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  • #303153
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    MazdaChris
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    Apologies, must learn to read things properly!

    #303139
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    MazdaChris
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    Surprised nobody has mentioned Robert Kubica’s massive crash in Canada 2007. Though obviously his rally crash that nearly took his arm off is worse in terms of consequence.

    #300814
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    MazdaChris
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    I think he rightfully deserves a seat in a top team. I thought that before he ever squeezed himself into a Le Mans prototype. There’s a curious thing within F1 where, even though everyone in F1 knows and understands that success is absolutely dependent on the car, a driver who has not won races through several years in F1 is soon considered to be yesterday’s man. Even when he’s never been in a car capable of getting at the sharp end.

    I think F1 teams are always looking for the next big thing. Drivers like Verstappen are self-perpetuating hype machines while their careers are on an upward trajectory. Even established winners are vulnerable to getting the boot in favour of a driver who seems destined for success. Not to say of course that Verstappen doesn’t deserve the hype surrounding him at the moment, but drivers whose careers have plateaued shouldn’t be overlooked in this way.

    To be honest, if nobody at the front is willing to give Hulkenberg a drive next year, and Porsche come to him offering a full time WEC drive, I think he should grab it with both hands and not look back. It’ll be F1’s loss, but he needs to think about what an opportunity that would be – Porsche have the backing, and the inclination, to be able to win championship after championship. Who knows, perhaps in another ten years’ time we might think of him alongside such legends as Tom Kristensen. That’s the opportunity he’d have, and I don’t see him ever getting anything like that where he is at the moment.

    #300186
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    MazdaChris
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    I’ve never seen it as busy as it was this year. Not just in terms of peak numbers at the track, but the sheer volume of people that were there constantly. It’s a shame that Friday was a bit of a washout – I went to Saint Saturnin for the car show but it was absolutely rammed and then the skies opened.

    We were stuck on the motorway for over two hours on Saturday waiting to get to the circuit – again I’ve never seen it as busy as this.

    Anyway, glad you had a good time. I’m already planning next year’s trip!

    #299156
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    MazdaChris
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    We don’t stay at the track either. Much as I love motorsport, I also love my sleep, and you don’t get a whole lot of that at the circuit. We stay at a beautiful campsite about 10km from the track, and they have lots of entertainment there in the week before the race. Once, the Michellin team were staying there and they put on a load of entertainment with a brass band and a couple of classic omnibusses, it was ace.

    You’ll have a brilliant time, and I bet you’ll want to go back for longer next time!

    #299097
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    MazdaChris
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    You’re in for an absolute treat. Loads to do, mostly centered around the main pit/paddock area. Behind the paddock is the le Mans Village area with all sorts of stuff for fans to do. The museum is there too, and is well worth checking out. You can get busses all around the track to the various viewing areas around Arnage, Mulsanne, etc etc. I’m not sure whether you have to pay for them – we’ve always just taken the car. It only takes a short while to get around but it’s a bit of a maze so work out the routes first, or see if an accomodating person can show you. It’s too big to realistically walk, unless you really fancy hiking miles.

    There’s loads that’ll be going on all week – how long are you there for? Take some time out on Friday to check out the British Welcome – a car show at Saint Saturnin. This year it’s featuring MG, but there are always loads of supercars on show, from just about every marque you can think of. Apparently there’s also a big of a show/congregation this year on Mulsanne corner on the Friday which is another car show.

    If you’re there for the week leading up to it, check out the scrutineering events at the Place De la Republique in Le Mans centre – just a short tram ride away. Le Mans also has a beautiful gothic cathedral which you can visit while you’re there, if that’s your sort of thing.

    Are you staying at the track?

    #298611
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    MazdaChris
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    I’d question how much influence the drivers really have these days anyway. Just about every facet of how a car performs is meticulously captured via data logging, and then fed back to engineers who know far more about the car than any driver could hope to be. I’m not sure how useful the driver feedback is other than as a means of corellating the data that they’re seeing on screen. if you think about how fuzzy the feedback is when we hear it – initial understeer on turn-in, rear end feels loose on the faster corners, etc etc. The drivers themselves are surely not being relied upon for choosing the development path. Perhaps tweaks to suit their own personal style, but generally speaking the car will be designed by the engineers and the drivers just need to get on with it.

    #297898
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    MazdaChris
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    Easy to forget about Juan-Pablo Montoya.

    #297796
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    MazdaChris
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    Hey sometimes I forget about racers who haven’t even retired yet, like Felipe Massa!

    #297793
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    MazdaChris
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    Thing that gets me is how quickly you can forget about really recent drivers. People like Alex Wurz, Robert Kubica, even Nick Heidfeld. I suspect if you asked someone to name F1 drivers from the past ten years, quite a few would miss those guys off.

