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2021 rules: heading towards spec F1? [edited]


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#1 Fatgadget

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 23:19

Is F1 headed that way? One could argue yes - what with spec tyres and standardised ECU's not to mention  identical engine dimensions. What next?

https://www.autospor...-over-f1-future



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#2 Jazza

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 23:51

It’s bound to happen. Every other form of motorsport has moved from ‘engineering competition’ to ‘entertainment competition’, and with the changing auto world F1 has to go the same way.

Up until the 90s, Motorsport was simply a case of showing up to a race with a car that conformed to the rules. This car could be modified as much as you want as long as it conformed to the rules. It could be tested as much as you wanted. On a race weekend it could use as many tyres or even engines as you could afford. You didn’t have to show up at every race but only ones you wanted to compete in. And if you won by 5 laps that was your good work and everyone had to try harder.

Since the early 90’s every Motorsport category has changed to make the racing cheaper and more existing. Spec cars. Balance of performance. Success ballast. Restrictions on testing, tyres, parts, as well a mandatory pits and reverse grids. It’s no longer about letting teams do their best to win but making sure they put on a good show.

Since 2003 F1 seems to have slowly moved in that direction. Race fuel parc fermé 1 lap qualifying seemed to be the beginning of trying to mix everything up and restrict what teams could do in an effort to win. From then on it has been testing restrictions, long life parts, mandatory tyre use, and even some spec parts already. That’s not even mentioning things like DRS and now trying qualifying races.

F1 has been the last man standing at keeping things focused on being Engineering competition vs Entertainment competition, but everyone else gave up 2 decades ago and F1 has been slowly moving that way for a long time now. I’m sure spec cars are sadly inevitable.

#3 pdac

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 00:12

It's been heading to spec F1 for decades. Every aspect of the cars is carefully regulated now. It's no wonder that, if you strip off the livery, most people cannot tell one car from another.

 

The people saying "we cannot tolerate spec F1" are saying the same thing as people who say "we don't want a nanny state" or "the press must be free" - they are all examples of things people believe are still around to be resisted - but those ships sailed years ago.



#4 PayasYouRace

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 06:55

I tend to agree with Tombazis:

 

 

"I don't think the cars will all look the same, we've analysed that. To some extent if you ask a not very close fan of motorsport they'd say the current cars all look the same. My mother used to say the cars all looked the same back in the nineties! If cars looked the same then what hope do we have?

"I don't think they will end up being identical. There will still be some differentiation, but we need to guard some areas which will be fundamental for aero performance.

and the rest.



#5 OO7

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:42

I tend to agree with Tombazis:

 

and the rest.

So do I.



#6 NixxxoN

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:39

"Growing GP1 fears"

 

What do they fear exactly, that the field would be too close together? Oh no, what a disgrace!



#7 sopa

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:56

Well... this is bound to happen in one way or another were F1 to survive. Other series have had to survive by going spec and thus cheaper. F1 is like an expensive dinosaur left. But not for long. I have mentioned it in other threads, but there is no way F1 is going to survive the next decade in its current form. It either goes electric (merges with FE) or becomes some kind of a cheap spec retro-series.

 

If a couple of manufacturers pull out (say, Renault and Honda) F1 might get a spec engine too. I'm not sure, which would happen first though - spec engine or spec chassis.



#8 RisingFive

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:04

All the cars may broadly look the same, but I bet they won’t all set the same lap times. So essentially it will be just like it is now.

#9 Risil

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:22

Successful institutions get crushed eventually by the weight of their own contradictions. In F1's case, it's the idea that you can have a purist engineering competition that's paid for, one way or the other, by the spectacle of the motor races.

My grasp of history is pretty shaky but my understanding is that until the 1990s, when the interest of competitors to go Grand Prix racing waned, cost and complexity were cut often radically to restock the grid. Things like cutting engine sizes in half, banning turbos and ground effects etc. These kinds of measures had nothing to do with free technical exploration and were bitterly fought at the time, but you could argue that they were part of the push and pull that kept F1 on solid ground.

But at some point F1 also began to react to declining interest by looking for new markets, new technical opportunities to be subsidized by industry (F1 was way ahead of the curve on hybrids, but perhaps this started with turbo engines breaking the monopoly held by specialized racing engine builders) and amping up the entertainment value to keep TV audiences hooked. Speculate to accumulate. Spend your way out of trouble. Invest or die.

There's no guarantee that F1 would've survived without this second mentality, as CART was on a similar path in the 1990s and might well have eaten the category of it had retrenched to keep the likes of Tyrrell and Lotus alive while every car and cigarette company seemingly had an open chequebook.

