What should F1 be? (Making F1 better)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

What is the point of Formula 1?
What is the point of Formula 1?

We began our discussion about how to make F1 better yesterday by asking what made F1 great in the past and what – if anything – is missing from it now.

In part two we’ll tackle a question that often provoked disagreement and debate between F1 fans: just what is Formula 1 supposed to be?

I’ve suggested some answers inspired by quotes from readers from earlier in the discussion. Pick the one that you think best describes what F1 should be, or write one of your own, and explain why you support it in the comments:

A contest to find the best racing driver in the world

In the sixties and seventies, the majority of overtaking took place under acceleration out of corners usually due to missed gear changes; something that rarely happens today.

This argument holds that what people who watch F1 really care about is who is the best driver. Technology that makes it easy to drive the cars, like semi-automatic gearboxes, should be banned. If the cars are more difficult to drive we’ll see more mistakes and better racing.

Making teams use more standard components is good because it will create a level playing field.

A contest to find the best racing car constructor in the world

Things like the proposed budget cap, the engine development freeze and the ban on testing were all conceived by the FIA in an effort to make the sport less costly and consequently more attractive to smaller teams, but I feel this goes against the spirit of F1.

This argument is the opposite to the first one.

The point of F1 is to see who can build the best car and so we should roll back the enormous restrictions on car design that have grown in the past decades. Allowing teams to develop radical new technologies will make F1 more exciting.

But some technologies – traction control, stability control and the like – may diminish the importance of the driver.

The most entertaining form of motor racing

Can we even expect much overtaking when the cars start in the order of which one is fastest?

Do we want to mix up the starting grid? Either reverse it or add fuel strategy into the mix to get some order changes.

Other motor sports have not been shy about introducing rules to ‘spice up’ the racing, so why should F1, one might argue.

If the cars started every race in reverse championship order we’d see much more overtaking. Bringing back refuelling would mix up the order during the races even more. A NASCAR-style ‘chase for the championship’ would keep interest alive late in the season.

The most dangerous form of motor racing

I don?t want drivers to die, but i want the possibility to be there.

A very controversial idea. Should danger be a part of Formula 1? Even some F1 drivers have suggested the sport is now “too safe” but can it ever be too safe?

Is risk or injury healthy for a sport – or can relishing an element of danger only ever be seen as bloodthirstiness?

A test bed for the automotive industry

Think how much of a real world impact F1 could have if hybrid/KERS technology was unlimited

Instead of allowing unrestricted, undirected technological development in F1, the sport should only allow innovation where it helps build better road cars.

For example, through Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems similar to hybrid engines on road cars, through tyres which are closer in specification to those used on the road, and through fuel-saving technology.

A worldwide motor racing competition

The sport is effectively a ??European gentlemen’s club??. Of the 24 drivers, only 6 are from outside Europe. To me that eliminates the ??best drivers in the world?? label. Europe may hold he best drivers, but that cannot be proven. He from a certain country or he with the deepest pocket, prevails.

Another arguments is that F1 should do more to spread its appeal around the world. Countries with large populations and large car-buying markets are neglected at the moment like America, Russia and the whole of Africa.

Over to you

Do you agree strongly with any of these statements? If so, why? Which of them are wrong?

Some of these statements are mutually exclusive – such as the first two. Which of them is more important?

What’s your definition of what Formula 1 should be?

This is part of “Making F1 better”, a series of articles looking at ways to improve Formula 1. The next instalment in this series will run on Monday. For more information see the introduction: Making F1 better: a discussion series

Making F1 better

Image (C) Renault/LAT

194 comments on “What should F1 be? (Making F1 better)”

  1. F1 is not football, it is a private club and money will always be an issue, so we will never get the best potential in!

  2. I don’t think I could handle seeing a driver the same age as me being killed doing something he enjoys. I’ll put the judgement into the drivers hands since they are the people who are in the danger zone not the fans or the stewards.

    1. damonsmedley
      24th April 2010, 16:23

      The risk of being killed is already there, as we saw last year with Massa. Just think if a crash like Kobayashi’s in Melbourne, where he took out two drivers after a front wing failure, had have been different. What I mean is, the car could easily have been half a metre higher off the ground upon impact and that would put the front of the car at or around Nico Hulkenburg’s head area… I know I’d be reconsidering watching F1 if a driver died too.

      1. I think being more dangerous means cars significantly faster, so that impacts with barriers are more damaging. A|ccidents like both Massa and Kobayashi’s are simply dangers of open cockpit racing, and unlikely to increase/decraese with any changes made to the speed of the cars. I see where Kowalsky is coming from, in that the majority of accidents, sometimes even when leaving the tarmac at great speed, only end up being an inconvinience for the drivers as a result of their race ending. I certainly don’t want to see drivers die or even be injured, but it makes you hold your breath and appreciate the drivers more if you know that every trip through eau rouge is near the limits of the car and driver. An increase in ‘danger’ can largely just mean that corners that were once massively challenging to take fastest or even get through correctly at all could be that way again.

    2. We want turbos
      25th April 2010, 2:09

      IMVVHO formula one would be all about the best (not always the fastest) car/driver combo however whilst I’m all for innovation eg f ducts or exhast fed diffusers etc anything concidered as an artificial driver aid tc semi auto gear box etc should be banned! Front wings are the main aero problem for me so why not force them to be one solid piece pretruding from the side of the nose! Leave all other aero as it is now! Engines let them have what they want turbo/supercharger/V12 etc powered buy different fuel types if they wish. On the danger front stop trying to slow the cars down utilise tecpro barriers instead of putting tescos inbetween the track and barrier also bring back gravel!! I think that’s about it anyway.

      1. one solid piece pretruding from the side of the nose!

        You remember hearing all about balance? one of the main components to this is the balance between the downforce created by the front and rear wing, with no downforce from the front, you would have the cars under steering to an extreme level.

        As far as gravel is concerned, the main problem, and it is a large one, is that the cars can dig in, and then prodded to flip over. That’s why we are seeing a move away from Gravel.

        Manuel geraboxes are regulary suggested, but I’m still not sure about how realistic that is, considering the difference between the cars now and in the earlier years.

        A V12 Turbo engine? with no regulation?
        I don’t know what a specific figure is now for an F1 engine, but I suspect your solution will see a 2000BHP engine. I say a, because my guess is only one or two teams will have enough money to develop it, and teams like Williams or Torro Rosso will be more than just seconds off the pace.

        1. damonsmedley
          25th April 2010, 12:59

          If a Formula 1 car flips in the gravel it shouldn’t matter too much. It’s not exactly the most violent form of accident and more often than not, it doesn’t happen to roll over anyway. Gravel traps are good because they slow the cars down and they sometimes even stop them from rejoining the race, like Petrov in Melbourne. Mistakes should be punished in my opinion and if that involves the risk of a roll through the gravel then that is just part of the risk of racing a car.

          1. Rolling your car in a gravel trap is all fine and dandy, unless the car begins to roll in the gravel trap, but finishes rolling on top of a wall or something. You should look up the video of Gregg Moore’s death. He didn’t roll his car in a gravel trap, but the car rolled, and he didn’t survive.

        2. We want turbos
          25th April 2010, 15:16

          I think you missed the point on the engines not a v12 turbo, the teams would rule that out anyway as they wouldn’t be able to get a fuel tank to carry all the fuel lol! I meant a v12 or a v6turbo with new turbo technology they could be lightening quick and use less fuel than the v8’s of today! Also as for gravel traps anyone remember a car digging and flipping? The loss of front wing aero would have to be offset by more mechanical grip or/and bringing back ground effects. With respect to manual gear boxes it will NEVER happen but if I where in charge that’s what I’d like to see, drivers driving!!!

          1. The reduction of the front wing wouldn’t lead to understeering cars. The engineers would have to reduce the rear downforce to balance the car. So, fast down the straights and slow around the corners with longer braking distances. All good, without the need to actually ban rear wings.

  3. It should be more about finding the best drivers in the world and entertainment. I disagree that it should be dangerous, but mistakes should be punished, like we saw in qualy in Suzuka last year.

    1. damonsmedley
      24th April 2010, 16:25

      Good point about Suzuka. Tarmac run-offs are the worst thing for F1. A driver makes a mistake and half the time only gains time. I don’t particularly like crashes, but deep gravel beds certainly punish mistakes even if the barriers don’t.

      1. I like the idea of abrasive tarmac runoffs so that drivers are still punished for their mistakes and there’s no Raikkonen-esque overtaking round the outside like in Spa

        1. Yes, they’d probably stop an out-of-control car more quickly too.

          How about gravel and dirt where the driver rejoins the track, so he’s penalised by getting a rough ride, and dirt on his tyres. This might work after chicanes, say at Monza, but not everywhere.

          1. From what I understand, tarmac has the greater chance of slowing an out-of-control car, as it has more chance to regain grip and assist the driver to do so.

            If true, an alternative without diminishing safety could be a GPS that flags when a car has entered a ‘safety zone,’ no warnings, no steward’s discretion, no exceptions…drive through penalty.

            F1 for me is seeing the bravest driver pushing the fastest car in the world to it’s limit. Without punishing mistakes adequatly, everyone can drive to the limit.

  4. damonsmedley
    24th April 2010, 16:18

    F1 should be about the best drivers from around the world, in the best and fastest cars in the world. But if Bernie keeps changing it, it will not be about the best cars in the world. Too many changes will mean lower categories like GP2 will become faster. F1 needs that element of technology as it adds an extra degree of excitement to the sport, but someone needs to draw a line. Where that line is drawn is the toughest question one may ask at the moment but it needs to be done. It’s a very tough issue that I can’t see going away soon.

  5. IMHO the biggest obstacle to overtaking is the aerodynamics of the current F1 car. I would like to see ALL wings removed (like the old “cigar” cars). Allow ground effects, but NO protuberances from the monocoque. And for engines, set a maximum horsepower and let them use ANYTHING they want. Advancing the technology will not “hurt” the drivers. The better the tool they have to work with the better their skills will be exhibited. IMHO

    1. I agree with you there on the engines. Let them use any way they want to reach that maximum power… turbos, diesels, hybrids, whatever… if they can’t keep pushing for more power then things like efficiency & durability become aims

  6. F1 only really needs to be two things:
    1. The fastest cars in the world
    2. The best drivers in the world

    Everything else is just garnish

    1. lol! Completely agree with that. The best strategists in the world too, I don’t want to watch chess and want all out racing but I admit it is a strong element to the sport too.

    2. totally agreed. however it needs to have the most advanced technology in the world, no restrictions.

    3. Yes, exactly. I think there has to be less restrictions on the cars, only ones for safety are required imo.

      1. Does everyone have to find their own sponsorship to pay for this technology?

        1. yep, bring back tobacco sponsors!

          1. Absolutely! However, I think you have to negotiate with the politicians.

      2. Less restrictions will mean more expense and this means the richest will win. Formula One has to finally bite the bullet and forego the idea it needs to be the most technically advanced formula. There is no merit in this unless it is directly applicable to road cars, which it almost never is. Formula One is a sport and should remain a sport. It is not a business or a technical exercise. It should be about spectacle, about displaying and rewarding the skill and bravery of the participents.
        Modern cars are too easy to drive. What kind of sport gives it’s best exponents the easiest test? Make the cars faster on straights, slower in corners. Give them only 10% of the downforce they have now. Change nothing else and the F1 world will be heaven. Trust me.

    4. Some would say that F1 neither has the best drivers or the fastest cars.

      F1 is a sport that is run to a set of regulations. These regulations do not stipulate that the drivers have to be the best or that the cars have to be the fastest.

      It is a motorsport that is governed by a Formula. But it tries to be all things to all men (and women) and so it sometimes finds itself pleasing none.

      1. Totally agree with you George, many people really forgets what is the definition of F1 is.But they also needs to fight in the best tracks in the world where they will be challenged.Like Spa, Melbourne, Monza.

  7. To a degree, each one of those ideas has some basis.

    F1 should be always about moving forward. It’s about sophistication, innovation and exhileration. If we had a thousand overtakes every race it would be a lottery, not only would it be a dull one but we’d appreciate the achievements of the pilots and teams a lot less and it would even possibly be far less appealing to sponsors if there is no structure or order to a race track.
    Most fans, appreciate just what it takes to squeeze out that extra tenth and are willing to wait that little bit longer for a special pass but F1 should still look to improve this area and all areas.

