Forum Replies Created
20th July 2014, 9:59 at 9:59 am #267243
Thanks for sharing this. If you go to the museum at Le Mans they have model mockups of the start finish straights as they evolved over the years. It’s so shocking to see them just pulling over at the side of the road, right next to 150mph racing. It’s not really surprising that a massive accident occurred, and you can see the little grass bank that was all that separated the spectators from the cars.
But it’s an incredible snapshot from a very different sort of sport than we see today. Very reminiscent of the film with Steve McQueen.17th July 2014, 19:01 at 7:01 pm #266859
Qualifying was (I think) still being run on starting fuel in 2007, so pole position was largely decided by strategy rather than outright speed. Fastest laps is probably a better indicator of the true potential of the car, but there are plenty of other factors. Fast over a single lap does not mean fastest over a race distance. In the end it’s speed over a race distance which matters most.
I guess the real crux of the debate is whether the poor relative performance of Massa and Raikkonen to Alonso in the Ferrari over the past couple of years indicates that Alonso is a fundamentally faster driver and that the similar performance of the F2007 and the MP4-22 would have to take into account the ‘drag factor’ of Massa and Raikkonen’s poor pace. I think that’s a very simplistic way to look at it, and suggests that a driver’s ability is a constant year on year irrespective of the qualities of the car. Which is simply not the case at all.
But for what it’s worth (i.e. not a lot) my own opinion is that the F2007 was slightly faster on average than the MP4-22, and it was generally down to the skill of Alonso and Hamilton that the McLaren beat the Ferrari as often as it did.16th July 2014, 12:44 at 12:44 pm #266706
I don’t think that it’s right to put the WEC equivalency formula and the BTCC performance balancing into the same category because they’re very different things. The WEC equivalency was brought in as a result of a set of rules which gave a clear technological advantage to Le Mans Prototypes running turbodiesel engines. Hence for a very long time the only two manufacturers involved were Audi and Peugeot since they were the only ones prepared to put development money into making turbodiesel engines for racing at that level. The equivalency formula was a means of ensuring that petrol engines were able to compete fairly with diesel engines, with a similar level of development etc. A logical response to a problem which existed with the rules, and something which is tweaked occasionally to make sure it’s as fair as possible. But crucially unless there was a massive problem with the equivalency, they won’t change it during the season. So this year, Audi have dropped the ball a little bit and built a car which is shy of power compared to the Toyota and the Porsche, and they just have to live with it.
What it isn’t, is what we have in BTCC, which is an artificial means of leveling the field so that poorly developed cars are put on equal terms with highly developed cars. Things like success ballast, adjustment of turbo boost pressure for individual teams, and so on, and all the nasty political wrangling that seems to go on now with people trying to get opposing teams pegged back. In other words, if you’re unable to build a competitive car, then you can lobby to have a boost, or to have the performance of everyone else pegged back to give you a helping hand. Which is something I disagree with. If you want all cars to be genuinely equal then you should make is a spec series. If you want there to be technical diversity, then you have to accept the possibility that not all cars are going to be able to compete at the same level.11th July 2014, 12:19 at 12:19 pm #266389
I’m not sure that the equalisation formula in WEC would really count as a gimmick. It’s about ensuring that different technical paths are all viable ways of creating a competitive car, rather than something to ensure that teams without the ability to develop are still competitive. You don’t see them giving the likes of Strakka a boost to help them fight against the big manufacturers. It’s more about making sure that if you’ve got diesel, petrol, turbos, ERS systems, etc, whatever route you take there’s a competitive solution at the end of it as long as you have the resource and technical ability to reach it.19th June 2014, 20:29 at 8:29 pm #263500
Toyota is great, really does drive superbly. But the PP is a bit low, and it’s a fair bit slower than most of the other LMPs. I can’t say for sure whether that’s accurate, though.9th June 2014, 17:34 at 5:34 pm #262929
I think it’s a logical approach, but I think it has been a bit patchy when they’ve used it in practice, with how the drivers attack the run up to the slow zone. It might make sense to have the slow zone preceded by a yellow flag sector, so the cars aren’t racing right up to the slow zone, but instead get in line and slow down sensibly.
But with the enormous length of La Sarthe I think it’s a much better idea than a full course caution where cars are prevented from racing even when they’re several miles away from the obstruction.9th May 2014, 12:32 at 12:32 pm #259302
I think the viewing experience is a fundamentally different one. Because the races are a lot longer, it’s not something you necessarily give your full attention for the whole duration. The commentary style is different – one of the best things about going to Le Mans for me is the moment the car gets close enough to the track to be able to pick up Radio Le Mans. Their race coverage is by far and away the best for any sport out there. John Hindhaugh is fantastic, engaging and often hilarious to listen to, while also being very well informed and able to explain exactly what’s happening in the race and why.