But it seems to me like the effect of this relentless expansion at the expense of viable independent teams and cost containment leaves F1 in a really tough position. Safeguarding the spectacle means freezing the still very expensive technology, securing more industry investment means throwing your chips in with a spectacle of electric cars and efficiency with at best unproven interest from the public, getting off the bus and building a sport viable for independents would result in an unthinkable, Fall of Rome degree of simplification. (Indycar, in other words.) I'm not sure how F1 can compromise on all this, but I'm sure they'll try. What else are administrators for?

#10 Atreiu

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:11

This GP1 fear seems completely manufactured as an excuse to make a little as possible change for 2021.

#11 Ben1445

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:26

But it seems to me like the effect of this relentless expansion at the expense of viable independent teams and cost containment leaves F1 in a really tough position. Safeguarding the spectacle means freezing the still very expensive technology, securing more industry investment means throwing your chips in with a spectacle of electric cars and efficiency with at best unproven interest from the public, getting off the bus and building a sport viable for independents would result in an unthinkable, Fall of Rome degree of simplification. (Indycar, in other words.) I'm not sure how F1 can compromise on all this, but I'm sure they'll try. What else are administrators for?

 

Well... this is bound to happen in one way or another were F1 to survive. Other series have had to survive by going spec and thus cheaper. F1 is like an expensive dinosaur left. But not for long. I have mentioned it in other threads, but there is no way F1 is going to survive the next decade in its current form. It either goes electric (merges with FE) or becomes some kind of a cheap spec retro-series.

These are the indeed the two largely unproven extremes of F1's options and both are huge knowns for its future. That's perhaps why they've been choosing evolution not revolution for the new engine rules and probably will continue doing until it is left with no choice. 

 

The proof we do have though is Formula E's so far continual growth over the last five years. We have the sort of spec-ish retro-ish non-hybrid series in IndyCar deciding that they need a small hybrid ERS to keep the engine builder cash flowing. We have a new spec retro-like series with the 5.0L V8 S5000 in Australia starting up to not much fanfare as of yet. This against backdrop of V8 and even V12 spec single seater series from the 2000s, A1GP and Superleague Formula, failing to foster a lasting interest. Tracking this ongoing history offers pointers as to what makes the most viable options. 

 

 I can't see how any calls for 'spec-retro' as the solution hold any ground as a valid, tried and tested option for the modern era. Not in terms of the spectacle, manufacturer/sponsor willingness or spectator interest - and the truth is you need all three to build a viable series.


Edited by Ben1445, 19 October 2019 - 12:27.


#12 pdac

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:43

These are the indeed the two largely unproven extremes of F1's options and both are huge knowns for its future. That's perhaps why they've been choosing evolution not revolution for the new engine rules and probably will continue doing until it is left with no choice. 

 

The proof we do have though is Formula E's so far continual growth over the last five years. We have the sort of spec-ish retro-ish non-hybrid series in IndyCar deciding that they need a small hybrid ERS to keep the engine builder cash flowing. We have a new spec retro-like series with the 5.0L V8 S5000 in Australia starting up to not much fanfare as of yet. This against backdrop of V8 and even V12 spec single seater series from the 2000s, A1GP and Superleague Formula, failing to foster a lasting interest. Tracking this ongoing history offers pointers as to what makes the most viable options. 

 

 I can't see how any calls for 'spec-retro' as the solution hold any ground as a valid, tried and tested option for the modern era. Not in terms of the spectacle, manufacturer/sponsor willingness or spectator interest - and the truth is you need all three to build a viable series.

 

I would say the success of any series that's not too well established is only minimally down to the formula. It's mainly down to the financial and industry backing that it has and its marketing and the marketing message. It's difficult to compare the success (or not) of young series with well-established ones (or even each other).



#13 cpbell

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:43

Successful institutions get crushed eventually by the weight of their own contradictions. In F1's case, it's the idea that you can have a purist engineering competition that's paid for, one way or the other, by the spectacle of the motor races.

My grasp of history is pretty shaky but my understanding is that until the 1990s, when the interest of competitors to go Grand Prix racing waned, cost and complexity were cut often radically to restock the grid. Things like cutting engine sizes in half, banning turbos and ground effects etc. These kinds of measures had nothing to do with free technical exploration and were bitterly fought at the time, but you could argue that they were part of the push and pull that kept F1 on solid ground.

But at some point F1 also began to react to declining interest by looking for new markets, new technical opportunities to be subsidized by industry (F1 was way ahead of the curve on hybrids, but perhaps this started with turbo engines breaking the monopoly held by specialized racing engine builders) and amping up the entertainment value to keep TV audiences hooked. Speculate to accumulate. Spend your way out of trouble. Invest or die.

