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Changes to F1 weekend timetable for 2022 ... Pit Walk eliminated


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#1 AustinF1

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 18:30

F1 makes major changes to weekend schedule for 2022

 

https://racingnews36...hedule-for-2022

 

Didn't see this posted anywhere and thought it deserved its own thread.

 

I'm fine with most of this, but Re: the Pit Walks, there probably will actually be pit lane walks, just not for us regular folk. They already have separate pit lane walks for VIPs, Paddock Club, certain ticket holders, etc. Even on Friday and Saturday. I doubt that'll change. They'll probably just leave out all of us unwashed peasants. 

 

It's disappointing, but for me personally, outside of the first year when there was practically nobody there and you could roam freely, COTA's pit walks have pretty much sucked anyway. I'll definitely miss Montreal's fantastic pit walk though. I think it's a bad move for F1. The pit lane walks were the only time most people can ever get close to the cars, garages, and team atmosphere. F1 is already exclusive enough. Making it less real and relatable to the fans is a step in the wrong direction imho. 
 
Also, like Dieter says there at the end, it likely won't result in any more time at home for team and F1 employees, and FOM will likely use it as a reason to add even more races, which imho is also the opposite direction F1 should be headed.

 

What say you?

 

 

...

 
The easiest way of achieving Liberty's objective is through calendar expansion: more races equal more in hosting fees, increased TV offerings and greater visibility for sponsors and trackside advertisers – hence 2022's record 23-race calendar. There are, though, practical limitations to such growth, particularly if add-ons are staged outside Europe given the flipside is more travel, and less 'me' time for hardworking F1 staff.
...
 
In effect the choices facing FOG were no calendar expansion, or a more compact format to 'buy' the sport time between fixtures. It is obvious which option Liberty preferred, with the most logical format being a reduction in 'track days'…
 
What will the new F1 weekend schedule look like?
...
 
From this year all events, including, crucially, the Principality's race, feature three-day schedules, with non-essential personnel not gaining paddock access on Thursdays.
 
Thus, no pitlane walkabouts for fans, with Monaco visitors being particularly hard hit...
 
The result is that Grand Prix weekends will start Friday morning, with ancillary stuff such as documentation, meetings and media sessions taking teams through to around midday depending upon specific timings for an event. Thereafter two free practice sessions - each of 90-minute duration and separated by at least two hours - will take place.
 
At most venues the first free practice session is expected to start at 13:00 local time, with FP2 run from 17:00 to 18:30. These sessions will be followed by further media activities and meetings/briefings, potentially keeping personnel trackside for 12 (or more) hours at a stretch. The good news - particularly for fans at events - is that F1 is reverting to two 90-minute sessions in place of 2021's two one-hour practices.
 
...
 
Accordingly, a typical weekend schedule during the 2022 F1 season will be:
 
Friday
09:00 – Media/documentation/scrutineering
13:00-14:30 – FP1
15:00-16:00 – Team representative media session
17:00-18:30 – FP2
19:00 onwards – Media/briefings
 
Saturday
09:00-10:30 – Driver/fan interaction, autographs (each team minimum 15 minutes)
12:00-13:00 – FP3
15:00-16:00 – Qualifying
17:00 onwards – Media/briefings
 
Sunday
13:30 – Driver parade
15:00 – Race start
18:00 – Media
 
Note: exact timings will vary within permitted parameters, particularly for dusk/night races.
 
The bottom line is that F1 believes the revised formats will this year save at least 24 days – two days for Monaco and one per each of the 22 'traditional' Grands Prix, in turn potentially saving teams hotel costs while enabling most personnel to enjoy additional time off between races. The downside for promoters is that tourism potential is reduced a day (at least) per race weekend.
 
These 'off' days may not translate to domestic time - particularly where flyaways and back-to-backs are concerned - but should make for less interim hectic while permitting a modicum of relaxation. The flipside is that Liberty may well decide to grow calendars even further, arguing that three-day formats are the silver bullet to 25 or more events…
 

 



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#2 Red5ive

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 18:56

Glad Monaco has lost the traditional Thursday running.  Not so glad about 2nd practice being put back to early evening.

 

The rest - meh.  I suppose the idea is the teams start their set up on thursday rather than Wednesday ?



