nostalgic petrol powered racing series.


True but 10-15 years ago it wasn't getting the investment from major manufacturers that's it's getting now, its development will be exponential over the next few years, as it's so early in its infancy it's easier to make bigger gains


Formula E will be the death of racing. It is boring and only exists because the FIA and some manufacturers want to be seen as "green" relevant. If it had to exist on it's own and be profitable through spectator and TV revenues it would fail quickly.


It won't be the death of racing it will be the complete opposite, it will make sure it has significant investment for future development


f1 will not be beaten by fe..not in a million years.
where will all the extra electricity come from?
and how will driving through electric field affect health?


Extra electricity? All the major manufacturers are now ploughing investment into this it's not a case of it but when


Stefan you are seriously delusional is you think there is some magic formula for a battery that will last longer than a couple of hundred K's. A Tesla S has 550 kgs of the latest and greatest battery pack that lasts about as long as 15 kgs of petrol, then takes 40 times as long to refill/recharge. It uses lots of lithium ion that is not an infinite resource, but even more so uses cobalt as the cathode. The scarcity of the raw materials is forcing up their prices and it's not going to get any better. We could also talk about supply reliability since most of the cobalt used today comes from the Congo, now there's a stable supply source.


Of course I think there will be a battery that will last more than couple of hindred K's, in fact I'm certain of it

Do you honestly think the FE development war that's coming between the big manufacturers won't yield a step forward in technology, do you honestly believe that the investment all the big manufacturers are putting into this is so the technology will remain stagnant?

"Don't worry this whole electric things is gonna blow over we've clearly peaked at our technological maximum and everything we do now is just a waste of time"

Good job you came along Gaz , the amount of time and money you have single handedly saved is probably incalculable 👏🏻👍🏼


no one is ploughing all their money into such a project. they are getting ready to react to changes if they come. they are still making petrol and diesel vehicles and sell a lot more of those than they do electric. i like change but it hasn't come yet and doesn't make sense to me.
burning fossil fuel to make electricity for electric cars is definitely not as efficient as burning the fossil furs in internal combustion engines, so what is the point in it? they'll need to burn more fossil fuels for cars to move the same distance... what is the point in that?
doesn't make sense..


No one is ploughing investment into electric and hybrid development? Are you serious?


my post is still up there, for your reference..


Actually, efficiency of a good CCGT (gas turbine) + electricity system losses + battery charging losses is well above the efficiency of a petrol engine. And gas is cleaner than oil to start with.
But that's not the point - electricity systems are decarbonising, so you're not burning fossil fuels to make the electricity. The US is obviously well behind, but anywhere in Europe west of Poland, the average carbon intensity of the grid is below that of the best CCGTs, and dropping fast.


i like your way of thinking bradley but i think it's only fair to use the same fuel in our comparisons. so we can compare gas powered power stations with gas powered internal combustion engines in cars. make sense?
do you now agree that internal combustion engines in cars are far more efficient than electric cars driven by electric produced from power stations burning the same fuel?


F1 = marketing platform.
To market you need someone to pay attention.

What gets more attention at an air show?
An automated drone?
A glider?
A biplane?
A fighter jet?

Do people go to the airshow in hooe of seeing the drone, glider, biplane or jets?
Do you see the public's amazement a jet evokes changing, ever?

F1 needs to follow that model.


no profit = unsuccessful.


Yeah, Fighter jets are cool. now if we could only race them.


Good point.

You know Sebee, if you'd just worded your argument like that a few years ago you could have saved yourself a bucket load of comments 😉


I gotta tell you, a day will come when I will wish I got all the time I spent on those comments back. 🙂


Us too Sebee, us too... 🙂


have you ever been to an air show sebee?
my father was an raf fighter pilot trainer so we grew up with air shows as our culture and i can assure you we went with the aim to see rather than to hear them. and each time, we are mostly impressed by their appearances and abilities rather than their loudness..


aveli, not sure who the "we" are?? (are you just referring to yourself in the third person ?)

It's 9/10's the noise and 1/10 the appearance....

The noise is "streets ahead"...


very funny lkfe, how could sound possibly travel ahead of light?
speed of sound = 340.29 m/s
speed of light = 299 792 458 m / s
now make your mind up.....and don't hide.


Aveli, are you seriously telling me that crowds aren't blown away as a jet sneaks in from he behind and they are freaked out by seeing it before hearing the roar, and then as it makes a 90 degree bend it shoots straight up, disappears (but you can still hear it), then flips, inverts, flies down and does some 8G level out to go back to horizontal at few hundred feet above ground?

