The end is near
Yas Marina 2017
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Brazil GP win gives Ferrari reason to smile after F1 championship defeat
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Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Nov 2017   |  8:35 pm GMT  |  327 comments

This was a good win for Ferrari and a painful loss for Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes. They had defied expectations on Saturday by beating Sebastian Vettel to pole position, after the German had set the provisional pole time.

But on Sunday, the race was all about the start. Vettel got the better launch and that was enough to give him a run on Bottas, as the pole is on the outside at Interlagos. Max Verstappen wasn’t able to make the attack into Turn 1 that we saw in Mexico because his fourth place grid slot is notorious for the double painted while start line that is just in front of the rear tyres. That takes the edge off the grip.

So Vettel had control of the race in the opening stint and Bottas never looked like he had an answer.

Mercedes made a speculative attempt at an undercut on Lap 27 but the margin needed this weekend with these Pirelli tyres was very small, as little as 0.6s, so Vettel had it covered and pitted a lap later.

The win is Vettel’s fifth of the season, which is encouraging for the Scuderia as is the fact that they have produced a car capable of qualifying on pole and they’ve succeeded in developing it throughout the season.

As a benchmark for next year, that’s pretty good. All eyes will be on Mercedes to see whether they persist with the long wheelbase treatment or do something different for next year, while Red Bull is finishing the season strongly (even if here their engine deficit was more obvious) and will surely be in the hunt next season for regular wins.

Vettel said tonight: “I think we can all feel that we’re getting stronger so hopefully we can carry that strength into the next couple of years, not just next year, not just the winter but also the future because I think our objective is to bring Ferrari back properly, get there and dominate. That’s what we want to do.”

Massa and Alonso roll back the years as midfield battle delivers again

Felipe Massa had a disappointing race last year, crashing out in the rain, but today he put up a good fight against Fernando Alonso in the McLaren, holding him and Sergio Perez off to the flag.

Massa started behind both on the grid, but got a good start and when Perez and Alonso had an altercation he was there to nip past Perez. He nailed Alonso at the restart after the Safety Car and McLaren didn’t try to undercut him at the pit stops. In fact Alonso came in a lap later.

Perez meanwhile tried to get back on terms with an odd strategy that saw him run longer than both, but he lost time and wasn’t able to do anything with the tyre offset he had.

It was another terrific midfield battle, as we have seen all season long. If F1 at the front were as exciting and variable as it is in the midfield it would be electric!


Hamilton revels in the power of new engine

Lewis Hamilton certainly brightened up the race with a ferocious drive from the pit lane to fourth. He led for a while, the first time anyone has done that from a pit lane start since he did it himself in 2014.

He made many overtakes, thanks to having the opportunity to fit a series V engine, or at least a new unit which was not of the same specification as the previous one. It was well worth it as it gave him great overtaking opportunities here and will set him up for a dominant weekend in Abu Dhabi, given that everyone else will be on the limit on engines at the end of the season.

At times with everything turned up, he was as much as 25km/h faster than the car he was overtaking, with DRS and a tow.

It is rare for a driver to get the chance to do that with the modern Power unit formula and next year they will have to be even more sparing with only three engines to last the season.

His challenge for the podium foundered on two moments; the second time he had to pass Lance Stroll and lost time and then the lock ups into Turn 1. Although these were a sign that the supersoft tyres were beginning to go, they also took the edge off the attack on Raikkonen in the closing laps. The Ferrari had better pace in the middle sector and that meant that Raikkonen started the long run up the hill with enough margin to keep Hamilton at arm’s length.

What did you think of the Brazilian GP this year? Did you think Bottas could have done more to get back on terms after the start? Leave your comments in the section below

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327 comments

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1

So how much does Vettel weigh?

2

I don't know what he weighs now Gene but at the start of the season, F1 racing profiled all the drivers and Vettel came in at 62 kg.

However, I'm guessing that he doesn't eat as many sausages / Frankfurters as I do during the course of the season!

3

Well you know what drivers shouldn't be jockeys.

4

After the race I watched a tv interview with Vettel; Johnny Herbert stuck a microphone in Vettel's face immediately after his weigh-in, and perkily asked, "so how much do you weigh?" Vettel was a jerk. Turned around the question to Johnny, who would no longer fit in a F1 cockpit ! . . Johnny told him, and they went on with the interview. Vettel is a jerk.

5

Herbert was a very average driver and is below average in commentary stuff. He has not ever really been relevant for anybody's attention unless he says something stupid or is making hair plug videos. Nough said.

6

Woah! Be careful. Johnny Herbert was not average. At the British Championships at Clay Pigeon (kart circuit in Dorset where Button hailed from) in 1980, he dropped a heat and had to come through the field from the back in the A final. He finished second (to Kevin Warner). I was there and remember it well. Actually, Kevin's chain broke after he crossed the finish line, so Johnny could have won.

He was being touted as the 'new Clark,' before his accident at Brands Hatch in 1988. He still had a solid debut with Benetton in 1989. Remember his amazing performance at the 1994 Italian GP when Lotus got a new engine? (Qualified 4th ahead of Coulthard in the Williams).

Then, he won 3 grand prix. He was teamed with Schumacher! In his first GP win (at Silverstone in 1995) he was in terrible pain under braking. Full marks for bravery. OK, so he was never the same after the Brands accident, but to say, "very average" just shows you know very little about him.

Commentary? That's a different matter. It's very hard to be good at that after Murray Walker!

7

He wasn't a jerk. He was making a joke. Maybe comedy ain't his thing but I thought it was funny.

8

How is Vettel a jerk? Herbert is renowned for his sense of humour and so, on occasions, is Vettel. As PS says, after winning a GP with all the physical and emotional effort, to have a mike shoved in your face, well if it were me (and I like Johnny Herbert), that mike would be deposited where the sun never shines. Quite honestly, these guys are amazingly calm given the circumstances. No way Vettel is a jerk for this..

9

James Allen's article is titled, . . "Win Gives Ferrari Reason to to Smile," so why was Vettel a jerk? He should be very bouncy and happy. He was not. Why snap at Johnny? No matter what he asked. Johnny was a good sport, saying he weighed 85 kilos. I haven't seen any sense of humor from Vettel recently. He seems bitter.

10

Man thrusts microphone in your face while you're bus doing something else, was Vettel abrupt with him? Hardly seems surprising and not really sure why that makes Vettel "a jerk". The way you describe it Herbert comes across just as bad (which isn't that bad at all"

11

To be fair to Seb, getting weighed is a requirement under the rules, presumably this is why yhey have dropped the top three interviews on the start finish straight? I thought it was all a bit odd.

12

Depends whether a racing driver has empty bowels or not.............

13

My guess is you don't have a big meal before racing because that could make you sea sick.

14

On that note, does anyone remember that memorable grid interview when Martin Brundle asked Kimi in Brazil where he was for a ceremony to which the Iceman replied: "I was busy having a s***!"

Well that's one way of getting down to the weight limit!

15

... Makes you wonder what they do when they need to gain weight..

16

They don't need to gain it.

17

LOL, Martin asked him if he saw some ceremony with Pele, and when told no, whether he'd get over it. To which Kimi gave his TMI comment. A classic grid walk moment.

Gaz, you know your F1 history, so here's an F1 trivia question for ya (no googling allowed; you're on your honour):

Q. Name the drivers (the top one for each) with the most GP's powered by each of the following engine manufacturers:

1) Honda
2) Ford Cosworth
3) Renault
4) Mercedes
5) Ferrari
6) Toyota

I'm not counting badged engines as separate. A Tag-Heuer is a Renault for this exercise.

One hint: half are champions, and half are not.

18

6. Nobody was ever any good with Toyota. Did they even score a point?

2. Mario A.

Who knows stupid questions

19

Final answers................ala Who Wants to be a millionaire?

Hmm
1) JB?
2) Emmo?
3) Webbo?
4) Hammy?
5) Not Schumi? Hmm.........Jean Alesi?
6? Trulli?

Final answers.....................if this was WWTBAM I probably would have lost the million by at least half.......

20

I was having fun too but I'm no comedian. I guess stupid wasn't funny. Read it again. You all might get it.

21

Ok, no worries.

22

1) Button ✔
2) Emmo Fittipaldi ✔
3) Webber ✔
4) Hamilton ✔
5) Alesi ✖
6) Trulli ✔

#5 is Stay Cool Felipe Baby! Sauber ran Ferrari engines badged as Petronas's from 1997-2005, so Massa had 3 seasons with them.

If we're talking straight Ferrari engines then yes, it was Schumi.

23

1) Senna? Or Button? Or Rubens?
2) Emmo? Or Stewart? Reutemann perhaps?
3) Damon? Or Vettel? Or Alonso? Or Fisi?
4) Hammy, surely?
5) Schumi, surely?
6) The Trulli train, surely?

24

1) It's one of the 3 you listed ... need final answer
2) It's one of the 3 you listed ... need final answer
3) None of those, try again
4) Hamilton ✔
5) No. The badged engine condition is most important for this one
6) Trulli ✔

Have another stab at it ...

25

5. All Ferrari cars made by Ferrari you know had a Ferrari engine. Most wins everyone knows. What else matters?

26

1. Senna. 2. Stewart. 3. Prost. 5. Massa. Am I close ?

27

Well if we combine yours and Gaz's responses, then you guys would be perfect! 😉

28

...affectionately called "a nervy"!

29

Gaz boy, I remember that, I also remember Michael having the last laugh by overtaking him in the race....

30

Yep reason to smile 😄
I can't stop laughing at that.
They did okay.
But it wasn't exactly awe inspiring.
Vettel was gifted the win.
From Hamiltons rare mishap (last being 27 races ago)
Another one of those old Red Bull type victories from yester year.
Wait for the Arrivabene move up or side ways move into another department and the next mug to try his hand at leading the least media friendly aloof team in the paddock.
I can Red Bull and Mclaren moving forwards and Ferrari going backwards.

31

I agree Vettel was gifted the win, by Hamilton too, lucky for Seb LH dosent like to help his team mate.
He could have backed up VET but no, VB coming third in the WDC makes Ham look better, if VB is second then it shows how dominant the Merc is.

32

"Gifted"? using that logic, every time someone other than Hamilton wins it's a gift?

33

Lkfe, but then every time Hamilton wins people talk about 'lucky Lewis in the most dominant car of all time', so are all wins gifted?

34

I saw him win races in not so dominate cars. Vettel won in a STR.

35

"Vettel was gifted the win" In that case Hamilton owes Vettel another win and they call it even.

36

Expecting the 'Chairman' to roll more heads instead of simply more unkind words, are we?

37

I must say, it’s hard to disagree that Hamilton most likely would’ve capitalized on that pole position based on the results so far this season. Having said that, who knows what could have happened at the start.

38

Of course Hamilton could run flat out with a new motor. Manage this and that.....

39

Being the only book up Hamilton is odds on to win @ Abu Dhabi. Red Bull will be handicapped due to that long straight at the Yas Marina cirucit. Perhaps Ferrari can challenge but that engine handicap might be too great.

With all the hot air made about penalties this year, it will be even worse next year with only 3 engines being allocated per driver. Is it too late for this rule to be changed for next year James?

40

It will be worse or the cars will slow down.

41

Hamilton is not going to win. Not a Mercedes track. He could beat the odds.

42

Absolutely agree about the engine penalties. They make the races in the second half of the season a complete farce. It's only because they didn't really affect the outcome of the championship that they are still tolerated.

43

Just wait. 2018????

44

The races are not made a complete farce in my opinion. To me the best part of any racing is the overtaking, or the tries at overtaking. Racing involves side-by-side action at least somewhere during the event - everything else is a procession. Paraphrasing Steve McQueen, "(Overtaking) is life. Everything else is just waiting."

45

If overtaking is the only thing that matters, let's have reverse grids then. You'll have races full of overtaking. Of course the results will be pretty meaningless but hey, you can't have everything.

46

I'm disappointed that VB let this one slip away. The guy in #44 wouldn't have let that happen, that's for sure.

47

Yep, VB let it slip away but all was not lost. It looked comfortable for Vettel but the pendulum almost swung back to VB after the pitstops.

Look at the difference in pit stop times and then the gap as Vettel emerged from the pits. If I remember correctly, Merc notched a 2.7, which obviously isn't shabby. From what I recall, Ferrari smashed it with a 2.1 and Vettel got out just a few feet ahead of Bottas. Seeing what happened to Hamilton behind Kimi, who knows whether Vettel would have found a way past.