#3 Brawn BGP 001

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 19:02

90 practice session on Friday good, the rest bad.


Edited by Brawn BGP 001, 17 January 2022 - 19:02.


#4 Risil

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 19:06

I don't love Monaco losing Thursday morning as it made the weekend a bit more distinctive, but I expect like the Assen TT moving from Saturday to Sunday, I'll stop noticing after a couple of years. Pitwalk doesn't affect me much but a shame for people who enjoyed them.

 

Is that a change to FP1 and FP2 times btw?



#5 OO7

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 19:08

So they're going back to 90 minute practice sessions on Friday?



#6 Spillage

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 19:49

3pm seems a bit too late to start races for me. I used to like the 1pm start time, it meant it never clashed with the Sunday roast!

#7 TomNokoe

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 19:54

Very glad we're back to 90 minutes FP as I like the slower pace. Comes with a lot of unseen benefits IMO. Less frantic broadcasting, more screen time for the smaller teams, etc.

Would've compromised with 60 min FP1 and 90 min FP2 to be honest, but 90x2 is fine.

Not a fan of FP1 and 2 being pushed back by 1.5hrs and 2hrs, respectively. The cynic within me says this is another nod to new audiences (American timezones, European kids finishing school). Wholly unnecessary and hurts fans who attend the races. Late finish Fri, early start Sat. Plus the usual traditionalist grumbles... 1700 start?!?! I mean cmon, it's not Le Mans. The more I think about this the more it annoys me.

FP2 will now be unrepresentative at most tracks, by design, which is just bizarre.

Edited by TomNokoe, 17 January 2022 - 20:00.


#8 ConsiderAndGo

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 20:07

Are these times CET? Aka for Brits, an hour earlier? (For European races)

Edit- ah, local times. That’s fine then.

Edited by ConsiderAndGo, 17 January 2022 - 20:12.


#9 SenorSjon

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 20:19

Sadly not the 14.00 start times... Maybe next year. More time for teams to dismantle and package the pitboxes as well.

#10 ANF

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 20:23

I'm surprised it took them so long to move Thursday activities to Friday morning.

I thought two hours of free practice on Friday was enough. On the other hand, three hours is better for fans at the track, and 90 minutes and a less crowded track is better for rookie drivers.



#11 Ruusperi

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 20:41

90 minutes practice is good. I always felt that if there was a red flag period, it ate up too many percents of the available practice time. And if the conditions vary, it's more likely we get track action with 4 hours of practice.

Any new info about sprint races?



#12 PayasYouRace

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 20:48

It makes sense to compress things with so many races crammed into the season now. Shame about Monaco losing its Thursday practice. That was a nice bit of uniqueness that's now lost.

 

Don't see the point of going to 90 minute practice sessions on Fridays. An hour was plenty long enough. If the aim is to keep things short, seems counterproductive. But maybe with the new cars this year they might actually need the extra hour that they weren't using.

 

What's the deal for the sprint weekends?



#13 jonpollak

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 21:14

Does Monaco clash with the 500 again??

Jp



#14 Afterburner

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 21:48

Not a fan of FP1 and 2 being pushed back by 1.5hrs and 2hrs, respectively. The cynic within me says this is another nod to new audiences (American timezones, European kids finishing school). Wholly unnecessary and hurts fans who attend the races. Late finish Fri, early start Sat. Plus the usual traditionalist grumbles... 1700 start?!?! I mean cmon, it's not Le Mans. The more I think about this the more it annoys me.

FP2 will now be unrepresentative at most tracks, by design, which is just bizarre.

I don’t follow this logic. For those at the track, free practice occurring later in the day means it’s easier to put in a half-day of work and still get value for money on a Friday ticket. In an era which everything is so computerised and calculated in advance, I also don’t understand how a lack of a representative practice session to generate more unpredictability is a problem.

#15 Myrvold

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 22:35

Ahh. In the effort to make every F1 event like a SuperBowl and bringing F1 to the fans. The focus is on fake stories on Netflix, manufacturing how to finish races (note; not positions, just how the race should finish) and removing those dirty normal people from getting close to the precious teams and cars.

 

Fantastic.


Edited by Myrvold, 17 January 2022 - 22:35.


