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The continual desecration and sanitation of the sport


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#51 uffen

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:12

I believe that if you examine the stats you will find that racing in the rain is safer (re death and serious injury) than racing in the dry. It is more difficult, perhaps, but not as dangerous.

Yes, the new circuits are so boring these days. Built to a formula and no one is even allowed to add a corner like Eau Rouge anymore, it is forbidden! Lap time all around 1:30 plus or minus ten seconds. Asphalt run-off areas, walls way off in the distance. Quite "blah." Of course it makes it much harder to see the empty grandstands when they're off in the next county!

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#52 mtknot

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:19

Some of these posts astonish me; when was the last time you guys followed formula 1? 5 years ago?

New circuits are 'boring' because the drivers are too good at them now; we have simulators and stuff; drivers essentially all know the track completely before they get there. Turns like eau rouge, while fun to watch cars go by, don't really mean anything for racing these days. If anything, the older, less safe tracks these days would be an absolute snooze fest for the current F1 cars.

Korea is excellent (although the cohort isnt), India is excellent (the cohort is), although the dirty track doesnt help racing, and austin seems to break the tilke-ness of the tracks.

Anyway you purists, the F1 cars in 2014 will have much less aero. Be happy.

Or are you going to whinge again?

#53 Skinnyguy

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:29

I don´t have as much problems as OP, I´m frustrated because of tarmac runoffs everywhere.

There are some places where they just HAVE to be there, like exiting Hockenheim T1, all the way up Eau Rouge and... well, in these places.

Why there´s a tarmac runoff on the outside of a hairpin, or outside a corner 70 meters away from any sort of solid barrier, I just don´t know.

#54 juicy sushi

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:34

While there is a bit of hyperbole, much of the general sentiment in this thread is well expressed. The sense of thrill has definitely been reduced.

That does not mean that it needs to be more dangerous. I am quite happy that modern F1 cars are so safe, and that drivers are not in continuous peril. I want to see them all become grumpy old men laying into the "new" breed like Jackie Stewart does now. Not because I like hearing JYS, but just because.

But I find the thrill is gone. I like that F1 is actually now trying to figure out how to get it back. Max Mosely after 1994 made every effort to oppose that, through choking down engines and arbitrary aerodynamic rules which led to massive amounts of wake-sensitive downforce and no ability for drivers to really have a hard dice. But the efforts thus far are less than complete. I like that the tires fall apart when abused. That brings an additional element of skill back. I dislike that it is so arbitrary with the two mandatory two compounds and the like. There are better ways. I dislike the concept of the DRS and dislike the chassis rules in general. get rid of the wings. Give the cars a couple of ground effects tunnels to produce about half the downforce and then give them a little gurney flap to stick on the back and ensure the car is properly balanced.

I like that the turbos are coming back. I miss the deeper engine notes and find the angry sewing machines of the past 20 odd years to be a little old now.

I dislike that very track has been made by the same person and seems to be a variation on the same layout. They don't provide sufficient visual spectacle and lack atmosphere. We used to be able to hear the crowds over the engines when something special happened. That is no longer the case with the new tracks.

I miss the difficulty of the old F1 cars, which were "twitchier" and produced more driver mistakes. Challenging cars make for better racing. I don't mind smooth drivers, but I dislike tame race cars.

Still, at least F1 now recognizes the need for keeping us happy (they sort of listen to us now), and I am hopeful that while they may be trying to reach new markets, they will remember that the core product depends on the thrill to draw the crowds. I think the Senna documentary did a good job of reminding those in the business of what was missing and I am hopeful of progress, so long as people don't listen to Bernie on anything related to the racing itself.

#55 Fastcake

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:50

Surely if the consequences are low you take more risks not the contrary?

I am with you for having something on the immediate outside of the track for discouraging drivers to go there. But I hold that view because it's not fair to have them shortcutting and even overtaking using it, it's not going to bring us more wheel-to-wheel battles. May force cleaner driving though.

The material outside of the track can't be grass nor gravel though as it's been demonstrated they aren't safe, sadly. I think they had a special material that is safe in Paul Ricard, it ruins the tyres or something, not sure why that hasn't been adopted in other tracks.


It's not as safe to completely have grass or gravel instead of Tarmac run-off on a corner, but I don't believe there is much of a safety risk in having a small strip next to the track. As you said, it would help enforce cleaner driving standards as drivers could no longer try and barge their way past without worry of running out of asphalt. For cars that are spinning off out of control, a metre or two of gravel should not be a risk before they can slow down significantly on the Tarmac.

Of course, there are some areas where there is too much run-off, and some or even all - especially low speed corners at places like Abu Dhabi - could be replaced without any safety risk.

#56 TimRTC

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:56

Some of these posts astonish me; when was the last time you guys followed formula 1? 5 years ago?

New circuits are 'boring' because the drivers are too good at them now; we have simulators and stuff; drivers essentially all know the track completely before they get there. Turns like eau rouge, while fun to watch cars go by, don't really mean anything for racing these days. If anything, the older, less safe tracks these days would be an absolute snooze fest.


Wait what? Driver inexperience does not make a fun race. Remember that in the past with mostly Euro circuits, drivers would have driven them endlessly in junior series and knew every inch back to front.

