Ten videos Max Mosley should watch

Max Mosley, FIA Gala, 2006I am sure Max Mosley is an extremely busy man. And sometimes I wonder if his packed schedule keeps him from noticing things might might make F1 a lot better if they were sorted.

Like stewards failing to implement basic rules, the frequent lack of overtaking caused by Mosley’s own rule changes, and the problems with his green fuels agenda.

Here are the ten videos I hope President Mosley finds time to take a look at.

Overtaking

The phenomenon you will observe in our first video, Max, is called “overtaking.” This is where one car gets in front of another on the track – and not via pit stop strategy.

Overtaking is good, we want more of it. We don’t want F1 turning into NASCAR – where overtaking happens so much it’s irrelevant. But, please, let’s sort out the cars so they can actually get close enough to each other to pass once in a while.

If you want evidence of how bad the overtaking situation has gotten in Formula 1, watch this video.

Refuelling

This is what we have instead of overtaking these days. Not very interesting is it? Do us a favour and get rid of it. It adds nothing to the sport at all.

Doughnuts

This is Sebastien Bourdais celebrating his final win of the 2006 Champ Car season with the time honoured motor racing tradition of doing a few doughnuts. Crowds love them, but F1 drivers aren’t allowed to do them.

But surely that’s what you put those enormous tarmac run-offs on circuits for in the first place? Don’t be a stick in the mud, Max – let the drivers entertain the crowds.

Heritage

The first ever Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950. F1 is in danger of completely losing touch with its heritage – this weekend could see the last race in France, the birthplace of Grand Prix racing.

Expanding into new venues is good – but F1 must keep some races in its historical heartlands – particularly the one in which most of the teams are presently based.

Slipstreaming

Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Andretti swapping positions mere millimetres apart at up to 250mph in the now defunct CART championship.

No racing series in the world offers this kind of thrill any more. If any championship will, it must be Formula 1. Let’s inject some adrenaline into the show – find somewhere safe enough for F1 cars to race at speeds high enough for them to slipstream.

You may remember Montoya – he left F1 last year because he felt the driver was too much at the mercy of the competitiveness of his car. He had a point.

Penalties

At the start of this year’s Monaco Grand Prix three drivers cut the corner at the first bend (Takuma Sato, Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil) – and received no penalties.

Why on earth was this allowed to go unpunished, when they gained an advantage over Anthony Davidson, who went out of his way to navigate the corner correctly? Drivers will have no confidence in the stewards if they don’t enforce rules properly.

Safety

Credit where it’s due – you’ve done some sterling work on making F1 safer.

But you know there is always more that can be done – and I’m sure this frightening collision, that came shockingly close to injuring Wurz’s head, will have occupied your mind following this year’s Australian Grand Prix.

Gradient

This is the corkscrew turn at Laguna Seca – one of the most famous corners in the world, it plunges and twists down a steep hill.

But where is the gradient on modern Formula 1 tracks? Hermann Tilke should be designing putting greens, not racing circuits. F1 tracks need more challenges like the daunting drop of the Corkscrew.

Biofuel

Many people will dispute that F1 should be embracing greener technologies. I don’t agree – and neither do you. You have suggested that future F1 engine should run on biofuels.

But there are reasons why we should be wary of biofuels, as this video explains.

Besides, F1 is the perfect proving ground for the wide variety of different green technologies underdevelopment – hydrogen, electric, hybrid and other power sources. Why not let the manufacturers try different solutions, instead of shackling them to biofuel?

Your legacy

What has been the defining moment of your Presidency? I’m afraid for me it was the debacle at Indianapolis in 2005.

Yes, Michelin were to blame because they brought tyres that didn’t work properly. But you were responsible for blocking efforts for any solutions that would have been acceptable to the fans.

You were the last person that could have prevented F1′s greatest embarrassment of this decade. And you failed.

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22 comments on Ten videos Max Mosley should watch

  1. Number 38 said on 28th June 2007, 14:31

    The MadMax Mosley legacy,
    summed up in the very last sentence above …… “And you failed.” Further discussion is meaningless.

  2. M Smith said on 28th June 2007, 17:12

    You are so right about everything here. We need more on-track overtaking, but not so much that you might as well ignore them.
    Refuelling needs to be gotten rid of as well, in my opinion. Ayrton Senna said that the reintroduction of refuelling would kill much of the on-track action, it appears he was right.
    And again, Biofuel isn’t this super fuel that it’s made out to be. It’s flawed, and many acres of crops need to harvested to make it. Electric and/or hydrogen look like better choices if enough research is done. Give the engineers a chance to experiment, Max!

    Right on the ball there.

  3. Actually, in the recent USGP we had examples of overtaking (and attempts) similar to the famous Villeneuve/Arnoux duel. But they happened in midfield or lower, where the drivers have less to lose than the front runners. I think the best point regarding overtaking these days was made by the in-car footage of Alonso’s attempt to pass Hamilton at Indy – it demonstrated without question that the rev limiters have destroyed what little chance of overtaking remained.

