What the fans expect from FOTA

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Reviving popular venues like Montreal must be a FOTA priority
Reviving popular venues like Montreal must be a FOTA priority

Max Mosley may have seized his first opportunity to resume hostilities with FOTA but it’s clear the teams’ association intends to play a major role in shaping the future of Formula 1.

FOTA embraced the support of the majority of F1 fans and broadened its campaign against Mosley to include many supports? grievances. But how is it going to act on those complaints?

At the beginning of March FOTA published the results of a survey of fans. The conclusions were something of a mixed bag, including some salient points but also a few strange ideas that seemed at odds with the central finding of the research that: ??F1 isn?t broken – so beware ??over-fixing? it.??

I examined the findings in details at the time. Of the points I (and many of you) were most dubious about – points for pit stops and reducing race length – we have heard little from FOTA since.

Hopefully it will stay that way – but these words from Luca di Montezemolo yesterday give me cause for concern:

Flavio [Briatore] will also be working with the commercial rights holder to improve the show and the interest in the sport.

Briatore has in the past advocated some fairly radical ideas for F1, including reducing race distances to GP2 lengths. Whatever his plans are for “improving the show”, he must acknowledge that dumbing down F1 in this manner is, by FOTA’s own admission, not what fans want.

Here’s what I think should be top of FOTA’s priorities:

Location of races

The loss of several historic venues which often boasted far superior audiences to new venues is a major source of frustration for fans.

In the last two years we have lost Indianapolis (United States), Montreal (Canada) and Magny-Cours (France). The British round, which boasted a crowd of 310,000 last weekend, has been in doubt for much of this year (although it seems Ecclestone is finally admitting the race may remain at Silverstone next year if Donington Park isn’t ready). And the high costs of holding a race has forced one of the two German venues – the Hockenheimring – to relinquish its race.

Bernie Ecclestone might like to compare F1 to top sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics, but holding races in front of sparse stands at Istanbul and Shanghai hardly reinforces that point.

European governments are never going to pay the kind of exorbitant prices Ecclestone can get for his races in far-flung nations. But there needs to be recognition that historic rounds are a fundamental part of F1?s appeal, and the cost to them of holding a race should be reduced in line with their value to the sport.

Such a demand, of course, would risk bringing them into conflict with Bernie Ecclestone and F1 owners CVC.

Extent and quality of coverage

Here in Britain we are extremely fortunate to get BBC F1 coverage that is both free (licence fee notwithstanding) and ad-free. That is not the case for fans in many other countries.

Ad-free coverage is the exception, when it should be the rule. Having watched ITV?s coverage for 12 years with adverts I can how frustrating it is for fans who have to watch F1 knowing they will often miss significant moments of the action.

Worse, many fans have no access to F1 coverage at all, because there is no broadcaster in the area that offers it. In the age of the internet, this is preposterous. Offering an internet stream for those fans (at a modest cost) should be a no-brainer.

As has been discussed here several times before, F1 is badly lagging behind on broadcast technology. Here in Britain cricket, football, rugby, golf and even darts and NASCAR are all broadcast in high definition – and most have been for several years. F1 isn’t, as FOM are not supplying a high definition feed.

Again, the ball is in Ecclestone’s court on this one. If FOTA ever get finished with Mosley, perhaps he is the next of the F1 old guard FOTA will face down?

Consistent rules

Formula 1?s rules have never been entirely consistent, but since 2003 the rules have been tinkered with time and again, often with little reward.

The classic example of this is qualifying ?ǣ after eight different systems in six years one of the most popular variants among fans is the one that was being used in the first place.

The technical rules have been changed year-on-year and although there have been some notable improvements (banning traction control, bringing back slick tyres) these were often reversals of unpopular changes brought in by Mosley in earlier seasons.

Happily, FOTA have reiterated their commitment to making F1’s rules more stable.

What do you want from FOTA?

What do you think FOTA’s priorities should be? Have your say below…

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82 comments on “What the fans expect from FOTA”

  1. FOTA needs to listen to what the fans want. If people start switching off and are not happy with what F1 provides, then F1 will just suffer. It would be interesting to know how many huge F1 fans from say the 80’s & 90’s now hardly watch F1, or are very unhappy with it? Or how the attendances at the tracks have changed over the years?

    1. i really do agree with the coverage part i can easily name countries who have to pay a lot so they can watch F1. An example is me in kuwait you have to pay and to get jazeera sports to watch it, and it is they only channel that shows it.

  2. I would like to come back to classical venues, of course. Or at least select new tracks that are really attractive (say Portimao) and avoide Tilkodromes.
    Then I think the major interest should be in competition: Formula 1 is lacking of overtakes and competitiveness (just two teams won this year, and it has happened many times before), while in ’80’s you could see winning a team that was not qualified the race before, just to say. Standardization was the key of that status (many teams had same engine and same gearbox, set up skills made the difference from time to time), and it is exactly what FOTA doesn’t aim to.
    Wait and see, I don’t feel so confident.

  3. 1) Re-balance revenues sharing:

    Less hosting fees for historical circuits for making possible their permanence (on re-entrance)

    Team revenues distribution with a fixed amount for every accepted team and other part depending of team results (ie: 40% Fixed and 60% depending on results)

    2) More technical freedom:

    Freedom to choose the tyres each team decide from a fixed set of: Supersoft, Soft, Medium, Hard.

    Freedom to choose mechanical options: KERS, V8, V10, revs, diesel, hybrid, whatever each team could consider could give them an advantage.