#16 TomNokoe

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Posted 17 January 2022 - 22:58

I don’t follow this logic. For those at the track, free practice occurring later in the day means it’s easier to put in a half-day of work and still get value for money on a Friday ticket. In an era which everything is so computerised and calculated in advance, I also don’t understand how a lack of a representative practice session to generate more unpredictability is a problem.

I suppose the merits of those attending the circuit in person can be argued back and forth. I'm actually planning on going to Barcelona this year and I'm flying on Friday morning, so the extra two hours will suddenly let me make it to the circuit for FP2, when I had otherwise planned not to. But it'll then be a trek home and an early start on Saturday. No great shakes either way.

The unrepresentative session problem grates me because it's totally contrived. Just scrap the session if you don't want the teams to have any data.

But really, and I know it's silly, it's the tradition that gets me. You have morning practice and afternoon practice, not afternoon practice and evening practice. Why they couldn't have kept these slots and moved everything else around to fit, I don't know. It just smacks of chasing eyeballs again, precious, precious eyeballs.

Edited by TomNokoe, 17 January 2022 - 23:17.


#17 fifi

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 06:29

Does Monaco clash with the 500 again??

Jp

yup



#18 Beri

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 07:41

The pitwalk always have been a dreadful experience since 2005-ish. The amount of people in the pitlane, at least at Spa, Monza, Nurburgring, Spielberg and Magny Cours, was terrifying at best. Something that was in less during the olden days when people hardly knew about pitlane walks.

On the other hand; it is, yet again, something taken away from people who are paying high ticket prices. They will pay the same, but get less. And yes, the actual money is not coming from the plebs like me and rather by big shot John from Eco Focus Inc. And yes it is understandable that they get preference. But the plebs are the ones who have to work their arse off to be able to pay the tickets, instead of good ol' John writing it off as a business trip. To plebs, like me, this is something that is hard to sell with the excuses given. It is once again proof that Liberty wants to change the sport for the elite and not for John and Jane Doe. And that just kind of makes me sad.



#19 d246

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 09:08

Not a fan of FP being shunted back to later in the day (or the 1500 race start). If you're at the race, by the time you get back to where you need to be, you don't have much of an evening left. Maybe I'm just getting old.



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#20 JimmyClark

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 10:18

Not a fan of FP being shunted back to later in the day (or the 1500 race start). If you're at the race, by the time you get back to where you need to be, you don't have much of an evening left. Maybe I'm just getting old.

 

Well I guess this is why they want races in the middle of cities... 



#21 Aaaarrgghh

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 10:28

Well, the F1 fan survey clearly showed that the fans want more than 13 races and compressing the weekend is a way of achieving that. The organisers have obviously been struggling with cramming in the desired number of races ever since 1973. Finally, they have solved it.



#22 FirstnameLastname

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 11:44

I don’t follow this logic. For those at the track, free practice occurring later in the day means it’s easier to put in a half-day of work and still get value for money on a Friday ticket. In an era which everything is so computerised and calculated in advance, I also don’t understand how a lack of a representative practice session to generate more unpredictability is a problem.


Yeah, plus makes it less of a mental morning trying to get into Spa before FP1 on the Friday…

#23 Izzyeviel

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 11:55

Does Monaco clash with the 500 again??

Jp

 Not really, I mean if the choice is watching Indy or Monaco, we all know which one a fan would choose. 

 

(Indy Obviously)



#24 Anderis

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 11:58

90 minutes FPSs make sense for 2022 as I suppose the teams will be more willing to gather more data with this new generation of cars to learn them better. I've always thought they changed it to 60 minutes only for 2021 where the teams weren't going to change much compared to the year before due to pandemics, development limitations and 2022 being on the horizon, so they didn't need as much running.



#25 IrvTheSwerve

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:46

What's the plan for the sprint qualifying weekends?



#26 Risil

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Posted 18 January 2022 - 14:28

Not a fan of FP being shunted back to later in the day (or the 1500 race start). If you're at the race, by the time you get back to where you need to be, you don't have much of an evening left. Maybe I'm just getting old.

 

The article said 3pm local time (in like the 11th paragraph), which is what the situation was in 2021. So if you're in the UK I assume it'll be 2pm as before. (I preferred 1pm but things could be worse? And it does leave room for MotoGP/F1 TV double headers, which are fun.)



