What if YOU were in charge of F1?

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    Piotr Koteryl

    Okay, so the 2014 season with its new rule changes has dawned upon us, and we have experienced the first taste of the new regulations at the Jerez test, but I found myself asking the question: “What would F1 look like if I were in charge?”

    This is kind of a pipe dream, but with people complaining about the draconian approach to the application of rules in recent times and the apparent near-homologation of the cars, it’s nice to dream about how it could be…

    I would allow teams to utilize more of their own ingenuity in terms of how the car’s body is built, especially allowing for closed wheels, ground effect, fans or flaps (à la the Pagani Huayra) in place of wings. There would be restrictions as to the width, height and length of the cars, but all in all, there would be much more freedom of development for the teams.

    I remember the halcyon days of fields filled with V8s, V10s, V12s, W12s and Flat 12s of all different manufacturers. Likewise, I would like to allow engine manufacturers to design their own power units to much fewer regulations. The main theme of regulation would be keeping the weight to a minimum and making a competitive field, but such de-regulation should allow for great innovation from the power unit suppliers, such as hybrid engines, electric-only motors or even power units people won’t have considered yet.

    • The maximum size of the field will be upped to 28 cars, and there option for customer cars will be made available for smaller teams.
    • The ‘minimum weight’ rule would only mean the car with fluids (but with an empty fuel tank), and would be approximately 700kg.
    • The fuel limit for cars would be 150kg, but if a team uses electric only, the weight of the battery units would be 75kg – this will allow the weight loss of fuel-burning cars to be mitigated and averaged out.
    • There will be a ‘sprint’ race of 30 minutes on Saturday, the starting positions of which will be decided by the finishing positions of the previous main race (or in the case of the first race of the season, by a special ‘shootout’ session on the Saturday morning), and the finishing positions of which will determine the starting positions of the main race on the Sunday.
    • And a whole host of other rules I can’t think of at the moment…

    So, this quick, half-assed attempt at starting a thread aside, how would F1 look if you were in charge?



    • The fuel limit for cars would be 150kg, but if a team uses electric only, the weight of the battery units would be 75kg – this will allow the weight loss of fuel-burning cars to be mitigated and averaged out.

    That would completely rule out battery powered cars.
    Petrol contains 46.4MJ/kg of energy, in a normal engine only a third of that would be converted to mechanical energy, so roughly 15.4MJ/kg.
    The best Lithium Ion batteries, as most commonly used in cars, contains up to 1MJ/kg. But since nearly all of the energy stored in the battery can be converted to actual, mechanical energy, we can just assume that the actual, driving, power is 1MJ/kg.
    Basically the battery, to contain the same propulsion power would need to weigh 15.4 times MORE then the fuel allowed in the petrol car in order to contain a similar amount of power.
    So the battery weight would need to be something like two tonnes in order to compete with 150kg of standard petrol.



    Sorry for being such a joy-kill though. Nice topic! I will give it a go tomorrow. : )


    I would create just these rules:
    1. No team has veto power.
    2. Any idea proposed by FIA about regulations must be approved by vote with all these members: a) A vote by all the constructors b) a vote by all the drivers c) A vote by all the Track owners. As a whole, they are like 60 people, and this vote would avoid things like double points, super expensive tickets to GPs and many boring street races as Valencia (yes, even the SuperValenciaGP was bad for me) or Singapore). I know it sounds as burocracy, but it may lead to more consensus.
    3. Cars are free to any engineering design, with the only limits of Minimum weight and minimum (and maximum) dimensions. Maybe I would add a rules stating cars should not have anything right in front of the front tyres, so aero packages would be less decisive.



    Before offering solutions, think of all the things the ideas are trying to solve.

    In my view Formula 1 should be:
    • The fastest circuit-based motorsport
    • The most technically advanced motorsport
    • Featuring the world’s best drivers
    • Popular globally

    whilst still
    • Providing compelling sport/drama/stories
    • Having cars controlled by a single visible driver
    • Being safe (for everyone)
    • Being financially viable
    • Respecting traditions of the sport (open wheel, classic circuits, gimmick-free)



    I would allow teams to utilize more of their own ingenuity in terms of how the car’s body is built, especially allowing for closed wheels, ground effect, fans or flaps (à la the Pagani Huayra) in place of wings. There would be restrictions as to the width, height and length of the cars, but all in all, there would be much more freedom of development for the teams.”