    These are the very best drivers in the world so they have earned it to drive the best equipment. It’s inevitable that as the machines get better then less mistakes will be made but there will always be a human element to it.

    Techonology should be explored. I think Max had a point when he said F1 is very fragile esp when it comes to regulations about the cars. They need to have some foundation and basis, costs are an issue (even if I have always thought if they can’t cut it then walk but that isn’t feasible, it can’t be black and white) but new techonology explored some perhaps road revelant but otherwise just to push boundries more maybe like Le Mans but without jeapordising the sport. The DDDs were a good example of creativity inspite of the strictness of the rules.

    The drivers are possibly the easiest thing that can stay the same as they are human. I think if mistakes are made more need to be punished ie get rid of some of the run off areas (not the blog before Red Andy comments! sorry couldn’t resist :P). Use a different designer and company for the tracks, Tilke isn’t really to blame it’s the regulations which need to be loosened up, however if all tracks are done by one man it’s inevitable they will feel similar.

    F1’s permanently in the strange place of needing to stay the same to keep its roots but needing more than any other sies, to keep pushing forward. It’s the pinnacle, it’s how it is and yes sopme improvements could be made but overall it isn’t doing too badly. It really is a global sport, more venues (whether we like them or not) want to host a race, the TV coverage has improved dramatically in 10/20 years, there are less deaths and even though big names have pulled out there are still teams interested in joining. It’s a fairly healthy business and the sport -an ‘aspect’ to some although really it is the cornerstone – is thriving if you look at the competition right now.

    F1 always needs to be the best, have as much outside interest as possible but still be ruthlessly tough, it needs the human element which can’t be repressed but we’re never going to agree on what is best for the sport in the future but we should mainly agree it is the best motorsport right now or it is in trouble.

    1. A contest to find the best driver in the world?

      I do think that formula one should be a contest to find the best driver in the world. And I do think that “If the cars are more difficult to drive we’ll see more mistakes and better racing” . But making the cars more difficult to drive doesn’t necessarily mean reducing technologies, why not making cars more difficult to drive by making them faster and putting more powerful engines on them.
      I don’t think it’s bad for the sport that cars have automatic gearboxes. But I do think it’s bad and I actually think it’s ridiculous that cars are easier to drive but less powerful than before (even though they are safer now).

      A contest to find the best racing car constructor in the world?
      I think its important the competition between constructors but i don’t find it as important as the competition between drivers. Constructors competition is ok as long as it doesn’t interfere with healthy and fair drivers competition.

      The most entertaining form of motor racing?
      No, I don’t see F1 or either serious sport’s as pure entertainment. Peoples favorite sport not always is the most entertaining from a “show” point of view. For uneducated audiences entertainment will alway mean tons of action. But for an educated audience, high levels of competition is sometimes more important than pure action. For example, i find cricket very boring, but that’s because i don’t understand the sport, i bet that people in India who understand it find it quite entertaining. Same for soccer and all sports.

      The most dangerous sport of motor racing?

      I don’t think that F1 should be the most dangerous racing series. But i do think it should be the fastest. I actually support safety but not at the cost of speed. I’m ok with safer cars, safer circuits but SLOWER CARS?

      Making the cars slower so drivers don’t have any risk is like limiting boxers to train before a fight so they don’t harm the opponent. Or now bullfighter fight goats because bulls are to dangerous.

      And apart from all this, F1 cars are pretty safe now, if they weren’t they wouldn’t be crashing on purpose (crash gate). Do you think that drivers in the 60s would have crashed on purpose in a street circuit to help a teammate?? Don think so.

      A test bed for the automotive industry?
      Again it’s ok as a secondary goal. As long as it doesn’t harms driver competition.

      A worldwide motor racing competition?

      Absolutely a YES. In order for F1 to be the pinnacle of motorsport it is important for it the be a world wide competition. And for that I think F1 should be the fastest racing series without leaving any room for discussion.

      If F1 was without any doubt the fastest racing series of the world it would become a more global championship.

      Some years ago before the CART racing series went down you could actually argue that CART or Indy Racing cars were faster, or at least had faster top speeds.

      If F1 was significantly faster than al the other racing series it would bring more attention from all over the world. Even the American market that although you like it or not, it would be great for F1 to get the American Fans attention.

      By the way, I disagree with whoever said that F1 was an European club. F1 has and has had drivers from all around the world. It has had Canadian, American, Brazilian, Argentinian and even South African champions. The situation today is that the vast majority of drivers are European but that could change anytime.

  8. bring back KERS and turbochargers, limit the amount of downforce ‘points’ and give points to drivers in free practice with the fastest times.

    1. why bring back turbochargers? I never really understood their appeal.

      1. Could be brought back in the near future – utilises otherwise-wasted exhaust fumes.

    2. I hated KERS and believe it was a total waste of money. When a racing car is braking it is doing so while being driven on the edge of it’s design envelop. Trying to design a braking system that collects the energy for later use without affecting that braking at the edge of the design envelop just seems so contrary to the intent of a racing car that one wonders why anyone even thought it had merit. It seemed like a bad publicity stunt foisted upon the teams.

      What I do think is teams should be encouraged to use any hybrid technologies they like, whether the energy is gained from the engine or exhaust or just charging up before the start of the race or whatever. It should be up to them, and there should be no “maximum uses” per lap or any such thing. I do believe there should be voltage and such like restrictions for safety, and possibly a power output limit e.g. not allowed to exceed the equivalent of 100 hp, but apart from that there are already weight and budget and such like restrictions, which will limit what teams can do.

      1. They can bring KERS, but they have to make it at a lesser cost, in fact I think this is one component which the FIA can make a standard to all teams which will save some money for the teams.

        1. Kers was expensive because it was completly new; the price would have been a lot less if it has been carried over to this year.

          A standardised system completly misses the point, and would make no difference to the racing as everyone would use it at the same point on each lap

      2. You hate it, yet you’re saying teams should be encouraged to use hybrid technologies ?

        Having to recover the energy while braking is part of the challenge, and probably makes the cars harder to drive, which I think is exactly what we want to see.

  9. For me modern f1 cars are far too stable, with too much grip and not enough horsepower. I would like to see the cars sliding around some corners and losing traction under acceleration. We often see this in Motogp and is a common reason for overtaking. In my opinion they should shorten the wheelbase and reduce the amount of ballast in an attempt to induce more instability and oversteer. This would sort the men from the boys and then maybe we will see more mistakes being made.

    1. Well in F1 you need to have a stable and consistent drive of the car to get the most possible best time lapping the track. That’s why the car is setup with grip, traction and drag in mind. Yes, you may see car slides or yet lost traction and grip that’s because the car exceeds the limit which have a factor of driver inputs, track or tyre conditions…

    2. 100% agreed the car’s havent got enough power for the current level of grip, too many corners can easily be taken flat out :)

      If you increase the power, then the cars get “too quick” , so a 50% increase in power with a greater decrease in downforce would probably have them sliding all over the place :)

    3. @Taxman
      We already had that and it backfired, so it really isn’t a good idea, you had to tame the beast, racing others was secondary.
      The real issue now are new longer strips, the cars became faster over the years, and the old venues just don’t suit them.
      But it looks just awesome, how the car slides..

      1. Or even a better one of Tc off and tyres having to come to grips with 900+hp!

  10. Totally agree damonsmedley!

    Whatever you say, a couple of incidents, spins, and drivers getting stuck in the gravel, really spices up a race. Tarmac is just silly.

  11. On the first point, F1 is mostly a showcase of the best drivers in the world already. If a driver impresses in other formulae they can get a drive in F1, and if they are seen to be doing a good job comparitive to their team mate and the performance of the car they will move to the best teams and win. Unfortunately it does require money to get started, but thats more an issue with the price of competing in motorsport rather than F1. The way in which the best drivers are ijnored is when the driver is in series very different such as NASCAR or in an area where the population or even the driver themself has no interest in F1. A lot of asian countries have races, and the number is increasing, but they sometimes need to be better advertised to increase interest and tempt drivers to F1 or even just to motor racing. There does need to be more races in the Americas and maybe Africa and Russia too to encourage drivers from that area to the sport, as well as fans. (it would also be nice to see scandinavia rewarded with a race- I would be curious to see what a track would be like and I’m sure there would be a massive turnout)

    So to increase the chances of F1 finding the best drivers, I do not think anything with the cars or races needs to be changed, just the locations and general popularity. (although one way of enticing some drivers may be to increase speed and return the likelihood of overtaking to levels from 10 to 20 years ago)

  12. an easy way to make f1 races more action packed is to bring the safety car out more often. NO MORE LOCAL YELLOWS. Every time a car stops on track or on the side of the track bring out the safety car. Keep the cars close together(just like nascar).

    1. The only good thing about the safety car is when they show the in-car shots of the driver and you can hear that glorious growl from the engine. Apart from that, the less safety car the better.

      I tried watching a NASCAR race where it was a bit damp in Montreal… restart, someone off within a lap, safety car, restart, someone off within a lap, safety car, restart, someone off within a lap, safety car, restart… I had to turn it off

      1. Theres 43 cars in a nascar race so theres obviously going to be more cautions.

        Plus you were watching a wet nascar race what did you expect.

        Cars don’t just crash in formula one like that do in nascar.

        Is it really safe when marshalls are runnig around on the track or a crane is on the track and cars are flying passed them at 190mph? I don’t think so.

  13. I honestly have a combination of radical ideas that I would love to see happen.

    1) Switch to diesel-electric. High torque electric motor with a diesel generator and a kers system to also charge up the batteries. — One advantage to a switch to this style hybrid, is a future switch to hydrogen fuel cells is easier, as you’ve already got a well advanced electric motor and kers system.
    2) Make the front wing be around/connected/within the front suspension. Sort of like the 1982 renault, but more of a wing than just suspension casing. http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/renaultopenday-1.jpg
    3) Increase mechanical grip
    4) Make the base Monocoque be a standardized design with some exceptions: How your electronics, pedals, etc mount and wire through. And any adjustments for driver height/size. This will cut costs and I feel it is an area that shouldn’t/doesn’t change that much from season to season. Also you could make small components/common areas standardized. Parts such as: pedals, rims, etc.
    5) Remove restrictions on: rear wing, rpm, front wing ( only if the suspension wing idea ), certain areas for barge boards, etc

    1. a series hybrid would definatly make a very fast car for a given engine output, but not a very exciting spectacle

    2. I think its important for F1 teams to design their own Chassis, It wastes alot of money and It only serves to assist the wealthy teams, but It separates F1 from other “spec” series.

  14. They should invert the field. Start the HRT row 1,Virgin row 2 , Lotus row 3.At the back would be Red bull on row 12, Mclaren row 11, ferrari row 10,and so on.
    Can the fastest cars get to the front and can the slowest cars stay at the front and not break.There would be great passing. Saftey car periods would be more frequent, so the fast cars could always keep track of the leaders.

    1. What’s the point of bothering to qualify if the slowest drivers end up at the front?

      1. Dont qualify, just go off the points.
        :1st in point starts last
        :Last in points starts 1st

        Fastest lap comes during the race.
        The fast guys would be pushing extremely hard.

        It sounds radical but it would be entertanig.

        It would be Chinesse, Malaysian gp 2010 but all the time.

        1. but all the time.

          Which is precisely its flaw. Every race would be the same story and that would become tiresome. We’d have sacrificed a significant part of the sport’s heritage and hundreds of millions of TV viewers on a Saturday for a contrived spectacle that would quickly become predictable.

  15. What makes F1 exciting to me is the science behind it. Its amazing to see how in spite of the rule changes, the cars keep going faster.
    If we really want to judge the driving ability, the cars need to be identical which is not what i want to see.
    I think rules should encourage innovation and the direction of these innovations should be towards future road cars.
    If budget caps are necessary, then where the money is spent should be more flexible, by this i mean that technical control should be relaxed – maybe the variety of solutions to the same problem (of having the fastest car) will make things exciting.

  16. F1 has consistently failed to conquer the entire world. Now there’s a push towards Asia, probably as there’s money there now, but vast swathes of the world are always going to be unrepresented or uninterested. No doubt F1 is the most popular motor sport in the world but it barely rates a mention in the main stream media where I live now, in the US. If it were to make an impact here there would have to be 2+ US GPs plus Canada, Brasil and Mexico. Recently we were down to just one off that list. Meanwhile there’s nothing in Africa any more.
    F1’s complexity will always be governed by money. It will get cheaper if the economy so dictates. It will get more elaborate and expensive if the opposite prevails.

