F1’s new engines could reduce its appeal – Vettel

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel renews his criticism of F1’s new engine formula.


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

Vettel erneuert Kritik an Formel-1-Technikrevolution (Focus, German)

“We are a sport that is famous for being loud and dangerous. We run the risk of losing the essence of motor sport.”

Mercedes enlist help of psychologist (The Telegraph)

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team have turned to the sports psychologist credited with helping the All Blacks [New Zealand rugby team] overcome their reputation as serial World Cup chokers, in a bid to maintain their dominant start to the season.”

Lauda: ’14 F1 domination a tougher job (Autosport)

“If you have shi*** engines like last year, and nine races in a row like Vettel, to finish all of them, this is easy. But to do the same now, with four races in a row, I think is an outstanding performance.”

Hätte Leimer für 25 Millionen bei Sauber fahren können? (Blick, German)

Reigning GP2 champion Fabio Leimer is claimed to have offered Sauber 12 million Swiss francs (£8.1m) for a drive this year but one of their current drivers Esteban Gutierrez is paying £16.9m.

Video – the Formula One steering wheel, 2014 style (F1)

“As a result of 2014’s substantial regulation changes, steering wheels have evolved significantly this season. Here we take a look at the differences between Ferrari’s 2013 and 2014 models.”

Nigel Stepney obituary (The Guardian)

“Recruited by the English chief designer, John Barnard, to help pull a demoralised outfit together, he moved into a house in the hills above Maranello, the team’s base, and quickly discovered that Ferrari’s capomeccanico enjoyed a status similar to that of other teams’ star drivers. An instant celebrity, he found that he was seldom required to pay for a drink or a meal.”


Comment of the day

Michael reckons Hamilton deserves credit for joining Mercedes in the first place:

Now, in retrospect everything’s obvious but at the time Mercedes had won only a single race since their return and were atrocious around the time that Lewis signed. They just couldn’t look any worse than they had.

It took crazy guts to do that. Just as in his driving, Lewis’s decision was immaculate and he should win the drivers’ championship for that decision alone…

Hamilton’s move to Mercedes is as impressive as his ability to hold off Rosberg at Bahrain. The guy’s just amazing, just when you think you’ve seen his best, he does something crazy.
Michael (@Freelittlebirds)

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Alain Prost extended his lead over Derek Warwick in the world championship with victory in the San Marino Grand Prix 30 years ago today.

Warwick’s Renault was classified fourth behind Elio de Angelis, who ran out of fuel on the final lap, and the second-placed Ferrari of Rene Arnoux.

This was the only race of his F1 career that Ayrton Senna failed to qualify for. Tyre supplier Pirelli had blocked them from participating in the first day of practice, aware the team was about to switch to rivals Michelin. A technical glitch on Saturday prevented Senna for qualifying for what would have been his fourth F1 start.

So the race got away without him – and very nearly Keke Rosberg as well, who got away slowly for the second race in a row:


Image © Red Bull/Getty

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157 comments on F1’s new engines could reduce its appeal – Vettel

  1. Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust) said on 6th May 2014, 13:12

    I think Vettel has overlooked the fact that for most F1 fans a race is seen on TV, not from a seat at the circuit. Whether he likes it or not, a TV has a dynamic sound limitation, the viewers do not and will not get the full dynamic range of a F1 circuit. If they were to get the full dynamic range then they and all their neighbours would need hearing protection. Since most people will watch either all or nearly all the races on TV, then how loud the sound of a V6 engine is compared to a V8 or a V10 engine is irrelevant, what is relevant is the sound is recorded for broadcast at or close to the maximum allowed for TV, which could easily be the same as most TV adverts.
    To me, the biggest hindrence to F1 being watched by lots of people on TV is pay TV, not how loud the V6 engine is. If the owners of F1 want to sell the rights to pay TV companies, then F1 competitors need to accept that a percentage of their potential audience won’t be watching the race live. My guess, based on what I’ve seen here in New Zealand, is at least 80% of the potential audience won’t be watching. As far as I can tell, most people in New Zealand wouldn’t be able to pick out who last year’s F1 champion driver is, in fact they are more likely to pick the Australian V8 SuperCars champion or the NASCAR champion (both of which are Free to Air) than the F1 champion.
    If Vettel wants F1 to be popular viewing then make he should lobby for it to be free to air.

