August deadline for threatened Nurburgring

F1 Fanatic round-up

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2011In the round-up: The Nurburgring faces a “high probability of insolvency” at the end of July.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Future of Nurburgring in doubt as Formula One venue faces insolvency (The Guardian)

“Despite applying to the European Union’s Executive Commission for an emergency loan of ??10m to cover interest repayments, that is not expected to be granted. That has forced the state to act, with [Rhineland-Palatinate state governor Kurt] Beck remarking there was now a ‘high probability of insolvency at the end of the month due to a lack of liquidity’.”

Whitmarsh Q&A: Significant McLaren upgrades for Germany (F1)

“The sidepods from the front to the rear are quite different so you?ll notice those and there are other bits and pieces that the sharper-eyed will see. And clearly there are some parts which are hidden to the naked eye. So they are the main area of modifications and they will be reasonably noticeable.”

Massa: “A long season is fine for me” (Ferrari)

Felipe Massa: “The only thing that is important for me is that I keep performing in the same way I did in Silverstone. In the two Grands Prix prior to that, in Montreal and Valencia, I should have been entirely capable of finishing in the top five or on the podium, but for various reasons ?ǣ a spin in Montreal and a problem with the floor of the car in Valencia – that did not happen. Without that, since Monaco, I would have been fighting for the top five at every race.”

McLaren confident Hamilton will stay (The Independent)

Martin Whitmarsh: “I’m expecting that we will. I think there has been more speculation in this situation within the media than perhaps within the team and Lewis’s minds.”

Stewart offers help to Grosjean (Autosport)

“I just said to Romain Grosjean the other day, it would be a good idea if you came up home one day for lunch so we could have a bit of chat. It is ridiculous that in Formula 1 we don’t have coaches.”

Olympic Park no place for F1 race, says Porritt (Reuters)

“‘F1 racing is a celebration of crazy, unsustainable use of cars in many ways and I would much rather that we would see more use of the park for cycling and all of those kind of things,’ added the environmental activist and former director of the Friends of the Earth campaigning group.”

Jean-Eric Vergne F1 blog: Making progress (Toro Rosso)

“It?s always hard to measure when the car isn?t quite there, but if anyone is looking for evidence, it?s there in how hard we race each other every grand prix weekend. Daniel [Ricciardo] is a really good driver and the competition between us is intense. If he pushes hard I?ll push back harder and that?s a good way to move the team forward.”

Red Bull and Ferrari adapting best to tricky tyres (BBC)

Jaime Alguersuari: “Red Bull’s progress in recent races has not come from the tyres; it has come from aerodynamic developments. Their cars look amazing at the moment, especially on traction, braking and in slow corners.”

Hockenheim: Mixed memories (ESPN)

“It’s funny how perceptions change along with so-called progress and revised values. The advent of FIA-standard Tilke tracks in the past two decades gradually began to make Hockenheim seem special. Certainly, different.”

Formula One Betting: German Grand Prix Preview (Unibet)

My latest article for Unibet.

Comment of the day

An unusual prognostication from Hallard:

It?s interesting to note that this year, Jenson Button won Mark Webber’s home race, and then Webber returned the favor by winning Button’s home race; just as it happened in 2010. Also, Hamilton won in Canada and Webber won in Monaco; just like 2010.

On that (rather flimsy) basis, and given the current performance of the F2012 that Alonso is driving, I am predicting another win for Fernando this weekend. I?d like to be proven wrong though!
Hallard

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cube, Phil G and Tom Haxley!

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On this day in F1

Alberto Ascari won the 1952 British Grand Prix by a lap from Ferrari team mate Piero Taruffi.

Mike Hawthorn, driving a Cooper, finished on the podium for the first time.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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77 comments on August deadline for threatened Nurburgring

  1. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 19th July 2012, 1:24

    There’s absolutely no way we can lose the Nurburgring! If I had a spare few hundred million I would quite happily step in… Only issue is, I haven’t got that kind of money… It’s about as prestigious to Formula One as what Monaco, Spa, Monza or Silverstone is.

