FOTA at risk of collapse before start of season

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Start, Yas Marina, 2013In the round-up: The Formula One Teams’ Association is at risk of collapsing.

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

Teams’ association on the brink (The Telegraph)

“Sources at FOTA, which was originally set up in 2008 as a means for collective bargaining for the teams, but now only counts seven out of 11 teams among its members, said it is suffering ‘substantial’ financial problems, and had until the end of the month to determine whether the body has a future.”

Rush stunt double killed in accident (ESPN)

“The man who was Daniel Bruhl’s stunt double in the film Rush has been killed in a car accident in Italy.”

F1 will not be much fun in 2014, says Jacques Villeneuve (The Guardian)

“I think it was wrong to take the decision to slow F1 down. It was much better in my day, when it was already a lot safer than it had been in the 70s and 80s but you could still drive crazy fast.”

Jacques Villeneuve Q&A (Crash)

There were turbo days with over 1000 horsepower and now we’re down to ridiculously low horsepower. I don’t know, I really don’t get it. They’re barely faster than GP2 and they have a hard time beating our lap times from 1997 so something is wrong.

Skill not diminished in 2014 – drivers (Autosport)

“As a driver there is more to learn and a lot of stuff to do. The workload on the steering wheel will be more.”

Bahrain policeman dies after bombing (BBC)

“A policeman in Bahrain has died of wounds from a bomb blast during protests marking Friday’s third anniversary of the country’s uprising.”

Comment of the day

One of the sillier Caption Competitions we’ve had yielded some excellent suggestions from Robbie, Neil, RFB, Ninjenius, John Sertori and Alex Brown.

However I picked this from Daniel Thomas (@IAmDanThomas) as the winner:

Jacques Villeneuve, Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber, 2006

“Hey Nick, we need some kind of drag reduction system here.”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Plutoniumhunter!

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

Jean Behra was born on this day in 1921. The French driver was faithful to his compatriots at Gordini for several years before moving to Maserati’s works team in 1955. The following year he was a regular podium visitor but victory in a world championship race persistently eluded him.

That was his best-ever season, yielding fourth in the world championship. He slipped to seventh the following year, then moved on to BRM. He was called up by Ferrari in 1959, the Scuderia finding itself seriously short of drivers, but after just three races he had fallen out with team manager Romolo Tavoni and was fired.

Undeterred he showed up at the German Grand Prix with a self-entered Porsche for the grand prix. He also entered the support race at the daunting, high-banked AVUS track and it was there disaster struck. He lost adhesion on the banking in the wet race, struck a flagpole and sustained fatal injuries.

Image © Force India

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102 comments on FOTA at risk of collapse before start of season

  1. Dizzy said on 16th February 2014, 0:56

    Martin Brundle tweeted about Villeneuve’s comments today-
    https://twitter.com/MBrundleF1/status/434735805010296832

    “Angers me when former F1 drivers stick a boot into F1 for publicity. They had privileged chances, success,cash. Give something positive back”

    He then got a ton of backlash as it turns out most fans seem to agree with Villeneuve-
    https://twitter.com/search?q=%40MBrundleF1&src=typd&f=realtime

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th February 2014, 1:44

      I have to say that Villeneuve seems to be over-doing it a bit. I’d rather he focused on DRS and the super-duper-mega-bonus-points-finale-extravaganza with more detail and reasoning than keep coming back to take repeated jabs at the sport which I reckon he is still a bit sore to have been excluded from.

      There were turbo days with over 1000 horsepower and now we’re down to ridiculously low horsepower.

      Is that not a poor simplification? Does that make 1988 and following seasons much worse than those preceding them? With ERS this year’s engines aren’t going to be much less powerful than last year, but they’ll have far more torque anyway. Significantly, combined power should be the same or greater than Villeneuve’s championship Williams…

      There were turbo days with over 1000 horsepower and now we’re down to ridiculously low horsepower. I don’t know, I really don’t get it. They’re barely faster than GP2 and they have a hard time beating our lap times from 1997 so something is wrong.

      First off, on the few tracks which are near enough unchanged, 2013 F1 cars were 2-5 seconds quicker in terms of pole (and often fastest lap as well) when compared to 1997. That doesn’t sound like a ‘hard time beating’ them. I could perhaps forgive this comment from Villeneuve if he was talking about average race pace due to nursing tyres. But he explicitly links it to modern engine power, which suggests that he is indeed talking about outright lap time. If he’s talking about 2014 cars in general (which it doesn’t sound like anyway, as he isn’t using the future tense to indicate teams will struggle this year only), then he needs to realise that a substantial Aero and engine change is obviously going to slow the cars down to begin with, as similar changes often have in F1.

      • Robbie said on 16th February 2014, 12:41

        I highly doubt JV is “still a bit sore”. I highly doubt he ever was. He’s a big boy and he did everything with eyes wide open. Not to mention that this type of individual is trained not to get too high on the highs nor too low on the lows.

