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Why equalizing cars is bad for racing


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#1 Pingguest

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 15:05

A couple of years ago Formula 1 started a process of equalization. The technical regulations became tighter and standard components were introduced. So far, Formula 1 has homologated and "equalized" engines, tight aero regulations, standardized ECUs and a control tyre. The enforced reliability rules for engines (only eight units per season per driver) and gearboxes (mandated to last at least consecutive five complete race weekends) may have had an equalizing effect too.

Traditionally three reasons are used to justify the equalization of cars:
  • Reducing costs
  • Fairness
  • Promotion of close racing
Equalizing cars could well reduce costs in a specific area. For example, the standard ECU resulted in lower developing costs for electronics. But it's very unlikely it did actually reduce overall costs. As the huge budgets were still there its more likely all the saved money was spend on something else, probably less road relevant like improving the aerodynamics. It's said that equalizing cars makes the sport more fair. I disagree. Sport is about competition. And as the most capitalistic form of sport, in Formula 1 the weaker teams shouldn't get artificial help from the regulator.

Having that said, I'd like to focus on the third reason used to justify the equalization of cars. It's said that equalizing cars will eventually promote close and hence better racing. I disagree. Although the equalization will definitely cause lap times to be closer, the racing will be hardly better. To get more close racing its necessary to have a following car catching another one in front. In equalized cars however, drivers will do largely the same lap times and thus find increasingly difficult to catch someone in front. To get an exciting finish cars should be largely equal over a race distance but not over one lap distance.

In the history of Formula 1 we've seen a number of exciting finishes. By all those finishes drivers were close to each other over a complete race distance but they didn't have the same pace over one lap. Nowadays most races are found to be rather boring and predictable. Many reasons are given: modern aerodynamics, lack of mechanical grip, the still legalized driver aids, pit stops, post-qualifying parc fermé, the point awarding system, etc. But maybe the biggest impact may well truly come from the current equalization process.

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#2 Paolo

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 16:13

Agree on every point.


#3 WildmouseX

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 16:29

Having that said, I'd like to focus on the third reason used to justify the equalization of cars. It's said that equalizing cars will eventually promote close and hence better racing. I disagree. Although the equalization will definitely cause lap times to be closer, the racing will be hardly better. To get more close racing its necessary to have a following car catching another one in front. In equalized cars however, drivers will do largely the same lap times and thus find increasingly difficult to catch someone in front. To get an exciting finish cars should be largely equal over a race distance but not over one lap distance.



the logic is a bit flawed here. if you use nascar as an example of racing equalized car's, then you can see that in qualifying that they all run within hundrenths of a second from each other in lap times - yet there is considerably more side by side racing for position. yes the car's are running @ the same speed, but when you are following close enough to a car you catch their draft, reducing the amount of air friction on your car, allowing you to go faster and actually catch them.. the other point is, even in F1, they don't always drive every lap perfect. every driver will screw up a turn every few dozzen laps, closer lap times means the cars will be closer and drivers will get more chances to capitalize on those small mistakes that normally go uncontested now.

i like racing in all it's forms, but the political wrangling for technological advantages that has shaped F1 over the last decade and a half has created vast gaps in performance of the teams which has destroyed the sport and turned it into a mockery of what it should be. watching a F1 race now a days, is like watching a race for president in America - find out which party has control of the electoral votes and you know who's going to win before it even starts.

Edited by WildmouseX, 08 August 2009 - 16:31.


#4 Max!

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 16:40

A couple of years ago Formula 1 started a process of equalization. The technical regulations became tighter and standard components were introduced. So far, Formula 1 has homologated and "equalized" engines, tight aero regulations, standardized ECUs and a control tyre. The enforced reliability rules for engines (only eight units per season per driver) and gearboxes (mandated to last at least consecutive five complete race weekends) may have had an equalizing effect too.

