Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Jean Todt, Bernie Ecclestone, FIA Prize-Giving, 2015

Domination by one team not unique to F1 – Todt

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: FIA president Jean Todt tells critics of the one-sided competition in Formula One it isn’t the only sport where one team can dominate.

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Comment of the day

Flavio Briatore, Renault, 2002
Briatore: Watchable?
Would you go to see to ‘Flav: The Movie’?

If we ever know enough about Briatore´s life to make a full biography, the guy whose first business partner died in an unresolved case of car-bombing, who was found not guilty in most of the fraud-cases against him and somehow managed to get amnesty for those where he was found guilty, who dated (and impregnated) more than one world-famous model, and also lead a F1 team through wins, championships and cheating-accusations (which began long before Singapore, just think of traction control)… it would be an interesting biopic.

I’d buy movie tickets.
Sven (@Crammond)

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126 comments on “Domination by one team not unique to F1 – Todt”

  1. Dominance is foremost boring, especially in a sport in which all participations always fight with each other at the same time. The worst seasons of F1 are the ones in which one driver dominated, not the ones which had the least overtakes, slowest lap times or the most boring races. There’s no doubt the team that is the class of the field – be it a Williams, McLaren, Ferrari or anyone – should be appreciated. But equally there is no doubt few people would enjoy watching whether a dominant force would manage to win by 30 seconds or not.

    1. @michal2009b, I don’t know, something about your avator makes me a little suspicious of your sincerity.
      Did I really want someone I’d never heard of beat Djokovic in the Aus. Open ? Not really, but Djokovics’ dominance will end one day just as Federers’ has.

      1. And indeed as long as the others give Djokovic enough to have to dig deep to keep winning, it still provides us with thrilling matches to enjoy watching for hours @hohum, @michal2009b.

        1. @bascb Indeed. Easy for me to say because I don’t mind the two Merc drivers, although have pulled for NR, but at least the rivalry is there and vibrant. It is not boring to me as long as these drivers are free to fight…thank you Mercedes…the opposite of MS/Ferrari. But I do appreciate the frustration of one’s team and driver repeatedly not being in it. You watch because you love seeing the cars in action, you have hope, but you’re not as on the edge of your seat over it. It’s less exciting therefore a bit boring…to some…maybe many.

    2. Jean todt is a person that for more than 30 years has used any unfair advantage to get the team he worked for into a position of domination.
      Peugeot in the Dakar rally. He Said to the fans and media, that somebody stole the Peugeot 405 from vatanen, when in reality, it was taken by the mechanics, to replace the engine. All a big lie.
      Decided who the winner will be throwing a coin.
      Used all the Ferrari power to outlaw the wide Michelin tires in 2003, because the competition was getting closer.
      I don’t have anything good to say about that little man, that looks to other side when shaking hands, just to make people believe that he is important.

  2. Domination isn’t a good thing, but we could put up with it. The problem really, in my view, is the lack of competition behind. If you go into every race knowing the outcome – bar technical issues and penalties – throughout the whole field, what’s exciting about that?

    1. @strontium, patience, the day will come.

    2. You dont know the full outcome.

      There is F1 driver competition.

      Then there is team competition.

      There is also engine competition.

      Sponsor competition, brand value competition, behind the scenes competition, driver seat auctions… Inter team rivalry…

      Sunday results are just the tip of the iceberg.

      1. Sunday is what we actually watch.

    3. Right, there are large gaps between the teams. It’s no wonder that the WDC ended up as Mercedes/Mercedes/Ferrari/Ferrari/Williams/William/Red Bull/Red Bull/Force India/Force India.

      Actually it is somewhat surprising that Force India did relatively well after their horrid ’14-’15 winter, but I suppose all they needed to do was beat an near-insolvent Lotus and Sauber, and the Renault-powered rookie-squad.

  3. I have even heard people moan about Novak’s domination in tennis, and that’s a sport where a competitor makes 100% difference. There’s no car advantage, safety cars, botched pitstops. It’s one-on-one, a man against a man. And if people can find that boring, Todt should know how boring F1 is. Not only is one team or driver dominating, but most of the people don’t even think it’s that much to do with a driver anyway. That’s pretty much the worst kind of domination.

    1. What people moan about in Tennis is not Novak’s domination, it’s the fact they want their hero to bow out respectably but with Novak that’s not going to happen also no upcoming player to take him down soon!
      The good thing about it is Novak is not using a racquet that others cannot use, it’s just his ability and relentless performance.

    2. What Todt doesn’t understand is that Formula 1 is a different sport from Tennis. Motorsport combines the abilities of man vs engineering excellence in machinery. Fortunately or Unfortunately, it’s 80-90% machine’s performance vs 10-20% the ability of the driver that counts.

      The problem is that Humans want to look at other fellow human beings as champions, and not a piece of machinery. Can you imagine crowds of people showing up at Wimbledon cheering for Head, Wilson and Babolat tennis racquets? Could you imagine Andrew Murray dominating tennis because he had a Head racquet that no one else on earth possessed? Could you imagine how frustrating it would be if Roger played his heart out every match, only to lose out because his Wilson couldn’t generate as much power compared to his opponent’s racquet? A situation like that would be the end of the sport forever.