    3) Limits should be established just for:

    Security: (Cars and Circuits)

    Consumption

    Mechanical durability (This year rule seems to me ok)

    Non existance of driving aids controlled on-line by the teams, (or autocontrolled by software)

    4) Aeropackage:

    Allow movable wings but not self-controlled by software, the driver will have to manage that parts during the race.

    5) Weight:

    Stablish a maximum weight (just for security reasons) allowing teams could choose a 400Kg cars with “less engine” in front of 800Kg cars with “more engine”. (But all of them covering security rules)

    6) Set again low performance rule:

    All those cars not being able to clasified at 110% (previously it was 107% I think) of best time will not be allowed to start the race.

    7) Recover driving tests as was formerly established

    All manufacturers competing with their own team, will have to offer independent teams standar engines at a fixed and controlled price for all the season.

    8) Mantain refuelling pits-stops

    Sorry for my “rudimentary” English, but I hope it could be understood what I mean.

    1. I think your suggestions are good, but need a bit more tinkering.

      F1 is the Pinnacle of Motor sport, and as such should be the Pinnacle of technology in the motor world.

      but i think the basic steps should be:

      -reintroduce 1 hour qualifying with a 12 flying lap limit.

      -tires should last longer, with the possibility of the whole race. all team should have ONE and only ONE tire type. F1 should always ride on slicks.

      -pit stops should be optional, however, i am a fan of fuel economy as much as show. a set quantity of fuel should be introduced in the car at the beginning of the race to last the whole distance.

      -race distance should not be changed…some things have got to stay the same.

      -in terms of technology, forced induction whether turbos or Sc’s should be allowed with whatever number of cylinders in order to prioritise fuel efficiency vs power. with a set limit of cylinders and displacement and other details.

      – Since wind tunnels are some of the most expensive things to run, aerodynamics should be limited, and never allowed to reach the complexity they did last year. i feel that this is where costs can be brought down the most.

      -Testing should be reinstated, with aero development frozen at the first race, engine development should be limited to reliability issues.

      I agree i dint cover everything, and some idea can still be developed. but as much as i’m loving this season, i can say that F1 is not at the best of its abilities.

      1. with aero development frozen at the first race,

        Then Brawn would definitely win this year and it would be extremely dull.

        1. Well they will have enough testing pre-season to develop with respect to the competition. banning testing was one of the most idiotic moves i think. it is the reason why this season is so unbalanced especially after the DD debacle. which is a clear problem in how regulations are vague…

          i think testing costs can be brought down by keeping everyone testing in the same country he is at. most at silverstone or any other qualified track in the UK.
          Toyota in germany, ferrari italy etc….

          1. Not quite true: a team could discover a breakthrough, sandbag their way through the pre-season testing, and start the season with, say, a 1-second advantage over the rest of the field.

            With frozen aerodynamic and engine, it’s hard to imagine unlimited testing making up the difference.

  4. Next, Bernie need to be expelled !

    1. Ferrari1607
      26th June 2009, 19:57

      Like I SAID …

      GO AWAY BERNIE!!!!!!!

  5. I’ve maintained that either the FIA or FOTA — or anybody with authority for that matter — should insist on the ‘Grandes Épreuves’ being on the calender at all times. These are, in order of age, France (1906), Italy (’21), Spain (’23), Belgium (’25), Great Britain (’26), Germany (’26), Monaco (’29), and Switzerland (’34; although that disappeared in ’55).

  6. Aerodynamics must be banned
    26th June 2009, 8:07

    OMG i’m in shock!
    RIP Max Mosley
    You were a political genius and a legend

  7. Just some stability to the rules and specification would be nice!

    Oh, and bring back some classic tracks and venture further into the Americas!

  8. I say keep qualifying the way it is now. In the old days, you had the fastest car+driver on poll, and more often then not they would then just walk away with the race.

    The current qualifying rules mean that a lot of the time the quickest car+driver aren’t on poll. What this means is that we get some actual racing and overtaking, something that I think everyone will agree is severely lacking in F1.

    1. I disagree. Under the current system we often have drivers with the fastest car under race conditions on pole. With low fuel qulifying we ghet the fastest car with the fastest driver over a single lap on pole, but not necessarily the race – Montoya had 7 poles in 2002 but no wins, while in 1984 Niki Lauda had no pole positions but won the championship.

      In the early part of the season the Brawns appeared to struggle on low fuel, but were fastest with fuel on board. The races this year would surely have been much more exciting if Button had only been starting from 5th or 6th from low fuel qualifying an had to come up through the field…

    2. On some race tracks, the current system punishes some drivers who make it into the top 10.

      1. But the simple change (that hopefully will be kept) of banning refuelling would fix this problem: Q3 will be done with as little fuel as possible, and all the cars will then be refuelled.

        1. Yes Michel S if refuelling be banned (i hope) then Q3 can be run with low fuel then after qualifying has finished then the tanks filled to the brim before being placed in parc ferme.
          And then we’d get away from this silly idea of not knowing who is the fastest on low fuel runs or waiting to find out how much fuel each driver had used.
          We’d all know everyone was low fuelled and the start of the race everyone would have full tanks. It would be down to the skill of the drivers to get away from the loine and make up places. JUST LIKE THE OLD DAYS.