Traditionally three reasons are used to justify the equalization of cars:

  • Reducing costs
  • Fairness
  • Promotion of close racing
Equalizing cars could well reduce costs in a specific area. For example, the standard ECU resulted in lower developing costs for electronics. But it's very unlikely it did actually reduce overall costs. As the huge budgets were still there its more likely all the saved money was spend on something else, probably less road relevant like improving the aerodynamics. It's said that equalizing cars makes the sport more fair. I disagree. Sport is about competition. And as the most capitalistic form of sport, in Formula 1 the weaker teams shouldn't get artificial help from the regulator.

Having that said, I'd like to focus on the third reason used to justify the equalization of cars. It's said that equalizing cars will eventually promote close and hence better racing. I disagree. Although the equalization will definitely cause lap times to be closer, the racing will be hardly better. To get more close racing its necessary to have a following car catching another one in front. In equalized cars however, drivers will do largely the same lap times and thus find increasingly difficult to catch someone in front. To get an exciting finish cars should be largely equal over a race distance but not over one lap distance.

In the history of Formula 1 we've seen a number of exciting finishes. By all those finishes drivers were close to each other over a complete race distance but they didn't have the same pace over one lap. Nowadays most races are found to be rather boring and predictable. Many reasons are given: modern aerodynamics, lack of mechanical grip, the still legalized driver aids, pit stops, post-qualifying parc fermé, the point awarding system, etc. But maybe the biggest impact may well truly come from the current equalization process.


Yeah, STOP FOTA!

#5 Atreiu

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 17:03

What?
FOTA didn't even exist when this equalization process began; 1996, when V10 3.0 were mandated, IIRC.
But, OTOH, guess who was already running the show at FIA...

---

I'm also not a fan of this extensive equalization. Completely different engine formulas and solutions should be allowed and encouraged. 100l of petrol based fuel per race, no refueling. Use whatever engine you wish; turbo, KERS, V12, V8, gasoline, alcohol, diesel, whatever.



#6 Victor_RO

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 17:05

What?
FOTA didn't even exist when this equalization process began; 1996, when V10 3.0 were mandated, IIRC.
But, OTOH, guess who was already running the show at FIA...

---

I'm also not a fan of this extensive equalization. Completely different engine formulas and solutions should be allowed and encouraged. 100l of petrol based fuel per race, no refueling. Use whatever engine you wish; turbo, KERS, V12, V8, gasoline, alcohol, diesel, whatever.


V10 3.0 was mandated in 1998. Tyrrell and Minardi were still using V8s in '97.

#7 Atreiu

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 17:08

Ops, my bad. But it was still pretty far from FOTA's creation.

#8 teejay

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 17:10

And yet you go look at something like CART in the mid 90's


Fundamentally similar cars, low budgets, awesome racing.

Why oh why is it so hard to refind this formula.

#9 Lazy Prodigy

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 17:15

Equalization I think has maybe made teams spend more money to find that little bit extra somewhere else. Look at NASCAR ever since they went to full spec cars after 2002 with common templates there have been closer lap times, more side by side racing, and what has seemed like less passing, but yet teams have struggled to get money. Its a very fine line.

#10 Max!

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 11:33

What?
FOTA didn't even exist when this equalization process began; 1996, when V10 3.0 were mandated, IIRC.
But, OTOH, guess who was already running the show at FIA...

---

I'm also not a fan of this extensive equalization. Completely different engine formulas and solutions should be allowed and encouraged. 100l of petrol based fuel per race, no refueling. Use whatever engine you wish; turbo, KERS, V12, V8, gasoline, alcohol, diesel, whatever.


FOTA wants to continue the homologation way. The FIA wanted technical freedom.

#11 Phucaigh

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 11:52

Loads of money is spent on irrelevant aerodynamics, I wouldn't care if the cars had a set spec for aerodynamics and other areas like engines were open for development.