It's easy to bash Ferrari for the mistakes they've made this year, but that pitstop under pressure was absolutely key in them getting the win.

I do, though, feel that had Hamilton started at the front, he would have had things under control. I imagine it would have looked a little bit like the race in Austin.

48

Yep that 6 tenths would have put Bottas in front. Whether he could have held it is another matter.

49

Or Spain. Hamilton laid back away from the disturbed air. Bottas didn't do that. I'm actually surprised he got that close and stayed there.

50

Sorry, to say it! But, this is the reason why Bottas will never be a #1! You notice Toto didn't say too much about him after the race!

51

Actually he did let it happen. On Saturday.

52

@ Rafa
That was lucky, he could have binned it on sunday!

53

Haha...well said. The mistake cost him the victory in Brazil but it what it is. Hopefully he ends on a high with the win in the last race.

54

Operative word being "wouldn't" as in "The guy in #44 wouldn't have let that happen if he would have been in VB's place, that's for sure." Of course, pure speculation, I'll grant you.

55

James, there have been a few posters on here who have waged a campaign recently (i.e. since things went spectacularly south for the Scuderia) to downplay the strength of the SF70H, relative to the W08. What is your take? Did Ferrari basically have "no chance" this year, vis-a-vis the Merc (Shane Perreira's contention), or would you regard the W08 as in the same sphere of dominance as the W05 to W07? (FZero, LKFE, others)

I believe the W08 was and is the better car, on average, over the season to date, but it's been closer than any year since 2012. With Ferrari fielding Kimi in one car, the WCC was basically lost even before the season started. In my eyes he is but a shadow of his former self. However, the WDC was very much an even battle up until the fateful race start clash at Singapore.

Which of the ace drivers - Hamilton & Vettel - for each would you say has extracted the most out of their machines and of themselves?

The masses would like to know!!! 😃

Finally, are you saying Mercedes ran a Phase V engine in Hamilton’s car?

56

The answer to this is obvious. Look at the points. Reliability caught Vettel out too.

Anyhow I think up until Singapore it was as close as 2010. Everyone knew Red Bull was going to win after 2010 even though the points were closer.

In fact many people were in it by math in 2010. Things aren't so clear after a rule change and the aero solution that Ferrari came up with to allow the front suspension to ride low.

57

Seems to me that Ferrari absolutely had the car to win this year. They threw it away with those 3 races after the break, and a couple of studendous quallies from Lewis. There's no guarantee at all that they'll be as close next year, once Mercedes have had the off season to tweak their car.

58

I dunno that Mercedes has too long of a wheelbase. A simple tweak doesn't fix that.

59

KRB. Easy question, though not pointed at me. Feel free to read up on motorsportmagazine. Mark hughes in the comment explicitly states Lewis was head and shoulders the best driver on the grid. Goes on to say ferrari had the better package but was an inferior managed team.
Essentially, if mercedes had the sf70h and lewis drove it, they'd have won the title much sooner.

Excerpt
Mark Hughes Mod MGJohn • 12 days ago

"Yes, I envy you having seen Clark and Hailwood in action John.

But re this season, wasn’t so much a turnaround of Merc out-developing Ferrari from Silverstone, John. What happened was that just before Silverstone Ferrari’s wings (actually its floor) were clipped by the FIA meaning they had no way of getting the balance required for Silverstone. Hence Merc domination there. Ferrari then recovered the floor ruling loss by other means.

Subsequently we had:
Hungary – Ferrari much faster than Merc
Spa – Ferrari faster but Hamilton overcame it by taking pole and defending
Italy – Ferrari made a hopeless low downforce package and so Merc dominated
Singapore – Ferrari much the faster car but then turn 1 happened
Malaysia – Ferrari much faster but inlet manifold cracked (twice)
Japan – Merc/Ferrari v evenly matched but Ferrari plug failure
Austin – Merc slightly faster
Mexico – Ferrari significantly faster

So it isn’t performance the Ferrari lacked. It was reliability and how the team was run. Mercedes was a much better run team. I’d venture that had you given Mercedes the Ferrari to run and put Hamilton inside it, they’d have won the title sooner than they did with their own car."

Hopefully, this lays that to bed. Doubt it though! ^_^

60

But they didn't really fix that until COTA.

61

Well Ferrari has young team compared to Mercedes so I bet reliability gets figured out but with 3 engines and two batteries it will probably catch all out in 2018.

62

Mark Hughes knows his stuff. Mercedes operational efficiency is a key part.

63

Sounds like the drivers are not the real difference, eh ?

64

Probably not as much as reliability but Hamilton should have never won Singapore even with the crash.

That and Monaco was their worst tracks.

65

There's a bit of clue to the Mercedes strengths in that Lewis Hamilton has won at every track that is a front limited, understeer limited circuit (China, Barcelona, Silverstone, Spa, Suzuka, Texas), suggesting that the Merc's aerodynamic centre of pressure and centre of gravity/weight distribution is more a bit more forward biased than its main rivals (i.e more load on the front axle at high speed = better high speed turn in) while its long wheelbase gives better high speed stability.

It's weakest circuits have been slow, twisty, rear limited traction limited circuits at Monaco, Hungary, Singapore and Mexico, which is a consequence of that forward aero balance and long wheelbase. The difference is...............Sebastian Vettel threw away 50 points in Singapore and Mexico when he should have walked the races!

66
The Grape Unwashed

I believe the W08 was and is the better car, on average, over the season to date, but it's been closer than any year since 2012.

@KRB, I think you're being very generous there. The Mercedes was the fastest car in Canada, Britain, Italy, Japan and the USA. That's 5 tracks out of 20 races held so far. Even if you give Mercedes Brazil (the picture was distorted by Hamilton's new engine) that's only 6 tracks.

Hamilton would have won in this year's Ferrari - hell, even Vettel was ahead up until Italy, despite throwing away 13 points in Baku. Japan was a big blow for Ferrari, but it was in Azerbaijan and Singapore - a 38 point turnaround -
where they lost the championship.

67

Both have their strengths and weaknesses but on average I'd say Merc were competitive on more circuits than Ferrari were. Their top end engine power is still ahead of Ferrari which proved critical in getting pole and keeping the faster race cars behind on Sunday, like Spa.

68

Poles: Mercedes: 14 , Ferrari: 5.
Fastest Lap: Mercedes: 8, Ferrari: 7.
Wins: Mercedes: 11, Ferrari: 5.

If somebody cared to do the summary of fastest sector times per lap during all the races over the season, it will show same dominant pattern for Mercedes.

69

I think the Ferrari and Mercedes are on a different level. The Ferrari has the better chassis, they are faster in the corner sections and are better able to drive in dirty air. The Mercedes has engine dominance. And on a circuit like Brasil the engine dominance overruled. If it wasn't for LH's mistake in qualifying he would of won easily. That VB could not win it is because of VB.

70

KRB...I never said that Ferrari had "No chance" this year...they obviously had a chance, but they could only win the Constructors if Mercedes 'dropped the ball'...something catastrophically bad would have to have happened to Mercedes for them not to win the Constructors this year.

For example...Mercedes have been so dominant in this Hybrid-era of F1, that they're able to start work on the next seasons car much earlier than everyone else...this has a virtuous / compounded benefit to Mercedes every year that they've been racing these Hybrid Power Units...For example, they're already trialling "new and interesting concepts" on this years' car at Brazil (as Toto alluded to last week in the news)...the Merc's have such an advantage that Ferrari (and the others) will always be playing 'catch-up'.

Ferrari 'should' be more competitive next year...the gap between them and the Merc's 'should' be smaller....but if James Allison works his magic on the 2018 Merc...and if it turns up in winter testing with a shorter wheel-base and a high rake...then it's bye bye Ferrari and Merc will easily win the constructors again.

And never underestimate Ferrari to get themselves into a complete flap now that they're being run by Italians...they won't stay cool under pressure...

71

why don’t ferrari start working on 2020 car now?
will they win 2020 if they start now?
what ever happened to ability?
ferrari will not win with hamilton at mercedes..

72

Ferrari would win with Vettel and Hamilton and no #2 until made clear.

73

aveli...it's not a simple as just saying - "let's start on the 2020 car now"...Mercedes are able to start earlier on their cars because they have such a huge performance advantage over the rest of the field as well as a significant resources advantage (i.e., money, people and infrastructure). For example, Sauber, Williams and Force India could start working on their cars now for the year 2025 - but they still wouldn't win come 2025.

74

you know very well that what you have said above is not true. mercedes didn't just wake up and found that 'performance advantage' on the laps did they? ferrari spends and earn more money from f1 than any other team and yet they haven't won since 2007. brawn hardly had money or staff yet won in 2009. it's all about getting the right team under the right institution. mercedes has hamilton and that's where their advantage lies. you heard wolff say how hamilton's role at the team has grown over the years.
stop banging on the engine advantage and learn that the engine was designed and built by humans.

75

Quote from today..."It is felt the ongoing performance spread between the best and worst engines is not good for F1"

https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/133023/manufacturer-fears-wont-halt-new-f1-engines

And your comment about Brawn 2009 indicates to me you simply don't understand the 'dark arts / politics' of F1.

Enjoy your five yellow stars...I have no idea what they even mean as I only post comments occasionally on this website.

76

aveli...The 'relative performance' of Renault & RedBull (as you put it)....what planet are you on??...The RedBull is far superior than the Renault - but that's more to do with RedBull's chassis / Adrian Newey combo....but both teams are hampered by the poor reliability of the Renault engine/PU and the Renault is the 2nd-worst engine/PU on the grid...Honda being the worst.

There's a reason Mercedes didn't give their engine/PU to RedBull last year - it's because the Merc's new that RedBull would probably beat them with their own Engine because it would be packaged in a better chassis than their own....hence why the merry-go-round with TAG-Heur branded engine in the RedBull...Honda going to Torro Rosso and Renault engines going to McLaren.

You don't seem to understand the 'politics' of F1...and to not understand the politics is to not understand F1.

77

you’re confusing me now shane..i thought you said the only performance differentiator was the power unit? why are you talking about the chassis now?
mercedes is as good as they are because hamilton advice them on the engine and chassis..

78

You obviously don't understand F1 to a significant level, especially if you think it's all about 'Hamilton'...(I can only assume that you're quite a young person - it can be the only reason behind some of your comments).

79

The advantage in this Hybrid-era of F1 lies with the Engine/PU...not with Hamilton or any other driver for that mater...all the truly knowledgeable F1 folks will tell you this.

Mercedes performance advantage has been evident for the last 4 years...they started work on their Hybrid F1 engine nearly 10 years ago...why do you think Honda and Renault are still struggling in comparison???...why do you think Ferrari needed help on their engine/PU from Mercedes engineers last year??

Put Max, Riccardo, or Alonso in the Merc and they'll also dominate in that car.

It's all about the Engine/PU.....THE END

80

I don’t agree. I believe Ferrari were at least equal but the “Maschine” rolled over them. Hamilton had more of a battle on his hands than it appeared. Ferrari typically, were architects of their own demise but they built a darned good car this year. It’s a pity Kimi did not rise to the (rare) occasion when this happens, otherwise the battle for the CC would have been as close as the WDC.

81

Shane, Mercedes spend around the same amount as Ferrari and Red Bull, no reason why they should start work any earlier than thode teams. You could say that Red Bull might have started earlier than anyone on next years car.

82

TimW - it's not just about the money...yes, the top teams are all pretty equal in that respect. It's really about where the cars performance is at in any given season that dictates how early they start working on the next season's car and how much resources they allocate to that project.

For example...in the first year of the Hybrid F1 cars, Mercedes had such a huge advantage over everyone else that they were able to start work on the following seasons car about 6 months earlier than everyone else and they were able to allocate much more resource to it (i.e. take resources from that years racing campaign and divert them to next years racing campaign).

Mercedes have had the luxury of doing this for the first three seasons in the hybrid F1 era because of their engine/PU advantage over the rest of the field....Mercedes didn't have to 'chase performance' whereas all the other big teams were either chasing performance or chasing reliability or chasing both - and that consumes time, money and people-resources!!!

Basically - the stronger the car is in terms of performance (winning races etc.,), the earlier it allows a team to divert resources to the following years car - and Mercedes have been benefiting from the huge advantage they've had the previous 3 years in this Hybrid era of F1.