I think you actually need to ask yourself if you've ever been to an air show. I'm quite certain that seeing them is important. However it is how extreme they look and how amazing they sound that keep the crowd in awe.


sebee i frequented biggin hill air shows as a kid. was an air cadet in 444 squadron. learned a lot about the history of aviation and got frequently tested on their specifications. flew a glider and a chipmunk a couple times. air shows are woven into our culture.
now that is out of the way, stick with the ariginal debate..engine noise is not as important as you state. it certainly adds to the excitement but not the main attraction...f1 can do without engine noice but couldn't do without speed..


If there is no difference in speed between an F2004 and W08 going down a straight, which one do you think would impress the crowd more?


speed is the superior spectacle, so why eliminate it?
we watch f1 because it is the fastest form of motor racing. not because it is the loudest form of motor racing. yes, the noise is impressive but not the most important. f1 reduced the noise and is getting more popular.


Yes the sound is definitely a part of the live experience that can not be replicate through TV/internet. I recall hearing my first F1 car at FP1 in Montreal. I was crossing the bridge before the hairpin. I could hear the car in the distance approaching getting louder and louder. Then it roared underneath me giving me Goosebumps through my whole body. My gf said she will never forget my facial reaction to it. I agree with the fighter jet analogy F1 has to be a visceral experience. I have not been to or will not attend a live event anymore if I can watch it on TV and get the same effect from the sound.


and yet most f1 fans watch most races on tv...


J, look at this video.


How amazing is this? The sound, the fire out the pipes. Awesome.
Then that shot where the car disappears into the woods, all you see is the fence, and you hear that beautiful F1 car sound at a distance fading but still so awesome. That sound was like a homing beacon calling you to come, witness. And the closer you got, the more unbelievable it all got. You were hooked. You would tell your friends about it. "DUDE! You cannot believe what an F1 car sounds like. It's insanely amazing!" Then, you'd get a ticket for a grandstand, front straight and you'd see them line up on the grid, 20 of them....red line RPMs...waiting for the lights to go out. They would disappear in a few seconds and you'd look at everyone around with a giant smile on your face saying Holy !@#$! That's it. You were hooked. You'd book a ticket to some undesirable distant place where a GP was held and sit in the grand stands in the rain if needed to experience it again.

Now? Enjoy the hybrid, buddy. We're saving fuel!...I want you to believe that.


Coincidentally or not, The Red Arrows seem to perform as warm-up act most years at Silverstone.


Those planes are a little delicate to be honest. No offence to the fine show they provide, which is tradition really. BUT...they are a bit like an F3 car, not a V10 F1 car. I saw a single F-22 show off, and that thing gives me goosebumps. That plane is so...V10 F1! 🙂


as a humble observer, i have witnessed the evolution of cameras and camera angles to present a better show. so much work has gone into making better looking f1 cars, better looking spaces around f1 tracks, better looking livery and signs, better televisions, better broadcasting equipment with very little work being put into improving the sound.
i have seen the dramatic increase in sales of smartphones because of their improved displays, making apple the most profitable tech company in the world in just a decade. with no improvement in sound.
all f1 cars performance specs are measured and recorded, from power to ride height and wheel base, true pressures and temperatures to track temperatures. never heard of anyone trying to measure the sound of f1 cars let alone record them in decibels or herts.
you are simply overstating the importance of sound in the f1 experience. all evidence tells us that the visual impact of f1 and most entertainments overwhelm the auditory experience. even in the music industry, where the main focus is sound, videos are preferred to just audio. f1 travels from country to country not because the cars sound different in different countries. all forms of entertainments have a visual impact in the centre of their dna....not sound.
i agree with you that sound does enhance the show but not as much as the visual impact.


@ Sebee...yes, spot on. I can bear witness to that phenomenon.


i am not claiming the sounds of the planes at airshows are not impressive. my point is they main factors of interest are the shape of the planes and abilities. sound is much lower down the list of importance. if sound was if any importance, they'd measure the frequency range as well as the loudness and include them in the list of specification but they don't...
that's how important the mouse is..


sebee...i am impressed by the noise at airshows but that is not the main reason i go to airshows. i have never heard anyone say they were going to listen to an airshow.
commentary at airshows tell you what's flying, it's capabilities and which is next and the direction from which it will appear so you look out for it. only those who fail to pay attention think the planes sneak up on them..


Of course! BUT...you can't fly it. You can't feel it. You can't touch it.
All of those things are true to F1 as well.

SOUND is the main sensory connection that jet makes. Yeah, you see it fly into the stage area above you from behind, but it is only when the sound hits your ears and your body that your heart rate doubles and excitement level goes WAY up.

Next time you're at an air show, ignore the plane, look at the crowd. Witness it yourself.


F1 needs to follow a model that has investment, nobody is willing to plough millions into building a developing technology that has no future, if no one is willing to invest in it then it can't survive


try holding your breath and see if you'll die. your are designed to preserve yourself and so are f1 teams. they will invest to ensure the survival of f1.