 

I don't think most of the rule revolutions (for example, the change from 2.5 litres to 1.5 in 1961) were driven by concerns regarding grid sizes.  That change was a consequence of fears that mid-engined cars were excessively quick and the larger engines inefficient; ground effects were banned due to similar safety fears regarding cornering speeds and the accidents that resulted if something went wrong, and turbos were banned as the final stage of a reduction in their ability to increase power as it was felt that the cars were difficult to control.  Had the CSI worried about grid sizes, they'd have done something in 1969 as this was the low point, and it was only alleviated by the reduced costs of the Ford DFV and Hewland gearbox package and the new entrants that were incentivised to join F1 as a result.  In '69, the only works cars were two each from Matra, Lotus, BRM, Ferrari, Brabham and a single car from Cooper in their final season.  Beyond those 11, you were into the privateers or semi-works outfits - Parnell running a BRM and Rob Walker with a Lotus, for example.  Fourteen cars were on the grid  in the Spanish GP, with a more impressive 17 at Silverstone.


Edited by cpbell, 19 October 2019 - 13:51.


#14 shure

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:55

Successful institutions get crushed eventually by the weight of their own contradictions. In F1's case, it's the idea that you can have a purist engineering competition that's paid for, one way or the other, by the spectacle of the motor races.

My grasp of history is pretty shaky but my understanding is that until the 1990s, when the interest of competitors to go Grand Prix racing waned, cost and complexity were cut often radically to restock the grid. Things like cutting engine sizes in half, banning turbos and ground effects etc. These kinds of measures had nothing to do with free technical exploration and were bitterly fought at the time, but you could argue that they were part of the push and pull that kept F1 on solid ground.

But at some point F1 also began to react to declining interest by looking for new markets, new technical opportunities to be subsidized by industry (F1 was way ahead of the curve on hybrids, but perhaps this started with turbo engines breaking the monopoly held by specialized racing engine builders) and amping up the entertainment value to keep TV audiences hooked. Speculate to accumulate. Spend your way out of trouble. Invest or die.

There's no guarantee that F1 would've survived without this second mentality, as CART was on a similar path in the 1990s and might well have eaten the category of it had retrenched to keep the likes of Tyrrell and Lotus alive while every car and cigarette company seemingly had an open chequebook.

But it seems to me like the effect of this relentless expansion at the expense of viable independent teams and cost containment leaves F1 in a really tough position. Safeguarding the spectacle means freezing the still very expensive technology, securing more industry investment means throwing your chips in with a spectacle of electric cars and efficiency with at best unproven interest from the public, getting off the bus and building a sport viable for independents would result in an unthinkable, Fall of Rome degree of simplification. (Indycar, in other words.) I'm not sure how F1 can compromise on all this, but I'm sure they'll try. What else are administrators for?

F1 has always tried to stay ahead of the curve.  But the precedent set by the hybrids was in making new technology mandatory before that technology had even been invented yet.  That marked a seismic shift in what had gone on before and that also sent the costs spiralling into the stratosphere, which has ultimately led to the spec calls in an effort to claw at least some of that back.

 

And as long as they continue to accede to the manufacturers' demands in making it an R&D series, then they will look for other ways to make it more "affordable" so they can say they are trying to be responsible.  Making parts spec is one alternative, although it does drive a coach and horses through what little is left of F1's DNA.  But there are other ways to achieve savings while still using new technology, but unfortunately those eat into the manufacturers's advantages so are less likely to see the light of day.  Things like open source, banning live telemetry and making the cars self-sufficient throughout a race, etc.  These would slash costs and would still keep the spirit of F1 alive, but the manufacturers would never agree to it now



#15 Ben1445

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 13:08

I would say the success of any series that's not too well established is only minimally down to the formula. It's mainly down to the financial and industry backing that it has and its marketing and the marketing message. It's difficult to compare the success (or not) of young series with well-established ones (or even each other).

Maybe. But it's like the fire triangle. Oxygen and fuel might be the main diving factors, but an ignition source (which could be very tiny) is also needed else there is no fire. 



#16 Ben1445

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 13:29

F1 has always tried to stay ahead of the curve.  But the precedent set by the hybrids was in making new technology mandatory before that technology had even been invented yet.  That marked a seismic shift in what had gone on before and that also sent the costs spiralling into the stratosphere, which has ultimately led to the spec calls in an effort to claw at least some of that back.

Eh? The Toyota Prius was released in 1997. KERS was first introduced to F1 in 2009. By the time we got to the mandatory hybrids of 2014, hybrid road cars were a very common commercial product. 

