2002 to 2012: Ten ways F1 has improved in ten years

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Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Montreal, 2012The standard of racing in Formula One has been a hotly-debated subject for several years.

Those who write the rules need to satisfy often contradictory demands. Such as embracing high technology, yet controlling costs. Or, providing an exciting spectacle – but one which is also safe.

This has led to changes in how tracks and cars are designed, and provoked the introduction of technologies such as KERS and DRS, not to mention the current generation of tyres.

The merits of these individual changes have provoked considerable debate, not least on this website. But if we take them all together, and look at the big picture, F1 seems increasingly to be getting it right.

Turning back the clock ten years, we had a one-sided championship, dreary races and a shrinking grid. Here’s how F1 has improved since then.

Slick tyres

2002: Grooved tyres
2012: Slick tyres

In an attempt to cut cornering speeds and improve safety, grooves were added to F1 tyres in 1998. How successful the experiment was can be gauged from the fact that no other major series copied the move – bar GP2 for a single season in 2005 – and the plan was scrapped ten years later.

Multiple sports car champion and former F1 driver Derek Bell summed up the shortcomings of the tyres when watching the Canadian Grand Prix in 1999: “They’re some of the most uncomfortable looking racing cars I’ve ever seen.”

The tyre war gave the drivers some of their grip back, but this also served to undo the point of grooved tyres, which was to slow the cars down. Happily, F1 has since navigated its way out of that backwater and reintroduced proper racing slicks.

No tyre war

Jarno Trulli, Renault, Magny-Cours, 20022002: Bridgestone vs Michelin
2012: Pirelli control tyres

The ‘tyre war’ was a big part of the reason why the 2002 season was so one-sided and dull. Because it wasn’t a “war” at all, it was near-total domination by Bridgestone.

That in itself might not have been a problem had Bridgestone’s development not been centred around a single team, who in turn centred all their efforts around a single driver.

The team was Ferrari and the driver was Michael Schumacher. Ferrari swept the board, winning 15 races. The drivers’ championship came to its earliest ever conclusion – the title was decided in July with six races left to run.

In 2006, the FIA decided F1 needed to have a single tyre supplier so tyre performance and cornering speeds could be controlled for safety reasons. Pirelli took over as tyre supplier in 2011 and, at the urging of the teams, have supplied tyres designed to challenge the drivers and technicians.

This they have certainly succeeded in. The result has been more exciting and unpredictable races. The tyre have also lessened the importance of sheer downforce in car performance, and allowed cars to race closer together.

The result has been closer, more exciting and less predictable racing. Would I go back to the days of a single driver enjoying bespoke tyres and crushing the field every weekend? No chance.

Refuelling banned

Mika Salo, Toyota, Sepang, 20022002: Refuelling
2012: No refuelling

The introduction of in-race refuelling to F1 in 1994 was a classic example of a knee-jerk introduction of a concept that worked well in another series (in this case, IndyCar), without adequate thought being given to whether it would work in Formula 1.

In-race refuelling works in IndyCar racing because safety car (caution) periods are more frequent, encouraging teams to pursue risky strategies in a bid to gain track position. That usually isn’t the case in F1, and other factors such as longer tracks and one pit box per team mean that in-race refuelling made F1 races more predictable, not less.

The necessity of refuelling also gave teams the luxury of avoiding having to make passes on the track. Instead of trying to pass they could hasten or postpone their inevitable pit stop, allowing them to find clear space on the track where they could lap quickly without the inconvenience of having to overtake anyone.

Happily, the refuelling ban in 2010 largely did away with that.

More teams

2002: 22 cars at the start, 20 by the end
2012: 24 cars

The escalating cost of competing in F1 took its toll on the world championship in 2002. Despite the arrival of the new Toyota team, the season ended with fewer competitors than the year before.

The Prost team folded before the season began and Arrows disappeared after the German Grand Prix. On both occasions there was no-one ready to stump up the cash to take over the teams and keep them going.

The situation today is better, if not ideal. There are more teams competing, but those at the back are still under pressure – note Marussia and HRT’s failure to appear with their new cars in pre-season testing.