And don't forget...the philosophy of this years better-performing Ferrari was drawn up by James Allison --- now at Mercedes and refining the 2018 Merc! And the better performing Ferrari engine was only because of help from Mercedes also - (as Bernie put it nicely...who wants to win a championship against a Sauber or Force India - you need to beat a top team to have credibility and hence why Ferrari got outside help from the Merc team).

F1 is really about how much of an advantage you can hide from your competitors and F1 Regulators - and how long you can hold on to that advantage for...and Toto has been very good at that game!

83

Shane, I understand the whole 'dominant teams can start on next year early' concept, but it is also true that a team who are nowhere can start early as well. To be honest I think the teams are so big now that the design processes are all set well in advance, and won't be altered on the hoof as they were previously.

84

TimW...my wife works for Williams F1 and I can assure you that design processes (as you describe it) are 'agile' and 'flexible'....they are not set in stone. The same applies to the bigger teams such as Merc's and Ferrari and RedBull.

85

Shane, maybe Williams have a bit more flexibility than Mercedes, doesn't change the fact that Red Bull could have started their design a lot earlier though does it?

86

TimW - agreed...RedBull could have started earlier...but it's always a juggling act of resources...how many resources are kept on this years campaign compared to how many get switched onto next years campaign....and that is normally dictated by the performance of the car and if it's dominating on the track or not or if the team is in a Championship fight or not.

It's a 'dark art'...a bit of a gamble sometimes. If the car is rubbish, then they abandon it and start early with max resources on the following years car in the hope of getting a good level of performance for that new years' season.

87

@ Shane P...Good one. That shut him up for a while. I fully agree with you in ref to engine domination.

88

Kenneth, do you also agree with Shane's opinion that the top teams all spend about the same?

89

Just to clarify...Ferrari, Merc and RedBull are what I classify as 'top teams'....and they are rich enough to spend whatever they need to.

Operationally, they're different sized organisations - I believe Merc is the biggest with over 2,000 staff...hence Merc probably spend the most due to this huge head-count and vast Operational Expenditure...closely followed by Ferrari and RedBull.

The other issue from an accounting perspective - do you factor in R&D costs for an engine? For example, Merc were developing their Hybrid PU 4 or 5 years before using it in an F1 race....but what 'Budget-pot' did it come out of?...Corporate Benz's Budget Pot? or the Merc F1-team Budget pot?,,,,,(that's why having cost-caps and Budget controls won't realistically work in F1...too many ways of hiding expenditure and too many financial loop-holes and accountancy tricks to be used)....a debate for another day perhaps 😉

90

Ferrari could win with Hamilton in Mercedes just like they did 5 times this season. Next year with only 3 engine limit, it will come down who does the best job developing the car. This year Ferrari was consistently well behind Mercedes on tracks like Silverstone, they were also well behind on straight line speed even in Brazil. So, they need to improve on certain areas to give Vettel the confidence he needs like he had in RBR. Remember I’m 09, the McLaren was a really good car and Hamilton was nowhere. So, it’s the matter of combining a great car with the confidence in driver. That’s what makes a team champion. Having good driver on the cockpit is bonus.

And the question of Ferrari working on 2021 car, they have good enough platform to code the deficit to Mercedes. So, they can’t just give that away. As JA stated, as long as they don’t do anything too radical, they should be closer to the Mercedes. Remember, this is the first year in 4 years Mercedes had to play catch up. So, next year you would think Ferrari would rectify the mistakes made, improve reliability and maybe get better at qualifying.

91

kvyat is a much better driver than the current toro rosso duo. i suspect kvyat is being pushed out because of his association with a pique rather than his driving ability.

92

if ferrari could win the drivers championship with hamilton at mercedes, they would've done it. they weren't pretending, they tried and failed miserably. did you not hear hamilton say he'd make life a misery for them?
2009, hamilton started at the back of the grid with an noncompetitive car yet hamilton won in hungary. if your is also running at zero, here's a reminder.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8169569.stm

93

You cannot have been watching, to claim the 2009 McLaren as a "really good car". It was nothing of the sort! Any thoughts of defending the title were gone after the 3rd or 4th race.

The MP4-24 was at best the 4th best car in 2009, but was really only in the game from midway through the season.

94

The best car in 2009 was Brawn GP. McLaren had the best one in 2007 and 2008. After that spy gate stuff they couldn't get the constructors. Its odd they missed out on the drivers in 2007. Alonso or Hamilton should have had one more there.

95

I meant 2010

96

F zero, he won three races in 2010 and was 16 points behind Vettel at the end of the season. Hardly "nowhere".

97

Yeah they did have a good car then but Red Bull got better.

98

In 2010 Hamilton was still mathematically alive (though barely) going into the last race. Button was already out.

Hamilton suffered a wheel rim failure on the penultimate lap in Spain, while running 2nd. If that rim had held for another 1.5 laps, the 18 pts would've been enough to be champion.

So he wasn't nowhere with that car. Plus the Red Bull that year was far and away the best car, even with the drivers tripping over themselves.

99

In 2010 at the last race I thought Webber or Vettel would win. Hamilton and others were mathematically in there. That McLaren looked good but had some reliability issues.

100

F zero, a couple of points, Ferrari are not well behind on straight line speed, not sure why you think this is true.
The 09 McLaren was not a really goid car at all, at the start of the season it was hopeless, eventually they managed to develop it into something half raceable, but it was a poor effort from them.

101

The 2010 car was better but still not as good as the Red Bulls. I liked those fins. DRS wherever you wanted it.

102

The 'chairman' will see to that, surely, ya think ?

103

Drivers... BBC has an interesting analysis about lost opportunities, Ferrari could have won a champ if not so many blunders.

104

all the teams raced to find out who’d win and now we know who won.
anything else is not truthful..

105

I think the Ferrari is a great car and stringer than Merc in some areas

It is a great basis for 2018 car and if they don’t shake things up too much as a result of this defeat they can challenge next year

106

have ferrari not shaken allison off their tree?

107

Since when Allison moved from Ferrari to Mercedes, Ferrari got closer.
So much for his magic...

108

allison may have played a significant part in that ferrari insergence..for all we know.

109

You are so right. That Ferrari looked like a P51 Mustang but the rest didn't look that special.

Well the Mercedes looked good from the top. Fast in a straight line. The Red Bull now looks similar to the Ferrari.

110

Yes, Ferrari has a good foundation for next year. At the same time, you have to bank on Mercedes going even a few step further next year as the rules are very similar.

In regards to this year though, this Mercedes PU is still the most superior one, is it not?

111

last year, all the talk was about red bull putting up a stiff challenge in 2017...it never happened.
i’d rather wait to find out than blindly speculate..

112

absolutely formula zero. they are forgetting that people in the teams make it all happen. nothing else.

113

Yes it's a team sport. Many forget that.

114

Interestingly James if you compare Vettel and Bottas fastest qualifying lap, they were neck and neck but on the last stretch Bottas pulled a gap purely on engine alone. That to me is a warning already of what's to come...

115

how about bottas’ ability?

116

He'll get better than Kimi eventually.

117

@ Aveli About Bottas’ ability, he is a likeable guy for sure. Everyone also had soft spots for Fins in F1. But look at the results so far, he is consistently too far behind Hamilton lap time wise all year long, he is even behind Vettel with Ferrari dropping the ball in reliability and Vettel making a few errors. In the same car where his teammate won the Championship with 2 races in hand and the team won with 4 races in hand, Bottas’ ability as a F1 driver is questionable to me. In Brazil yes it could’ve been Bottas who made the difference. But based on his overall performance, it is highly unlikely. Remember he himself had admitted many times that he is going through the most difficult time of his career multiple times. That also tells me that he unfortunately doesn’t have the ability to fight for the championship with the best car on the grid.

118

vettel has raikkonen racing for him. had it not being that, bottas would've been well ahead of vettel.

119

I agree Vettel has Kimi racing for him. I just cannot recall any race, in fact any moment where Kimi was able to hold off Bottas or Hamilton at all to give Vettel any edge. Therefore, I can’t agree that Bottas would’ve been ahead of Vettel. He would’ve ahead of Vettel only if he knew how to get the best out of the mighty Merc.

120

Brazil! He's held a few. He's even been faster than Vettel at times.

121

Cheesypoof, Valterri pulled the whole 0.038 second gap with the engine?! Wow.

122

Well then, what's the basis for so many trashing VB for keeping the flag in view ?

123

Just a note on Hamilton’s engine, I’m never sure how accurate the on screen data is, I’m sure James will know but when Hamilton was overtaking someone, I don’t recall who I’m sure he got as far as 353kph, that’s 218mph in old money! That’s Monza speed!

How much of that is down to it being a new engine and no damns given with regards to screwing it right up? Or is it a worrying shot across the bows of the other manufacturers for next year? Hamilton was just absolutely breezing past everyone.

My moment of the day was Alonso vs Massa though, great stuff and good on Felipe for holding him off. I think it’s odd that Mclaren didn’t try to undercut him, I’m pretty sure the Mclaren would have been quicker in clean air if it was out of DRS range. Well done to Vettel though, I think he had it covered quite easily they were just taking it easy on the tyres.

124

many are holding onto “its the engine” nonsense. hamilton said he does it because he can. others can’t do it because they can’t. simple as that.

125

Yep they all need to crash in Australia next year and stock up on motors.

126

aveli...it is all about 'the engine / PU in this Hybrid era of F1.

Which team has won ALL of the Constructors and Drivers Championships in this 4-year Hybrid-era of F1?...MERCEDES has.

If Hamilton was in a Sauber, Force India, Williams etc... he would not have won (similar to the situation Alonso is in at the moment because of rubbish Honda engines).

Facts are Facts...and they don't go away no matter how much you ignore them.

127

please explain the relative performance of renault and red bull..

128

The fastest speed recorded during the race was Sergio Perez's 350.3kph. Lewis was second quickest at 345.8kph.

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/results/2017/brazilian-gp-159844/?st=ST

129

hamilton is aware of who’s who in the field of hunters..

130

Officially the fastest through speed trap was Ricciardo @ 338,2 km/h. Interestingly enough the first 3 are Renault powered (Gasly and Hulk being other two). Ham1lton was only 5th fastest @325,3 km/h.
But at the sector borders there are speed traps as well...
At the finish line the fastest was Perez @ 350,3 Km/h, Hamilton second @ 345,8 Km/h...so speed trap data meant, that Ricciardo was the latest at the brakes (as we saw few times during the race).
Here in Croatia we have commercial brakes during the race, so I didn't see all of the race, but the fastest I saw from Hamilton's car being displayed on TV was 346 Km/h (I guess).
Official data can be seen here: https://www.fia.com/events/fia-formula-one-world-championship/season-2017/eventtiming-information-37

131

Highlighting the Mercedes/Hamilton combo doing significantly better than the Ferrari/Vettel combo through all 3 sectors' speed gates. Especially at
Gate1: Mercedes: 336.3 kph, Ferrari 319.0 kph
Gate3: Mercedes: 345.8 kph, Ferrari 333.2 kph.
Bottas btw very close to Hamilton in all those also, and also posted faster speeds than Vettel in all 3 sectors, so almost a miracle that Vettel could bring that win home. (if it wasn't for that question mark now hanging over Bottas???) Hamilton would clearly have won this if starting from the front !

132

Krako, bad news on the commercial breaks, we had those here in the UK for a while, and I HATED them! Is the Croatian coverage at least free to air?

133

Hi Tim,

Few years ago, okay rather several years ago F1 was broadcasted on national TV, which was free to air, and what's the best no commercial brakes. Then they put commercial brakes even though the law says that isn't allowed during the live broadcasting (on national TV).
Then they've (national TV) dropped the broadcasting of F1 races, so some private TV stations joined together and did it.
That was only for a year, or two...then T-com with their Max Tv platform bought the rights, so if you're their subscriber you can watch it for free (well after you pay monthly subscription fee for their TV package) with commercial brakes, or pay per view for a fee.
I'm not their subscriber, so I don't get to see it in Croatian. Although it is fair to say, last race in Brazil I wen't to a friend's house and watched it for the first time on Max Tv. This wasn't the pay per view subscription, hence the commercials.
On the other providers platform I'm subscriber for years/decades and they don't broadcast F1 races.
Up until couple of years ago through my provider I used to watch either Slovenian national Tv, or Austrian. They both were commercial free and free to air coverage. But T-com got legal with other providers (mine included) so those channels got blacked out during the F1 races.
Now my provider broadcast German RTL, where I can watch races, even though not commercial free. Better something than nothing. Even though my German isn't any good, but it is good enough to follow the race. 🙂
I'm in no mood for paying to watcht F1 races. I've been following F1 since late 70's, and there isn't many races I've missed over the decades. All for free (hopefully it will stay that way).
Sorry for lengthy explanation, for simple question I could answer with yes or no. 🙂

134

Krako, thanks for the info. We get excellent coverage here in the UK, but we do have to pay for the privilege. There is some free to air available, a limited number of live races are shown, but the rest are highlights only, I can't watch an edited race so pay for the Sky package. I remember watching the German feed many years ago while on holiday, I couldn't believe how many commercial breaks they managed to squeeze into one race!