 

In fact, the very concept of hybrid-electric vehicles (both ICE and electric motors) can be traced back to 1900 with a vehicle designed by none other than Ferdinand Porsche.


Edited by Ben1445, 19 October 2019 - 13:36.


#17 shure

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 14:04

Eh? The Toyota Prius was released in 1997. KERS was first introduced to F1 in 2009. By the time we got to the mandatory hybrids of 2014, hybrid road cars were a very common commercial product. 

 

In fact, the very concept of hybrid-electric vehicles (both ICE and electric motors) can be traced back to 1900 with a vehicle designed by none other than Ferdinand Porsche.

The concept sure, but not the tech that was mandated to be used.  



#18 Ben1445

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 14:13

The concept sure, but not the tech that was mandated to be used.  

To what technology are you referring to? 

 

Batteries and electric motors existed way before F1 decided to mandate them in the hybrids. As does their use in vehicles together with an ICE. As does that application to road car technology offered as a commercial product to the public. 

 

:confused:


Edited by Ben1445, 19 October 2019 - 14:13.


#19 shure

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 14:20

To what technology are you referring to? 

 

Batteries and electric motors existed way before F1 decided to mandate them in the hybrids. As does their use in vehicles together with an ICE. As does that application to road car technology offered as a commercial product to the public. 

 

:confused:

I'm referring to the whole hybrid technology that was set in motion in 2011 and launched in 2014.  This isn't even a debatable point as far as I'm concerned and I'm not interested in point scoring about when the first electric car was produced etc.  What they wanted with the hybrids was something that had never been attempted before.  It wasn't evolution but a completely new direction, which is why companies like Honda (and to a certain extent Renault) have struggled for so long to get it right.



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#20 Clatter

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 14:52

I'm referring to the whole hybrid technology that was set in motion in 2011 and launched in 2014. This isn't even a debatable point as far as I'm concerned and I'm not interested in point scoring about when the first electric car was produced etc. What they wanted with the hybrids was something that had never been attempted before. It wasn't evolution but a completely new direction, which is why companies like Honda (and to a certain extent Renault) have struggled for so long to get it right.

But what tech was actually mandated that didn't already exist?

#21 SCEPurple

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 14:58

My opinion...

F1 doesn’t “need” to be about the future, it needs to be about speed and theatre / entertainment. I think we say things like, “F1 technology is all about the future, thats the DNA of the sport” etc for convoluted or even baseless reasons.

Yes, some technology that has origins in F1 may filter into road cars. But very little, and why should it? Road cars are NOT about lap time at all cost. They must be reliable, easy to use, suitably powerful, require low maintenance and be commercially viable.

So if the pursuit of speed was all that mattered, perhaps we would still have turbos, but I very much doubt teams would carry on using hybrid technology unless they were a) forced or b) had compelling performance / marketing reasons to do so.

We talk about manufacturers pulling out, but to be honest... so what if they did? I suspect McLaren, Williams, Red Bull and Ferrari might stay and happily use screaming V10s which weigh less, sound better and are far cheaper to produce than our current hybrids.

F1 needs fans and affordability to be relevant and sustainable... having technology that filters its way into the next Renault Twingo is so utterly irrelevant that it beggars belief. Perhaps we will figure it all out soon, but right now I would say F1 and the autosector has got itself terribly confused.

Tl;dr

- utilise the appropriate technology in sport and emotive driving experiences
- utilise clean/affordable technology in utility/commercial travel.

#22 Vielleicht

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 15:07

I'm referring to the whole hybrid technology that was set in motion in 2011 and launched in 2014.  This isn't even a debatable point as far as I'm concerned and I'm not interested in point scoring about when the first electric car was produced etc.  What they wanted with the hybrids was something that had never been attempted before.  It wasn't evolution but a completely new direction, which is why companies like Honda (and to a certain extent Renault) have struggled for so long to get it right.

Are you referring specifically to the ERS-H harvesting energy from the exhaust system? Regenerative braking existed in both road use and racing use from before F1 adopted it in 2009 .

 

The ERS-H I think mayhave been an F1 first in a racing sense, but harvesting exhaust gasses from a piston engine by turbo compounding defintely dates back to 1950s aircraft engines. Coupling that exhaust turbine with an electric motor I'm sure was a concept under R&D by various ICE manufcaturers (I can't say how many) since at least the early 2000s.

 

I'm just getting to the point that it wasn't the F1 rulemakers who randomly came up with a completely original idea and asked F1 engine manufacturers to build it. It is a technology that existed and was under devlopement when F1 selected it to put in its engine rules.



