Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Jerez, 2014

Mercedes teams to oppose double points expansion

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Jerez, 2014In the round-up: Mercedes’ F1 teams are expected to oppose Bernie Ecclestone’s plan to add two more double points races.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Mercedes backed F1 teams likely to block double points move for final three races (James Allen on F1)

“The word among teams backed by Mercedes is that they will block any upgrading of the final three rounds.”

John Malone in talks with CVC over F1 stake (FT, registration required)

“However, Mr Malone has not made any formal offer and talks are at an early stage, two people cautioned. Any deal is expected to value the motorsport at more than $9bn including debt.”

John Malone set to take on Rupert Murdoch for F1 stake (The Telegraph)

“Formula One looks set to become the latest battle ground in the rivalry between media chiefs John Malone and Rupert Murdoch, after Mr Malone entered discussions to buy a major stake in the motorsport.”

Mercedes admits Brawn will be missed (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “He was an iconic leader, and we are going to notice that he is missing when it is getting stressful on race weekends. His leadership and his guidance is something that was extraordinary.”

No pressure on Daniel Ricciardo, says David Coulthard (The Age)

“There’s going to be a lot more demands on his time, especially making his season debut in Melbourne. He’s an approachable, smiley character, and if he hasn’t done so already, I think he’ll really connect with the Australian people.”

1974 Hesketh Formula One (RM Auctions)

An early ex-James Hunt Hesketh F1 car is being auctioned.

Why F1 will be worth watching this year (MotorSport)

“It?s hard to believe that a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 motors could sound better than a normally aspirated 2.4-litre V8s, but they do.”

Nico Goes “Full Attack” with 2014 Helmet Design (Mercedes via YouTube)


Comment of the day

A sharp analysis of F1’s declining viewing figures from @Coefficient:

For me, part of the problem with F1 is that people just don?t believe in it any more from a sporting perspective. Yes, there are die-hard fans who will never hear a bad word said and there are those of us who are fascinated by the technical aspects of the category. However, I feel that it is impossible for F1 to hope to maintain long-term credibility and gain respect as a sporting endeavour whilst the the results are to a certain degree fixed or pre-ordained.

I know it?s the same in football (and Bernie Ecclestone has long desired a similarly commercial product) where the Manchester Uniteds of the world thrash the pants off the poorer clubs but to all intents and purposes when the match starts it?s still two teams of guys running with the ball and the underdog still has a chance. Formula One’s wealthiest teams have massaged the sport into a situation whereby they are doomed to win and in doing so have removed the most fundamental aspect of any sporting event, i.e. the competition.

People aren?t fooled into thinking that each car/driver combination have an equal chance because the financial status of each of the teams is flaunted on the TV as presenters saunter past a Ferrari/McLaren/Red Bull hospitality unit in the paddock which is bigger than most normal people?s houses and then they stroll past the Caterham Transit van parked in the corner.

They rub our faces in it and as with most things like that it has started to wear thin, especially now that we all have to pay an enormous subscription for the privilege. They think we are lack the intelligence to be insulted by their false claims of equal competition and I think they might be heading towards a crisis on two fronts. These being, lack of fan interest/loss of viewership and collapsing infrastructure due to people being stupid with stupid amounts of money.

Don?t get me wrong, sometimes the category does offer up some stunning, edge of the seat races but they are few and far between and more by good luck than good management. This is plain to see in the post race celebrations as the racers that work in the teams are always openly more gratified and always pleasantly surprised after such events (as are the fans) compared with the majority of races where the cars come in two by two with the rich boys at the front and the less rich boys at the back.

Something else that is a concern is that if the incumbent audience start switching off, who will replace them? Of my group of friends I am the only one who has a strong interest in Formula One. There are a couple of others who have a passing interest and of the ones who aren?t interested I have tried to get them to develop an interest in it and it always comes down to one thing. ??Why can?t that guy at the back catch that guy at the front??? to which I reply ??because his car only cost one-tenth of the cost of the one in front to make so it’s not as good??.

You see, to someone who has no knowledge of the category who is considering watching, the fundamentals need to be in place to attract them in the first place and they aren’t. People want to feel like they?re going to watch 24 racers fight tooth and nail on a reasonably level playing field but F1 can?t offer that so people don?t bother. It?s different for me, I?m dyed in the wool. I?ve been watching so long that I?ve grown up with it and its as much an addictive soap opera as a fascinating technical endeavour to me and for that reason I am more able to tolerate dull racing. F1 sells itself as a racing category first and foremost so people are just confused when there is no racing and give up. Two hours is a long time to sit starting at a foregone conclusion and a maintaining season-long interest/viewers is not going to happen unless people are given what they want.

The world has changed. With the internet etc… people are able to get exactly what they want more readily rather than be told what to want by the super-rich. Customers have more power and have grown very accustomed to that and if they aren?t satisfied they will look elsewhere. This is something that F1 has failed to notice.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Tom Watson and Ian Hayward!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Hector Rebaque who is 58 today.

Rebaque was one of few Mexican drivers to compete in Formula One before Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez came long. After an unsuccessful stint with Hesketh in 1977 he entered his own car in the following two seasons, scraping a solitary point at the Osterreichring in 1978.

Halfway through 1980 he was drafted in alongside championship contender Nelson Piquet at Brabham in place of Ricardo Zunino.

He fared little better than his predecessor yet remained at the team in 1981, still very much a number two to Piquet. While his team mate took the title, Rebaque ended the year tenth, and was replaced by Riccardo Patrese.