    • Jono (@me262) said on 19th July 2012, 2:11

      I wouldnt think the Nurburgring posesses anywhere near its charm, reputation and prestige it once had, maybe losing the name ‘Nurburgring’ of the calendar….but we already lost it to the Hockenheim when Lauda had his accident(?) the new F1 circuit is a dreary affair compared to the Nordschleife. IMO not that big of a deal

      • James Hosford (@hosford90) said on 19th July 2012, 6:13

        In general terms I agree, however the sad fact that is that in this Tilke-dominated age, the new Nurburgring, as one of the ‘modern at the time’ tracks that came along at the start of the age of circuit safety in the 80s and 90s and were so disliked at the time (Hungaroring also applies), is actually in the top half a dozen tracks we have.

        It’s removal wouldn’t actually mean a new track, just that Hockenheim would become permanent.

        I’m sure most people would agree with me that current new Nurburgring (from 1984, pre Tilke) is a lot better than Hermann’s current new Hockenheim…

        • Estesark (@estesark) said on 19th July 2012, 6:46

          I really like the Nurburgring. It only suffers in comparison to the old Nordschleife circuit; compared to the other tracks on the F1 Calendar, it’s among the best. The wide turn one allows multiple lines to be taken, and that leads to lots of overtaking, as we saw last year. It’s also great fun when it rains there, as I’m sure Markus Winkelhock would attest.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th July 2012, 6:54

          But as Hockenheim clearly can’t afford to have a race each year, will we see the idea of the French and German GP’s alternating? Or heaven forbib, see Hockenheim alternating with Spa?

        • davidnotcoulthard said on 19th July 2012, 7:40

          The current Spa is also a pre-Tilke track, and maybe Silverstone or Interlagos, too.

      • Kanil (@kanil) said on 19th July 2012, 6:29

        I have to disagree. If the track were to be built today, in a different country, designed by someone other than Tilke, I think most of us would consider it a welcome addition to the schedule and a decent/good track.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th July 2012, 7:49

        ich liebe Nordschleife

      • Mads (@mads) said on 19th July 2012, 9:23

        @me262
        No its nothing compared to the old Nordschleife (probably spelled wrong..), but compare it to any other race track on the current calender and its easily within the top half. Yes there are better, historic circuits, but compared to the modern circuits I think its one of the best. Good overtaking opportunities, interesting corners, and tricky weather has lead to some very good races there in the past. It would be a shame to see it go.
        Actually, it would be great to bring the European grand prix back there again.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th July 2012, 2:52

      Don’t worry Bernie will replace it with a new track in Dictatorstan, Tilke will design it and Bernie/FOM will get a nice little “finders fee”. So we should all be happy, right?
      No doubt it is all down to poor management and nothing to do with the huge fees demanded by FOM or the fact that they only get to keep the money from ticket sales to pay for the fees and upkeep and management of the track.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th July 2012, 3:15

        For once, you’re spot on. The Nurburgring’s situation won’t be fixed by Bernie giving them a race for free.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th July 2012, 0:41

          @prisoner-monkeys, I thought I would save you the trouble of springing to FOMs defence, with, of course, my tongue firmly in cheek. Surely with your experience teaching business you must be able to see that if the track paid a little less or received a portion of the TV and advertising income from hosting a GP they may be able to repay the loan they took out to update the circuit to FOMs standard.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 20th July 2012, 8:25

            @hohum – And you’re assuming that the race sanctioning fee is their first,last and only expense. It is not. For example, the owners decided to build a roller-coaster adjacent to the circuit … and it was a very expensive white elephant. That was the episode that triggered the circuit’s budgetary woes in the first place.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th July 2012, 8:53

            @prisoner-monkeys, you know full well I don’t believe the FOM fees are their only expense, I have been arguing for over a year that building and operating a racing circuit was an expensive undertaking.
            It’s true that as part of an upgrade and as an attempt to find a source of income not controlled by FIA they built additional faciluities that haven’t provided the return they hoped, not least because they now only have 1 race every 2 years.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th July 2012, 8:30

        @hohum Iranian GP to replace Germany… oh Bernie, will you ever retire?

        [Maybe we're being harsh on old Bernie, he can't be to blame for every wrongs of motorsports, maybe...]