#12 dabrasco

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 12:02

technical freedom with 40mill cap is impractical...lets not get back into this tired argument though.


i think another factor we are overlooking that has brought about equalization is the fact that most of the drivers in F1 now deserve to be there...
most are there because they are simply very good drivers... the young driver development programs now are also much better hence its easier to identify young talent than b4.
The diff. btw the drivers over a lap is very little compared to before. Alonso, a double world champ. has 6 tenths or so over Piquet, and we crucify Piquet for that. Back in the day, the best drivers sometimes had atleast a sec over their teammates. I believe this has contributed alot to the equalizing we are seeing.... we also have less driver errors, drivers are more predictable and consistent over a race compared to the past.

#13 Henrytheeigth

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 12:13

I'm also not a fan of this extensive equalization. Completely different engine formulas and solutions should be allowed and encouraged. 100l of petrol based fuel per race, no refueling. Use whatever engine you wish; turbo, KERS, V12, V8, gasoline, alcohol, diesel, whatever.


You would get Kimi's love and passion for F1 back for sure with that!

#14 MaxFan1

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 12:24

KERS is a great example of non equal cars. Except most fans want to get rid of it for some reason and even FOTA have agreed not to use it next season.

#15 Max!

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 13:02

technical freedom with 40mill cap is impractical...lets not get back into this tired argument though.


i think another factor we are overlooking that has brought about equalization is the fact that most of the drivers in F1 now deserve to be there...
most are there because they are simply very good drivers... the young driver development programs now are also much better hence its easier to identify young talent than b4.
The diff. btw the drivers over a lap is very little compared to before. Alonso, a double world champ. has 6 tenths or so over Piquet, and we crucify Piquet for that. Back in the day, the best drivers sometimes had atleast a sec over their teammates. I believe this has contributed alot to the equalizing we are seeing.... we also have less driver errors, drivers are more predictable and consistent over a race compared to the past.


Freezing all development is also impractical. Some teams managed to 30 hp extra out of a frozen engine disguised as measures to prolong engine life. Every proposal has downsides and loopholes. The FOTA way however is killing F1 as a technical sport. I don't want to see homologated wings, frozen engines, standardized gear boxes and off the shelf ECU's. I like technical competition.

The reason drivers are so close now is that the differences between the cars are less than they used to be thanks to the standardization.

#16 bigginge

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 16:43

Freezing all development is also impractical. Some teams managed to 30 hp extra out of a frozen engine disguised as measures to prolong engine life. Every proposal has downsides and loopholes. The FOTA way however is killing F1 as a technical sport. I don't want to see homologated wings, frozen engines, standardized gear boxes and off the shelf ECU's. I like technical competition.

The reason drivers are so close now is that the differences between the cars are less than they used to be thanks to the standardization.


Yawn! Please change the record, nobody has been proposing a return to anything like technical freedom - not FOTA and not the FIA, they both are tinkering at the edges of the regulations and avioding the issues.

Back to the original post, you've hit the nail on the head. We have a grid of cars with essentially the same characteristics in every area - traction, acceleration, top speed, braking and cornering. We then line the cars up every week in order, putting the fastest at the front. Couple these with outstanding reliability and universally good drivers who make few mistakes. It's little wonder there is no overtaking in the sport.

#17 Sakae

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 16:47

And yet you go look at something like CART in the mid 90's


Fundamentally similar cars, low budgets, awesome racing.

Why oh why is it so hard to refind this formula.

You forgot failed end.

#18 Atreiu

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 17:21

Failed for the off track politics, not the racing.
Or do you think the 1995 season was processional and boring enough to make people turn their TVs off?



#19 Sakae

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 17:25

I do not have enough information to provide for qualified analysis. Undisputed fact is, the series disappeared, off-track politics or not, and hence failed. Equalization is a bad idea for many of reasons discussed in the past, and there is no need then to re-hash the same again.

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#20 Atreiu

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 17:31

Not to mention if you want equalized, just do GP2.
F1 should be full prototype, IMO, especially in regard to the engines.