You know, Schumi started life in a Jordan 7-Up car. Won first 2 WDCs in a Benetton Car. The most successful driver on the grid right now in WDCs won them in a Red Bull car. I don't see why the marketing in F1 and source of marketing funds must be a slave to car manufacturers. Sure it's easy money right now. So is oil money though. I'm sure oil money is all for V10s in F1.

As a side note don't you find it funny that alcohol is advertised on cars in motorsport? Would it surprise you at all that speeding and drunk driving are leading causes of death in cars? Considering that F1 is speed, and on bunch of cars is alcohol it makes you wonder here about the ethics angle as well a little, doesn't it? I mean, they say "if you drink never drive", but I'm watching cars go fast and I'm watching alcohol brands...together. Seems odd.


Yes they push this halo for safety yet advertise alcohol on the cars and are they really concerned with safety? A lot of Hypocrisy. Did anyone notice the Halo make a surprise appearance on the Hungarian GP podium courtesy of the Pirelli model when they gave the drivers their hats.


You think PUs have a future?

I don't mean to be rude, but that's funny.


pus are the future as well as the present.
even road cars have silencers because that noise is so undesirable..
calories are measured and given so much attention in nutrition because it is important. laptimes are measured and recorded because they are important. sound is not measured nor recorded because it doesn't matter. f1 has increased in popularity despite the reduction in noise.. one could replace the word "despite" with "as a result of".


If you mean PUs have a future where they represent 200 Mercedes hypercard sold, before world goes electric, then yes.

Here is my confident statement to you. By the time that Mercedes AMG hypercar in super limited quantities ships with the F1 PU, I bet you an electric car will exist which will beat that car in 1/4 mile run.

And considering this just happened, with that hyper car not even shipping for 2 more years...


...I'm going to say it will beat it in lap time too.


how many laps did it manage?


Everyone attempting lap runs is a 1 time effort. Don't worry, those batteries can be charged mighty quickly with high voltage.


How spot on, I'll shake your hand should I meet you


Thanks for making that point repeatedly. I agree with you that F1 should evoke a wow factor - sinclair c1 racing is simply not exciting.


Where is all the "zero emission" electricity coming from and is it also zero emission?

Formula E is the equivalent of going to a night club or music event with the volume turned down and no matter who drives the car it'll be a bit flat....to me.
Paradoxically I welcome silent road cars due to the obvious social benefits.

I am 47 and agree with much that's said in the article. It pains me however to suggest that F1 will become a irrelevant dinosaur in my own lifetime.
Older generations have tried to suppress younger ones since the beginning of time and ultimately failed,particularly as the older becomes more financially irrelevant.
As FE continues to develop I think eventually we'll see it evolve into F1E as the 2 will become 1.
How long will this take?
Based on my personal engineering experience I'd suggest a generation from now,so 20 years give or take 5.
I really believe this will happen, let's be fair it already is.
The only thing left to say would be on the sound of the cars. You see us older enthusiasts just can't get it into our psych that a car without a loud roar is a car worth watching but again I'm a couple of generations of silent road cars whizzing around will leave the new F1E fans talking about the awful racket those older cars used to make........and the racing will hopefully go on.


I strongly believe that cars should make as little sound as possible. I hate noisy cars on public roads.

However, F1 should absolute be the unique exception to that rule. It should make that unique V10 20,000rpm sound because it was a one of a kind concert of fire. The louder the fireworks the better, right? You never go to see fireworks and desire silence, do you? Same rule for F1.


most road car noise come from their tyres.



most road cars have a louder tyre roar than engine note...


I strongly believe that cars should make as little sound as possible. I hate noisy cars on public roads.

Sorry must disagree I, my Alfa is loud compared to modern cars, I think it sounds fantastic. It's also one of the best looking cars ever made, In my humble opinion 🙂


Great. So all those pedestrians walking on sidewalks should not be able to carry on a conversation as you drive by because you like your Alfa's sound?

People should be waken up from their nap because you drove through the neighbourhood?

It is simple math. Your right to a noisy car doesn't outweigh everyone else's right to enjoy silence in public spaces.


@Sebee; and who decided that people's nonsensical yammering on a sidewalk somewhere is more important than this man's passion for his Alfa.

Besides, most likely they're looking their iPhones, so a loud car might just jolt them out of their semi- comatose states and prevent them from walking into the path of his car.


People should be waken up from their nap because you drove through the neighbourhood?

I struggle to think of a better way to be woken that can be put on a public forum :))


Oh come on, that's not fair.

I must be a little odd but I still hanker for a V6 75 Veloce, if there are any left.

So what is yours then ? GTV6, Spider ?


2 ltr 105 Spider cam tail., one of the early models with the standing pedals.


