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What's the point in 2008?


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#1 LostProphet

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 16:45

Not to pour water over what is potentially a very exciting season, but there are a lot of issues niggling away that make me think "What's the point?"

Come 2009, all changes.
Integrated Kinetic Energy Recovery systems.
Slick tyres instead of grooves
A totally new aerodynamic ruleset.

It seems that the battle between Ferrari and McLaren will be the battle of the season, but even that is a little lopsided. This isn't a place for spygate arguments, but facts are facts and those facts are that McLaren are operating with a handicap over Ferrari - i.e. a moratorium on development on 3 key systems they would otherwise be using.

As for other teams - BMW are investing a metric tonne of time and money into a radical aero philosophy that could well mean nothing come next year. Will they be challenging for the championship? Signs are unclear, but probably not.

Renault seem to still be struggling with a new aero philosophy (zero keel) and still apparently getting used to Bridgestone tyres when both items will change radically next season.

Toyota seem to be doing better than expected, but learning a whole new aero philosophy that won't carry over into 2009.

Red Bull appear to be on an evolutionary cycle, but without seeming to trouble the front runners, they're also experimenting with radical aero designs (shark fin) on an aero design that again, won't matter next year.

For Force India/Super Aguri, it's perhaps an even bigger issue. They will be spending a huge sum of money (in SA's case, they may not even have enough to compete) in developing a semi-competitive car which won't have any relevance next year.



I realise that this is just how it has to be done, but there are a whole load of comments from testing about how Team X really isn't doing as well as Poster Y had hoped and it looks like a crappy season ahead for Driver Z.
But really, this year doesn't mean anything. The cars aren't going down a new development path - if a car is uncompetitive this year, who cares? It's all going to be brand new for next year anyway.

If anything, teams not at the sharp end of the grid have got it better. They don't have to worry about trying to compete with McLaren or Ferrari. Everyone knows that, once those teams have won a few races each, the title battle is pretty much set. They can go on and develop 2009 cars without much worry.

Or have I got this all wrong?;)

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#2 undersquare

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 17:03

Well the fortunate thing is, we're going to get 2008 AND 2009 :D

So although I agree 2009 looks like it should be better, the 2008 championship is still there for us. I'm particularly watching McLaren fighting back from what I see as a political campaign against them, on the track.

#3 Timstr11

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 17:09

I agree that 2009 has all the ingredients for a major shake up of the grid.

Those involved in an intense title battle could potentially have less resources to allocate to the 2009 season.

#4 Atreiu

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 17:46

The point of racing is always to come 1st.

#5 Rob G

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 17:48

The point is and has always been to be the first car across the finish line. :) Even though the championship may be a foregone conclusion already, there are still Grand Prix victories up for grabs. There can still be the odd surprising race, but teams that simply go through the motions while preparing for 2009 may be missing a golden opportunity to score an upset win if everything goes wrong for the frontrunners.

#6 polymath

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 18:46

And there are always (hopefully) lessons learned during any engineering competition, therefore producing a race car week after week and everything that is necessary to run a team is valuable stuff to be able to continue to improve for the future.

#7 SirSaltire

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 18:59

I kind of understand what you are trying to say BUT the point is we all love watching F1 and I for one can't wait for the show to start! Ok we know who the top 2 teams will be but the midfield fight is going to be very tight and I enjoy watching that playing out just as much as who is on the podium.

#8 Clatter

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 19:33

I really don't get your problem. So what if it's all change for next year, thats a whole season away, and this season is about who can do the best job with the current rules.

#9 Jason

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 20:09

Originally posted by polymath
And there are always (hopefully) lessons learned during any engineering competition, therefore producing a race car week after week and everything that is necessary to run a team is valuable stuff to be able to continue to improve for the future.

I agree. It's a chance for teams to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. This is especially beneficial for newer teams, that are still trying to get organized.

#10 LostProphet

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 20:59

Originally posted by Clatter
I really don't get your problem. So what if it's all change for next year, thats a whole season away, and this season is about who can do the best job with the current rules.


I don't have a problem.
I do however think that it's a massive waste to see SO much going into teams that will not have a hope in hell of even winning a race (bar massively extenuating circumstances) on development cycles that have no relevance in 12 months time.

Most of the time, there are three or four years over which concepts are refined, making each lap an absolute goldmine of information. But beyond the very basics of the car, nothing is being carried over next year.

I'm looking forward to this season, as I do all the rest, and will be up at crazy hours for the flyaway races, just as before.
But it's harder to really care what team does what in a way, because most are essentially striving for nothing (in a larger way than the tail-enders usually do)

#11 COUGAR508

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 21:10

Originally posted by Atreiu
The point of racing is always to come 1st.


I agree. The teams and drivers exist to RACE. There will always be interest in seeing who can come out on top. Notwithstanding the upcoming changes, there should still be some great racing this year.

#12 scheivlak

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:00

Well, what was the point of, say, 1951, 1960, 1965, 1988, 1993, 1997 or 2005?
They still fought pretty hard for the points in those years.

BRM and Lotus changed to rear engined cars in 1960 with just one year to go in the 2.5 litre formula!
The experience seemed useful somehow .....

#13 J2NH

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:13

I think that you might see teams not in the hunt abandon development work earlier in the season and start concentrating resources on their 09 design. Similar to what Renault did last year.

Normally I am not a fan of rules changes as the teams with resources adapt quickly and those that don't drop further back but this might be a bullet worth biting if the net is that the potential for good racing is improved.