    Refuelling was always Max’s attempt to liven up the show – and it failed miserably. Make refuelling illegal and the cars will have to be bigger to take the necessary fuel for an entire race, they’ll be heavier and not so well-balanced, and that means slower. Wasn’t that what most of Max’s rule changes have been trying to achieve anyway?

    Doughnuts are harmless crowd-pleasers, I agree. Can see no reason for banning them.

    Heritage? What the heck do Max and Bernie care about that? They’ll be looking at the video and tut-tutting over the straw bales and leather helmets…

    Slipstreaming: a great video for demonstrating what normally happens when a car benefits from a tow from one in front – it zips past effortlessly. Compare that to the Alonso/Hamilton clip and you can see why it’s a pointless exercise today. The cry is for a push-to-pass button (an idiotic solution to a problem that shouldn’t be, if you ask me) while F1 has always had such an option for the skillful driver: it’s called slipstreaming.

    Penalties: one must presume that the marshals were so absorbed in watching the cars further up the field that they missed these misdemeanours amongst the back markers. Is there a case for a sort of video review referee being able to step in and say, “Oi, you guys missed this! Apply penalties immediately”? I fear for the extra complication it would introduce…

    How far can we go in making F1 cars ultra-safe? Using this video as an example, the only way you’re going to protect the driver in such a situation is to surround him with a very strong cage. Ignoring what that does to the “heritage” of open cockpits, would it not be counter-productive in the event of a serious accident like Kubica’s in Canada? Imagine having to extract a driver from a maze of mangled roll cage after such an event. Safety is fine and good – but there comes a point at which we have to recognise that F1 is a dangerous sport and there are limits to what can be done.

    Gradient: yup, it’s an important factor in any racing circuit. Apart from the incredible Corkscrew, Eau Rouge would be just another corner without the gradient, Monaco would be without character if the hills were flattened… S**t, I’ve just realised how few circuits with gradients are left…

    Biofuel: no, don’t get me started on this one, please, Keith. Suffice it to mention that Mexico is already facing huge problems in feeding its poor, thanks to price rises in the cost of corn caused by the States using so much for biofuels.

    Max has a legacy? Well, yeah, of a sort, I suppose…

  4. This entire piece is well stated.

    I wonder about the rule mishap example, though, do the corner marshals have permission to declare the violations or is the decision in the hands of a (too) small handful watching a monitor in a box or tower?

  5. If I remember correctly, there is someone in charge of each marshal post who could theoretically notify race control of rule violations (though it would not surprise me if it was reserved for more serious problems like cars blocking the track). However, the responsibility for declaring violations is squarely with the four stewards in the race control tower. It would help if there were two or three designated video watchers – one for the front, one for the back, and possibly one to watch the midfield as well. Later in the race, this could be altered to have one watching the TV footage and the other one (or two) keeping an eye on known trouble spots (every track has at least one). These people would be able to at least get stewards on the case a bit quicker and a bit more often.

    As for Max’s legacy, what is likely to be said by history is, “His first two terms (i.e. the 1-year self-probation and standard-length 1992-1996/7 term) were glorious. His third term was good. He lost it in the fourth term and the fifth term was awful.” The safety culture established in 1994 and advanced aggressively through the 90s is the jewel in his reign, and deserves all the credit it gets. The restrictiveness of the rules Max created, particularly in the latter years, have slowly but surely courted disaster. The first serious disaster was 2002 (a lot of people I know turned off because they felt that the FIA had gone too far, and that the lack of thrills that year proved it), the second was Indianapolis 2005, and I believe the third was the agreement he signed with the manufacturers last autumn, which looks like it transferred most of the decision-making power to the fickle, greedy and corporate manufacturers.

  6. Tilke is the worst thing happening to the sport right now. Every track he designs looks exactly the same, FujiGT is a parking lot and his tracks are the only reason Massa has any talent- when he leaves a Tilke track he bitches and whines con-stant-lee.

    Mosley is out of his mind, but he’s kept a lot of the sport in-line. Just kick Tilke out for a while and keep him from designing every track on the calendar! There’s no variety except on the old tracks! Is there anyone today that would design a Spa?

  7. the heritage depends probably more on Bernie . Bernie negotiates contracts with venues. About the biofuel – I read the article on grandprix.com where Tony Purnell explains the 2011 proposals … May be it is only me, but it looks like they are trying to kill F1 and create some weird monster. And at the same time they strangely believe that it is exactly what fans and manufacturers want …

  8. Nathan Jones said on 29th June 2007, 9:33

    as a racingfan i can hardly care about biofuels etc!
    one video i’d add to this collection is this one = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUXZ6hq2Ix8
    onboard with JPM at imola ’01 with NO TC!

  9. I don’t see how kicking out Tilke improves slipstreaming or overtaking.Magny Cours has never been glorious,Tilke did not design it.You can’t overtake in Hungary unless you are on the main straight.Surprise,surprise,Tilke did not design it either.Nor did he design Circuit De Catalunya.