However we have had a stable entry list for the past three years and the teams are still working to keep costs down and increase their share of the sport’s enormous earnings.

Hopefully in the near future another entrant can be found to finally get F1 back up to a full grid of 26 cars – something which last happened 17 years ago.

More competitive teams

Start, Suzuka, 20022002: One team far ahead of the rest
2012: Top nine covered by a second

Formula 1 is much more competitive now than it was ten years ago. At the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix the Ferraris had nine tenths of a second in hand over their rivals in qualifying.

At the same race this year the 15 fastest qualifiers from nine different teams were covered by less than a second.

While the 2002 season was all about one driver in one car, now F1 is closer the talents of the drivers count for more – as Red Bull’s Helmut Marko admits: “In times of stable regulations the cars become more and more alike – and when that happens the driver becomes key again to make the difference.”

More top drivers

2002: Two champions, seven race winners
2012: Six champions, eleven race winners

Two years ago Jackie Stewart hailed the current group of drivers as the best F1 has had since the sixties.

Since then it’s got even better – the return of Kimi Raikkonen and the ascendancy of Sebastian Vettel means we now have six world champions on the grid – more than any other season in F1 history.

Back in 2002, Mika Hakkinen’s retirement (or “sabbatical” as it was called at the time) meant there were just two world champions in the sport and one of them, Jaques Villeneuve, was lumbered with the disastrously uncompetitive BAR.

Nico Rosberg and Pastor Maldonado’s maiden wins this year means almost half the field are race-winners.

Better points system

2002: Points for the top six
2012: Points for the top ten

It’s not uncommon to see 20 or more cars finishing the races now, so it makes sense to have a points system that reflects that. If anything it could do with being extended further.

Ten years ago the value of winning was proportionally higher: A win was worth 66.6% more than finishing second, today it’s fallen to 38.8%. I preferred to see winning rewarded more highly, but the system we have now remains a (minor) improvement.

Better calendar

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Buddh International Circuit, 20112002: 17 races
2012: 20 races

The best thing the current F1 calendar has going for it over that of ten years ago is that it’s longer. The world championship has become more worldwide, with China, India, Singapore, South Korea and others joining the roster of venues.

When it comes to the quality of the tracks on the calendar, it’s hard to choose between the two. The short, compact A1-Ring produced some good races (though not in 2002) and Imola was a superb setting for a race, although the track had been infested with chicanes. Magny-Cours had little to commend it.

The new additions since then are, at best, a mixed bag. Valencia and Yas Marina are particularly poor but Singapore is at least distinctive and the Circuit of the Americas looks promising.

Other tracks have been tweaked in the interim, usually for the worse. They include the Circuit de Catalunya, which has lost some of its charm, and Spa-Francorchamps, which sprouted a truly horrible new chicane in 2007. The upgraded Silverstone is an exception.

On balance, I’d take the calendar of 2012 but it’s a matter of quantity over quality.

Less testing

2002: Unrestricted testing
2012: Limited in-season testing

This year teams will cover around 75,000km of testing. That’s a fair amount, more than ten Grand Prix distances per car. But it’s dwarfed by the amount of ground being covered ten years ago – over 267,000km, according to Forix.

The restrictions placed on testing in recent years means that the sessions which do take place have much better coverage. This doesn’t just include the test sessions themselves, but also practice sessions at race weekends, where fans can rely on seeing much more activity on track.

Testing restrictions prevent teams from spending their way to success, the positive effects of which we have already seen in closer field and fewer teams dropping out of the sport.

Limited testing is a big part of the reason why Formula 1 has improved in recent years, as Lotus team principal Eric Boullier explains: “Part of the unpredictability is coming from the fact that we have no more testing. You have to come with new parts and new ideas in Friday testing. You cannot do it one week [earlier] somewhere in Spain; you have to do it on a race weekend.”

Improved stewarding

Start, Sepang, 20022002: No drivers on stewards’ panel
2012: Stewards panel includes drivers’ advisers, more information given on some rulings

Stewarding has always been and probably always will be a contentious issue. But in recent years the stewarding process has become clearer, the rules more transparent, and the decision-making progress improved by the addition of drivers’ advisers to the stewards.