      To get back to Todt’s statement. Formula 1 domination is different from every other sport. If the cars were more evenly matched, and then we had one particular driver dominating, it wouldn’t hurt the sport. But if it’s a piece of machinery dominating, then that spells problems due to the inherent nature of sport.

      For Todt to make a statement like that, really shows the poor quality of thinking on behalf of the people governing the sport.

      1. @todfod

        Formula 1 domination is different from every other sport

        No, it is not. Equipment plays an important role in a lot of other sports, too. Bobsleigh and sailing are particularly good examples.

        Tennis racquets might not decide the winner but training facilities still do. Federer was born in Switzerland and obviously always had access to high quality facilities, equipment, coaches, nutrition specialists etc. How many famous tennis players from Africa (not South Africa) can you name? Resources are not everything but they decide a lot in the world of sports, not only in F1.

        F1 cars do not appear from nowhere; they are built by human beings, who possess certain resources. Teams, who have more money than the others, usually hire the smartest people, build the best cars and get the best drivers, too. However, sometimes they get it wrong and the “minnows” get it right. F1 is actually not different from football, tennis or any other sport in that sense.

        1. @girts

          Tennis racquets might not decide the winner but training facilities still do. Federer was born in Switzerland and obviously always had access to high quality facilities, equipment, coaches, nutrition specialists etc. How many famous tennis players from Africa (not South Africa) can you name? Resources are not everything but they decide a lot in the world of sports, not only in F1.

          By your logic, only the tennis players who come from means, or ones who have access to the best facilities, should be dominating the sport. So to make a direct comparison to how this co relates to formula 1, you are saying, Djokovic spent more money on training than Andy Roddick, therefore, he is a better player? This is entirely untrue. To put everything in to perspective, Djokovic has had better resources than Federer, who in turn has better resources than Nadal, etc.? The whole argument sounds ridiculous now doesn’t it?

          F1 cars do not appear from nowhere; they are built by human beings, who possess certain resources. Teams, who have more money than the others, usually hire the smartest people, build the best cars and get the best drivers, too. However, sometimes they get it wrong and the “minnows” get it right. F1 is actually not different from football, tennis or any other sport in that sense.

          Best of luck changing perception to the common sports viewer about how a machine should be viewed as the collective efforts of people who don’t appear on tv. They are all part of a team, and stars in their own right.. just like football players within a team .. pfft.

          1. @todfod

            you are saying, Djokovic spent more money on training than Andy Roddick, therefore, he is a better player

            Of course not. I never said that Mercedes dominate F1 because they have a bigger budget than Ferrari or Red Bull. Teams that have more or less similar facilities can compete with each other. As for tennis, countries are the teams. Djokovic comes from a country with some tennis history so he obviously did not become the world number 1 by playing ball in his backyard.

            There are around 200 countries in the world but players from only 13 countries have been ranked number 1 by the ATP during the last 43 years. By the way, the only Latvian tennis player, who has ever made it to the top 10, would never have done it without the support of his wealthy father. For sure, there are always exceptions to the rule but they are rare. If a talented and hard-working sportsman wants to become the best in the world, someone else usually needs to spend a lot of money for the equipment, the training etc., be it his father, his sponsors, his team or his country.

          2. @todfod, Please take a carefull look at your reasoning in disagreeing with what @girts wrote there.

            That one generation usurps the past is not about having more money or facilities. Its just about the athlete growing older, more prone to injury and their abilities slowly degrading. By the time Nadal came through, Federer was at the top of his abilities, then slightly over the top. He still kept going by not doing as many tournaments as some others and kept fit, while Nadal had more health issues. But when Djokovic started his rise to the top Federer had already been going for long enough that he just was not up to it anymore.

            In F1 we could all see how Schumacher was not quite the same anymore in his latter years. And I doubt many would disagree when I state that we can see the same with Kimi. Webber might be the paralell of Nadal who often suffered injuries that hurt his career when he had the best chance to make it really count.

            Again, in Tennis the physical part, and therefore the training facilities play a far greater role than the racket or the shoes. But they still mean that only people who get the chance to play with top equipment (I think there have been exclusive deals in the past) and train at top facilities can really compete at ATP level and win grand slams. And being successfull also means you have a head start both from the money it provides but also from having a sure place on the “grid”.

            In many other sports the equipment can be almost as important as in F1 – Everything involving boats, canoes, sleds, bicylces etc. Or just think about ice speed skating and the advantages the Dutch used to have with their special skates and aero suits. Or the swimming suits that had to be banned because it was the suit dominating over the athletes a few years back.

            On another note, just look at many football (soccer?) competitions – Bayern in Germany, Barcelona and Real Madrid in spain etc. who dominate evey year because they have the money to buy the best players, get the best trainers, have a selection with enough stars to spread the burden and also train with the best possible methods and equipment.

            I see many sports where someone/a team dominate. And more often than not the basis for that dominance is in the financial means put towards staying in that position.