  17. There’s one thing I respect about NASCAR, even though I hate its implimentation.

    Engine. They still use carbueretors. They stick to their plan and see it through. Not environmentally friendly? Who cares? Not technically savvy? Nope. They don’t worry about that, either.

    They haven’t changed the engine. NASCAR is of that “it work’s, so don’t fix it” mindset.

    While I don’t want pushrods, carbueretors, or diesels in F1, I do want the scream of the engine.

    THE ENGINE. I want that high RPM growl. I don’t care if the car consumes a lot of fuel. What I don’t want is a 4 cylinder.

    I’d watch a feeder series if I wanted to watch an open wheel car with a 4 cylinder. I don’t care about its power output.

    F1 is all about being extreme. Many cylinders. Gorgeous and radical vehicle design.

    My fear is the engine following this 4 pot; what do they go to next? Is it less green and detrimental to F1’s image if they bump the displacement up in 2019?

    I’d rather see a V10, 12, or larger V8. Excess. Give me Excess or give me Indy.

    1. I agree Weakass, they should leave the 3.0L v10 till we get electric engines, the sound is just better, that’s like saying to Kirk Hammet, play only with two strings.
      Or if they give less volume and less cylinders, then allow turbo or compressors.
      Either way i want power on the straits and less DF
      in the corners.

      1. Why not go to Hydrogen engines. there is enough high tech development in there, to keep a generation of engineers happy.

        If they run in Bahrain, just let them grind the sand. http://www.theengineer.co.uk/1001879.article?cmpid=TE01P&cmptype=newsletter

  18. F1 should be what it already is: The best drivers in the best cars backed by the best teams. The more artificial garbage introduced to “spice up the show” then the worse it gets. Reverse grids, lottery grid placement and the rest can bugger off. If you’re not fast enough to be at the front you don’t deserve to be there, end of story, that’s the way it always was and should be.

    1) What makes F1 so expensive isn’t the lack of technical restrictions, it’s the areas the restrictions are made in. There’s no way of increasing engine power, traction or mechanical grip because all these areas are homolgated. The only thing left is aero, and that has now reached the point of sophistication that massive spends and time are necessary to gain a small advantage. The double diffuser is actually a cheap, large benefit solution compared to fiddling with barge boards, front wings and the coke bottle zone ad nauseum.

    2) F1’s historical glory days were ages of sheer amateurism compared to the teams of today, in terms of mechanical reliability, understanding of aerodynamics, and organisation. The top teams are not suddenly going to give up all that. There is more to getting an F1 car to the front than a fast driver and a good car.

    3) Kers is a joke and should be abandonded. Give teams a choice between a standard homologated engine, or an unrestricted hydrogen engine of their own design. Then we’ll see what F1 can do to change the face of the world in quick time. That’s where F1’s greatest technical leaps came from – not a manufacturer asking its f1 team to tweak an existing road car technology under a rigid set of rules, but pulling something out of the ether and forcing it into a technical reality.

    4) Get the drivers to design the tracks. They know what’s up.

    1. Well said, all the “mickey mouse” crap like reverse grids are rubbish. They tried that in V8 Supercars… no thanks.

      If they could put in place and police a salary cap successfully, then all technical restrictions could be removed.

      Drivers involved in track design would be a nice further step after getting them involved in the stewards

  19. I think F1 should have something of all these perspectives:

    Letting there be some degree of difficulty to make driver errors (clutches for shifting, braking techniques, maybe with adjustable wings and off course with tyre management).
    If they don’t manage to stay on track, let there be only just about enough space for a great save and then the barrier, ending the race or at least prompting the need for serious repairs. Having deads is a little extreme, but some bruises would not be entirely unseen.

    There should be the element of teams building their own cars and making High-techn development part of it. Preferrably with some real world off spin, though not limited only to automotive road cars.
    I would prefer there to be enough freedom for separate teams to get into differing development paths (kers, turbos, alt. fuels, electrical driven front wheels, ground effect, some electronics, movable parts, etc.) But cost/resources should be somehow limitid to avoid an arms race of high spenders buying everything there is to get.
    I would like teams to present their succesfull developments up front / during GPs or latest at the end of the season, maybe getting them developed into sellable packages for the other teams or for other industries. This way the technology is better to be seen for the viewers. The best would be GPs with teams presenting some of their inventions say 3-5 races after introducing them.

  20. Firstly: F1 without FIA & Ecclestone. Please, stop fixing races.

    Secondly: more freedom to innovations.

    1. I know everyone loves to hate the FIA and in particular Bernie, but they have actually done some good. F1 needs a governing body to keep it’s structure and not fall apart and look how much TV coverage has improved and the different venues F1 is going to thanks to Bernie. They get things wrong but I definately think we are better with them than without in my opinion

      1. Yes, F1 needs regulation and it desperately needs someone to take care of the commercial side.
        We currently have no one better than Bernie, but he should find himself somebody to start taking over from him.
        1. Make the FOM coverage better (all the missed overtaking in Bahrain)
        2. look differently at race deals. Get circuit packages together where the local promotor actually gets together an 80.-120.000 crowd on race day with nice side programs
        3. Let the promotor as well as the teams get a bigger part of the share for better sustainability in the long run.

        1. I agree they needs to make sure that the circuit where they are hosting the race can actually attract 10000 people on raceday.

  21. The coverage would have to be more of a focussed effort, maybe offering some kind of fan packages including team visits, GP tickets, merchandise and on line acces or a F2V acces for those who do not want to commit to a longer period with just some things accesible (live coverage of race events and reviews live and on line).

    The races should be more of a mix of different types of circuit. Monaco style, some like Melbourne / Montreal, have long circuits as SPA, Le Mans or maybe the Nordschleife, or that Argentinian circuit around the lake. Add some real tight circuit like mabe Long Beach. Have high speed ciruits like Monza and bring in the Bahrain outside ring for high speed. Maybe have a try at oval racing each year.

    I think the field will become more international in time anyhow, with more Asian interest and hopefully more drivers from the Americas. There are Indians, Malaysians, drivers from Argentina as well as the USA and a Chinese/Dutch driver waiting to break into the fray.

  22. Let us have a closer look at what Nico Rosberg said about having a good time following the McLaren with the F-duct stalled wing on the straights.
    If it helps drivers following them, let all teams develop this, it would be nice to see some slipstreaming again.

  23. I would like to see a limit on down-force, some sort of point system. But with moveable aero. that way when drivers come to over take they can just dial the wings in. also I’de would love to see some engine restrictions with limited BHP and emissions. but freedom to use any means to meet those requirements.

    increasing the danger in F1 is stupid. rent Death Race if you want to watch that kind of thing.

  24. haha just thought, apparently f1 cars could drive on the ceiling. I’DE WATCH THAT.

    1. maybe they can build a long tunnel on the straight, a car can then find clean air … upside down !!
      the stands would have to go though, but a fantastic idea indeed; is it too late for SIlverstone to construct the new infield underground ?

  25. MouseNightshirt
    24th April 2010, 18:44

    I think F1 should be a balance of all of these things to be frank. There are respective motorsport series for each particular point.

    I mean if you look at it, best driver is arguable, it’s single seater – a DTM driver may be as, if not more skilled in his respective series, you can’t really compare between them. Rossi is a superb “driver”, but you can’t really compare him with the likes of Vettel or Hamilton because he races in a vastly different series.

    In terms of best constructor, DTM is not far off technologically than F1, and many F1 cars are an amalgamation of the excellence of several partners. Even the works teams use independently manufactured brakes, wheel rims and tyres etc.

    Most entertaining is all relative. BTCC is high contact, with lots of overtaking, NASCAR as well. GP2 produces “exciting” races, but the “race excitement” of F1 isn’t necessarily better, or worse, it’s just different.

    The most dangerous form of motor racing? MotoGP is horrendously dangerous, drag racing can be fatal, and look at American single seaters. F1’s danger comes from its speed, but as with all my other points, that is a different form of danger than say, motorbikes, where danger comes from exposure, or NASCAR, where danger comes from contact.

    A test bed? F1 provides extremes. It’s excellent for “pushing” the envelope, but then wouldn’t BTCC be more useful for relevant road technologies? Rallying for fancy suspension innovations. Different series provide different opportunities for road relevant technology.

    And worldwide racing? There are plenty of series with more “National Geographic” potential, but then the exposure is less, the glamour is less, the business bonuses are less than F1.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that F1 should be a finely blended combination of *all* of the above things. That’s what makes F1, as a series superb. Every single “area” in which people want F1 to excel at inevitably has a series which does it much better than F1, but only F1 combines all of these areas into one amalgam that can provide everything to the viewer and fan, all in one go. For that, F1 will always head in the right direction, as you will always please a section of fans with each new area you try to focus on.

    F1 is great. Don’t forget it!

    1. I am very close to you in opinion.

      I add, that Rally is very good for showing different countries and has a very challenging program with ice, gravel, sand, mudtracks and tarmac. But it is somewhat like a series of qualifying to determine the results, no real racing.

      I think it is very good, to have some restriction on fuel use or co2 output per season or something. But maybe given the options, the teams are allready good into more efficiency (while stayin realistic – this is racing) to get better speed at the start of the race.

  26. It wouldn’t matter if F1 were a completely spec series or used as much technology as it did in the early nineties. F1 would still be F1- An open wheel series run to a set of regulations that allow each team to build a car within the rules. And that’s all F1 is or ever should be. If you think it should be the ‘fastest’ or the most ‘innovative’ or even be the most ‘dangerous’, then you might want to look elsewhere.

  27. Out of the choices, I’d put them in this order of importance:

    Best driver
    Most entertaining
    Best car
    Being a “world” championship
    Relevance to road industry

    I don’t support teams, I support drivers. Also, whilst drivers get help from their team, in the end it’s up to him to deliver the goods. If you’re Romain Grosjean, you can get all the help in the world and still not beat Alonso.

    Which isn’t to say I don’t have respect for the teams. But I don’t like having the car being more important than the driver. Sometimes I wish the FIA would design the base F1 car, give it to the teams in January, and see what they can do with it in terms of improvement. Next year’s car would then be based on the best car of that year. But I digress.

    I think the entertainment is more important than which car is best. At the end of the day, I’m never going to be able to buy an F1 car, certainly not for road use at least. When I look at the RB6, I know it’s the best, but somehow don’t find that as exciting as seeing a Lotus Exige and knowing what it can do compared to other cars.

    I think it’s pretty important to have a world championship take place on every continent (well, not Antarctica, though that would be interesting!). It’s part of the reason I dislike Bernie taking F1 to all these Asian races; why does South America only deserve one race, and why is Central America not represented at all (it’s not an official continent, but it’s more distinct from North America than Eastern Europe is from the West)? Why should the issue be which place can pay Bernie the most cash?

    I don’t think F1 needs to be relevant to the road. There are plenty of other formulae for that. KERS was a good idea, but botched in its regulation and cost/advantage balance, and though it appealed to my green sensibilities, I thought push-to-pass was too hackneyed. I’m glad F1 doesn’t have things like ABS or traction control, because it takes away from the drivers’ ability. Other things like active suspension may not do so as much, but then there’s a speed-safety reason for that not being in F1. The one area I’d like to see F1 become road-relevant in is fuel, because oil is going to become a massive issue soon enough. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is apparently just waiting for investment before it can become viable. Why not F1?

    And whilst I think the FIA are a little too paranoid about safety, I don’t think an obvious higher risk of danger would make F1 any better. Massive run-offs and excluding some circuits because they don’t have them are annoying, but there’s a limit to how far we can claw things back in that direction. Thankfully the cars are always getting safer, and that should continue.

    The best drivers in exciting races, aided by the best cars, driving around the world. That’s the point of F1 for me.

    1. But for entertainment, i hope you do not mean reverse grids, or more to the extreme sprinklers on site, handicapping winners, etc.?

      In the article Keith cites Patrickl with these kind of things.

