here's a boredom-driven thought

This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Icthyes 7 years, 2 months ago.

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    if they want cars to overtake so badly and they put so much emphasis on slow corners before long straights, why don’t they get 4WD back in the sport?..it would improve the traction by a whole lot and it seems to be more handy than self-folding rear wings or whatever nutty idea they might come up with



    I like overtaking but personally I still think it should be very hard to do as F1 has never been about masses of overtaking anyway.

    The most common thing in new tracks for overtaking is a hairpin/chicane then a long straight. The slow part bunching the cars right up, possibly inducing a mistake and allowing the car behind to get a good tow coming out. Suzuka is a bloody quick track but doesn’t have that many overtakes esp when I watch the Fuji 08 race back.

    Personally, if they want overtaking I think it’ll come more from greater tyre variation. The best way is if there is less grip forcing drivers to struggle and make mistakes. If everyone is perfect then there will be no passes. The F duct and the rear wing nonsense will be good for overtaking (esp if there is a 15kph benefit predicted) on a straight but I don’t like it as it is artificial.



    Overtaking is over rated. These cars are at the pinnacle of motorsport and thus should be really slogging it out. 4WD would indeed improve traction..but if it’s imporved for everybody then you’re really no better off.

    I enjoy a good over take, by no means do I want a procession. But it shouldn’t be made easier just to improve the spectacle to the casual watcher. Seeing someone drag out a lead or hold someone off is just as exciting for me.


    Dan Thorn

    In all forms of racing I watch, I find it much more exciting watching the guy behind try to get past. Seeing them make the pass is dull – unless it’s particularly epic, but they’re very rare. Imola 2005 is one of my favourite battles for exactly that reason.



    What they need to do is get rid of the different types of tyre and make them really really super soft so they don’t last the whole race. That way those drivers who take more care of their tyres will make less stops. Some drivers then may push their tyres more and make more mistakes allowing oters to overtake. Those needing to make more stops will then push to overtake more to give them the time to stop.


    sbl on tour

    overtaking, check out long beach 1983 and see the master at work, john watson in his mclaren, took a few scalps that day I can tell you

    stand up for that ulsterman (I think you will all agree)




    <i>I like overtaking but personally I still think it should be very hard to do as F1 has never been about masses of overtaking anyway.</i>

    I hate to disagree with you Steph but there was an awful lot of overtaking when I started watching F1 in the early/mid 1980s and if you watch videos from the 1950s-1970s you’ll see quite a few races where the lead changed every couple of laps and loads more overtaking than we get these days.

    The advent of effective front wings was the turning point for this, I can’t find the quote but I’ve heard Jackie Stewart say that the day they introduced front wings was the day they ruined the racing aspect of F1 as it meant that drafting became an awful lot more difficult because whenever you got up close to the car in front you started to lose front end grip and the car becomes unsettled.

    These days front wings are so important to the cars handling that it’s become even more difficult to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre unless you’ve got a much faster car or the guy in front makes a mistake.

    I’m not saying everything was perfect in the old days or that every race was an edge of the seat experience with constant overtakes and I hate to keep banging on about the uselessness of aerodynamics but the fact remains that as long as the modern obsession with aerodynamic down force continues, the more dull the sport will become and the more ridiculous the rules will be as the FIA try to artificially prevent processional races.

    Aerodynamics may be a wonderful technical and engineering exercise but it is an expensive and ultimately worthless route to follow as there are very few real world applications and every time an improvement is made it only leads to the banning of other, more relevant, technologies in an effort to keep cornering speeds down as well as making the cars more aerodynamically sensitive and therefore more difficult to overtake.

    Over the years we’ve seen turbo chargers, active suspension, laser ignition and many other technologies banned in an effort to keep speeds down when what the FIA should have done was limit or ban devices that create down force. Not only would the teams have been able to develop many technologies that they could then sell to car manufacturers but it would also mean that we wouldn’t have cars that are almost impossible to overtake in normal conditions.

    Being honest, when was the last really great F1 race you watched that wasn’t either rain effected, Safety Car effected, the result of irregular tyre wear or a top driver qualifying lower down the grid than normal ?

    A race that was great because of the racing not because of some external factor or freak occurrence ?

    Take a look at these statistics (You will have to register but it is free):


    They show that the average number of overtakes has reduced from over 40 in the early 80s to below 15 for the 2009 season, we’re on 28.75 so far this season but obviously there are now more cars at each race, it’s not been a full season yet and there are still a few bore-fests to come. Amazingly it went down to just 10.74 overtakes per race in 2005 !


    sbl on tour

    youve obviously done your research, i,m impressed

    sbl on tour



    Thanks for the link BB.

    I know wings ruined a lot and that there were masses of overtaking at times. One of my favourite races had one of my heroes, Hawthorn, changing positions with Fangio at France constantly.

    Before F1 racing, Nuvolari would be swapping places with Varzi even around Monaco!

    It’s clear there’s been a decrease but I said that F1 has never been about masses of overtaking for me at least. It’s had it at times yes, but it wasn’t about it for me. I*t was about pushing technology, engeineering and having the best drivers.

    I think the racing skill involved hasn’t decreased but changed. I much more value an F1 pass if it is damn hard to pull off. Waiting in suspense can be just as fun; Spa 2009 with Rai vs Fisi was fascinaing to watch, I liked 2007 USA Alo and Ham for similar reasons.



    @ Steph

    I appreciate what you’re saying and I do agree with you, I don’t want overtaking to be easy (and definitely not made artificially easier) and I enjoy watching a great defensive drive as much as anyone. The problem now (for me anyway) is that defensive driving isn’t normally the reason the guy behind can’t get past; it’s because as soon as he gets within a few car lengths of the car in front he loses front end grip and overall balance which reduces the performance of his car making it much more difficult to overtake. It’s not that the other guy is necessarily driving well, it’s that his car is creating turbulence that is effecting your cars performance.

    If you don’t get past within a couple of laps your car then starts to overheat and you have to drop back or move onto the dirty side of the track to get some colder air into the radiators which further reduces the chances of you making an overtaking attempt.

    Relying on aerodynamic grip for optimum performance will always lead to this problem due to the turbulence created by the leading car and the aerodynamic packages have now become so advanced that almost all aspects of performance depend on the cars getting as smooth an airflow over them as possible, if the aerodynamics were refocused to providing the minimum possible drag with performance coming from mechanical grip and power/transmission then the distance to the car in front becomes irrelevant to your performance. You can run right up to their gearbox and pile on the pressure rather than hanging back a few meters so you don’t lose the front end.

    Every time I watch an old race these days the one thought I keep on getting is that I wish I could see the current F1 drivers in cars with their performance characteristics, seeing them visibly balancing the power and grip as they take the corners, drafting past each other down the straights before trying to outbreak each other or really having to block off the corners so the guy behind has to go the long way round to get past. If we could match up those characteristics with modern safety standards I would be the happiest F1 fan in the world.



    In 2008 Hamilton drove a 1950s Mercedes around Goodwood and commented on how hard it was to drive. After racing in one on TOCA 3, I can believe it, and that’s just a video game.

    I’m like a broken record with this, but the problem really is aero. It’s not that mechanical grip should be increased, because that will reduce braking distances, but it’s the balance between the two that needs to be redressed. Simple aero, hard tyres, freedom in power and other mechanical grip (things like traction and whatnot), and we could see a lot more battles for positions, with inventive racing lines and multiple swaps (like Hamilton and Button in Turkey) rather than people being stuck or just waiting for a slipstream.

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