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th July 2012, 1:25

          @jcost, True Bernie “Goldfinger” Ecclestone is not responsible for all F1s problems, only those caused by lack of funds. I’ll explain, quite a few years ago the contract (concorde) between the teams & Bernie was coming to a end, originally F1s total income was modest and BE was able to negotiate a 50% share of income to provide him with an income in keeping with CEO salaries of the time, not long thereafter communication satellites were launched making it possible to broadcast races live on TVs all over the world bringing in income from all over the world rather than just the host country for each race, Bernie still kept 50% of this many times larger income. It looked like the teams were getting together to demand a much bigger share of this massive windfall in profits but Bernie got in first by selling his rights to CVC for several billion GBpounds, CVC had to raise capital to purchase these rights based on the income stream, now it was impossible for the teams to demand a bigger share or the promoters to pay less as this would cause the collapse and bankruptcy of the F1 business and probably the bankruptcy of the independent teams.

          @prisoner-monkeys, I would value your factual critique of the above, not as the debate team leader proposing “F1 owes everything to Bernie” but to provide a basis of fact for us to understand how the business of F1 works.

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 19th July 2012, 3:03

      @craig-o you know who does have a spare few hundred million!?

    • Calum (@calum) said on 19th July 2012, 3:16

      Even though the current shorter F1 layouts of both German GP locations are shadows of what they once were, it would still be very sad if there was no German GP on the calender.

      Imagine the old Hockenheim with DRS!!!

      • Mike (@mike) said on 19th July 2012, 5:11

        Imagine the old Hockenheim with DRS!!!

        Cars would pass to easy like in Turkey and people would complain. -.-

        • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th July 2012, 6:07

          With the increased manufacturer testing that has occurred at the Nurburgring in the past decade it disappoints me that the track is in such financial straits.

          Surely Porsche, Ferrari, Bugatti, Chevy, Dodge, Lexus and others don’t want to loose the bragging rights of having the fastest car around the ‘ring.

          No track, no track record.
          The auto industry is still having a rough time of it, still in the midst of massive changes, but they can surely pony up some funds to help keep such an important, storied and popular piece of their history open for business.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th July 2012, 6:56

            They poored endless amounts of money in building a theme park that never came off the ground, but did give them the financial burden.

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 19th July 2012, 19:30

      It may be an old track, overtaking isnt easy but its a classic one and the layout is in my opinion is more interesting than the Hockeinhem layout, I can see F1 missing Nurburgring for a while but i hope not Forever, what next? No SPA, We cant bear the thought, but also they know that we will keep watching.

  2. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 19th July 2012, 1:25

    I should have been entirely capable of finishing in the top five or on the podium, but for various reasons – a spin in Montreal and a problem with the floor of the car in Valencia – that did not happen. Without that, since Monaco, I would have been fighting for the top five at every race.

    Felipe, I agree and please keep this up! But yes, ‘a spin in Montreal’. That means you span.

  3. Kind of a bummer to see a driver who almost won the championship not that long ago hoping “to fight to get back into the top six or top five,” especially when his teammate is currently leading the championship. Just shows how quickly things can change in F1, I guess.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th July 2012, 3:00

      @aka_robyn, yes and he only lost it because of pit-stop fiascos, ironically it was McLaren who benefited, a lesson forgotten ?

      • Captain Sorbet (@captain-sorbet) said on 19th July 2012, 7:11

        Every driver has unlucky moments – like last year,Vettel in Abu Dhabi and Brazil, but he still walked the championship.

        You go and re-watch Malaysia,Monaco and Silverstone from 2008 and tell me if Massa really deserved to win.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th July 2012, 9:17

        yes and he only lost it because of pit-stop fiascos, ironically it was McLaren who benefited, a lesson forgotten ?

        @hohum doesn’t it make @aka_robyn‘s case even more solid? Massa would’ve be WDC by now and he’s set top five finishes with a car capable of winning races as his target.

        One should argue that Lewis late pit in China back in 2007 costed him WDC, or Schumacher’s mechanical problem in Malaysia (I guess) costed him WDC#8…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th July 2012, 7:03

      the worst part of that sentence is what follows, I would say @aka_robyn

      … , but you always need to set yourself a hard challenge

      The fact that is a challenge to achieve is pretty sad.

    • marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 19th July 2012, 7:55

      I know you’re talking about Massa, but your post could easily apply to Button, which is almost more depressing at the moment. Hasn’t been in the top six since china, and has looked pretty out of it.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 19th July 2012, 9:25

        I think people got carried away because Jenson finished ahead of Lewis last year. People couldn’t even realize that the basis of their assessment noted that Jenson beat Lewis in a bad year fot the latter. Nevertheless, gap between the two was narrow. Then came Australia 2012 and the hype was renewed only to fade away three GPs later…

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th July 2012, 9:32

          I agee with @marcusbreese that Button is not doing that much better than Massa currently, although he did win convincingly in Australia and was fast at the second race as well, and his team mate Hamilton is doing a lot better this year, but did not win 2 races and is leading the championship right now @jcost

          What I find astonishing, is the need to tell the world how its only by freak accident that Button beat Hamilton last year. Isn’t it just possible that sporters have varying form dependant on the car package and things like the tyres and a bit of luck and that last year Button just did a great job, while Hamilton cocked up far to often. And now Hamilton showed in the first 5 races that he has learnt and improved his game, while Button is struggling to match the form of last year (compare Webber last year).

          Why talk about hype?

      • @marcusbreese For me, the big difference with Button is that I don’t think you would ever hear him saying he hopes to fight for fifth or sixth place. In spite of the problems he’s been having this season, I bet he would say that at this point his goal is still to iron out his issues and win the championship. And considering the way this season has been going, I’m not sure anything can be ruled out.

        Meanwhile, Massa is talking publicly about aspiring to make it into only the top five or six, in a car that is capable of being at the top? That was what really struck me. For the sake of his career, I think he needs to at least aim a bit higher than that!

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 20th July 2012, 6:52

          exactly, that is a very important difference, Button still says the Championship is the goal, although it will take a bit of work, its not impossible, while Massa is quoted to say it will be hard to get into the top 5

  4. Calum (@calum) said on 19th July 2012, 3:04

    Massa for the win in Germany? It’s not too crazy a prediction is it?

    The car is quick now; at Silverstone he scored his best result in over a season; the last place he scored a podium was Hockenheim; he was on for the win before his team intervened last time out at Hockenheim.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th July 2012, 4:01

      Have you forgotten that Fernando will be quicker. Mind you if somebody takes Fernando out on the first corner you could be in with a chance.

      • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th July 2012, 6:09

        It would be sweet justice for the win taken away in Germany two years ago.

        Unlikely to happen, but if the season turns into a RedBull V. Ferrari showdown, a Massa win is possible. I for one would love to see it, and would be a source of pride and vindication for the sport’s most beleaguered driver.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 19th July 2012, 7:01

      The car is quick now.

      Sure, but Massa isn’t. He’s not quick enough. I’d say that podium is within his reach… maybe… if one of the front runners is unlucky and suffers from a collision, a technical issue or a mistake.

    • marcusbreese (@marcusbreese) said on 19th July 2012, 7:58

      Last podium was Korea actually.
      If he can be in first and NOT have Alonso in second then he might be allowed to keep it. Otherwise, it’s tough to imagine Ferrari allowing him to stay in the lead. Maybe if it happened again though, he’d defy it. Better to suffer another win-less year and maybe be awarded a contract extension, or be a winner once more and bow out at the end of this year?

      • davidnotcoulthard said on 19th July 2012, 8:16

        Bow out and replace Bruno Senna, the Williams car is pretty good this year so that probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 19th July 2012, 8:27

      If the two Ferraris out in front, and have a big lead, I would love to hear Andrea Stella saying: Felipe is faster than you. Ferrari ows Massa that mutch. I dont care if Alonso is their no.1. that move in 2010 was just awful, Massa deserved that win, Alonso just could not overtake him , so this should be his turn, evein if it is just for a podium finish. I know that it wont happen, but I would be very happy if Massa won the race in front of Button and Perez. Just to spice up the WDC a little.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th July 2012, 3:12

    I find Porritt’s comments to be hilarious. If he knew anything about Formula 1, he’d be welcoming the sport. Because it is a competitive environment where every tenth of a second counts, green technologies like KERS are developed faster than they would be if car manufacturers were left to their own devices.

    • vjanik said on 19th July 2012, 10:00

      ..and the cars are built in state of the art factories that are among the most efficient in the world in terms of emissions and waste. i dont know why F1 is still perceived as unsustainable.

      the V8s are way more fuel efficient than most road car engines, and the sport is going one step further in 2014. what more do these people want?