135

I'm not sure I'm willing to pay to watch F1 races, although I've been following F1 since '77-'78.
During the '80s in Croatia (at the time part of Yugoslavia), we didn't have F1 coverage, apart from occasional (not even every year) Monaco GP. So a friend of mine and I set up the antenna, amplifier and the rest of the stuff on top of a tall (6-7 stories) pine tree next to his house, just to be able to watch RAI (Italian national TV). They've broadcasted races, but reception occasionally was sooooo bad, that I watched pretty much just the noise for 2 hours. 🙂
On a day when southern wind was blowing, reception was much better. 🙂
My cable provider charges for TV package (150+ channels) and broadband Internet connection roughly 30 EUR/month.
In the package I still get free to air German RTL (albeit with bunch of commercials), but never the less it is free.
T-Com charges give/or take 7-8 per race (pay per view), but I have to cancel my subscription with my provider, get their (more expensive and worse), in order to have a privilege to pay extra on top of that to watch F1.
During commercial brakes on German Tv, I watch online stream (usually Sky), but picture quality isn't all that good, and video lag is about 2-3 minutes...so when Germans resume coverage, I go back. 🙂

136

When they have commercials in the US there is still non stop unless not much is happening anyhow but even that is messed up lately.

137

Thanks for that info. It’s amazing how people throw info at the internet to perhaps back up a personal theory. The lesson is to check, check and re-check.

138

In Mexico, Ocon was fastest through the speed trap, clocked at 222 MPH. Last year, in Mexico, Bottas was checked at over 231 MPH..................

A legacy of the extra frontal area and drag I guess, but netherless, to be nearly 10 MPH slower in just 12 months is a very reductive piece of performance!

139

As you say those are the speed traps though not necessarily the top speed immediately prior to throwing the anchors out.

Regardless of what the actual figure was (I’m sure I saw a 350 something flash up) that’s some serious speed for going uphill at Interlagos.

Makes you wonder what they could squeeze out of these engines if they only had to do one race and had hand grenade versions for quali?

It’s a bit of a farce, I wasn’t aware they are reducing it to 3 next year. It doesn’t actually limit the number of engines, it just ruins the racing. They may as well strictly enforce the that’s your lot and you can’t enter the race if you go over it! Teams will get tactical with it, Lewis showed that in a quick car with a fresh engine can easily come back from the back of the grid. How many seconds off the lead did he finish? If the tyres held for another couple of laps I wouldn’t have bet against him winning. Think about it, clears Raikkonen, Bottas skidaddles out of the way and he is all over Vettel on the last lap.

140

Darren. 353? Seems like a lot, I saw him hit 340 with DRS, but don't recall anything higher than that.

141

He hit 349 chasing Max up the hill. That is some serious speed at Interlagos.

142

He hit 348 just before the Senna S when he was attempting to overtake Verstappen. I believe the latter was doing something like 312, so that's as if you're watching a battle between LMP1 and LMP2.

143

Jeroen, Max was doing 320 while being overtaken by Lewis, who hit 348 as you say. For comparison Hulkenberg was doing 339 with DRS while passing Ghasly.

144

Jeroen, or what you might expect from the best engine with slip stream, drs and a better exit because of much fresher, softer tyres, overtaking the third best engine. Add up all those factors and you are always going to have a big difference.

145

Good drive from Lewis to recover to fourth . Bottas improved this weekend overall although his inability to challenge Vettel was still somewhat disappointment . Kimi and were solid but unspectacular . Ricciardo great . Controlled race from Vettel done to him . However Seb will be rueing those mistakes and failure earlier in the season- a case of what might have been . Seb is still on the whole a top class driver but for me he peaked driving wise at RBR in the 2nd half of 2013 when he was driver at an unbelievable level . I think another championship or two is on the cards for Seb at some point but I think his absolute top peak was at RBR. I think the fact Seb won 4 WDC's so quickly by the age of 26 he has found not being in a dominate position hard to cope with at times -hence perhaps why Seb sometimes cracks.

146

So decade and a half later and we gained. 4s a lap. And it doesn't look nor sound nearly as exciting.

Do you guys like this? Going backwards just to come back to the same place in 13 years? Or would you rather F1 never take a step back on lap times? Sure the gains may be minimal or flat but I'd rather F1 NEVER gets slower YoY.

147

It looks fast if you go to YouTube where they have side by side comparisons.

148

As I'm sure you're aware Sebee, that's due to much more than the old vs the new engines. You say "a decade and a half ago." but of course that's not how long the new formula has been in place, therefore it's not how long it took to catch up.

You're being disingenuous again. Let's not forget the new engine formula was introduced just five years ago. So for the previous ten years, your beloved V10s and V8s stood still or regressed in terms of performance?

Of course not - other rules were introduced to make the cars slower.

I know you hate the PUs - I'm not a massive fan myself - but let's at least be honest about how the performance has changed over the years and stop pointing the finger purely at the engines.

149

They have way wider tires with no groove.
They have an extra gear in the gear box.
They have complex and elaborate engine modes likes of which we've never seen - really automation.
They have years of aero development.
They have years of suspension developments.
They have years of oil burning development.
They have electric motor assist.
They have turbos to flatten out power curve.

150

Agreed. However you're missing my point. You're blaming the PUs for being barely faster than the cars we had fifteen years ago.

But the cars we had TWELVE years ago were much slower too - despite having the old engines.

Coupled with the fact that the new cars have relatively new tech in them, plus a whole load of other considerations, and it's not unreasonable that they're as fast as they are, and no more.

Also if you believe that ultimate speed is the main ingredient for great racing, then you're a fool.

As I said - you're looking for an excuse to blame the PUs for everything that you think is not right in F1.

151

You know these cars could be helped by lower profile tires. A lot less unsprung weight.

152

The track surfaces are also much better now than what they were previous and also there are 'faster' rubber compounds for the tyres.
Interlagos track surface used to be as bumpy as the surface of the moon....but it's now smooth (and therefore allows for better lap-time)...if the V10's and V8's had that same luxury then they'd have been even faster (at Interlagos and other relevant circuits).

153

2004 cars were as fast 2017 especially over race dustance due to refueling.

154

We need that back. The cars are too heavy and slow at the start.

155

I see your point. But if they kept getting faster year on year say since 1993 for example where would we be now. 56 second lap. Too fast for the drivers. The 3500cc engine would probably be putting out 1500bhp now. I can't wait till next year . I expect the cars to be over 1 sec faster again maybe more. Just wish they were lighter.

156

Mark, they don't have to get faster, but they certainly shouldn't get slower either. And if these machines would get that crazy, how exactly would that be bad for the show?

157

With only 3 engines and 2 batteries expect slow or grid penalties.

158

Exactly Sebee, we want it as crazy speedy as possible!
As long as I can still follow them on the tv screen I am OK.
Would help to put the driver back at center stage and not just the 10% driver versus the 90% engine/car we see today.

159

I guess they would be bad for the health first and foremost.
I think it's clear for everyone that as humans we have limitations and there is a point when even if a couple of drivers still manage to keep the cars on the track and have a proper dog fight, after a point most of the grid would simply fail to cope with the speed and physical demands - even in perfect weather conditions.

160

They said all the same when we moved from horses to ICE! ;o)

161

while I disagree with your (perpetually) negative sentiment on the current quality of racing, I have to whole-heartedly agree that the FIA's constant pegging back of performance has detracted.

1500bhp machines capable of lap times that are faster than the driver is capable of would certainly allow better drivers to stand out more and be a real performance differentiator.

The car would still make a difference, of course, but outstanding drives would actually be a thing again.

162

I think F1’s soul is overcoming the tech challenges of the day. The matters that the new formulas address absolutely are unavoidable. Alternatively there is fossilzation and irrelevance. For sure the designers and engineers aren’t finished with getting more out of this type of formula. That they’ve come this far with an extremely demanding specification I think is a thing of beauty. The physical, visceral side of the fans’ perception of racing? I’ll wait to see what the future brings. But above all, I’ll remind myself that in the spirit of F1 all - even that - is possible while mastering the technologies of the future.

163

crick, it's not at all about overcoming challenges of the day. F1 more about hedging your bets.

What they are doing here on the track is not applicable on the road. At all. The extreme forces they put into the cars, and then the braking/regeneration that is possible is what makes these PUs possible. It's not how we drive cars in the real world, and as such these efficiency claims cannot transfer to the public roads.

The engineers aren't finished with getting more out of this formula how? They will get more by having a larger battery and ERS in 2021 - that's how. By moving to the instant torque of electric motors that's how. Future is 100% electric as I said here repeatedly.

And yet, Mercedes AMG top selling engine is a V8. They still sell V12s. I said on here over and over again, all McLarens are V8s. Ferrari are V8s and still V12. Lambos are V10s. The dominant Viper ACR was a NA V10. The Corvette ZR1 is a supercharged V8 at 755hp. Road going hypercars need this displacement. V6 in the NSX - no one cares, and few want to buy it.

Mastering the technologies of the future? The future is in battery density - how dense and light can we make it? How quickly can it absorb a charge? Already 300 mile range batteries are commonplace, and it's only a matter of time before the range is 500, 600, 800, 1000 miles on a single charge. That's where the future technology lies - in battery density. And of course Level 5 driver automation.

Where does that leave F1?

164

The future is in battery density - how dense and light can we make it? How quickly can it absorb a charge? Already 300 mile range batteries are commonplace, and it's only a matter of time before the range is 500, 600, 800, 1000 miles on a single charge. That's where the future technology lies - in battery density. And of course Level 5 driver automation.

You are writing "it's a matter of time" as if it will happen during our life time - all the signs are we are so very far from anything of this scale (that 300 miles range you are talking about is with a max speed of 70mph, not taking into account climbs, not talking racing on circuits as Silverstone, Spa, Monza with speeds above 200mph).

Another point: "future is battery density" - I disagree, future is another form of energy production, we don't have the raw materials to sustain this future you are talking about and even if we do find a superior method of storing energy with organic materials (e.g.) we're "chewing" too fast through the environment.
Good luck with your predictions, I will focus on today's F1. Not the past nor the very distant future.

165

Exactly why not come up with something new. A jet turbine would sound good.

166

Jdr, a small UK company built an electric Ford S max mpv with a gas turbine used to charge the batteries. Ideal generator for a range extender hybrid, they can run on any fuel and have very few moving parts.

167

That's just nonsense. You're saying that because we don't drive road cars at F1 speeds, the technology is not applicable?

Talk about a straw man argument.

168

Most of what he says about the new power units is nonsense because he doesn't actually understand how the technology works.

169

Yes, it is not applicable. At all.

The claim behind this PU technology is that it is road relevant - apparently. That road being the one you and I drive on, not the one F1 cars drive on.

The fact that F1 cars go fast and brake really hard to allow that energy to be recaptured for claims of efficiency is completely useless in real world. Reality is that in the real world energy capture under braking happens, but it is much less efficient due to forces involved. Also, more and more hybrid and electric cars rely on efficient coasting as the preferred method. Obviously in each energy conversion cycle there is lost, often significant. If you can apply energy wisely to maximize distance traveled from the energy applied without yet another conversion to recapture it and then reapply it, it is better than braking and recovery and reapplication. This efficient coasting makes this whole F1 energy recovery under massive braking completely irrelevant in the real world where you and I drive and where the future will be electric and autonomous making this process of intelligent efficient coasting for maximum efficiency reality.

170

@Sebee: So only by going at F1 speeds, does the technology give any advantage at all? You really believe that?

171

Where does that leave F1?

In need for a change......eventually, but not yet.
While there are enough fossil fuel powered vehicles on the RDs to make oil exploration and extraction viable. Motor racing as we know it will be around, including F!.

172

So may as well represent the best we have in those fossil fuel powered vehicles, no?

173

We all have an idea of what "the best" represents. Most of the times they differ.

