Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean, Spa-Francorchamps, 2015

F1 should prioritise overtaking over performance – Pirelli

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery doesnt believe F1 needs to make its cars faster.

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Comment of the day

Kindly, @F1antics also said they didn’t include F1 Fanatic in this criticism, but I think there’s something to be said for this point of view on F1’s falling popularity:

I think it’s polls like these that add to the feeling of dissatisfaction. Media of all kinds, including social media, have raised and are now perpetuating topics like “what’s wrong with F1”, “how to fix F1” etc…

Of course fans, or potential fans, are then going to start questioning the sport and start contributing to the debate. Sure, everyone wants to be an amateur doctor and try to understand the symptoms and come up with a cure, but was there a real problem in the first place, back when all this started?

Did this sense of dissatisfaction coincide with the rise of Twitter, i.e. did social media fan the flames, because people much prefer to complain than to praise? Did it arise from more and more F1 fans setting themselves up as “journalists”, because it’s easy to create a website but harder to get ‘hits’, so they’ll raise negative topics that attract the wrong kind of attention?

Join in the ongoing discussion here:

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103 comments on “F1 should prioritise overtaking over performance – Pirelli”

  1. I think that frankly the COTD is entirely off the mark. The are serious issues afflicting the sport on track and off. Is there really anyone, especially among long time followers, who doesn’t think so? Sure things tend to snowball with bad publicity, particularly in a sport so dependent on big-time sponsorship, but the governance, competitiveness and accessibility of F1 could all stand much improvement. Pretending it isn’t so won’t make things better.

    1. I find current F1 really good.

      The engines are cutting edge and I think they sound good as well, lots of texture and more volume every year. The cars look great as well
      (I admit 2014 they were damn ugly though, and didn’t sound that impressive, but still a techy-sound).
      This will only improve as time goes on and with stable regulations competition should increase.
      I re-watched some of the late 80’s, early 90’s and mid 2000 (Schumacher-era) seasons and find the 2014,2015 seasons more enjoyable actually.
      Everyone is just bitching and moaning so much, it beggars belief and the advent of social media has given everyone their 5 minutes of negativity in the sun. Its not like these people can change anything anyway.
      I question whether social media has brought any positive value to society at all.
      And the people that say WEC is better are just dreaming.
      Watching sports cars go round the drab Shanghai circuit for 6 hours is torture.

      F1 governance and viewership is a separate issue, as I hate lining the coffers of big business as much as anyone but the sporting aspect itself is good.

      I do wonder about Pirelli though, I always gave them the benefit of the doubt regarding tyres (i.e. limited testing) but can they actually make a true ultra-high downforce F1 tyre? Time will tell I suppose.

      1. Couldn’t agree more!

      2. Comment of the decade!,

        Spot on!

      3. …but can they actually make a true ultra-high downforce F1 tyre?

        They probably can do, provided they’re not also pressured (hah!) to have them die after a prescribed number of laps. They also need to be allowed to test them properly, which is the key issue.

      4. Hmmm. Kind of agree, but wasn’t it that public opinion was so strong that double points was knocked on the head? I don’t think we’re entirely powerless.

      5. The sport obviously isn’t terrible but, having been a fan for decades, I know how much better it can be. I’ve seen the sport improve and I’ve seen the sport get worse and right now it’s on a negative trend. It sounds pathetic to say this but DRS hurts me, it really does. Mercedes winning everything and using political means to lock-in their advantage just like anyone else would is history repeating itself and isn’t a problem for me but DRS… excuse me while I go cry…

      6. There we go COTD for tomorrow :D

      7. @Mick For me current F1 is not really good. Not with DRS in play which kills the sports integrity and removes the chance to categorize today’s drivers amongst the greats. Way too much conservation and delta lap running for that too. At least in the other eras you cite the drivers were able to push themselves and their cars to the limit, taxing both.

        You are making an assumption about rules stability improving things. In order for that to happen they have to stabililize the rules and they don’t do that for very long, especially while one team is dominating.

        And of course Pirelli can make proper tires for any circumstance. It is just not F1’s current mandate that tires that can be truly pushed be the order of the day…they want tires to be the story of F1 because they are still too addicted to aero downforce.

        So I think it is great that you are enjoying today’s F1, but not everyone is, hence the negativity, and hence all the talk within F1 itself, including from the drivers, for change.

      8. Each to their own. Personally I’d say it “beggars belief” that someone could prefer watching modern day F1 over the decades you mentioned. It’s like someone saying “the best Star Wars character is Jar Jar Binks!”

        I think there is a snowball effect where lots of people who don’t really understand F1 jump in and add to the negativity but I think there are enough long-term, hardened F1 fans who are very against what F1 has become to dismiss this as something social media has caused.