          3. @bascb Thank you for the additional information. That was my point – other sports are not only about the ability of one sportsman, they are about much more. That does not mean that the sportsman cannot make the difference under certain circumstances. The same goes for F1 as you always have to beat your team mate anyway and I guess we will forever remember what Alonso did in 2012.

        2. @girts
          If Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo had fell in love with Formula 1 instead of football, there’s absolutely no way that they would make it beyond karting. Ronaldo, from my understanding, came from a working class single mother background. Messi and Neymar were both working class South Americans.

          On top of that, when Barcelona won the champions league, you knew it was because they were the best team in the world. Not because they had better boots or a mechanical advantage over Juventus or something like that.

          This is why, unlike football, fans will never accept dominance in F1.

          1. @kingshark

            If Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo had fell in love with Formula 1 instead of football, there’s absolutely no way that they would make it beyond karting.

            The early life of F1 drivers and finances of their families are interesting topics that probably deserve more attention. As far as I know, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel come from either working or middle class families.

          2. “On top of that, when Barcelona won the champions league, you knew it was because they were the best team in the world.”

            Theres no point using football as an argument in this discussion, big football teams, like F1 teams, have enormous budgets, and enormous budgets attract big players. If Barcelona where a lower league team struggling for money, they wouldn’t attract the likes of the Messi’s and Neymar’s of this world.

            I don’t know how much you follow football, particularly in Spain, but this is a big topic:

            “Two of the most richest football clubs in the world are Real Madrid and Barcelona who dominate spanish primera division year and year out. They have some of the best players playing for them with the likes of Ronaldo, Bale, Messi and Neymar on the wages list no wonder they are also have the most expensive squads however same can not be said for all 20 liga teams.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_Financial_Fair_Play_Regulations

            The UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP) were agreed to in principle in September 2009 by the Financial Control Panel of football’s governing body in Europe (Union of European Football Associations – UEFA). They were established to prevent professional football clubs spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success

          3. Theres no point using football as an argument in this discussion, big football teams, like F1 teams, have enormous budgets, and enormous budgets attract big players. If Barcelona where a lower league team struggling for money, they wouldn’t attract the likes of the Messi’s and Neymar’s of this world.

            This holds little relevance to the argument. If Barcelona was a low tier team struggling for money, then all their talented footballers would be playing on another team. Then, that team would would become champion instead of Barca. The bottom line is that in football, the most talented players will always rise to the top. The same cannot be said about the extremely money-dependent sport that is F1. The only exception is when a particular player remains royal to a not-so-good team (Francesco Totti), but those cases are very rare.

            There’s no such thing as a “pay footballer” either. There would be a huge outrage if a rich daddie bought his untalented son a place in the Champions League final. A concept that is a regular occurrence in Formula 1 would never ever happen in football.

          4. @kingshark Well, in F1, the best designers, engineers, and also mostly, drivers, end up at the top teams with the highest budgets.

            How much engineering talent moved to Mercedes to make it a success, how often does Ferrari move its engineers in and out, trying to get the best car and strategy team? Newey, arguably the top aero player, had success in three teams. James Ellison was a rising star at Renault/Lotus, moved to Ferrari to help them get the best car.

            It just isn’t only about the drivers being the top, but the team behind it too. You see that, for example, in the consistency of the pit stops – Red Bull was top for a long time, but now Mercedes has been best over 2015. Ferrari has become a close contender in the last few years. And it is one of the ways Williams hasn’t quite been up to snuff in the last two years.

  4. Precisely why team budgets should be limited so the field becomes that much tighter.

    1. Precisely why teams should have unlimited budgets and open up aero development with semi-fixed PU’s.

      1. You’re both wrong, you can’t fix it by regulation, unless you really fix the results.

        1. He’s a red bull man, hence why he’s suggesting unlimited budgets and open aero developments, despite many saying aero is why the cars can’t follow each other.

          1. Current spec tires are why the cars can’t follow each other.

            I’m an F1 fan, and I love teams that push. You my friend are TJ13 man, so not sure why facts matter to you at all.

            Isn’t making stuff up what you do best?

        2. Correct @hohum, why do people want to resolve everything with more regulation.
          Less rules (i.e. more creativity) and fair dividing of the cake will do it; cream will rise to the top

          1. So the creme isn’t rising to the top now? How are Merc doing it then? Seems to me they are the creme, unless we arbitrarily decide engines are not as fundamental as aero to MOTORsport…

            Complete liberation would make only the richest team even more dominant than now – and the gaps behind would be huge. Sure, a canny engineer one year might find a trick to rise his team up the grid a little bit – next year they all have it, just the richest team has the best version now, and probably has hired that engineer too! Remember the raised nose was pioneered (at least partly) initially by Tyrell. Didn’t do them a lot of good though did it?

            People have in mind some weird rose-tinted image of an unregulated F1 as a paradise of different shaped cars, each with their own strength, with races a riot of leaders swapping positions. I think this might actually be Wacky Races. The reality would be huge gaps between a very clearly split grid. Remember how the FW14 (seen as the most technically advanced car ever?) dominated?