I firmly agree that more gravel traps would punish drivers without any more risks. Motorbike racing is fun because one slight mistake can end a race. In F1 the worst they get on modern circuits is dusty tyres.

#57 Jimisgod

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 16:58

Some of these posts astonish me; when was the last time you guys followed formula 1? 5 years ago?

New circuits are 'boring' because the drivers are too good at them now; we have simulators and stuff; drivers essentially all know the track completely before they get there. Turns like eau rouge, while fun to watch cars go by, don't really mean anything for racing these days. If anything, the older, less safe tracks these days would be an absolute snooze fest for the current F1 cars.

Korea is excellent (although the cohort isnt), India is excellent (the cohort is), although the dirty track doesnt help racing, and austin seems to break the tilke-ness of the tracks.

Anyway you purists, the F1 cars in 2014 will have much less aero. Be happy.

Or are you going to whinge again?


Have you watched any of 2012? They produced the worst two races this year, and the older "less safe" tracks didn't.

All the safety issues of the recent past have been car ones that building Tilke spec tracks doesn't really solve. The last two deaths at F1 events were the result of wheel failures rather than any particular track faults. Kubica at Canada in 2007 showed that, aside from car on car accidents, the risk of death in a modern car at a track like Spa or Canada or Australia is monumentally low.

#58 juicy sushi

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 17:01

places like Abu Dhabi - could be replaced without any safety risk.

Fixed.

#59 noikeee

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 17:13

It's not as safe to completely have grass or gravel instead of Tarmac run-off on a corner, but I don't believe there is much of a safety risk in having a small strip next to the track. As you said, it would help enforce cleaner driving standards as drivers could no longer try and barge their way past without worry of running out of asphalt. For cars that are spinning off out of control, a metre or two of gravel should not be a risk before they can slow down significantly on the Tarmac.

Of course, there are some areas where there is too much run-off, and some or even all - especially low speed corners at places like Abu Dhabi - could be replaced without any safety risk.


Even if it's just a 1 or 2 metres wide gravel pit, cars can still get launched up by the difference in surface... it's not that simple. I wish it was though.

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#60 Fastcake

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 17:39

Fixed.


Well yes, but since we're going to have a race there we might as well make it a little better.

Even if it's just a 1 or 2 metres wide gravel pit, cars can still get launched up by the difference in surface... it's not that simple. I wish it was though.


Hmm is that so? I thought a small pit didn't have that risk. Anyway, I would say there are places where a run-off right onto the track is not required, so you could at least add them in there.

#61 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 20:38

Ah yes...the old days, when F1 used to be a sport for men.

Everyone knew the risks and accepted them as such.

Car design was unique and exciting.

Tracks actually were good tests of driver skill.

F1 currently has no innovation left due to locked rules that just encourage aerodynamic development. F1 was incredibly fun to watch when cars used to slide around corners, and there were not these ridiculous front wings.


I said it before and I will say it again: while I loved old F1, it was largely inevitable that the rules had to become more strict. If you combined the loose rules of earlier times with today's engineering possibilities, you'd end up with 2000 hp monsters glued to the track with ground effect at 7 g (the drivers in pressure suits), impossible to overtake with, and the spectators 200 m from the track for safety reasons.

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 29 October 2012 - 20:39.


#62 Fourjays

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 20:57

I said it before and I will say it again: while I loved old F1, it was largely inevitable that the rules had to become more strict. If you combined the loose rules of earlier times with today's engineering possibilities, you'd end up with 2000 hp monsters glued to the track with ground effect at 7 g (the drivers in pressure suits), impossible to overtake with, and the spectators 200 m from the track for safety reasons.

Nah, you'd let them stand just feet from the circuit while the drivers mow them down. :lol: Spectator safety is for wimps!

On a serious note, you make a good point. The kind of "unlimited progress" in F1 that some expect has never been a possibility. It is just impractical on so many fronts.

#63 Dipster

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:12

"In every aspect of the sport, its getting worse. Where will it stop and most importantly will it ever be reversed??!"


What an interesting topic. I agree with almost everything in the opening comment on the thread. Another thought is whether, in the case of some of the newer tracks closing would we see anybody really care? Would we see threads bemoaning the fact as we have for other circuits such as, dare I suggest, Crystal Palace (well known for its safety features - not!)?

Somehow I think not.

#64 ViMaMo

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 07:51

Blame the average fan for certain aspects. Plus too much emphasis on safety, well how much is enough is a gray area.

Edited by ViMaMo, 30 October 2012 - 07:57.


#65 Jejking

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:16

Blame the average fan for certain aspects. Plus too much emphasis on safety, well how much is enough is a gray area.

You can't arm yourself against freak accidents, accidents against all odds. There was a chance of one out of a million de Villota was going to hit that truck when the deck was lowered but it happpened anyway. Same for Schumacher, Abu Dhabi 2010, he almost was mowwed by the nose of Liuzzi's FI. Same for Massa when he took that 800 gram spring head-on.

#66 03011969

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 08:47

Ah yes...the old days, when F1 used to be a sport for men.

Everyone knew the risks and accepted them as such.

No they didn't. What do you think Jackie Stewart spent years campaigning for - prettier grid girls?

