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If you were to start an F1 breakaway series, what would you do?


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#1 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:16

Let's say you were a motor racing loving millio (billio?) naire who's sick of F1.

What are the main three things you would do to maximize the probability that your new racing series could truly compete with F1?

What other factors do you think would be important?

Not looking for another "what would you do to improve in F1" thread, but rather, what would you do to "dethrone" F1 as the "premier" open wheel racing series?

Would you try to convince the best drivers to switch series?

Would you come up with a car formula that had the highest probability of creating close, on-track racing?

Would you create rules that are conducive to better racing?

Would you try to attract the most important auto manufacturers to the series?

Is F1 beatable at all as an open-wheel racing series, especially in what appears to be its most popular times?

Or is it just not possible to replace it, so you would focus on creating a championship that attracts other niches such as older audiences who are nostalgic for certain elements of "their era of F1", or would be OK with a spec championship ?

Would love to hear your inputs. Who knows, maybe Stroll or Norris Sr. take a look and get ideas...

Edited by Gravelngrass, 27 May 2024 - 12:49.


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#2 Stoffel

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:16

V10s



#3 F1Frog

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:26

Less downforce.

#4 sportyskells

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:27

I bring back spare cars



#5 AlexPrime

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:28

I remember the experience of Tony George with Indycar and won't do it  :drunk:



#6 pdac

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:29

Buy FOM and sit on F1 commercial rights to shut down the current F1. Of course, you'd need a few billion to throw away. But that would be the only place to start if you wanted to succeed.



#7 ANF

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:30

Forget it.



#8 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:30

Less downforce.

Not sure about downforce levels from 2022 compared to, say, 2021, but I would say they are higher now. The racing though (not championship fights) was not that great then either. So should we go back to no-ground effect cars with less aero then?



#9 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:33

Buy FOM and sit on F1 commercial rights to shut down the current F1. Of course, you'd need a few billion to throw away. But that would be the only place to start if you wanted to succeed.

Which isn't something that a good billionaire doesn't have...Maybe Stroll Sr. could create a SERIES instead of just a team? 



#10 Nathan

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:34

My 2nd step would be looking for good insolvency lawyers.

 

I believe the popularity of F1 is based around engineering, it's history and it's standing with the FIA as a world championship.  The last two are not repeatable, and the engineering is probably the lead factor in the lack of on track competition.

 

There is a lot of quality televised motor racing that goes relatively unwatched by motorsports fans, so I don't think what is happening during a race is as big as people think.



#11 pacificquay

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:49

I wouldn’t start it.

 

It would be doomed to failure before it started.



#12 BoDarvelle

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:53

4.0 atmo V16s (H16s?) as more is always better.

 

In F2 sized cars with non hideous rear wings.



#13 ckolcz

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:54

No wings 60s style cars + manual gearbox.



#14 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 17:57

 

My 2nd step would be looking for good insolvency lawyers.

 

I believe the popularity of F1 is based around engineering, it's history and it's standing with the FIA as a world championship.  The last two are not repeatable, and the engineering is probably the lead factor in the lack of on track competition.

 

There is a lot of quality televised motor racing that goes relatively unwatched by motorsports fans, so I don't think what is happening during a race is as big as people think.

 

 

True, the history is important and impossible to replicate, but isn't precisely the third factor a weakness that could be exploited? 

 

And yeah, it seems to be that the racing part of F1 is increasingly losing importance, but that would be part of the challenge, to replicate the other factors that make it successful and offer decent racing. 



#15 Nathan

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 18:07

but isn't precisely the third factor a weakness that could be exploited? 

 

And yeah, it seems to be that the racing part of F1 is increasingly losing importance, but that would be part of the challenge, to replicate the other factors that make it successful and offer decent racing. 

 

Indycar? A1? SuperLeague?

When was the racing part important in F1?  Honest question.  I've been watching since '94 and I think the actual racing hasn't been better since.  Much passing before was done via in/out laps, not wheel-to-wheel. If you go look at pre 70's race results it was rare to have a handful of cars finish on the lead lap, and the 80's & 90's had very large performance gaps between cars, again with maybe a quarter of the field finishing on the lead lap. 