174

Given that in 20-30 years time fossil fuel engines will be banned across much of Europe having F1 using them probably not work.
So it is not really about lap speed at the moment but transition to smaller and smaller ICE and larger “bolt-on” PU’s. Looking at FE it looks like an electric motor will be able to match these lap times in the future.
The question probably is “will F1 and FE eventually merge?”

175

It won't happen, look around you - do you really think that in 20-30 years "much of Europe" will successfully replace more than 90% (reaching 95% in most of the Europe) of its automotive park?
How about the infrastructure needed to allow this change, the raw materials for batteries, power stations?
For now the fossil fuels engines allow for the most balanced solution from a performance/cost point of view, we need to work on extracting more power from those fuels, hybrid technology is doing just that.

176

Think back to 1987 - Diesel engines had just started to come in - now they are being phased out. Not many cars had electric motors in them not even to wind the windows - now they are everywhere. Computers didn’t exist in cars or generally in life - now count the number of computer chips that are built into every car.
Cars have been around for 120 years max - so 30 years is 25% of that time - more than enough to make any sort of change. No car built today will be around in 20 years let alone 30 years.

177

I think it will - 30 years time is 2050 - almost anything could happen by then.
Just today 18 countries have agreed to stop burning coal in power stations by 2025. From France to Italy and the UK. Using electric cars will be so much cheaper by then it will be a no brainer. 30 years is a very long time especially as the renewable energy production is falling in price so quickly. Transition to electric could be far quicker than generally thought.

178

Yes, that is the question.

But then if that was the case, why would Liberty buy F1? They already owned FE. All they needed to do is push forward to be more and more competitive against F1 and take over as the premier series. Liberty buying F1 is like buying BlackBerry today. What are the prospects?

And can Formula 1 ever go 100% electric? Would we accept it? Sure, change is constant, but 100% electric F1? The software layer alone would make drivers redundant in that type of formula, surely.

179

Sebee I certainly don't think F1 should go 100% electric & its surely not the way Liberty are looking to go. You don't spend the amount of money they did to buy a faster version of Formula E.

There are always the questions on where F1 stands on being the fore-front to designing new technology and being relevant to road cars (which seems to be the basis of the current rules) or being the ultimate in man & machine vs the others. I personally prefer the latter.

I liked a comment I heard recently (maybe Crofty or Ted Kravitz) in that "Just as we don't ride horses day to day anymore for transport doesn't mean people don't still race them".

180

F1 is owned by Liberty Media and FE by Liberty Global - yes they are the same family (and mostly owned by mega rich John Malone) but probably different executive and boards reporting to a main board.
I think this means each Formula is seen as a revenue stream/business and linking them together would be to diminish the returns. Also this kind of venture capital is really short term (4-9 years) while we are discussing decades.
Can Formula 1 ever go 100% electric? I don’t see why not? I would love to say that us fans have a major say in either Formula but given the stated aim for both Liberty ventures is to bring in larger spectator participation by creating a greater spectacle in both physical and digital arenas then would these new “fans” be that bothered if the cars were all electric? I think not. Adding concerts and other events to the formula 1 weekend plus linking digitally for gamers to race the driver “stars” in real time might mean that by 2027 Liberty could dispose of one of the Formulas for an astronomical sum. Well they probably hope so - but it’s a gamble. Then again that is what venture capital is all about - only one in ten ventures have to succeed. This might be why they have both Formulas - sell one as soon as there is a profit to be gained.
Will we want to watch - I suspect not. I’m of the older generation and can remember watching Formula 1 in the 1950’s when drivers really did have to get their elbows out.
Funny enough the speed those huge engined cars reached isn’t low at all considering the years that have passed.

181

Naftii - I see your point in new fans will come in to a bigger spectacle with concerts, digital stuff for the gamers etc. That's fine, new fans are great but we don't want new fans in lieu of the better ultimate product- being F1.

Formula one is still a great 'product' despite so much negativity inside and outside the sport - I have never seen so many people within the F1 fraternity that bag the sport that gives them a great lifestyle and a pretty good living.

Liberty are smart & I hope we all their great work come out in the next few year, it already has with off track, but a closer on track battle would be awesome.

182

Lemme guess, bring back v10s? Sebee, FIA has, for many many years structured regulations to slow the cars down. It has nothing to do with the engine configuration and you know that.

No serious manufacturer make v10's and very few v12's, why should f1 follow dying technology? Should motor racing forego the motor because horse back is for "real" men? Move with the times, old friend. I like an old almanac but google maps is far superior.

183

Oblah, I get what you're saying. But did google maps get slower than the almanac at any point? Did computers slow down or go backwards at any point over all the evolutions of processors?

I just find it distasteful that they allow F1 to retrench on the clock. They regularly and for sustained periods slow down the product, and that should not be tolerated, regardless of excuse.

184

It's unlikely that people will leave the road, crash into a barrier and die because Google Maps gets a little faster.

Your unspoken assumption that faster cars make for better racing is yet another error in your pantheon.

What would make the racing closer is relaxing the aero rules allowing cars to stick closer to one another in the twisties. Not having a louder engine.

185

Sebee at this point in time I'm more concerned about the increased weight of next yrs cars and the three engine limit. You want to see slow that will do it. But wait there's more, the new proposed engine specs will decrease power.
https://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2017/11/14/f1-fanatic-round-up-1411-5/
Please read the post by GT Racer.
If he is correct not good news mate.

186

JohnH, the increase in weight on these cars has been pointed out by me over and over again.

Today an F1 PU car lines up on the grid before the lights go out at about 833kg.
In 2004 a V10 F1 car lined up on the grid at 640kg. 193kg difference, and add whatever halo and other weight you want on top of this.

I don't think the new engine spec will decrease power necessarily because the ERS increase is not defined at this point in those Liberty draft rules. I think there is room to up the power of the post 2021 engine ERS to level set. Of course as I noted repeatedly as well, this total maximum power will be limited and tailored to F1 application. Meaning, while the V10 engine had maximum power as long as fuel was in the tank, the PUs and whatever comes after them will be limited on maximum power to 33s (currently) or so that ERS lasts. It's actually a question with all these de-rate challenges if the claimed optimum 33s of maximum power output is even possible on the PU under actual real world circuit application. Same is true with that new Mercedes hypercar that uses the PU, the claimed power output is almost 50% electric, and clearly it is not sustained for indefinite periods, where as McLaren F1 with the V12 has full power as long as fuel is in the tank. In a straight line drag race the 25 year old F1 will pound the heck out of this new Mercedes Project One car, for example. Showing once again how wonderful PUs are not.

187

“Did computers ever slow down...” certainly many times... When the consumers went for netbooks the consumers created mass demand for slow cpus. Once again for the ultralight segment cpus halved in speed. Once again for iPhones and tablets - which are really just computers - CPUs halving in speed once again. Even if you take intel cpus, intel went 64bit and then went 32bit again for a while before going 64 again. They also went from Northwood to Core and halved the freq - yes it made sense but it wasn’t faster - intel simply decided to focus on laptops instead. Even today, viz skylake and Kaby lake, many a stock kaby is arguably slower. The point is your comparison is not valid - Just like tech F1 should adjust with the times. If you don’t you are in danger of losing the entire market. Intel and Microsoft used to own 95% of the entire computing market, now they have <25%. Good luck finding that intel cpu or a Microsoft OS in your next phone.

188

Sebee from your post history it's obvious you've been following the sport far longer than I have. As such, you should know, the slowing down of the cars has much more to do with safety than anything else. Unfortunately, we live in a bubble wrap society. Where hurting someone feelings and scraping one's knee is completely intolerable.

We criticize driver personalities as stale and PR driven but unfortunately its simply a sign of the times. Sponsors and board members don't want Hunt's or 70's playboys who'd upset their perceived cooperate portrait. Likewise, FIA/FOM will not risk another Jules Bianchi or the subsequent legal mess. They'd much prefer installing those hideous caged apparatus. Then squabble over track limits like children.

Like you, I have a deep appreciate for history and live by the slogan - "if it aint broke don't fix it." Still, progress matches eternal - better to hop on or risk being left behind.

189

Yeah. Things fall out of style, and then they are back in style.

You either try to follow it around the lap, or you grab a seat at one point on the lap, say Senna Esses grandstand with shady cover and regular beer vendors walking by, and wait for it to come around to where you are, again. 🙂

190

computers were initially absolutely slower than what they were eventually to replace - pen and paper.

191

ehhh...negative on that. Computer was not the replacement for pen and paper. It was a replacement for manual calculation of complex data, and was clearly faster at doing so than humans.

192

Sebee, this is factually incorrect.

193

It depends doesn't it on what we define as a computer? The earliest mechanical computer was not faster than a human. It was slower, it was cumbersome, it required human input to even make it work. In terms of processing speed it was slooooooower than a human brain using pen and paper. But things have sped up considerably in the last 150 years and a computer is very fast at certain things.
And you would be naive to say that the computer hasn't replaced pen and paper ( I feel you are splitting hairs for the sake of disagreeing). Not absolutely of course but for many purposes including calculation of complex data I agree a computer is faster, but wasn't initially. They had to go backwards to go forwards and that is what F1 has done with these PUs which are slowly but surely usurping the records held by the fabled V10s of the past. It's not the direction you or many others would like and, of course, development in the ICE alone would have produced faster, more efficient machines than we had 15 years ago. The hybrids will eventually take every record and I don't doubt fully electric will after that. But not without taking a backward step first (as you see in FE).

194

To F1 should never have taken a backward step in terms of lap times. So, decade and a half later 4s a lap gain isn’t anything special. Particularly because all the talks about 4s/5s a lap faster than last year talking during preseason. Race pace is what counts to me. And with all the aero update, I was disappointed that the cars were not that much faster during the race all year long.

195

You realise that if the speeds are left unchecked, then the cars will become too fast for the circuits right?

196

There are few issues about the cars being too fast for the circuit l.

As the pinnacle of motor sport, F1 cars should be the fastest of all categories. People that don’t follow F1, judge F1 by the speed. Therefore, when it takes 10-15 years to break lap record, that’s a setback. Also the teams and management talked it up being 4s/5s a lap faster than last year, which proved to be misleading so far. So how fast the cars should be is not based on how many Kms/h they can go, it’s how fast they are compared to other categories.

197

F zero, F1 didn't drop below any other category in those 15 years, I'm not saying the cars are too fast now, but if they get much quicker they will overwhelm the circuit crash protection.

198

...and to themselves, in years gone by.

199

CB. I don’t think it’s a question of whether we “like this”, (I personally do) but whether you are capable of making a positive statement about anything, ever. We’ve had a decent race and yet you have combed the statistics trying to find a negative, and you have. Well done. The history of F1 ebbs & flows over the years along with the speeds and various engine ‘formulas’ . Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they get it wrong. This is the fascination of F1. Its never cut & dried. It doesn’t concern me that the current F1 is or isn’t as fast as it was 13 years ago. I could care less as it’s what happens today that’s important. Quite clearly, it would be impossible, given the limitations of track design and the laws of physics, to increase F1 speeds incrementally year on year, so comparisons like this are worthless.

200

Agree. Great race. I think Hamilton is right to question next years engine limit. They should be allowed 5. It is great to see these 1.6L engines using less fuel and going faster than Montoya 2014. They look a handful to drive, and I think that is why the cream on top of the milk is more obvious this year. I.E. the difference between 44 and 77. I would tweak the rules to be maybe allow a bit more fuel, so they can attack more per race. Experiment with DRS, maybe not use it every race. Also stop the stupid engine penalties. Give points to the constructors for having more reliable engines.

201

No point giving them more fuel - they underfuel now because they have no need of the full allocation to go from lights out to chequered flag in the fastest race time possible. The only possibility would be to get rid of the fuel flow limit - or make it higher so that the engines can burn more and spin faster and make the cars move more. However then you encounter all sorts of other issues about torque management, drive shafts, exhausts, cooling, turbos etc etc. So the engine would need almost a complete redesign just to change that one little thing. So I think until 2021 this is fundamentally what we have to live with.

202

Interesting Baron.

Yes, I am capable of positive thoughts and statements. For example I enjoy how a question and answer is in your user name. Q:Bar? A:On!

You bring up an interesting point. If we know that there are limitations of what is possible, and we are capable of delivering a car that can exceed them, why not make that car, give it to all the drivers and be done with it.?Let their race craft and team work out the rest. Seems like it would be an efficient way to provide us what we want - that is knowing who the best driver/team is. Not this whole blurry mess that is the currently bought and paid for championship with advantages and manufacturers controlling the pecking order via excessive spending, deployment of immense resources, and of course via never providing a win capable engine to their customers.