      The issue there is, weather we are speaking about a sport or purely a form of entertainment

  28. As to safety, I would feel truly ashamed as a fan to argue for more dangerous racing. If Kubica’s Canada crash was horrifying to watch, what must it have been like to experience? (one of many things separating me from the ranks of F1 drivers) – just because we were shocked at the minor extent of his injuries, does that mean we would have preferred it otherwise? It was recently and well-said on this site that you might ask Felipe Massa about safety, he could tell you. Henry Surtees can’t.

    1. he will tell you he is happy with safety nowadays, but what is he risking for having the life he dreamt about? not much i must add. This makes him not better than any other sportsman in any other sport. I didn’t start watching f1 thinking like that. I started because lauda coming back from that accident, to a young kid, was bigger than life. He captured my imagination, and got me hooked for life. Even if, with how the sport changed, somtimes i regret it.

  29. I think that in terms of developing technologies, ALMS is more relevant, and Audi have indicated so and in the past cited it as a reason for not joining F1 as the ALMS provides a more relevant test-bed for their technologies.

    However… I believe that KERS had great potential but it was not properly utilised. I believe some teams’ systems were only working at approximately 20% capacity due to the regulations.

    The FIA didn’t want a KERS “arms war”, therefore I think we can accept that currently F1 is not interested in it’s relevance to road cars.

    Much as I would like F1 to become a development lab for road cars, I will fully concede that ALMS is much better in this respect, even in terms of something as simple as body-shape. (Ok my Nondescript PassengerVehicle, doesn’t look like and AUDI R10 but it does have 4 wheels covered by bodywork, a passenger seat and has fuel consumption better than 2mpg….)

  30. Younger Hamilton
    24th April 2010, 20:19

    The things F1 Needs right now are:

    1.3L V8 Turbo Charged Engines
    Michelin Low Profile Tyres(Help with Making the F1 cars more environmentally friendly)
    Bio Fuel
    Qualifying lap commentary by Martin Brundle on the BBC(Started doing it now i believe)
    Unlimited Testing

    and of course lots more Overtaking,those are all my suggestions of making F1 its best level what does everyone think about all of those Suggestions?

  31. I think most of the previous comments were refering to what we all want to see at the circus. F1 is about drivers, technology,speed and the danger involved. If you are bored with one season or something has not happened it’s because you have not watched long enough. The problem with F1 is that everyone who thinks they know what the sport is about knows the answer, the answer is that the people behind the sport know what is wrong and they will sort it out.Do you really think people like Newey, Montezemolo, Whitmarsh, Williams etc don’t know what they are involved in? If you find it boring go and watch something else.

    1. “Do you really think people like Newey, Montezemolo, Whitmarsh, Williams etc don’t know what they are involved in?”

      Up until FOTA turned up on the scene, I really don’t think they did!

      1. Think about what you said. Between them they have 80 plus years of experience at the very top of the sport and you think without FOTA and all is previous forms before knew nothing?

        1. The teams weren’t interested in what the fans wanted, what they were interested in were their own self interests and you can point your finger at one team in particular in that respect if you like. ;)

          When the FIA asked for a 50% cut in aero, the top teams were almost aghast that such a request had been made. Suffice to say that the 50% aero cut never saw the light of day.

          Even under the new FOTA regime we are still waiting for someone to pick up the reigns with regard to the aero situation. Don’t be fooled by what you’ve seen so far, Barcelona is likely to be more akin to ‘Bore’rain than the three previous races. The danger is that we will once again be told to wait and see and that nothing should be rushed into. Meanwhile, back at the factories……..

          1. I may be alone on this site but I know the teams would be very happy with 2 or 3 dry races just to see exactly where they all stand. Rain does mix the grid up but never shows the true ability of a car. A few “boring” races will do me fine thank you.

    2. the thing is politics got in the way. Now with todt, lets see if they can sort it out.

      1. Politics will still get in the way, only Todt will be conspicuous by his absence when it all blows off.

  32. Safety-wise, you can’t really compare accidents of Massa and Kubica. Other one was freak incident while other was normal racing crash although a big one.

    I too dislike tarmac runoffs. It is often said that they are dangerous because they can cause cars flipping. After all, how many flips we have seen because of them. In F1, I can really recall Zonta at Spa and Warwick at Hockenheim. In some other events car has already flipped but has flipped more times because of that.

  33. The inverse grid idea is the best one by far.

    1. nonesense. It would be a too artificial way to spice up the races.

    2. Its rubbish that leads to lots of accidents as the slower cars in front brake earlier than the faster cars behind. See V8 Supercars

  34. f1 should always be 1988/9 it should always be donnington ’93 it should never be imola’94….i think at present we have it like it should be.

    1. 89!!!! What do you mean? the fia manipulating the results, and giving the crown to prost, when senna was the winner in japan? I agree with the rest though.

  35. The best drivers racing the fastest cars. If mechanical restrictions wouldn’t have been brought in the way they were, entertainment would likely have never left the sport in the first place and we wouldn’t have to discuss improving it (rose-tinted glasses notwithstanding).

    I have to say I don’t understand the argument about having the fastest cars start at the front being detrimental to racing – hasn’t it always worked like that, even in the high-overtaking 80s? Cars set up for qualifying pace aren’t necessarily quickest over a race distance – and this becomes all the more true without refueling when a car’s handling is subject to changes due to weight fluctuation. (Unless you figure out a not so clearly legal way to circumvent that, but I digress). Reverse grids are an even worse concept than Bernie’s shortcuts.

    This sport is still plenty dangerous enough – how could it not be, driving cars at those speeds? I think some people confuse how mistake-free the sport has gotten with too much safety. I don’t see how a sport can ever be too safe – only armchair drivers come up with this stuff. That the cars could be less reliant on electronics and more on mechanics, thereby making it ‘dirtier’ and having the human factor play a bigger role (as in missed gear changes, or race-day set-up decisions) is another matter.

  36. The biggest word I saw upon the introduction of Kobayashi during Brazil last year was ACCIDENT. He continues to proof me right and I don’t know what his team or F1 will do about people like him.

    1. let him race, maybe? this is called racing, so let the boys do their job.
      What i see with these young blogers, it’s that the job that mosley set himself to do, when he took control of the fia, has worked. They are all obsessed with safety, even though they haven’t even seen a death in the little time they have been following the sport. That’s called brain wash.

    2. How can you say that with any justification. He’s retired 4 times this season, one engine, one hydraulics, one his front wing failed (and they had to re-design the part), and lastly he was shunted off in an accident through no fault of his own.

      1. I thought Kobayashi was very entertaining last year in Brazil. Unfortunately, this year he has a Sauber, which so far is awful. And de la Rosa has only beating his once in a race because so far he’s the only one of the two whose managed to finish a race. I also remember Kobayashi causing to Nakajima to crash out. So what? The list of drivers, great or poor, who have done that during overtaking maneuvers is endless. Especially if we’re talking only 1 incident.

  37. The concensus seems to be people want to human aspect back in the sport. By that I mean there is scope for mistakes to the made, and for them to be punished for these (sandtraps, walls, missed gears etc) Its catch 20/20 as restoring the human aspect compromises safety. I’m all for that, but at what point do you say “stop, this is now too safe”.

    Heres something I’ve always believed would work but no one has caught onto. As Frank Williams mentioned F1 must do something to eliminate the potential criticism from environmentalists. Why doesn’t Tilke build a circuit that is surrounded by trees? It adds character to the track (which currently lacks) and the surrounding trees yearly CO2 intake would easily cater for 3 days of F1 use. I’ve always said this about track – build the track without compromising the landscape, not the other way around. These flat tracks are just a joke. Why do you think Monza, Nordschleife, Laguna Seca, Bathurst will always be respected?

    1. well, they had this: the old Hockenheim – beautifull straights into the woods and back again … turned into a joke of a track now.
      I guess F1 is not that green after all then.

  38. 1.- Yes, F1 cars should be very difficult to drive. Like what Alonso was doing at Sepang. Doubt many people think that wasn’t an epic performance by him, with those clutch problems or whatever…

    2.- Engine freeze is rubbish, really. Engines are getting more and more and more reliable and nowadays an engine related failure is not that common as it used to be. And it brings another question. How to close the gap to the Merc engines? they are clearly the best of the field (last year’s Monza Qualy had 6 out of 10 mercs on Q3).

    Engine development should go along with the chassis. More and more and more power for the drivers every season.

    3.- Disagree completely. Imagine what would happen if Chandhok and company started every race at the front. It would be so annoying. Imagine that but in Monaco. It would be even worse than the Valencian GP. And that’s a hell of a task…

    4.- Yeah, that’s a hard one. But it used to be a good way of rating drivers. To see who braked the lattest, who accelerated the earlier, who went flat out and where. Balls used to play a much more important part of the game. And track designs kill that too. Where’s the danger of a very difficult flat-out corner if hundreds of miles each side is tarmac too?. A bit wide, no problem. I can easily get back to the race track hardly loosing time. Why? What did grass and gravel do to us to avoid it completely?

    6.- It’s F1 interest that decides who gets a drive. Why there were so many Japanese drivers and non of them truly successful? Because F1 needs Japan. And Japan needs (or used to) F1. Honda, Toyota, Yamaha, Bridgestone, Suzuka, Fuji, Mugen, plus a large amount of sponsors… all need a good way to show their products. And promoting F1 drivers no matter the cost it’s a good way. Look at Vitaly Petrov and his 15 million dollars.

  39. F1 is ideally about best drivers AND best team.

    To have this strictly, you would have to make a rule where the drivers have to change team every week. However, this would be a sponsor nightmare, so it will never happen.

    But I think the current situation is close enough. Maybe the cars are ‘easy’ to drive, but if you see these guys in other cars (karts in the snow, race of champions, fastest lap at Top Gear, and even in a Rallycar), there’s just no denying that all these boys and men are truly the best drivers in the world.

    And teams, well, if you just look at what the teams actually achieve within the rules they have, it’s really amazing (Fduct, double diffuser, push rod suspension etc).

    Some say intellect is the ability to adapt yourself to new situations. From that point of view all the rule changes are fine with me.

    And from good ideas ‘roadcar relevance’ automatically follows. Just look at the Williams / Porsche-roadcar KERS deal.

    So, don’t make that mandatory. And yes, keep changing (bits) of the rules!

  40. While we go about improving overtaking and making F1 as exciting as NASCAR, lets get more goals in soccer too. Cause nobody likes watching boring soccer anymore, it should be more like American football or basketball.

  41. Prisoner Monkeys
    25th April 2010, 0:38

    I think Formula 1 should be all of the above, but the emphasis should be first and foremost on driver skill. The championship is decided far too often on whoever has the best car.

    1. while they make some changes, we have an even field this year, so in the history books we’ll have a clear view who was the best driver of this generation, by just looking at this season.

  42. the Sri Lankan
    25th April 2010, 1:04

    bring back toyota! thats the only way me and my mates would watch F1 again!

    1. those loser will come back, they have to change the president and a few more of the people that make the decisions, but they have unfinished business in f1. And they are proud people, so as soon as they have a chance, they will be back. Don’t expect them to do much better than they did though.

    2. Toyota learned the lesson that it’s not how much money you have (although it does help), it’s the people that you have in the team that matter most and until Toyota can persuade one of the top aerodynamacists and the best engineers from where they are now (typically RedBull and McLaren) to come to their team, they will most likely continue to stay away.

      1. or they can go to Le Mans instead

        1. the Sri Lankan
          26th April 2010, 0:11

          i hope they just supply engines. all this time away form F1 gives them plenty of time to explore the Turbo engines for 2013 and get the jump on other manufacturers.imagine toyota jumping in when mclaren runs out of their mercedes contract

          1. maybe the Mclaren-Peugeot story all over again then…

  43. Ignoring the driver part of the equation I would have to say allowing more freedom in the engine and tyre areas. With teams (and manufacturers) pushing the envelope in these areas we would bring back the possibility of failures. Does abyone remember when Shumacher finished a race with one gear? (pretty sure Senna did this at one point too).
    With current tech being pushed to the limits we also have ended up with benefits for everyday people. Where would the tyres on our cars and bikes be without racing and tyre wars. Radial belts and silic compaunds have enhanced safety, provide longer better grip and have resulted from battles on the track.
    Or how about the pnuematic valve systems and turbo’s. Fiat’s new multi air engine would not have been possible if it were not for things like F1 needing something to produce greater revs.
    If F1 and other forms of motorsport are left to stagnate with heavily restrictive regulations we will end up with irrelevant events that no one will want to watch.
    As to the idea of electric motors only if they need them for a kers or similar setup. The technology behind this is amazing and far more real world applicable than full electric replacements.
    I could go on forever with these but I should leave some space for everyone else ;)

  44. If you want F1 to be first and foremost about driver’s skill, then let’s stop any talk about whether the sport is the pinnacle of motorsport, because you can’t have both. Regarding skill, a true crucible of driver merit looks utterly differnt that F1. It looks like the Race of Champions, or a championship on computer simulations with emprically equal “car” performance.