#16 Goron3

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 18:15

V10's. Less downforce.

Two races per weekend, one of which is a reverse grid (WDC order) Sprint.

And I'd race at non-F1 circuits.

#17 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 18:22

Indycar? A1? SuperLeague?

When was the racing part important in F1?  Honest question.  I've been watching since '94 and I think the actual racing hasn't been better since.  Much passing before was done via in/out laps, not wheel-to-wheel. If you go look at pre 70's race results it was rare to have a handful of cars finish on the lead lap, and the 80's & 90's had very large performance gaps between cars, again with maybe a quarter of the field finishing on the lead lap. 

Yeah but are those really attempts at replacing F1? Not an expert, but it seems to me Indy targets mainly a different geographical niche than F1, more than a niche that is unsatisfied by the racing? Honestly, I'm not familiar  with the others unless A1 is that spec series they tried during the 90s was it?

To your second question, I'm not sure if the racing per se hasn't been seen as important or that, so far, they have really been unable (or unwilling) to create it?  And you are right, the on-track racing has never been the way some fans would like it to be. But does that mean it's doomed to stay like that? The fact that something has always been a certain way, doesn't mean it can't or should not change.  

 

Having said that, if we consider "racing" to include not only the literal part of car against car on track, but also the many other factors that create the racing atmosphere, l think many would agree that we have had much better eras. 



#18 pdac

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 18:44

No radios. It's clear that if the drivers in todays Monaco GP did not get any instructions from their race engineers, we'd have seen a few trying some interesting moves and we'd see a few having to pit to change their knackered tyres.



#19 PayasYouRace

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 19:02

Seeing as I'm waiting for the Indy 500, I can give this a question by question reply.

 

 

Let's say you were a motor racing loving millio (billio?) naire who's sick of F1.

 

What are the main three things you would do to maximize the probability that your new racing series could truly compete with F1? 

 

 

  1. Get most of the big stars from F1. The big names are much of the draw, and the drama they bring. So I'd want to get every Grand Prix winning driver, if possible, and Ferrari and McLaren as a must.
  2. Get the big events. The classic Grands Prix that people care about. Monaco, Silverstone, at least one of the Italian races, Spa, etc.
  3. Car performance would have to be roughly equal to current F1.

 

 

What other factors do you think would be important?

 

 

I think getting in tune with the fanbase is a must. So I'd have standard GP weekends. No sprints, no gimmicky sessions. Practice, qualifying, Grand Prix. I'd be keen to give the fans what they want. Loud engines, which could be wonderfully efficient like the old V8s were, but it must be a real sensory experience. Fans First would be the mantra.

 

Not looking for another "what would you do to improve in F1" thread, but rather, what would you do to "dethrone" F1 as the "premier" open wheel racing series? 

 

 

The challenge would be to convince the fans that my series would be worthy of being the one to follow. Get people talking about my series. Get them favouring it. Get them talking about it on social media and have them compare it favourably to F1. The result would be that advertisers would then want to be in my series. I think that's the key.

 

Would you try to convince the best drivers to switch series?

 

Of course. They're the biggest draw of all. They're the names people follow. They're the ones who get the advertising behind them. Without them, it would be pointless.

 

Would you come up with a car formula that had the highest probability of creating close, on-track racing?

 

Of course. I'd have cars similar to what we have now (they work quite well) but a bit lighter and a bit smaller, without hybrids and the complications that come with that. Maybe even go for manual gearboxes and such. They'd be more like a 90s CART Indycar. Cars that are proven to work for close, on track racing on any type of track.

 

Would you come up with a car formula that had the highest probability of creating close, on-track racing?

 

I assume this means non-technical, as otherwise it's just repeating the previous question. I'd have rules that 

 

Would you try to attract the most important auto manufacturers to the series?

 

My approach to manufacturers is that they'll be welcome to join but they wouldn't get any say in the regulations of the series until they've begun racing themselves. Take it or leave it, basically.