        Two questions – you say “the cars look great” but also that “2014 they were damn ugly.” I honestly don’t think the 2015 cars look that different… Slightly but enough to go from ‘damn ugly’ to ‘great’?

        Finally (I couldn’t let this bit go…):

        F1 governance and viewership is a separate issue, as I hate lining the coffers of big business as much as anyone but the sporting aspect itself is good.

        What do you mean by that? The sporting aspect of F1’s governance is good? Paying some teams more than others regardless of what position they finish in? Really?

      9. Agree that social media is not all good. But I have seen the fierce battles with Schumi and Mika, Senna and Prost and those days were epic. Todays drivers have been silenced not allowed to speak their minds, and the on track action is mostly lame unless it has rained. WEC on the other hand has seen some awesome races actually there wasn’t one this season where there wasn’t anything going on. If you truly believe 2014 and 2015 were better than the era’s you mentioned, I must have been watching a different sport cause it wasn’t all that special. I admit it isn’t all bad but there is a lot that is wrong.

      10. I re-watched some of the late 80’s, early 90’s and mid 2000 (Schumacher-era) seasons and find the 2014,2015 seasons more enjoyable actually


        I guess there are some people who enjoy watching one team/car dominate, and the bigger the degree of dominance the more they like it. I’m sure that’s a minority viewpoint though.

    2. The COTD is spot on. No sport is as good at flogging itself in public as F1 is. We have an average race (the equivalent of a 0-0 draw in a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, Nick Faldo wining The Open by scoring 18 consecutive pars or watching a match between the Springboks and the All Blacks where all the points are scored by penalties) and everyone, from die-hards to team owners to drivers and casual fans all go absolutely mental claiming the sport is broken and that “everything was way better back in the [insert decade of your choice here]”. It is nonsense and it has to stop.

      If we look at the product F1 delivers week in week out it is still fundamentally good. Sure it could be more competitive but dominance in F1 comes and goes, Mercedes will be beaten eventually. And when they are whoever does it will savour that victory all the more because of just what a monumental challenge it was to overcome. The calibre of the drivers is also exceptional these days, with 1/5 of the seats being held by world champions and the vast majority of the rest being occupied by a crop of hungry, talented guys who have proved they have what it takes to be top class grand prix drivers. I watched the ’84 season review last night and all I could think was, if that season happened now everyone would still be up in arms. One team winning everything, fuel saving, tyre saving, calculating your way to the championship, these things have always been part of the sport.

      The racing will get better, it always does, we just have to keep the faith and stick with it. Maybe the problem isn’t the racing, its that people don’t have patience anymore in a world which is ever more self absorbed, instant gratification driven and which promotes the idea that “I have as social media account therefore my opinion matters”.

    3. @maciek To be honest, I do not think that dissatisfaction and negative topics should be seen as a bad thing. If F1’s popularity is falling (that is a fact) or even if we simply do not like something about our sport, then why should we not discuss it?

      For sure, there is such thing as too much negativity (not sure if Ecclestone or Red Bull agree with that…) but I would never question anyone’s passion and love for F1 just because he/she does not like certain things about the sport and says it out loud.

      As someone said, “we must learn to love well and to hate well.”

    4. Apex Assassin
      21st January 2016, 19:00

      Agree 100%. I’ve been dissatisfied with F1 since before i found a use for social media.

      As for the overtaking vs performance debate:
      1. Always do the opposite of what Hembery says. He’s a liar and snake oil salesman.
      2. How can F1 be the pinnacle of motorsport if it doesn’t have the highest level of performance? Nascar and Indycar have tons of passing and both are as boring as watching paint dry.

      1. Sorry Apex Assasin, Paul Hembery is bang on the money with his comments. Making them faster is not going to make any difference at all to the show. How much faster do you want them to be?

        1. @Apex Assasin: +1: More performance, more speed, more noise, but no artificial equalization, DRS or rule changes to disadvantage whichever team, who has been better at doing their homework over the winter. But don’t prevent the other teams from catching up either. And don’t fix a loop-hole in the rules mid season. Let the engineers compete. And with F1 cars going on the limit lap after lap, You will be able to see how difficult it is. Now when they are not pushing all the race, it is visible for the audience as well: A famous F1 driver quote: “If You feel that You were in control the whole lap, then You didn’t drive fast enough!”

  2. I think Hembery is right that on-track action should be a priority over faster cars, but people in Formula 1 should stop thinking that more overtaking equals more excitement. It’s that sentiment that got us DRS and showbiz tyres. A proper meaningful battle is exciting — a DRS pass is not so much a battle as it is a formality of switching positions, and an overtake that comes about as a result of cars being on different tyre strategies is ultimately meaningless. I won’t carry on, because I’m only going to say what’s already been said a million times before…

    1. @jackysteeg I need to ask why people watch sports in general? For me golf is boring as hell (not watching it as a result), same with soccer, tennis, athletics, etc.