I'm a little torn on this. The current engines do sound fantastic; very musical and growly. Its just they really aren't loud enough. I'm sure it could be fixed.

I guess Formula E is kinda cool at the moment, because EV tech is still shiny and new. But what happens when most road cars in production are EV and the tech has been mastered? Maybe it would be nice to have a change from the normal. Some big loud noisy inefficient petrol engines that we use every couple of weeks 🙂


Yes, it can be fixed. Here is the prescription for the cure.

Take a 20,000rpm NA V10 and call me in the morning.


Don't forget to reduce the weight of the cars back to its lowest or lowering it even further!


Just saw that Halo will add another 10Kg to the cars in 2018.


the love of f1 racing has nothing to do with road cars.
running has stopped being a normal form of transport and yet athletic stadia are packed the world over.


'and yet athletic stadia are packed the world over.'

Hmmm not true really. London is the exception..


I believe FE is fine and good, for now. A nice marketing tool for the non-leading brands in the electric car sector.

However, beside the fact that there are too many manufacturers there already and they will become all blended and hard to distinguish, the two most important brands aren't represented.

That is Tesla and Apple.

All these FE brands think we'll buy cars in the future. Sure, perhaps a small quantity. But I think that will be the minority because the benefits of automated electric shared ride network will be so much better. You think your own private electric Mercedes with you only in it will get priority access to roads, lanes, faster traffic flow, peak hour city access? Or will you selfishly get to be stuck on the right side of the highway in your over priced electric EQ Power+ whatever as shared autonomous linked electric Apple cars flow by you at 3x speed on the left? How many days will you waste your time on the right side vs. doing what those on the left side of the road are doing? Now will Audi, Mercedes, Porsche etc. compete with their over priced premium "buy it, own it" car model against Apple car that I own only when needed, as needed, for the price of a latte? How will they compete with a car I will always have in my pocket? In London. In New York. In Dubai. Wherever I happen to be.

So, FE is nice, but I believe it is crowded(perhaps temporarily) by brands who finally realize their Kodak moment may be near, but are quite helpless to stop it.

Final point. Utilization of cars is a mind boggling 4% currently. When seat occupancy is factored in, it is 1%. They stand 96% of the time, unused. Stunning how much money we waste on ownership, insurance, fuel, maintenance, parking, etc. There is just no way current automakers escape the upcoming transportation model shift without significant pain. If utilization rate goes up to just 8%, or 2% by seats, we can remove 1/2 - HALF the cars from roads and production. Wow! Talk about green. And even then, these cars will still spend 92% of their time standing still. Spare capacity anyone? Apple can replace 10 cars with one efficient electric autonomous one. Think of the impact!


You forget the two biggest brands in terms of current sales:
BYD and Didi Chuxing
The former sells more EVs than anyone else - and probably has more future sales potential than Tesla. The latter is the world's biggest ride-sharing platform, in front of Uber.
Just because it's not North American based doesn't mean you should ignore it!


"How will they compete with a car I will always have in my pocket?"
You already do with Uber and taxis don't you? What's the difference?


Difference is UBER is a brand that has a black eye due to exploiting human beings and is still petrol. Apple is a brand with 250B in the bank. You will have a choice, use Apple Car with a high level of quality everywhere, no smelly cars, no bad drivers, electric, quiet, cleaned regularly, etc. Or UBER.

I assure you, UBER is just a temporary step to automobile as it should be. UBER is Netscape. It will be killed off but will do plenty of heavy lifting before Apple arrives to kill it off. And even if UBER makes it, UBER will be electric and autonomous in the future if it wants to survive.


Welcome to 'my world' James - your thoughts and observations are both timely and welcome. I've been busy with EV's for over a decade now, and share much of that thought via my LinkedIn blog that's attracted a few followers e.g. https://www.linkedin.com/today/posts/rogeratkins


we'll watch how france gets on.


Here you go - lazily copy/pasted some of my previous posts on JAonF1 :-

'. . . F1 as the international feeder series for Goodwood Revival . . .'

'. . . It's O.K. by me if F1 becomes the premier class in an internationally expanded Goodwood Revival series. Just don't attach descriptors like 'pinnacle' and 'epitome' to it and acknowledge its nostalgia-driven base . . .'

'. . . Maybe best to do a re-branding deal with the Goodwood Revival folk . . .'

All that + home-brew fuel.


There is no need for Formula One to be road relevant at all. In fact the only similarity between the car in yours and my garage and any of the F1 cars on the grid today is that they both have four wheels.
So what if petrol and diesel engines are banned or even just get superseded by Autonomous Solar Uber's... the T model Ford brought on the demise of the horse and buggy but there are still hundreds of horse races everyday around the world.
There is no connection between our daily means of transportation and Formula 1 now or in the future.
As for FE,, it struggles for fans because it is lacking a noisy ICE.


spot on f1 races are held because we love it. period.