#67 johnmhinds

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:14

No they didn't. What do you think Jackie Stewart spent years campaigning for - prettier grid girls?


Jackie Stewart started racing when they were still flying by farm houses and trees at 180mph and drivers were dying at nearly every other race meet. He was right to have huge safety concerns at the time.

In the late 90s early 2000s we had a happy medium between between that and what we have now, it was safe for the drivers and driving mistakes were still punished.

Since then F1 has been neutered with slower and quieter cars which are often running at 80% because of the tyres and fuel saving, and the new empty feeling Tesco car park style tracks don't punish mistakes.

I don't think anyone would deny that it's just not as exciting to watch anymore.

#68 zachary2142

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:50

I don't think anyone would deny that it's just not as exciting to watch anymore.


Speak for yourself. I like the 2012 F1, just as I liked all the previous ones.

And as for the topic, I agree with what Watkins74 said - if F1 is no longer exciting for you, then maybe it's time to find another racing series/another hobby? Because whinging on a forum isn't going to change anything.


#69 matzy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:01

Slowly but surely all the circuits are just becoming open car parks. Even the curbs are becoming wider and flatter, and I'm sure they will all eventually be removed and replaced with painted on curbs, as real ones are too risky and uncomfortable for the drivers and cause accidents. This slow systematic desecration is stripping the tracks of their character, and the sport is being diluted to the point where there is no longer and risk or thrill in watching, as the biggest draw of Motorsport is the spectacle and the risk, and racing in open car parks there is no real risk.


Personally, if the track produces exciting races, I am not overly worried about “character”. Ideally, we would have both, but I would much prefer a more exciting race than a character-filled circuit, given a choice. Take your other point, relating to there being “no real risk”, to its natural conclusion, and what do you get? Fundamentally, you are talking about introducing elements that will increase risk to life. I understand the sentiment, but quite simply, no one is ever going to sanction anything that will fundamentally add to the risk of injury or death, regardless of whether it will “improve the spectacle”. That is not the F1 era we are living in.

In the past if a driver made a small mistake and ran off the track, we would see spectacular sights, there was risk and challenge, and punishment of mistakes, but now when they run wide nothing happens, they just drive back on and keep going. This was all done under the guise of 'safety' because the primadonna's want their lives to be made as easy as possible, and its getting worse.


I think you are overlooking quite how bad it was, back in the day. How many exciting races were neutered because driver X beached his car in the gravel? I have been watching F1 since the early 80s, and quite frankly I am of the opinion that wider run off areas and less gravel traps have meant more “on circuit” excitement, and less races ruined in the first two laps due to a “racing incident” where the main competitors have beached their car on a pretty pointless (and potentially dangerous) gravel-trap.

The tracks are now so wide, there is no sensation of speed, combine with the flat curbs, and endless tarmac run off areas, the sport has been sanitised to death, the thrill and risk, is all but gone. India was a perfect example of this, it just looked horrific. I blame the drivers as much as the sports administrators. Just wait until they close the cockpits.


What ruined the Indian GP was Seb’s dominance. It actually looks like a circuit that can produce some interesting racing

The stupid multiple engine and gearbox rules have how all but removed the reliability components of the sport. The random surprises of the past a strong element of the sport, is all but gone and replaced with predictability.


A point I agree with to some extent, but there is sufficient evidence IMHO that the rules relating to reliability have reduced costs across the board (something that was needed), so as to warrant the change.

Then we have the over the top defensive driving regulations, where its almost forbidden to defend position and actually fight any more, and drivers essentially must let an overtaking car past if it only has a wheel along side. The sport managed 70 odd years without such rules so there was no need for this over regulation. If it resulted in accidents, then so be it, that's the drivers choice, let them fight and crash, its their job to entertain us, that's why they get paid so much.


I don’t wish to dwell on this point, but you seem to combine “crashing” with “entertainment” in at least two sections of your post. Honestly, if you want to see crashes, there are other racing events that will satisfy you more … I agree on your point relating to the current rules being too hard on the defender though. I think this is something that should be addressed. Give the defender more of a chance to defend.

They basically no longer race in the rain, as soon as it starts raining charlie panics and stops the race because someone might crash. In the past they raced in far worse conditions in cars and circuits far less safe, the risk aversion is out of control.


I tend to agree that they are too quick to call a stop to things when rain arrives.

Edited by matzy, 30 October 2012 - 12:03.


#70 Baddoer

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:10

Tilke, Charlie, Bernie.
They all should go.
No stupid car park-wide tracks, no safety car races and 2 hours of red-flags, no crazy ideas and useless "new countries" grand prix.

#71 F1matt

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:30

I struggle to see why people think the demise of gravel traps and punishing run off areas are associated with driver’s deaths? Gravel traps have only disappeared in the last ten years and we haven’t had a fatality for a long time, at San Marino in 1994 neither fatality was caused by gravel trap or run off areas and them not been there wouldn’t have changed the survival chances of the driver.
Gravel traps used to punish drivers for going off line, it would eradicate many problems and arguments of drivers cutting the line if we had a gravel trap to stop them, and teams would soon get sick of having a driver who ended his race beached and waiting for the marshals to move his car, the whole sport is centred on getting all the starts home so they circulate for the same time giving maximum exposure to sponsors.