    • BlueChris (@bluechris) said on 6th May 2014, 13:47

      Well no… i tell you that in my home all neigbors really know when im watching F1. Offcourse TV is nowhere near but with specific config of sound and with wife and kid out of home always when F1 is on TV i enjoy the sound in home also :)

    • Mick said on 6th May 2014, 15:11

      You’re forgetting that whilst most people do watch on the TV, if the race going fans stay away the circuits may feel the cost required to host the race is not worth paying and no venues means no racing and that means no F1.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 6th May 2014, 14:52

    Okay Seb, enough’s enough.

    We know you don’t like the new regulations, mainly because your Renault power pack stinks, but you don’t have to keep campaigning about it.

    Just get on with it, and try to make the best of a bad situation. Something you’ve not had to do for the last 4 years.

  3. uan (@uan) said on 6th May 2014, 17:18

    Not to interrupt all the Vettel bashing, but no one seems to be bothered by Lauda’s comments in Autosport? I enjoy Lauda and his spiel, but if he truly believes what he says, that it’s harder to dominate the first 4 races in 2014 than to win 9 in a row at the end of 5 years of pretty stable regulations, all I can say is that he’s full “..it”. Especially since Merc gave themselves the longest runway to develop their car and engine for this year (sacrificing development in other years).

    Fair play to Mercedes, and mighty impressive. But Lauda really comes across as self serving and egotistical. He also swears a lot. I wonder if he will be held to a higher standard as a 3x WDC and co-head of Mercedes F1, or does Todt (for one) only reserve that for 4x WDCs?

    Anyway, sorry for being OT, back to criticism of Vettel ….

    • aka_robyn said on 6th May 2014, 23:57

      @uan No worries — I think the fact that nearly every comment defending Vettel in any way has been roundly ignored indicates that you (we) are in no way interrupting the Vettel bashing. I’m sure you’re as relieved as I am! ;-)

  4. American f1 said on 6th May 2014, 17:32

    Of course the sound is a huge part of racing in any class from F1 to WEC, to WRC, to NASCAR. Does anyone really want to go to a track to watch a bunch of Nissan Leafs whistle around silently? We watch racing for the spectacle of man and machine pushed to the limits. We expect to witness something beyond what we drive to work every day and we as human beings experience the world through our senses, so yes, we want to see the cars rip around the track at impossible speed, we want to hear the roar/scream/rumble of the engines, we want to smell the fuel and burning rubber, and we want to feel the pressure of the cars as they fly by and feel the engines in our chests as they fire up in the pit lane and on the grid. Does anyone here watch any form of motorsport with the sound off on TV? Regardless of how popular it is to hate on Vettel, the man has a point.

  5. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair) said on 6th May 2014, 21:33

    Vettel always complaining when he’s not winning! I actually prefer the V6 turbo to the boring V8 used from 2009-2013. Of course, V12 and V10 are the best but we can’t always have what we want. Still, at least F1 is ever-evolving!

  6. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 6th May 2014, 22:29

    I don’t like these engines.

  7. DaveD (@daved) said on 7th May 2014, 1:39

    I must say that I’m disappointed in Seb to come off so whiney lately. I have been waiting for an opportunity for him to prove that he’s the great driver some claim he already is. I’ve always said we couldn’t tell because his car was so dominant. Now he has a chance to show how he can drive without the best car on the grid and he’s spent more time whining than trying to show his grit.
    I’m going to hope this is the media…cherry picking things he says to just get clicks on web pages…and see if Seb starts to focus on his driving.
    And I’m not trying to be down on Seb. I think he’s a good driver who very well may turn out to be great, but NOW is the time to step up and prove it then.

  8. Ron (@rcorporon) said on 7th May 2014, 13:24

    Lauda sure comes off as a ass in that article… but lets ensure clicks with a title that’s sure to start the anti-Seb circle-jerk!

  9. Patrick said on 7th May 2014, 19:39

    I do not believe the new power units will drive fans away – if anything does, it will be the endless boring high speed parades around Tilkedromes with no wheel-to-wheel racing.

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