There isn't.

But they foolishly keep insisting there is.

Shows what they really think of us and our ability to see through their marketing crap, doesn't it?


Here in the US, the horse racing industry seems to have been struggling for decades.


It's fit and well across the world and rakes in millions.


It's a surprise to me that it's doing well around the world. All the best to them. Here in the US popularity and revenues are way down. Those facts are not hard to find if you dig a little.

Back in the 30s horse racing was hugely popular here. But it seems to have been the passion of a generation. And analysts point out that it doesn't compete well in today's much bigger array of leisure time attractions. The few biggest races do OK, but below that there's grief, and as goes the foundation, so eventually does the whole structure. The F1 industry is painfully aware of similar considerations: today there's a lot of ways to have fun, and what's considered fun by the very many generally fits the spirit of the times: consider electronics.

Want to guage the future of F1? Maybe there's one clue in the popularity of the various feeder series.


"So the question is where F1 fits into this, as the world’s most high profile fossil fuel powered race series and what its future will be? Will it eventually be forced to merge or be taken over by Formula E?"

Liberty are a shareholder in Formula E, so best ask them


Democracy is supposed to mean government of the people for the people by the people. People will have to vote in elections for political parties that propose these changes and they may not want to vote for them. We should be very wary of giving extreme powers to tose who wish to impose their own version of utopia on the rest of us. The UK Government has talked of a ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2040. This will have to appear in a party manifesto for it to happen and will the people vote for it? I don't know as attitudes might change but I doubt it we would vote for this any time soon.


they have already set a date and my feeling is if the french are successful, it will happen here too, nor matter which government is in power.
my question is, will it reverse global warming?


It will absolutely not Aveli. Mitigation is the word here, and even that's on shaky grounds. Let's see where racing is in 2040... but there's a real chance that if a couple of key structures in the world collapse because none took AGW all too seriously our interest in it my not top our priorities list.


i like you too by the way rafa..


how do you form your logic rafa?
who will sue who exactly?
the facts are the world has always evolved, is evolving now and it is because of its evolution that there is life. climate change hasn't just started. large portions of the largest desert, the sahara, were tropical rain forests before desertification and desertification took place long before fossil fuel was burnt. can you explain why carbon dioxide is convicted of causing global warming without evidence?
mitigation! who will bring this mitigation...nothing to do with halo in the hands of the fia my friend..very different cercunstances.


"The world has always evolved"... yes, if you go about a 120 km south of Cairo there are primitive skeletons of a kind of whale in the desert.... are those whales still around? Saying that the world has changed over millions of years and then comparing that to the trend from the last two centuries is is a completely misguided idea. These events do not correspond to a naturally occurring cycle but to one that could be described as cataclysmical... and the thing about these is that they tend to wipe out large portions of life, hence their name. "Without evidence"? Oh dear. All evidence points towards CO2, debunkers have at best succeeded in applying delaying tactics to the argument, always claiming that the evidence was not strong enough, but each time new studies confirm what should've been accepted long long ago: AGW is real, it's the gases that we put in the atmosphere that cause it and it is affecting millions of people right now, from Syria, to Bangladesh, to Europe and the tropics. That's where I get my logic Aveli, not from the lazy argument "the world has always evolved", while tens of thousands of people are desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean to get away from failing crops in the Middle East and in Africa.


nothing lazy about arguing that the world has always evolved..
simple facts. carbon dioxide is denser than air yet some claim that it goes up into the atmosphere, acting like a blanket, preventing heat from escaping and causing global warming. how can carbon dioxide do that when it is not only denser than air but only 0.04% of the atmosphere?
carbon dioxide concentration in the air can be varied to accurately measure its influence on the rate of photosynthesis in plants yet there isn't a single experiment to prove to the rest of us that carbon dixide is causing global warming..
scientific method starts with a question followed by a prediction supported with some background scientific knowledge. then a design of an experiment. the experiment carried out to collect results which are analysed to draw a conclusion which may or may not answerbtge question.
please name a single experiment which proves that carbon dioxide causes global warming...i know you are not lazy so please put me out of my misery and name the experiment..


No need.

Customers will vote with their wallets way before 2040. More like 2025 at latest.


where are those profit figures?


F1 going all electric is inevitable and unfortunately will signal a huge downturn in its fortunes. But there is no reason why it should hasten to bring about its own demise. Other sports ban technological advances in order to preserve the ethos of their sports, golf for example bans certain designs and techniques that make the game to easy. I'm not saying that it should live in the past but there is no reason to rush towards that point.

For me that visceral nature of a loud hot smelly vibrating beast of an engine is as much part of the sport as the competition itself. Just attend the Goodwood FOS and watch the crowd reactions to understand just how important it is.