        I’m sure JV is well aware what the changes to the cars are, since he will be a F1 commentator this year, and is well aware how the cars will have been slowed this year. He’s not talking about 2013…that’s now from a previous chapter.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 16th February 2014, 13:30

        JV is right when he says:

        The driver, slowly but surely, is becoming a passenger in the car, which is what was wanted a while ago.

      • You are certainly right that the 2013 spec cars were substantially faster than the 1997 cars that Jacques drove – half the grid set faster lap times than the fastest driver in the 1997 Australian GP (one of the few circuits that is similar to 1997), after all.

        It is also true that his comment about the power output of the turbo cars is extremely misleading – yes, the power output of some of the turbocharged cars did briefly spike over the 1000bhp mark in qualifying trim for a couple of years (1986-87), but no team could run at anything like that sort of power output in race trim for the sake of reliability and fuel consumption.
        If you look at the turbo era as a whole, most of the time the cars were capped at, at best, about 600-700bhp in terms of power output for race trim – it is worth noting that the new generation of turbo engines are thought to be generating about the same amount of power for only two thirds of the fuel consumption, and substantially more than that when running in combined power mode with the electrical systems. The 2014 spec cars may be heavier and slightly reduced in aero, but whilst there have been all sorts of melodramatic claims about how slow the cars will be, there are a number of engineers who believe that the cars will probably be faster than the outgoing 2013 spec cars.

        The way that Jacques goes on about the power seems to be his way of implying his machismo – his way of telling everybody “I conquered these impossibly powerful cars”, even though he had the benefit of driving in an era when driver aids such as traction control and launch control were legal and in widespread use.
        It’s also rather rich for him to complain about the drivers doing relatively little in the car when he drove in an era when two way telemetry – which has since been banned – was legal. Part of the advantage that big teams, such as Williams, had at the time was the fact that they could remotely change parameters, such as engine maps, from the pit lane on the fly – it is the fact that the drivers now have to make those changes from within the cockpit that have lead to the increased volume of radio traffic to and from the pits.

        Robbie, I would suggest that there is a strong personal reason for Jacques’s comments – don’t forget that, back in 2011, Jacques tried to buy his way back into the sport by founding a new team, centred entirely around himself and which he would be lead driver for, only for the FIA to reject it as completely unrealistic. Jacques does have a history of making cheap shots at other figures and acting rather rashly – let’s not forget, this is a driver who once tried to start a fight in a drivers briefing – and this comes across as more of the same.

        • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 16th February 2014, 23:57

          anon – Good common sense comments here. There are other former F1 drivers who speak their minds in a much less self serving manner.

        • Robbie said on 17th February 2014, 1:45

          JV is speaking of the direction F1 has taken starting now. He is speaking of turbos, so bringing up 2013 times is useless. He is speaking of fuel conservation that is no longer in the drivers’ control, DRS passing, prevalent pay drivers. He likely wouldn’t deny some of the things he had in his time, but this is about the current direction, and his opinion is highly agreed upon.

          anon I think you are overdramatisizing when you accuse JV of being on some sort of vendetta. I think it more likely at this point that JV is grateful his and his group’s attempt at reviving the last Toyota chassis was rejected, along with the attempts of the two other teams that presented their plans at the same time.

          JV as usual is fearlessly telling it as he sees it. He is also a commentator, is now going to be in FIA’s new Rallycross Championship, and therefore is going to be asked his no-holds-barred opinion. As always. This has nothing to do with some vendetta, and everything to do with a purist knowing through and through a better way, and feeling it a shame the way things are going. If you disagree, that’s your opinion.

          As I’ve said, I definitely see some positives in this new format too. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new product brings but there is an unavoidable huge asterisk unfortunately, no matter the action, called DRS, which for me is unforgivable and a real taint. It’s existence virtually removes any chance of deeming today’s drivers among the greats.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 16th February 2014, 18:38

        @matt90 it’s funny because by his own remarks, his 1997 season was absolutely rubbish compared to the 70′s and 80′s in terms of raw power.

        Brundle does have a point. A former champ, a diminished former champ that is, gets “out there” saying this sort of thing. But the same would happen if he said good things about what’s basically a very ridiculous era in the sport, and not because of the technical arguments.

        Brundle should be the one criticizing the sport’s new direction, which is totally retarded in every way. I don’t mind slow cars if the championships stay fair. But that’s not happening.

    • hobo (@hobo) said on 16th February 2014, 2:00

      As opposed to former F1 drivers who joined the media for cash? I like Brundle well enough, and I think he’s good at what he does (now), but complaining that a former champion is talking to the press is a bit rich. If he had just joined SkyF1 he’d be able to say whatever he wanted as part of the team.