203

The problem with F1 getting faster and faster is that the (older) circuits don't change. A corner that is taken flat out is not a challenge, and we are seeing a number of what used to be challenging corners becoming redundant.

204

This is true. But we can build machines that are faster than what we have. Why don't we just get there to that speed limit and be done with it already? Make it a human driver/team competition instead of a technology competition.

That's really what F1 needs to become, otherwise it can't keep up with electrification and automation that's coming soon. Formula 1 needs to be more and more about the driver and less and less about the PUs or the technology we think matters, but really doesn't.

Actually, can someone point out to technology that was invented in F1 that benefited the public? I mean, something that wasn't there and F1 invented. Can we get a short definitive list? ABS, automatic gearboxes, ABS, hybrids, it was all here before F1 decided to touch it, no?

205

Active suspension?
Sequential Gearboxes?
Paddle shifts?
Carbon fibre chassis components?
Electronic traction control?
The buttons on my steering wheel for my phone and stereo? ;o)

Cant pinpoint them, but hope there are some also around tire and engine technologies that made it from F1 to ordinary road cars?

206

I so loved the days when we had F1, Can AM, F5000 and Indy race cars racing on identical tracks with a big cross-over of world class drivers competing in at least 2 of the above series. way different technical specs , but the top drivers/teams of each and every series were fast enough to compete in the other 3 series. Can Am actually lapped faster than F1 at Mosport one year at a fraction the cost and a whole bunch of visceral ground-thumping noise...

207

There is no doubt that a faster more extreme car than F1 car can be built at fraction of the cost. This is also an image issue. There should be nothing faster than F1 possible. No one should be able to build anything faster. Formula 1 car should not be beaten by an IndyCar because F1 car runs out of ERS power after 33s at best. That's my view at least.

208

Sebee, "There is no doubt that a faster more extreme car than F1 car can be built at fraction of the cost", so why has no one ever done it then?

209

What a miserable , glass half-empty view that is.
We had a return to normally aspirated engines, which were cut from 3.5L to 3.0, a specific cylinder configuration was mandated, then cut 2.4L, and frozen for 5 years. (2013 engines were required to be those homolgated in 2008) And that was also the start of the push to everlasting engines, conservative driving etc.
We've had one rule after another designed to reduce total downforce, and the introduction of control tyres to reduce grip, but with the side effect of pushing conservative driving. The net effect was Vettel's Newey-designed Renault Powered dominant 2013 Red Bill went round Monza at the same speed as Prost's Newey-Designed Renault Powered Dominant 1993 Williams. Speed was back where it had been 20 years ago. Did we hear you complain then ? Er. No.

What's amazing is Hamilton's crash in practice, how often do you see one of the top drivers push too hard and stick the car in the barriers ?
Downforce and Power are both up on where they have been. The cars are harder to drive - or at least the driver input makes a bigger difference which is why BOT and RAI look like number 2 drivers.
Things are improving. Next years cars will be faster than this years.

210

That's the point I'm trying to make in general. Don't just reduce it to this year. Everything that happened between then and now has been a backward step from where we were already. Some steps bigger than others.

Point is, if Formula 1 is highest technology, and the success and failure of that high tech is measured in on track performance to the thousandth of a second, how is going back a few seconds in lap time high tech?

Imagine Ferrari make a new car, and the performance of that car is slower than the performance of the model it replaces, how do you feel about that?

211
Kamiel from Piquet to Hakkinen

@Sebee Ferrari did with the F50 replacing the F40 😁

212

Look, when they banned skirts for ground effect cars that was a backward step. When the limited turbo boost in the mid 80s that was a backward step. Going back from Turbos to atmospheric engines was a backward step. Left to me, we'd still have active suspension (in no way was that a 'driver aid') - for me the FW14/b was the best racing car ever built even if it was dominant to the point of boredom.
Then Senna died. And Max Mosely made it his personal mission to make F1 SLOW. That we still have the plank 23 years on, is bluntly, laughable. Banning engine development for 5 years ? Stupidity. Tyres ? One bad rule change after another.
Now we have the most power we've had since the days of unlimited turbo boost in the mid 1980s - yes I know you preferred the much less efficient engines where 30% of the power went out of the exhaust . I hate so called cost saving which is nothing of the kind (an engine which last 5 races costs more than 5 times as much as one that only lasts for one) it's a back door way of reducing power: before if you *really* raced and blew the engine to bits, that ruined that race, but now it ruins future races as well, best not push too hard ...

For the first time in 40 years of watching rule changes the aero rules have given more grip.
It's better. Not perfect, not "best ever" But going in the right direction.

213

You know James, I have take exception with your first comment and this one. Clearly you see plenty of irritants that I was shaking my had in agreement at as I was reading your second comment here, but you call me out for being negative and calling them out?

And I have to take exception with your statement that the sport is going in the right direction. The permitted engine modes and automation alone are a HUGE misstep for Formula 1. And this continues, so how is it right?

The Oil Burning - that is F1 taking a giant whiz on these PU regulations and their entire raison d'être. It is without doubt a pure illustration what the Formula 1 paddock and manufacturers really think about these regulations, about saving fuel, about fuel efficiency, about emission control and reduction. I can't believe how quietly that passed us, while really it is an incredible scandal for these PU regulation this oil-burining-gate. Yes, I just did!

214

I have to ask. Why do you still watch f1 if you hate it soo much. And why come on this site if your just going to be negative

215

If the fia let Newey etc have free rein and do what they like the drivers would have to wear g suits. The cars would be too fast for the circuits etc. I think f1 has been instrumental in ceramic brakes . Semi - fully automatic gearboxes. Seamless shift. Carbon fibre chassis. Abs. Active ride. And tyre development. F1 is the pinnacle and always will be.

216

You go Sebee.
Hey is it pronounced "CB" or "SEBY" ? 🙂
It seems now DOTD is down to who has the most power.

217

If F1 it's so bad, why do you still waste your time?

218

F1 is never a waste of time for me. The discussion is more of a wasted time really. I watch F1 while exercising.

Funny thing. You see, I'm used to the onboard shots when the drivers go side to side, or even to the moving shots of cars driving across the screen, but it's quite unsettling on the treadmill to someone not used to it. Especially when the screen is big and you're close to it. So yesterday a guy came next to me to run on the treadmill and he was having a very hard time staying centred on the belt with the onboard shots and all the screen motion. I couldn't help but laugh, but he was quite irritated and after about 10 minutes of being thrown off balance by Formula 1 on the screen, moved to another treadmill. I refused to change the channel - was I rude?

219

I think Bottas was pretty poor. He is a average number 2 who given everything works for him on the day he is very fast, but he is not enough of a hard nosed racer to be a number 1. Given the chance of that undercut Hamilton, Vettel, or Alonso would have grasped it with both hands and passed the other.

Hamilton was mighty today, if only he had not dropped it yesterday.

220

I agree and it is why I think Danny Ricciardo will be Hamilton's partner come 2019, Bottas may be managed by Wolff, but another quite year and even that won't save him. DR seems certainly to be comfortable with Toto and Lewis, whether that's just because he is that sort of guy, or whether there is more to it - I guess time will tell.
I've been very disappointed by Bottas, i like my Finns fast and furious.

221

No....ocon will replace Bottas I think. He's good enough so why waste your time with a young driver programme if you're not going to use the guys you promote. Bottas . .. as good as he is ( Good NOT great) was a stop gap. Ocon and HAM would be a great team. He will learn alot from HAM.

222

I agree with you about Bottas! Vettel took the first corner like candy from a baby!

223

A thriller! Good win for Seb, got the better start and a measured run thereafter, Bottas did a good job to stay ahead of Kimi, and Kimi did s good job to stay ahead of Lewis! The race ling battle between Massa and his bezzie mate was fun to watch, I would normally be rooting for Fernando, but it was nice for Felipe to have something to celebrate. Ricciardo and Hamilton have to be joint drivers of the day, great recovery drives from the pair of them.

224

Agree with TimW was good race with tension at the front, nice midfield battle and the two recovery drives. Was surprised the article didn't even acknowledge Ricciardo drive? The RBs were using conservative engine modes so Ric was fighting thru the field on lower power and after being shunted off on lap 1. Whilst I agree Hamilton drive was great have to say Ric drive was at least as good because of added adversity. He didn't have the extra power to blast past on the straights. For a lot of his moves he had to rely on driver skill with late braking and added stress on tires. As I said, two great recovery drives and but only one of them got a mention?

225

And merc have been using conservative engine modes all season but lots of HAM drives have not been acknowledged. RIC made an error at the 3 Rd corner too...was way out on the curb. ...this didn't cause his accident but it didn't help.

226

Max, yes they both should have been mentioned, both drivers had a lot of passing to do, mostly on slower cars to be fair, but they all had to be done without contact and without losing too much time. We saw them both making the most of their respective cars strong points, and I think they both made as much progress as was realistically possible.

227

@ MaxRPM...very well said. You have echoed my sentiments exactly.

228

By the way, you should check my comments about Perez in other articles. I in fact think very highly of him. I believe Perez would’ve won in Brazil if he was on Bottas’ seat.

229

Almost agree with you for a change. “Almost”. Not gonna waste my breath on Bottas.

Why do Ric and Ham have to be joint dod? Maybe in your your view. Don’t have to be in everyone else’s view. Ric didn’t benefit from SC, got hit by Van in lap one and had a spin. DOD (in my view) is a no brainer, Daniel Ricciardo. Massa is pretty close second (IN MY VIEW).

230

F zero, when was the last time you voted for Lewis?

231

2013.

232

I actually thought it was a really absorbing Grand Prix. Not a classic but it had me on tenterhooks for most of it.

Well done Sebastian Vettel for winning the start and then holding off Valtteri Bottas around the pitstops and diligently managing everything through to win. But it was scary how fast Lewis Hamilton was on that fresh engine. If he'd not had the qualifying crash, he wouldn't have had the fresh engine. But, equally, I had the feeling that he was the fastest guy over the weekend and would probably have won more comfortably than Vettel did.

As it happened, his charge through the field was compelling. Overall, I felt he had too many cars near the end to win the race. But when he caught Kimi Raikkonen so quickly I was thinking "hang on! If he clears Kimi quickly, Mercedes will pull Bottas out of the way and he'll be free to attack Vettel, lapping a second a lap faster than him! Hamilton can still win this?!" Ultimately he didn't but his pace got me thinking.

I also was absorbed by the Massa-Alonso(-Perez) battle and really happy with the incisive and assertive performance of Massa. While he has broadly trounced Stroll in qualifying, he hasn't been able to carry it through in the races (even accounting for some bad luck) so it was good to see him deliver such a strong drive. And in his (probably!) final GP in front of his home crowd to boot.

233

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a13451669/senna-the-musical/

James, did you go? Do the audience make the engine sounds? 🙂

Please go and report on it!

234

It is rare for a driver to get the chance to do that with the modern Power unit formula and next year they will have to be even more sparing with only three engines to last the season.

Not if you're a Mercedes driver. Their PU superiority is probably even bigger than most people realize, and based on experiences with tech companies with superior product offerings I strongly believe that their R&D department still has a lot of leads for additional performance gains sitting in their back pockets. They just haven't been needing to fully develop them further up till now. As soon as the treat from the others goes up, they'll develop and deliver.

235

Not bigger than most people realise mate, bigger than some people likes to admit.

236

F zero, those of us who allow our opinions to be guided by evidence, data and expert opinion believe the Mercedes engine to be superior to the Ferrari, but not by much. People who like to make it up as they go along, believe the difference is huge.

237

I think that merc's engine advantage must be significant if you look at Monza. Pure engine track. Its seemed more evident since spa I would say. Also im sure i heard that Lewis was running a new spec engine in Brazil as well as it being fresh. I might be mistaken. It was a good drive but as a neutral it was disappointing to see max overtaken before the braking zone at turn 4. Very sad to see! HAM is a great without doubt but it's a shame were probably not likely to see him challenged by anyone of a similar calibur for the rest of his career. There are a few drivers in the field that I suspect are on his level but I can't see another team challenging Merc for an entire season anytime soon. I just hope the rumours that he'll get Ricci or poss Ocon as a team mate before he retires are true so we can hopefully see him challenged properly.

238

Well said, sir.