      2. Yeah the problem is 4 teams do have relatively unlimited budgets as it is, and since they aren’t really capped other than through restricted testing and having to make parts last longer and longer, they will remain strong and leave the rest of the grid further and further behind. Small teams can’t keep up on track or financially as it is so opening things up even further is only going to hurt F1 overall.

        Don’t get me wrong, if I thought the money was there for 10 teams to be out there spending and developing big time then I think that would be good, but those days are no longer reality as we almost all know. I don’t see anything in the global economy right now that is going to change so that suddenly there are entities ready to inject all that money into F1.

        1. But @robbie, does restricting the number of engines to 4 really save money ?

      3. Semi fixed aero with no restriction on engines would be even better.

  5. COTD makes Briatore seem like a real world super-villain, which I’m not sure would be entirely wrong… and since I just finished binge-watching Daredevil, I’m thinking Kingpin! ;)

    1. They’d need to hire an expert to do the Singapore ’08 crash properly, though. Wait a minute, Pastor’s free now, right?

      1. Wouldn’t work on the 1st lap though.

        1. + 1 Hahahahahaha

      2. Probably not a good solution. Sure, Pastor might crash. He might also win the race (which would likely suit Flavio as long as it only happened once). But he might also give an average mid-field performance.

        To do a Singapore 2008-style crash, you need someone who will mess up on cue.

        1. Am I reading here that we didnt give Nelsinho enough credit for Singapore ’08 ;-)

    2. Apex Assassin
      9th February 2016, 19:15

      the facts are there. go find them. i think you’ll find that Briatore is indeed a scumbag. Ask his kids.

  6. Paul (@frankjaeger)
    9th February 2016, 0:51

    That Sauber’s nose looks like a cookie cutter of McLaren’s nose

    1. mclaren-williams

    2. These mini stub noses are barely any better than the 2014 atrocities.

  7. AMR (@aiera-music)
    9th February 2016, 0:56

    Regarding the new cockpit protection for 2017, I think a shatterproof wrap-around canopy makes the most sense. Keeps the front shielded from impacts and collisions, and leaves an opening at the top for drivers to safely and quickly exit the car.
    If they use a canopy system instead of a column-supported ‘halo’, it should also eliminate the need for the centre column, which was obscuring the driver’s vision. The biggest issue I had with the ‘halo’ was that small debris could still enter the cockpit area. A canopy removes that risk as well.
    The most intriguing concept that could be pushed alongside the canopy would be a heads-up display (HUD). Projecting data onto the canopy at the driver’s eye height could give drivers vital info without needing to take their eyes off the track. It would also make for a spectacular visual addition to the cars from the T-bar camera!
    I’m imaging these cars looking almost like fighter jets come 2017. Sleek, aggressive, canopied monsters on track battling it out for track supremacy!

    1. I think the idea of some sort of windscreen made of strong material is excellent, but that metal support right in front of the driver doesn’t look quite right. How many of us drive with an obstruction right in front of our nose? No one does! So it is just as silly to expect people racing at 365 km/h to do the same. Maybe the drivers happy and it didn’t bother them, then I would accept it, but I still would think it didn’t look right.
      F1 is the premier open wheel racing series, so I think the teams should be able to come up with something sensible. Why not just come up with a “spec” for what the windscreen / fairing should be able to do, and then, at least in the short term, leave it up to the teams?

      1. How many of us drive with an obstruction right in front of our nose?

        Most F1 drivers have a whole battery of antennas and measuring devices in front of them. As long as they are thin it does not really obstruct their view.

        1. Yeah, they already have view obstructed… Right there ..

      2. You cannot spec a windscreen to have the same deflection properties as steel alloy.

        Please try to understand that.

    2. Remote control driverless cars is the answer.

    3. This is almost the answer, except for when the car is upside down.

      For me, I’d have a windscreen that extends over the driver’s head, but not down the sides. Would need a wiper and de-mist, but cockpit temps wouldn’t rise too drastically, I’d think. Keeping the amount of dish to a minimum would avoid vision distortion.

      I’m just not sure whether it would be strong enough. Might need reinforcing with A-pillars, which would reduce visibility.

    4. Lewisham Milton
      9th February 2016, 9:04

      At least they’ll be able to move the cameras down off the T-bar, giving a better sense of speed and the driver’s eye view.

      I’d go and see “Flav”, but only with a stolen ticket.

  8. I really hate it when people get smug!

    Hamilton’s father would do well to remember his sons results when he wasn’t driving a dominant car. As far as I remember, after winning in 2008, he finished no higher than 4th in the WDC unitl he got into the most dominant car the sport has ever seen in 2014.

    The only way Hamilton will dominate for the next 10 years is if Mercedes keep producing the sports most dominant cars!

    1. So tell us Nick, who wins a WDC without a dominant car? because with your logic a car capable of winning a race makes them automatic a WDC contender.

      1. @scepter
        Most drivers have won a WDC without a dominant car, and quite a few have won without the best car. Most notably Prost in 86 and Schumacher 95.

        1. I agree, a few have won in not what many would consider a “dominant car”, but that’s not the norm, a car that’s capable of winning a few races requires an element of luck and reliability to win a WDC compared to a dominate one.

