Felipe Massa, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Williams “could do a lot better” – Lowe

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe admits the team could have done considerably better over the season to date.

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Comment of the day

Philip is pessimistic F1 will be able to reduce the performance gaps between the teams:

Stable rules are what’s needed to give teams a chance to close in on each other. The roll of the dice with the new rules temporarily gave Ferrari an advantage, but they were already closing in on Mercedes who were reaching the point of diminishing returns under the old rules. The new cars yet again allows them to flex their development muscle.

Unfortunately I don’t think these rules will last long. The cars are already blisteringly quick, and heavy. A few years of aero upgrades will put us back in dangerous speed territory and we’ll get yet another roll of the rule dice.
Philip (@Philipgb)

From the forum

IndyCar 2018 road course aerodynamic kit test, Mid-Ohio, 2017
IndyCar 2018 road course aerodynamic kit test, Mid-Ohio, 2017

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On this day in F1

  • Alberto Ascari lapped the Nordschleife in 10m 4.4s to put Ferrari on pole for the German GP today in 1952

32 comments on “Williams “could do a lot better” – Lowe”

  1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    2nd August 2017, 0:23

    Great COTD. It’s funny because although Ross Brawn has to remain positive and we have had a very good season on the whole, these cars are very far from what his personal vision would be according to his book and other snippets I’ve read from here and there. I imagine Ross will be looking very closely to what Indy Car will be trying in 2018 to see how much can be realistically implemented in F1 come net regs time.

    1. @rdotquestionmark, this is the very same Ross Brawn who, whilst Team Principle of Honda and Mercedes, was one of the very men who was responsible for creating the current regulation package that we have today (though his involvement in the Technical Working Group).

      Back in 2012, for example, Ross Brawn was helping argue for the current powertrain package that the cars have now – this is one such example:
      “We’ve got to change the engine at some stage. We will become irrelevant with the engine if we don’t look to change.

      “The world’s changing and I think the new engine is a far more relevant engine for F1 for the future. If we’re going to get new manufacturers into F1, which I think is a good thing, then why will they come in to build an antique V8 engine? They won’t.”
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/06/engine_dispute_threatens_f1_sc.html

      1. His self-interest then was in keeping Mercedes interested in funding his team and his team having a competitive advantage.

        His motivations now are the sport being better for fans. Plus people are capable of changing their mind.

  2. The Indycar should really come with a doctor’s warning that it may cause excessive and uncontrollable drooling.

    1. Indycar is more entertaining than F1 and depresses me ….. it is not shown here sob, so, sob.

      1. It’s on BT Sport in the U.K. Practice & Qualifying are usually on YouTube, as is IndyLights…

        1. Thanks @skylab, I live in Asia and get my motor racing coverage via Fox Sports Asia who do not broadcast Indy racing here …. never thought of YouTube, thanks for letting me know, appreciate it.

      2. I was able to watch the entire Indianapolis 500 Qualifying and Race on Youtube, and looking there it seems you can see all there other entire Grand Prix races as well. I can’t see any valid reason why Liberty Media doesn’t do this as well, but they know their business better than I do. It is certainly cheaper to watch Indycar than it is to watch F1.

        1. @grumpy Sorry, I forgot to add your alert (or whatever it is called) to my post.

  3. I’m actually kinda not that keen of the 2018 Indycar aerokits. Yes it’s better aesthetically than what we have had the past few years but there’s just something about it that isn’t grabbing me as i’d hoped. It just looks more like a junior category car rather than something from a more top tier series.

    One of the things that made CART so appealing wasn’t just the driver’s, Teams or circuits (Although that all obviously was big part of it) but it was also the cars. They looked spectacular, They looked fast, They looked powerful (And were powerful, 900+Bhp that really challenged drivers) & they looked like they were from a top tier series (Which CART was at the time).

    This iteration of the Dallara bodykit doesn’t, It doesn’t even really look that different from an Indy Lights car:
    https://cdn.theapexracing.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Leist-at-IMS-during-2017-Indy-Lights-Freedom-100.jpg
    http://openwheel33.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2017-LIGHTS-CAR-18-HOMESTEAD-RC-TEST.jpg

    If Indycar wants to grow, If it wants to start heading back to where it was Pre-split they need more power, They need beefier looking, big powerful cars & I honestly believe they need proper chassis competition & Not some dumb manufacturer created aerokit as has been seen the past few years but proper chassis competition as CART had in its heyday.
    Remaining as effectively a spec series (Engines aside) isn’t going to create much buzz, excitement or interest because its hard to see it as anything more than a faster version of F2 & I say that as somebody that loves Indycar, Especially the 500 & wants to see it back at the level where it should be.

    10 years after the joy I felt at reunification i’m starting to feel frustrated because I’ve not seen the growth that I feel there could/should have been. The introduction of a new car (And engine formula) for 2012 was a missed opportunity as they remained a spec series, The aerokits introduced for 2014 was again a missed opportunity as it was still the same spec chassis with a load of bits stuck onto it & this little refresh is another missed opportunity.

    The series has stalled again & they need to do something big to start gaining momentum & I just don’t trust those in charge to do anything but what they have been doing the past decade & I don’t see that as doing anything but retaining the status quo.

    1. 7 or 8 years ago there were multiple chassis manufactures looking to get in: Lola, GForce, Panoz, Dallara. Each one of them wanted an exclusive contract though.

      Earlier this year Dallara signed an exclusivity agreement until 2020. When that is over, you need to convince chassis constructors to compete in Indycar and you have to convince teams that they won’t have to close their doors due to higher cost.