#21 pingu666

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 22:20

dale coyne made a good point, if your going essentialy full spec, like the IRL pretty much is, he says you want the same equipment and parts for all, the same potential, but in a formula like f1 or alms you want as much on the table as possible..

also with nascar the tyres go off so fast theres a difference in speed, a BIG difference over the course of a run

#22 Melbourne Park

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 22:25

Equalized cars and competitive cars are separate issues. If you want overtaking, then the way to achieve that is to provide a racing environment that gives a benefit to cars that overtake. This is in fact what a Renault member of the Overtaking Working Group said.

If one looks at current F1, the most important element of racing happens on Saturday: qualifying. Qualifying has resulted in cars that are not designed to overtake. They are designed to be fast, without any aero interference impeding them. There are rules even intended to ensure a car does get a free lap in clear air during qualifying: cars are not allowed to go slowly or block in qualifying. A couple of years ago, Alonso got a penalty, for staying 150 metres in front of a Ferrari, the Stewards found Alonso was interfering with the car behind him's grip due to aero wake, despite there being an average gap of 150 metres between the two cars. Alonso got penalized. So the cars have ended up being designed to work at their maximum in clean air in qualifying trim (which also is a race trim) and the rules support this situation.

The OWG did however say, that they did not want the cars to easily overtake. In other words, they did not want the car behind to have an advantage. They wanted to lower the two second differential between a car behind being able to overtake. They did that IMO.

However they did get one thing wrong, which was not expected. For this season, the cars have more mechanical grip, for the following reasons:

- Greater contact patch of the same tyres but with the grooves removed;
- Less aero downforce;
- Higher and narrow rear wing mean't to lower aero wake damaging trailing cars downforce;
- Adjustable front wing at the front was mean't to allow greater front grip when close behind; and
- Also KERS 6 seconds of extra power (mean't to be doubled in power for 2010)

All these things have worked (perhaps the DDD has added some non planned for aero turbulence and added greater overall aero downforce/grip as well).

Overall, a significant change in the overall mechancal grip compared to aero derived grip has happened with F1 cars.

One might ask, surely more mechanical grip would encourage more overtaking? This was the clear goal of the OWG. But in fact, what has happened is that if one tries to overtake, you can wreck your tyres. And because the cars are more reliant on mechanical grip than in recent year, the tyre condition has become more important than ever before. And if your tyres go off, then you get much slower than in previous seasons. Most F1 fans would recall this year Seb Vettel coming in after just 8 laps when his tyres went off.

So what has happened, is that typically a car will sit behind, about one and half seconds behind allows a car to keep its tyres in good conditon. Any closer, and the tyres start to slip a bit and get worn. So you sit behind, save fuel, and wait. When the car in front pits, then one's tyres are still in good condition, and then you can go for it, greatly increase your speed, and gain places due to having kept your tyres in good condition.

Obviously if overtaking is wanted, the rules concerning qualifying need to be changed. Give the designers a benefit to overtaking, and they will then design cars that overtake. Right now the rules do not provide a benefit in designing a better overtaking car. A lottery for the grid positions would do that though. Instead of qualifying, there could be two races too. With the second race on Sunday, and with the grid being chosen due to having a reverse grid. And give the trophy to the best overall results of the two races. If there's a draw, the trophy goes to who did best on the Sunday (the points would be the same though).

These things have nothing to do with team budgets.

Edited by Melbourne Park, 09 August 2009 - 22:50.


#23 wide-front-wing

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 23:15

the logic is a bit flawed here. if you use nascar as an example of racing equalized car's, then you can see that in qualifying that they all run within hundrenths of a second from each other in lap times - yet there is considerably more side by side racing for position. yes the car's are running @ the same speed, but when you are following close enough to a car you catch their draft, reducing the amount of air friction on your car, allowing you to go faster and actually catch them.. the other point is, even in F1, they don't always drive every lap perfect. every driver will screw up a turn every few dozzen laps, closer lap times means the cars will be closer and drivers will get more chances to capitalize on those small mistakes that normally go uncontested now.

i like racing in all it's forms, but the political wrangling for technological advantages that has shaped F1 over the last decade and a half has created vast gaps in performance of the teams which has destroyed the sport and turned it into a mockery of what it should be. watching a F1 race now a days, is like watching a race for president in America - find out which party has control of the electoral votes and you know who's going to win before it even starts.