  9. 1. More night races in Asia.
    2. Revive classic/great circuits like Indianapolis or Suzuka, etc.
    3. Pit-stops allowed for tire changes only. Refuelling?
    4. Increase weight limit of the cars.
    5. Introduction of hybrid cars or other engines as long as they meet the standard bhp & rev limit (Since F1 is the one who sets the technological advancement of commercial cars).
    6. Standard KERS system
    7. 4WD or AWD?
    8. 12-lap qualifying is good.
    9. Body work regulations this season is okay, except for the wide front-wings.
    10. Change the points system to 12,9,7,5,4,3,2,1 as long the champion has more points to the runner-ups.

  10. The tracks are the thing I would like to see FOTA address the most. It is absurd that we dont visit North America this year – I would like to see both Indy and Montreal put back on the calendar – and France should definitely have a Grand Prix. I think certain country’s races should be safeguarded (Italy, Britain, Belgium, Monaco, Germany, France) so we will always see them on the calendar, even if the others are chopped and changed around.

    Bernie may like to compare F1 to the Olympics and the World Cup – the big difference though is that the other two actually cover all continents – rather than just allowing teams or countries which are willing to spend money like it is water on the sport. Can you imagine the whole of North America being left out of the Olympics?? It is unlikely that F1 will ever be as big as those events – and certainly not whilst the sport doesnt listen to the participants and the fans, or whilst it cant make a decision on a race result until four weeks after an event, when its teams and governing body are arguing like children, or when it insists on going to, and adding, venues which can only fill a small fraction of their stands. I doubt there are many World Cup matches which struggle to even part fill the stadium!

    Qualifying. My favourite is still the twelve lap low fuel business – and to prevent all the cars ignoring the first half hour, which i beleive was the problem in the first place – say that they have to do one run in each of the fifteen minutes or summat, or at least 1 run in each 20 min section maybe. That said, the knockout one we have now would be my second choice of all the different styles we have had over recent years – the rest of them were all awful ideas!

    Points – should be 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1, that way it rewards the winner a little more than now, but also doesint ignore consistency.

    Car weight limit should definitely be increased, although I think i heard a rumour that it was going to happen next year anyways, or did that get dropped with the new agreement? Either way, all those stories of weight loss for all the drivers this year wasnt good reading, so the car weights should be raised if KERS or any other heavy item is going to remain.

    Testing should be allowed during the season – it was a great way for young drivers to get experience and if anyone has to be replaced for one reason or another, the test driver wont have driven the car for ages – I dont think that is a good thing.

    I think thats all for now – i am sure there is more but i cant think of owt else off the top of my head.

  11. If Flavio is going to do the ‘entertainment’ planning we might see –
    Cars fitted with headlights and musical horns, so that a driver can flash and honk when coming up behind a slower car.
    All round bumpers (fenders) so they can nudge each other off.
    Qualifying using reverse gear.
    Max as the chief steward.
    Bernie to award a McDonalds happy meal toy to the winner.
    Drivers to pick the car they drive from a lucky dip barrel.

    1. Why not just ask the man at the end of the section? That way we’ll all know what time they mean…

      1. Relatively speaking, of course. If not then the chances of the employees ever coming to the event itself are slim!

  12. Some of the things I would like to see are

    – Although I would like F1 to have races all over the world I think some countries and circuits should be guaranteed a place on the calendar.

    – I don’t want race length to be shortened, although I am open to ideas for sprint races or test driver races, as long as these are a complete separate championship.

    – Keep F1 as a points based championship, but increase the reward for the winner, and do not award points for anything like pit stops or pole position.

    – Change qualifying so that they don’t qualify with race fuel, so we get to see who really is the quickest driver/car combination on the day. Of the multiple changes to qualifying the only one which I think has worked is the knockout part so I would keep that.

    – I think there still needs to be work done to may overtaking easier as we are still having some processional races this season.

    – Just to improve the looks of the car I would like to get rid of those airflow conditioners in front of the sidepods, the shark fin engine covers and resize the front and back wing so they look more in proportion, as long as these changes don’t make overtaking harder.

    – Although I value the historic teams in F1, the contracts that each team sign to should be the same for everyone, so no special veto or extra payments.

    – Regarding improving the show, although I have never been to a race, judging from comments I have read F1 does not cater for fans anywhere near as well as Nascar so I think this should be addressed, including lowering ticket prices, but then Bernie would have to reduce the fees he charges the circuits and as CVC need all the money they can get just to service their debt I don’t see that happening.

    – While Bernie has done a lot to improve the coverage side of F1, I don’t think he gets modern technology, such as F1 not being broadcast in HD. Also if FOM don’t like F1 footage on YouTube they should start releasing old season highlight DVDs with plenty of extras, and on their website they give people the chance to download either the full qualifying and race coverage or just highlights of the weekend for all the seasons they can get the footage of, while they would charge for this they could still put up free highlights of recent years as they do now.

  13. -Ad-free broadcasts over the internet (Channel 10 in Australia is terrible.)

    -Race length is fine. Any shorter is too short.

    -Don’t make F1 a spec series.

    -Drop circuits like Shanghai and bring back ones like Montreal.

    -Cut downforce without resorting to ugly designs (the IRL can do it.)

    -Stop removing videos from Youtube.

    -More points for a win (12-8-6-5-4-3-2-1).

    -Low fuel qualifying.

    -If KERS is used, it should be free to developed. Only then will is push forward the technology and develop it and make it road relevant.

    1. Ferrari1607
      26th June 2009, 19:56

      you think the constant commercials are bad the in Australia.
      Watch a race here in the U.S.
      ” oh they go three-wide for the lead into tu….” boom” a commercial in the middlle of that.