One moment from the 2002 season which sticks in my mind is Juan Pablo Montoya’s penalty in the 2002 Malaysian Grand Prix, quite one of the most astonishingly egregious verdicts ever to come down from the stewards. Even Schumacher, who had collided with Montoya at the first corner at the start, felt it was the wrong call and said so.

At times these days it still feels like some decisions take too long, the rules are not sufficiently clear or the punishment does not fit the crime. But do I have more confidence in the stewards now than ten years ago? Yes.

…and a few things F1 is still getting wrong

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, Montreal, 2012F1 has got more things right than wrong in the last ten years but it’s not all rosy.

I’m no fan of how the rules have forced a strange look upon the current cars, with out-of proportion front and rear wings, oversized rear endplates and (for the most part) stepped nose.

I like the current ‘knockout’ qualifying system more or less the same as the simple hour of free qualifying used in 2002. However the rule forcing drivers who qualify in the top ten to start on the tyres they qualified with does nothing for the racing and strikes me as rule-making for the sake of it.

The quality of F1 broadcasting has clearly improved, but here in Britain its pricing has become a significant concern. Although ITV’s ad-ridden coverage in 2002 was nothing special, it was at least live and free-to-air. Those who wanted more in-depth coverage had the option of subscribing to F1 Digital+ on Sky.

If ever a service was before its time, it was F1 Digital +. In Britain at least, digital television coverage was far from widespread when the service was canned at the end of 2002. Today only half the races are live and free-to-air, and viewing figures have slumped by around one million. F1′s television model in the UK in 2002 was surely a better deal for the viewer.

Finally, there’s DRS. An ill-conceived and grossly unfair gimmick which has done more to harm racing in F1 than improve it, as the Canadian Grand Prix surely proved.

Over to you

Were you watching F1 in 2002? How does the sport now compare to ten years ago?

What’s changed for the better, and what’s changed for the worse? Have your say in the comments.

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152 comments on 2002 to 2012: Ten ways F1 has improved in ten years

  1. mrgrieves (@mrgrieves) said on 14th June 2012, 20:17

    Good post there
    DRS would get the thumbs up at Woeful races like Abu Dhabi and Korea but no need for it in Canada.

    The tire war was not dissimilar to nowadays. There will always be cars that make the tires work better than others aka Sauber

    More teams. With the exception of loosing Glock and Kovelinen there is little to no point in the 3 teams at the back.

    I preferred points for the top 6/8. I don’t think teams and drivers should be rewarded for finishing in the mid pack 7th and 8th I can live with but points for being 9th and 10th is too much, Especially with cars finishing almost every race I think it makes it too easy for the big teams to always bring home points.

    I think the Sky service for F1 is without doubt the best we’ve had and as a package is value for money for the the dedicated channel/ practice/ qualifying/ GP2 compared to races with adverts through them for free. Certainly more worth my money than tickets/travel and accommodation for going to the new Silverstone circuit.

    Circuits is another sore point. I don’t think the new circuit provide more quality. We’ve lost Magny Cours, A1 Rind and Interlargos and gained Valencia, Korea and Yas Marina. Would I rather ditch these 3 tracks and have 17 races? Certainly in a second!

    Having said all that we are talking about 2002 and i am a Schumi fan!

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 14th June 2012, 20:39

      Regarding the points system, there is more reward for going for the win rather than coasting and settling for a 2nd or a 3rd, and that particularly can come into play as the season winds down. It’s great to see the WDC fight be between 2 or 3 or 4 drivers with a handful of races to go, but can be anti-climactic if a driver can just coast and settle at a time when the racing should be at it’s most intense. Also, I think they wanted points for mid-pack runners so that some of the lesser teams/sponsors can go away with at least saying they have some Formula One World Championship Points to boast about, as opposed to spending all that time and money and effort and walking away with zero to show for it other than the experience. They want lesser teams to feel there is a reason to hang in there from one season to the next and hopefully for long enough to evolve themselves into more serious contenders. This at a time when sponsors and money are harder to come by in this global economy and as F1 talks of cost cutting.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 14th June 2012, 21:05

      Especially with cars finishing almost every race I think it makes it too easy for the big teams to always bring home points.