          1. @scepter
            2000: competitive car
            2001: semi-dominant car
            2002: dominant car
            2003: competitive car
            2004: dominant car
            2005: competitive car
            2006: competitive car
            2007: competitive car
            2008: competitive car
            2009: semi-dominant car
            2010: semi-dominant car
            2011: dominant car
            2012: competitive car
            2013: dominant car
            2014: dominant car
            2015: dominant car

            The amount of titles won in dominant cars versus competitive cars seems pretty evenly spread to me.

        2. I should also add Senna in 91 too.

        3. I think if you put a seasoned Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso in the 2008 Ferrari and 2009 Brawn cars, they become dominant cars.

  9. Size Zero…. Excellent article. So honda often times was 200bhp down on Merc?

    Also Jorda… Geez. Even I can drive within 5s of quali pace on a simulator… Howcome she is so far off? Atleast Susie Wolf was half a second off pace or so? 12 seconds almost sounds unreal.

    And finally. Mercedes.. Nothing wrong with their dominance, they atr the most galant team to dominate F1 in ages. All credit to them.

    1. Agreed, another excellent article from Motorsport magazine and it pretty well illustrates why very tight, very prescribed regulations don’t lead to cost savings in highly competitive field.

    2. Very nice article indeed @jureo, @hohum. It actually made me think about whether this is not also one of the reasons for Renault and Red Bull sort of splitting up. Clearly Red Bull with their aero focus are going for the same sort of idea as the “size zero” with a car that is developed for aero function foremost and possibly compromising the engine.

      We saw that Ferrari went from that concept to the other route where they first optimize the engine/drive train to get as much power as possible after their debacle in 2014. I can imagine that Renault will want to look at the whole concept the same way, and probably Honda and McLaren will have to do so as well (unless they find the magic trick that makes their small, high rpm turbine work efficiently)

      1. There is no magic trick. Laws of physics apply to F1 aswell. If Mercedes is at 95% of turbine thermal efficiency then they can only go bigger to gain power.

        Reverse is also true, smaller turbine, then just cannot recover more energy than a big one. When peak efficiency is meet.

        Article talks of 100kW recovered at peak efficiency, so anyone going with size zero package, needs to derive 40-50bhp worth of laptime from aero benefits.

        Current leaders in laptime, Mercedes and Ferrari have already moved ahead, Renault should soon follow. Honda for 2017?

        It will be very interesting to watch….

        1. That is why I think this engine formula might be so unlikeable for Red Bull – the gains they could get from NOT being only focussed on aero are far greater than what that super aero focussed but mechanically compromised (turbo and battery size /placing etc) car would be able to reach @jureo.

          I think its more or less still the point that Mercedes did get from the outset and the others are still catching up to.

          As for the Honda – they apparently thought that they would be able to make a turbine construction that could do the job while being smaller in widh (being longer) and run higher rpm at the same time. IF they can, they might be on to something. If not, then the “size zero” thing is not going to work.

    3. Apex Assassin
      9th February 2016, 19:15

      only 12seconds/lap?

      She’s getting better and better every year!

  10. You can’t really compare domination in racing vs. domination in other sports.

    Take a look at the Premier League. Every week there will be matches where one team should beat the other, while at the same also offer matchups between to equal team where either side can win. This week we have Man U vs. Sunderland and West Ham vs. Norwich. Some people won’t watch those as the winner shouldn’t be in doubt. But we also have Liecester City vs. Arsenal and Tottenham vs. Man City. Two matchups that will draw a lot of interest. It doesn’t matter if one team is running away with the championship as you are always going to find an interesting matchup to watch.

    F1 doesn’t have that option. If one team runs away with the championship, it means they are also running away with the only race of the weekend. If you can predict the winner before hand and there is no other F1 race to watch, then why bother watching F1 at all.

    1. You cannot predict the winner every week, if you could I would suggest that you put money on it. You’d be a millionaire in no time. F1 fans just enjoy moaning about it. Then they look back to past seasons and say how great everything used to be.

      1. There’s a good reason to why the betting return rate on Hamilton and to some extend Rosberg are so low, even bwin knows how boring F1 was in 2015.

    2. By extension of the premier league metaphor, F1 can have battles further down the field even if the ‘top of the table’ clash is sometimes a predictable draw. And, of course, there are other formulae which offer more exciting and unpredictable racing.
      It is a general problem in sport (& life) that the further up the food chain you go, the more professional (read processional) and predictable things get…

  11. So you’re saying domination isn’t unique to F1, so we should just accept it?. It has happened before in F1, and it’s happening in other disciplines, and other sports. But what would you rather watch? a Real Madrid – Getafe match where both teams have a chance or, as it’s the case nowadays, an boring one-sided match where all that’s left to determine is how big the win will be for Real Madrid (no offence to Getafe’s fans, but that’s usually the case with every other team).