  14. Bigbadderboom
    26th June 2009, 11:10

    I have a few ideas but I am a firm believer in evolving sport as apposed to whole sale changes. However I would like the following
    1) CVC/FOM to reconsider calender and tracks.
    2) Reinstate 2 tyre manufacturers with full choice of compounds.
    3) Assess points scoring maybe 15,12,9,7,5,3,2,1
    4) Quali 12 flying laps
    5) In season testing returned, now this i think can be exploited by FOM. Why not have 2 Scheduled tests, at 2 different tracks, BBC could run a BBC3 or Red Buton feature (maybe internet coverage)
    6)More interaction with fan sites. There should be a concerted effort from F1 to stay in touch with fans, Brawn seem to be doing a great job with their web-site but more teams and f1 could do more, personally I would like to feel valued as a fan and not a target for exploitation, F1 seems to be a marketing device to sell merchandise.

    1. F1 testing isn’t really suited to Live TV though, highlights might work. Problem is long periods of inactivity, especially if it rains. A return to in-season testing would be welcome as it is allows fans to see F1 cars without paying the earth for priviledge. F1 testing at Silverstone used to be free of charge.

      1. well I’m sure Peter if Silverstone charged a tenner or 2 for testing/pers it would help the track, and not reduce attendance.

    2. Ferrari1607
      26th June 2009, 20:00

      How about no
      FOM / CVC and bernie can go.

    3. Ferrari keep in contact with their fans.
      Luca di Montezemolo has been answering fan questions today.

  15. I would like to see the following:

    – A significant reduction in costs and a corresponding relaxation of the technical regulations. The teams should be allowed to innovate within a reasonable budget.
    – Multiple (4,5,6 maybe) tyre suppliers, allowing teams to develop tyres alongside their cars to suit them optimally, rather than the unfair “one-size-fits-all” policy that has dominated in the last few years.
    – Low-fuel qualifying, but refuelling permitted (perhaps with technical regulations relaxed to the point where it is possible, but not necessarily preferable, to run the whole race without refuelling).
    – Maintain the current race length, dropping 50km off each race will mean that some circuits (e.g. Monza) will have races lasting less than an hour, which is far too short.
    – Review the calendar, but don’t drop venues in the Middle East or Southeast Asia just for the sake of it. F1 should be a global event, just because emerging markets aren’t popular with a Eurocentric fan base right now doesn’t mean that F1 should withdraw from its expanding frontiers.

    1. I agree with most of what you say Andy, the tyre bit is a problem though as it appears no other tyre manufacturer wants to take part, and yes, it is a global sport, it would be selfish to think otherwise.

    2. Will we really see multiple successful tyre suppliers, though? In the past, the most innovative tyre designs (Tyrell’s 6-wheeled car) ended up being discarded because the development cost is being born just by one team; and more recently, tyre wars sometimes result in an effective 2-tier series (the worst case being Indianapolis 2005).

  16. Classic races such as Spa, Italian GP, British GP, German GP, French GP, possibly Spain should be guarenteed a race. The European GP should alternate between countries without a GP.
    Engine displacement/cylinders/ should be unrestricted, but only allow for example 200 litres of fuel for the race, and no refuelling.
    Different engines make it more interesting, at the moment all the engines sound pretty much the same, gets a little boring.
    Perhaps a return of ground effects, but reduce the size of wings to allow for more overtaking.
    The points system could be extended down to 15th place i.e. 20,16,14,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. That way cars further down the field have an incentive to race rather than saving the engine like they do now.
    Engines should only have to last 1 race, i don’t like seeing engines power being turned down to save it for the next race. Need a little more of Colin Chapman’s mantra – if the car didn’t fall to bits on the finish line then he hadn’t done his job properly!

    1. I agree that all the old tracks should come back. Get rid of most all of the Tilke tracks I like the idea of unrestricted engines but limit the feul that they have for the race.(brings in a new dynamic)
      If you bring back ground effects then you will immediately see some of the wings go away, remeber the last year of ground effect with the mmclaren, John Watsons mp4 had no front wings at all. I am ok with the point system as it is.
      Get rid of the 1 engine/# of races rule. Let these guys wring out and engine and then put in a fresh 1 for the next race.
      I would love to see the rules come down to max whellbase minimum weight and just a few other points and let the guys go crazy. But within 1 year everyones car will look the same as the most competitive design will still rule.
      I dont have a problem with the old computer systems that did all the shifting and the williams electro-pneumatic suspension system, the rev limiters in the software and the antispin traction control systems. Let em do it all.

    2. Taking the limited-fuel idea further, it might be even better to limit the amount of /energy/ a car could use during the race. Or introduce equivalence formulae to allow for diesels, hybrids and electrics.

  17. Bring back the V10 engine

  18. Interesting points Keith. Funny actaully, flick me your email address via my email and I’ll explain

    1. Err, why don’t you just use the contact form like the rest of us?

      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/credits-and-contacts/contact-f1fanatic/

  19. At all costs, keep refuelling in F1

    1. I can do without the refeuling but make the do a tire change instead. and get more tire companies back in to the sport.

      1. All the more reason to keep the full race distance: unless tyre changes are explicitly banned, most drivers do actually change tyres during the race.

        Compulsory tyre changes just degrade the show.

  20. If only the FiA and FOTA read this excellent page – then they might have a chance of keeping the fans on side.

    I agree with you Keith, phrases such as ‘improving the show’ worry me. It is a sport, not a pop concert for lord’s sake.

    12pts for a win 2hr race less Tilke less Bernie consistent regs no KERS closer tyre compounds no more Max….