    2. @mrmuffins The only reason the chassis manufacturer’s pushed for exclusive deals is because they make more money that way. Dallara selling cars to 10+ teams is obviously going to be more profitable for them than only having 3-4 teams buying your cars.

      @stefmeister It does look more similar to the lights car that I would like but the reason for that is that they both run the same chassis now (Done so Dallara can reduce it’s cost’s & try to encourage lights teams to give the 500 a go).
      I do actually agree with you that they need to find a way of bringing in multiple chassis suppliers because I do think its true that for as long as it looks like a spec series there will be those who will see it as been lower down the ladder that used to be the case.

      I also do think that having different looking cars does generate a bit of extra excitement, I certainly know that in the CART days having more than i supplier did create a lot of buzz & did add to the excitement as Lola may have had a better road course package while Reynard maybe ran better on Superspeedways & so on… There was always huge excitement around Indy to see what the various chassis suppliers had come up with & which of the various designs & solutions each had was working.
      Since i’ve come back to been around Indycar the past few years with it been a spec category a huge amount of that interest & excitement has been lost & I actually do think that is a part of why Indy isn’t generating the buzz it used to.

      1. The problem with bringing in multiple chassis manufacturers is one of Boom & Bust. Ultimately one will dominate & every team will gravitate towards that one. I would prefer the teams to have options but, in the long term, someone always ends up on top of the heap…

        1. I don’t think that needs to be true @skylab. I do think it is a bit of a chicken and egg issue – which do you get first – competition of chassis builders because it increases competition (but also makes it more expensive) to boost the series standing and attract more money, or first try to build up the series with limited competition to actually have some money available to then grow it @gt-racer, @stefmeister, @mrmuffins.

          I do agree that having chassis competition is one of the things that makes a racing series stand out from being “just another series of racing” because it enhances the interest and scope of what they can work with to compete. I would love to see it back, but I doubt there is enough money going round in IndyCars currently to make that work. Or maybe it just needs someone with the money to come in and “conquer the series” by making their own chassis (only that would be stopped by the teams as they hold the power to stop extra competition)

          1. Further to the above, I don’t think we can ignore the global economic downturn that hit the US particularly hard pretty much 10 years ago. I agree they need to pump up Indycar, but it is not easy. There are many factors and they can only control so many. I too wish them the best and will continue to watch.

  4. Damn, that Indycar could really use a halo.

    1. The halo was rejected early on when it was realized that it obstructed the field of view necessary to the driver on ovals namely, looking up and to the left.

      1. The method of protection currently under investigation is some kind of protective screen.

        1. @mrmuffins They were/are looking at some form of screen/canopy, However they are suffering from the same problem Vettel described during his Silverstone test of the shield…. That been image distortion which on the ovals in-particular where they run so close is seen as an unacceptable compromise.

          An additional problem Indycar has is that on the oval’s, Especially the Super Speedways you have a lot more dirt, debris & tyre rubber been kicked up which results in the cars, Drivers visors & naturally any additional screens getting a lot dirtier a lot faster than you see on road circuits. Yes they can use tear-off strips at pit stops but on an oval you really do need great visibility if your going to be running within mm of one another. A big smudge created by tyre debris or something on a critical part of the screen could become a big issue & having to pit out of sequence just to get rid of a tear-off strip on an oval can put up a lap or more down.

          1. Pretty much as i had expected. I wonder whether they will be trying out a version of the Halo when F1 gets it finetuned and ready for F2 @gt-racer.

      2. @mrmuffins – that’s interesting.

        I had a similar question earlier: “How is visibility when tackling Eau Rouge with a halo?”

        1. @phylyp Not ideal, but also not really a problem, I think. As soon as you’re at the bottom, your car is positioned correctly again. It’s far enough that you should have adequate distance to avoid trouble. Especially since most accidents are behind the hill, so they’re obscured by it anyway.

          1. Thank you, @losd

  5. First trouble free race for McLaren… Unbelievable poor reliability. Race before they took massive penalties to get new engines..

    That has got to change. I hope Alonso goes to Ferrari or Mercedes…

    1. It’s almost certain Kimi will take one of the seats at Ferrari, so that leaves their “Number 1” seat. Hamilton is under contract at Mercedes. That leaves one seat each at Mercedes and Ferrari. I believe they are already booked between Vettel and Bottas, it just depends on who will sit where.
      My guess is if Fernando moves it will be to either Williams or Force India, with Force India being the more likely option.

      1. Williams or Force India to never win a race again in his F1 career? I say Mercedes for FA. Can’t think of one good reason why not.

  6. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
    2nd August 2017, 9:47

    The Hulk Vs Magnussen in a charity boxing match would be fantastic… if a little one sided on the weight category!

    I like both drivers but Magnussen opening out the steering like that was fully deserving of a penalty. Problem is, since young Max started moving around in the braking zones last year, noone really knows clearly what the rules of engagement are anymore. But we as viewers are getting better, feistier battles so im not even complaining.

  7. Cost control for equality and less aero front wing for close racing. Don’t understand what the hold up is..

  8. Wow, those engines are supposed to run 5 races without issue, but Honda/Hasegawa is happy that it now finally finish one race without any problem?? It’s like they are happy to see that the engine finally made it to the 10th laps or so without a break down, when it indeed only needed to last a single race.

  9. Sulkenberg should just drop the subject, he keeps talking about Kmag in every interview.

    1. You know drivers don’t exactly choose what they talk about right? They get asked questions and they answer them.

      And their job is to get their team in the headlines so he’s just doing his job.

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