      But I realized that because I don’t enjoy the concept of those sports and don’t know what or where to put my attention to. F1 is a sport that I know how to enjoy. I don’t need on track battles to enjoy it. I can enjoy the car lapping try to create a window to overtake in pit in refueling era. I can enjoy reading what tiny bits they added to the car in pursue of that extra performance, especially when its something genius like blown diffuser or F-duct.

      I mean if majority of the world is okay staying 90 + unspecified minutes watching a ball get kicked around that never reach a goal, why less number of people cry foul if the they spent maximum of 120 minutes car lapping without changing order?

      1. I mean if majority of the world is okay staying 90 + unspecified minutes watching a ball get kicked around that never reach a goal, why less number of people cry foul if the they spent maximum of 120 minutes car lapping without changing order?

        Exactly. Well said @sonicslv.

        1. Disagree. That 90 scoreless minutes carried the intrigue of all the strategies, and the athleticism that the sport has always had. Each game, every game. 120 minutes of cars lapping without order changing first of all is rare and secondly needn’t be the case with a little more attention to mechanical grip and less emphasis on aero and the removal of fake DRS passing. Far too different sports to make this comparison.

          1. @robbie, not a football watcher but I imagine those scoreless games involve some good saves by the goalies, maybe if the goalies were made to wear smooth soled shoes the scores would be higher, good idea huh ?

      2. @sonicslv

        I completely agree.

        For myself, the races are only one part of the sport anyway. Watching the tech, strategy, engineering etc. is a big part of the sport for me. The races are a demonstration of all that work, and the drivers’ skill.

        In addition, the outstanding races we remember are because they are outstanding. If all races were action packed, we would not remember them as much. Many, many other sports are the same: they have little real “action”, and are just a demonstration of the team’s skills and strategic prowess. People are happy with that, and ecstatic when a really exciting game happens. So why do people demand that F1 be action-packed from start to finish, every race?

    2. Kimi. Alonso. Schumacher. Japan. 2005. No DRS.

      Enough said.

      1. Neil (@neilosjames)
        21st January 2016, 7:50

        Was watching that race a few weeks ago and it struck me how much easier it was to follow closely in those cars. I knew it was more difficult now than then, but had forgotten how much.

        1. @neilosjames It’s simple – Tire War = huge mechanical grip. Aero was also a bit simpler then too.

          1. @optimaximal Simple for you and I… sadly not for the guys making the rules!

      2. Has your keyboard broken? Way too many full stops there.

      3. I watched that race recently. OMG, amazing.

        F1 could loose DRS, gain tires that would be pushable… And loose paywall. Viewership would go up.

        But when in doubt, there are old races to watch.

    3. @jackysteeg I came to make this exact comment.

      Let us all understand that gimmicks and artificial racing isn’t as enjoyable as the real deal.

    4. @jackysteeg
      DRS makes the boring races less boring, but the exciting races less exciting. I can understand that the FIA sees this as a positive trade off, because the boring races make us fans moan in the short run. But in the long run you tend to remember the exciting moments en you forget the boring parts. It’s the hope of a legendary exciting race that gets us tuned in every two weeks.

      1. DRS was implemented to solve the problem that Alonso had in Abu Dhabi 2010: A theoretically slower car “holding up” a theoretically quicker one. The trouble was, watching Alonso struggling to pass Petrov was actually exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole race. If DRS had been around in 2010 Alonso would have breezed by Petrov, won the world championship and we would all have gone “I think Alonso deserved to win and he did so all is well”. What we got instead was the youngest ever world champion, a new world champion constructor and off season full of stories, intrigue and high profile sackings.

        1. Michael Brown
          21st January 2016, 14:22

          Wasn’t DRS confirmed for 2011 before Abu Dhabi? I recall the commentary of Abu Dhabi 2010 saying that the movable rear wing would help overtaking.
          I think it’s obvious that after that race, upset fans threw their support behind DRS because they felt that Alonso was cheated out of a championship.
          What I don’t understand is that 2010, even though it had more overtaking than any season with refuelling, and a finale that saw 5 potential champions, is remembered best for two races: Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. The two worst races of the year.

          1. Wasn’t DRS confirmed for 2011 before Abu Dhabi?

            Yes it was initially discussed pretty early in 2010 & actually initially rejected due to overwhelming negativity from fans, drivers & media.

            However it was reintroduced into the discussion at the last FOTA meeting prior to Abu Dhabi where the majority of teams voted in agreement to send it to the FIA who voted it through into the regulations at the next WMSC meeting.

    5. If you are in a circuit or watching on TV, you can’t see the speed anyway.

      I stopped reading there.