    I don’t like knowing that Ogier is almost certain to win a rally, and I don’t like it when Djokovic has an easy path to the Australian Open trophy. That’s boring. I understand it’s part of the game, but I don’t like it. Everyone will tell you that wins taste better when you’re you’re challenged and you really push for it. Hence why Wimbledon’s 2008 mens final will stay in the memories of everyone, not just those tennis lovers.

    I admire Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes for achieving a level that felt unreachable even in the Vettel days. But you can argue that they win races with half the effort when there’s no one to push them. If other teams and drivers did, it’d be much better for everyone involved, also the fans.

    1. We might get more challenges once we get tyres that don’t melt when overdriven.

  12. Just as I suspected Jorda was nothing more the a sub par racer at best, just dressed up in a very attractive package. Suzy would crush her head to head

    1. Oh come on, fire up any simulator and try to be twelve seconds off the pace. Not even the Vettel/Alonso-pace, but that of one Marco Sorensen. Jorda is not exactly the next Schumacher, but twelve seconds is an enormous amount of time in F1. It sounds to me like Marco Sorensen is embellishing his story quite a bit.

      1. So what? She looks absolutely stunning and will beat him 12 times over in a contest! ;-)
        I don’t see the point of his smearing really.

        1. Yes, because the looks of a racing driver are the most important thing, aren’t they?

          1. And the point of slagging someone in your team is…? She’s there for a reason whether he likes it or not, especially with an impossible claim as 12 seconds. These types of comments are revealing about the person making them.

          2. If it gets you the sponsorship to stay solvent long enough for your other driver to get the results, then to a near-bankrupt team, beauty probably is the most important thing. Which itself is a pretty serious indictment of the situation.

          3. @Yoseph Marco is now a former Lotus development driver. He doesn’t have to be nice to his ex-employer. He’s probably trying to justify why he’s no longer in that situation – even though from a racing perspective he’d be better off concentrating on 2016 rather than complaining about 2015.

          4. Looks are important in F1, even among the guys. Look how pretty most of them are – Jenson, Britney, Sainz, Lewis, Rossi…

            All the comments Kubica used to get about his nose.

            Carmen clearly isn’t too quick but in a sense she is still F1. It’s all about status. I can’t even imagine how nuts the whole circus would go if such a cute girl appeared who was also as fast as LH/SV/FA. omfg…

          5. @lockup

            I can’t even imagine how nuts the whole circus would go if such a cute girl appeared who was also as fast as LH/SV/FA

            She’ll be accused of being a Gestapo (has sort of happened before).

          6. Yes, because the looks of a racing driver are the most important thing, aren’t they?

            Actually, I’d argue Jorda is better for F1 than Susie Wolff.

            It doesn’t really matter if you’re 1 second of the pace (Wolff) or 12 seconds (Jorda) of the pace, you’re taking the place of a young talent who deserves that seat.

            With Jorda’s looks, at least some perv’s will tune in to watch the race. Wolff on the other hand is 100% useless for the sport.

          7. @paeschli Couldn’t disagree more with your (sorry to say that) quite sexist comment.
            F1 doesn’t need women that are treated as objects. Nothing in fact need women treated as objects.
            Wolff proved that a woman can be as fast as a man, we just need lots of them trying hard starting from their young age to maybe one day have talents that emerge.

          8. @lockup Nice (that’s a surname, not a description).

          9. @spoutnik Except for the fact that Wolff isn’t even in the same dimension as any actual F1 driver talentwise and didn’t prove jack outside of her being useless. It’s bad enough that once a woman with actual skills has made it that the mainstream media will shill that whole “Susie Wolff was an inspiration and not totally useless, guize” narrative, but we as knowledgeable motorsport fans should not indignify ourselves like that.

    2. Just as I suspected Jorda was nothing more the a sub par racer at best

      You suspected that? Just look at her racing record. It’s not so much a suspicion rather than a fact.

      1. But she would make an outstanding grid girl? Reserve drivers never race anyway so might as well have a fantastic looking lady there instead.

  13. 12 seconds off pace? That can’t be right. Right?

    1. jesus you would have to hope so, but that could explain why we never saw her in a FP1 session….

    2. Can’t be.

    3. Just looked at the GP3 qualifying from Hungary 2014, Jorda in a GP3 (1:38.632) was 12-ish seconds off the pace of the quickest Lotus (1:26.136) in Q1. So she can’t be quite that bad.

    4. It must be a misquotation, 1.2sec off seems more like it.

  14. Wow, it’s a good thing Jean Todt wasn’t in charge back when Jackie Stewart, Sid Watkins et al were pushing for safety changes. ‘Driver fatalities? Critics are being unfair. You have to accept that it’s part of the sport…..’ Dude, it’s your job to change the sport for the better, not to lazily ‘accept’ the rotten bits. Unless, of course, you don’t see a lack of competition as a fundamental problem for an activity that likes to call itself a ‘sport’.

    1. No wonder the FIA doesn’t seem to be doing much this decade – it seems to have decided it doesn’t have a use for the powers it possesses.

    2. Back when Jackie Stewart was pushing for safety in the 70s he came under a lot of criticism for it & there were many including many of his fellow drivers who were indeed saying the danger/high risk of death should be accepted because it was just a part of the sport.