      If you took the fuel used to fly all the athletes to the Olympics and used it to run F1 cars you could probably get 10 seasons worth of racing. I once read that a single 747 flying from NY to London burns more fuel than is needed for an entire F1 season. And given the thousands of flights that happen every day globally, even the freight that f1 teams send around is only a drop in the pond.

      I think ecomentalists should change their priorities and focus on something where they actually can make a difference. Leave F1 alone please.

      • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 19th July 2012, 11:29

        F1 cars make an almost insignificant impact to the worlds pollution anyway, and they aren’t unsustainable anyway; there are some people in Texas who have invented a device that makes petrol from CO2 and water using concentrated solar energy.
        Furthermore, f1 has had a profound effect on road cars; aerodynamic effeciency can be learned from them, and also, KERS-Hybrid systems and other fuel-saving devices have been gleamed from F1.

  6. davidnotcoulthard said on 19th July 2012, 3:42

    The problem with F1 in London is not sustainability-the logistics pollute a lot more than F1 cars racing at 60% of it’s capability for 2 hours. That said, considering how Bernie denied having a GP in Rome, the idea of a World Championship round in London is about as good an idea as forcing all teams to use Slackware (but not Ubuntu or Debian) GNU/Linux or FreeBSD or BeOS or Haiku or FreeDOS.

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th July 2012, 3:51

    So this weekend we will have the slowest tyre as the Prime, in previous races the soft has been the faster of the medium/soft combination but at Silverstone the Hard Prime not only lasted longer but was faster than the Soft Option, very confusing, so the choice this weekend will be between a slow tyre with limited life and a slightly faster tyre with hardly any life at all. Glad I don’t have to work out the tactics for this race but I expect a lot of teams in the top 5 will just plan for soft/medium/soft and cross their fingers.

  8. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 19th July 2012, 5:39

    With regard to the unibet column, and the possibility of Felipe having to move over for Fernando again, Peter Windsor said on The Flying Lap last night that he didn’t think Ferrari would ask Felipe to move over again, unless was Fernando was being caught again like he was in 2010 (though in my opinion he wasn’t really under threat from Vettel yet, who wasn’t catching the Ferraris that quickly, although this season with DRS the situation is different, of course). As for McLaren asking Button to move over, that’s not going to happen, I think. Last race at Silverstone, for instance, they didn’t ask Jenson to move over for Lewis when Jenson was a pit stop behind.

    Btw, the link to the Alguersuari article points to the Gary Anderson article from a week ago.

    • Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th July 2012, 6:12

      I’ll have to agree with Peter on that. It would be a poor PR move for Ferrari to emulate a previous controversy like that. Plus they need Felipe taking as many points away from Mark, Seb and Lewis as possible. A Ferrari victory by either driver would massively boost the team, especially Felipe and be a positive sign that the team is truly on the up and up.

      After such doom and gloom about the prancing horse at the season’s beginning, they will welcome any win or podium.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 19th July 2012, 8:05

      As for McLaren asking Button to move over, that’s not going to happen, I think. Last race at Silverstone, for instance, they didn’t ask Jenson to move over for Lewis when Jenson was a pit stop behind.

      I think that will be Mclaren’s downfall. Jenson isn’t capable of winning another championship, and he definitely doesn’t stand a chance in hell of winning it this year. Yet, Mclaren will not maximise the opportunity of the driver who is capable of winning them championships.

      As a team, Mclaren need to be more pragmatic in their campaign for a WDC

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 19th July 2012, 8:36

      @adrianmorse

      Last race at Silverstone, for instance, they didn’t ask Jenson to move over for Lewis when Jenson was a pit stop behind.

      Just because the director did not cut in the radio message, it does not mean they did not tell him. Actually you could have seen at the online mclaren pitwall, that Button got a message: ‘Dont worry about Lewis he, is on new tyres’. Adn I dont think they meant “he is going to be slow behind you so you dont have to defend”, but “it would be nice if you let your teamate through, not ruining both of your races”. And so he did, but that was a really bad move, as Grosjean could slip trough too.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th July 2012, 9:03

      Personally, I don’t see any reason why Ferrari would act differently now, other than that they can refrain from trying to hide it. After all the championship is as close as it was in 2010, so why suddenly let Felipe take points from Fernando?
      I do agree that we are unlikely to see it, as Massa might be closer to Alonso now that the car is better, but never did he look to be as fast and able to beat his teammate. I am happy to be surprised by both Massa and Ferrari though, bring it on!