#72 noikeee

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:34

Didn't Lucas di Grassi have an awful F3 crash that nearly went very wrong because of the gravel trap?

#73 ali_M

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:40

Didn't Lucas di Grassi have an awful F3 crash that nearly went very wrong because of the gravel trap?


Most here aren't qualified to make statements about the safety of gravel traps vs asphalt run-offs. The decision about the safety of the track isn't only based on incidents in F1 races, but racing in other series.

#74 BullHead

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:47

Didn't Lucas di Grassi have an awful F3 crash that nearly went very wrong because of the gravel trap?


This one? The gravel made the accident worse. It's the embedding of car bits is the problem.



#75 F1matt

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 13:07

This one? The gravel made the accident worse. It's the embedding of car bits is the problem.






Its true that gravel traps have led to single seaters digging in,but we have also seen concrete run offs allow cars to rejoin the track, sometimes out of control and spear oncoming cars, we dont have a perfect system.

#76 BullHead

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 14:35

Yeah, to be fair that incident is not a good example anyway, being a bit of a freak and extreme one.
I'm still an advocate of the gravel bed, but am aware that something needs to be thought of to lessen the chances of single seaters getting dug in.
It's a tough one TBH.

#77 Jovanotti

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 14:38

A 2-3 metre gravel strip right beside the track (as we were discussing it) certainly wouldn't have had negative consequences in that accident.

#78 BullHead

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 14:45

I think multi surfaces are a hazard for an out of control car.

#79 Skinnyguy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 16:39

This one? The gravel made the accident worse. It's the embedding of car bits is the problem.


More spectacular, for sure. Worse... I bet in the end it was better to hit the fence like that than keep skidding without losing any speed and hit a tyre wall upside down at 200km/h. Rolling is spectacular, but energy wise it´s much better than a direct impact. On the other hand, imagine a wall up there instead of a catch fence. I bet no one thought a car would ever hit that fence.

Some incidents are impossible to predict, who would have thought that Canada wall in the hairpin would ever be hit full speed?

Or this one? Who would have thought this wall would ever be hit by a rolling car? Who would have thought that bridge would ever be a metre appart from killing a driver? Who would have thought that steward weaving a yellow flag would ever get brown pants because of a guy comming towards him airborne?



I think the area that must improve safety wise now in single seater racing is the cars. All sort of carzy things can happen when one hits another in the rear with some speed differential. Gravel doesn´t add danger in my view, instead, cars could be much better in this kind of nose to tail contact.

Edited by Skinnyguy, 30 October 2012 - 16:46.


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#80 johnmhinds

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 16:44

A 2-3 metre gravel strip right beside the track (as we were discussing it) certainly wouldn't have had negative consequences in that accident.


Well if that was the design the car could have dug in sooner and probably not reached the barrier, but it could also dig in at a higher speed and cause the driver to suffer higher g-force loads.

Neither design is perfect.

#81 Longtimefan

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 16:45

Agree 100%

I grew up with F1 where on average 2-3 drivers died a year, I am all for safety and never want to see that sort of thing ever again but yeah it's far too sterile and boring now.

The rain thing is a joke, it's time for Charlie to step down, 3 drops of rain and its a SC start, stupid.



#82 string158

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 16:59

I agree with a lot of what the OP says. I think its possible to achieve more excitement without sacrificing safety.
I think its entirely possible to punish drivers for making mistakes without them being in danger, just meaning they will have to stop for a new front wing etc.
This would really reward drivers who can push hard without making errors.

Totally agree re the rain. We've had some absolute classic races in the past that would be red flagged nowadays.

#83 Skinnyguy

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 17:16

I think its entirely possible to punish drivers for making mistakes without them being in danger, just meaning they will have to stop for a new front wing etc.


:up:

Just see Nurburgring NGK chicane 2003 bollards system VS any current chicane anti cutting system.

If you hit that stuff with the wing, you´d have to pit for a new one, but also if a car hit it full speed, nothing would happen that was dangerous for a driver. With the current curbing in most chicanes, cars still fancy cheating it.



#84 Simioni

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 17:36

It´s not like F1 has changed all that much recently - it actually hasnt fundamentally over the last 10 years. Sure you´ve got more dedicated Tilkedromes now, but it´s not like the A1 Rings or Magny Cours were much better in 2002... Even classic european tracks like Hockenheim and Spa have been neutered for ages now.

The cars themselves are technically very similar, some of the changes in this time period have actually been for the better - banning of TC, banning of winglets, return of slicks. Their handling does look like driving a sterile slotcar - even worse than before, but not that much...

If F1 lost its balls, it was in the 10 years preceeding 2002 - that was radical. Something like 1991 track and car specs - now *that* is something worth being nostalgic about...

Edited by Simioni, 30 October 2012 - 17:37.


#85 Rubens Hakkamacher

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 17:49

The problem is anytime artifice intrudes into the "pushing" nature of F1.
Safety doesn't come into play, IMO. What wrecks it for me is to hear things like "he can't push because he has to save the tires", and "he's got to conserve fuel", and my (not) favorite, "he's hitting the rev limiter".