 

Is F1 beatable at all as an open-wheel racing series, especially in what appears to be its most popular times? 

 

Or is it just not possible to replace it, so you would focus on creating a championship that attracts other niches such as older audiences who are nostalgic for certain elements of "their era of F1", or would be OK with a spec chapionship? 

 

 

The reason that my answers to the first question are what they are is because I believe for F1 to be beatable, you have to extract all the positives from it. If you can't do that, then F1 has too much momentum, too much value in the public eye to be beaten even with a better racing product. There's already better racing products out there. But they can't compete with F1 because they're not F1.

 

Overall, I'd just not expect any easy way to replace F1 unless you did some major damage to it. If you only managed a half way situation, then you'd have a repeat of the CART/IRL split, which has caused decades of damage in terms of reputation, fanbase and revenues.



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#20 Nathan

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 19:07

Yeah but are those really attempts at replacing F1? Not an expert, but it seems to me Indy targets mainly a different geographical niche than F1, more than a niche that is unsatisfied by the racing? Honestly, I'm not familiar  with the others unless A1 is that spec series they tried during the 90s was it?

 

Ultimately, you are not going to replace F1, you would just become a competitor/alternative like the 3 championships I mentioned.  

 

I'm interested in your 'racing atmosphere' comment, can you elaborate?



#21 DeKnyff

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 19:10

V10s

 

This is a no-go. I don't think any sponsor would want to associate with a technology which can be perceived as anti-environmentalist.



#22 pdac

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 19:27

This is a no-go. I don't think any sponsor would want to associate with a technology which can be perceived as anti-environmentalist.

 

Maybe the proposal is to have a series that did not require sponsors   ;) After all, people are upset that F1 is chasing money (whilst ignoring how much of it they burn through).



#23 Beri

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 19:29

V10, refueling, tyres made of cheese, no night races, street races are a rarity, include an oval..

#24 Anderis

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 19:37

If I had enough sway to create an F1 breakaway series, I would probably rather try to influence F1 itself first. I think it would be extremely difficult to replicate F1's popularity with anything else. If it isn't named F1, it's almost impossible to draw fanbase from outside hardcore motorsport fans. The only reason why I started following F1 myself is because of how recognisable the F1 brand was. And it took decades to get it there.

 

But if such situation arose, that creating a breakaway series really was the only way to go, then my priority would be to get all major teams and drivers onboard. That's probably the only way to build any significant following in the first few years.

Then I would try to create a series that prioritises viewer's experience over engineering perfection. Perhaps backtrack a bit on technology and restrict what teams are allowed to use. Force drivers, engineers and strategists to rely a bit more on instinct instead of trained and tested solutions so that we get a wider variety of outcomes. And of course, limit the sway that competitors have over making rules. Which makes me think that it's never going to work because why would the current F1 teams leave F1 for my series, then? :lol: 



#25 1player

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 19:43

No DRS, limited number of push-to-pass per race, the fewer rules the better, promoting engineering ingenuity.

And most importantly than anything else, no pit->driver radio. Once on track, the driver is on its own. No more data- and pit-driven racing where the driver is just an extension of machine learning strategy models.

#26 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 19:50

Ultimately, you are not going to replace F1, you would just become a competitor/alternative like the 3 championships I mentioned.  

 

I'm interested in your 'racing atmosphere' comment, can you elaborate?

Yeah, when I mentioned atmosphere I was probably referring mainly to sound, but also thinking about venues (traditional ones where fans come in droves and really love racing), and others.

 

A bit more on the rules and technical side, but also contributing to a proper racing atmosphere or pre-disposition, to call it something, would be stuff as getting rid of the conservation paradigm, in other words, give them all the necessary tools to be able to really race, push, go to the limit. From the top of my head, stuff like relaxing limits on engines and other parts, allowing spare cars, tyres that can be pushed, optimizing the cars for each driver and for each session (no parc ferme, combination of compounds if necessary, qualifying tyres even), no meddling with the cars from the pit, only necessary pit to car comms, etc.