      I can recall reading motoring magazines when I was a kid in the early 1970s where they were really laying into Jackie & saying that if he felt it was too risky he should quit & as dumb as that may sound now there was a period where that was actually what most followers of the sport felt at the time & that includes some of the drivers.

  15. As mentioned by a few people above, i dont see how Jorda could be 12 seconds a lap off the pace on a simulator, while she probably isnt the most skilled driver in the real world im sure most of us that regularly play racing games wouldnt be that far off the pace, after getting used to the complicatedness (if thats a real word) of the simulator anyway.
    On a seperate note, as a Button fan i do hope McHonda are able to make the gains they feel they are capable of with the size zero concept, but when almost everyone else involed with f1 is saying that it costs too much power for what you gain i am quite worried. With the quality of drivers they have in Fernando and Jenson i feel if they get a good chunk of their relitive deficit decreased and start getting back towards the front of the grid they definitely have the drivers to take the best result availible – i dont think theres anyone better in the wet than Jenson and no one hustles a car like Fernando

  16. What is a ‘static crash test’?

    1. from F1.com
      “In addition to the five dynamic tests, a further 13 static load tests are carried out on the chassis’ front, side and rear structures to ensure they can withstand the levels of collateral pressure required by the regulations. These tests include applying pressure to the floor below the fuel tank, to the side of the nose mount, and to the chassis’ sides at leg and seat levels. The surfaces in question may only deflect or deform within specified limits and there must be no damage to the impact structure, the survival cell or the gearbox.”

      1. Why gearbox? The rest is obvious for me but why is protecting the gearbox important for FIA? (Apologies if I missed something badly.)

        1. @coldfly Static tests are ones where the car is stationary – the weight or item providing the “challenge” to the car does all the moving.

          Dynamic tests are where the car is moving, usually towards either a static wall or alongside/towards an also-moving weight.

          Your correctly-calibrated sense of realism will be reassured to know that even crash tests always include some movement.

          @e-est Because gearboxes, especially back in the 1990s, are/were heavy. Having something with so much weight come loose in the car could lead to unexpected damage to protective components, from the opposite side to expected. It’s an attempt to avoid surprise failures of crash structures. The relatively low weight of gearboxes nowadays make this a relatively small factor in safety. At some point, I expect ICE units to be included in the list of things that cannot be damaged in crashes, since these are by far the heaviest part of cars, and unlike in previous decades, the technology exists to protect them too.

      2. Thanks Jason!

        Still weird to call it a static crash test. I’ve seen quite a few crashes, but none of them ‘static’.

        1. @coldfly Canada 2008…….

          1. But still not ‘static’, @davidnotcoulthard; iirc Lewis dynamically crashed into Kimi.
            It would be ‘static’ if Lewis parked his car next to Kimi, got out and crushed the ferrari as if he were the green Hulk.

          2. @coldfly

            got out and crushed

            Replace the crushing with a car colliding and the force would still be the same – meaning the same rules that apply in that kind of a static crash would also apply here – for the Ferrari, anyway.

            Or have I missed something?

  17. I know it isn’t really news when teams pass crash tests, but you can learn things from that Sauber tweet. Like the fact that they seem to have bagged a new sponsor (CNBC)…

  18. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    9th February 2016, 7:58

    To calm those who read the piece about Carmen Jorda, I was so glad when I found this clip of one of the best on-track battles I ever saw live:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsnFbthTuck

    In the drying dampness of a Silverstone morning, this was a tremendous duel. We all knew Jules was something special by 2011; a driver that could be epitomized in a single word: tenacious.

  19. All this talk of dominance in sport and there is not one mention of the All Blacks. The last time I checked, they had won 75% of all the test matches they have competed in since 1903. They are the most complete team in the world (as a fan of the Springboks it kills me to say that) and they play an incredibly exciting brand of rugby. They are universally admired in the sport. Mercedes are, at the moment, the F1 equivalent of the All Blacks and yet we call them boring…it’s mad.

    1. The All Blacks dopesn’t restrict rivalry (intra-team competition) between its players, as it trusts the players to use their rivalries to help, rather than hinder, their team’s performance. Mercedes, rightly or wrongly, no longer feels it can do so (for the half-season in 2014 where it didn’t “restrain” its drivers, it was a lot more popular). Red Bull also managed to give the impression, rightly or wrongly, that Webber was being hamstrung in his attempts to rival Vettel, with the result that it’s been seven years (2009) since the title-winning team has been one consistently allowing intra-team competition in the season.

      Plus, as @geemac says, the All Blacks’ difference between themselves and their opponents is obvious and attractive to people. Mercedes’ main difference is having more money than anyone with the possible exception of Ferrari (what it loses in Bernie payouts, it gains on such things as increased willingness to go into debt to finance its racing and extra full-fee engine customers). People find interesting play styles worth watching. Extra money… …not so much. There’s a reason Wall Street 24 isn’t an available TV channel anywhere.

      1. Also, the All Blacks have to play at their best to beat the likes of the Springboks and Wallabies and a lot of the games remain in the balance for a long part of the 90 minutes.