      I’m not siding with Villeneuve, but the problem is not with former drivers having negative comments. The problem is current F1 puppeteers damn near destroying the sport.

    • celeste (@celeste) said on 16th February 2014, 2:05

      Interrupting my winter olympic obsession to comment on this subject. (Those following on me on twitter I apologize)

      I think there is a lot of wrong in this season of F1 (Did we really need to change engines? I hate double points, etc.) but I have always think that some old champions of the series, and some retired drivers are too much critical of the sport. Yes there are lot´s of things that are wrong, but no “fun to watch”? Does Villeneuve knows what will happened already?

      • obviously said on 16th February 2014, 2:38

        Did we really need to change engines?

        Are you serious? Yes, we desperately needed new engines. F1 in 2013 was as stale as a bog.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th February 2014, 4:39

        @celeste, sorry to interrupt your Olympic viewing but yes, something had to be done with the engines, maybe not this, but something, otherwise we would end up like the Indianapolis 500 in the sixties, still racing an engine from the 30′s the design of which went back prior to the 1st. World war and cars whose design had stagnated as well making the race easy pickings for F1 teams in the 60′s. If F1 continues to ban development it to will stagnate, I hate what Bernie is doing to F1 and Neweys aero genius alone could not maintain my interest much longer but the new engine might, even if it is not the engine/regulation change I would choose at least it is a change and a new challenge.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 16th February 2014, 8:35

      Wow, Brundle’s getting buried!

    • Alex Brown (@splittimes) said on 16th February 2014, 8:54

      I don’t think he disagreed with what Jacques was saying (or didn’t say so specifically in the tweet), but felt that the timing and variety of outlets seemed a bit suspect with his own rallycross announcements. At this point it seems to me he was taking something from F1 just to further himself somewhere else. I would say there’s a very short list of people who’ve given more to the sport than they’ve taken from it, and I’d include people like Frank Williams and Sid Watkins. The complete opposite would be people like Bernie and Flavio Briatore. Then there are infinite gradations in between, which include both Brundle and Villeneuve.

      • Robbie said on 16th February 2014, 12:54

        Well there has been news from JV now that he is going to be doing Rallycross, and he is also a commentator of F1, so I think it is quite natural, and likely even unavoidable for JV, that he is going to be interviewed at this point in time…on the cusp of both his new venture and a new season in F1 that is also a new chapter. I’m sure Brundle is being asked ad infinitum his opinion on F1 too these days. If he was also trying a new racing series, would he keep mum about it for fear of looking opportunistic? Or would he take the opportunity to promote it? Especially when it is a newly sanctioned FIA event?

        The fact is JV is entitled to his opinion just like everyone else. It’s out there to be agreed with or disagreed with. Thank goodness we can choose. We can even choose to not listen to him at all, or not comment on his comments. It’s all good, and all subject to debate. Turns out most people agree with JV, and even if they didn’t that’s fine too. Would MB choose sensorship over freedom of speech? Is he afraid something JV says might turn people off the product of F1? It is up to F1 to ensure it is not fodder for such commentary, practically universally agreed upon commentary at that.

    • Jose Sanchez said on 16th February 2014, 9:50

      Brundell is the hipocritical. He just doent want to kill the goose of the golden eggs, and tells what he considera its best for f1. Meaning for himself, instead of telling the truth, like villeneuve did.
      I have been saying since 2009 that cars are slow, and nobody seemed to agree with me. Now jaques, who has not a private agenda, tells ir like it is, and brundell just wants to keep milking the cow. Shame on him.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 16th February 2014, 10:37

      I’m getting annoyed by Villeneuve and his constant bashing too. F1 was always about change and yes there is a negative development in some areas – like DRS, double-points, etc. But the engines are so complex that judging them before seeing the first few races is just a rant for ranting’s sake.

      • Robbie said on 16th February 2014, 13:34

        But it isn’t just about the engines…it’s about the direction F1 has gone. I’m sure even just the removal of DRS would go a long way to appeasing a purist such as JV. But when you combine everything JV’s claim is simply that it is no longer the purist’s F1. He also acknowledges that if this is the F1 fans want then so be it. Sure we all have yet to see what the product is really going to be like, but we definitely know right off the bat there are going to be fake DRS passes so F1 has set itself up for other aspects to be put under the microscope too.

        • Breno (@austus) said on 16th February 2014, 23:05

          Didnt Villeuneve, a purist, as you say it, race when there was ABS and TC?

          • Robbie said on 17th February 2014, 1:56

            Whatever gimmicks or gadgets you might want to claim JV had is irrelevant…he didn’t have a choice at the time and whose to say he didn’t wish they all didn’t have TC or ABS or what have you…he’s a purist…but he didn’t get to make the rules, but his opinion is that F1 has made some wrong choices in their current direction.