    The very best drivers would not come to a series where the car doesn’t matter at all, because it could not be the pinnacle of the sport. Without distinct, autonomous paths of technical development, it would not attract the designers, and the cars thus would not be the best, most sophisticated tools available. The best drivers want to drive the best cars, not the hardest cars to drive. The hardest car to drive fast may currently be zipping around some rural american dirt track with a 900hp V8, weighing less than a refrigerator, a tiny wheelbase, and no power steering. But that’s not the pinnacle of anything.

    Further, the view is ahistorical. F1 has always been, in large part, about the guy with the pencil behind his ear or the mouse in his hand—frequently it has been only about him. The idea that drivers nonetheless mattered more when it was hard not to miss a shift, or there was no power steering, degrades the skill of driving fast to proficient operation of primitive machinery. Anyway, getting the most from today’s cars is not achieved without exceptional talent. Ask Giancarlo Fisichella, or, lately, Michael Schumacher.

    It seems that now, with an historically unprecedented overall quality of cars on the grid, and the lack of wealthy hacks and gentlemen drivers, driver skill matters now more than anything. When before has the ability to manufacture from pure skill a tenth in qualifying or on an in lap separated the good the from the great? The sport has never been better, whatever evidence Youtube has to offer.

    1. I think you’re right. To my mind the best driver will outshine the machine he drives. I’m not saying Bruno Senna will win every grand prix to come cause he is a hidden talent that can out do his car. But any of these Lotus or HRT guys who have talent will be noticed, one of these days they’ll go early on slicks and end up in 10th or something.

      1. I agree. The best driver will outshine his machine. One just has to look back to Monaco in ’84 with Senna driving the Toleman, or to Monza in ’08 with Vettel in the Torro Rosso.

  45. Refueling needs to be back in F1 that will promote more overtaking on raceday. But what F1 should never do is to have standard parts for all car or have a budget cap which will prevent the teams to develop new technology. Reversed grid shouldn’t be for F1 it’s true it will make racing interesting but then it won’t be F1 anymore & the value of Saturday won’t be there anymore.

    I too agree with the fact that F1 will be a place where the top car manufacturer will use this as an testing ground for their road cars.Like Ferrari installed KERS in their 599 car.It’s true that some of the new track are not as challenging as the tracks in the old days were but it’s something the track designer needs to work with the drivers to how we a challenging track can be made.

    & Finally I think F1 should host races where there is a popularity if it then they should think about car market. Like is a good track but it fails to attract crowds, on the other hand China is one of the leading country where the manufacturer wants to enter but it too fails to attract crowds

    1. how does refueling promote overtaking on the track?

      1. When we will have refueling then different cars will have different fuel loads that’s why if a car in front is 20-30 kg heavier then the car which is at the back will be lighter & faster on the corners.Therefore will be able to overtake the car in front much easily.

  46. A USA GP is mandatory no matter what else makes it better.

    1. in an oval would be a good idea. Regular circuits in europe, an oval in the us and street circuits in asia and the middle east.
      it would be a good mix.
      Of course we need a 25 race calendar.

  47. Great post DaveW. I can’t even reply to it as it was just too good.

    For me, I love F1 as it is. Most people are making some good points however.

    The only thing I want is more of it!! Would love Friday to become Thursday, Saturday to become Friday and then a Saturday race and Sunday race. I think my life would be complete (of course this does nothing for cutting costs but it does somewhat quelch my thirst for my favourite sport!)

  48. Fat tires, big wings, creative powerplants .. that’s all

  49. it’s always has been (and always should be, imo) a platform for both individual and team competition in physical/mental performance as well as technological development. like any major sport now, it is contested behind the scenes, 24 hours a day, by big brains and playboys. i like the fact that the racecar craft is a sport in itself, and f1 is one interpretation of the ultimate motorsport.

    the 2 titles conflict with each other, but i don’t think the system is broken. when is the last time a lousy car actually won? i’m guessing jordan (ah, toro rosso). when is the last time a lousy driver won? again, jordan?

    sometimes the stars align for a sport’s utter domination (ferrari, new york yankees, whoever) and sometimes talent goes unrewarded. jenson button and mark webber could have spent their entire careers in obscurity. put jenson in arguably the best car for 2 years on the trot, and now he can do no wrong. that’s life, and as we all know, life isn’t fair.

    The most entertaining form of motor racing

    tough call. i want to say “if you don’t like it, don’t watch it” but i find myself pretty under-entertained sometimes. fom has certainly dropped the ball, and i don’t want to watch some of the ridiculous stunts that have been proposed, nor are performance equalizing, success ballast, etc. very appealing. a truly random starting grid would be ok i guess. when i’m watching a race, i want to see:

    1. wheel-to-wheel dueling
    2. lots of full laps from on-board cameras (in lieu of actual passing)
    3. crashes, general half-assery, hand of god, whatever

    The most dangerous form of motor racing

    risk is essential part of the sport for both spectators and participants. it isn’t unique in this.

    A test bed for the automotive industry

    this is a “must” for me, in principle and to justify it’s existence.

    A worldwide motor racing competition

    yes, but not at the expense of historic motorsports venues and cultures. by hook or by crook, the automobile forged america to suit it, yet we have no world championship grand prix. france is the birthplace of motorsport, and they have no f1 lovin’. england dominates motorsport for half a century and bernie plays games with the future of the british gp. i’d be more receptive of new races if the hosting countries first built a racing culture of their own.

  50. Nutritional
    25th April 2010, 7:15

    Formula One should be the best drivers in the world driving a collection of cars made by auto-manufacturers (specialist or factory)who want to win the world championship. The only rules there should be are those for sportsmanship, safety, and to make sure the drivers can drive the cars without requiring a G suit.

    I don’t think refueling or no-refueling makes any difference. I think that requiring teams to use both types of tire compounds in a race is makes for artificial competion if it even has an effect.
    However, I agree with having only one tire supplier. I think 1998, 2005, and 2006 were far too affected by tire war which obscured the quality of the cars and drivers.

    I think the new points system is plain silly. It again seems to be an attempt at artificially making the Championship seem more exciting and close with fatter scores beside a driver or team’s name. Think liked when it was 9,6,4,3,2,1. Though I think there should be a point for pole and a point for fastest lap.

    It seems there are people who think F1 needs more passing. Every form of motorsport has passing. NASCAR has a lot passing which is meaningless until 15 laps or so from the white flag. IRL varing degrees of passing which again don’t mean anything because one never knows who needs to pit again for fuel or who’s trying to make fuel because the strategy is so cocked-up. Formula One has the best drivers with the best cars made by the best teams in the world leading from start to finish a race populated by a collection of drivers who also happen to best in the world driving the rest of the best cars made by the best teams in the world. It represents the fine tip of the spears of physical skill, technology, and sportmanship. This is what makes Formula One “Formula One” – not whether there is or isn’t a lot of passing. That’s why it’s the best form of motor racing in the world, and why I think it’s the best sport in the world.

  51. the cars should be the most difficult to drive by far, with only a handfull of drivers in the world being able to do it at speed. No matter what the nationality. If a guy in angola is capable, bring him over.
    There should be a clear increase in horsepower from the lower formulas.
    Try an oval, and see how it goes. If it doesn’t take it off the calendar. Purists, don’t get to carried away, when the safety cars were introduced, it was pandemonium between some of you, but now it’s totally natural, and adds to the racing.
    If tecnology allowes, coming back to race tracks like the old nurburgring, it would be the best thing that happened to f1 in over 100 years.

    1. Nutritional
      25th April 2010, 9:53

      This may brand me as a “purist,” but I don’t think I’d want to see an oval in Formula One. Maybe, just maybe, the full oval at Indy, but other than that I’ll pass. I watch NASCAR and IRL here in North American and that’s more than enough ovals for me. They’re interesting from the technical end, in terms of adjusting the cars to the changing track, but other than it’s pretty boring until the last 50 laps or so. I don’t think ovals would really suit F1. Again the only exception may be Indy. The banking isn’t a steep as NASCAR’s “Superspeedways” so it lends to driver skill. Plus, the history and prestige of the track may lend itself to what Formula 1 is about.

    2. I agree with you kowalsky !
      Here’s my 2cents: F1 should be about the best drivers. They should be doing things that are dangerous: I think of past drivers as heroes because if things went wrong, they would not survive or at least take a serious knock. When I see the current F1, I get the impression that I could do that as well; which is not a good thing ! I honestly recognize that there’s more to it and I would never be able to, but it’s simply the impression you get. Lewis looked like he never needed to shave, and almost took the crown on his debut. It’s apparently not a ‘man’s sport’ anymore …
      I put drivers before the cars, but: it is a mechanical sport – so the car will always make a difference. I would stop short of introducing a spec formula, but would make rules to keep their relative performance in a similar range. The car should not win the race, the driver should.
      As much as I marvel at the tech side of F1, reality is that this technology is invisible. You just watch cars going really fast. I suggest the FIA start a RoboCar competition, F1 cars without drivers. It is possible to do that, planes are currently fighting wars almost on their own. Just imagine which one you would watch: the one with the humans, or the one with the Artificial Intelligence?
      I think road car relevance is simply nonsense. Why not introduce stop lights then which come on at random? Manufacturers use motorsport to help promote and sell technology, but it’s not an absolute requirement: Audi races diesel engines in Le Mans, but they were already succesfull in their sales. Porsche cup races exist. It’s not needed for F1. Motorsport is not a lab, it’s just a way to keep your engineers occupied and interested. Is it however a good ‘business case’ for a manufacturer? If they make a good race car, that doesn’t mean your road car will be any good.
      I think Fiat is in that respect gigantically missing the point. In order to benefit from F1, they should rename Ferrari to Alfa Romeo or Lancia. That would give them a lot more commercial value. We’ve seen BRM, Lotus, Mercedes, Renault, Brabham disappear from F1 before and nobody seemed to miss them.
      Test bed ? Only to a certain extent then: you set a platform of performance and make sure that everybody has the means to compete. Not one team blowing everybody away. Hybrids, turbo’s – actually I don’t really care as long as there’s racing. I don’t care whether there’s a V8 or V10 in the back, or that they all have the same engine.
      Whatever they have, over the perspective of the season the track variety and driver skill should be able to cancel out dominance. Off course this is all dynamic: if a V12 is the way to go, everybody else will follow and next year everybody is back in the same league. Provided that they have a chance in doing so, by putting in restrictions. I would advocate also a change in revenue allocation: everybody gets a same percentage of the pie, that would ensure all teams have an interest in serving up a spectacle instead of being rewarded for behavior which ensures their own dominance. Where’s the promised help from FOTA to the new teams ?
      Entertaining: depends wat you find entertaining. I advocate a return of close racing and slipstreaming. It does not need to result in overtaking. As such, my ideal cannot be captured in figures (ie nr of overtakes). I would go back to the basics: the quali is simply to determine the starting order, a teaser before the main dish. Pole position should mean something: this guy is the fastest in a single lap. Whether he was so in doing 10 laps or via Q3/Q2/Q1 systems is more or less irrelevant. The main issue is that it has become the deciding factor in the race, because they can’t overtake. Now I’m fine with people being close to each other and not be able to overtake; but when a driver is 2 secs per lap faster he should be able to pass the one in front and make that fact known. Finishing behind is simply an indication that something is wrong. The fastest guys should be in front, but that does not necessarily mean they will win the race. It just increases their odds. Off course, winning from P10 is highly unlikely – but not totally impossible.
      Danger: this is part of the appeal. There’s a chance you don’t walk away from a crash. But: motorsport is dangerous. If you don’t like that fact, then don’t race. Massa himself says that he accepts the danger. It seems to be more about the people around that have a problem. I remember F1 slowly dying after 92 and 93, but then a sudden reinterest came because of the death of Senna. That seemed to remind everybody that F1 had still some danger. But that was subsequently taken care of by removing it again. When you step in a racing car, you can crash and be killed. Or something can happen (like Massa and Surtees) that can get you killed. If you want to race in complete safety, then race in more safer series because F1 is not your place. There are braver men than you, no shame in that. F1 is the pinnacle, the hardest and most dangerous. Every time you step in the car, you accept this risk. I don’t like seeing people dying, but frankly: the world will keep turning, even after our own death. Death is part of living, it seems society has gone to great lengths to banish it.
      I agree with what Jacques Villeneuve said about his father’s deadly crash in that at least he died doing something he loved and not of old age, because that would have taken away part of the legend.
      Worldwide: I like that it has a global appeal and races are run not only in Europe. That puts me off Indycars: the American feel to it. I have nothing against Bahrain or Singapore per se, as long as the tracks are challenging, not dull flat pancakes with gigantic run-off area’s. Sjanghai is actually a nice track. Buones Aires used to be a nice track, but they made a horror of it. Kyalami was daunting, but look at the sorry track they made it into. I guess part of its success, is it’s global appeal, because if you are promoting a brand worldwide it makes sense to sponsor/buy a F1 team like RedBull. If Vodafone can sell more mobiles by having two brits in their lineup, so be it. It shouldn’t block a talented driver from another country though. But: if you are fast enough, you will get in. When there’s doubt, your nationality will come into play.
      I hate the fact that drivers are required to pay for their drives, because talented drivers without the backup well just disappear in other series instead of being able to show that they’re part of the best.
      Where would Schumacher be if Mercedes hadn’t coughed up for his seat in Jordan ? He impressed, but first somebody had to forward the cash. I remember Verstappen saying afterwards that when Schumi crashes, he’s just ‘testing the limits’ (merc pays) but when he does it, he gets told ‘do you know how much that costs?’. Maybe a draft selection from GP2 would be an idea …