    I liked the old Hockenheim circuit more,so Tilke is not the solution but he is not the problem either.There are only 5 Tilke designed(re-designed) tracks on the calendar but still there is not much overtaking at the rest of the calendar.

    Max Mosley has failed?So say there was not much safety concern after Senna’s death,the speeds were not brought down and the sport not made safer,what would you do?Write a post about safety or mourn Kubica’s death?

    Surely,the changes in the past few years have only spoiled the sport but what about the earlier years of his reign?

  10. bernie's nemesis said on 5th July 2007, 23:49

    Mosleys attempt to lower corner speeds in the aftermath of Sennas death was the wrong solution.

    If anything, the multiple inquiries into Sennas tragic death proved that the safety car and it’s implications had not been thought out thoroughly, as nobody had figured out that the tyres would lose pressure and the car ground out, a responsibility that ultimately must be his.

    Making the cars narrower, giving them less mechanical grip and less aerodynamic downforce, all seen succesively after this point, allow the cars to go faster, with less ability to go around the following corner.

    Make the cars wider, allow them to rev as high as they like (with the discretion of the right pedal governing it) and give them slick tyres and we may see more than one line around a corner and hopefully more overtaking.

    Making a series of almost identical circuits- high speed corner into long straight into sharp first/second gear corner- in order to manufacture overtaking opportunities seems to be the latest trick, especially if you can find a country that is desperate to prove that it’s a modern industralised nation, with the kind of money and facilities this entails.
    So consequently we don’t need spectacular historical places like Spa or Silverstone, especially when they do not have the same budget.

    As far as penalties go, if you allow Schumacher to cheat, televised, around the world and do not punish him properly then you lose your fan base.

    In the aftermath of Kubicas’ crash, I think we can say that this is one area that nobody can mount criticism. I honestly could not see him living after that impact, the fact he only twisted his ankle is incredible.

    I think bringing bio-fuels into F1 could be a good thing. The viewing public are largely unaware that formula 1s innovations are in their road cars in such a short space of time- crumple zones, traction control, ABS all look for their introduction from F1.

    But electric- forget it. Batteries are hugely inefficient, and where do you get your electric from?
    Inefficient coal fired power stations mainly.

    Why don’t Bernie and Max call it time. There is too much domination from both of them.

  11. Eric M. said on 10th August 2007, 19:51

    Are F1 drivers really not allowed to do a few victory doughnuts?

  12. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 11th August 2007, 10:03

    They’re not specifically outlawed by the rules but it is required that drivers proceed immediately to parc ferme after the race. Drivers have been penalised in the past for stopping or delaying on their way back to the pits after the race, and it’s a safe bet they’d get into trouble for doing doughnuts.

    Rubbish, isn’t it.

  13. I don’t think they’d do it even if allowed. Considering that Kubica was disqualified for being underweight in Hungary last year, because he didn’t think to pick up rubbish on the tyres in his slowing down lap, the weight margins are pretty narrow. Burning off rubber with doughnuts could just be enough to get you disqualified.

    And besides, we don’t want any of that common, show-off, Yankee nonsense over here, do we? Oh dear no, thank you very much. :D

    Hmmm, I seem to be in argumentative mode this morning. Give something to get my teeth into, Keith! ;)

  14. He is a keen Ferrari fan, and has been very instrumental in winning Ferrari 7 titles since 1999 when he first overturned a Ferrari disqualification in the Malaysian Grand Prix to secure them the Constructors Title for the first time since 1983. Then in 2003 he changed the tyre rules late in season to help Bridgestone who provided Ferrari’s tyres thereby hindering the Michelin teams challenge that year handing Ferrai and Schumacher the titles. This decision also hindered Michelin’s tyre development cycle into 2004 thereby crating one of the most boring seasons in the Sports history. In 2006 he narrowly missed out on both titles despite trying to constantly penalise Alonso and Renault. However in 2007 he again manipulated the rules to the disadvantage of McLaren as part of his grude against Ron Dennis preventing that team and its driver Lewis Hamilton from winning the titles. As he was an unsuccessful lawyer and racing driver, it is widely assumesd he continually uses his influence to asssist Ferrari against the wider interests of the sport as a whole in order to feel he makes a contribution to the sport. However to ojective followers of the sport, his actions are the equivalent in football terms of the FA say giving Chelsea a 15 point head start at the beginning of each season – one wonders why he behaves in the way he does, and in the interests of sporting fairness and F1 as a whole the sport will only be interesting once he retires.

  15. MacVittie said on 28th December 2007, 23:21

    I’m afraid that Mad Max Mosley’s attacks on Jackie Stewart’s criticism of the ludicrous decisions of the FIA make me think of his father’s blind commitment to lunatic nazi style power struggles. I hope he will eventually realise that he is not the dictator in F1 and we only toleratw wee Bernie as no one with a better alternative has challenged them yet. Jackie Stewart has done more for F1 than the self serving, expedient law interpreters Max and Berie will ever achieve. MacVittie

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