I'm sorry - but this is pure NASCAR fanboy crap. :down:

#24 Brawn BGP 001

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 23:18

I'm sorry - but this is pure NASCAR fanboy crap. :down:

As opposed to F1 fanboys. :cat:

#25 wide-front-wing

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 23:50

As opposed to F1 fanboys. :cat:


When you say that the last decade and a half in F1 has created vast differences in performance when the exact opposite has happened, you are clearly a fanboy who has not even bothered to become informed enough to even comment on the matter...(with any semblance of know what you are talking about)...

#26 Slyder

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 00:09

When you say that the last decade and a half in F1 has created vast differences in performance when the exact opposite has happened, you are clearly a fanboy who has not even bothered to become informed enough to even comment on the matter...(with any semblance of know what you are talking about)...


Yeah your posts certainly reflect that.

Especially when you fail to produce any evidence or analysis to sustain your smackdown of the original poster's topic or the person that replied to him.

#27 wide-front-wing

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 00:29

Yeah your posts certainly reflect that.

Especially when you fail to produce any evidence or analysis to sustain your smackdown of the original poster's topic or the person that replied to him.


It's common knowledge that the cars are closer in performance due to a lot of factors such as the engine freeze - when someone makes a ridiculous (and frankly stupid) claim - because they don't know what the hell they are talking about (read: they haven't bothered to understand the topic) - that sort of speaks for itself.

But by all means - why don't you explain to me via evidence and analysis that in the last decade and a half, "political" stuff has happened to make "vast" difference in performance between the cars - turning F1 into a "shadow" of it's former self or whatever that NASCAR fanboy blah blah blah is?



#28 Mauseri

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 00:31

When you say that the last decade and a half in F1 has created vast differences in performance when the exact opposite has happened, you are clearly a fanboy who has not even bothered to become informed enough to even comment on the matter...(with any semblance of know what you are talking about)...

In these last few years the grid is propably closer than ever... Previous period of relatively small gaps was in 1999-2000... Control tyre is the most important factor of all maybe, and also the lack of technical innovation/freedom.

#29 zoombie

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 03:09

Equalizing cars could well reduce costs in a specific area. For example, the standard ECU resulted in lower developing costs for electronics. But it's very unlikely it did actually reduce overall costs. As the huge budgets were still there its more likely all the saved money was spend on something else, probably less road relevant like improving the aerodynamics. It's said that equalizing cars makes the sport more fair. I disagree. Sport is about competition. And as the most capitalistic form of sport, in Formula 1 the weaker teams shouldn't get artificial help from the regulator.

Having that said, I'd like to focus on the third reason used to justify the equalization of cars. It's said that equalizing cars will eventually promote close and hence better racing. I disagree. Although the equalization will definitely cause lap times to be closer, the racing will be hardly better. To get more close racing its necessary to have a following car catching another one in front. In equalized cars however, drivers will do largely the same lap times and thus find increasingly difficult to catch someone in front. To get an exciting finish cars should be largely equal over a race distance but not over one lap distance.


A couple of questions to the OP:
1) If F1 is a competition then who are its competitors? The engineers/designers or the driver? I know the answer is both, but without reducing cost, the competition is mostly within the designers/engineers. Take a look at Brawn, did Jensen suddenly became 1 sec faster in the 6 months or was it his car? F1 should promote creativity thus I like the 40mil euro cap. May the best team win.
2) If the car largely do the same lap time then how does a driver get so far in front? I'm assuming that the particular driver is extremely good. Its common knowledge that good drivers end up in the best team, without equalizing the cars, you have a situation of the MS era where one driver pretty much lap the entire field.
3) How can a car be equal over the race distance but not over one lap? A race distance is just one lap after another, isn't it?