            And whatever JV et al had in his era is nothing remotely like DRS, the tires, and double points. The ‘fake, artificial’ verbage simply didn’t belong back then, but now resonates with millions.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 16th February 2014, 14:09

      Well, I’m not a fan of Villeneuve and it’s true that his statements often sound like attention seeking and shouldn’t be taken seriously. I also believe that media pays too much attention to what former F1 stars say. That said, one shouldn’t deny anything said by Villeneuve just because it’s ‘the old guy moaning again’.

      While I don’t agree with some of the things he’s said this time, it’s true that “the overtaking happens because you press a button, not because you make a special move” and that “the cars look terrible”. F1 should listen to reason.

    • Martin shouldn’t be upset, you are failing me man and the reason why is because you are still part of F1 meaning that you have a lot to lose, It’s unanimous that F1 is much worse now than it was but it is also unanimous that there are a lot of new interest in F1 2014. Martin shouldn’t ever oppose to free speech, I hope he is defending the idea that the show will be as exciting even if that means that these new rules are increasingly making F1 artificial however in the end he sounds hypocrite because Villeneuve is potentially hurting the hands that feeds Brundle.

    • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 16th February 2014, 16:26

      I’m not completely clear on which of Villeneuve comments Brundle was commenting on (can’t tell from his tweet). As well as moaning about DRS (bit of a curate’s egg for the fans), KERS (no longer exists) and double points (think he’s preaching to the choir there) JV also all but called every driver on this season’s grid, bar Alonso and Vettel, mediocre.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 16th February 2014, 18:29

      Martin is right, as he usually is. I see no basis on which Villeneuve could base such a claim bearing in mind F1 2014 hasn’t even started yet. Just before the 2012 Canadian GP Villeneuve shrugged off the claim from Damon Hill that this “was a golden age of drivers” because “there is only one Alonso”. What proceeded was a fabulous drive from Lewis Hamilton, a driver Villeneuve claimed was “not as complete as Button”, who beat Vettel and Alonso in a roughly similar car in terms of pace. And since then Sebastian Vettel has really proved that it is not a golden age of drivers because “there is only one Alonso” by scoring thirteen victories in 2013. Oh, Jacques, shouldn’t have said that should you? And that’s not the first time I’ve said that nor will it be the last…

      …I for one feel slightly offended by Google that Jacques appears higher in the results page for “Villeneuve” than Gilles…

  2. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 16th February 2014, 1:19

    I can’t take Villeneuve seriously when he says things like “It was much better in my day”, it just screams of nostalgic whining.

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 16th February 2014, 1:58

      F1 was much better back in 1997 than it is today though.

      In 1997 Formula 1 had good racing, less pay drivers, and a close and competitive championship.
      Artificial gimmicks like DRS, cheese Pirelli tyres, mandatory pit stops, and double points for the last race didn’t exist. Plus the cars were much better, in both performance and looks.

      Villeneuve might sound nostalgic or whiny, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s objectively correct.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th February 2014, 2:12

        Most of his career was spent driving cars which ran on silly tyres too though. And post-97 they were all narrower and, therefore, not as good looking as they had been. 1998 might have produced fairly tidy, handsome cars, but I find them a bit bland. There are some shockers this year and the disproportionate wings remain a problem regardless, but there is variety and a few cool looking cars.

      • Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 16th February 2014, 2:26

        @Kingshark Less pay drivers? 1997 had Pedro Diniz, 2014 has Pastor Maldonado, I don’t see much difference apart from that. You also can’t imply that F1 is uncompetitive just because of 2013, we had 2 brilliant seasons just before that.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 16th February 2014, 2:34

          I personally have found the championship engrossing in 6 of the last 9 years. That doesn’t include 2009, which was still a bit tense as Button struggled to close it and everybody else struggled to capitalise.

          • reg (@reg) said on 16th February 2014, 9:39

            +1

            2005 – Renault pretty much runs away with it after a quick start over McLaren but finally relief for all to see Ferrari dominance end
            2006 – Alonso at it again despite Schumacher’s best efforts – Brazil might have been even more crazy had it not been for that blown motor at Suzuka – champ formally decided last race.
            2007 – McLaren teammate drama and Spygate off track just as entertaining as the action on track – Räikkönen sneaks through in the last race
            2008 – Massa/Hamilton battle to the final finish line. Oh Felipe, if only that engine had held together in Hungary, Lewis would have driven himself mad by now without that one championship to his name.
            2009 – Stinking double diffuser. Good for Jenson and the Brackley squad, but without it Seb might already be a five time champ. Plus there was FOTA breakaway drama and stage right for Mosley!
            2010 – 4 drivers eligible for the championship in the season finale? Too bad it was at Abu Dhabi. I imagine Alonso can still paint a picture of the back of Petrov’s Renault.
            2011 – Newey/Vettel dominance to the fore – this season was forgettable other than historically noting the evil that was created by DRS.
            2012 – McLaren squanders the best car and Ferrari just shy again. Clearly they cannot build a Schumi Empire 2.0 when they aren’t allowed nonstop track testing. Great season despite the continued death of “real” on track passing.
            2013 – To Red Bull. Please make it stop. To the FIA. Increasing DRS zones and ranges? Wrong direction. Cannot wait for this pendulum to start swinging back.