#23 Sterzo

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 15:40

My opinion...

F1 doesn’t “need” to be about the future, it needs to be about speed and theatre / entertainment. I think we say things like, “F1 technology is all about the future, thats the DNA of the sport” etc for convoluted or even baseless reasons....

...F1 needs fans and affordability to be relevant and sustainable... having technology that filters its way into the next Renault Twingo is so utterly irrelevant that it beggars belief. Perhaps we will figure it all out soon, but right now I would say F1 and the autosector has got itself terribly confused.
 

I tend to agree. Top line motor racing is first and foremost a sport, and always has been, even in times of great technological advance. Road relevance has long been a false goal. Little of the spend on technology has to do with road relevance.  Fantastic sums go into that item of single use plastic, the front wing, which wouldn't improve even a Renault Twingo.

 

Of course we'll lose something if rival constructors no longer come up with different designs, but we'll lose far more if there's no fundamental change.

 

One of the biggest problems is the assumption of the last thirty years that F1 needs ever more money to survive. No, it needs to be far cheaper, to make it affordable. F1 should be aiming to run for the equivalent of (say) an F3 budget.



#24 GrumpyYoungMan

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 15:49

How can it operate on a F3 budget given the amount which needs to made, chassis’s PU’s, Etc and just think about the redundancies that would cause...

#25 ANF

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 16:07

I'm not sure what we're discussing here.

Are the 2021 Formula 1 technical regulations too restrictive in terms of aerodynamics - and does that mean all the cars will look identical when the new era kicks off?

That concern has been expressed by many team bosses and technical chiefs in recent months, including the man who has successfully explored the envelope of the rules more than anyone else over the last three decades.

When Autosport asked Adrian Newey for his thoughts on the apparent lack of freedom in the 2021 regulations he rolled his eyes and said simply, "Why don't we all just buy Dallaras and be done with it?"

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#26 sopa

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 16:35

 Top line motor racing is first and foremost a sport, and always has been,

 

I thought it is business and has always been ever since sponsors have been involved. Fans just dream it was a "pure sport", which it has never truly been.



#27 Clatter

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 16:40

Are you referring specifically to the ERS-H harvesting energy from the exhaust system? Regenerative braking existed in both road use and racing use from before F1 adopted it in 2009 .

 

The ERS-H I think mayhave been an F1 first in a racing sense, but harvesting exhaust gasses from a piston engine by turbo compounding defintely dates back to 1950s aircraft engines. Coupling that exhaust turbine with an electric motor I'm sure was a concept under R&D by various ICE manufcaturers (I can't say how many) since at least the early 2000s.

 

I'm just getting to the point that it wasn't the F1 rulemakers who randomly came up with a completely original idea and asked F1 engine manufacturers to build it. It is a technology that existed and was under devlopement when F1 selected it to put in its engine rules.

 


I rather think the engine manufacturers were the rule makers in this case, with the FIA signing off what they were given.

#28 Sterzo

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 16:41

How can it operate on a F3 budget given the amount which needs to made, chassis’s PU’s, Etc and just think about the redundancies that would cause...

 

Easily. It has done in he past. And we're talking about the direction it needs to go in, not that there'd be an overnight transition. Managing change isn't easy, but it can be done.

 

I thought it is business and has always been ever since sponsors have been involved. Fans just dream it was a "pure sport", which it has never truly been.

It's always been both a sport and a business. Pure sport, no, but it is first and foremost a sport. We need to understand the balance has gone in the wrong direction, and needs to shift.



#29 ArrowsLivery

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 00:54

F1 going spec is a certain recipe for disaster. THE only interesting point about the series today is the development race. Spec series can be fun for a little while but at the end of the day they don’t capture the imagination the same way as F1 does.

An Indycar “Europe” run by the hapless FIA will fail in record time. Nobody wants to watch sad, underpowered spec cars on sterilized FIA tracks.

#30 danmills

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 07:19

F1 is making these changes to protect its own existence. The current model won't stand up for another decade. The costs, the dominance, the restrictions.

This is all just damage limitation to ensure some form of F1 will continue to the future.

#31 Ben1445

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 08:14

F1 going spec is a certain recipe for disaster. THE only interesting point about the series today is the development race. Spec series can be fun for a little while but at the end of the day they don’t capture the imagination the same way as F1 does.

An Indycar “Europe” run by the hapless FIA will fail in record time. Nobody wants to watch sad, underpowered spec cars on sterilized FIA tracks.

Ok, but at the same time the biggest question I hear by far from friends/colleagues/whoever who do not watch racing is "But isn't it all about who has the best car and not who is the best driver? I don't see the fun in that." 