    If only :)

  21. 1. Historic venues + new ones in places that care about F1
    2. Internet streaming availability
    3. More real competitiveness/less bloody electronics! (When was the last time somebody missed a gear shift in an F1 car?)
    4. Cut away artificial restrictions (start with forced tyre choices)
    5. Provide incentives for new teams (i.e. reduce budgets, no way around it)
    6. Find a way to get Ebeneezer Scrooge Ecclestone out of the game and funnel the money back into the sport

  22. F1 Outsider
    26th June 2009, 14:28

    1. Internet access to every driver’s on-board video.

    2. Better on-board camera angles. I once saw a race (champ car I think) where the driver had an on-board camera inside his helmet. Coolest shot I’ve ever seen!!!

    3. Access to the G-force graph for each driver and the car’s telemetry.

    4. Access to all radio communications.

    5. Bring back that cool infrared camera during pit stops.

    6. Force TV stations to broadcast without delay so that internet live timing & scoring isn’t 5 minutes ahead of what you see on screen. (That’s for you Speed Tv!)

    7. Allow drivers to celebrate their wins… Let them do burnouts, hug everyone within reach, carry their country’s flag, etc.

    8. Bring back Indianapolis and Montreal!!!!

    9. Lower race ticket prices.

    10. Sell an affordable paddock pass for fans at the races.

  23. Well Keith your question requires a different answer depending on where you think Fota will be working from.
    If they are working from a breakaway series they can do what they like and cater to the fans more, because they won’t have the FIA and Bernie forcing them to do what they want. If FOTA is working with the FIA run F1 then they have their aims restricted. But here are my ideas.

    the following countries have to given guaranteed status as global contributers to a WORLD championship and given a spot on the calendar every year.

    Britain
    Usa
    Canada
    Italy
    Belgium
    France
    Spain
    Germany
    Australia
    Brazil
    Argentina
    Mexico
    South Africa
    and the far east and middle east can fight it out to host races for the rest of the calendar.

    The length of the race should be set at 2 hrs, regardless of the track. No need for set laps. Whomever is in front at 2 hrs is winner, or the last lap at the 2 hr limit.

    Ban refuelling, having an engine designed to run the 1 2 or 3 races whatever, although i would prefer teams to use as many engines as they wish, so drivers are allowed to push rather than have to look after an engine for the next race etc. With a fuel tank to allow for running 2 hrs. This will make the cars heavier which will slow the cars down as Mosley always wanted.
    Keep slick tyres, but with wider tyres at the rear. this should allow for the design of the cars to have more reliance on tyre grip than aero.
    Reduce aero packages on cars and reduce rear diffuser.
    Have several tyre suppliers and several fuel suppliers so we have more competition so that a differnet tyre company could help one or more teams be competative over others and one fuel company could have an impact on the speed of certain teams, of course fuel restictions would have to be lifted.
    In season testing needs to return and be outside any budget limit. And testing at any circuit teams wish to use.
    I haven’t got a certain idea for points, but just don’t do MEDAlS or MOST WINS.
    The 3 ideas for qualifying would be either.
    12 lap no restriction on running, but with compulsary running in each 15 minute segment.
    The qualifying we have now.
    The qualifying we have now but with Q3 being a shootout with each lap having the slowest car dropping out.
    Drop KERS totally, i hate the Arcade quality of kers. They used to have a boost button back in the 80’s, but if they used that then would use far more fuel, so it was a gamble, they didn’t have the refuelling we have now.
    And i agree that all teams have the same contracts, no vetoes and no extra monies. All should be the same regardless of their standing in the sport and time in F1.

    And regardless whether it is a FOTA series OR F1 then they need to have more interaction fans through sites like Keith’s and others.

    Having said all that i really am pessimistic about FOTA or FIA ever really listening to the fans

    1. Just a couple more points.

      The sports regulations definitely need stabilisation. Chopping and changing is doing the sport no good and costing the teams a fortune.
      Penalties need to be more consistent and need to to be shown to work and wherever possible given during a race. And please have more racing drivers as stewards as they will know more about racing incidents. Just let the drivers race. Accidents will happen!!!!!
      And as for drivers. Please give new drivers a chance. It may take some longer to get used to F1 and their respective teams. NOt everyone coming into F1 can be a start from day 1.

  24. Keith, good article as ususal.
    Short and sweet. We can go on all day long about this that and the other thing.
    The one BIG thing the fans, (thats us), want from FOTA is the understanding that they are trying to put on a racing series that actually has the fans interest at heart. Thats it.
    One more time… we care about the racing…. not the politics!!!!!!!

  25. I wonder if there was a POINT for fastest lap and/or a POINT for pole would drivers push more? De-restricted engines would be a must.
    I’m not sure i would back this idea, but at least it is an idea.

    1. I like the idea of a point for pole and a point not for fastest lap but most laps lead. This gives the drivers incentive to push. I like the 2 hr limit but it needs to be a set number of laps that get within 5 minutes of 2hrs. Else the feul tanks wont last as they will be ok for some tracks and to small for the higher speed tracks as the consumption is higher. The distance of most of the races is good with the exception of the faster ones such as Silverstone and Monza, so the extension of laps to fill in the time would be good.
      I also prefer the old qualifying as it was a good chess match. 1 guy goes out and gets pole and then the next has to push to get it and the back and forth between the top guys was entertaining.
      I think your list of countries is spot on.

