Lack of racing incidents this season
19th November 2013, 13:44 at 1:44 pm #133931
Is it me or have we had fewer “pure” racing incidents this season both at the starts of the race and during the race?
Aside from the tyre carnage, I don’t recall Maldonado’s antics of T-boning folks or drivers fighting so hard for position that they hit each other?
To me it almost feels that the races have been too “sanitized” with less racing.19th November 2013, 14:17 at 2:17 pm #245503
I agree, racing accidents can provide exciting entertainment (provided that nobody is injured, not talking about horrific accidents here).
Apart from accidents however nowadays (with the current engine freeze) there are even less breakdowns. I remember the early 90’s when some races would be hit with a number of accidents and breakdowns and provide a golden opportunity for the smaller teams to score points.
I hope that next year, the trend will change.19th November 2013, 14:41 at 2:41 pm #245504
Probably because the cars are so easy to drive. They have very little power compared to the enormous amount of downforce they generate. Downforce just keeps increasing while engine output stays the same. We need a whole lot less aerodynamic grip (narrower and most importantly simpler front wing), more mechanical grip (wider cars and tyres) and get back to at least 900bhp. Go!19th November 2013, 15:44 at 3:44 pm #245505
It’s because nobody is pushing or racing. No one is on the limit so no one makes mistakes.19th November 2013, 15:57 at 3:57 pm #245506
It’s not JUST the tyres though. The cars are just too underpowered, even in qualifying mistakes are rare these days.19th November 2013, 19:12 at 7:12 pm #245507
I think you’re right. The power is delivered so smoothly to the rear wheels that only rarely we see someone getting out of shape, even when pushing really hard. We all love seeing drivers going fast but still wrestling the car a bit, with one or two moments here and there when the driver has to recover the car from some powerslide so as to not lose the momentum and give up the lap in qualifying, or not to lose a position in the race. And as you pointed out, that surely contributes to the lack of incidents/accidents during this season. Hopefully next year the new cars with the new engines, with more or less the same power, but more importantly much more torque due to the ERS and turbos, there’ll be more action on track and behind the wheel.19th November 2013, 19:31 at 7:31 pm #245508
I think it has a lot to do with tyre saving. If you can’t really push while behind another car, the probabilities of you making a mistake reduce vastly.
And not to mention that if you do make a mistake, the probabilities of you hitting anything these days is rather nil, except maybe at Canada, Monaco, Australia and half the Korean circuit.
I think that’s why it’s taking so long for the new teams to score points. We’ve seen a whole lot of very very slow cars getting top 6 finishes in the old days, but if the cars don’t break down, the new guys can’t even dream of a top ten !19th November 2013, 19:36 at 7:36 pm #245509
During the past seasons, we had so many incidents. To quote a few:
1. Button hitting Hamilton in 2011 in Montreal – his spin in the same race?
2. Hamilton’s spin in Hungary in 2011
3. Hamilton and Massa going at it in 2011
4. Maldonado in 2012
5. Grosjean in 2012
6. Schumacher in 2011 and 2012
7. Hulkenberg with Hamilton in Brazil 2012
8. Senna and Kobayashi incidents
8. Vettel/Karthikeyan – Vettel Abu Dhabi/Brazil
I do agree the cars are too planted and that the drivers are really not pushing because that’s the only explanation especially when we consider that there were 5 rookies this season – namely, Bottas, Gutierrez, VanDerGarde, Bianchi, and Chilton.
Even in qualifying, all drivers are giving clinical performances.19th November 2013, 19:54 at 7:54 pm #245510
Something which also might contribute to this is the fact that this season there still hasn’t happened a wet race. @freelittlebirds, some of the exemples you gave happened in wet races, because the inherent lack of grip of a wet surface will naturally give drivers a hard time when driving and increase the chance of errors or contact between cars.19th November 2013, 21:41 at 9:41 pm #245511
I think the heaviest accidents this year were probably the Monaco crashes: Maldonado, and Massa twice. Although I don’t particularly mind it (my heart skips a beat whenever I see crashes like Maldonado’s in Monaco), it is probably a sign of drivers not pushing the car to its limit. Which is a shame.19th November 2013, 22:56 at 10:56 pm #245512
It may seem like a small point but having two fewer cars, particularly slow cars which tended to get lapped, will have made a difference.
Without HRT last year Vettel wouldn’t have hit Karthikeyan in Malaysia nor been held up by him in the USA allowing Hamilton to pass, and so last the drivers’ championship wouldn’t have gone down to the final race.
This is why I always say the one thing F1 needs more than anything to provide more action and be more popular is have more teams.19th November 2013, 23:01 at 11:01 pm #245513
I don’t agree that there’s been fewer incidents. There have been fewer spectacular incidents I suppose.
We saw Sutil and Maldonado crashing a few days ago. But maybe what is meant is incidents involving the big guns? Then off the top of my head, we had Alonso crash out against Vettel in Malaysia, Kimi crash out against VDG in Abu Dhabi, Alonso collided with both Webber and Kimi (IIRC) in India and finished out of the points, Hamilton picked up a punctures against Vettel in Japan and had to retire. If we count RoGro as a big gun he’s been involved in a few crashes as well, though in the first half of the season. The same is true for Webber.
Given the way the season has unfolded the incidents have been fairly unimportant. If there had been a close title race the same events would seem much more significant. For instance if Alonso had been tied on points with SV after Suzuka his incidents in India would take on crucial importance, as his crash in Japan did last season.19th November 2013, 23:47 at 11:47 pm #245514
Not that much racing in close proximity, wide tracks with plentiful run-off, more grip than horsepower, nursing tyres and relatively favourable weather conditions.
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