But it is totally different. Watching F1 is something I sit down and do for a couple of hours on a sunday. If I’m not at Le Mans, I’ll invite a bunch of like minded friends to watch the race with me, make a proper event of it. Get beers in, some food (a barbecue if the weather is good!), and the race forms a great backdrop to a more sociable experience. It’s why I love going to the race as well, because I can enjoy time with friends while also enjoying the motorsport. The atmosphere around the track is incredible, and shifts completely throughout the race depending on what’s happening. Whether it’s at the race start with every nook and cranny stuffed with supporters cheering and waving flags, through the night with the grandstands mostly empty but occupied by hardore fans wrapped in blankets, the big surges towards the screens in the Le Mans Village areas when something dramatic has happened on the track. There’s so much to see and do, with this constant thunder of racing cars in the background, like some amazing petrol powered carnival. F1 is great, but Le Mans is something very unique and very special. It’s a true festival, celebrating everything about motorsports. Not just something people do for a day out, but something people do because they all share the same absolute love for the sport. It’s a pilgrimage for the faithful to go and worship at the altar of speed.
I don’t understand this idea that people have to choose one motorsport and stick solely to watching that. I watch F1, WEC, ALMS, NASCAR, BTCC, WRC, Indycar, and a whole load besides. If these sports become more popular then that’s great, but I don’t think it needs to be a competition. I love them all because they’re all unique and the experience of watching them is so different.
But my heart, really, belongs to Le Mans.1st May 2014, 17:23 at 5:23 pm #258607
Why do you think that boycotting it won’t work?29th April 2014, 13:47 at 1:47 pm #258458
The person who deserved to win the championship was the one who won the championship, in every year bar none.10th April 2014, 12:45 at 12:45 pm #256567
I doubt manufacturers will be giving a lot of thought to F1 at the moment. It’s just too toxic, politically, and all you see on an almost daily basis is pretty much everyone within F1 complaining about almost every aspect of the sport, including its promoter. I can’t see why anyone in their right mind would want to get involved with it as a major manufacturer, and that’s without taking into account the severely restrictive technical and homologation rules which make it very difficult for manufacturers to use their own engineering creativity and make their own car technologically distinct.
WEC is where the party is at, and I really hope it goes from strength to strength. We could be on the verge of another golden age of endurance racing; maybe even better than the Group C days.27th March 2014, 12:09 at 12:09 pm #254064
I wonder what the fuel usage is on these new cars, and how it compares to the new F1 engines. Interesting that they have three different tiers of hybrid power they can choose from under the P1 rules, and Audi have chosen a different one to Toyota. Definitely a lot more technical freedom for teams to choose their own path, and it’s a testament to the rules that the cars always seem to end up so closely matched despite massive technical differences.14th March 2014, 12:28 at 12:28 pm #252216
I’ve done a very small amount of rally driving and a lot of drifting, but nothing competitive. I would love to, and do plan on getting a racing license at some point. But I would much prefer racing tin-tops than open-wheelers.13th March 2014, 21:33 at 9:33 pm #252003
There is something which does irk me a bit though which is when you see comments like Hamilton’s about it being some kind of test of character. It implies that this is a situation over which the victim can have some kind of influence, and that brings the implication that if the sufferer does not pull through, then the have somehow failed a test. When in fact, the reality is that if Schumacher does never wake up, it is because the man we all love and support effectively left us in December.
It’s like when people talk about someone ‘losing their battle’ with a terminal illness. Death is an inevitable fact of life; everyone reading this sentence will die one day, myself included, and there is no act of will which can change this fact. When my life does inevitably reach its terminus, I would rather people didn’t think that I had died because I had somehow failed to stay alive through willpower.13th March 2014, 21:21 at 9:21 pm #252000
I can totally understand why people would want to take comfort from the idea that when bad things happen to good people, there is ultimately some greater good which is being served.8th March 2014, 18:01 at 6:01 pm #251274
If it’s a pure cooling issue then there’s a lot that RBR can do. If the problem is reliability from the Renault PU, then realistically it’s between Renault and the FIA. The engines are homologated now, but there are exceptions which allow for changes to help reliability. We have no idea how much potential power the Renault PU has, since none of the teams have run anywhere near the potential yet, so it’s possible that if they can make tne engine more reliable they can also start to exploit the power potential as well. The RB10 still looks like a really neat little race car, so it’s entirely possible that with just a few small improvements in reliability, it could be right up there. Of course the tight packaging would appear to be a contributing factor for the reliability problems, but frankly Renault should have been able to provide a PU system which would work to the requirements of the team, and certainly plenty of other cars appear very tightly packaged and don’t seem to be suffering the same issues. This is F1 after all, and pushing things to the limit is the name of the game.
Of course, with the restrictions on power units the teams can use through the season, if they suffer a few failures in the first few races, they may be hobbled by penalties later in the season, even if Renault can get it all working properly.