      1. good comment Martin.
        The best, most dramatic part of any GP I have ever seen was the old method of qualifying. Had the pleasure of sitting in the “Penthouse” seats at Indy directly across and well above the Indianapolis pit area. Most all cars were on the track on and off for whatever the time period was. (maybe an hour?) Schumacher would take the Ferrari out and take pole. While he was coming back in the pit road Hakkinen would be flagged out of his pit by his engineer and would blitz the pole from Schuey. 5 minutes later Schuey would go out and re-take it. 10 minutes later Mika would be directed out. All the time the clock is ticking down. The crowd would be going nuts each time the drivers went out. It was probably the most dramatic part of a GP I have ever seen. Just incredible. Having said all that, I also enjoy the knock-out qualifying presently employed. However, if they ever went back to the “old” way of qualifying certainly I would’nt mind it.

  26. I want the f1 teams to have more of a say on all of the major changes in the sport.

    Get rid of the
    valencia gp, singapore gp, chinesse gp, bahrain gp, and turkish gp.

    Replace them with
    Jerez, adelaide, canadian gp, imola, hockenhiem, us gp

    The fia should help these contries to keep their gp going.

  27. Lower Grand Prix prices. And listen to the public more!

  28. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3tXJm9tYGM
    This is one of my favorite races of all time, an I post it to reinforce a point I’d like to make.
    I would be interested in knowing if the rest of you think I’m missing the point.
    I feel that some of the best looking cars and the best racing was during the era of ground effect.
    So, in stating that, I’d like to give my wants or hopes for the future of F1.
    First and most importantly, I’d like to have the classic tracks at least every other year.
    I’d like the promoters to have a chance to make enough money to want to host the races.
    I’d like ticket prices to be lower, not cheap, but more reasonable, so we the fans can afford to attend a race occasionally I’d like F1 to be viewable on the internet at a VERY reasonable cost, as it is I can’t watch but very few races , and living in the US, (West coast) makes the hour unbearable for all but a few races. You guys in Europe have it easy compared to us.
    I’d like to see the drivers , not telemetry and software be in control.
    I, personally think that the re introduction of ground effect in the cars would :
    1. Give us better looking cars
    2. Give us more exciting racing, as turbulence wouldn’t cause as big a problem in regard to passing, or running nose to tail.
    This also has a benefit for road cars to an extent, in that it deals with adhesion and drag, an in turn fuel economy.
    When it was banned, the reasons were primarily safety in relation to tire failure, and suspension failure.
    These are still considerations , I admit, but speeds in turns could be controlled by tire width and diameter, and minimum ride height.
    Wings would be somewhat reduced in importance, and could also be regulated in area, camber ,aspect ratio, chord, and thickness. They would wind up being trimming devices more so that down force devices. They could also be cockpit adjustable.
    The safety of the cars and tracks now , and the ways I think the cars could be regulated, diminishes the causes for ground effects banishment. I also think that after the design and development phase of the season was finished and the racing season started, cost of mid-season aero development would be greatly reduced and other areas of development would take priority.
    There are probably other things I would like to see brought into F1, but I’m sure the rest of you will bring them up, and I’ll wish I’d thought of them myself.
    Barry

  29. 1) Return technical freedom to the teams. Lift the engine freeze, remove the RPM limit and engine and gearbox limit. Let teams choose what tire compound they want to use (do not use the stupid two tire rule). Less aerodynamic restrictions.

    2) More races. Look at Nascar, they have about 40 races each season. While this number may be completely infeasible, I want more races.

    3) More cars. Look at Nascar, they have 22 teams. Not drivers, teams. They have 49 drivers. 49 drivers means more compact fields, which means more overtaking, etc.

    4) More incentive to win. The proposed medal system wasn’t that bad. The driver with the most podiums would receive the championship, and the driver’s position should affect their salary.

    Other things
    – Make KERS better and cheaper. KERS is an excellent thing; it makes overtaking easier, but only one team is using it now, because it sucks. Make it cheaper and better, more drivers will use it.
    – A (better) pre-race. Where I live they no longer show a pre-race. What I really want to see, however, are more things like interviews with the drivers. I really want to get to know the drivers.
    – Better and more cameras. The standard camera shot bores me. Onboard cameras, helicopter cameras, and like in Nascar, static cameras mounted on the wall or in the ground are the exciting ones. Also, the helmet camera was one of the best!
    – Always show the current position of the drivers. They have been doing this recently, however.
    – Show more graphics. Show a map of the circuit along with drivers positions. Show the G-force meter and tach/speedometer.

    I could ramble on about what I want see, but this is good for now.

    1. A couple of comments.

      1. While I would like to see engine and gearbox longevity not being a factor in a race weekend, the teams are trying to save money. The current system of having a set number of engines for a year and being able to use them how they want I think works the best.

      3. Unfortunately, most of the tracks are designed to have a maximum of 26 cars. If a 49 car grid lined up at Monaco, I can imagine that the car starting 49th would be 2 car lengths in front of the car on pole. (Which would be a funny sight.) So, unless we return to the days of pre-qualifying, I think limiting the number of drivers to 26 is the best solution. It would also make it easier for broadcasters to talk about each team for a little bit each race.

      As for the better pre-race show, you should see what Speed TV has. I was able to see both the BBC coverage and Speed TV’s. The BBC had an excellent hour of interviews, commentary, and a good grid walk. Speed had a 2 minute synopsis of the season read by an overly-dramatic movie announcer (I never want to hear Jenson Button referred to as Brawn’s “ace” again), video of the pole-sitter’s lap, and a one question interview with Massa on the grid. Maybe we can just get the BBC to supply their feed across the world. I can’t imagine everyone wanting to pay the license fee though.