    #297471
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    MazdaChris
    Participant

    Emmanuele Pirro – 5 Le Mans wins

    Lest we forget of course, Allan McNish competed for a season with Toyota

    #296176
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    MazdaChris
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    Sorry didn’t spot that you had replied. The 115% concept is deliberate. You look at sportscar racing and there’s no reason why the faster cars can’t negotiate their way around slower traffic. It would mean more cars on the grid, which inevitably means more action on track.

    #296175
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    MazdaChris
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    In the V10 days, teams were spending more on engines than they are now.

    #295039
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    MazdaChris
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    In my opinion an ideal setup would be this:

    Commercial rights are owned collectively, half by the teams and half by the FIA. Teams could appoint a group whose role it is to promote the sport and their brands, so that sponsors get maximum exposure and that the sport is always visible and attractive. This group would be appointed from outside of F1, possibly in the form of a marketing company, to avoid any one team’s interests being promoted above the rest. The FIA’s stake can be in controlling race organisation and promotion; dealing directly with the circuits and the TV companies. TV rights could still be sold, but I would prefer if circuits are simply appointed and not charged hosting fees. In exchange, the circuits are dressed with the board and banner promotions by the FIA and their commerical partners, plus they would control the naming rights to the GP. Circuits don’t have to pay, so they are free to simply make money from ticket sales and concessions, securing their long term viability and generating money for the upkeep of the track and facilities. Contractually there would need to be penalties for any track or competitor which failed to fulfil their obligations.

    Prize money is given on a per-race basis, with a constructors’ championship bonus being given out at the end of each year. Prize money would be determined solely on finishing position in the race and the championship; no team would be given a larger prize than any other finishing in the same position. This would be in addition to 50% of the TV rights money, which would be shared equally between every team regardless of finishing position.

    The FIA would have complete technical control of the sport and would have the ultimate responsibility for setting technical and sporting regulations. Any changes to the sporting or technical rules would need to be ratified at least two calendar years before the start of the season in which they will be introduced, so that every team has enough time to fully understand the requirements. Each set of amended technical regulations would need to run for a period of at least two seasons before they can be changed. The calendar would need to be ratified before the final race of the preceeding season, with no calendar changes allowed past this date. The FIA could appoint a strategy group consisting of representatives from every team, but this would only be in an advisory capacity. Rule changes made in emergency conditions (i.e. after the two-year cutoff point) would only be allowable on the grounds of safety, though under certain conditions the rules could be modified with the unanimous agreement of the FIA and all of the teams.

    Teams may be allowed to run only one car, though preference would be given for entries running two cars if the entry list is full. All teams committing to running two cars would be expected to compete for an entire season, though independant teams (commercially distinct from any other competitors) could lodge entries for single events if they are running only a single car. As the rules need to be in place for at least two consecutive years, after the first year, used chassis (bare and un-dressed) can be sold to independant teams for one-off entries. These one off entries would need to pay an entry fee to the FIA, though they would be elligible for any prize money for the event they enter. They would not receive a share of the TV money. These teams would be allowed to enter up to five events per year. Beyond that, they would need to construct their own chassis and commit to competing for the entire season. Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the FIA if there are more than four vacant slots on the grid. All teams would need to qualify for each event by posting a time within 115% of the fastest time set during either FP or qualifying. The time can be set at any point during any of these sessions. If weather conditions prevent this from being possible, entry may still be granted at the discretion of the FIA. The fastest time for each car will only be accepted if the car is run in full compliance with the technical regulations.

    Those are my thoughts anyway. Eliminate the commercial rights holder as a discreet entity. Even if this does mean that less money is made from TV rights and race hosting fees, it means that all of the money going into the sport stays wiht either the temas or the FIA. By making sure that each team has an equal commercial stake, you ensure that there is a certain baseline amount of money each team will have to start a season, and by giving out prize money throughout the year, it means that each team has a steady income to make sure that bills are paid. By ensuring that the commercial interests of all entities are represented, it means that sponsorship should be easier to attract. The single entry independents would help bolster the number of cars on the grid, while potentially giving an opportunity for drivers to build up more experience and help develop their careers. The sale of used chassis would also be another potential revenue stream for constructors.

    I’m sure it’s full of holes, but I think that’s a decent framework for a top level motorsport. And similar to how things used to be 20 years ago. Will it ever happen? No way, it’s pure fantasy.