      • Jose Sanchez said on 16th February 2014, 10:04

        AMD the powerfull v10s. Those were puré f1 cars.

    • jimbob (@vuntoosree) said on 16th February 2014, 3:04

      @ciaran maybe it was? maybe your labeling of his ‘nostalgic whining’ is your way of defending your subjective opinion. Conversely what you are saying contemporary Formula 1 is better : do you really think Formula 1 is improving as a sport? if it can be called a sport that is. I believe the spectacle or the show has improved :)

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th February 2014, 4:42

      But it was better, surely the truth is better than a politically correct lie!

  3. Does Villeneuve realise there are drivers from back in his “day” still racing? I’m sure their opinions will probably be more valid (i.e. Button, Fernando). Lets see how they compare the cars in a GP scenario to the early 00′s after Melbourne shall we?

  4. Matthew said on 16th February 2014, 2:35

    it all comes back to cigarette advertising. f1 was better because it had more money

  5. Dj xo2 (@dj-xo2) said on 16th February 2014, 3:15

    Really starting to think webber made the right call

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 16th February 2014, 17:52

      Safe to say, with the manufacturer support and variety of classes, the WEC is looking like it may become the new pinnacle of motorsport. I’m attending the Silverstone round again this year – hopefully I’ll get to meet Webber *crosses fingers*

  6. Minardi (@gitanes) said on 16th February 2014, 3:31

    JV and Brundle are just saying exactly what I’d expect them to say. That’s who they are. I like both of them.

    1997 was a fantastic year. But to be honest I think 2014 will be too. Sure the outright lap times are little too close to GP2 for my liking, but that just means that GP2 has high value too.

    • maarten.f1 (@maarten-f1) said on 16th February 2014, 6:08

      To be honest, I don’t get where the idea comes from that the times will be too close to GP2. Is that based on the Jerez test? I don’t read much into those times, I’ll reserve my judgement until I’ve seen a proper race.

      And I’m sure the lap times will come down as the season progresses once the engineers and designers will figure out the cars.

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th February 2014, 5:01

    Fota’s imminent collapse is bad news for us fans, good news for Bernie, not for nothing did he and Max want to bring in some extra teams without the massive resources needed to both be competitive and share their earnings with FOM. Divide and conquer, a great short term fix for a long term problem.

  8. Slackbladder1 said on 16th February 2014, 6:11

    Gimmicks are spoiling a motor racing sport with a great deal of heritage and pedigree and for what?, I agree with Villeneuve, I think he brilliantly understated the obvious. I have argued many times this is not what the sport is, was or should be. I have started watching european motorcycle racing I find it has an edge that seems to be a bit thin in the NEW F1, how soon before talent won’t get you a drive? and they merge GP2 and F1, as a cost cutting environmental labour saving job generating green low carbon emission politically correct longterm near sighted money grabbing buffoonery designed to put more money in less pockets

  9. AussieRacer said on 16th February 2014, 8:20

    I don’t agree with Villeneuve at all. What makes Formula 1 the most modern of all Motorsport is the fact it continues to push teams to develop such modern machines. My brain is doing back flips trying to keep up with these current engines and breaking systems. I think it’s an absolute privilege to be around for this time of formula 1. Building huge engines and chassis with massive down force is just bland. Watch Indy car racing if that’s what you want. I personally am very excited to see the first race in Melbourne.

  10. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 16th February 2014, 10:48

    Now I’ve been going on about declining power outputs in F1 for a while, but the thing which worries me most is not the falling power outputs (because the powertrain boffins are already working on getting lots of lovely horsepowers out of these new powertrains), it is the falling power to weight ratios. Let’s crunch some numbers, using a nice 20 year period for comparison purposes.