#27 JimmyClark

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 15:12

It looks like military fly-bys are going to be canned (which will include the Red Arrows). 

 

Though it does seem a bit pointless for 'environmental' reasons if the local airlines can still do a flyby of their A380s, etc. 

 

https://racingnews36...e-race-build-up

 

Race promoters for Formula 1 races in 2022 won't have the option of putting on a military aviation display as part of their pre-race build-up.

A firm favourite of many promoters, displays of military aircraft flying overhead have become synonymous with certain Grands Prix.

For instance, Monza frequently has flyovers of the Italian Air Force before the Italian Grand Prix, while the Red Arrows, part of the Royal Air Force, entertain the crowds at Silverstone ahead of the British Grand Prix.

However, in an email sent by F1 to race promoters, seen by RacingNews365.com, displays of military aviation are no longer permitted.

Citing a desire to reduce carbon emissions as part of F1's drive to become carbon neutral, the ban is being introduced to "support F1's sustainability objectives".

RacingNews365.com understands that, aside from environmental considerations, there were also concerns from within the sport that such aerial displays could be seen as military posturing or as giving countries a platform for demonstrations of their military strength.



#28 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 15:21

90-minute free practice sessions are not a good thing, as the trade-off is more predictable races with less race-to-race variation in performance. If anything I'd scrap one of the FP sessions entirely.



#29 PayasYouRace

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 15:27

Come on. Just sucking more and more fun out of F1 at this point.

#30 pdac

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 16:20

Come on. Just sucking more and more fun out of F1 at this point.

 

It's not meant to be fun ... this is serious business.



#31 BerniesDad

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 16:45

"For your benefit and convenience, your ticket will no longer subject you to such unpleasantness as a pit-walk, nor an aviation display.

Don't even think about getting within fifty feet of an actual formula one car, much less a driver. You'll only see the top of their helmet at best.

Ticket prices will naturally be rising in line with inflation, or possibly higher if we think we can squeeze a few more dollars out of you.

Motorsport is dangerous. 

Lots of Love, Liberty"



#32 AustinF1

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 16:55

It looks like military fly-bys are going to be canned (which will include the Red Arrows). 

 

Though it does seem a bit pointless for 'environmental' reasons if the local airlines can still do a flyby of their A380s, etc. 

 

https://racingnews36...e-race-build-up

Pay no attention to F1's huge carbon footprint behind the curtain...

Edited by AustinF1, 19 January 2022 - 17:03.


#33 AustinF1

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 16:56

Come on. Just sucking more and more fun out of F1 at this point.

Indeed.



#34 Risil

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 16:57

Maybe they're worried about the optics of one country invading another one and then showing off their massive air force at their Grand Prix.

 

Would be a shame to lose the Red Arrows as they're obviously there for entertainment and not military purposes. But, I think F1 will survive.



#35 IrvTheSwerve

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 17:18

Oh FFS. Seeing the Red Arrows at Silverstone is all part of the occasion. Military posturing...for God's sake.  :rolleyes: I've never seen aircraft fly over the grid and thought 'ooo they look like they could do a number on us'.

 

And the carbon-neutral thing?  :rolleyes: I tell you what - let's just stop racing cars. F1 should just become an eSport. That'll save the planet more.

 

There's no talk about banning civilian air displays though? I.e. flying an A380 over Abu Dhabi? They don't damage the planet, see.


Edited by IrvTheSwerve, 19 January 2022 - 17:20.


#36 Red5ive

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 17:21

I don’t follow this logic. For those at the track, free practice occurring later in the day means it’s easier to put in a half-day of work and still get value for money on a Friday ticket. In an era which everything is so computerised and calculated in advance, I also don’t understand how a lack of a representative practice session to generate more unpredictability is a problem.

 

 

A lot of people - including me, get to the track early morning to avoid the traffic, get a good spot etc  Now you either carry on doing that and have a couple of hours extra to wait around or you turn up later and deal with traffic and more people already in the circuit potentially. Cant imagine there are that many people that are going to want to put in a morning at work and then go to the track.