I too predict a great future for historic racing series.


F1 goes electric, F1 dies.


f1 will not die if it goes electric. the sound is a waste product of the spectacle which impresses most fans but all f1 drama comes from motion. hence laptimes are measured and recorded. overtaking is discussed. winning times are recorded. qualifying times decide the grid. i wonder why there are no measurements of engine noice nor are there records of engine noise..ever!
only if noise was important enough..


The court finds you guilty of offences against F1.

Your sentence: Watch F1 on mute hence forth, with CC if you must know what the commentators said. You are not to watch any vintage footage for F1 and do 20 pushups for any time you enjoy the sound of an F1 car future (if sound is improved), current (10 pushups only for enjoying current PU sound) or past.

Court adjourned.


very funny sebee..i didn't say sound is not important in f1. i said "the sound", engine noise. even so. commentary has always been part and parcel of f1 it hasn't changed much and no one is complaining about it. you know that you refer to engine noise when you talk of v12s v10s and v8s.
a very good effort sebee. i hope you're horizontal with your chest and thighs touching the floor each time you descend..


Yes! Sound has always been part of F1. A feature of the product we recognize and immediately identify. And now it is gone. They took away the trademark sound of the product.

Imagine ketchup is blue as of tomorrow and made of blueberries. Would that still be ketchup? That's what happened to F1 with PUs.


now you've overstepped the mark sebee...
why could you not have used the sound of ketchup exiting the bottle in your argument? why use colour?
there you go! colour is more impactful, more dramatic..so you chose colour without even realising it. sound is just a side show. although the f1 signature sound has been taken away, your head is still bursting with f1...


I'm talking about changing the essential feature of a product.

My head is bursting, but I provide $0 revenue for F1. I used to be quite a good customer, they get nothing from me now. It's just a thing I watch while on a treadmill. There appear to be 175m million fans who's heads aren't bursting with F1 at all anymore, and more and more turn their back on the product.


I've said for a long time now that F1 is history within 30-50 years, unless it completely abolishes the fossil fuel. It's either FE only, or some kind of merger.

Loud engines are fun, but the planet and society itself is more important. The question is, which part of the human brain will triumph here? The rational (frontal) cortex, or the emotional reptile brain?


Electric cars are not 'pollution neutral'. They are zero emissions with regard end user, but the reality is that to make one (mining all the components including lithium) and the generation of electricity to run one and then the disposal of the toxic batteries is hardly 'green'. How they compare to ICE's is debatable, but cars in any form aren't saving the planet.


great point but the planet will continue to change, cars or no cars..


they are Zero Emission "where the car is" .. the coal fired power station that generates the electricity to charge them is still pumping out carbon monoxide, NO and heaps of particulates. ZERO emissions is blatant false advertising.


At the moment. Renewables will eventually cut down on emissions from coal fired power stations. One of the states in Australia is already at over 50% renewable power. Sure they've had some teething issues but they'll get it sorted.

That's not to say that using renewables won't cause pollution at all. It will just be different.


spot on!


how do electric vehicles cause less harm to the planet and society?


Like most of this Green nonsense, it is just window dressing and spineless duplicitous Politicians covering their backs from criticism, as opposed to doing anything good, logical or practical.

I have watched F1 for 35 years, but I will never watch any electric cars race, a pox on them.


It also helps to distract people from some real world problems such at terrorists in out midst who have proved rather more effective at killing us that vehicle emissions could ever be. The governments seem unable to act on tbis and other important issues so they talk about hitting soft targets like car drivers.


spot on...if governments were so concerned about pollution from cars affecting health, why do they spend so much weapon research, manufacturing and sales? weapons are intended to directly kill..


you have now spoken!


We get full coverage of all Formula E races on TV here in Canada. I am a big fan of all kinds of motorsports so I genuinely tried to watch and enjoy FE races, but they are very boring and basically unwatchable. The races are completely processional, almost no passing, and the contrived pit stops seem to just change the running order at random. Maybe FE is more entertaining in person with the fanzones and being able to watch it right in the city centre. Long term what FE may require is faster cars that can run on traditional circuits to allow more strategy and overtaking. Of course longer battery life is crucial for its future. Maybe FE – or another new series (? To compete with WEC) – starts to include electric sportscars and they start doing multiclass endurance racing which could be very entertaining. Porsche, Mercedes, Audi are dumping traditional motorsports series for electric FE - for now at least. Some of it may be just PR in light of diesel gate scandals. The problem with electric is battery life and driving range. Right now it is inadequate and current battery tech will not allow a long enough range. It will take a major revolution in battery tech to extend the range. I have read reports that a few manufacturers have decided to give battery tech a couple more years and if range is not improved they will dump it for another tech like hydrogen.
Of course this all ignores the philosophical argument that you are just exchanging one form of dirty power for another. The manufacturing and disposal of batteries may be creating more environmental damage than the ICE. And if you think about it, if you are charging your e car at home, the power to charge it is still derived from coal power plants and other dirty sources. And even if they ban the ICE in Europe and North America, the ICE's in India and China will create more pollution than we have at present. But whether it is just PR and politics or factual environmental concerns, the writing is on the wall for the demise of the ICE. For motorsports the only consolation may be that we stopped using horses for transportation decades ago, but people still ride and race them. So maybe the race circuit will soon be the only place to see and drive a traditional ICE car. I used to think that my kids will never get to drive a manual shift car on the road. Now they may never get to drive a gasoline powered road car!