    1994: The Ferrari 412T2′s V12 put out about 700bhp and the car weighed 505kg, meaning a Power/Weight ratio of 1386 BHP/ton. Mind blowing.
    2004: The BAR 006′s Honda V10 put out over 900 bhp and the car weighed 605kg, meaning a Power/Weight ratio of 1487 BHP/ton. Absolutely terrifying considering it wasn’t the most powerful unit out there.
    2013: As engine performance was largely the same we can use the generic Formula weight of 642kg and a generally accepted power output of about 830 BHP (ICE 750bhp + KERS 80bhp) to reach a Power/Weight ratio of 1292 BHP/ton. Impressive, but it is less than it was 20 years ago so how impressed are we really?
    2014: That brings us to 2014. We have a formula (over)weight 691kg (and that’s going to go up) and expected power outputs of about 760 bhp (ICE 600 BHP + ERS 160 BHP) to get a Power/Weight ratio of “just” 1099 BHP/ton. Now I say just because it looks very poor next to the figure for 2013 and down right depressing compared to the figures for 1994 and 2004, but it is still mind bogglingly impressive compared to the P/W ratio of, say, my 5 year old hot hatchback (165bhp/ton). But is it enough for the pinnacle of motorsport? Methinks not.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 16th February 2014, 11:14

      That’s a good comparison! Intersting to see how the power:weight ratio has changed over the years.

      However I think F1 is still easily the pinnacle of Motorsport when you look at it from a P:W ratio perspective.

      The LMP1 class from the WEC is probably second in terms of pinnacle of Motorsport. So with that in mind, the Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro (2013) produces a total of 510bhp from its power unit (around 400bhp from the TDI engine, and around 100bhp from the electric system), and has a minimum weight of 915kg.

      So, it has a P:W of 557.38 bhp/ton.

      So an F1 car still has almost double the P:W ratio of the winning LMP1 car. Which is nothing to be sniffed at haha. So I think F1 is still safe for a good while. ;)

    • 1994 weight is without driver.

      • It should also be pointed out that the earlier figures for the Audi R18 also exclude the weight of the driver (and possibly also exclude the weight of all fluids, such as the coolants, lubrication etc), so again the figures for the power to weight ratio of the R18 is slightly less flattering when you have to add that into the equation.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 16th February 2014, 13:36

      the thing that worries me is what JV nailed when he said:

      The driver, slowly but surely, is becoming a passenger in the car, ….

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th February 2014, 13:41

      And a MotoGP Bike? Someone, please.

      • ferrox glideh (@ferrox-glideh) said on 16th February 2014, 16:38

        The Repsol Honda RC213V weighs 157 kg and produces 240 bhp.
        That means 1529 bhp per ton, but the physics of a motogp bike (contact patch size, center of gravity, etc.) means that they cannot accelerate as quickly even though their top speed is comparable to an f1 car. Very interesting conversation here.

        • You beat me there.

          I think we can state modern F1 cars are overweight. Which obviously is reasonable because of the heavy PU’s. I hope they will start to reduce weight eventually when the new generation of cars evolve.

          • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 17th February 2014, 6:12

            It’s not just the powertrain, they have added weight to the minimum weight regulations recently because of increases in the weight of the tyres, which I think is nonsense. so what if the tyre is 1kg heavier, they can pull 1kg of ballast out of the car (well they could in 2013 anyway).

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th February 2014, 21:28

          As I suspected, more power to weight, skinny tyres, no driver protection, higher top speeds, will the real pinnacle of motorsport please stand up, or maybe do a wheelly.

        • @ferrox-glideh

          For overall power/weight you need to factor in the driver/rider too though (which i’m assuming isn’t in the 157kg you quoted). So if you add even 50kg for a very light rider, the power:weight changes to 1159hp/tonne.

          Going back to @geemac comment:

          Power to weight is decreasing but depending on who you believe, i’ve heard figures of around 690bhp from engine + 160bhp electric being quoted which would be 850hp total. This would make 2014 power:weight 1230hp/tonne. This is only a little down on the 2013 engines in terms of peak power/weight, although there will be a bigger difference in sustained power over a race due to fuel limits.

      • 2013 : The Honda RCV213 put out over 230 hp (some say around 260 hp) and weighted 160 kg, meaning a Power/Weight ratio of 1437 Bhp/ton.

        • pxcmerc (@pcxmerc) said on 16th February 2014, 17:33

          Yeah but the bikes can only pull about 1.5 G’s, so even though they are much lighter, they cannot even hope to keep up in the corners or on the brakes, which is where the better drivers find their advantage and where the racing is really interesting.

          big difference between 4-6G’s and 1.5Gs. Also traction control has pretty much ruined the GPs and I see this happening in F1 with the fly by wire crud they keep trying to put in to the cars. Both series have major issues with the control tires, and control freaks trying to eek out the drama.

          If the guys in charge were really interested in innovation they would have mandated a 100kg fuel tank and let them go to work, but the guys in charge want everyone on the same foot so they can ‘ensure’ a spectacle, unfortunately they are trying way way too hard.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 16th February 2014, 20:50

      Would like to see a similar comparison of torque/weight.

      • always an awesome job Keith, thanks!

        Perhaps you could explain the difference between removing static mass as opposed to reducing rotating mass… sorry can’t reply to @geemac there is no reply button under his comment on my screen.