      Enough ranting for today, my 2cents are up -back to group therapy now…

      1. So its interesting that Jim Clark died at the age of 31 because a tire with a slow puncture came off the rim? Or that Senna died at the age of 34 because his car bottomed out? Or that at the age of 28 Elio de Angelis suffocated underneath his car because the marshals figured he’d be fine? Or that Roland Ratzenberger died at the age of 31 because his wing fell off? So it’s okay that to back to the 1950’s idea or no seat belts? How in the world is that interesting? Why do they have to die to make it exciting? Why isn’t it exciting enough they can crash out, lose a chance to get points, but still be alive?

        1. It is not interesting per se, and it is not what I’m hoping to see when I tune in – that would point to some serious mental issues; but it is part of the game. Motorsport is dangerous. At the end of the day,I am as horrified as you when I see people dying.
          Don’t get me wrong: I would not change the design rules to make the outcome of death more certain (no seat belts) or downgrade the organizational aspects (no marshalls, no on-site hospital, less barriers). But the danger should still be there, it is part of the legend of F1.
          Indeed they should be able to crash out, but if the runoff area’s rob us of racing on some exciting tracks maybe we should refocus and accept the risk. Those that climb in those cars accept it, all those you mention accepted it. They didn’t need to race, but they did so because they loved it. Sad to see them go, tragic even – whatever word you want to use, I agree.
          If Massa were to have been fatally injured last year, would you stop watching F1? You apparently still do…
          Final thought: the cause of death is a bit irrelevant as people die every day by simple things, like falling off the stairs. The end result stays the same, and it is not less tragic.

          1. I’m sure you would hold the same position if you had friends or family among F1 drivers.

            You only need to look at Kubica’s crash in Montreal to know the sport is still plenty dangerous enough – or would the outcome of that crash have had to be more dramatic in order for F1 to have the “right” amount of danger in it?

          2. Formula One, and for that matter any motorsport has been and always will be inherently dangerous because the cars go so fast and the human body is so fragile. That fact should be enough, end of story. However you still seem to be dancing around having more danger. Why? And saying drivers accepted the risk is somewhat narrow sited and situational. I’m sure if Jim Clark was racing today and not in the ’60s and someone told him to jump in a 1960’s racecar and go on the ragged edge, he’d tell you you’re crazy because of the lack of what is now considered obvious and basic safety equipment.
            And on the subject of Massa’s crash it’s not comparable to the previously mentioned crashes. By some odd chance a spring flew off Barrichello’s car. You really can’t control something like that other than tensile quality of the springs or spring fasteners. In Jim Clark’s crash, had the tire been secured to the wheel, as they are now, his crash may not have been a bad. Had Senna’s Car had a barge board, tire tether, or foam insert around the driver’s head, as they do now, he could very well be still alive. If Elio de Angelis had had an emergency oxygen supply, as they do know, he may very well still be alive.
            And yes I’m still watching Formula One after Massa’s crash because I understand the inherent risk, but I don’t go on about how it’s not dangerous enough.
            And finally, the cause of death is relevant. If I baby dies because it sticks its finger in an unprotected electrical outlet, that’s just plain stupid and avoidable. If it happens to die of cancer, that’s unfortunately and tragic. See the whole idea of avoidable compared to unavoidable risk?

          3. Maciek, Nutritional, I don’t get a reply button on your comments so I’ll react to your comments by replying to myself.
            I indeed would hold the same position if a someone I knew was an F1 driver. This is more like the situation that Massa’s father would have: how would you feel if your son would come up to you one day and said ‘I want to go for a racing career’? You’d tell him about the dangers, but if he had the talent, the ultimate choice would be his. You would pray nothing would happen but in the end, you have to respect the decision. It is his life, not yours. He knows about the dangers, and his potential death would be horrible and even avoidable if only you would find a way of stopping him. If this is a problem, then we should ban motorsports for their inherent dangers. But we are all watching it, aren’t we ?
            Kubica’s crash indicates my point: as I stated above, I don’t want to turn back the clock and make death more likely. That crash (and that of Ralf at Indy) shows us that the safety levels are very high. Massa’s crash shows us that you cannot ban all risk and that indeed, there’s still a level of risk involved. The point I was trying to make is that in the aftermath of the Suzuka crashes in 09, people were immediately on about that it is a test track with small runoff area’s. They stopped just short of banning it all together, depriving us of yet another daunting F1 track. In 94, a chicane was put in the Eau Rouge corner. We’re not racing at the Indy oval, because of safety. Great tracks have been maimed for the sake of safety: Imola, Hockenheim, Kyalami. This is the point: although we have reached a certain level of safety, the quest to increase it even more is becoming detrimental: it robs us of racing at great tracks, challenging the driver and replaces it with tracks where you get no sense of speed at all. All this to no avail, because, yes, motorsport will always be dangerous and given the right amount of bad luck you can still horrendously crash. Where did Kubica crash: not on a Tilke dome. If they removed Montreal, the likelyhood of that type of crash will indeed deminish. In my opnion, the sport looses a bit of its appeal by doing so, certainly when the car can already take so much. Kubica did not have to die to make it interesting, but F1 can do with such a crash once in a while; in order to remind everyone that it is still dangerous. It is part of the game, part of the appeal. If it starts to look like everybody can do it, it’s not going in the right direction.
            In Australia the drivers were complaining about the potential glare of the sun. They have the same in Le Mans, driving flat out on the Hunaudieres straight. I find this signals that the most daring drivers are not in F1. Again, La Sarthe is another great track F1 would never race on, even though they’re looking for a French GP.
            Off course, Jim Clark would favor the current car over his. Again, I do not advocate turning back the clock in that respect, nor do I want to see the amateurism of the race organizers of that era. Although: what if his car was a second faster over a lap than the current one ? Would he fancy his chances ? Would we need to protect him and limit his choices for him ? Just thought-provoking here, because we’ve gone to a certain level of safety already and that remains a concern. But we shouldn’t completely remove some of the dangers either by changing track layouts.
            Avoidable risk: in the end all deaths can almost be considered avoidable; ie lung cancer: don’t smoke, don’t go to places where people smoke, etc. Where does it end: do you want to make your house completely baby-safe or do you teach your baby not to touch the outlets ? He could still fall of the stairs, even we can do that. Death is a fact of life and cannot be banned. Whether you die being stupid or not, or even because of someone else’s stupidity doesn’t matter. You’re still dead.

      2. If, from the beginning you were talking about the safety of the tracks, and tracks being banned because they’re considered too dangerous, then I see where you’re coming from. A track that comes to mind which they’ve watered down since Senna’s death is San Marino. What I don’t understand about that track, or a track in Monza, is what they did to make the tracks safer. On both tracks they either tightened corners or put in chicanes. I don’t see why they couldn’t have left the corners they way they were and instead adjusted the run-off areas to accept the speed. I guess such an idea wouldn’t work at the old Nurburgring Nordschleife because at many spots the only thing beyond the road in sheer cliff and trees. However, Spa is a track where they did increase run-off rather than slow the turns down and its seems to have worked.
        In regards to f1 drivers complaining about the sun. I watch NASCAR, Indy, American Le Mans Series, and the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series, and when the sun is in their eyes the complain about it. However, I think you may be taking the complaining out of context. I personally assume that when they complain about it, it’s the same as you or me complaining about the sun in our eyes when we’re driving. We complain simply because it’s annoying, but we aren’t saying such because we expect someone to do something about it.
        And just to clarify, you can’t simply teach a baby who’s crawling around and going “ga-ga” to not stick it’s finger in a socket like its a 2 year old. That’s why you can get socket covers. And babies don’t smoke cigarettes and die of lung cancer, they die of cancers like leukemia and other diseases which seem to be either hereditary or just bad luck. That’s why one death is avoidable and the other is not.

        1. As far as the sun is concerned, i think the drivers are right to complain.

          At Le Mans 24 hrs you cannot avoid having sunset, it is part of the recipy. At NASCAR the races often go on for 4 hours so it is hard to avoid this. In F1 we have only 2 hr. max so it is avoidable.

          Next to that, they complain, because someone (bernie) moved the race in time from a point where they did not have any problem with the light to a later time. They are reacting to a change recently made.

          1. I agree with you BasCB. However, I think the Le Mans and NASCAR drivers has it far worse than the F1 drivers do. Their windshield get soiled with rubber, oil, and dirt. Combined with the sun, they can’t see a thing. Additionally, they have to wait for a pit stop for the windshield to be cleaned. At least F1 drivers control their visor tear-off strips. Again, as you point out, if Bernie wasn’t so caught up in getting peak airtime in Europe, the sun wouldn’t be a problem either way. So being avoidable I guess the drivers should complain to a degree.

        2. There is a very small river behind Tamburello, so it would be hard to make runoff areas bigger there. Senna and I think Berger went there to see how it is and reckoned they couldn’t do anything about it.

  52. For a long time thought I’ve thought wings should be banned. And to keep F1 the quickest, roll that enforcement down through every FIA formula. Use underbody ground effect and sculptured bodies by all means, just no protuberances who’s sole function is aerodynamic.

    Engines to be closer to stock blocks, multi-cylinder up to say 4.0 litres. As well as sound great, it may encourage more manufactures to compete.

    Encourage use of KERS but not just a means of “push-to-pass”. It should be used throughout the lap.

    Tyres to be soft and slick but closer in proportions to road tyres, albeit those found on £100K+ exotica!

    Lottery grids I quite like the idea of, certainly more than any silly success penalty or reverse grid.

    Get rid of Tilkedromes. If that means two races per year at Spa, Suzuka whatever, so be it. Sadly, we are unlikely to see other more old-fashioned circuits get a go while Bernie is in charge.

    For me, Formula 1 is about the cars first and foremost. It shouldn’t be a contest to find the best driver, that’s what single make series are for. However, it should by it’s nature attract the best drivers in the world.

  53. To me, F1 is about pushing man and machine to the limit. And that is what we see year after year. Teams finding that extra 1/10. With this will come innovations such as KERS, the shark fin etc. Drivers should be the best of the best, the cream of the crop.

    1. The problem with finding that extra 1/10th was that you could spend 40 mil being there or thereabouts (like the new teams will do eventually) and then spend another 160 mil finding that extra few tenths (like the Ferrari’s, McLaren’s and RedBull’s are doing).

  54. I think F1 should be an open battle of technological innovation – imagine diesel, hybrids, solar powered, electric, kers, hydrogen-fuel cars, etc. F1 will be a testing stage for commercial production in cars. They maybe should have like a limit in bhp but can use any type of energy in the race (maybe eco-friendly). And in the end, that will be a benefit to everybody. :)

  55. If they had reverse grids, couldn’t the fastest cars just go slow in qualifying so that they’re at the front of the grid anyway?