Edited by zoombie, 10 August 2009 - 03:10.


#30 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 03:50

And yet you go look at something like CART in the mid 90's


Fundamentally similar cars, low budgets, awesome racing.

Why oh why is it so hard to refind this formula.


CART budgets in mid-90s were similar or more than F1 budgets (especially compared to F1 backmarkers) were they not!!!!

#31 V8 Fireworks

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 03:52

One might ask, surely more mechanical grip would encourage more overtaking? This was the clear goal of the OWG. But in fact, what has happened is that if one tries to overtake, you can wreck your tyres. And because the cars are more reliant on mechanical grip than in recent year, the tyre condition has become more important than ever before. And if your tyres go off, then you get much slower than in previous seasons. Most F1 fans would recall this year Seb Vettel coming in after just 8 laps when his tyres went off.

So what has happened, is that typically a car will sit behind, about one and half seconds behind allows a car to keep its tyres in good conditon. Any closer, and the tyres start to slip a bit and get worn. So you sit behind, save fuel, and wait. When the car in front pits, then one's tyres are still in good condition, and then you can go for it, greatly increase your speed, and gain places due to having kept your tyres in good condition.


:up: :up: :up:

Inspired and genius analysis. :)

#32 ViMaMo

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:54

When the regulations were open, one team would be dominant for couple of seasons, then fall off. Then another team would rise.
This year we are seeing Brawn, Mclaren, Red Bull having good chance to win.

#33 bigginge

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:27

A couple of questions to the OP:
1) If F1 is a competition then who are its competitors? The engineers/designers or the driver? I know the answer is both, but without reducing cost, the competition is mostly within the designers/engineers. Take a look at Brawn, did Jensen suddenly became 1 sec faster in the 6 months or was it his car? F1 should promote creativity thus I like the 40mil euro cap. May the best team win.


F1 is a team sport - the competitors are the teams. Each team fields two drivers. Interesting to note that we've already lost two drivers this season for underperforming.....

2) If the car largely do the same lap time then how does a driver get so far in front? I'm assuming that the particular driver is extremely good. Its common knowledge that good drivers end up in the best team, without equalizing the cars, you have a situation of the MS era where one driver pretty much lap the entire field.


And when we do equalise the cars we end up with the same thing. See JB winning 6/7 races in 2009.

3) How can a car be equal over the race distance but not over one lap? A race distance is just one lap after another, isn't it?


Have you heard of the tortoise and the hare? The characteristics of the car and circuit change over a race distance and so the balance of performance can vary to suit difference car/driver combinations.

#34 ViMaMo

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:35

Have you heard of the tortoise and the hare? The characteristics of the car and circuit change over a race distance and so the balance of performance can vary to suit difference car/driver combinations.


Ive never seen a tortoise of F1 winning a race, except wet race.


#35 bigginge

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:35

One might ask, surely more mechanical grip would encourage more overtaking? This was the clear goal of the OWG. But in fact, what has happened is that if one tries to overtake, you can wreck your tyres. And because the cars are more reliant on mechanical grip than in recent year, the tyre condition has become more important than ever before. And if your tyres go off, then you get much slower than in previous seasons. Most F1 fans would recall this year Seb Vettel coming in after just 8 laps when his tyres went off.


I remember a quote from Adrian Newey during the height of the 'tyre war' commenting that they actually had more mechanical grip vs downforce than in the early 90's and that increasing mechanical grip would do nothing to improve overtaking. The thing that's always suprised me is that nobody ever seems to notice that the best races have been when there has been *less* mechanical grip - when it rains, when the track is green/dusty etc.