  3. The reserve driver role has never been in a more dangerous situation than today.

    You can’t have a young driver there because the superlicence system restrics the number of drivers fit to drive an F1 car, and whoever is in that position has to make with testing the car once a year (maybe), while getting rusty in the process waiting for months for nothing, only drive in the simulator and after a year you’re so old, and it’s been so long since you actually competed in a race that if the opportunity arises, you do a horrible job and you never get called again.

    And the chances of that happening are way too slim! even if someone gets injured in FP3 or qualy, you cannot stand in for him… what’s the point?

    1. I agree with the last part. I was fustrated when Williams started one car after Bottas injured his back.

      I know the rules prevented another driver from stepping in, but that seems pretty silly to me. Let a licensedal backup driver step in. The teams would also be more motivated to take the backups seriously, and keep them ready wit pr active time.

      1. I agree with the comment on reserve drivers. Maybe one solution is main drivers should take two “bye” weeks during the season (meaning 4 drives for the reserve driver). Okay, it isn’t a lot, but it does at least justify the position.
        I don’t like to say “there should be a rule that says… ” because teams should know that when a driver is injured then that isn’t an excuse for a car not to race, the car should race with the reserve driver, but that doesn’t appear to be happening.

    2. if someone gets injured in FP3 or qualy, you cannot stand in for him… what’s the point?

      @fer-no65 That rule is for safety reason because if a driver injured in FP3, the reserve driver don’t have any time to get practice and car setup and they rightly should prevent him to (potentially) become a danger to himself and others.

      And I agree with the rest of your comments.

      1. But I bet if a top car had issues all weekend and did not run but could start the race they would let them.

  4. Re Hembery’s remark:
    If you’re at the circuit, speed differences can be very obvious. But TV is a different matter. Choice of shot, focal length of the lens, and integration with the background all have a huge effect on the sensation of speed. I remember watching some of the Formula E races and being impressed, despite the fact they’re travelling about half as fast as F1. A lot of it is down to the tight courses with barriers right next to the track to provide visual markers, and I noticed a lot of long-lens work on the cameras.

    1. I understand we can’t have lap record broke year in and year out. But the deltas we have between current lap records and the amount of years between them feel like we are going backwards.

      I think ideal would be lap records have a 5 year shelf life and most years are within 5 tenths… 5/5 and records that last longer then that would have a sense of specialness about them…. Riccardo broke the only 8 yr lap record on the books (for instance).

    2. I agree that the current way of showing us the cars using a lot of wide shot or slow motion rather diminishes the feeling of speed @charleski. I loved things like the kerb camera wobbling around every time a car rampaged over it etc. Also, missing the relatively little action we do have and then playing it as a replay has become almost standard. When was the last great move we actually saw live?

      We don’t really need faster cars. I could do with cars being slower in corners and having to actually slow down before most corners. Not sure I feel good with Pirelli offering to be the ones helping to bring by more overtaking though. I would rather see them just make tyres that allow drivers to have a go at an overtake.

  5. I agree with COTD. I think it’s get to the point where everything someone said will always have people commenting negatively. I guess if we joke about saying the opposite so Bernie will suggest what we actually want, the joke goes both ways, that maybe if Bernie somehow propose a plan for mechanical grip, people will want to increase aero instead!

  6. I think that Hembrey believe what he says, but in my experience you can definitely see performance difference across the field. In the same way that you can tell that a Manor is not a Mercedes, you can tell that today’s cars are nowhere near the level of 2005 model. I understand that more speed means more drag for those behind but unfortunately that doesn’t heal the wound of knowing that the cars are not at their maximum. I don’t really watch too many qualifying sessions from this era but I actively seek who of drivers at astonishing speed. To be honest though, qualifying speed is the least of F1’s worries.

    As far a I’m concerned, a race which is devised purely as an exercise of management is not a race that would be part of the previous 61 season’s DNA. The FIA and Bernie have made so many glaring mistakes over the past decade it’s unbelievable. Unfortunately, there needs to be a serious direction change in the sport’s priorities to save it from itself.

    1. I’ll challenge that opinion, remember watching Vettel or Hamilton gapping the field at 2+ seconds a lap at the beginning of race after race recently, they look like they are on cruise control, the chasing backmarkers look fast but they’re not.

      1. Sorry but what you were really watching was pure talent in the best machines and no competition, were you expecting that to look like its on the ragged edge? That’s pretty naive. Of course it looks easy. However easy it looks, it wasn’t

        Pay drivers in backmarkers will always look scrappy- if that’s what you prefer you might not be an F1 fan.

        Now, if we had a few more machines on the same level you might see more nervousness in those merc/RB/Ferrari chassis.

        1. yes, @mr.X, I want to see the drivers struggling to apply all the power to the track instead of adding more downforce and seeing them glued to the track. I am with fully with @hohum here. The slower cars often look more interesting because drivers have to fight their cars far more in tricky parts of the track.