#37 IrvTheSwerve

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 17:24

A lot of people - including me, get to the track early morning to avoid the traffic, get a good spot etc  Now you either carry on doing that and have a couple of hours extra to wait around or you turn up later and deal with traffic and more people already in the circuit potentially. Cant imagine there are that many people that are going to want to put in a morning at work and then go to the track.

 

Each to their own and all that, but I'm much the same as you. If I do go on a Friday it is normally if I'm doing a 'Friday only' race...get to the track early and then leave after practice finishes to drive home. I certainly wouldn't be staying until 7pm but that just my situation.



#38 AustinF1

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 18:13

"For your benefit and convenience, your ticket will no longer subject you to such unpleasantness as a pit-walk, nor an aviation display.

Don't even think about getting within fifty feet of an actual formula one car, much less a driver. You'll only see the top of their helmet at best.

Ticket prices will naturally be rising in line with inflation, or possibly higher if we think we can squeeze a few more dollars out of you.

Motorsport is dangerous. 

Lots of Love, Liberty"

Ha! Yep.

 

And from another board ...

 

 

Concessions will no longer include any meats (takes lots of energy to produce, you know) or food that needs plastic containers or utensils. So we will be charging you $12 for a banana. And you can't bring in your own food/drink because... uh the environment. 

 
Geesh. No flyovers because of sustainability. You needlessly race cars all over the world, you tools.


#39 Silverstone96

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 19:20

Echo that about the red arrows, won’t quite feel the same without them.

I just bought my Silverstone ticket as got caught by it nearly being sold out already. Including parking and a seat it’s £455 just for the Sunday, I hate myself a bit for paying this as it’s getting silly but I’ve been going for 25 years and I’ve always been hooked.

However I can’t see myself going indefinitely with the rate these prices keep increasing so I will be priced out before too long I feel.

I don’t mind the later starting times in the summer, although it’s not so good for getting out of a Silverstone car park and home at a decent hour!

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#40 Anja

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 19:45

Concessions will no longer include any meats (takes lots of energy to produce, you know) or food that needs plastic containers or utensils. So we will be charging you $12 for a banana. And you can't bring in your own food/drink because... uh the environment. 

 

And I'm sure that all the VIPs attending the races will face the same thing... right?  :lol:



#41 Fastcake

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 21:14

RacingNews365.com understands that, aside from environmental considerations, there were also concerns from within the sport that such aerial displays could be seen as military posturing or as giving countries a platform for demonstrations of their military strength.

 

Well that is literally the intention of a military fly-past. You don't send up a Eurofighter or F16 to do a few barrel rolls in front of the cameras if you're not trying to show off. The RAF doesn't maintain the Red Arrows out of a desire to boost attendance at agricultural shows and regional festivals. As I've said in any discussion concerning seemingly political displays in sport, these are the biggest and most dramatic statements going, and you should really have a problem with fighter jets if you truly hold those convictions.

 

Not that I have any issue with aerial displays before a Grand Prix. It's just worth remembering what their purpose is.



#42 AustinF1

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 21:47

The environmental angle of banning military flyovers is laughable at best.

 

F1 flies seven 747s all around the world, packed full and heavy. They ship containers thousands of miles on cargo ships. And they drive who knows how many trucks and motor homes around Europe each year to take the circus on the road. How many miles are logged by these 747s, massive cargo ships, and trucks?

 

A flyover from a couple of local fighter jets is just too much though.

 

And, those flights are usually training flights that just get routed over the event at a certain time. They're going to fly those missions whether they do a flyover or not, so banning them is doing absolutely **** all for the environment.

 

LMFAO. What a joke.

 

Like most things these days, it's not about the actual result of your actions. It's about appearing to care and pretending to make a difference.


Edited by AustinF1, 20 January 2022 - 16:57.


#43 IrvTheSwerve

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 22:30

Well that is literally the intention of a military fly-past. You don't send up a Eurofighter or F16 to do a few barrel rolls in front of the cameras if you're not trying to show off. The RAF doesn't maintain the Red Arrows out of a desire to boost attendance at agricultural shows and regional festivals. As I've said in any discussion concerning seemingly political displays in sport, these are the biggest and most dramatic statements going, and you should really have a problem with fighter jets if you truly hold those convictions.