  30. Like most people here, I would like to see more of the classic tracks back on the F1 calendar. However, most of those tracks are in Europe, so FOTA needs to make sure that half the races or so are not in Europe.

    For example, in an 18 race season, the European part could include Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, San Marino, and Portugal. Then, the non-European part could have 2 races per continent. South America could have Brazil and Argentina. North America would have the US and Canada. Asia would have Japan and maybe a rotating race between Korea, Singapore, China, and Malaysia. And finally to round it out, Australia and South Africa. (Has Kyalami been developed at all since 1993?)

    For engines, I understand the desire for drivers to have as many engines as they want. But, they are trying to cut costs here. I actually like the X number of engines in a season rule. It is much better than the new engine every other race system we had last year. Now, you have a new strategy element for the more serious fans to keep track of. I would bet the casual fan couldn’t care less if the driver had a new engine or not.

    For qualifying, I think F1 should keep the current knockout system with a couple of small tweaks. The problem with doing the 12-lap system as done before would be that at some time, all 26 cars would be on the track and it would be very hard to get a clean lap. And you could have multiple drivers getting grid penalties, which is good for no one. In the current three-part system, the slowest drivers get knocked out leaving only the top 10 with a relatively clear track to set a hot lap. My change would be in Q3. Make it low-fuel with each driver required to do a set number of laps, with a lap maximum. Maybe something like each driver has to do at least three laps but no more than seven.

    For the race, keep the incoming ban on refueling. If nothing else, it will keep F1 commentators from being confused as to who is in front only because he hasn’t pitted yet. For tires, logistically Bridgestone can’t bring race allotments of six compounds (4 dry, 2 wet) for all 26 drivers. So, Bridgestone has to limit that to four.

    I am undecided about the current one compound gap between the softer and harder compounds. In some cases, it has led to more interesting action. Button catching up with Rosberg at the end of the British GP for example. On the other hand, it has spoiled chances for good racing, like Vettel being stuck behind the Toyotas and unable to race Button for the lead.

    And I see no need to tamper with race length. The current system of smallest number of laps needed to pass 305 km and not longer than 2 hours is fine. Championship should be decided by number of points, but points spread should be 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1.

  31. Ferrari1607
    26th June 2009, 19:50

    as an F1 fan in the U.S. i would like to see 2 races in America :
    1 RACE AT A RACETRACK (Indianapolis, Road America- Please dear God, Road Atlanta, etc)
    and one race on a street course (Long Beach, etc.)

    Road Atlanta would be my top pick: extremely fast,huge elevation changes, not in the middle of frikin nowhere (1 & 1/2 hours from Atlanta) :)

    Road America could be brought up to “Bernies Specs” (or we could get rid of the possesed troll instead) :)

    i would like a constant set of regulations (the “Formula”) and any changes can not be passed without the team’s “say so”- FOTA :$

    go away bernie!!!!!!! :o

    Go to tracks where the citizens acually care about F1 ……example- Europe, Brazil, NORTH AMERICA, Australia, and Japan (Suzuka, and nothing else)

    lets hope for a good season next year and the years after it.

  32. I would like FOTA to look at,

    1. Restoring the historic venues
    2. Economic and affordable races (for teams as well as fans)
    3. The technical freedom for the teams, as long as they all comply to one common technical and safety regulation. I mean, to give an example, “define the engine volume and the number of races an engine must last but not the BHP or engine configuration, let the teams do their best to extract the most in the setup”.
    4. Keep the slicks and allow engine dev
    5. Restrict the aero expenses with strict regulations (just a kind of cap for this, to avoid over spending… and at the same time to give certain aero freedom)
    6. Restore in-season testing, within the strict budget cap
    7. Forget about KERS till everything settles down well (it is a cost consuming technology)

    Overall, I think teams should agree to have a financial restriction for aero and testing (where they spend the most). The rest should be left in the teams’ control, as long as they can guarantee their stay for the signed contract period.

  33. Max should resign now!!!
    26th June 2009, 20:22

    1 – No more Tilke tracks, in fact classic tracks should have their place guaranteed in the calendar (bring back Canada!).

    2 – Classic low fuel one hour everyone vs everybody qualifying sessions.

    3 – Points system as well as race length should not be touched.

    4 – Regulations that favour mechanical grip to aerodynamic grip.

    5 – Extra abrasive run off areas (like the blue ones in Paul Ricard circuit); if you make mistakes and go off track you should suffer the consequences, I think most of you would agree higher skilled drivers would benefit from this and it would be a way to separate boys from men. Sorry go on forever with this but extra wide tracks also punish speed sensation by how the cars get lost in a sea of tarmac.

    6 – Tyre selection should be up to the drivers/teams

    7 – No driving aids and no “rev limiting” the engine from the pit wall.

    8 – Each driver should do their own set up and there should be no sharing of information.

    Ok I have plenty more but that’s it for today.
    oh one more thing!!! cheaper tickets!!!

  34. GUTS to take their position till the end…..!!!

  35. i think the bottom line is better racing with the best engineering/ technology. THAT’S what turns casual viewers into fans.

  36. chaostheory
    27th June 2009, 0:51

    For me FOTA can go on with all their ideas but one: shorter races – a BIG NO to this! It’s not the way to improve “the show”.

    1. Agreed agreed agreed

      some races are short enough already.