    1. Yeah, that’s a big fear I have about reverse grids. It also pretty much makes a Saturday completely pointless.

    2. I think the only way to stop that happening would be to give points down to second-to-last place in both the race AND qualifying. Not something I’m especially eager to see.

  56. Just been watchin BTCC, far better action, mainly down to the accepting of contact. If f1 car bodies are made more rugged (so a wing doesnt fall off everytime a driver taps a car’s wheel) this would encourage closer racing and more contact which is what we all want to see.

    1. The standard of driving in BTCC is nowhere near F1 levels though. F1 is much quicker and even if the parts had more strength, I wouldn’t want to see contact betwen cars going over 200mph it would just be dangerous in my opinion. Clean overtaking should be encouraged and esp wheel to wheel action, not pushing each other off the road.

  57. George Child
    25th April 2010, 12:14

    How about doing away with qualifying and let the positions at the start be determined by drawing straws, along with that redesign the courses so more passing is possible. With those changes the best drivers should rise to the podium and the racing would be interesting. At present it is becoming a yawn. I suspect we will see the fan base diminish unless serious changes are made.

    1. Would you really be happy with that? Because by the end of the year some drivers will have enjoyed better starting positions on average than the others so it would be horrendously unfair.

      And even if you introduced a system where everyone ended the year with the same average starting position, lower grid positions are more of a penalty at some tracks than others. Starting tenth at Monaco is a disaster but you could win the race from there at Sepang.

    2. don’t listen too much at what bernie says. He talks nonesense quite often. Once the grid was set by drawing, what would be next… the race?

  58. I’m hearing a lot of anti- qualifying sentiments, or more against hopw it is run but qualifying was brillaint last year! The numbers in each session could be jiggled about a bit as this year has been pretty dull but a crucial part of the F1 weekend is qualifying.

    It isn’t the most exciting and should always be secondary to a race in terms of excitement but it is in many ways a rflection of F1. The drivers get their sessions and they have to put in the performance or that’s it they’re out. It’s ruthless and it demands a hell of a lot. No mistakes, good pace, sometimes tactics and damn good timing.

    Quali should stay, reverse grids won’t work everyone will just crawl and there can’t be a rule that says ‘every driver must push as hard as they can’ as it just won’t work.

    This isn’t NASCAR, this is aboput being the best. The designers and drivers should be awarded with pole if that’s how good they are otherwise it simply isn’t fair. More imagination should be used when trying to fix any issues with race not trying to demolish quali. Just breaking something more doesn’t make the real issue go away.

    1. qualifying was brillaint last year

      Q1 and Q2 were great but Q3 was always one big anti-climax because the order would be dictated more by fuel than performance. At Hungary when Alonso was on pole no-one said “oh what a great lap” everyone was just saying “he’s probably low on fuel” and, sure enough, he was.

      Now it’s entirely down to a driver so we can have a situation like one driver doing well in Q1 and Q2 but not as well in Q3, like Hamilton last weekend. While another driver, like Vettel, does a peach of a final sector and gets pole.

      1. The problem with Hungary was also that the timing ladder went down which just made things worse.
        Q3 did have some surprises last year-Fisi for instance.
        I agree I like how it is just down to the driver this year which is how it should be and it is still early but the first 2 sessions are predictable. I’d rather have a predictable quali and a great race though don’t get me wrong! :D

        1. Q3 did have some surprises last year-Fisi for instance.

          And the drama of it was vastly lessened because of the assumption that Fisichella was on low fuel. Whereas if that happens again this year it will be genuinely exciting because everyone will know he’s just done a very good lap.

  59. “A contest to find the best racing car constructor in the world

    Things like the proposed budget cap, the engine development freeze and the ban on testing were all conceived by the FIA in an effort to make the sport less costly and consequently more attractive to smaller teams, but I feel this goes against the spirit of F1.

    This argument is the opposite to the first one.

    The point of F1 is to see who can build the best car and so we should roll back the enormous restrictions on car design that have grown in the past decades. Allowing teams to develop radical new technologies will make F1 more exciting.

    But some technologies – traction control, stability control and the like – may diminish the importance of the driver.”

    I think that the argument is not directly opposed to the first as long as you restrict the way they may build the car. “the best car possible” is ALWAYS governed by certain regulations, so why not restrict it even more? I like the first 2 ideas a lot!

    The nationality and killing ideas are pretty horrible IMO :p

  60. Why no have special stages like in rallying something that doesnt count towards the championship but something to make life more fun.. I also think spectators are being hypocrits they go around saying “oh more overtaking and excitement” but when Hamilton drives aggressively everyone eats him alive, saying thats dangerous driving. Finally Circuits today dont show how fast the cars are actually moving.. It’s like watching a plane flying in the big blue sky the cars look docile and slow. And to be hones the drivers could do with being a bit less serious. I mean back to Hamilton everyone made a huge fuss about him driving fast on the road.. F1 is every motor enthusiasts dream, but the way it’s become a “vegetarian” spirited sport, is definitely not a “petrol head’s” dream

  61. A massive amount of comments, but George and VXR nailed on page 1. George combined the first two points of Keith’s list, and those are the core of what Grand Prix racing has been since the automobile Grand Prix in 1906: “F1 only really needs to be two things: 1. The fastest cars in the world [and] 2. The best drivers in the world”. However, VXR added a crucial bit, namely that “F1 is a sport that is run to a set of regulations.”

    1. But aren’t those two things mutually exclusive?

      Build the fastest car in the world and it will be bristling with technologies that reduce the importance of the drivers’ input because, ultimately, a computer can do better. Se we have traction control and stability control and all the rest.

      1. “But aren’t those two things mutually exclusive?”

        They appear to be, indeed, but still Grand Prix racing and Formula One have been exactly that combination since the early 1930s, when Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union built the best cars of the time and employed the best drivers, e.g. Caracciola and Nuvolari.

        It is very well possible, though, that every now and then a constructor gets its car right to such a degree, and has the best drivers available at a given time, that you get a situation like 1988, 1992, 2002 or 2004. Perhaps not always the best racing in the world, but Grand Prix racing nonetheless.

  62. One way to find the “best driver” is to push the boundaries of the car’s performance past the boundaries of the drivers in them, then the driver that can push themselves that 1% more than the next guy will prevail.

    People talk about how they are reaching 4 & 5Gs in various corners as the drivers don’t have to lift off. Now what if the cars were capable of reaching 10Gs? If a driver could withstand 8Gs then he will be faster than a driver than can only withstand 5Gs. Someone lifting off through Eau Rouge will be eaten up in the following straight by someone not lifting.

    1. “Now what if the cars were capable of reaching 10Gs?”

      It’s possible that a car could reach those limits, but not the driver.

      There was a CART race at the Texas speedway I believe, where drivers were going dizzy because they could not handle the sustained G-forces on the banked circuit.

      The limits of the car would always exceed those of the driver if downforce and horsepower went on unchecked.

    2. this would then make f1 all about physical tollerance to g force and eliminate driver skill

    3. Having the cars being able to handle more Gs than a driver won’t slow them down. They’ll still drive on the limit and then just pass out and crash, so it will become a safety issue and the Gs will get wound back…

  63. It should be about great racing in historic tracks, mainly in Europe and North America.

    Car development should be limited, so as to give new/smaller teams a chance.Cars should be shorter, to properly fit on the existing historic tracks. With smaller brakes, it would be easier to overtake

    Trying to make F1 “green” is absurd : the most ungreen thing is to fly the teams all over the world to remote places, and then building those Tilkedromes with huge empty infrastructures, to be used once a year with empty grandstands.

    1. Why just Europe and North America? There’s great and historic tracks in Central/South America and Africa.

      1. I agree, I forgot about Kyalami, Australia, Brazil … in any case racing in places where there is history and tradition of motor racing.

    2. Even historic tracks were new once so why deny new tracks the chance to make some history now? That the new tracks could be something else than they are at this moment is a wholly separate issue.

  64. I don’t know if anyone thought of this already but I always fantasised about seeing drivers switching through all the teams in a season. I know that such a change would be highly confusing but it would also bring a whole lot more action, even without any change in technical regulations.
    I also know that sponsorship would be a problem, or the teams might not be so friendly to thier pre-designated driver.
    But, just imagine the sort of discussions we would have here: Who’s the better driver – Hamilton for winning in a Force India, Alonso for comming second in a Sauber, or Chandhok third for Red Bull, or perhaps Vettel for being 9th in a HRT?

    1. Maybe once a year they could have a kind of “race of champions” with everyone in the same open- wheeled car. It could be for charity, and on a historic track such as Brands Hatch.If it is always done in England, everyone has the occasion to visit their race factories.
      The race could be divided in three parts.

    2. Max Mosley suggested that once. :)

  65. The Dutch Bear
    25th April 2010, 17:15

    F1 is about the world’s best racing drivers in the world’s fastest cars on the best racing tracks in the world. I think the drivers are more important, but the technical side of F1 should be there. Technical competition is one part of F1 being the pinnacle of motorsport. The automotive industry should to be allowed to do innovation in F1. We, the consumers, will get better cars in the future because of this. I think F1 shouldn’t be deadly. I mean a track should punish you when you make a mistake. I don’t want tarmac run off areas as big as huge car parks. But a track shouldn’t kill you. On the point that F1 is a European party, I say that Europe has a race (F1) culture where other countries in for example Asia don’t. I think if when there is no local racing, there is no way that drivers can come in F1. I think F1 will become more international in the future, we just need time for that to happen.

  66. how about turning it into f1 rallycross, the suspension setup would be a nightmare, but just imagin the cars surfing across a mud bath :D

  67. Two words: Reduce traction!!! Every modern race where the outcome was in doubt, the passing was spectacular and the driver skill was rewarded has been in the RAIN! We call it the great equalizer for a good reason. Spec tires and reduced aero downforce would force the drivers to drive. Braking distances would be increased creating opportunities. Reduced cornering speed would leave room for small errors without catastrophic results. Less wing would mean less “dirty” air wake which would increase stability for the following or (hopefully) passing car. Increased track(width) would make up for some stability loss. Reduced aero would reduce the costs some too.
    More: Green turbo DI, small displacement (1.2l or so)engines would likely be peaky and hard to control at the traction limit. Lets see 5 squirrely screamers hammering into Eau Rouge or 3 wide in the Parabolica!

  68. I think a combination of “A contest to find the best racing car constructor in the world” and “A worldwide motor racing competition”.
    For several reasons:
    -It should be a contest to find the best racing car constructor in thee world because that is the whole principle on which Formula 1 is based, its not about direct competition between the drivers, I myself watch it more for the cars than the drivers. Brining standard parts would remove the main part I find interesting as there would be no competition between companies, suppliers or manufacturers.
    -A worldwide motor racing competition, well it is’nt called a World Championship for nothing, perhaps expanding the Championship is a good idea, but to fit in these races more careful planning by the FIA and FOM regarding the order of races (Canada mid-season and then Brazil at the End is just pointless, moving them together would be easier surely?

  69. I completely agree with the sentiments of The Dutch Bear; F1 has become stagnant – the constant pushing an innovation of the teams of the ’70s and ’80s is gone, replaced by an obsession with cost-cutting. I know F1 is expensive, and that we would have a significantly reduced grid if cost-cutting measures hadn’t been enacted, but at the same time, the sport is beginning to suffer for the lack of innovation and dynamism which now pervades the paddock.

    Re: death and danger, yes F1 should be dangerous, but there should never be anymore deaths in F1. The technology is there to stop them, and so to renege on the implementation of HANS devices and the like would be somewhat akin to replacing football with gladiatorial bouts, just so people can satisfy their bloodlust. I happened to be watching a Youtube montage of F1’s fatal crashes the night that comment was posted, and it just made me sick to think that someone could say such a thing about the loss of a human life, particularly human lives which bring so much joy and excitement, as well as so many other things, to so many people’s lives. F1 drivers are not normal people, and allowing them to be killed would be akin to murdering a great artist or statesman.