    • vjanik said on 19th July 2012, 10:07

      I dont see Massa leading Alonso at any point in this race.

  9. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 19th July 2012, 6:33

    I think Jonathan Porrit is missing a real opportunity so casually dismissing F1. His green credentials are fantastic, but he puts up an argument I have seen far too many times.

    I love Formula One, I love cars, I love racing, but I care deeply about the environment. I’m in the Sierra club, worked for recycling programs, renovated my home to be greener, modified my car for better fuel mileage, and pick up litter everywhere I go. Every friend I have knows that my two greatest passions in life are cars and the environment, but I have run into so many ignorant individuals belting out the same simplistic arguments as Mr. Porrit.

    Do they not realize the incredible automotive advancements the world has inherited from Motorsport, from Formula One? The lightweight composites, advanced aerodynamics, and intricate new engine management systems that make today’s cars safer, faster, and greener than ever before were all born out of racing.

    It is our responsibility as fans, as part of the motorsport community to raise awareness and inform the multitudes. Racing is still a relevant, vital and visible arm of the auto industry, one that can help transform the world for the better, whether Mr. Porrit and any like minded individuals realize it or not.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 19th July 2012, 7:22

      Very, very well said.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th July 2012, 7:27

      I think its only natural for him to dismiss the F1 thing, given that he later dismisses the fact that people will be shipped around in BMW’s (those are the electric/hybrid ones BMW tauted right?) and car use in general.
      I do mind that the article says that

      The gas-guzzling sport of Formula One is trying to burnish its green credentials, with teams and factories offsetting their carbon footprint and the sport declaring itself carbon neutral.

      when its a pretty solid job done by many of the teams to really make an effort (remember Lotus and their Solar panels partner, or McLaren and Williams getting certified carbon neutral already).
      And I am pretty sure it would not be a problem, and indeed fit many teams well, to agree with the teams that they would highlight their credentials for this race (Infinity/Renault/Nissan, Mercedes and FIAT all have enough hybrid and electrical developments to want to showcase them)
      Instead of highlighting how these teams make a good effort to do their part its just basing the whole thing out of habit. When the biggest part of pollution caused by F1 comes from the worldwide travel and visitors traveling, isn’t staying in the UK, and having most of the fans coming by public transport as environmentally friendly, or rather more, than the Games (with by definition everyone coming from all over the world, hauling equipment and support crews in by plane)?

    • Drop Valencia! said on 19th July 2012, 7:51

      it’s easy to attack F1, but almost all of the great technologcal environmental strides that have been made in the last 20 years were pioneered in F1. You can call F1 cars gas guzzlers, that is true, but you could also call them the most refined devices in existence, all refined ultimately for efficiency, and efficiency is at the heart of practical environmentalism surely.
      Poritt will emit more greenhouse gases in his lifetime than any one F1 car will, and I don’t see him ever inventing the next “quassip-super-conductor-blabbery-battery” that will be probably be powering 100,000,000 emission free cars on earth in 20 years time, but it will be guys like Poritt claiming the credit for saving the polar bears….

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 19th July 2012, 8:12

      That’s why I think people who manage Formula 1 should completely rethink the development of the cars.

      First of all, lock the development in unnecessary areas, to free up the assets. Right now it’s all about aerodynamic development, which has no relevance to road cars and to be honest is not that interesting for most fans. Sure, I read everything I find about aero development, but that’s because there’s nothing else happening on the technical side of the sport.

      So I think we should have very rigid aero specification. I would have nothing against the same wings being used by all teams, or the same floor. I would be fine with one and only correct way for the exhaust gases to exit the car. Development in these areas is irrelevant to the road cars, is not very interesting and it’s a huge waste of money. And I know the counter-argument: we would lose the last bits of visual variety. But let’s be honest, the cars look almost the same anyway. And they’re quite ugly.

      Alright, what then? The teams should have something to spend their money on, so we should ask ourselves what do we want to see developed in the next decade or two. For me the first thing that comes to mind is fuel economy and alternative ways to power the cars. In my opinion the best way to achieve that would be unlocking engine development and allowing the teams to use only a certain amount of fuel (or electrical energy) per race. The cars would become faster and greener in no time.

      • Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 19th July 2012, 11:18

        I like this a lot.

        I remember hearing somewhere that a current F1 engine on a testbed is more fuel efficient than a Prius, but its the aerodynamic drag that causes all the hard work. Its the same reason F1 cars are slower on the straights than a MotoGP bike.

        Aerodynamics are amazing, but downforce is the bane of good racing, engine efficiency and of no use to road cars.

      • Gillis` said on 19th July 2012, 19:51

        What you’re asking for basically is a spec series, and there are plenty of those around.
        F1 isn’t about development for road cars, it never has been. That aspect has always been secondary. F1 is about making the fastest possible 4 wheeled vehicles (that turn left AND right). Only outside pressures have made teams bend it to make it relevant. It’s akin to top-fuel drag cars (or any drag racing car) – which have absolutely nothing to do with modern road cars – its about only about racing.

        “Sure, I read everything I find about aero development, but that’s because there’s nothing else happening on the technical side of the sport.”
        That IS the technical side of the sport. The whole sport is very technical. The development in aero is due to the fact that many teams get their engines from someone else. So they spend their money where they can make the most influence.
        The technical side isn’t for everyone, but it definitely makes F1 unique over most motorsports. In what other industry are engineers superstars that make millions? In what other industry do engineers directly compete with each other?
        To me that’s not boring.

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 20th July 2012, 8:37

          Did you read anything past my first paragraph? It doesn’t sound like you did. I advocate MORE technological freedom, more opportunities to develop solution that are actually groundbreaking, more variety in engines, brakes, gearboxes, etc. Engineers would still compete with each other, but in much more relevant fields. Spec series? That’s crazy talk.

          Visual aspect is becoming the least interesting to me. F1 aero-development is completely irrelevant to anything outside of F1. It’s expensive, most teams devise very similar solutions and in the end they copy each other, because most of it is in plain view. It’s a huge waste of resources which could be directed elsewhere with greater benefits.

    • nivek252 (@nivek252) said on 19th July 2012, 8:13

      This Mr Porrit sounds like a barrell of laughs ;-)

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 19th July 2012, 8:07

    This thing with the Nurburgring has been rolling on a while unfortunately :( Have they seen a dramatic decrease in visitor numbers? Surely they would only make modifications that they could pay for in the future?

    What Gary Anderson is saying about McLaren sounds spot on to me. They seem lost with it all and appear to be making no progress. However, this raft of updates should be very telling. If they can’t bag some serious points and do it convincingly I struggle to see how they could remain in the championship competition.

  11. scribbler (@scribbler) said on 19th July 2012, 8:33

    Domestic demand for the Nurburgring is very low. Every time i have been to the nordscliffe track and gone round. Most of cars and people there have been from the UK its almost a mecca for the English car / bike enthusiast It will be a sad loss. However i think a wealthy English car enthusiast or saudi group could easily buy this and turn a profit although i fear the new ticket price for the nordscliffe may be out of my reach by then.

  12. scribbler (@scribbler) said on 19th July 2012, 8:38

    In Fact Richard Brandson must have a few bob at the minute, he’s considering buying back Virgin Records. Surely this would be a better buy and he could call it ‘ The Virgin Ring ‘ Cmon COTD surely?

  13. Kazuki (@formula-1) said on 19th July 2012, 9:00

    I’m not available to attend the 24hr Britcar, even though I would like to, however I am attending the 6 hours of Silverstone.

  14. John H (@john-h) said on 19th July 2012, 10:57

    I actually agree with Porritt, the Olympic park is no place for an F1 race. The track looks awful anyway in my opinion.

    As for Nurburgring, it’s real shame because the track has created some great races – unlike the new Hockenheim which is awful. It’s sad that these tracks are being left behind in favour of desert races but what can we do about it, nothing really – money rules everything, that’s capitalism, that’s just the way things work.

  15. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 19th July 2012, 12:31

    The amount of fuss that Whitmarsh has been making about these new bloody sidepods, I’m going to be really disappointed if they don’t roll out the car with a pair of Spitfire wings bolted to the sides, complete with machine guns.

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