        2. Mr. X you missed the point @Hohum was making. And then calling him ‘naive’!

          Sometimes it’s better to read and try to understand (even with a lack of ‘full stops’) than rush to comment.

          1. @coldfly, It weren’t my fault teach, @drmouse ate my full stops.

          2. @coldfly – no, i didnt miss any point. he said it looked like they are on cruise control. I countered with they werent on cruise control and at no point are those drivers having an ‘easy’ day – even in a MERC.

            It would also be pretty pathetic if a MERC handled like a Manor, and you would find the sport losing fans even faster than today if that were the case.

            Manor isnt F1, MERC is.

          3. no, i didnt miss any point.

            And now you’re naive!

      2. To be honest, with the 2005 season, I am probably as guilty of nostalgia as anyone on this website. However, @hohum, and I think you’ll agree with me here, that the management side is ‘created’ rather than occurring naturally. I like the look of the cars in the wet atm, they are still great to watch, but I feel that because I know that there is potential to go faster than I don’t respect it enough. For me, the first half of 2015 had many dire races which I don’t think would have been any worse if the drivers were allowed to go flat out. Management has always been part of F1. No one went flat out in the 3 hour races of the 50s. Gilles Villeneuve’s victory in Spain 1981 was wonderful management of a turbo car vs his normally aspirated rivals. Jerez 1986 showed that in some races the tyres could last all race and be within a second of the race pace of Mansell on fresh rubber charging. These are great races to me, but when we investigate degradation to the point of predictability, then where is the point?

        I’m all for hybrid power and think that it’s the right way for the sport but I wouldn’t mind a noise increase because I want F1 to blow me away. The tracks are too forgiving, the cars are not on the track enough, and we are watching two dominant eras back to back with no possibility to change it. Personally, I think the sport is in it’s worst condition for years both on and off the track.

        As for the chasing pack looking faster, I’ll always remember Sato in qualifying in Japan 2004 where he looked massively quick but Button was faster with his smooth style. I think that the way the cars are driven has to be more driver reliant and decreasing aero is no doubt the way to do it. I just want to see the cars pushed to their limit.

    2. Every single race in F1 history has been an excersize in management of at least a handful of factors.

      Prove me wrong if you can. Facts would help.

      Not saying I approve of the current formula but when are we going to grow up and stop using these exaggerated and inflated ideals of the past?

      1. The argument they’re making is that management has become even more important than it used to be. So much so that drivers are punished for going fast even for a little bit.
        Management has always been part of racing, but it has and should never be the the dominant strategy for the series. Sometimes you can win races with management, a la Prost, but when we see all of the drivers running around saving tires and fuel with no variety, it’s boring.

        1. But they chose that because they think its the fastest way to complete the race. They even take gamble with reduced fuel load if safety car risk is high just to shave off few seconds for the total time. Do you want them to actually start with max fuel load, burn the tires to set fastest lap after fastest lap but have to pit 4 times and actually finish the race slower than they could? It’s not about Pirelli tires, or fuel flow restriction. It’s about the weakest factor the car had. Even if Pirelli makes tires that durable for the whole race, you’ll still see a managed race for other factor.

      2. Sure management of at least some factors, but never to the extreme degree that is now the norm…the overwhelming tone of the races is not about racing at any sort of limit for the driver or the car. Yes management is and will always be part of the game, but it shouldn’t kill the very thing they’re there to do which is race in the pinnacle of racing. Delta lap running and waiting for the DRS zone is too far the wrong way.

    3. I watched the film Rush the other day (again) but I picked up something in the snippets of commentary they slip in, that even in 1976 the drivers were having to manage their fuel and tyres so as to make sure they finished the race. Even in the early 80’s fuel was limited, I think over 3 seasons the allowance went from 220litres to 195litres for the same spec engines on the same set of racetracks. So thinking that managing finite resources during a Grand Prix is a modern phenomenon is just absurd.
      It’s just people have what excitement every minute and it just doesn’t happen that way and in fact never has……….
      Every race won’t be epic, nor will every season. But the moment it isn’t epic the whole freaking world declares F1 is a dead duck on a slippery slope to oblivion.
      F1 is the same as ever, it’s the fans attitude that has changed.

      1. Of course managing a number of variables is intrinsic to motorsport, people that talk as if drivers just get in the car and go flat out for a whole race and only steer the car, press the brake or accelerator are after something there has never been. The thing is nowadays in the interest of entertainment the powers that be are artificially trying to accentuate some of these variables for the show and in so doing so some think the natural balance of these variables is thrown out rather than letting them run their own course. You will always have variables but do not try and manipulate them it is a bit like trying to control the weather to do so.