A series needs to find a battery change "refueling". WEC should come up with this quick change system with a battery that lasts 25 laps or so.

Cedric Baumgartner

I wonder what the Indy Car racing series thinks and will do about that. My guess, probably not much. Their vision is clear and simple. Fast, loud, dangerous. F1's vision? Who knows these days....


Sometimes it is very smart to be the fast fallow than a leader. They have played it well so far as F1 disrupts itself. I wonder if there is a chance they could have the last laugh.


They're always talking about cutting omissions, fine. But does there need to be an complete shut down of omissions? Where is the limit? How much to we have to cut down before it is safe again and not ruining our planet?
If all road going cars are electric, is this not enough that motor racing could be left alone?
Just wondering🤔
Here's a fact that some might not know😊. Dr Thomas Midgely was the man who found out that if you put lead in petrol, the engine would not "clang" anymore. He was also responsible for CFC in fridges and freezers. Poor man!😄


If you want to stop warming the planet, then yes, there needs to be a zero emission future.
Given global emissions are still going up, and the world - now more than one degree hotter than a hundred and fifty years ago - is on a trajectory to be an extra two to three degrees hotter in 2100 - we still have some way to go.


Did you see what Mazda came up with? Entirely without presence or need for the "amazing F1 R&D"?


Now tell me what this would be like in a NA V10 22,000 RPM engine. Wanna bet it gets same or better milage as PUs but is lighter and wastes way less jet fuel transporting those heavy PU cars and all the junk they need to run?

F1 is missing oopportunities and cutting off its nose to spite face.


Is this not the same thing as the Mercedes 'Diesotto' engine that has been running in test cars for a number of years?


@ Warley..i have read rumors whereby the 'diesotto' tech has been used in Mecedes F1 cars for some time. The principle is very old. As a Mercedes owner some 10 years ago, i was sent a publication by Mercedes detailing their ongoing investment in testing this principle and seeking ways to incorporate it in their top model ranges. The big secret in those days was how to vary the compression ratios 'on the fly'. I have now seen schematic drawings as to how Mazda [?] have done this but the Mercedes method remains a closely guarded secret.


let's see that on the road first...


It will be here in 2019. Full 2 years sooner than Mercedes EQ Power+ Hybrid cars that are being advertised apparently in F1 right now.

Funny how when petrol engine is faced with death in last few years magical things are being done to improve fuel economy. Direct injection, this charge compression ignition, more gears in the gear box...where was all this before?

And all these petrol improvements, do they attack the Hybrid cars segment or the Electric car segment? I'm quite sure the Hybrid, because those who buy electric want to be off gasoline as one of the key points. That's actually why they are also willing to pay more for the car itself. No more trips to the gas station.


I'd say by 2025 F1 will be fully electric with 1.1 motor engines used solely for charging the electric motor batteries or for boost.
Jokingly ....
They'll be a height and weight restriction on drivers leading to 5ft drivers weighing 50kg.
Plus Bernie will be cryogenically merged with a orangutan and in charge of F1-E1 Cntrl Alt Del Championships sponsored by
Kim Jung Unleaded plutonium oil.


.....with 18 moving parts


what does fully electric mean?
1.1 motor engine, not sure what that is either..


It surprises me that the phrase/term/event "Peak Oil" rarely comes up in articles such as this, because basically what we're talking about is the terminal decline of fossil fuels. That's what this is really about. "The effect of peak oil on the world economy remains controversial" and has spawned controversial wars in all but name. Granted, a limited non-renewable resource will eventually run out in time - a reality that could conceivably occur, if not in our own lifetimes, then the next generation's. Then again, F1 isn't really representative of the wider picture, even with these hybrid engines, and you could argue that it shouldn't have to be.


how can we possibly run out of fossil fuels?
we are an insignificant part of this planet and cannot run out of any resource on it.
those that make those false claims are only making them to influence the world economy in their favour. north sea oil was meant to last 5 years back in the 70s. 5 decades later and they're still pumping brent crude out of the north sea, with many more companies joining in. we don't even know how much crude oil is on earth so how can we know when it will run out?