      But the chances are the top teams will finish in the top 6 or 8 anyway (this year being the exception as it’s so competitive at the top compared to any other recent year), so all that happens is that the smaller teams will never be rewarded with a point, which they should on occasion in my opinion. I think that considering the current reliability, 10 is the perfect number. It is just challenging enough that the 3 smallest teams will have to actually be closer to the pace to score, but once they are, they will have properly graduated towards to midfield, and will be rewarded by ocassional points finishes.

  2. “Would I go back to the days of a single driver enjoying bespoke tyres and crushing the field every weekend? No chance.”

    That just about sums it up.

  3. StefMeister (@stefmeister) said on 14th June 2012, 21:11

    Just wanted to post the main reason why I dislike the DRS.

    I love to watch good battles, Good fights for position & I love to see some real, exciting & hard fought for overtaking.
    Watching a great fight for position over several laps with one car pushing hard to find a way through & the lead car fighting equally hard to defend & try & keep the car behind.

    My gripe with DRS is that the way its setup it often removes the exciting battles & allows the car behind to get what basically amounts to a free pass that as far as im concerned isn’t exciting to watch.

    I’ll use Spa in 2000 as an example, We had Hakkinen trying to pass Schumacher for a couple laps & Schumacher was doing a great job at defending the lead. That was a thrilling & truly exciting fight for the lead which resulted in Hakkinen having to try something different to get the pass done & that pass was also truly exciting to watch.
    Though that whole fight I was on the edge of my seat loving every second of a thrilling fight for the lead & when Mika pulled the pass off it was a truly brilliant overtake that made me walk away from that race buzzing from the excitement.

    Also Raikkonen at Suzuka in 2005, He caught Fisichella who was able to defend for a few laps & again we had a thrilling fight for the lead & in the end Kimi had to really fight to pull off a truly fantastic outside pass.
    I can name several other examples from the past 15-20 years, They were just the ones that came to mind 1st.

    Have that same situations again today & its likely the cars behind would have got by sooner & easier. No thrilling fight, No thrilling pass & I would just come away from that race dissapointed (As I did after Montreal on Sunday).

    Im not saying that passing should be impossible or that cars shoudl be able to hold up much faster one’s indefinately, All im saying is that a faster car should not get the sort of guaranteed/easy pass that DRS produced because I really feel that takes away from the quality of the racing & is certainly taking away my enjoyment of the racing.

    Having a situation where a pass is pretty much guaranteed with a speed differential so vast that the lead car can do nothing to even try & defend is just as bad as the ridiculous blocking rules ChampCar/indycar had that were massively unpopular amongst fans & which for this year have been changed (To allow defensive driving).

    To end which is more exciting to watch?
    This remembering its multi-lap build-up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-M1PcivMGu8

    Or this in whihc there was also no real fight?
    http://youtu.be/AvtKvleah38?t=38s

    I know which I prefer.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 14th June 2012, 22:24

      I think you’ve really illustrated well what a lot of people think of DRS simply by the way you remember specific passes or confrontations that had you on the edge of your seat and therefore you remember them to this day. DRS passes are not memorable, hard-fought, thrilling events that we will harken back to in the years to come. They’re only memorable in the sense that we regret seeing someone passed like they are standing still…not a good reason to remember a pass.

    • Matty No 2 (@mattynotwo) said on 15th June 2012, 6:37

      I prefer Canada 2012.

      Why: Canada was last weekend. The other one was 7 years ago. A full 5 years before DRS was even introduced. Most people want action every race, not once or twice a year if thier lucky.

      DRS is not responsible for preventing battles now, as the classic battle that Schumacher and Hamilton had at Monza last year proves, that was as worthy as any battle you highlighted, other than, it was’nt for the win, nor was DRS responsible for preventing battles before it was even introduced to F1 .

      I’ ll get back Canada later.