Rev limiter?

Backwards. Started with the kooky notion of putting a groove in the tires, making the cars skinny. I much prefer the tire-war era when they all were pushing 100% all the time. *You knew it*. This tire-gambling-strategy-game is not making for better racing, just dragged out drama.

The cars are seconds off the pace of the V10s. They're making the cars weaker in 2014. And softer.

Obviously, something has gone very wrong with FOM. The Powers That Be have lost touch.

#86 917k

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 18:10

It wasn't too long ago that people were bitching about gravel - too many cars lost to the race after a harmless spin. I think Mario Andretti was one of the 1st to suggest paving run-offs, or allowing cars to be push-started to keep cars in the race and keep the races interesting.

It also wasn't too long ago that poor reliability decimated races, with less than 10 cars finishing [and one or two cars on the lead lap] in many races. It just goes to show - the more things [read fans] change, the more they stay the same.......

That said, I'm all for a substance on the runoffs that sticks to tires and results in a very slow lap or two before cleaning up.

Edited by 917k, 30 October 2012 - 18:11.


#87 juicy sushi

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 18:35

The problem is anytime artifice intrudes into the "pushing" nature of F1.
Safety doesn't come into play, IMO. What wrecks it for me is to hear things like "he can't push because he has to save the tires", and "he's got to conserve fuel", and my (not) favorite, "he's hitting the rev limiter".

Rev limiter?

Backwards. Started with the kooky notion of putting a groove in the tires, making the cars skinny. I much prefer the tire-war era when they all were pushing 100% all the time. *You knew it*. This tire-gambling-strategy-game is not making for better racing, just dragged out drama.

The cars are seconds off the pace of the V10s. They're making the cars weaker in 2014. And softer.

Obviously, something has gone very wrong with FOM. The Powers That Be have lost touch.

It was only really post-Bridgestone's entry that tire technology became good enough that tire wear no longer mattered. In the turbo-era and prior tire wear was a major factor drivers needed to contend with, and the notion of "pushing" was about maximizing pace while maintaining a balance. Much like it is now. I don't think Pirelli have judged things perfectly, but they were asked to provide tires which punished drivers unable to maintain a balance. I don't think that is a bad thing.

To me the tedium comes because the cars seem to predictable and lacking in character. Unless it's wet, we don't really get to see drivers wrestling with the car anymore, and haven't really since at least 1998 in my view.

I think though that I am probably being a perenial whiner, as it is impossible to provide me exactly what I want, and then do the same for everyone else. It's just not possible.

#88 juicy sushi

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 18:36

It wasn't too long ago that people were bitching about gravel - too many cars lost to the race after a harmless spin. I think Mario Andretti was one of the 1st to suggest paving run-offs, or allowing cars to be push-started to keep cars in the race and keep the races interesting.

It also wasn't too long ago that poor reliability decimated races, with less than 10 cars finishing [and one or two cars on the lead lap] in many races. It just goes to show - the more things [read fans] change, the more they stay the same.......

That said, I'm all for a substance on the runoffs that sticks to tires and results in a very slow lap or two before cleaning up.

How about if the surface was made extra-abrasive, so that the tires were brought over the "cliff" in terms of grip by going off the track?

#89 johnmhinds

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 18:46

The cars themselves are technically very similar, some of the changes in this time period have actually been for the better - banning of TC, banning of winglets, return of slicks. Their handling does look like driving a sterile slotcar - even worse than before, but not that much...


Picking a track that hasn't had any modifications since it was built.

Malaysian Grand Prix fastest race laps:

1999: 1:40.267
2000: 1:38.543
2001: 1:40.962
2002: 1:38.049
2003: 1:36.412
2004: 1:34.223
2005: 1:35.483
2006: 1:34.803
2007: 1:36.701
2008: 1:35.366
2009: 1:36.641
2010: 1:37.054
2011: 1:40.571
2012: 1:40.722

The Sepang track hasn't changed, the cars have just got progressively slower since the mid 2000s because of the rule changes.
There has been a similar 5 second+ drop off in ultimate race pace at all the tracks.

#90 Simioni

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 20:08

Picking a track that hasn't had any modifications since it was built.

Malaysian Grand Prix fastest race laps:

1999: 1:40.267
2000: 1:38.543
2001: 1:40.962
2002: 1:38.049
2003: 1:36.412
2004: 1:34.223
2005: 1:35.483
2006: 1:34.803
2007: 1:36.701
2008: 1:35.366
2009: 1:36.641
2010: 1:37.054
2011: 1:40.571
2012: 1:40.722

The Sepang track hasn't changed, the cars have just got progressively slower since the mid 2000s because of the rule changes.
There has been a similar 5 second+ drop off in ultimate race pace at all the tracks.


Nah, it´s only Sepang for whatever reason, probably Pirelli not working well on this particular track. In other tracks which have also seen no substantial change, the difference is nowhere that dramatic. For example:


Melbourne fasteste lap:

2002: 1:28.541

2012: 1:29.187


Suzuka fastest lap:

2003: 1:33.408

2012: 1:35.774



These in racing conditions, where you also have to factor the nature of the races which have changed with the ban on refuelling. If you look at qualifying the differences are pretty negligible. The cars are still very quick.

