All these new tracks, you can't pass, they're too safe, not like the old days!

This topic contains 10 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  rampante 7 years, 3 months ago.

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    From about 6.30 on, James Hunt’s first comments are:

    “It’s not impossible to pass, but it’s very very difficult here.”

    “This is a new purpose built circuit, built to the highest safety standards, but of course the consequence of that is that it is much slower, and more difficult to pass.”


    He then goes on about how this race “is all about tyres now”.

    and “Once you get close to the turbulent air behind another car you lose grip and that makes it more difficult to pass”.



    haha yer that made me chuckle, I guess part of it is a false sense of nostalgia. Back in the day was and always will be better than today. I’m sure in 15 years time we’ll be saying F1 isn’t what it was in the days of Alonso, Hamilton and Button.



    The second ground effects were baned and performance became subject to wake, it started.

    Still, the rose tinted effect will always be with us.



    I’ve watched since 1970 and have seen as much is possible before that. There will always be romantics in the sport and those who claim it was better when…….

    I remember cars being 8 laps down if they finished and I remember cars not passing and it was down to tyres, brakes, tracks you name it the excuses were there. Most people on this site are reasonably young(late teens 20’s and 30’s) and think that they missed out on the great Senna and Piquet era. I see posts about Mansell and his wins and it’s exactly as it is today. People complained when Schumacher won all the time well it was the same with Mansell in a car that with all respect to him was so good it made last years Brawn look bad. Senna and Prost won 15 out of 16 races and noboby was within a lap ot them. The turbos were crazy to see but if they did not blow up they won. The same thing happens an all sport and no mater what age you are some older guy is going to say ah but in my day blah blah blah.

    I am in my mid 40’s and for me the best season should always be the next one as nobody knows what will happen.



    That is a nice view on things Rampante. Next race will be the greatest race so far this year and next year will be even better. You might be right, with Montreal often bringing a lot of exiting racing and accidents and having to keep the exiting teams we have this year and a lot of new chances to hit or miss with the double diffusor ggoing and maybe Kers coming back.



    I’ve got a theory on track design and overtaking.

    the answer is actually not to have slow tight corners leading onto massive 1.5km straights (like abu dhabi or Fuji) or fast aero corners leading onto straights (turkey from turn 8 to 12) but to have a series of medium speed corners leading onto straights or gentle curves (which don’t have to be overly-long).

    look at fuji for example, if a car is following another into the final corner, we’ve seen here in the past that he only really gets to slipstream past quite far down the straight. (ie. MAS vs WEB and RAI vs KUB fuji 08)

    But on the other hand look at the recent turkish gp. did anyone else see how close HAM got to WEB after turn 1 on a few occasions only to be denied an overtake because of the short run after it?

    and what a waste the long back straight is, since turn 8 spreads the cars out massively before-hand and only a qick chicane is in between.

    I believe that a faster driver cannot make up ground to a car infront through a slow corner (where all cars go roughly the same speed) nor can he in fast corners where turbulent air hinders him. but medium speed corners are where f1 cars can follow closer and the driver can make a real difference to catch up.

    this is why we saw little overtaking in abu dhabi despite it’s massive straight but we do see overtaking in Albert Park with medium speed corners and comparatively shorter straights. sorry for the unorganised post, will make it neater in the future.



    You’re right sato113. Make medium speed corners before straights, and make them very hard – so that drivers will get different exit speeds each lap.



    precisely Enigma. just look at Melbourne turn 11 and 12. a medium speed left/right kink where we see cars getting close and overtaking often into turn 13.



    Anyone else noticed that the “modern” classic races are often a lot better than the older ones. For examples 1998 was the best of the lot this time round.



    Well, I don’t think the sense of nostalgia is false at all, though I understand the point you were getting at. And I agree for the most part with Rampante, as he is one of the “oldheads” here whose views I most often do agree with.

    And while Hunt’s comments indicate that overtaking was more difficult with the new package introduced that year, it was only more difficult, not all but impossible as it is now.