#27 BoDarvelle

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 20:01

This is a no-go. I don't think any sponsor would want to associate with a technology which can be perceived as anti-environmentalist.

 

They are rumored to be looking at getting rid of the hybrid systems for the 2030 ruleset.

 

ICE engines are not going away any time soon.



#28 Sterzo

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 20:03

Let's say you were a motor racing loving millio (billio?) naire who's sick of F1.

 

What are the main three things you would do to maximize the probability that your new racing series could truly compete with F1? 

 

What other factors do you think would be important?

 

 

1. I would offer the FIA financiual security and freedom from Liberty's interference, in return for bringing the World Championship title. The drivers would follow.

2. I would propose a formula that enables a cost cap of half the current one.

3. I would promise free-to-air TV world-wide.

 

Other factors:

4. 16 circuits would be offered secure deals for Grand Prix races, with long contracts and no hosting fee.

 

Might no longer be a billionairer after all that, but what's the good of money if you don't enjoy it.
 



#29 pdac

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 20:46

1. I would offer the FIA financiual security and freedom from Liberty's interference, in return for bringing the World Championship title. The drivers would follow.

2. I would propose a formula that enables a cost cap of half the current one.

3. I would promise free-to-air TV world-wide.

 

Other factors:

4. 16 circuits would be offered secure deals for Grand Prix races, with long contracts and no hosting fee.

 

Might no longer be a billionairer after all that, but what's the good of money if you don't enjoy it.
 

 

All good ideas but, sadly, I think even if Elon Musk bank rolled it, it would run out of money after 3 or 4 seasons. People all think they should be paid to do things full-time rather than just doing it for the fun of it in their spare time.



#30 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 21:30

Seeing as I'm waiting for the Indy 500, I can give this a question by question reply.

  • Get most of the big stars from F1. The big names are much of the draw, and the drama they bring. So I'd want to get every Grand Prix winning driver, if possible, and Ferrari and McLaren as a must.
  • Get the big events. The classic Grands Prix that people care about. Monaco, Silverstone, at least one of the Italian races, Spa, etc.
  • Car performance would have to be roughly equal to current F1.

 
1. Yeah, the big driver names are important. However, I guess if you manage to do the rest REALLY well and attract at least some top 10 names (I'm talking guys from Albon, Gasly, upwards), you could get away with not having the top guys from the beginning. If the racing appeals not only to fans but also to drivers (which would have to be another pre-requisite), you may be able to convert them after the first seasons. 
2. Agreed. This should also help bring in the most important drivers and the spectators. 
3. I'd say car performance is not that clear; after all, we've already seen seasons were the speeds decreased, for example. I'd say, if the racing improves, that would already be the major step. Then, if you manage to add to this other factors such as sound, how the cars accelerate, brake and turn, their agility,  sensible rules, among others, you'd have a good chance to at least make people look your way.
 

I think getting in tune with the fanbase is a must. So I'd have standard GP weekends. No sprints, no gimmicky sessions. Practice, qualifying, Grand Prix. I'd be keen to give the fans what they want. Loud engines, which could be wonderfully efficient like the old V8s were, but it must be a real sensory experience. Fans First would be the mantra.


Sure. Not necessarily convinced additional events on the weekend are bad per se as long as they are not artificial (reverse grids come to mind). The sprints seem to work nicely for Motogp and they could be ways to try alternate stuff such as races with no stops (as they are now but not by design). Yeah, the sensory experience will result in part from focusing on racing (relaxing engine and parts limitations, improving tyres, etc.), but also from making the cars themselves exciting again via engines and sounds, agility, looks, etc.
 
 

The challenge would be to convince the fans that my series would be worthy of being the one to follow. Get people talking about my series. Get them favouring it. Get them talking about it on social media and have them compare it favourably to F1. The result would be that advertisers would then want to be in my series. I think that's the key.

 
 

Of course. They're the biggest draw of all. They're the names people follow. They're the ones who get the advertising behind them. Without them, it would be pointless.