        @GeeMac ” It’s not just the powertrain, they have added weight to the minimum weight regulations recently because of increases in the weight of the tyres, which I think is nonsense. so what if the tyre is 1kg heavier, they can pull 1kg of ballast out of the car (well they could in 2013 anyway). ”

        This is a fairly common misconception that hopefully you can clarify Keith.

        BTW I am greatly looking forward to this season! While my initial impression of the new regs was somewhat adverse, I must admit that as the date of the first race approaches my excitement is increasing!

        Hoping for a crap shoot!

  11. magon4 (@magon4) said on 16th February 2014, 10:56

    Gimmicks?
    Formula 1 has ALWAYS HAD GIMMICKS!
    I don’t know where people get this notion that F1 has ever been some kind of a pure sport. By its nature, it is not. And I have always loved it.
    Some gimmicks you like, some you don’t, but gimmicks have always been part of the game.

    • @magon4
      With that attitude no one would have gone anywhere.
      F1 has always had it’s faults, but that doesn’t mean that we should just accept all their crazy ideas if we don’t like them.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th February 2014, 13:44

      @magon4, would you care to back-up that statement with examples of gimmicks from the 50′s 60′s 70′s 80′s 90′s. Thank you.

      • magon4 (@magon4) said on 16th February 2014, 14:19

        I guess a definition of the word gimmick is in order, @hohum.
        What I meant to say is that F1 has always had changing rules, in the mechanics, engineering, points system, you name it. It is part of the sport. There have been some very good ideas, some so-so decisions and some bad moves. @mads, it might even be true that some bad moves have been taken lately, but I don’t think it has been unusual or unique in F1, and I do hope some of these bad ideas go away pretty quickly.
        Almost always the goal was to increase competitiveness, the “show”. When McLaren was too strong in the turn of 80s to 90s, measures were taken; when Williams was too strong in 92 and 93, new rules came in. After Senna’s death, security became a priority, because it was important to the sport and public. When Schumacher started dominating, points rules were changed.
        F1 has no tradition in terms of keeping a same set of rules for a long period of time. It is a question of how much sense the new regulations make. I, for one, like DRS, but find its application to be desired. I wouldn’t want F1 without it, although the way it is used now it would be better to get rid of it.
        So, yes, there have been some bad decisions lately. But to say that F1 is killing itself after some of the best seasons in history, in terms of competitiveness, would seem to me like a slight exaggeration. Not that any of you two said so. But it has been the tone recently on this blog and I’m kind of tired of it. I get the feeling that many current worried F1 fans would have never become fans in the 90s.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th February 2014, 21:41

          @magon4, certainly change has always been part of F1, that to me is the essence of F1, technology and F1 move ahead but that is not a gimmick, even the 6 wheelers were not gimmicks, they were a semi successful attempt to to be faster within the rules, it is the strangulation of development that has lead to gimmicks like DRS, marshmallow tyres and double points. Why are the rules strangling development ? because half of the teams can’t afford development when Bernie takes half the revenue that the teams create by building and racing the cars.

  12. BaKano (@bakano) said on 16th February 2014, 11:03

    I personally think people are going crazy with this “slower than GP2″ argument.
    Last year GP2 cars tested at Jerez and the best time was 1:24.400. Ericsson was faster in his first day with 1:23.276.
    So a new-spec F1 car on their first test session is already 1.2s faster than a 2011-spec car, which already had 2 seasons of tweaking.
    If in Jerez, on the first outing F1 is already faster than GP2 (compared to last year as no tests yet this year) I have no concerns for them being slower coming the actual races.
    The 2014 cars will gain considerable amounts of speed during this year, so by the middle of the year they should again be much faster than GP2.

    As for the power levels being ridiculous low, Villeneuve seems to forget that he had around 775bhp in 1997, and according to recent reports, the 2014 Power Units might put out more than 800bhp, so I would say to him: Shut the hell up!

    • Robbie said on 16th February 2014, 13:45

      I think the very fact that you need to use this much wording to try to convince folks that F1 cars will be faster than GP2 cars, says it all.

      • BaKano (@bakano) said on 16th February 2014, 13:52

        Exactly, a statement “GP2 cars will be faster than F1″ is far much convincing because it contains less words and no data whatsoever.
        LOL

        • And this is the sad thing – the whole thing about “GP2 cars will be faster” is hysteria whipped up by the press who seem to have misunderstood what the word “testing” means. It seems that one chance comment by Button, where he seemed to think that, at certain circuits where the cars might be fuel limited, that GP2 cars might be closer to F1 cars in terms of performance, have been exaggerated far beyond what he originally intended. It is worth noting that he was still expecting to see a gap of several seconds between GP2 cars and F1 cars – it was just that, whereas it might be 3-4 seconds a lap at some circuits, that it might fall to, say, 2s a lap at some other circuits, which is still considerably faster.

