F1 car sparks
24th April 2015, 23:05 at 11:05 pm #297360
As we all saw in the Bahrain Grand Prix, the sparks are back. A video from the BBC explaining why can be seen here (UK only, sorry).
I would like to know what everyone’s opinions on this are. As David Coulthard points out, it is done purely for the show, but does this make it a bad, artificial thing?
Personally, I don’t think it is bad. If it can be done in a non-artificial manner (using the titanium skid blocks, like how it used to be), then I am all for it. It really makes it look so much more exciting. We have previously seen sparks often in the Singapore Grand Prix, where cars have to run very heavily on fuel, and it definitely adds. Were there too many sparks though? What does everybody think?25th April 2015, 0:13 at 12:13 am #297361
David Coulthard is wrong apparently. It was done for safety/regulatory reasons but figured the easiest way to get it passed was claim it was for the show.25th April 2015, 0:37 at 12:37 am #297362
Honestly I like it, with the cars being heavier than ever they lack some of the visual excitement, this seems like a fairly organic way to replace some of that without affecting anything else. In the end the skid block is there to do a job, so it’s not like they’ve just stuck a sparkler on the back.
They were also far more evident in Bahrain because of the low-light conditions, which obviously didn’t happen the last time they used titanium because there weren’t floodlit GP’s.25th April 2015, 6:33 at 6:33 am #297365
Personally, I like it. We got one of The Images of the 2015 Bahrain GP with Nico and Seb fighting and Lewis coming out of the pits.
I know there are quite a few people complaining about artificial methds to create sparks but I just ignore them as I believe that some people are meant to complain, always!25th April 2015, 17:12 at 5:12 pm #297367
I was like “ooohhhh pretty” for about five seconds at Bahrain. Then I couldn’t care less.25th April 2015, 20:21 at 8:21 pm #297372
It was done for safety/regulatory reasons
Which safety reason? @matt90
And although I agree that it looks great and makes it seem more exciting, every time I saw them flying off from a car I couldn’t help but think that it was done to improve the show. So I don’t know if I am tottaly pleased with them.25th April 2015, 20:49 at 8:49 pm #297373
As long as the sparks are not a hazard to anyone, then I am perfectly fine with it. It is a shame I can’t watch the video that was posted, so I can’t really comment on that.25th April 2015, 22:44 at 10:44 pm #29737425th April 2015, 23:55 at 11:55 pm #297376
“In free practice I would search out bumps that were slightly offline that I could use in the race if someone was right behind me.
“The lines wouldn’t slow me, but I knew would give a big shower of sparks to the guy behind, and hopefully pock-mark their visor too. They really did make burns on your visor.”
Nigel Mansell you naughty boy you!26th April 2015, 22:09 at 10:09 pm #297393
I can’t see any good reason for them being there other than to create a visual spectacle. But they looked good, and I liked them – so why not!27th April 2015, 11:30 at 11:30 am #297363
I think bringing back things like sparks isn’t as silly as it first seems. It is incredibly difficult to tell from the outside how a car is handling, as it is all happening inside the cockpit. This is only visible for people watching TV and via the on board shots. Sparks can show people at the track just how much movement and suspension travel this is in an F1 car. The rear wing opening shows when DRS is deployed and tyre squeal and smoke indicate locked brakes and wheels spinning.
I think it needs to go a little further than just sparks, I think there needs to be more visual and audio queues for fans at the track, like the Formula Super cars in Japan when lights on the roll hoop indicate whether the KERS battery if full, being used or expended.
I also think perhaps going to tracks in higher altitudes where you get to see vortices (sp?) coming off the wings to show air flow, things like this add to the spectacle and give an added appreciation for spectators not only at home but at the track as well.
In relation to the audio queues, I think by introducing some other bits and pieces like mandated turbo wastegates will give off the nice turbo sounds when gear changes occur, or off throttle action happens, that we don’t get in current F1 tech.
Further enhancing audio experience I think there are ways to change the sound of the cars, and I’m not talking adding a trumpet exhaust trialled as a half joke/serious in Spain last year by Merc. However, complicate the exhaust somewhat, currently exhaust systems in F1 cars are directly spat out of the engine without any filtering, lets face it, what road car has this setup, none, lets return to some really nice sculpted F1 exhausts, its pretty and and it will help change the noise, it may not elevate it too much, but it will make a unique sound, which then can become the “new sound of f1″, also it might highlight clearer when cars on or off throttle, again with those queues… If they want to increase volume, then a bigger engine is required, or at least increase the amount of fuel being pushed to it, which of course is in direct odds with the energy efficient direction of the sport today.
There are a number of ways to make the sport more of a spectacle without ruining the racing, or forcing backwards methodologies to the cars, the world is changing, but the fans at the track are lost when watching these things, even on TV I’m watching the times more than the cars to get an idea of whats happening out there, in terms of how hooked up a car is going around, you just can’t tell if a driver is pushing or fuel saving. But with more visual and audio queues, it might improve.
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