The ban on Petrol cars is a gang up against oil producing countries where majority are not in the west. Lets see how many cars would be sold cos most wont sell well in develiping countries where power is not wide spread.
Formula E will never be like Formula 1 and it will sadly die.


3 out if 5 top electric cars are Chinese brands you never heard about.
There are 300M electric scooters in China.
There are 200,000 electric buses.

China is leading research on safe Molten Salt Reactors, which run on current nuclear waste and will start coming online by 2020.

Oil producing countries already know what's coming. Governments are way behind as usual.

Consumers will choose electric cars way before 2040 deadline. Easily a decade earlier, if not nearly 2 decades earlier.


In 2 and a half years? You think people will be buying electric more than they will ICE (or hybrid)? Not so sure. I don't see it.


aezy, did you know that Tesla Model 3 that there is a backorder of 500K cars already comes ready with hardware onboard that will have autonomous level 4 software uploaded in a year and a half?

And I'm telling you, one day you'll wake up, Tim Cook will have a conference scheduled that day, and he will take the stage announce the AppleCar explaining the incredible benefits to humanity. People will listen as they always do with Apple news, think, understand quickly and world will change in a blink of an eye as adoption rate takes off like a SpaceX rocket. And all they will have to do is download an app on their phone and they will have an Apple Car. No dealers. No negotiation. No loan. No insurance. No parking. No worry if someone will scratch it. No visits to overpriced dealer for maintenance every few months. No ownership costs. No money up front. $0.15 cents per kilometre thanks to electric. Few months later he'll take the stage and declare Apple Car a huge success as 700 million unique people have signed up and used the service. Blink. Done.

After that, there will only be one thing left to do:
FOR SALE: 2017 Mercedes E63, loaded, silver, black leather, 42K km. Not autonomous but has blind spot monitoring and lane departure assistance. Requires special permit to be driven on Sundays only, not permitted in city centres. $2000 O.B.O. not below scrap value.


May well happen exactly as you say but you see all of this by 2020? Not in a million years will this happen by then. (and yes that was deliberate)


Analytics pit cost of purchase on par on or before 2025 for electric and petrol. Except who says we'll buy cars? I'm ready to ride share and call up a car without some dude slaving to give me a ride where he earns $1.36.


You can not stop the development, within 20 years, F1 is running electrically!
Living with "old engines" then historical racing applies!
What determines is battery development, lighter and more power
I'm lucky to be an old "petrol head" ....


Volvo announced it would soon stop making petrol and diesel cars

Not true, although the media keep repeating this. Volvo's statement explicitly applies to new models only.


Thank you for pointing this out @Max
Volvo (which is a Chinese company now) will introduce 5 new 'all electric' cars from 2019. The media release stated 'The rest of the company’s range will be available with “plug-in hybrid” power trains and 48-volt "mild hybrid" systems, which give an extra "kick" to the acceleration of normally powered cars as well as operating as a sole power system. That means they will have internal combustion engines. As for petrol/diesel being dead by 2025 or 2040, this chart from Morgan Stanley paints a different picture:


Best music in the world, listen and enjoy!
My favorites are Matra V12 and Ferarri F12!....and remember!


The banning of petrol powered cars by 2040, eh? ...Inside every progressive is a totalitarian screaming to get out. This is simply beyond outrageous. Bring back Guy Faulkes! First of all "zero emissions" is total garbage because where is all the electricity going to come from... In this regard EVs are more inefficient than petrol powered cars! Secondly, there probably isn't even a greenhouse effect caused by C02 and in fact judging by historical levels we need even more C02 in the atmosphere than we have now (plants love the stuff, duh). Unfortunately most people are usually 180 degrees out on any given issue and because everyone is so besieged by foibles, eccentricities and personality defects they'd usually rather drink bleach than admit they're wrong. And no, the earth isn't flat, I do think it is round.


While agree that it is mostly garbage, it does not mean that a lot of the sheep will not believe it. In fact I sometimes think that we are using what passes for education these days as a tool to stop people thinking for themseves! Bah humbug to all this faux altruism!


why don't they first ban weapons?


Well, I guess that puts paid to Sebee's constant yammering about F1 returning to V-whatevers...


unless 'V' refers to volts!


Make no mistakes about it, F1 on current path fades into irrelevance.

Last 4 years have been dominated my Mercedes AMG, a sub brand advertising hybrod in F1 but which has no hybrid cars for sale, which derives majority of revenue from V8s and V12s and which this year switched their F1 branding to Mercedes AMG EQ Power+, a brand which won't have a hybrid car until 2021. Mercedes EQ Power will however have a car by 2019, a 100% electric SUV.

Are you confused by why they wanted PUs in F1 in the first place? I sure as hell am confused. My only conclusion is to confuse us and deceive us...us...their potential consumers.