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  • #180554
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
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    Difficult call. Apart from the EBD ban the regulations are relatively stable going into 2012 so there’s no compelling reason that the running order should change drastically. That gives Vettel a good chance of next year’s title. But if Ferrari find themselves within decent range of Red Bull I’d tip Alonso to triumph. That’s a big if, mind you, and it’ll all change if neither of them picks up the title next year.

    #175594
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    PM, Keith wrote about keeping F1 free-to-air back in 2009: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2009/11/14/why-the-government-must-protect-live-f1-broadcasts-on-free-to-air-television/

    In that article he lists the criteria for a sport to be considered for protected status, all of which F1 satisfies. Having looked at the relevant laws and regulations, I think including F1 on the list of protected sports is simply a matter of political will rather than a legal issue.

    #175589
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    Whilst online petitions, protest groups, writing to your MP etc. are all very laudable I’m afraid in this case I think it’s very unlikely to make any difference.

    That’s true, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. When the government moved to hike university tuition fees last November, my university organised a letter-writing campaign to the city’s sole Liberal Democrat MP, urging him to vote against the government and against the fee rise. He eventually resigned his government post and did indeed vote against the change, citing the students’ efforts as one of the reasons for his decision.

    I wrote to my own local (Tory) MP on the same issue, and though he did vote with the government he did at least write back and explain his position. I still didn’t agree with him but holding your representatives to account is one of the whole points of a democracy.

    If the minister in charge of regulating televised sporting events gets a number of letters indicating opposition to the BBC/Sky deal, at the very least he can no longer say “there is no public support for F1 continuing on free-to-air TV.” Any action is better than none at all.

    #175587
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    I think a letter-writing campaign would be more effective than these countless online petitions. It takes a bit more effort but is harder to ignore if the letters are directed in the right places.

    I’ve written to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, asking his department to consider placing F1 on the list of sporting events that are protected on free-to-air television. This is something that is specific, achievable and reasonable, rather than the vacuous ranting that has sometimes gone on in response to the news.

    I hope others will join me.

    #175424
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    At the moment, it’s the two-compounds-per-race rule.

    Historically it was single-lap qualifying. What a shower.

    #175266
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    Senna’s “if you no longer go for a gap you’re no longer a racing driver” is one that gets me.

    Indeed, especially as Senna said that in response to questions over his collision with Prost at Suzuka in 1990 – long before he admitted that it was intentional.

    “[something] is faster than you” is still not funny.

    One that would have been annoying, if it wasn’t so funny, was Lewis Hamilton before the 2008 Hungarian GP: “No one overtakes me around the outside.” What happened at the first corner of the race? Massa overtook him around the outside.

    For another controversial statement by Alonso, he also said he didn’t consider F1 to be a sport anymore, after he was penalised for daring to drive a kilometre or so ahead of a Ferrari in qualifying.

    But the most annoying quote of all (in recent years anyway) has to be Tony Fernandes’ “The good always win.” Having cynically disregarded the wishes of the Chapman family when they stopped agreeing with him, I think he forgoes the privilege of being called “the good.”

    #175169
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    There are plenty of single-seater spec series already. Much of F1′s appeal is that it is, uniquely among top-level single-seater motorsport, still about teams building their own cars. Inititally the term “Formula” was reserved for series where teams were expected to design their own cars, but the use of customer chassis in F3 and other “formulae” has diminished this definition, and the resurrected spec “Formula 2″ series has killed it completely.

    PM’s idea for F1 is essentially the polar opposite of my own. I would like to see as few parameters as possible (cost, fuel usage etc) being restricted, with the majority of car elements being open to different designs and innovation by the individual team. Driver skill should be important, but there are other ways of ensuring that (e.g. challenging circuits with proper runoff areas that punish mistakes) besides making everyone drive the same car.

    If F1 were to become a spec series it would be unattractive to manufacturers. In its present state (and even more so if the regulations were relaxed, as I propose) F1 is a good development ground for motoring technology. Without that, it becomes an expensive PR exercise only – one that is usually only effective if the manufacturer in question is winning. Allowing manufacturers room to develop technologies that can be transferred to their primary business gives them a reason to remain in F1 even if they are not extremely competitive. Artificial restrictions harm this – remember, for instance, Toyota refusing to run KERS in 2009 on the grounds that KERS in Toyota road cars already yielded more power than was permitted by the FIA’s regulations for F1, so developing the technology would have been worthless for them.

    I don’t think the 2014 engine regulations are “the beginning of the end” for F1 or anything like it, but we should not embrace F1 becoming a spec series as if it were just another step in the evolution of the sport. It would be a fundamental change in the philosophy of Grand Prix racing – and not even an original change, since the vast majority of single-seater series are spec series now anyway.