      @stefmeister I’m really glad you wrote that comment, I really enjoyed it, and it’s obvious that you put a lot time and effort into it, plus, it’ refreshing to read a well thought out and decent comment about DRS, rather than the same old, boring, anti-DRS comment’s. Anyway.

      ‘Im not saying that passing should be impossible or that cars shoudl be able to hold up much faster one’s indefinately, All im saying is that a faster car should not get the sort of guaranteed/easy pass that DRS produced because I really feel that takes away from the quality of the racing & is certainly taking away my enjoyment of the racing.

      Having a situation where a pass is pretty much guaranteed with a speed differential so vast that the lead car can do nothing to even try & defend is just as bad as the ridiculous blocking rules ChampCar/indycar had that were massively unpopular amongst fans & which for this year have been changed (To allow defensive driving).’

      I’m not aware of any stats to suggest that DRS guarantees a pass each time DRS is activated, which, just simply watching the races, anyone can see this. Hamilton defended his position early in the race in the DRS zone from Alonso or Vettel, I can’t recall exactly which one, I’m sure Webber was trying to pass people in the DRS zone later in race, I’m pretty sure he did’nt pass the car in front each and every time he activated his DRS, and thier were so many other instances from Sunday, and all the other race’s , since DRS’ introduction, I can’t recall them all.

      But, lets not forget, the classic battle between Shumi and Ham at Monza last year, when Schumacher was indeed, so successful at defending his position from a car that had DRS activated, that infact, did end up resulting in the easiest pass since DRS was introduced, the pass that the steward’s demanded take place.

      You remember that, dont you?

      ‘I’ll use Spa in 2000 as an example, We had Hakkinen trying to pass Schumacher for a couple laps & Schumacher was doing a great job at defending the lead. That was a thrilling & truly exciting fight for the lead which resulted in Hakkinen having to try something different to get the pass done & that pass was also truly exciting to watch.
      Though that whole fight I was on the edge of my seat loving every second of a thrilling fight for the lead & when Mika pulled the pass off it was a truly brilliant overtake that made me walk away from that race buzzing from the excitement.’

      Yeah, for sure, your 100% right, I found it exciting as well , and I’m really glad you brought that up. But, I think, what we’re forgeting is, it was 12 years ago, and 10 years before DRS was even in F1, so obviously, it’s was’nt DRS stopping battles in that 10 span, or before that even, so obviously, it can’t be DRS stopping battles now.

      Now, let’s just go back to Canada. When Hamilton passed Alonso, Hamilton was a full 1.6 second’s faster, from what I’m aware, than Alonso was when he passed him with under 10 laps to go and opened a gap of 13.411 seconds to Alonso by the finish of the race.

      Cars that were 1.6 secs slower in qualifing, from what I recall, were eliminated in Q.1 of qualy, that’s how much slower ALO was, at that point in the race. Alonso, literally had the pace at that point in time of a backmaker. Alonso’s pace, had absolutely nothing to do with DRS.

      Thier was never any epic battle to be had, and if it was, it’s no battle I want to see, and it obviously, nothing DRS had anyhing to with ruining.

      Plus, even if it’s tyre’s producing a 1.6 sec gap, considering thier qualy times were 1.14.087 1.14.151 respective, that’s not a real battle, that’s a fake battle, and artificial.

      It would basically be like, a reverse grid race, and that’s fake, and artificial, is’nt it?

  4. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 14th June 2012, 21:51

    I agree with most observations. Especially the testing and slicks.
    But…:
    - I prefer 17 good circuits which by themselves, regardless tyres, KERS or DRS produce overtaking!
    - I prefer a points system which rewards the winner significantly more points. Keiths suggestion to reward more teams with points is also a good idea. It makes the difference between the lower tier teams bigger, more clear.
    - Stewarding did come a long way but I still miss communication and consistency.
    - I mentioned it in my first point: DRS. I’ve let myself be fooled as well. But now I see it clear: on the right tracks, there’s no problem. So there’s no fix needed.
    - Artificial tyres: see above. On the right tracks there really was no problem at all. Maybe in the past with bigger gaps between teams we’ve been fooling ourselves, but when there’s close competition we really don’t need them.
    - KERS: to quote Rubens Barichello: don’t make me laugh! It does nothing for the real world. So, either go radical and let engines be totally free with limited amount of fuel to be used (and/or horsepower) or stop it. If you want these techniques, do it for real.
    - Homologate: the monocoque, the front wing, the rear wing, the diffuser and the bottom-plate. Focus innovation on mechanical grip/engines instead of aero.