  7. Hembery, fans do see speed. Do I personally care about how fast cars can corner? No. Pirelli does enable overtaking, should it be their responsibility? No again.

    1. Hembreys products hold exactly ZERO lap records. He had no clue what speed even means.

      He does know what secret tyre test means though. Fact.

      1. Factually you are wrong. Pirelli hold the lap record in Korea, Monaco (there was a restructuring of the circuit in 2015), Mexico and new Silverstone.

        But the point is that on the circuits that haven’t been changed the fastest lap from the 2015 is anywhere around six seconds slower to the lap record. The lap record at Spa is 1:47.263 by Vettel in 2009. Rosberg’s fastest lap from last year is 1:52.416. It just shows how slow F1 is nowadays.
        I was in Melbourne for the GP last year and the cars looked only a slight but quicker than the V8 Supercars which were there and sounded inferior to them. The V8 tickets to an event are far, far cheaper and provide a far more open experience. The paddock was open to fans with a $30 (£15) paddock pass and I was within touching distance of the cars.

        1. I was in Melbourne for the GP last year and the cars looked only a slight but quicker than the V8 Supercars

          That is an exaggeration if ever I have seen one. The Aussie V8’s were on the F1 bill a few years back in Abu Dhabi and the difference between their performance was simply astonishing. If cars from both series were on track at the same time it would be like watching a Sopwith Camel try to keep up with a Typhoon.

          1. The straight speeds were very different, the F1 would easily out drag the V8 but the cornering speeds didn’t look to different and the V8’s were looking far harder to drive. I saw many V8’s off the road but not many F1 cars in the grass,

      2. Mr. X, you are making a completely pointless comparison given there has been such a fundamental shift in the regulations in the intervening years.

        For a start, a lap record can only be set during the race and, with the regulations now banning refuelling, lap times will inevitably be much slower during the race itself – if you look back to the era before refuelling came into force, it was normally the case that the fastest lap of a race would be in the order of 4-5s a lap slower than the pole position laps in qualifying.

        Now, polls in the past have suggested that reintroducing refuelling is an unpopular option though. Leaving the “no refuelling” requirement in the regulations, therefore, means that lap times are likely to continue to be several seconds a lap off historical best lap times.

  8. No One Better (@)
    21st January 2016, 4:02

    Sometimes I think the motorsports media has an axe to grind with F1. Even the media outlets that cover the sport on a regular basis have no problems dragging it through the mud at every chance they get. They are probably bitter that F1 does not give them the same level of access they get with other racing series. There might be some animosity there.

    Just look on Autosport. Homepage story: “Could a Sporting Scandal Hit F1?” Just because the tennis scandal is the hot topic in sports scandal you have to drag F1 into it? What about MotoGP? Look how quickly they swept the shameful ending to their championship under the rug. Is there a scandal brewing in Nascar, Indycar, WEC??? It’s always F1 getting its name tarnish.

    Kudos to Keith for picking F1antics comment for COTD. For all of you fair weather fans or selective amnesia fans, quit your whining!

  9. Hembrey should have used only the word battles and left out the word overtake, because the latter is worthless without the former.

    1. Absolutely 100% correct, Mansell never made the pass on Senna in that fateful race at Monaco but it was more exciting than all the races this century put together, we need to see the drivers on the ragged edge of control, we need there to be danger, not to the drivers health but to their chance of crashing out of the race and out of the points. None of this happens because drivers know they’ll lose more than they can gain because the tyres will be ruined in a couple of laps, pity Hembrey did not point this out to Bernie in the 1st place.

    2. Hembrey also knows his product is 95% the reason we no longer have ‘battles’.

      For the sake of keeping his job he said the right thing. How he still has his job is another question, but if no heads have rolled at Honda then it makes sense PH can keep his seat.

      5th most worthless man in F1 if you ask me.

    3. We must also add that the stat that most do quote in defense of F1 is that the number of overtakes have increased in the past ten years. These overtakes are only stemming from a mimic called DRS. We all know that DRS overtakes are horrid quality.

  10. theres a difference between wheel to wheel (real) racing and (drs/kers) artificial overtaking:
    the first is focused on keeping slow and fast cars close to eachother during a race, while the second is focused on getting a faster car ahead and building huge (60sec+) gaps to other cars.

    1. In all fairness to KERS, the drivers had to manage their 3 seconds of power boost to keep up in the dirty air AND have enough to pass.

  11. I’m wondering who Haas think their competitors will be in the lower midfield. He says that the Toro Rosso should be ahead of them even with an older spec Ferrari.

    Honestly, I would think Toro Rosso and Mclaren should be considered lower midfield for next season and Manor as backmarkers. I predict Force India and Williams to be quicker than Toro Rosso, just because they have a better understanding of the Merc PU after running with them last season. Renault are a bit of an enigma as they have made PU gains, and technically they are a factory team so they will have some benefit.