Not that ultimate pace has much to do with the subject of visual excitement, if anything an argument can be made that most the fluctuation is related to downforce - the more downforce the quicker they go, the more stable and planted they are and thus less exciting they look. Things never looked as bad as an onboard from last year´s Red Bull IMO. They actually looked a little better earlier this year with the extra regulations on blown diffusers...



#91 Otaku

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 23:25

Melbourne fasteste lap:

2002: 1:28.541

2012: 1:29.187


Suzuka fastest lap:

2003: 1:33.408

2012: 1:35.774


Melbourne 2004: 1:24.125 on lap 29 (more than 5 seconds faster than 2012)

Suzuka 2004: 1:32.730 on lap 30 (here the difference is 3 seconds)


Hockenheim 2004: 1:13.780 on lap 10

Hockenheim 2012: 1:18.725 on lap 58 (5 seconds difference again)


Edited by Otaku, 30 October 2012 - 23:28.


#92 Eff One 2002

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 23:33

Slowly but surely all the circuits are just becoming open car parks. Even the curbs are becoming wider and flatter, and I'm sure they will all eventually be removed and replaced with painted on curbs, as real ones are too risky and uncomfortable for the drivers and cause accidents. This slow systematic desecration is stripping the tracks of their character, and the sport is being diluted to the point where there is no longer and risk or thrill in watching, as the biggest draw of Motorsport is the spectacle and the risk, and racing in open car parks there is no real risk.

In the past if a driver made a small mistake and ran off the track, we would see spectacular sights, there was risk and challenge, and punishment of mistakes, but now when they run wide nothing happens, they just drive back on and keep going. This was all done under the guise of 'safety' because the primadonna's want their lives to be made as easy as possible, and its getting worse.

The tracks are now so wide, there is no sensation of speed, combine with the flat curbs, and endless tarmac run off areas, the sport has been sanitised to death, the thrill and risk, is all but gone. India was a perfect example of this, it just looked horrific. I blame the drivers as much as the sports administrators. Just wait until they close the cockpits.

The stupid multiple engine and gearbox rules have how all but removed the reliability components of the sport. The random surprises of the past a strong element of the sport, is all but gone and replaced with predictability.

Then we have the over the top defensive driving regulations, where its almost forbidden to defend position and actually fight any more, and drivers essentially must let an overtaking car past if it only has a wheel along side. The sport managed 70 odd years without such rules so there was no need for this over regulation. If it resulted in accidents, then so be it, that's the drivers choice, let them fight and crash, its their job to entertain us, that's why they get paid so much.

They basically no longer race in the rain, as soon as it starts raining charlie panics and stops the race because someone might crash. In the past they raced in far worse conditions in cars and circuits far less safe, the risk aversion is out of control.

In every aspect of the sport, its getting worse. Where will it stop and most importantly will it ever be reversed??


What can I say? I couldn't agree more. It sums up the current shitful situation F1 is now in due to the ridiculous over-obsession with safety. As someone who is a fan of this sport and always will be to the bitter end, I constantly hope that this shit will stop and it wioll be reversed but sadly that is highly unlikely and it will only get worse from here.

Asphalt run offs are the worst thing in history.

Also, these cars need more power, bring back the V10s!



Hell yeah! **** this 1.6 litre V6 turbo shit. It's a disgrace.

Edited by Eff One 2002, 31 October 2012 - 01:13.


#93 LukeM

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 23:49

Great thread, I agree with all the points and especially the one about the lack of rain driving. It makes me cringe that they don't do wet starts and circulate on full wets till its inter and almost dry territory, disgraceful. Charlie Whiting is a big part of the blame for all of this.

#94 phoenix101

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 00:41

In every aspect of the sport, its getting worse. Where will it stop and most importantly will it ever be reversed??


The sport is getting worse b/c the business model is wrong.

In individual sports, the contest is always competitive and exciting in the long run, b/c time takes its toll on everyone. You compete in your era, eventually you will be defeated or forced to retire. Plus, great sportsmen are always competing in the record books with other great sportsmen from other eras.

Team sports are different. An advantage exploited today pays dividends forever. If I hire the best players now, I win more championships and earn more money, which enables me to hire an even more potent team next season. No natural cycles to the competition. Winners are the only people who can afford to keep winning. Wins are finite so sport doesn't function like a robust marketplace.

So F1 has organizational problems inherent to every team sport. To make matters more complicated, F1 also has technological development and technological processes. Technologies are also indelible. An advantage exploited today generates more money so that teams can continue developing new innovations. Cost effectiveness means almost nothing b/c wins are narrowly defined and finite.

So F1 has organization issues AND technological issues. To make matters more complicated, the F1 Concorde agreement is highly stratified. F1 pays hundreds of millions to the winners, and just a few tens of millions to the backmarkers. Winners are the only people who can afford to keep winning.

So F1 has organizational, technological, and financial issues that all rot the sport from the inside out. They attempt to fix these problems by tightening the technological restrictions to make it harder to exploit an advantage. Unfortunately, tighter technological restrictions have generally led to higher costs (spending to overcome steeply diminishing marginal returns) :drunk: so F1 tried a bit of laissez-faire in the 90s and 2000s. Performance would grow the viewership during an economic boom. As performance capabilities rapidly expanded, F1 commissioned oceans of asphalt for the cars to surf each week. None of the regulatory strategies stabilized the sport, so F1 eventually froze, specified, equalized, and homologated components to reduce the costs of bad regulations.