          It’s rather amusing how many fans here rail against Bernie, and yet happily parrot his complaints about phasing out of the V8 engines and rant against the sport changing even when they have cried out for such changes in the first place. The debate about the noise only came about because he created it, performance only an issue because he wants it put about that the new cars will be slower, costs are complained about because he stirred up talk of massive spikes in engine prices – all in all, the fan base complain about him and yet they talk in the very manner that he dictates.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 16th February 2014, 21:48

            Anon, I think it was more than a chance comment by Button that made fans think that fuel conservation will take place in most, not some races, it has been an opinion comeing from most teams.
            You are right about Bernie being very manipulative though. I don’t think the fans are against change, they are just against changes that stop the racers from actually racing.

          • BaKano (@bakano) said on 17th February 2014, 7:47

            Anon and @hohum, I think it was just not based on Button’s comments nor the fuel saving. I believe the hysteria came from the initial estimates of how many seconds per lap in average the 2014 cars would lose to a 2013 car.
            People were talking 10s or 11s per lap on some circuits, meaning that they would be slower than GP2.
            But actually when comparing the 2 first test sessions at Jerez, the fastest time of a 2014 car is “only” 5,6s slower than last year.

            So, the truth is simple: 2014 F1 cars are already faster than GP2 and much less slower compared to last year than estimated.

            What it will be really interesting to know, because for the moment we can only compare fast laps, is if in the races with the additional burden of fuel saving this year, the race average speed will be much closer to GP2 or still way faster.

          • Hohum and bakano, I suppose it is fair to say that perhaps I was putting more of an emphasis on what Button said than is perhaps merited – I used him as an example because he explicitly linked the performance of the current F1 cars to GP2 cars after the Jerez test and, given his standing as a championship winning driver, his comments garnered relatively high media interest.

            I agree more with bakano that the comparison is, in reality, nowhere near as bad as some say. Even with most of the teams not pushing especially hard (most of the reports and footage from the tests indicates that the drivers were taking it fairly easy), they were already able to match and surpass GP2 cars whilst driving in significantly sub optimal conditions (a green track and low ambient temperatures).

    • BaKano (@bakano) said on 17th February 2014, 7:36

      There is a blunt mistake in my previous comment. The fastest time of Jerez 2014 tests was from Magnussen, not Ericsson. Sorry, mixed up the 2 Nordic drivers :-\

  13. Oh, Jacques. You’re so nicely selective. By 2004, all teams bar Jordan and Minardi were beating your pole time at Silverstone. But everyone was complaining about F1 then. Now, we’re slowing down, but the competition has improved (although I’m still against DRS) and now you’re applying for a function at the US’ GOP by taking people’s negative guy feelings, extrapolating them and passing it off as your sincere worries. On the day you announce a new challenge.

    Having not really witnessed the 1996 and 1997 season, it took me until the rise of Wikipedia and YouTube to really appreciate Jacques as a driver. The driver I saw from 1998 until 2006 only ever reached the media because he was the go-to person to insult Schumacher and/or Ferrari and say it wasn’t like the old days.

  14. kpcart said on 16th February 2014, 15:19

    this thing about low horsepower this year….. it is not true, Mercedes said they are making close to 700hp with the turbos, that is only 50hp short of the v8s, but with the ers added, the cars have more power then last years cars :P it is all ridiculous anyway, as the cars are already faster then the 3.5l v10 and v12s in the 90s and the high revving 3L v10s of late 90s early 2000s – and with 100kg extra weight onboard. SO, HOW ARE THESE CARS SLOW??? people complaining about the change in formula are pathetic – seriously – it is nothing you can control and face the fact that f1 will still be the fastest racing series in the world, even with only 1.6L engines. ALSO, if you judge racing only by the sound – then leave, but I bet you wont, you will stay and continue to post rubbish criticism in forums. why cant people enjoy the evolution of f1, and the constant rule and formula changes?? it has happened for 60 years, but now with the internet we have this pathetic “Opinion” system of the WWW happening which enlarges any negatives in the sport, even though they are not true negatives.

    • Jose Sanchez said on 16th February 2014, 15:36

      A car not only has to be fast, it must look fast, and feel fast from the grandstands.
      In a tilkedrome, where you are so far removed from the action, with huge run offs, in order to get the same speed sensation , the cars must be way faster than before.
      As an example look at wrc. I am sure todays cars are faster and more efficient than the group b, but tell me wich ones felt better for the public?
      Cars should get faster un time, not slower.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 16th February 2014, 17:57

      I think some of it is a lot of people are familiar with 1.6l in their Focus or Golf, and just don’t understand the massive chasm between a Euro-V spec road engine and a race-tuned engine tuned for pure power.

  15. Aqib (@aqibqadeer) said on 16th February 2014, 16:23

    i think JV is wrong and 2014 is going to be and exciting year

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