    I think Haas will find themselves in the bottom three along with Manor and Mclaren

    1. I forgot about Sauber completely :P

      Ok Sauber should be lower midfield. Probably just a fraction behind Toro Rosso

      1. Yeah, they are probably targeting Toro Rosso, Sauber, McLaren (if Honda turn up with a dud again) and Manor.

      2. I’ve put all the current data in the TPSCM (Team Performance Simulation Computer Model), which spits out the following (sorry can’t do graphs like Keith):
        ………….Toro Rosso………………………….
        …………..Force India…………………………
        ………………Red Bull Racing (++)………..
        ………………..Renault (+)…………………..
        (+ depicts in season relative performance gains)

        1. I made a list like this last week and nearly the same but I had McLaren between RedBull and Renault. Other than that same order. Would not be surprised to see McLaren much higher but also not surprised if they were at the tail of the midfield they could be anywhere.

        2. @coldfly Swap Manor and Haas, and I think that’s probably spot on. McHonda might gain through the year to that position, as Toro Rosso drop back without engine upgrades. RBR will want to be ahead of them by the end of the year, Renault trying to keep up.

  12. I love it when Hembery tells us ‘what people need’. Just stick to making tyres please and let others decide that.

    1. Why hush him and not the others? There’s a trillion people out there talking about what has to be done and what shouldn’t, and Hembery, being responsible for the most critical element of a car’s performance, is by far the most relevant actor to speak up so far.

      1. Because he’s in a position of power, and the ‘trillions’ of others like us are not. Maybe it’s just because I don’t agree with him, I don’t know. Maybe there’s a tinge of not liking the guy that is making me biased.

        My best F1 memory is not an ‘overtake’ but standing near maggots and beckets in 1998 watching Hakkinen completely on it in qualifying, being amazed at both the speed and the driver handling the twitchy car in the wet.

  13. Entirely agree with @f1antics‘s view. Completely in line with my opinion that F1’s worst problem might be the fans, but more cleverly worded.

  14. I was cynical about Twitter until I discovered that it was actually fun and entertaining and also very useful. Most of me is living in the 21st century, just not the bit that loves motor sport.

    Is that Goodwin bloke of any relevance to the UK public? Because frankly, he sounds like he shouldn’t be.

    1. I really like what he had to say in that article and agree.

  15. “Bernie Ecclestone is keen on initials for teams that do not have a strong heritage, and in the past persuaded the Hispania Racing Team to run as HRT, and Midland to run as MF1 Racing.”

    You all have to start somewhere, how do you build racing heritage without a decent brand name? We are going to call Manor “Manor” anyway next season so what’s the point of calling them MRT?

    1. Bernie appears keen to destroy any form of identity and individuality that might aid the survival of a small team IMO. I don’t understand how the name of a team would stop a potential buyer, unless it was ridiculous, in any case the infrastructure of a team and potential of the business is likely to be a greater determining factor?
      And how do Manor not have a strong heritage? Ok so they’ve only been in F1 since 2010 (bearing in mind Virgin bought Manor for their debut) but the team has been around in lower formulae since 1990! By my reckoning that gives them as much heritage as Red Bull, who originated in F3 as “Paul Stewart Racing” in the late 80s.

      Anyway, according to the article it looks like they’re going to call their chassis “MRT” as opposed to renaming the team, so hopefully that’ll keep the horrendously out-of-date Bernie quiet.

      1. When I was first getting into F1 I always confused HRT and STR because they were initials.

    2. It feels like a bit of a power play from Bernie; trying to make the small teams do as he says to remind them who’s boss. It’s tacky and I hope Manor, along with any other teams who are given such a ridiculous suggestion, refuse it. (A team whose heritage was gained from initials, such as ART or DAMS, should of course stick with their chosen acronym for the very same reason).

  16. H.A.A.S?

    Or is it just teams Bernie dislikes?

    1. Haas has NASCAR heritage, which I’m guessing Bernie considers more important than junior series heritage…

  17. That’s just the problem… “Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery feels Formula 1 must focus more attention on the spectacle of Formula 1 as part of its planned regulation changes in 2017, rather than simply making the cars lap faster.
    Read more at http://www.crash.net/f1/news/226168/1/hembery-unconvinced-by-value-of-2017-changes.html#a7S1uE5MMfU5lMbH.99

    F1 is prioritizing speed. Overtaking peformance to some degree distracts from ultimate performance. Some midfield teams, sometimes take passing in to consideration, but if they want to take poles, they gotta prioritize performance. And without front running car you dont win races these days. Mercedes probably prioritizes performance most of them all… judging by how impossible it is for their #2 driver to pass the driver who happens to be infront.