 

I'd usually try and justify that it's a team sport, that the driver is part of that team and that which team can build the best car and race it is the competition but it's usually a pointless endeavour and they're never going to watch it anyway. Because their understanding of a sport is one in which equal equipment is correct and only physical human performance is the thing which determines who wins and who does not. 

 

I'm not saying that I want a spec-F1, I'm just saying that there would probably be an audience willing to watch it if they spent the time trying to find them. 



#32 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 08:23

I think F1 has also driven itself down a path where improving the quality of competition has been such a priority for so long that it should keep going down that route or risk losing fans because having more open regulations and big manufacturers involved only leads to domination. Not just of the championship but in pace. Even despite all efforts the past decade has been characterised by domination and it does turn people off.

 

But I'm not convinced the technical side of the sport interests the general public in any meaningful way. We're not a good sample because we're all hardcore enough to be members of this forum, and our interest in the sport is much deeper than the average fan. I'm sure that what attracts fans to the sport is the human element: the drama, the controversy, the legacies, the stories. This stuff can happen even with much more spec cars, but it can potentially happen with closer races and championship fights, and more variation in results.



#33 shure

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 08:35

Are you referring specifically to the ERS-H harvesting energy from the exhaust system? Regenerative braking existed in both road use and racing use from before F1 adopted it in 2009 .

 

The ERS-H I think mayhave been an F1 first in a racing sense, but harvesting exhaust gasses from a piston engine by turbo compounding defintely dates back to 1950s aircraft engines. Coupling that exhaust turbine with an electric motor I'm sure was a concept under R&D by various ICE manufcaturers (I can't say how many) since at least the early 2000s.

 

I'm just getting to the point that it wasn't the F1 rulemakers who randomly came up with a completely original idea and asked F1 engine manufacturers to build it. It is a technology that existed and was under devlopement when F1 selected it to put in its engine rules.

I doesn't matter.  What they were attempting had never been done before and it was largely a leap into the unknown.  If it was all such established tech then why did Honda make such a ham fist of it.    It was the engine manufacturers - predominantly Renault initially but Mercedes soon followed suit and Ferrari eventually succumbed - who saw it as an opportunity to use it as an R&D exercise and develop for the future.  Which is somewhat ironic because Abiteboul said recently that they still hadn't found a viable commercial application for the MGU-H, which shows what a colossal waste of money it was.   The FIA got on board and that was that.  And that was very much a sea change from what had gone on before and the scale of it effectively shut out the non-manufacturers, making F1 a two-tier series more than ever before



#34 shure

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 08:37

I think F1 has also driven itself down a path where improving the quality of competition has been such a priority for so long that it should keep going down that route or risk losing fans because having more open regulations and big manufacturers involved only leads to domination. Not just of the championship but in pace. Even despite all efforts the past decade has been characterised by domination and it does turn people off.

 

But I'm not convinced the technical side of the sport interests the general public in any meaningful way. We're not a good sample because we're all hardcore enough to be members of this forum, and our interest in the sport is much deeper than the average fan. I'm sure that what attracts fans to the sport is the human element: the drama, the controversy, the legacies, the stories. This stuff can happen even with much more spec cars, but it can potentially happen with closer races and championship fights, and more variation in results.

Absolutely agree with you on that.  The tech is relevant in that it's seen as the pinnacle in pushing the boundaries of what is possible, but the actual tech itself doesn't hold people's interest outside of a small hardcore following.  



#35 Vielleicht

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 08:58

I doesn't matter.  What they were attempting had never been done before and it was largely a leap into the unknown.  [...]

Ok. I see where you're coming from, but I think the clarity over the point was still needed.



#36 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 09:11

I'm sure that what attracts fans to the sport is the human element: the drama, the controversy, the legacies, the stories. This stuff can happen even with much more spec cars, but it can potentially happen with closer races and championship fights, and more variation in results.

Absolutely. The average fan wants the gladiatorial element, they want to feel they're seeing something special, something they can't comprehend. They want fights, drama, controversy and personalities and to see beasts that need to be tamed by these brave drivers.

Just look at boxing or MMA - the average fan worldwide still gets pulled into watching a championship bout, it gets talked about around the water cooler at work and people love the drama and any controversy that comes with it.

I feel Formula 1 is just lacking X factor currently for the average person. There isn't a driver rivalry currently capturing the publics attention, the cars don't capture their attention either and the results have been too predictable for too long.

Edited by PlayboyRacer, 20 October 2019 - 09:30.