    enough for now

  5. Klon (@klon) said on 14th June 2012, 22:34

    I can’t help but to love one part in the refueling article Keith linked there.

    No more fuel-saving means they’re flat out all the way

    Now some F1 drivers do not really think this is the case at the moment and some fans do agree with them. It is certainly amusing reading that paragraph in hindsight.

  6. Sir JYS said on 15th June 2012, 0:08

    I agree with most of the above. I really really like the move back to slick tyres and the ban on refuelling. There is a crying need for more fast, flowing types of circuits, though. Think of old Zandvoort, Kyalami, Osterreichring etc with adequate runoffs…

  7. Rodrrico (@rodrrico) said on 15th June 2012, 1:46

    While the qualifying is more exciting and the steward process is more in depth I feel that having one tire, next to no in-season testing, enormously overblown points and DRS / Kers combo are not so good.

    In 2002 it was about who could make the best racing car go flat out, now it feels like who can afford to make a racing car and go only the required distance. The best thing from the good-ol-days was the spare car rule. Teams could carry an entire spare car built and ready to race. Now the drivers / teams are tremendously cautious as they cannot afford to make the slightest mistake on strategy, qualifying or in the race as the penalty’s are a too greater cost.

    If we had tires separate for qualifying then the top ten shootout should surely return to being just that – a top ten shootout, not five cars giving it a go and five parked to ‘save’ everything.

    A rant for sure, but I feel that F1 has not improved enough in the last ten years, they have a way to go.

  8. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 15th June 2012, 7:23

    Great article Keith! I was about to break and give up on F1 for good at the end of 2002, aided by the fact that I was about to be drafted into the army for a 3 year period at the end of 2002 so mostly couldn’t watch the races live and had to rely on friends to record them for me. So I said to myself that if 2003 starts the same as 2002 I won’t ask them and by the end of 2005 my F1 addiction would become a distant memory. Luckily 2003 was much better so here I am still.

    Agree with all but DRS. I think the biggest problem with it is not the concept it’s the implementation. I would prefer ground effects of course,but….

  9. kowalsky is back said on 15th June 2012, 8:57

    i have been watching f1 since 1981 and what we are watching today in some form or another has been seen before. Drivers not beeing able to push to the limit to conserve. Now it’s the tyres in 1985 was fuel.
    If this makes racing less processional i get the point, but to me it goes against the nature of the sport. The fastest man/machine convination. For tyre and fuel managment we can go to group c.
    Another thing that’s bothering me is the fact that a silly chicane was created at the last corner at barcelona to help overtaking, and now that thanks to drs and pirelli tryres drivers can easily overtake, why is the chicane still there? And please don’t even mention safety.