After a brief spell in IndyCar racing, where he took a fluke win at Road America in 1982, a high-speed crash at Michigan led him to call time on his racing career.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

113 comments on “Mercedes teams to oppose double points expansion”

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  1. I am probably not going to watch F1 this year after following the sport since the mid-sixties. It has become a contrived spectacle and the double points rubbish is the last straw.

    1. @cynical, excuse me if I am cynical about your resolve, you are reading this blog because you, like many of us, are an addict. But I do sympathise, I may well give up on F1 also, but the chance to see 3-4 motor companies developing the most useable power with a fixed amount of fuel and also reduced aerodependence combined with (promised) durable tyres is to good to miss.

      1. Well said @hohum I am in the same boat. I am too intrigued with the new regs to not watch, and I admit too weak in resolve to not give it a chance, otherwise I would have packed it in in the manufactured MS/Ferrari era. In fairness to @cynical he does say ‘probably’. And perhaps, just as some speculate about Brawn being drawn back at some point in the future, so will David.

  2. While I agree with COTD’s sentiment, I do not think that those bad things are anything new as it suggests. The financial difference has always been there in motosport, starting with Auto Union before F1 even started.
    I think one of the major culprits in F1’s current problems is progress. In the glory days of the past, the constructors had only a very basic understanding of aerodynamics (compared to today) and a lot of intuition went into design. This produced some of the weirdest cars ever seen (which is one of the reasons I like F1 of the 1970’s), but also gave every team a chance to hit a jackpot.
    Today, using CFD one can reasonably reliably judge the merit of a new idea, designs can be optimized to a degree that inevitably leads teams in similar paths. Budget cup or not, convergence in form seems the rule for F1 now, witness how glad we are to see different noses this year. It also means that aero is likely to stay the king, unless regulations change in a drastic matter (my fav suggestions: the flat floor must be under the whole body of the car, including the nose, wider tires, the front wing can consist of only one rectangular board curved in only one direction, with flat endplates allowed).
    Since there is no unlearning of what we know, we cannot expect F1 to go back to what it was. Rather, it has to find ways to adjust to the new environment (different level of knowledge, boy’s interest shifting from cars to computers etc.). And there most people seem to agree that Bernie/FIA/teams are doing a very poor job.

  3. Great COTD. Would have been nice to maybe suggest a tactic the FIA could use to improve the racing/regain viewers? A mini complaint essay is fun to read, but without trying to actually help, what’s the point.

  4. Bernie is a master strategist; and he is doing what he has always done –
    Moot a bad idea. Moot an even worse idea. Wait. People then unconsciously pitch the ideas against each other. They split into camps for and against. One of the ideas – usually the first one is adopted. People think they have “won”. They are “happy”. In reality, Bernie wins. Again. Genius!

    1. I don’t think your comment is inaccurate. BE, not for the first nor last time, has created heady debate which creates attention and headlines. But I do find this scheme to reek of desperation if the overwhelming need to see the viewership remain pensive until the last race outweighs the fact that whoever wins and whoever loses the WDC will be perceived to have only had that happen due to the assistance of double points. We’ll have the excitement of a last race dash for the WDC, only for it to be empty of integrity.

  5. “The word among teams backed by Mercedes is that they will block any upgrading of the final three rounds.”

    Is that really the best idea? A single double-points race puts all the emphasis on the final Grand Prix. And if a title contender should suffer from a mechanical failure or get taken out by someone else’s mistake, they take twice the punch of losing points. If double-points were applied to the last three races, it would at least give a driver a chance to recover. I suppose Mercedes might think that this opens the door to making double-points a permanent fixture, but at least it would make the final few races a bit more balanced.

    1. I agree 3 races might be slightly better than the final 1 race, but it is like picking your poison…I’d much rather neither, and yes perhaps Mercedes is concerned about the slippery slope of this being a permanent fixture and opening the door for all kinds of goofy points arrangements meant to mask fundamental problems.

  6. In the James Allen article linked in the Round Up the most interesting item is that Bernie admits he came up with the double points to help Ferrari. As Allen says, an “astonishing claim”. Bernie also says he told LdM that he was doing this because Ferrari wasn’t performing and that LdM acknowledged despite his public claims that he is against double points. Not surprising that the Mercedes teams would be against double points and expanding them to three races just on general principal, then Bernie throws out a tidbit like that.

    1. I don’t think this is an ‘astonishing claim’ given the favouritism Ferrari gets and has been getting since the push for MS/Ferrari to end their WDC drought. What is astonishing is that BE would expect new teams to be interested in joining Ferrari1, or existing ones to stay. What is astonishing is that BE would think this points debacle couldn’t just as easily see RBR snatch a 5th in a row for no other reason than he offered them up a chance at a lottery win in the end.

    2. He mentioned Ferrari for the glitter. What Bernie said was aimed at every other team that are unable to stop dominance of a certain team.

  7. Keith (or anyone) – if after the last race points are equal and the championship comes down to most wins, and the number of wins is equal – will the last race count as a double win?

    1. That’s a good question mate.

  8. I would like to cancel double points for the last race as well.

  9. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming season – where reliability may be a big factor. A chance for the occasional underdog victory?

  10. @coefficient you are not alone in this buddy. I guess we (hard core F1 fans) are the extinguished breed this days. Imagine what would all those who watched last year’s season, and at the same time are not technical freaks, think about totally changed situation in 2014 (that is if the results of Jerez testing are taken in to account). Imagine Force India beating Red Bull and Lotus, and Massa racing wheel to wheel against Alonso, and Magnuseen takes F1 rookie title against Rosberg in the last 50 point’s Abu Dhabi race?!? This kind of scenario can only be appreciated by the die hard fans only :).

    1. I meant extinct breed :). Sorry for my bad English everyone.

  11. @Coefficient Superb observations. Kudos.

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