 

Not that I have any issue with aerial displays before a Grand Prix. It's just worth remembering what their purpose is.

Disagree with that, somewhat. The Red Arrows are purely an aerobatic display team running old Hawks for entertainment. Nothing about the display is a show of military capability, to me at least.

 

I understand the viewpoint that it could potentially be seen as ‘flexing muscles’, but every time I’ve seen the Eurofighter it’s been one of the best things about an event.

 

Is this almost the opposite of sportswashing to some?



#44 IrvTheSwerve

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 22:31

The UK needs to dust off a Concorde for these events, then.  :smoking:



#45 JimmyClark

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 23:09

Maybe they're worried about the optics of one country invading another one and then showing off their massive air force at their Grand Prix.

.


Actually you could be onto something here. The environment would be a convenient way not to offend Vlad too much.

#46 Sterzo

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 10:06

Disagree with that, somewhat. The Red Arrows are purely an aerobatic display team running old Hawks for entertainment. Nothing about the display is a show of military capability, to me at least.

Agreed. I've always suspected that it's a bunch of lads having fun flying about, having managed to wangle part of the defence budget to do it. Long may it continue.



#47 r4mses

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 10:28

Liberty: We need to bring F1 closer to the fans!

 

Liberty: Let's scrap the pit walk.

 

 

(Liberty or whoever is in charge...)


Edited by r4mses, 20 January 2022 - 10:29.


#48 absinthedude

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 10:54

Surely they can see a difference between aerobatic displays performed by air force pilots, and military posturing? 

 

As for the rest of the chances, the timings have advantages and disadvantages.....I'll be missing FP2 as I'll generally be on the train home from work but it might permit actual spectators to take a half day off work or knock off early on the Friday and get to the track for some action. 

 

Sad that it all seems to be about money and image again. 



#49 absinthedude

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 11:00

Disagree with that, somewhat. The Red Arrows are purely an aerobatic display team running old Hawks for entertainment. Nothing about the display is a show of military capability, to me at least.

 

I understand the viewpoint that it could potentially be seen as ‘flexing muscles’, but every time I’ve seen the Eurofighter it’s been one of the best things about an event.

 

Is this almost the opposite of sportswashing to some?

 

As I understand it, the planes flown by the Red Arrows have no actual offensive capability and are only "military" in that they're owned by the RAF. They are purely aerobatic display aircraft, never had any weaponry and never had any relevance to the theatre of war. I imagine several other national display teams use similarly benign planes. While the Eurofighter is a bona fide military plane, it's also spectacular in action. 

 

There is, surely, a difference between "Look at us having fun entertaining you with seemingly impossible feats of aerobatics" with a dash of "aren't our pilots jolly good?" and "Look at this scary machinery we might bomb the sh!t out of you with"

 

Sucking out fun because they can't write a rule which distinguishes between an aerobatic display and sabre rattling is a concern. Firstly, we ought not be visiting countries likely to use sabre rattling against their neighbours. Secondly, it hardly bodes well for any tightening of the SC rules and race procedures.


Edited by absinthedude, 20 January 2022 - 11:01.


#50 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 11:28

As I understand it, the planes flown by the Red Arrows have no actual offensive capability and are only "military" in that they're owned by the RAF. They are purely aerobatic display aircraft, never had any weaponry and never had any relevance to the theatre of war. I imagine several other national display teams use similarly benign planes. While the Eurofighter is a bona fide military plane, it's also spectacular in action.

There is, surely, a difference between "Look at us having fun entertaining you with seemingly impossible feats of aerobatics" with a dash of "aren't our pilots jolly good?" and "Look at this scary machinery we might bomb the sh!t out of you with"

I don’t think they can tell the difference between an aerobatic display and military posturing.

You are correct in that the Hawk T.1 has no weaponry at all, neither offensive nor defensive. Other RAF Hawks had weapons capability in the 90s, but they were not part of the Red Arrows and are long gone. This is mirrored for most countries’ aerobatic display teams. Unarmed trainers rather than frontline combat aircraft. An aerobatic display by brightly coloured aeroplanes is hardly militaristic or political.

More politically concerning are the flypasts by state sponsored or owned airlines in the Middle Eastern races, let alone the counties like the USA who often do a fly past with frontline combat aircraft.