#37 SCUDmissile

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 09:14

No

#38 Pingguest

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 09:25

I think F1 has also driven itself down a path where improving the quality of competition has been such a priority for so long that it should keep going down that route or risk losing fans because having more open regulations and big manufacturers involved only leads to domination. Not just of the championship but in pace. Even despite all efforts the past decade has been characterised by domination and it does turn people off.
 
But I'm not convinced the technical side of the sport interests the general public in any meaningful way. We're not a good sample because we're all hardcore enough to be members of this forum, and our interest in the sport is much deeper than the average fan. I'm sure that what attracts fans to the sport is the human element: the drama, the controversy, the legacies, the stories. This stuff can happen even with much more spec cars, but it can potentially happen with closer races and championship fights, and more variation in results.


How could one expect more variation if everyone is forced to having the same car?

#39 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 10:12

How could one expect more variation if everyone is forced to having the same car?

 

If everyone has more similar cars (I don't think F1 should have everyone in the same car) then the gaps between them are less and variation comes from driver performance and setup on the day. The main problem for competition at the moment is that even though the top 3 teams are relatively close to each other, there's a huge gap to the rest so when they have a bad day, there's still no danger of a really bad result. Conversely, even when McLaren, Renault, etc have a perfect weekend, they're basically stuck outside the podium.

 

It's not like the old days when you could have vastly different cars and concepts so different teams could effectively dominate in particular circuits that suited their cars. The science of building racing cars and the simulation tools available today mean that everyone converges on more or less the same solutions, so you won't get the variation like we used to purely from technical terms. The variation must come from the human element on race weekends.

 

While I'm not going to suggest F1 adopt the Indycar model for chassis, you see much more variation in results in that series. Even though there are 3 powerhouse teams over there too (Penske, Ganassi and Andretti) you get genuine, on merit winners and podium placers from other teams because the cars are closer. Mistakes matter more and good performances are rewarded more. That's the answer to your question.



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#40 Pingguest

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 10:36

The more parameters are set, the easier it becomes to find the absolute point of perfection. If regulations leave more space, engineers would have to take more variables into consideration.

#41 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 10:40

The more parameters are set, the easier it becomes to find the absolute point of perfection. If regulations leave more space, engineers would have to take more variables into consideration.

 

And the bigger the gaps between cars and the less variation you get in results. Optimising those variables isn't the huge problem it once was.



#42 pdac

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 10:51

F1 going spec is a certain recipe for disaster. THE only interesting point about the series today is the development race. Spec series can be fun for a little while but at the end of the day they don’t capture the imagination the same way as F1 does.

An Indycar “Europe” run by the hapless FIA will fail in record time. Nobody wants to watch sad, underpowered spec cars on sterilized FIA tracks.

 

This is the mistake that all fans make. For us, the development race is important. However, the majority of F1's audience is not made up of people like us. It's made up of people who just really want to see the names they know go racing - be that names like "Ferrari" or "Lewis Hamilton". They couldn't give a hoot about the technology inside the cars. Some might be interested in how fast they go, but not how that's achieved. So if it was all spec, it would make little difference to F1's overall audience.



#43 Pingguest

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:01

And the bigger the gaps between cars and the less variation you get in results. Optimising those variables isn't the huge problem it once was.


Although the current LMP1-rules are already quite restrictive, they did not cause a convergence in terms power units. In Formula E teams still use different gearbox solutions, despite the regulations being very restrictive.
Hence, the more variables are left open, the more difficult it becomes to find the absolute point of perfection.

Mario Illien said he could make an engine producing the same amount of power as the current Formula One power units do nowadays, but only for two or three million dollars per year. That would make a great offer for the small privateers, who have very little interest in the current hybridization. That alone would offers them an entirely different concept to work with.

#44 Vielleicht

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:14

Although the current LMP1-rules are already quite restrictive, they did not cause a convergence in terms power units. In Formula E teams still use different gearbox solutions, despite the regulations being very restrictive.

LMP1 did converge on ERS storage options though. In the beginning Toyota used supercapacitors, Audi the flywheel and Porsche the battery, with batteries eventually emerging as the best option. In terms of engine architechture and fuel, I think the EoT balances meant that this was not really a major point of variation. You could pick a diesel or petrol and make it V8, V6 or in Porsche's case a V4 based on what you wanted to market/experiment with and the fuel load and flow rate would be set to bring them all closer together.

 

I think Formula E teams have converged to a pretty much single gear, single motor option now. Nissan were running a twin motor set up last year but they've been banned for this season for a varety of reasons (chiefly could be that 1 team redesigning to single motor was better for the overall costs than 11 teams redesigning to twin). As I understand it, a lot of Formula E performance gains lies in choosing the most efficient components you can and keeping the system operating under optimum conditions for as much of the race as possible.