The business model is royally screwed up. Mosley's salary cap was about only public attempt to steer the sport back towards a new model. I'm not saying that the salary cap should have passed, since many different tools could be employed to fix the business model, but it was still the only major attempt in recent memory to fundamentally alter the sport. The terrible technical regulations and boring vehicles are just the symptom of an underlying disease.

If you want F1 to be fixed, you have to support initiatives that go all the way to the core. Playing around with the technical regulations will not accomplish much of anything.

Edited by phoenix101, 31 October 2012 - 00:41.


#95 R Soul

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:35

I also agree with the general tone of this thread. Here's something that quite telling. In F1 Racing one or two months ago Schumacher was asked if it was harder to maintain fitness, and his answer was that it wasn't that hard because the cars today aren't as difficult to drive (physically speaking).

I want the cars to be hard to drive. I don't mind small turbo engines if they're allowed to be powerful. I also don't mind KERS because it's technology. It's appalling that the FIA have limited it's power output and it can only be used for 6 seconds per lap.

As others have already said, the setup-freeze doesn't make sense. I thought the FIA wanted the racing to be unpredictable, but if a driver has gone the wrong way on setup in qualifying, where's the logic in not allowing him to try something else for the race? You can be sure the driver on pole has the right setup, so if the others can't change anything how are they supposed to keep up?

It's ridiculous that the insides of chicanes are filled with concrete. It's obvious that drivers will cut them rather than slow down to avoid a collision. They're competitive people and they'll take the least slow option. If a driver passes someone this way, we have to watch the pitiful sight of him voluntarily relinquishing the position, even it it's the last lap and both drivers are fighting for the championship. So what if an errant car drags some dirt or gravel back onto the track? The FIA don't seem worried about marbles.

If the driver doesn't give up position we get the wretched spectacle of him getting a penalty. Even worse is when they have to apply it after the race. We all have to accept that drivers can be disqualified on technical grounds, but apart from that the order in which they cross the line should be final.

Penalties for collisions are also rubbish. I think collisions should be 'flagged up' and action taken only if there's a trend, like when Massa and Hamilton had their issues. If a driver gets away with causing a collision and goes on to score points, let him keep those points but let him be reminded that if he keeps it up he'll be banned for one or two races.

When it comes to run-off areas, there have been times when gravel traps haven't slowed people down because the car has just surfed across it, but there have been other times when they have worked. If the FIA can test canopies, why not test gravel traps to see if there's a way of making them work consistently?


Here's a question: What can we do about our grievances?



#96 SeanValen

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:38

these kind of threads depress me. Just like when I end up randomly youtubing previous era's of F1. I'll still always watch F1 though.



Older f1 is always cooler. Current f1 isn't appreciated because we are constantly having to wonder why did that do this or that to the sport, but right now the tyres and essense of speed/drivers pushing/attacking the track-I really miss that, and think were losing something knowing we have great drivers who can attack, many champions, yet they haven't really fought each other, alot of this season who who gets the tyres and when they got the tyres, they still can't attack with them, delta times, this is what we lost this year, we got some interesting results sure, but those results came at too higher price, and with Schumacher, Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, the big names, we really needed the best rules for this era of driver line ups which may not come again.


F1 can afford to lose alot of it's purity, because people still watch, even the die hads who complain like us, it's like knowing someone when they were young, then visiting them in hospital, it's the same person, but you wish they didn't have to be in hospital, so you visit them. Formula One is a patient, it has injuries over time, politics, money, the world changed and so we got cost saving and consvervative era.


Give me qualifying engines, quali tyres, the fastest drivers attack, no limits, loads of tyres, it was freedom, money was not a worry really a while ago, f1 feels expensive, but cheaper, I don't think it's cool to have cars running to a delta time/tyre technology is better then that.

Imagine what Senna would think of qualifying these days, and will we get those fastest lap stints/attacking lap after lap from a Schumacher like attack. Way too much consversation, from engines, to tyres, and it's effecting racing/attacking/visual wonder of f1 cars on the limit.


Sometimes you wonder just how far f1 can go and not suffer consequences/ I can't picture any worser changes, thats's the only positive I guess.

Apart of me wouldn't mind if f1 stopped if they couldn't afford to run it like they did, there's something about preserving the magic of what we've seen. I haven't seen anything really great since Senna and Schumacher's best performances, everything we've seen is what we've already seen since Senna and Schumacher, and they did it with better rules! So what were getting now is a repeat with less then fantastic rules, even if Schumacher was younger, or Senna was resurrected, it would be very hard to look as good in current f1, too much has been taken away from the driver.

Edited by SeanValen, 31 October 2012 - 02:00.


#97 wepmob2000

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:51

I disagree with Jackie "Corporate blah, blah, blah" Stewart about a lot of things, but where I do agree with him is that making the sport unsafe doesn't add to the show for the fans or the respect one has for the driver.