        Unlike Mercedes – winner decided after first lap & winning at a canter – they’re so far in front they’re not having to perform at absolute peak each race. It’s not the dominance it’s the fact that the gap is so big that is the problem.

    2. Mercedes are, at the moment, the F1 equivalent of the All Blacks and yet we call them boring…it’s mad.

      I can recall when Red Bull were winning in much less dominant fashion than Mercedes are, and yet a lot of people were calling it boring. A lot more people than are currently complaining about Mercedes, interestingly enough.

  20. Great move by Ferrari with the filing day. They get a free shakedown day every year by pulling this as a ‘filming’ day. You got to admire their relentlessness in bending the rules just to get that little extra more track time. Mclaren need to stop snoozing and do a ‘filming’ day of their own.

    Very interesting read on the Honda size zero approach. It really looks like they’ve taken a massive design risk. The fact that Mercedes is still increasing the size of their turbine and compressor to optimise the PU efficiency, shows that the Honda are probably in deep trouble with their size zero approach. Honda in 2016 will have a turbine and compressor the size of the 2014 Merc PU (inside the engine vee), but nonetheless a less than optimal size.

    As mentioned in the article, unless the aero benefit starts outweighing the lack of grunt, the size zero approach is a complete waste. Honestly, for Mclaren to make up for the engine deficit, they would need to make the best chassis of all time. Maybe then they could fight for wins and a championship

    1. McLaren will probably use their filming day between the tests. Most, if not all teams, use their filming day at some point during the pre-season (the exceptions tend to be teams that either have a serious rush to get the car ready for the final test, or those whose sponsors have specified needing a later filming day for some reason).

    2. @todfod Ferrari are not bending any rules by doing a filming day, In fact giving a new car a shakedown using a filming day has been fairly common since the testing restrictions were introduced in 2009.

      Both in 2014 & 2015 Mercedes used a filming day at Silverstone as a shakedown prior to launching the car officially, They even did some viral video’s teasing the car prior to the launch a few weeks later in Jerez.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWlN0UYznKs

      Other teams also do the same.

  21. Regarding helmet design rules, am I right in thinking that drivers are free to completely change their design once a year? And then they then have to keep it the same for that whole season. So it’s not like race numbers where you pick a design and then that’s it for your whole career – which I thought was kind of the intention of the helmet design ban rule, ie. stick to a design so that fans can recognise drivers easily. I’m only saying that because Button seems to be changing his design to pre-2015 and Grosjean here is previewing a new design.

    1. You have understood the helmet rule correctly. The point was to avoid huge mid-season helmet changes, not necessarily to make the helmet a whole-career identifier.

      1. Ah ok thanks. Seems slightly odd to ban changes in-season to help with driver identification, but not ban year on year changes which won’t really help with driver identification. ie. if Hamilton has a white helmet one year, yellow the next, red the year after, purple the year after that… I’d rather see the ban lifted all together so I guess I’ll just have to be happy that at least helmets can change one a year!

        1. I think the idea of allowing then to change once a year is more about allowing them to sell advertising space on a season-by-season basis than anything else.

  22. Hm on domination…

    Isnt current situation, where car dominates majority of performancd differentiation, say 90% more a sign that drivers are all really good?

    Even in GP2 we had Stoffel domination, despite it being a single make series.

    It is inevitable that as driver preparation improves, level of athleticism raises, margins of performance disparity decreases…

    There is no driver in F1 today that is 5s a lap slower than fastest,… I am 100% if given same machinery they would all(most of them anyway) lap within 1s of eachother.

    All this pursuit of team equalisation then is pretty pointless unless they go for near single spec rules. And maybe we already have near single spec chassies, except engines are greatly different.

    Would you guys prefer single make or one of the team dominating?

  23. For anyone who’s doubting Marco’s claims about Carmen, just take a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sK3M0rOnx4

    1. @joshdejager

      Wow! She’s not very good with racing lines and braking points.

      I think Sorenson’s statement is a bit of an exaggeration though. I would completely expect her to be 4 to 5 seconds off the pace in the simulator. But anything more than that, and half decent gamers (such as myself), who play F1 2014 on their consoles will be beating Carmen Jorda comfortably!

      1. She is THAT bad, believe Sorensen. Her performances in past race series have been abysmal, including not being able to keep up with the safety car in a wet track.

  24. Chris Ghanime
    9th February 2016, 14:35

    Regarding, Carmen Jorda, they should change the rules regarding test drivers, they should have at least some championship points to their name in the lower Formula’s, or some podiums.

  25. RE:COTD, i wouldn’t, regardless of his on/off track exploits and what he managed to achieve/get away with. I would not fund anything i felt immoral. This guy just takes the biscuit, makes Bernie look like a saint. So long , goodbye, auf wiedersehen, adieu.

  26. This is a very interesting statement from him…

  27. Since F1 teams have to build their own cars, it means there will be times of dominance. But there will also be seasons with underdogs, such as 2012 (Alonso himself is no underdog, but the car was).

    Thought right now, the rules make it very hard to close the gap to Mercedes.

  28. And new conflicting statements from Mercedes. :D

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