    But how can you ask teams to prioritize some overtaking over performance? That would be like talking to Novak Djokovič and ask him to hit a bit less strong serve, just to improve the show. He’d be like lolwut, I aint practicing to hit slow serves… or to ask Ronaldo, to run a bit slower to the goal, so defenders get a better chance…

    But Hembery is correct. It would help overtaking, it would make the fights more interesting only problem is… teams would find a way around any rules that prioritize overtaking, because overtaking simply means you qualified to low, your strategy was not good enough, your performance on opening laps was to slow, your start was poor, you are out of position somehow…

    The best F1 can do, is shape the rules in a way that helps overtaking, so ultimate performance is delivered in a way that coincides with good following another car performance. And what helps following behind another car better?

    High drag, low downforce…. oh wait. Exactly what F1 cars are not, their entire ethos is built around maximizing downforce/drag. Mechanical grip then is key to at least minimizing effect of downforce on overall grip. But high mechanical grip on its own does not help when all they do is just pile up ever more downforce.

    Especially if its done on the diffuser side. More downforce generated at the rear of the car, more understeer the car will get while following another car. Things rules should facilitate is to atleast mintain some kind of balance over front and rear downforce loss, shaping rear of the cars in a way to make air behind cars “cleaner”.. All these lead to loss of downforce, which understandably teams do not want.

    So what can Pirelli do? Design tires that do not drop off after 1-2 slips. Idealy tires should become stronger and offer more grip the more you push them. So when say Lewis Hamilton is catching up to Nico Rosberg, gets in to dirty air, does some understeer, the front tires really heat up and get even more grip, to somehow compensate for aero loss. Tires that do not dropoff after a few mistakes do exist, and drivers love them. But they are not designed to degrade, and do not exist in F1.

    Gimmicky tires we have right now prevent proper race overtaking, prevent following another car to closely and circumvent spectacular driving that is anywhere near or over the limit. It does promote conservative driving, tire life saving and waiting for your opponent to drop off a cliff. So If Pirelli want to do something, here is their chance.

    1. They had an Overtaking Working Group @jureo and they came up with wide front wings to collect relatively clean inwash air and high rear wings decoupled from the diffuser flow to reduce the size of the wake. Since then F1 collectively seems to have forgotten about all that and got into headless chicken mode with mindlessly making them faster, louder and more macho-looking.

      Paul Hembery is just the latest of a few who have finally dared to point out that on a given track faster cars find passing more difficult.

      IMO it’s mostly Bernie trying to hide the effect of pay-TV.

      The tyres… well they work both ways it seems to me. Sometimes they prevent following, other times they let a car with fresher or better preserved tyres pull off a pass that they couldn’t have managed otherwise.

      1. Well front wing went narrower, rear wing was totaly circumvented and will soon be lower and wider.

        And overtaking became worse.

        Active front wing would help things, but drivers did not use it.

        1. @jureo, I like your tennis analogy, imagine if the racquet strings were made to stretch when the ball was hit hard and racquets could not be changed between points. What would we get, nice long rallies of gently hit balls as the players managed their racquets, exciting, eh ?

          1. Or they could prescribe ball pressure to make it bounce more safely.

  18. Here is my 6 point plan for fixing F1.

    1. Remove DRS
    2. Gripier Tires, give teams free choice on compounds.
    3. Refueling = optional 100 l per racemaximum fuel
    4. Remove fuel flow limit
    5. Friday is open only for test/reserve/young drivers
    6. Teams can test freely, using their race alocation engines.

    Bonus plan? Stream onboards on Youtube, live with radio. Make old races avaliable for viewers. Open up!

  19. Here’s something on the 2016 Ferrari for the rumor mill.


    Ferrari’s aim is to reduce the ignition time, and make the engine operate in a similar way to a diesel with auto-combustion.

    If you can get the fuel to burn before the ignition spark, through high pressure within the chamber, then that will deliver a substantial increase in power. It’s easy to say but very complicated to carry out.

    I’m sure I believe this, but it’s certainly an intriguing theory.

    1. NOT sure, that is.

  20. I sat at turn 2 at the Canadian Gp for 9 years I could see the speed and even my newbee friends could see it! I saw the V6’s once no real reason to go back to the track. Hey but we still go to Crecent Street!

  21. Well said Paul Hembery! Agree 100%! Its not often i agree with him either. The Speed of the cars are not going to make any difference to the show of F1

  22. https://youtu.be/sUtNwm4qIpc
    Look at this comparison between Montoya 2004 Williams BMW F1 and Hamilton Mercedes F1 2015 at Monza…. I wish I had attended races back then, both for the speed and for the sound….

    1. I have now realized that the speed comparison showed in the above link isn’t fair, but the sound back then was better. Last time I was at Spa in 2014 we could see the cars come up from Eau Rouge, before we could hear them:-(

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