The respect we show for the drivers is due to the skills they display. The skills of the driver are shown by a number of things, e.g. driving consistently quick laps, keeping head up when things aren't going well, showing judgement and decisiveness when overtaking etc. Finishing the race alive should be presumed.

And, yes, driving to Asda may well be statistically more dangerous that driving in a Formula 1 race...does that mean you respect the driving skills of Asda shoppers more because of the element of danger? I suspect those stats are an indication we should continue to strive to make driving on roads safer, not to make motorsport more dangerous.


I respect their skills, but increasingly find very little which makes me regard the drivers with a sense of awe, which I feel was once an integral part of F1. An exception would be Monaco and probably Suzuka, but we have a situation now where even Eau Rouge is a nothingness. I think a large degree of the respect drivers used to earn came from their 'ballsiness', think of Rosberg and his 160mph lap of Silverstone, Mansell overtaking on the outside of the Peraltada, Hakkinen's overake of Schumi at Spa. When you think of spellbinding moments like those, its difficult not to conclude that todays ultra-safe F1 isn't missing something.....



#98 johnmhinds

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:52

These in racing conditions, where you also have to factor the nature of the races which have changed with the ban on refuelling. If you look at qualifying the differences are pretty negligible. The cars are still very quick.


We're talking about boring races though, not qualifying.

The race pace has dropped off the cliff (at some tracks a 2004 car would lap a 2012 car 2 maybe even 3 times covering the same race distance), and it's a huge factor in how unexciting the cars look out on track during a race.

We're watching 2004 Minardi levels of performance from race winners this year.

Not that ultimate pace has much to do with the subject of visual excitement, if anything an argument can be made that most the fluctuation is related to downforce - the more downforce the quicker they go, the more stable and planted they are and thus less exciting they look. Things never looked as bad as an onboard from last year´s Red Bull IMO. They actually looked a little better earlier this year with the extra regulations on blown diffusers...


If it's the case that more downforce = more speed then it's probably masking an even bigger issue in car performance than it appears to be.

#99 Rubens Hakkamacher

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:11

In the turbo-era and prior tire wear was a major factor drivers needed to contend with,


"In the turbo era". It's not then. It wasn't a deliberate artifice then, not to mention the regs were much more open. Not a 1:1 equivalence; one may as well say "they should leak oil because they had to worry about that at one time" or even carry an "engineer" with them to fix the car as it runs.

punished drivers unable to maintain a balance. I don't think that is a bad thing.


It would be fine *if it were not for the artifice of REQUIRING* a separate compound. Then, it would be up to the driver to decide - am I going to try to run a conservative 1 stopper or go for it with 3? It's very unlike the turbo era, in that if a guy trying to do a one stopper has gone long on the primes the softs might not make it, and the compounds are all over the place. They are effectively running a tire test while racing; I want to watch just racing.

The tires shouldn't be the main concern/arbiter of the race!

It should be:

1) visually exciting;
2) aurally exciting.

Everything else is bonuses or a negative. I *watch* and *hear* racing. As much as the "chess at 200 mph" idea is thrown around, ultimately I want to see *visually* fast and loud cars *at the driver's limit*. Not "who can nurse the car better", or "in 1957, it was this way". The closer it can be to the drivers doing 60 laps of qualifying pace the better - THAT is what *I* want - full on performance the whole race.

Otherwise - hey, let's make the tires smaller and slippery. Let's make the engines weaker so they have to be less aggressive. Let's make the wings fall off after 20 laps. Make them drive backwards for 10 laps. Or mandate they have to run two different tires that behave randomly. Whatever.


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#100 decoder

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:35

Personally, if the track produces exciting races, I am not overly worried about “character”. Ideally, we would have both, but I would much prefer a more exciting race than a character-filled circuit, given a choice. Take your other point, relating to there being “no real risk”, to its natural conclusion, and what do you get? Fundamentally, you are talking about introducing elements that will increase risk to life. I understand the sentiment, but quite simply, no one is ever going to sanction anything that will fundamentally add to the risk of injury or death, regardless of whether it will “improve the spectacle”. That is not the F1 era we are living in.


My point is that it was sanctioned for 60 odd years, and there was no reason to go this far with the sterilisation.


I think you are overlooking quite how bad it was, back in the day. How many exciting races were neutered because driver X beached his car in the gravel? I have been watching F1 since the early 80s, and quite frankly I am of the opinion that wider run off areas and less gravel traps have meant more “on circuit” excitement, and less races ruined in the first two laps due to a “racing incident” where the main competitors have beached their car on a pretty pointless (and potentially dangerous) gravel-trap.


Races ruined? More like drama, action and entertainment which is the whole point of the sport, and which is largely missing these days. The actual track design of India is great, meaning the corners, but its ruined by basically resembling a car park.


I don’t wish to dwell on this point, but you seem to combine “crashing” with “entertainment” in at least two sections of your post. Honestly, if you want to see crashes, there are other racing events that will satisfy you more … I agree on your point relating to the current rules being too hard on the defender though. I think this is something that should be addressed. Give the defender more of a chance to defend.


I think I mean, the risk of crashing. There has to be a risk otherwise there is no thrill. With the track and rules these days there is no real risk anymore.