    #295037
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    MazdaChris
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    Personally I’m very supportive of Red Bull – as much as I am of any team. I don’t really understand this mentality of disliking a team. I like all of the teams for various reasons and believe the variety of approaches is what keeps the sport diverse and interesting. I also can’t help but feel that Red Bull deserve a lot more credit than they get, when you consider everything they have done for the sport. They run two teams, one of which has won four championships, and the other has introduced some of the best drivers on the grid, in contrast to the slew of mediocre pay drivers which make up most of the rest of the grid. They saved the old Jaguar team, kept Renault in the sport as an engine supplier, and they have revived the Austrian GP, which turned out to be one of the best races of last season both in terms of the action on the track and the atmosphere in the grandstands. And they shouldn’t be seen in isolation either – Red Bull have a presence in motorsport at virtually all levels, sponsoring drivers and teams and even creating their own motorsports events and venues. Truly no other company has ever done so much to promote and maintain motorsport than Red Bull. While their brand of energy drinks I find, frankly, disgusting, their blue cars and big logos are a reminder that they are some of the biggest motorsports enthusiasts going.

    Of course, it’s all a marketing exercise. But then for whom is that not the case? Certainly not Mercedes – they may be selling cars rather than energy drinks, but the concept is still the same. It is still an exercise in brand building and reinforcement, one which could just as easily have the plug pulled as soon as the board of directors feel that it’s no longer delivering value. The only true contructors associated with car companies who have a clear commitment to staying come rain or shine are Mclaren and Ferrari, and even then there would be certain factors which could push either out of the sport.

    Do I hate the whining? Of course. I hate it from all quarters. I hate hearing it from teams, trying to use the media as a platform to press for change in the sport for their own advantage. I hated it when Ferrari did it, I hated it when Mercedes did it, and I hate it now that Red Bull are doing it. It hurts everything about the sport to see its top competitors whine and wail about how bad things are. I hate hearing the circuit owners whine about hosting fees, when collectively thye could get together and demand a better deal. I hate hearing it especially from FOM and Bernie Ecclestone – I hate hearing about how they don’t like how the engines sound, when they should be talking excitedly about how incredibly advanced and exciting thye are. F1 is left looking like a shambles of a sport by everyone concerned. But especially, the thing I hate most of all, is hearing people who call themselves fans whining about one person or team doing something which EVERY SINGLE TEAM does. I hate hearing people accusing a team of cheating, when all they’ve done is creatively use the rulebook to find an advantage. They seem to turn a blind eye when it’s their ‘favourite’ team doing the same thing. People whine about Red Bull using loopholes, and yet they seem completely blind to the fact that Mercedes are now using any number of their own loopholes to find their performance.

    Why it all annoys me is this – I have always seen F1 in sort of holistic terms. I don’t single out particular teams or drivers as my favourites. The whole idea of it seems anathema to my idea of what motorsport is about. It’s a mentality that I think has its place in field sports, but not at the race track. I love F1, it’s the most technically exciting, fastest motorsport on earth. I want the whole of F1 to be successful and to be prosperous; every team from the richest to the poorest. I want to see top quality racing venue across the world, almost turning people away at the gates because the venues are all full to capacity with spectators. I want everyone to know all about what F1 is and why it’s so special. But these things don’t happen. They don’t happen because people are selfish and narrow minded. They focus only on their own limited and blinkered idea of what is good and what is bad. So they whinge and whine and moan, not about the big important things, but about stupid things like a team for which they have an irrational dislike coming across as ‘smug’. I come on sites like this and I despair because it seems that the majority of people are so wrapped up in their own little bubble, so obsessed with trying to turn everything into a narrative of their favourites versus the ‘bad guys’ that they lose sight of the real problems. Like races being bankrolled by corrupt nations, held in front of empty grandstands in the bum end of nowhere. Like teams disappearing off the grid because the commercial rights holder has made it impossible for them to secure sponsorship. Like teams capitulating and being complicit in an illegal cartel which protects their interests against the long term sustainability of the sport. And especially how the spectre of Ecclestone hangs above the sport like Emperor Palpatine, gleefully rubbing his hands together while hundreds of people lose their jobs so that his inconceivably large pile of ill-gotten gains can get yet fatter by the day, as the teams he to mercilessly strangles then pat him on the back for what a great job he does.

    So no, ultimately, while I don’t like hearing RBR whining now, it’s not them that I hate but the culture of whining in general. Because ultimately it never actually fixes anything. At best, even if it is successful all that happens is that the balance of power is shifted back in favour of the whiner, causing yet another to start whinging in their place. Nothing important is ever resolved by it, and it never will be. Not until people stop whining, and start promoting instead. Stop being negative and understand the effect that has on the sport upon which they depend. And then, in the end, all agree to sit down and have proper, constructive talks which put the future health of the sport at the heart of what they do, rather than trying to balance a hundred or more conflicting self interests.

    But I fear, the days of whining will outlive the sport of F1.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 303 total)