#45 Pingguest

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:15

This is the mistake that all fans make. For us, the development race is important. However, the majority of F1's audience is not made up of people like us. It's made up of people who just really want to see the names they know go racing - be that names like "Ferrari" or "Lewis Hamilton". They couldn't give a hoot about the technology inside the cars. Some might be interested in how fast they go, but not how that's achieved. So if it was all spec, it would make little difference to F1's overall audience.


Here in the Netherlands, many people started to watch Formula One (again), because the presence of Max Verstappen. As many know I have been watching the series closely since the 1995 Japanese Grand Prix and know a lot about the history and technology, people around me ask what to expect from Red Bull in coming race. And yes, the technological warfare plays an important role. And they are always interested in the technology behind it. It is partly what makes Formule One different compared to other series - sadly.

#46 Pingguest

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:17

LMP1 did converge on ERS storage options though. In the beginning Toyota used supercapacitors, Audi the flywheel and Porsche the battery, with batteries eventually emerging as the best option. In terms of engine architechture and fuel, I think the EoT balances meant that this was not really a major point of variation. You could pick a diesel or petrol and make it V8, V6 or in Porsche's case a V4 based on what you wanted to market/experiment with and the fuel load and flow rate would be set to bring them all closer together.
 
I think Formula E teams have converged to a pretty much single gear, single motor option now. Nissan were running a twin motor set up last year but they've been banned for this season for a varety of reasons (chiefly could be that 1 team redesigning to single motor was better for the overall costs than 11 teams redesigning to twin). As I understand it, a lot of Formula E performance gains lies in choosing the most efficient components you can and keeping the system operating under optimum conditions for as much of the race as possible.


Well, convergence as a result of stringent regulations is not really an argument for stringent regulations, is it?

#47 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:19

Although the current LMP1-rules are already quite restrictive, they did not cause a convergence in terms power units. In Formula E teams still use different gearbox solutions, despite the regulations being very restrictive.
Hence, the more variables are left open, the more difficult it becomes to find the absolute point of perfection.

Mario Illien said he could make an engine producing the same amount of power as the current Formula One power units do nowadays, but only for two or three million dollars per year. That would make a great offer for the small privateers, who have very little interest in the current hybridization. That alone would offers them an entirely different concept to work with.

 

LMP1 is a terrible example, because it's dead. Nobody wanted to play and Toyota was left all by itself. F1 needs a sustainable formula too. Having more open regulations just means the arms race is more expensive.

 

Mario Illien might well have been able to do that, but then when Ferrari, Renault and Honda took on his architecture and spend millions more on it, those using his engine would be left behind or he'd have to spend just as much to keep up.



#48 ArchieTech

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:53

I definitely don't want to see a spec series, but we're between a rock and a hard place these days. Aero has been iterated to the point where unrestricted development can stifle overtaking opportunities behind, without the assistance of DRS. I remember the feeling of a race weekend like Barcelona in the 2000's where it was pretty much a foregone conclusion there would be little to no overtaking except in the pits.

 

Tyres were specified to degrade to add more variety, but inevitably with the law of unintended consequences has created an additional reason not to sit close behind another car. It's always tempting to look to the past, but you can't take away the knowledge of aero that exists these days. The front wing restrictions this year have been a start, and despite some drivers saying they've made no difference, I think it's been shown that it has helped.

 

I still want to see aero development but I've accepted that seemingly heavy restrictions may be what's needed to eliminate the need for DRS. They can always relax the restrictions a bit in due course once they see how the cars behave in 2021.



#49 Pingguest

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:59

Well, as stringent regulations force teams to look just for details, costs will rise inevitably. Max Mosley justified 'cost-cutting' regulations, as it would reduce the return of investments. But a competitive world like Formule One the return is fixed. Hence, one will have to invest more to get the desired return. It fully explains why despite the introduction of regulations to reduce costs, budgets continued to rise in past two decades.

#50 shure

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 12:04

Well, as stringent regulations force teams to look just for details, costs will rise inevitably. Max Mosley justified 'cost-cutting' regulations, as it would reduce the return of investments. But a competitive world like Formule One the return is fixed. Hence, one will have to invest more to get the desired return. It fully explains why despite the introduction of regulations to reduce costs, budgets continued to rise in past two decades.

This.  The tighter they make the regs, the more resources teams have to throw at eking out that extra half a tenth and the bigger the advantage teams with the deepest pockets will have.  It's been shown time and time again but still they try to tighten things even more.  It's quite bizarre how little they appear to understand about what makes F1 so expensive