Obviously if overtaking is wanted, the rules concerning qualifying need to be changed. Give the designers a benefit to overtaking, and they will then design cars that overtake. Right now the rules do not provide a benefit in designing a better overtaking car. A lottery for the grid positions would do that though. Instead of qualifying, there could be two races too. With the second race on Sunday, and with the grid being chosen due to having a reverse grid. And give the trophy to the best overall results of the two races. If there's a draw, the trophy goes to who did best on the Sunday (the points would be the same though).

These things have nothing to do with team budgets.


Amen, you're preaching to the chior brother. I still want qualy - I want to see which is the fastest car and driver on a perfect lap. Then we can see who is the best racer on Sunday - just decide the grid by lottery.

Edited by bigginge, 10 August 2009 - 09:36.


#36 bigginge

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:38

Ive never seen a tortoise of F1 winning a race, except wet race.


You've obviously not been watching F1 for very long :lol: There were certain drivers famed for being kind to the car and saving the tyres and fuel, and then coming through the field towards the end of the race.

#37 nudger1964

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:49

I think either formula can work or not work, neither way delivers the desired results simply because of using that way.
As a footnote, i wish people, especially the media would stop using the word competitive incorrectly .. its dosnt mean a close field.

#38 ViMaMo

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 11:43

You've obviously not been watching F1 for very long :lol: There were certain drivers famed for being kind to the car and saving the tyres and fuel, and then coming through the field towards the end of the race.


Are you refering to days when there was no refuelling and tire change? Thats an entirely different prospect.
And I dont know how that would play out in the present day scenario.

#39 pingu666

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 15:18

in the wet the grip is more inconsistant, i think thats the key thing, a green track makes the "offline" less worse than normal...

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#40 zoombie

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 01:29

F1 is a team sport - the competitors are the teams. Each team fields two drivers. Interesting to note that we've already lost two drivers this season for underperforming.....
Who do we want to see compete? The drivers battling out on the track or the engineers in their lapcoat?


And when we do equalise the cars we end up with the same thing. See JB winning 6/7 races in 2009.

Jenson winning was largely due to massive rule changes and the big guys got caught out. Even when Brawn was winning, it was nowhere near as dominance as Ferrari during the MS era. Look where they are now.


Have you heard of the tortoise and the hare? The characteristics of the car and circuit change over a race distance and so the balance of performance can vary to suit difference car/driver combinations.

I've heard of the tortoise and the hare but I've never seen it being play out in real life. I've have not watch F1 in the 80s but modern cars do not change that much over the course of the race. The tires are quite consistent, if they are not, the teams run them on short stint. The OP make a point of making cars that are equal over race distance but not pr lap, a concept that I find impossible to comprehend.


Edited by zoombie, 11 August 2009 - 04:56.


#41 Melbourne Park

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 02:25

I remember a quote from Adrian Newey during the height of the 'tyre war' commenting that they actually had more mechanical grip vs downforce than in the early 90's and that increasing mechanical grip would do nothing to improve overtaking. The thing that's always suprised me is that nobody ever seems to notice that the best races have been when there has been *less* mechanical grip - when it rains, when the track is green/dusty etc.


I wonder if that was true though. I guess at slow corners with the excellent tyres, it was. I am not sure if cars went round corners at 5G in the early 1990s. However if the cars in the 1990s went around the corners at human being's physical limits (5 G with no "G suits"), then I guess the difference between then and now would have been the lack of drag from the aero downforce of today's efficient F1 cars. High drag might also have opened up larger wind shadows too. So if you had lots of mechanical grip back then in slow speed corners you'd be able to get close behind the car in front. And then on the straight, with the high drag of the poor aero, you'd get a "Draft" / Wind Shadow/ Slip Stream / Sling Shot advantage and be able to pass.