    But, as to venues, no, Formula 1 certainly isn’t what it used to be, as the title of the thread indicates. Of course, it was inevitable that time would change things, mostly in the name of ‘progress’, but sometimes change isn’t always a good thing.

    There are but a few circuits still in the line-up that have true class—Spa, Interlagos, Monaco … okay, you get the idea. Circuits like Bahrain and Abu Dhabi may be fancy, but simply lack the character of the older cicuits. And they, and other more recent circuits or older ones that have been changed in the name of safety, lack the challenge, as well, with their slow corners and chicanes in the middle of a fast straight. And while I’m halfway on the subject of altering existing circuits, I think FiA/Tilke/FOM should all be charged with murder, for they surely have killed what was Hockenheim.

    And there were circuits that most here have never seen–Aida, one of the most beautiful venues ever … Clermont Ferrand, barely had a straight at all, but what racing we saw on that hilly twisting course … Dijon, with it’s drop over the hillside and through the hairpin …the original Spa, what a layout that was … Paul Ricard — oh, I could go on all day, but the point is this: Most of the fine old circuits fell to progress in the name of safety.

    Now before you slag me off, I’m all in favor of changes for driver safety. But I feel too much has been done in the name of safety in changing venues, and in regs for brand new venues. As Stirling Moss says, they’ve “rolled the circuits in cotton wool”, which takes away a very real element of motorsport-the inherent danger, or at least a sense of danger. And FiA & FOM both are hypocrits, keeping Monaco on the schedule and all the whle stumping for ever larger run-off areas at newly constructed circuits, and changes along that vein at existing circuits. But Formula 1 needs Monaco, needs it’s tradition and heritage. Formula 1 without Monaco wouldn’t be Formula 1.

    So, F1 and FiA realize that tradition and heritage are needed. So, why then do they force Tilke to design such mind-numbingly boring tracks? Safety. B@ll@cks. You have safety already, have had it for years. It’s in the cars. They force the circuit design because it’s all a lovely PR exercise. Look at us, how safety conscious we are. Just like the F1 ‘green’ initiative, but that’s a different painted pony to ride, altho both are a load of pap.

    Since we are going to Canada this weekend, let’s take it as an example. Robert Kubica can tell you about safety, and attest that it was the car that saved him, not the track’s safety features. This is true in practically every crash we’ve seen in the last umpteen years. Can’t think of the last time a runoff area large as a football field saved a driver’s life.

    Frankly I’m amazed there wasn’t a hue and cry for cutting off the hairpin in Canada, making a sort of double dogleg, and paving the entire area of what used to be the hairpin for runoff area. Well, perhaps I’d best not mention that too loudly, lest FiA be listening.

    When us old guys say it ain’t what it used to be, it’s true. And while it’s also true that some circuits did need some changes, more changes have been made over the years than were really necessary, IMHO.

    Well, this went rather longer than anticipated. Sorry. < /rant > thanks for listening.



    With you fully DSOB on the Aida track, it was an absolute gem of a venue. I always feel I missed out on the banking at Monza and tracks do look like they are not built for racing now. I have seen here that your first race was in 56. Mine was at Monza in 72 and one thing that is better is facilities. We will never stand at the side of a track and if you were in a ‘safe’ area there was a block of straw in front of you. As good as that was even we have to agree it couldnt go on like that. I think of my time watching F1 in periods of roughly 5 years. Since 1970 it was Stewart Fitipaldi, 75 was Lauda,Hunt,Andretti and so it goes on. Some drivers are in two eras and very few cover 3. There was a comment yesterday about this season being the best ever, how can that be if we have not covered a third of it? If you follow any team whether it is in racing or football cycling whatever you may want them to win all the time but know it’s not possible. The talk of the demise of Ferrari and them being behind Lotus or Virgin soon just shows that. They have not moved forward at the same pace as others but let’s not get carried away with it. Every race is not a championship.

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