  10. Luca Nuvolari (@nuvolari71) said on 15th June 2012, 10:09

    What a good analysis. Well done, really a good job
    I am 41 years old, Italian, watched F1 with my dad since I was probably 5
    I think I never missed a GP… I remember Jilles Villeneuve:)
    I am a race driver myself, in minor series, with Radical SR3
    I think 2011 was a great season and now I think 2012 is even better
    I also think F1 got better, in terms of a show for everyone, even if you dont understand the technicalities behind it.
    However, even if i understand the reason why DRS is important for the show and that the new rear wing doesn’t give enough slipstream to facilitate a pass, I think it’s a bit unfair for the chased driver. I.e. Alonso could never defend himself against Hamilton, Vettel and Perez in Canada, with older tires. In a normal series, if you are below 1 sec a lap slower than the other ones, you can still defend hard and fair to keep your position. It’s a very important part of racing, when you fight hard for your position with a lesser car. Imagine Villeneuve vs Arnoux in Dijon with DRS…. Close racing in 2012 is granted by tires, similar aero developments, similar engines and leveled driving skills. I dont think DRS is necessary. Top ten qualify, as you say, in less than a second
    Last think I’d like to know is about the Montecarlo GP. If people think that it’s exciting to see 5 drivers finishing inside 3 second, without a single chance to attack each other, then I am watching the wrong sport. I understand the business side of this race but it has always been the stupidest, most boring race of the year (apart maybe from 2011) To see JB not being able to pass Kova was hurtful for the sport and honestly ridiculous. Genius dont design F1 cars to race around the block… They do it for Suzuka, Spa, Barcelona, Silverstone….. So, cancel the idiotic Monaco GP, re-instate Holland, South Africa, France, Indianapolis.

    • kowalsky is back said on 17th June 2012, 16:01

      gilles is the way to write it.
      Idiotic monaco?!!!! are you out of your mind?
      Replace it for indy, come on.
      Zandvort is a circuit we all miss, but france where, clermont ferrand i hope not magny cours. jeje
      please stick to the driving because not a chance to lead any interesting racing series. No ofense.

  11. antonyob (@antonyob) said on 15th June 2012, 11:59

    ahh drs. i knew our beloved site owner wouldbring that up! Its a shame that the good aspects of drs arent considered. for 1 you cant catch a car on drs until you are within the 1 second window and it largely, mostly, not always offsets thedirty air that brickwalls a car when it gets close. it didntwork in Canada but that doesnt mean it hasnt been useful on some tracks.

    and if we want to use canada then what about lewis undercutting vettel to takethe lead thru the pitstops?

    surely if we re going to use canada as the model forall arguments then we should stop all pitstops also?

  12. sumedh said on 15th June 2012, 12:04

    While F1 has indeed improved from the last decade, I doubt it has improved as much as the article suggest. The numbers and seasons just add up for this particular article (10 years, 10 reasons, most one-sided championship to the most open championship). This article couldn’t have been written in 2011 or 2010.

    And who is to say 2013 will be as exciting? As Helmut Marko says, the more regulations remain stable, the more cars will evolve and gaps between the teams would increase. Unless, Pirelli keep their tyres a moving target, as they have now.

  13. Tim Katz (@timkatz) said on 15th June 2012, 12:34

    Agree with most of your points Keith, but there’s a big negative (for me) that I think you have omitted. It’s the development of aerodynamics as one of the most important aspects of the car. Since the banning of all sorts of flip-flaps protruding from the cars it’s certainly got better visually, but it’s still too dominant a factor whatever form it takes (flexing wing elements, DDDs EBDs whatever).
    Just like @verstappen says above “Focus innovation on mechanical grip/engines instead of aero”.

  14. antonyob (@antonyob) said on 15th June 2012, 14:18

    spot on CLAY. people have short memories.

    I work in Corporate Pensions ( yes exciting eh !) and we have a saying that you can pick 2 dates and tell a different story with regards to fund performance. ie you think your fund is doing badly because you measured it from June 2002 to June 2012 but why those 2 dates? What about June 1999 to now??

    I liked the article and it had many good points but 2002 was a low point and we happen to be a decade on from that which magnifies the differences.

    it did make me laugh that the press (who famously in the uk anyway dont get F1) were annoyed that you couldnt tell which was the best car or driver because different ones kept winning. In football the holy grail is a league where everyone can beat each other yet in F1 iits somehow unsatisfactory. Then of course they moan when Vetterl etc keep winning!!

  15. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 15th June 2012, 23:01

    What I don’t like which weren’t discussed:
    Tarmac runoffs
    The loss of, say, Imola and we get Abu Dhabi. Come on…
    V10 down to V8 engines, rev limiters, max 8 engines, gearbox rules etc cars are slower now than 2002 i think on several tracks and not getting pushed to their peak
    Homologated parts. I know its good to cut costs but its nearly a spec series.
    No such thing as a Racing Incident. Someone is always to blame now apparantly

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