239

“with only three engines to last the season” is just as wrong as it it to that each car only had four engines this year..
They all have as many engines to use as they like. eg 10 for Alonso. 6 for Lewis. (or something like that) .. but grid penalties kick i. after 3 changes.
It just becomes another item to strategise around.
Why have an arbitary limit of three that no one will stick too? Why not make it six or 8 engines... and have less races robbed of their excitement?

240

one could argue that anytime Lewis/Seb/Max or Daniel gets put to the back due to a component penalty, that the "show" is enhanced. for all others, it is a kick in the teeth for a driver who has zero control and the team who has very little control.
engine suppliers have already spent most of their R & D money to help yield a 7 race distance P/U. unilaterally grant a 5 component limit for 2018. should result in fewer grid penalties/ more running in free
practice and may be able to push harder during the race.
5 units per car is equal to what we saw last year. with the 2018 "hardened" components, it could well lead to no additional expense for the engine suppliers with a bonus of a more pure and fair race championship.
cost caps: IMHO, Force India is and has been the gold standard. set the limit to their budget plus maybe 10 - 15%.
Team payout and veto: burn them up on the stake at in International streaming event!
talk of fuel limitations/even single supplier: one way to assure budget cuts as they all drop team sponsorships as irrellevent, sic 🙂
aero: 2-plane front & rear wings primarily for balance trim, skirtless ground effects undertray and NO engine cover! let us see and hear that magnificent work of art (think Lotus 49)
reduce length/bulk and weight: bring back 1 mandatory fuel stop and add a 2 stop minimum to all races. adds another big layer of strategy
stewards: a fixed group of stewards with 1 as a floater position to have experience when a fixed seat needs replaced starting 2018
"push-to-pass": actually for pass or defend. series can decide on aero or engine mode for entire series. chose a given number of minutes of use for each track usage chosen by the driver. could even handicap the field with slower cars getting more P2P time.
finally, proposed P/U architecture: without proof nor insider knowledge, the numbers do not add up for me. I see 2021 cars as slower/bigger/heavier/more expensive/more environmentally destructive/less interesting with this proposal.

241

Engines are the new version of nursing tires and fuel saving. Before you could not race flat out because of them. Now you have to save engines. If the Mercs did not have to save engines there is not a car and the grid that can touch them. HAM is good no doubt but yesterday was a demonstration of how fast Merc can go with the wick turned up and not having to worry about engine saving. James wrote an article early this year positing that Merc turned up the engine to embarrass Ferarri. I didn't believe it at the time, but I believe it now. Merc can win on any track at willing they are committed to running their engine at Max performance.

242

I wonder how many cases we'll see next year of one of the top drivers failing to make say the top 5 who decide to take the penalty and stick a new engine in.

Not sure how to do it, but maybe something longer lasting than a grid penalty is needed? While it was a great drive by Lewis, he was fighting with a much faster car due to the new engine. Should someone really be able to make up that many places having taken a penalty?

Maybe they could play with availability of the various hybrid systems and / or DRS rather than have grid penalties? I was thinking the same for Grosjean's penalty to be honest - a driver can hold up others for most of the race before having to serve the penalty, maybe having ERS power for a number of laps (for example) would be a more effective penalty than a notional time to be taken at some point in the future?

Similar for grid penalties, you can take a new engine, even start in your normal grid slot, but you only get half ERS power for the whole race?

243

I agree. From 4 to 3 just robs us of more earned grid line ups. I suggest all teams agree on race 16 to all have a new engine and components to keep the grid as per Saturday. If they all submit it at once then no one can be penalised more than the next team.

244

Merc are just testing now for next season, which is scary as they showed today that they are miles in front with a good driver behind the wheel. Ferrari hopefully will improve. while RB desperately need more power to be able to take the fight to Merc. McClaren, Renault, Williams and Force India I think will battle for best of the rest next year.

245

I read that Force India are having difficulties with Liberty and the FIA over their proposed new identity of "Force One" because it's too close to "Formula One"

Why don't they just go back to calling it Jordan Grand Prix.........................

246

They should go to "Force 4", since fourth is the best that they are ever going to get as an indie team, even with the 'miles ahead' merc power.

247
The Grape Unwashed

Anything but "Force", it's a naff brand. Jordan, Mallya, Mol, ...even something creative like Whittlewood (the name of the ancient forest around Silverstone). Just about anything would be an improvement.

248

I am suprised Hamilton didnt back Vettel up to give his team mate the chance for a win, he could have done an Abu dhabi 2016, hopefully VB starts refusing to be a mobile road block for his team mate next year.
VB, say no to team orders next year buddy, your help wont be repaid

249

You mean like Bottas did in baku? Oh wait he didn't. Lewis asked but the pit said bottas was fighting for 2nd.

250

In Baku VB still had a chance at the title, Hamilton has won it now, why not help your number 2 driver to second in the WDC?
Hamilton backed up his team mate last year for a shot at the title, but dosent think about helping his team mate to second, after he even threw away a podium at Suzuka to help him win his 4th title.
Team player for sure.

251

Naive comment. You do realise there's a team involved in strategy, not just the driver?

And in fact they discussed this on the coverage. Raikkonen was too close to Valtteri - if Lewis had backed them up it could have given KR the chance to slip into second, making VB's race result even worse.

Not to mention the overall team points would have been less if Lewis had given up the charge to help VB.

252

They have already won both championships, why not go for a win?
They have just handed Vettel 2nd in wdc

Besides, hamilton decided abu dhabi 2016 on his own

253

Forza Ferrari!!

254

Merc were able to unlock massive potential in middle of season. I bet they already know how much gain they will make during winter. Cant wait to see when they unleash full potential next year march..

I bet if Lewis was starting at front, Ferrari had no chance.

255

Lewis was running a basically new engine with old oil usage allowance. He could burns more oil than anybody else on track. that is why he was so fast in recovering.
Although 2 weeks ago Vettel did a similar recover to 4th from 19th and everybody seems to have forgotten.

256
Tornillo Amarillo

Did you think Bottas could have done more to get back on terms after the start?

He beat Hamilton Saturday and Sunday, that's pretty good if he continues with that next race and next year. He is giving a good reason to keep him on board in the team, I think today it was all about, 2 seconds from Vettel is very acceptable.

257

Regardless of the quali and race result he was massively outperformed by hamilton. He is not worthy of the merc drive and his presence as lewis' teammate devalues HAMs championship win. Imagine how good the championship would have been this year with rosberg still in there, or Alonso in silver. Instead we get to watch the guy that struggled to put away an ageing Felipe Massa play rear gunner (as if Lewis even needs the help)! No wonder Lewis loves having him as 'part of the team'. My nan's available for a drive next season...?

258

@Tornillo

Yes, he beat Lewis.

But Valterri had one job....that was to win the race.

259

He didn't beat lewis. Lewis beat lewis by binned it. Sunday's race pace left much to be desired from young bottas.

260

He finished 2 seconds behind Vettel in a car that his team mate came from dead last to 4th in. He just hasn't got the fight like others, he just doesn't have the burning desire to do anything to win. Do you seriously think Vettel would have followed Bottas all race without giving him a hard time? Would any of the past world champions given up the first corner with such little fight.

261

How about that Lance Stroll?

262
Tornillo Amarillo

No carnaval for him...

263

Well that was a race to almost forget....two exceptional drives stand out for me. Ricciardo and Hamilton both drove stonking races and they deserve serious accolades. Hamilton had a rails run with the superiority of his car. If ever the Mercedes power was on show then Brazil was the stage. To drive from last to fourth was good but with a rocket like that it was more or less expected. Nevertheless a stonking drive. For Ricciardo it was far harder. At the end of lap 1 he was dead last and to come back like he did was superb. To finish sixth from seventeenth was incredible. Both Hamilton and Ricciardo were D'sOTD. with a minor edge for Ricciardo due to the HP deficit. According to Horner, post race, something like 30HP!!! There were some good fights further back but nothing electric. I was bitterly disappointed for Hartley who drove the wheels off that car only to be, once again, thwarted by that lump of 'dudu's' in the back of his car. Renault have seriously let their customers down badly. They have been at it now for five years, since inception,and four years of racing. What a dud. Apart from Mclaren Honda'drivers taking monumental penalties i believe that next in line is Ricciardo with something like 75 grid place drops...the third highest of the entire field. What that does to a driver's result's and therefore his future is massive. The sooner we get alternative engine builders in the better. So, all in all not a memorable race by any stretch but Vettel did a great job and his race win was well earned with Kimi playing rear gunner admirably. Looking forward to Abu Dhabi with high hopes for an all out big bash!!!! As if?

264

@ James...Is there any reason why you have failed to adequately mention that the best action was provided by both Ricciardo and Hamilton in their memorable drives through the field? Yes, you acknowledged Hamilton but not one mention of Ricciardo yet he drove from dead last after lap one to sixth with super passing moves. They were the action, they were worthy of more than a mere mention which was to all intents and purposes missing from your race report summary. very disappointed really.

265

Kennneth ... reciprocal `very well said' to u!

266

It’s the beard...🤨

267

The driver of the day has always been the guy who came through the field. The most interesting races this season were those where a top team had to start at the back.

With these in consideration, I ask for reverse grid races

268

Reversing grids would only work, if;
a) you rewarded points for qualifying, otherwise why do well in qualifying.
b) you simply set the grid according to championship position in reverse (i.e. the driver in P1 in the championship starts last, the driver in P2 starts second last, etc...)
You could do b) and scrap qualifying altogether, but I suspect that won't be popular.

269

I think Kimi is better no 2 than Bottas not because I am his fan

270

Bottas drive showed that he is just below the top guys. He never really challenged Vettel all race long. He is a better No 2 than Kimi at the moment. Hopefully, Renault will deliver decent engines in 2018 and the 2 Red Bull drivers and Alonso can join the fight for podiums on a regular basis

271

I know Lewis’ PU was a new one which could be turned up to full power and Valtteri’s wasn’t, but I can’t understand why Merc didn’t just go for it and turn up Bottas’ PU enough to give him a shot at passing Vettel in that last stint. If he blew it up trying, it wouldn’t make any difference in the championship anyway.
Now Bottas must win the final race and Seb must DNF for them to swap places in the WDC. With both Lewis and Seb in such great form, that result is highly unlikely!

Either Merc felt Bottas just wasn’t up to passing Seb and thus resigned themselves to a safe 2nd place in Brazil and a highly likely 3rd in the WDC ... or Merc decided to put all of their eggs in the one basket, hoping Lewis would do the unthinkable and cover them in glory by winning the race after starting from the pitlane.
Strange!

272

Because it also has to do Abu and they want a nice clean record of no failures..

273

Is there any scenario where Mercedes knew they didn't have sufficient life remaining in a PU component, but didn't want any perceived embarrassment from grid-spot penalties for taking a new one, or having an engine failure? Instead they decide to have Lewis ‘crash’ the car so the manufacturer avoids embarrassment, and the driver gets a brand-new engine for the last 2 races, with the latest development specification of all the parts, and the clock is reset on the usage time of all the highly aggressive (& damaging) engine modes? The driver also gets a car set up perfectly for the race because they start from the pitlane, which also makes grid spot penalties moot. The team also figures that Lewis has the best potential finishing position starting from the pitlane in Brazil rather than Abu Dhabi (if that is indeed the case.) Or the team just wants the driver to have the best shot at finishing the final race of the season in a blaze of glory? Or the new PU has some designed-for-2018 components that the team wanted to try out?

Lewis’ crash just seemed a little unusual to me – an odd place to go off, and the first flying lap in Q1 where we know the team isn’t using the most powerful engine modes. Or is this one conspiracy theory too far (if that’s possible in the world of F1) ?!?

274

They have already had an PU failure in Spain for Bottas.

275

Vettel’s pitstop was 2.1 seconds while Bottas was stopped for 2.7 seconds. That 0.6 seconds cost Valtteri the win.

276

Shows how good Vettel is, beating VB in a slower car, alot of people rate VB as a good challenge for Ham this year in defence of him having had the WDC handed to him.
SV or MV would destroy VB in equal cars, lucky Ham has a willing number 2 this year, he would have been in trouble otherwise

277

Vettel probably wouldn't have won if the Merc was as good at following as the Ferrari is. VB couldn't get close enough on the twisties to overtake on the straights. On that circuit the Ferrari is the better all-rounder.