    Unfortunately that would probably immediately make them too fast to race- dangerous for the circuits and unpleasant if not damaging for the drivers.



    I like the ideas, but that’s why the engine rules came into play because of spending. Ferrari experimenting with beryllium alloys allowing revs in excess of 22k rpm… Costs could be awfully high unless there’s a mandatory upper spending limit.

    The only change I would like to see, and some of you might not like it being fans of yesteryear and all, but a success ballast like the old SuperGT rules had, meaning, the higher you place, the more weight you have to put on your car at the next race. Also, maximum horsepower limit might be nice to prevent astronomical speeds.



    Software:I’d use Free Software, and probably require teams to use Free/Unpublished Software on their computers as well.

    Rules:I’d free up the design rules (anything as long as the cars fit into a box (with solid walls) of a size detirmined by me – with no movable things exposed to the air in front of the car (the latter should be reworded, though), plus a sentence or two that bans traction control) – but add a test in which the engine, fuel tank(s), and batteries can and would, by the scrutineers, be taken out and must fit into another box (with solid walls) with dimensions determined by someone I trust, if not myself. Teams would then, in front of the scrutineers, reassemble the parts. The test would take place prior to the qualies and races.

    Circuit design:Give Hermann Tilke the freedom (and mandate) to design circuit with track dimesions similar to Interlagos, and give other designers the freedom to do what he all to often does: circuit design. The circuits can do anything they want with adverts and ticket price – as long as the former are off the track.

    Points System:13-8-6-5-4-3-2-1

    Financials:I’d take the entry fees (which will be paid per race under a small amount (for the sake of a rather constant cash flow) instead of a big amount of cash annually. The rest of the revenue goes to teams. Circuits will have to pay the organisation that owns F1 an entry fee – it’d be used as prize money. No bitcoins.

    Owners:An organisation. I’d be its leader. Representatives from each team and each circuit (her/his place under the control of the teams/circuits, not the organisation), and perhaps a few fanclubs and @keithcollantine would also be a part of it.


    Iestyn Davies

    Well, off the top of my head, F1 would certainly engage better with the younger generation for one, and the long awaited archive footage (half the F1 history) would be uploaded and converted to digital, and made available (even if this is a side-project in the long term scheme of things, it’ll help overall with promotion).

    The teams would also get a better financial allocation from the prize fund, 75 or 80%, so there would be an end to pay drivers being selected mainly on sponsorship merits. This could be seen as an inefficient business move (as it works well as it is at the moment from Bernie’s POV), but I would prefer the sporting merits (we could see Frijns, Wickens etc. in a race drive). Haas would be invited in and 24/26 cars par for the course (perhaps with another manufacturer like Ford or VW involved, or Russian/Eastern European investment making the other new team. That said, Usmanov has just bought into Lotus..).

    Double points would go, although I can see it benefiting a recovering Red Bull near the end of this season. TV coverage may go back to FTA, if sponsorship can recover and promotion efforts are now more successful at getting F1 into emerging markets. Perhaps something like Bernie’s F1 Digital could be sold to PPV suppliers. Races would stay at a similar amount, and I like the concept of ’26 weekends with racing action’, i.e. current 19 races and 7 tests, or 20 races with 6 tests etc. But if TV can come up with something legitimate to improve the show (not double points) then it can be considered of course. Cars may get wider and shorter, more akin to the pre-1998 rule set, although only if it would boost the racing.

    The general move to be more relevant to the car industry would continue, and I actually like the refresh that has come this year.. it makes the technology relevant again, and F1 less show-oriented. Weight would be 705kg this year and reduce by 10kg each year. Even Mercedes could be overweight now, so why they veto’d the 2014 weight increase (well, both drivers are on the lighter side of the grid) is beyond me. When you think about it, the noses have made a good sideshow to distract everyone from the double points fiasco, so Bernie is now pushing for 3 races again with Horner’s backing (of course). The FIA and Bernie are now working more in tandem against the teams (with the new 6 votes each structure, which might have to go), to ensure they both make more money from the sport. Some of the fixes here would need the FIA to push it through, so a ‘Max Mosley’ figure would also be needed to be in that organisation.



    I think each F1 Fanatic could write their own regulation book for their ideal formula.