There was a thread on the aero and the overtaking last year. I was lampooned for suggesting that the only way to get overtaking, was to provide a positive advantage to the car behind. That is what ovals achieve. But if ground effect was fully allowed in oval racing, the car behind might not, even there, have much of an advantage. I recall Montoya saying that if the downforce was only allowed to be generated in between the front and rear wheels, then there'd be lots of overtaking, because the downforce would not be interrupted by aero wash (the tyres are of course the most un-earodynamic things on any F1 car). Completely logical (which is hardly surprising from an F1 driver).

The thing that surprised me about the Overtaking working group, was that they did not want overtaking to be "too easy". They were only looking for a marginal improvement. Such a change was always a faint hope, because their calculations were at best just an educated attempt. If the DDD had not have been allowed, and if KERS had of been encouraged to work (by having the proper tyre balance), then their plans would possibly been much closer to reality. But IMO the only way to ensure overtaking, is still to provide a positive advantage to the car behind. And that is how it used to be, if the engines were the same.

Concerning the less grip issues, I think that those relate - as said by pingu666 are much due to unpredictability (he also mentioned the alternative racing lines). The lack of racing lines, the tyres not working properly, the lack of visibility, unpredictable handling, may all create speed differences between the cars and hence overtaking happens. However I think that if two cars are 1.5 seconds different in speed in the wet, the trailing car will still not be able to pass. but in the wet, there are often three second difference in speeds. As an example in the wet Webber this year took some time to pass Jenson. but when he got by, he was over 2 seconds a lap faster. So I think overall, overtaking is easier in the dry! I hope that makes sense!

Edited by Melbourne Park, 11 August 2009 - 02:54.


#42 pingu666

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:31

big difference is in the wet more lines are avalible, or more viable, plus i guess the drivers are focusing more on controling the car than racing, longer breaking distances too

#43 HoldenRT

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:50

This is such a loaded topic. It's hard to talk about it without filling up pages and pages of words. And then all you are doing is arguing about it, and we don't even have the power to change anything. It is what it is.

#44 zoombie

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:41

This is such a loaded topic. It's hard to talk about it without filling up pages and pages of words. And then all you are doing is arguing about it, and we don't even have the power to change anything. It is what it is.

lol I think you find that the majority of the forum discussion are like that :)

#45 MaxFan1

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 09:52

Unequalised cars is even worse for racing than equalised cars. With unequal cars, the fast cars will be at the front and the slow cars will be at the back. One the race starts, the fast cars will pull away with slow cars unable to do anything. The order will stay relatively same.

#46 bigginge

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:10

lol I think you find that the majority of the forum discussion are like that :)


It's just a bit of fun! It wouldn't be anywhere near as interesting if we could do something about it!

#47 bigginge

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:11

Unequalised cars is even worse for racing than equalised cars. With unequal cars, the fast cars will be at the front and the slow cars will be at the back. One the race starts, the fast cars will pull away with slow cars unable to do anything. The order will stay relatively same.


60+ years of history disagrees with you :cool:

#48 Bogma

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:48

I'm sorry - but this is pure NASCAR fanboy crap. :down:


The reason FATCAR provides "some" close racing is because they have the handling of a boat, whereas F1 is the KING of handling and braking for that matter.
But how can anyone actually follow FATCAR....there's a safety car virtually every 3-6 laps.
Talking about a dumping ground for motorsport has beens.



#49 DEVO

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 13:32

I wouldn't use NASCAR as a good example of close racing, it's close racing due to yellow flags thrown. The race is essentially reset at every yellow. Let a race go without a single yellow (no accidents) and you will see that the cars will not finish as close as they normally do. Especially on a road coarse.


#50 Melbourne Park

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 22:11

I wouldn't use NASCAR as a good example of close racing, it's close racing due to yellow flags thrown. The race is essentially reset at every yellow. Let a race go without a single yellow (no accidents) and you will see that the cars will not finish as close as they normally do. Especially on a road coarse.


I've always wondered what a very long straight in F1 might provide.

Or how about some banked corners, designed so that there is more than one effective racing line? Sadly despite immense budgets, Tilke hasn't tried that ... maybe it would'nt work, but ...