  70. That always makes me nervous when drivers and news hounds claim that F1 is too safe. They said the same in the early 1990’s, until Imola 1994 and then changed their tune for obvious reasons. When people start taking safety for granted, that is when people get killed. Just because we havn’t lost somebody for years and years, doesn’t mean we are going to not lose somebody.
    If Felipe Massa’s 2009 Hungarian crash had one positive effect on F1, it was to dispell the myth that the sport is 100% safe. We had gone fourteen years since the last, near fatal crash, which was Mika Hakkinen’s in 1995. That statistic owes alot to increased safety and car design, but alot to luck also.
    To make F1 better I think we must do the simple, basic stuff good first. By that I mean F1 must embrace its roots first and have as many grands prix in Europe as possible. This is not an afront to the newer venues, I love what the majority have brought to the table, but it upsets me that we lost the likes of the A1 Ring, Magny Cours, Imola, Paul Riccard, and Brands Hatch from the F1 calender.
    Also, and I am walking a well trodden path here, but I think it is vital that F1 has some pressence in the United States. Afterall, this is supposed to be a world championship and America has contributed alot to motorsports over the years. Also, I believe F1 deserves a bigger presence in South America, I think the fanbase exists in large enough numbers in other nations besides Brazil. Argentina and Mexico would be my two biggest choices, and I think the atmosphere would match that which we see year after year at Interlagos.

    1. That always makes me nervous when drivers and news hounds claim that F1 is too safe. They said the same in the early 1990’s, until Imola 1994 and then changed their tune for obvious reasons. When people start taking safety for granted, that is when people get killed. Just because we havn’t lost somebody for years and years, doesn’t mean we are going to not lose somebody.

      I agree.

  71. Blake Merriam (Pengo)
    26th April 2010, 3:54

    F1 is an expression of the relationship between Man and the conquest of his environment; of man and machine. It celebrates a deep ethos of mans engagement of the world around him. Of the car designers ingenuity of the constraints placed upon them, of the drivers battle of the elements, mastery of their vehicle, and of their fellow opponents. It is, and should always been, all of these things.

    That and a few cute grid girls….

    1. Nutritional
      26th April 2010, 6:12

      I completely agree with you and admire your eloquence.

      Grid girls :)

  72. Just bring back refuelling..

    1. How would that help seeing the best drivers fighting it out in the best cars?

      You want a battle between the best pit teams with coach/strategist fighting it out off the track?

  73. F1 should be bloody hard! It needs to look like the drivers are superhuman and doing something mere mortals couldn’t do.

    It definitely should not look like a Playstation game.

    I think part of the blame is the onboard cameras which no longer vibrate and show the violent forces on an F1 car. Compare modern footage with early 90s footage (when the cameras were good but the mountings weren’t) to see the difference.

  74. They need to open up engine regs again.

    Instead of limiting spending on engine development, it has shifted to aerodynamics.
    F1 cars should be immensely powerful and sound ferocious.
    There should be more power than the cars can easily handle. At the moment the cars can easily take a lot of sections flat…which doesn’t promote overtaking, as they can all take certain sections easily.
    If there were cases where drivers lifted for corners, but the guy behind had the balls and didn’t, or a guy loses traction on the exit of a corner…an overtake will result.

  75. ‘A contest to find the best racing driver in the world’:
    I would still disagree strongly with this, as most of the Championships include one or two drivers which could equally counted as the ‘best racing driver in the world’, although they might not be interested in an F1 seat (Loeb for example).
    At the moment in F1, I don’t see anybody who could really claim to be ‘the best’. There the drivers who can keep their tyres better, the drivers who can overtake better, the drivers who are better in the wet, etc, but nobody shines out as able to do it all.
    So ultimately ‘the best’ driver will be the one with the most points at the end, but since every fan will have an opinion as to whether all those points are deserved, there is no way any driver could really be seen as ‘the best’ overall.

  76. Something i thought off after seeing the pictures of Webber in Naples.
    Let us not forget to have some better entertainment around the races. Cars doing more of this to promote GP or just promote their team partners all over the world.

    Let all teams do some more of this. It is great to improve their following and promote the brands they have as partners.

  77. Here comes a wild suggestion;

    1) Divide the car into components (like engines, gearboxes, KERS, suspensions, chassis, etc.)and define standard interface and communication protocols for them.
    2) The teams and specialized companies will be free to develop the components, but they will be obliged to sell them to any other team.

    The biggest advantage will be that teams like McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and RB, will still spend fortunes to develop their cars, but, it would be much easier for teams like Williams, Force India, Renault etc. to build a competitive car.

    Your computer has this kind of multiple component standard communication and interface protocols scheme. And they are getting better and cheaper each year. And if needed, protocols and interface can also be upgraded from time to time.

    Of course, some of parts, like aerodynamics, will be let for the teams. The last thing I want to see is a f1 where all cars look the same.

    1. Nutritional
      27th April 2010, 7:53

      I find you ideas to be by far some of the saner and more realistic ideas I’ve heard so far. They have a nice compromise of commonality and innovation, and independence and uniqueness. Those are great starting points.

    2. I think that some concept like this is the way to go with technological innovation in the sport.

      I would add, that the team should present their gimmicks firs in the paddock for GP visitors say 3-4 races after introducing it and have them present it on TV/internet as well so interested fans get closer to the technology.
      Very good for getting people interested in technology – another real world off set.

  78. …interesting article a couple of months ago on James Allen:


    where Frank Dernie gives his view on how improving the “show” doesn’t necessarily come down to changing the aero of the cars.

    His basic arguments were that:

    1. In the past drivers lost places when they missed a gear because manual boxes and real clutches made the cars more difficult to drive.

    2. In the past the tyres were a lot less grippy. Also making the cars a lot more difficult to drive.

    The point is also made that in 1983, when ground effects were banned, the cars lost 80% of their downforce, yet there was no more or less overtaking than the previous year. So according to him the overtaking issue has little to do with aero.

    So, back to the question – what should F1 be? Entertainment. If that means hobbling the cars then so be it. But be clever about it. Lets not go back to single element wings (far too seventies) or grooved tyres (far too nineties), but there are some clever things that can be done to make the drivers work harder, make more mistakes and promote some entertaining racing, while still retaining innovation.

    Keep the aero as it is but I want to see more power (turbocharging, basically) and harder tyres (even more than the current ones) with only one compound available and no pitstop restrictions. Engines and tyres don’t need to be developed any further. They work just fine, after about a century of improvement, so lets tailor them to suit our preferred form of entertainment, rather than let the companies involved sanitise our sport by making everything too easy and reliable. The cars will then be much more of a handful.

    We all know that manual boxes will never come back (just not relavent any more) but the re-introduction of KERS in a more powerful form would have much the same effect, don’t you think?

    The change in the characteristics of the car under braking, from circuit to circuit and around individual circuits too, may have much the same effect as a missed gear. Get your braking point just a little bit wrong and the car lurches as the recharge kicks in and you’re punted wide, allowing your opponent to take advantage.

  79. 1] F1 or GP racing has never been about the best drivers. If anything the most successful champions were more professional racers not necessarily the best drivers on the grid or in the world.

    2] The best Formula racecar constructor, not best car constructor.

    3]The most entertaining form of motor racing … really, LMAO.
    GP/F1 GP racing traditionally has been less entertaining then voiturettes/F2/F3000/GP2, not to mention touring cars, motos and such.

    4] Most dangerous, yes in the 1920s till they banned the racing mechanics. But later Indycars were more dangerous, Le Mans was more dangerous (mid 50s), Group B rally cars, motorcycle road racing.

    5] Test bed, well it was true once, till about and including 1993. Hopefully those days will return as that’s how sport started in 1906.

    6] A worldwide motor racing competition, or even a european one like when the sport started.
    That would be nice as I’m sick of the Ferrari + british “gargistes” formula that’s been here since the late 50s.

    1. To AMVM:

      Your points:

      1] & 2] Thank-you for clarifying terminology, but when people have said “best driver” or “best car constructor” in this forum they’ve generally meant “best racer” and definitely meant “best formula constructor” if you want to be that technical in terms.

      3] – No.1 – Take your “LMAO” somewhere else. That isn’t an argument nor does it prove any point you’re trying to make. It’s just inflamatory. We don’t need that in this forum. Please keep your input to factually backed points or counter points and politely expressed opinions.

      No.2 – Touring cars, GP2, etc. are definitely entertaining races, but they don’t have F1 cars, F1 drivers or do they have the World Championship. Actually comparing them to F1 is like comparing the English Premier League to the English Football League One or Two. Sure, they’re fun to watch, but they aren’t the English Premier League. They don’t have that key prestige factor of being the best of the best, just like Formula One is the best of the best. And I think TV viewing and international interest would speak to that point. In addition, Touring Cars and GP2 tend to very entertaining, in terms of overpassing and bashing about because a lot of the drivers ( or racers if you prefer) aren’t as good at their craft as drivers on F1 teams and they make more mistakes, facilitating the passing and crashing. Granted of course that’s not all the drivers. Some of the GP2 drivers will forge successful careers in F1. Also, European Touring Cars and DTM have had some great talents. Again, of course, those great talents have usually dominated races and championships just like we see in F1.

      4] & 5] I mostly agree with you.

      6] Interesting.

      1. 1] Why I said it’s not the best in the world, it wasn’t just because of the professional racer/champion vs. driver.
        It’s also because of the ladder system.
        When the italians (teams/cars) dominated, italian drivers were “the best drivers in the world”, when the french (teams/cars) dominated then french drivers were “the best drivers in the world”, when the german (teams/cars) dominated the german drivers were “the best drivers in the world”, then in the 60s it was the british.
        It’s always been about the ladder system and until every country in the world has a very good ladder system to filter the talent and push it towards F1, it will NOT be a series witch has “the best drivers in the world”. Just the best of what’s available.
        “The best drivers in the world” has always been nothing more then marketing hype, and to see that all you need is a little logic.
        3] In terms of on-track racing/action and even close championships there were always better racing series. I started watching F1 because of the cars, their performance and the technology, the development race in an era when F1 (kind of) really was the pinnacle of motorsport.
        But I never believed it was the most entertaining racing series, appealing yes.

        1. 1] Aren’t you talking a bit too much in the theoretical and potential? I don’t think that because there are potentially better drivers in other countries without ladder systems you can’t therefore say that F1 doesn’t have the best drivers in the world. These potential drivers only have potential talent and not yet actual measurable talent. In addition, seeing that we’ve had champions from South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, the United States, Canada and Europe I think it wouldn’t be too much of a slight on the world to say F1 “has had” if not does have the best drivers in the world. Also, I’d like to point out that Japan seems to me to have a very strong motor racing culture, and either did or still has a Japanese F3000 championship, and has yet to produce a world champion, or race winner. So the ladder system isn’t the strictest rule. The British ladder system has also helped Senna as well as many of the Northern European drivers without digging through books to find specific names. So at least its accessible to people from outside of Britain.

          3] I think I’ll just agree to disagree with you on the entertaining part. For me, motor racing other than F1 just personally never gets me as excited.

  80. In my opinion most of the current F1 drivers are good drivers. In saying that they drive to the limit of their car. ie they had a good car they drive well. when their car is not 100% they don’t drive so well. The thing that attracted me to F1 was when a driver {lets say Senna} had an average car you could see him drive beyond what the car had to offer. Drivers like Vettel and Hamilton have shown this quality where they can drive agreesive and push the car beyond it’s comfort zone.
    The biggest whinge I hear from Formula One Drivers all the time is back markers whether it’s in Qualifying or in the race. And these days there are no team orders as the Blue flag almost reders them pointless.

    So here are some radical ideas : possibly already suggested
    -In qualifying send out cars 1 time only to give cars 3-4 clear Laps to get their best possible lap. that’s it.
    -Burn the blue flag. allow backmarkers to get in the way of front runners. Make the guys earn their victory. Allow weaving, alow all on the road tactics that have made it advantageous for the front runners. Let the drivers drive.
    This will create agressive driving where it’s more focused on the driver than the strength of his car and we’ll see more action on the race track

    radical : yes. Will it be implemented: I seriusly doubt it.

  81. Should be shared parts between teams, a maximum budget and a contest to see who can build the best car with that budget.

    Using unlimited budgets is just stupid, and makes the sport a joke.

    That’s why we saw Ferrari winning constantly for like 50 years, because there were no budget caps, and nobody even trying to compete with them.

    Should be budget caps, fewer laps, tyres that wear more quickly, less downforce, and most importantly – NO JONATHAN LEGARD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.