    In an ideal world, all competing teams would have vast sums of money and we’d have a much less restricted formula. In an era of financial uncertainty, my ideal formula would essentially be a spec series. I like the idea of the current power units, but I would allow MORE engines because there would be much more severe restriction on aerodynamic development: you develop a low, medium, and high downforce package (which can be setup to their liking) but no more one-off wings/bits for each race. Engines would be boosted to the point where the V6s alone (without the hybrid system) are producing the V8 levels of power, but the built-in hybrid system is capable of boosting to around 900-950hp for ‘x’ amount of seconds per lap. Otherwise, from a functionality standpoint, I wouldn’t change it from the current formula.

    DRS = banned.

    Two types of tyre per race = banned. There would be multiple tyre manufacturers allowed, but any tyre developments from each manufacturer are able to be accessed by any team (i.e. if McLaren starts with a medium Pirelli in one race but finds that a soft Bridgestone used by Williams will suit them better, they will be able to use that tyre.) This is so that tyre wars remain where they belong, between tyre companies, and teams/drivers who are in the business of winning races can pick and choose whatever is available to them.

    With aero development out of the picture, I would also reintroduce the option of teams running a 3rd car, under the restriction that they must run a less experienced driver in that seat; there would be rules surrounding that, i.e. it must be a rookie but drivers with no more than “y” amount of races or “z” amount of seasons in F1. There would have to be rules surrounding how points are scored in this case for WDC/WCC championships, but I don’t want to get into those details.

    Anyways, that’s my rough idea of a formula. Like I said, if I took the time to really think about it, I’d have my own F1FA (F1 Fanatic Association) regulation book for a series called “F-Zero”.



    1) all cars must fit specified dimensions and pass crash & other necessary safety tests etc, but teams have free rein on aero, fans, flaps, special exhausts etc.
    2) cars must weigh 750KG plus an extra 150 KGs centred where the driver sits (in case i need to fill in one day ;) )
    3) engine suppliers must make engines available to other teams at a median cost +/- 20%.
    4) points awarded for quail and race,
    5) Grid starts the race in reverse qualification order.
    6) at least 2 tyre manufacturers
    7) no more than 150 KG of fuel reducing to 100KG over 4 years, but refuelling allowed. This should lead to novell engine designs and hybrid systems, can swap cars if all electric.
    8) no diesels & no less than 4 cylinders in the car.
    9) ALL non location specific electronic aids are permitted, including ABS, Traction Control, active suspension
    10) teams must make their technology available for sale at modest cost to other teams after 1 year.

    essentially, allow the teams to innovate and come up with novel solutions to problems faced by them all.



    Keep the revs and the noise as high as possible please.



    1) Agree @omarr-pepper – no team has veto powers.
    2) Everytning @hutch sad- spot on.
    3) Allow for drivers who are taller and heavier – like Webber and Hulkenburg. I am not sure if a car + driver weigh in can work but makes sense to me. Our 1992 WDC Nigel Mansell would not get a drive now, I think he drove at 78-82kg!
    4) Higher speed in the fast corners- thats where a driver shows his skill.
    5) More horsepower- give these boys some more umph!! I think Riccardo Patrese had the most powerful F1 car ever…….. I think a Brabham or Williams at almost 1500BHP or more??!! These guys are the best and I think increased saftey has been more that sufficient to allow F1 the be almighty again, not A FEW seconds faster than the next best formula!
    6) No DRS or double points….. blah, blah blah.
    7) A bit more money for back of the grid drivers, reserve drivers, the lower paid mechanics and those who really do put this sport together day to day. If CVC took a SLIGHTLY lower dividend the wealth could go a bit further……….. most mechanics get paid lower than an average Australian wage yet they put the best cars on the planet together!!
    8) Rules and tyres that allow a driver to driver flat out (with fuel and his car in mind to some extent) instead of these pacing periods.
    9) Allow each driver to administer 3 x “Nelson Piquet bad front kicks” to another driver when p**sed off!! LOL- if you havent seen if google “Nelson Piquet fight Germany 1983” – GOLD!!
    10) Look after the F1F’s over the occasional viewer!

    Ok- I had some fun with # 9 there!

    There certainly are some things as proper F1 fans we would both like to see improved and NEED to be improved in a very real and urgent matter!!- but I still love F1 no matter what………. not sure about the penis nose just yet!! LOL!!

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