    #175037
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    Several races I’ve missed and caught up with on iPlayer later. I didn’t see Valencia this year on TV, just heard it on the radio – didn’t bother with watching it on iPlayer due to the general consensus that it was a pretty poor race.

    I think the last race I didn’t watch at all was Malaysia 2005. I forget why, though that was obviously in the days before on-demand TV, so it was probably something trivial and poorly-timed.

    #171632
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    Okay, you wanted overtaking. Demanded it, even. But no-one ever gave the FIA or the teams any indication of how they wanted that overtaking to happen. So the Powers That be went away and came up with a solution to the original problem. It have everything you wanted, but everyone is unhappy with it.

    I’m not sure this is a fair assessment. There have been plenty of calls for the FIA to legislate for an increase in overtaking by reducing the reliance of the cars on over-body aerodynamics. If this was never picked up in the fan surveys this was because the appropriate questions were never asked – recall that one question on last year’s FOTA Fan Survey asked fans what their opinion was on the length of races, without giving respondents the option to suggest that races should be made longer. I don’t remember the FOTA surveys in detail but it’s perfectly possible this was also the case with overtaking/aero.

    Nonetheless, the teams and FIA are aware of the problems caused by aerodynamics and had originally legislated to curtail some of them, by reintroducing ground effects. Of course, they have now decided not to do this, probably for the usual reason (the big teams who have invested lots of money into aerodynamic geniuses and wind tunnels putting pressure on the small ones to agree to scrap the changes).

    One of the big issues with DRS is that it treats the symptom rather than the cause. It allows drivers to temporarily circumvent the issues of dirty air without addressing the cause of dirty air in the first place. It is even more frustrating that a potential solution to this cause was actually going to be adopted by the FIA before it was dropped.

    #171580
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    Are we on this again?

    Kimi left F1 at the end of 2009. He has shown no indication of wishing to return, nor has any team shown any indication of wishing to hire him.

    He is gone. He has left. Departed. Ceased to race. Quit. Absconded. Fled. Decamped. Withdrawn. Exited. Moved on. Escaped. Walked away.

    There are lots of new, exciting drivers coming through the junior formulae. Let’s talk about them, rather than some overrated, tired has-been who has indicated he wishes to continue rallying rather than fill a seat in F1. Even if there were one available. Which there isn’t.

    #171543
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    Yeah, the rules were changed recently (before the 2010 season I think). Before then, when the race was stopped drivers had to line up in different positions, which were offset from the normal grid positions. If you look at footage from a starting grid from the late 2000s you might see some red numbers painted on the start/finish straight, away from the usual grid boxes – those are the places where drivers line up in the event of a red flag. More recently the rules have been changed to the one NetBurst quoted above.

    #171330
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    The obvious solution is to revert to the safety car rules of 2007/8 – end the “lap delta” nonsense (which as we’ve seen at Suzuka 2009 and Valencia 2010 isn’t enforced half the time anyway) and just close the pit lane as soon as the safety car is deployed. That ends the incentive for drivers to rush back to the pits but means that they can bunch up relatively quickly.

    There’s now no danger of anyone running out of fuel, of course (though I always thought this was a lame excuse, since teams should have been able to take responsibility for their own strategy and factor in the possibility of safety cars), so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t revert to those rules. Maybe even look at reintroducing the “lapped cars may now overtake” feature as well, which used to make things more interesting.

    #171151
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    ?’If you see a gap and don’t go for it, you are no longer a racing driver’

    …is a good candidate for the quote most frequently taken out of context in the history of Formula One. Senna said this in response to questions over his collision with Prost in the 1990 season finale. Over a year later he admitted that the collision had been deliberate on his part.

    #169524
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    The only reason there was a red flag was that there was concern about Petrov. Ordinarily the car would just have been craned away, probably under SC which wouldn’t have helped Vettel at all. There was no way of predicting that the race would have to be red-flagged, so organising a crash there would be very unlikely to have paid off.

    #170668
    Avatar of Red Andy
    Red Andy
    Participant

    Second, we know, an we all know that horrendous abuses of human rights have taken, an continue to take place, to deny this is remove your own credibility on the subject so broad is the evidence available to the public.

    Yes, we can probably say this without too much fear of being horribly wrong. The point I made earlier, though, is that the Western media has its own vested interests too, and the portrait they present is not always entirely accurate. Fox News in the US portrayed the British student protests last November as a demonstration “against government debt,” which wasn’t even close to being the case. And from my involvement in the Scottish Parliament elections recently I know that a carefully spun narrative can utterly distort a story beyond its real significance. This happens routinely in our media and it is hypocritical to only call it out when it happens in other countries.

    As ever, the truth probably lies somewhere between the two extremes of what the Bahrain government is saying, and what the international media is telling us. As I said before, I welcome different perspectives on the incidents, and my position is that F1 should only return to Bahrain if it’s safe and practical to do so. Is that the case? I don’t know, because I’m not there.

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