278

SV is also a much better driver than VB, if it were HAM he would have done it.
Also if it were HAM, VB would have been left out to block Seb, to give im a shot at the win

279

I agree, SV is better than VB by some way.( See, I'm not one of those haters who pretends the closest competitor to my favourite is utterly useless.) I think SV is a great driver, he's come on loads in recent years. He always used to only lead from the front, now he's proved he can come through the pack as well.

Yet I think that if VB had been able to follow closely enough he would have taken SV. Only my opinion, of course.

Re: your last paragraph: You don't know that. If the Merc positions were reversed (and VB was WDC) you think VB would have been ordered to block SV? Hmm. Perhaps.

280

VB had a faster car, he probably would have, if HAM slowed down to give VET some turbulence, VB could have had a shot, would he have done it? who knows but with both championships over, why not give it a try?
VB has been left out to block SV a few times this year, VB and SV were fighting for 2nd in the WDC, I really hope VB realizes that HAM only does team orders if they benefit him.
I think SV, LH and MV are all top drivers, they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
LHFC rule 1# Tell people that Lewis has made mistakes but never point any out, just go back in history to find a similar mistake by another driver to deflect any blame from our god.
Also make sure you tell the non believers you are unbiased.

281

also 2.7 for Lewis. good, but not WCC worthy, IMHO

282

Thanks James, now I need not bother watching Abu Dhabi.

283

Well, Vettel won but what a drive from Lewis. Given they can go all out with the engine again in Abu Dhabi it should be a walk in the park for him. Tough blow again for Bottas, lost the start and he should have finishes miles ahead of him.

Not sure what's going on with Renault. What a shambles with the engines tuned down in qualifying without telling anyone. Puts Fernando's "next year is going to be fun" in a different perspective.

Also what was going on with Romain - there's always someone else to blame - Grosjean and Williams? Did Massa completely outperform the car or was Stroll just miles off the pace?

284

Bit off topic here but there are a few things which have come to light this year. Without being too harsh on bottas as he came in late and didn't have much time to get used to the car, his form since the break must be a little worrying for Mercedes. Carlos Sainz proved his class in swapping teams mid season and being straight on his team mates pace, albeit his team mate isn't a now 4 time world champion.
My main point however is how underrated Rosberg was during his time in F1. He certainly kept Lewis on his toes and you have to feel that he'd have converted a few better weekends that bottas this season. Its easy to say that Rosberg had the best car last year, which he did, but the fact that he beat Lewis to the title in that car probably hadn't earned him the praise he deserved. The ongoing digs from Lewis would also suggest that he's hurt that Rosberg got the better of him.
So basically, no real point to my post other than Nico was a far better driver than i gave him credit for and I don't think I was the only one......

(via smartphone hence all the typos!)

285

Rosberg was flattered by being handed all Lewis' data, so that he could try to match him.

Where Nico is starting to earn accolades is that Valterri is also getting Lewis' data, but, at least this year, cannot live with his team-mate as well as Nico was.

We could see Lewis' car suffering understeer as it chased some cars; at least based on the footage I watched, we never saw him close up to Vettel enough for his car to hit the disrupted air wake coming off the Ferarri, which is the point. Even if he could not pass, there never seemed to be a point where he tried.

There was a time when we acknowledged the strangeness of disparaging drivers and performances based on tenths and hundredths of a second, but nowadays we are so used to doing that.

286

Torchwood Mobile
Sharing data means both drivers can look at each others data.
Should I remind you about how Alonso wasn't happy about sharing data with Hamilton in 2007? But Ron made it clear to him (and Hamilton) that McLaren drivers have and will always share data for the good of te team. Do you think Hamilton benefited from looking at Alonso's setup/data?

287

I can’t think there’s any doubt whatsoever that Rosberg was better all round than VB... Is there?

288

Baron, I don't think we can say yet can we? Nico was st Mercedes for seven years, Valterri has only just started.

289

Nico was MUCH better than his stats will ever show. not placing him among the very finest all time, but he should be thumping-his-chest proud of his accomplishments!

290

IMO the only races where Ferrari have been comprehensively outclassed this year have been the British & Italian GPs. Could probably also argue Canada & US Mercedes had a clear edge, but not total superiority. Vettel has driven very well -
notwithstanding his obvious expensive mistakes - spearheading the team and giving them a focal point. I'm sure they'll be strong again next year, but of course so too with Mercedes and Red Bull, and I think Renault & McLaren will make it a much tighter top-half.

291

Was just reading on the BBC.... Hamilton said reducing the number of engines would mean drivers were able to push hard in races less often.

"I don't like the idea of going to three. That sucks. Sprinting is what we are missing in F1," Hamilton said.

Well said Hamilton.

292

yep. a total clusterf**k of FIA ignorance and Liberty clue-lesness and in-effectualness...

293

Well put.

James, how about an online poll on this? If it shows great fan dissatisfaction then send it to Liberty. The weekend was a joke, with units turned down, grid penalties, etc. Speaking for myself I want rid of this. Surely the teams could vote for say 5 engines per season, more MGU-Hs, and bring this in for 2018? Next year could be even worse than the farce we’ve had since mid season.

Stop the conservation of power units, tyres, brakes, and fuel please Ross and Co. Over-engineer so the cars can be ragged for the whole season please.....

294

James, I find it disingenuous to say Ferrari will take pride in outqualifying mercedes, when vettel has been outqualifying bottas all year long. Contrary to what is often reported, mercedes engine mode is lewis. Had he not binned it, there's a good chance he'd be 2 tenths up bottas. Before you say, they were close in the practices - nico and even jenson are often faster up until q3, where lewis often rewrites the form book.

If anything, ferrari should be worried about mercedes new suspension. Without her diva tendencies, the w08 would've been the class of the field, especially in the king's hands. Running in dirty air and finishing within 6 seconds of the lead, especially in the jungle like temperatures unseen since malaysia bodes well for their development direction. Difficult to say how much of it was lewis, either way it's very positive.

The engine is a V4, if I'm not mistaken. Even so, looking at fp1/2, it was obvious lewis was miles ahead of everyone. It tightened on single lap pace but he was ballistic on the longruns. Sigh, had he not binned it, it would've been an easy win. On the bright side, we got to see pre-mercedes yellow helm lewis. Ah, the good ole mclaren days...minus the mechanic failures and atrocious pit stops.

Worryingly you haven't mentioned redbull. Isn't it curious how, all of a sudden their pace has diminished? They were very strong in the last 4 races, over a variety of track configurations and surfaces. What changed? Maybe the new directive on suspension... Word on the street, RBR has figured out how to make their car squat on the straights again, reducing drag, increasing top speed. The FIA has once again clamped down on that, hence max's constant whinging about no grip since friday. Coincidence? Possibly... Would go someway explaining their massive deg on race day compared to ferrari/mercedes. Normally the rb13 loves the SS, not yesterday.

Finally, I like this blog. It is well done and professionally moderated. Not always in my favor...nevertheless hat's off. Would it be possible, maybe in the future to give more in-dept articles on the technical aspects. In my view, too much time is spent on politics or driver relation, while the engineering goes mostly unreported. It's fascinating stuff, which I'm sure many of your readers would appreciate. Cheers.

295

Isn't it curious how, all of a sudden their pace has diminished? They were very strong in the last 4 races, over a variety of track configurations and surfaces. What changed?

Horner says it is the engine mode: "“We ran pretty safe on engines,” team boss Horner revealed. “Obviously reliability has been a concern.
“I think the layout of this circuit, that long, last sector, just is a bit more punishing for us than Mexico."

In another article, Max says that Renault has run out of engine spares, and are not making new parts, since they are focusing on the 2018 spec engine.

296

“The King”? Dear Lord save us....

297

Baron. So sorry. I meant Lewis Hamilton.

298

Noted

We go through phases I guess depending on who is helping from the pool of ex F1 senior engineers

We have plenty of plans on this front for 2018

299
Tornillo Amarillo

A tricky day for teen Lance, he was in the back foot after missing FP3 because a mechanical problem and, like a domino, the pieces were falling. He couldn't qualify properly and from the back of the grid, he couldn't do much on Sunday. With two flat spots and the front left tyre destroyed, he had to pit again and just bring the car home. A new circuit for him and I am sure on a bad day is when you learn a lot.

300

brazil 2017 reminds me of monza 2008. vettel won both races while hamilton charged up the field from the back..

301

Vettel said tonight: “I think we can all feel that we’re getting stronger so hopefully we can carry that strength into the next couple of years, not just next year, not just the winter but also the future because I think our objective is to bring Ferrari back properly, get there and dominate. That’s what we want to do.”

Hamilton revels in the power of new engine

deancassady.com summary of 'race':
This race exposed many of the problems at this point in time, with Formula One as a whole, including the current direction that it is moving in.
1. Following up on my previous comments, starting before Hamilton clinched the championship (2017 that is), payback to Bottas was NOT successful; taking Lewis 'out' by giving him a new engine (they should have specifically inspected the oil consumption in the race, but I bet they didn't!), wasn't enough to keep a determined Vettel at bay, after Bottas' 'glitch' at the start.
Indication: current aerodynamics in F1 gives an overwhelming advantage to the lead runner, making qualifying results overly-weighted for race competition.
2. Hamilton battles back from pitlane to fourth, "he was as much as 25km/h faster than the car he was overtaking", and "rapidly catching Verstappen, breezing past the Red Bull on lap 60".
indication having started in the pitlane, and storming through and past even the third fastest car at Interlagos... very easily, by James' description, then challenging the second fastest car, on well-worn tires, strongly suggests that Vettel's stated aspirations, as quoted above, "...bring Ferrari back properly, get there and dominate." are less than hot air, in substance; if anything, Mercedes is further ahead now than they were at the first race in this current 'hybrid' era, and there is little to suggest that any other team will get into a truly competitive challenge for them!
3. Chatter and the 'forward' 'vision' for F1
The takeover by Herr Cary and 'Liberty' (now there's a misnomer if I ever read one) reminds me of Woodrow Wilson thinking he could competently negotiate the 'armistice' following the conclusion of the Great War (WWI) swimming into the shark tank of high pressure politiquing in Europe. The 1910s era facial hair doesn't hinder the imagery (nice tan, though!) While Niki's credibility isn't bulletproof, and the team bigwigs are simply bound to whinge and foretell doom, I completely agree with his position on contrivances to 'artificially' level the playing field to 'create' competition as being toxic to the DNA/business/sporting niche of F1. The 'tinkering' with the engine formula is tepid and inadequate to even scratch the surface of the underlying structural issues in F1.
For one direction that would likely work better than any of this proposed tinkering, please see exchanges on previous post, here: https://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2017/11/analysis-there-is-going-to-be-a-giant-fight-in-f1-so-lets-get-it-done-sooner-than-later/#comment-3784151 (strangely difficult to navigate to, for a recent article).

In summary, not only is the headline of this article false, "Brazil GP win gives Ferrari reason to smile after F1 championship defeat", it is ridiculously so.
The fact that this slightly points gain over Bottas makes Vettel's securing of second, slightly more probable, is only making him more likely to be the first loser of the season; Vettel and Ferrari are no doubt painfully aware of this reality.
The structural and engineering brilliance that enabled the Merc dominance, will not be changed adequately to enable true competition against them by anybody, including Ferrari. Again, one must acknowledge the phenomenal job Merc did to attain this position, but it is simply killing the 'sport'!

302
Tornillo Amarillo

On Lance’s side, he had a problem with his gearbox yesterday which meant we damaged his fourth power unit of the season and he had to revert to his third power unit for qualifying and the remaining races this season. That power unit is down on performance in comparison so it was never going to be easy for Lance to get points today.

- Paddy Lowe.

Massa and Lance had not the same power from their Merc PU in Brazil, and they won't have it neither in Abu Dabhi unfortunately. Let's 2018 begin.

304

No good - Nowhere to put the wife's weekly big shop.

305

No room for wife either!

306

Nice article.

307

I can't agree that Hamilton breezing through the field unopposed brightened up the race. It was, in fact, a sad indictment of the current state of Formula 1. The fact that there was next to no overtaking through the field beyond Hamilton and Ricciardo coming through because they had clearly superior cars (and a brand new engine turned up to 11 in the case of Hamilton), when nobody else could overtake because their cars are too similarly balanced, is exactly what's wrong. Add that to the fact that the FIA insists on putting DRS zones on the straights where overtaking has always been historically possible, Hamilton and Ricciardo were handed a massive advantage and didn't really have to work for it. Seeing them actually have to fight their way through rather than breeze past would have been far more entertaining.