  37. Why they want to shorten the race distance?
    It will shorten the entertainment.
    Historic races needs to be back,but Bernie needs to take less money from them.

    1. The reason for shortening the race length (by a suggested 20 minutes) is logistical.
      In their survey FOTA found that most fans wanted pitstops retained but were not bothered about refuelling. F1 cars do not have sizeable enough tanks to complete some race lengths.
      The alternative would be to increase the tank size &, therefore, the weight of the car.
      This would in turn lead to slower cars in the same way that the KERS weight/shift in balance has.
      There would probably be other changes to the format of the race weekend. It was suggested that there could even be an extra day added to the track time but I haven’t heard anything more about that recently.
      You wouldn’t be getting less for your money. The hope is to give you more or to actually reduce the costs.

  38. I would rather see longer races, and i don’t want to see anybody wearing a suit and tie at the track. I say no suits because we are supposed to be enteratained at a race, just wear what you want, eat a hot dog, have a beer and put your arm around your lady frien. In other words, cheaper admition.

  39. Sporting regulations:
    – Race format as today, including qualifying
    – Cars not taken to park fermé after qualifying, allowing them to run with minimal fuel in Q3
    – Ged rid of the 2 tyre rule
    – No more refueling
    – Reintroduce in season testing

    Technical:
    – Remove engine development freaze and rev limitations (turbo ban to stay in place)
    – Ban wings completely (skirts also stay illegal)
    – Remove Kers
    – Ban all electronics (mechanical transmition, no launch engine settings, no fuel mixture settings, no break balance adjustment, no semi automatic shifting).

    Basically late 60’s racing with today’s technology.

  40. I expect FOTA to get rid of the artificial rules and standardization of the sport. Let drivers race, in purity.

  41. I’d like to see MotorGP style celebrations after the race. It goes on for ages. The sport is FOR the fans. Let the enjoy a win, instead of bundling the drivers to ‘parc firme’. and a boring interview.

  42. We, fans, need more of THAT

  43. I’d like to see more ‘classic venues’ too,but the reality is that the manufacturer teams will always ‘follow the money’,and these days that means places like China,India and Russia.Places where there are still large untapped markets for their road vehicles.Places where they want to pay Bernie what they can in order to bring prosperity and recognition to its inhabitants.Both Bernie and the manufacturers want this to happen,so no one should get up too much hope of having ‘dream calendars’ etc.

  44. There are so many rules that should be changed that I wouldnt know where to begin..but in my opinion the point is: bernie should get a lot less money, 99% of the money should go to the teams, and they should be free to spend as much money as they want, do all the testing they want and so on

    ive been watching f1 since 93 and in terms of regulations it seems to get worse every year..they did a great thing with improving safety and we all give them credit for that, but the rest of the rules they came up with..how do i say it? they suck

    1. There are so many rules that should be changed that I wouldnt know where to begin..but in my opinion the point is: bernie should get a lot less money, 99% of the money should go to the teams, and they should be free to spend as much money as they want, do all the testing they want and so on

      Bernie wouldn’t get up in a morning for anything less than 50% LOL

      And what’s Bernie business is Bernie’s business.

      If we allow teams to spend as much money as they want then the teams that can’t keep up with that spending will eventually leave the sport.No other teams will want to come in because the chance of success will be virtually nil.No one wants to ‘make up the numbers’ any more,and so we’ll eventually end up as previously with a couple of teams winning all the time and fewer teams in the sport.Only this seasons shake up in the rules has turned the form book upside-down,but we can’t keep changing the rules all the time can we.

  45. I have many requests, but I will take one: BRING BACK THE NORTH AMERICAN RACES!

  46. More performance from the cars, historic venues, lower ticket prices, pilots closer to the fans, lower prices for f1 merchandise.
    Safety is a lost cause, but to me f1 is too safe. A little bit of danger, will make it more exciting, but in this society, is not even correct to talk about it.

  47. Yes! don’t touch historical circuits!
    Like removing Le Tour De France or Il Giro D’italia from a cycling season…unthinkable! If a venue is in financial trouble, it should be Bernie responsibilities to make sure it does not happen.
    Overtaking issue: need more mechanical grip less aerogrip, therefore introduce a std bottom for every car. The only std bit I can think about in order reduce windtunnel hrs ($$$) don’t go to much against the spirit of F1.
    Slicks, 3 type of std compounds, let the teams decide which one to exploit.
    Kers, no kers; it was implemented with the wrong scope (more power)Let the team decide what to use which could be transferred to road cars to be more fuel efficient.
    Allocate a fixed amount of fuel per race. Add points to the point scoring cars that finish with most fuel in the tank.
    Drop the price of the F1 tickets which are now out of reach for far too many fans

  48. jockmcspredder
    1st July 2009, 21:21

    Since a FOTA series remains a remote possibility, the only way to maintain F1 is to see Whinging Max off permanently.
    Whoever’s series we have next year and further, I hope that television rights are negotiated with consideration to the many UK fans who use Freeview and won’t be sold off to a satellite company.
    If teams were permitted to make their own tyre selection from the Bridgestone range of compounds on a per race basis, they would gain total control over the performance of their car and instead of complaining about the tyres would have to admit to a poor tyre choice (or a good one of course).
    I would like to see the return of the traditional “great” circuits.

  49. jockmcspredder
    1st July 2009, 21:28

    On budget restriction, why not award 5 or 10 manufacturers’ campionship points to teams who have demonstrably remained within a suggested (say £80m?). Then the big spenders would have to weigh up whether an overspend would keep them far enough ahead to win the championship.

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