I don't know if you have followed the Netflix Golf Series. In it, you see that they managed to create a parallel tour that competed with the PGA right away. I'm not saying I align with the creator of that series or their methods necessarily, but just goes to show that you can attract big names under the right conditions (in that case primarily money, but also scheduling advantages to attack the perceived well-being of the participants and others). In the case of this theoretical F1 rival series, offer a less grueling schedule with more satisfying racing would be a start for example, just to name two factors from the top of my head.   
 

Of course. I'd have cars similar to what we have now (they work quite well) but a bit lighter and a bit smaller, without hybrids and the complications that come with that. Maybe even go for manual gearboxes and such. They'd be more like a 90s CART Indycar. Cars that are proven to work for close, on track racing on any type of track.

 I'm sure this can be designed for sure. Close racing with interesting cars can be engineered; there's a million ways to do that. I just think the will to do so hasn't been there and the reasons have not always been negligence or technical incapacity.
  
 

My approach to manufacturers is that they'll be welcome to join but they wouldn't get any say in the regulations of the series until they've begun racing themselves. Take it or leave it, basically.


 Agreed. However, I would never give them a say to prevent them from ever being judge and jury again. 
 
 

The reason that my answers to the first question are what they are is because I believe for F1 to be beatable, you have to extract all the positives from it. If you can't do that, then F1 has too much momentum, too much value in the public eye to be beaten even with a better racing product. There's already better racing products out there. But they can't compete with F1 because they're not F1.
 
Overall, I'd just not expect any easy way to replace F1 unless you did some major damage to it. If you only managed a half way situation, then you'd have a repeat of the CART/IRL split, which has caused decades of damage in terms of reputation, fanbase and revenues.


Of course, you'd have to go all in, and even, as someone has suggested here, buy F1 itself via some kind of hostile takeover or other legal maneuver. On the other hand, how much value does F1 really have? Isn't its perceived value there because they are, basically, a monopoly with no real alternatives in the same niche (Indy and others are a different niche IMO, mostly geographically but also from the type of racing they do)? The discontent seen in this forum and elsewhere can't be just a fraction of the fanbase? How many times have we heard, "I watch F1 because it's an addiction, but I'm so sick of it that I have progressively stopped watching"? I think that if someone could capitalize on this, F1 would be faced with a decision to either change or be forced to compete with a better-quality series and risk losing its monopoly. 



#31 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 21:33

1. I would offer the FIA financiual security and freedom from Liberty's interference, in return for bringing the World Championship title. The drivers would follow.

2. I would propose a formula that enables a cost cap of half the current one.

3. I would promise free-to-air TV world-wide.

 

Other factors:

4. 16 circuits would be offered secure deals for Grand Prix races, with long contracts and no hosting fee.

 

Might no longer be a billionairer after all that, but what's the good of money if you don't enjoy it.
 

Nice one. What is the World Championship title?

 

Just praying that there are some billios that think that way...

 

Of course we are forgetting another alternative, which would be just buying the whole thing from Liberty once they decide to cash out. The problem, of course, is that the package comes complete with all the putrid parts...


Edited by Gravelngrass, 26 May 2024 - 21:41.


#32 PlatenGlass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 21:46

Some of the stuff would be the same as I put in the recent thread about improving F1 - https://forums.autos...now/?p=10487958 and https://forums.autosport.com/topic/225341-its-2024-how-would-you-improve-f1-right-now/?p=10504209

 

However, since this is not F1 but an alternative, there would be more freedom for change without worrying about it being "in the DNA" of F1.

 

And one of the main problems with F1 is that it has very little credibility as a competition for drivers, outside fans of F1 at least. If you disagree with me, I don't trust your opinion anyway because you're an F1 fan so there's a selection bias! So yes, I would not have teams. Every driver would have the same spec car and it would be a competition for drivers. As long as this series could be made generally good in other ways (entertaining racing in cars that look fast and gets crowds), this would become attractive to the drivers - well all those not in the best F1 car of the day anyway. No more spending years trying to get into a good car to prove yourself. Just be good enough to get into the championship at all and you're there.

 

Imagine driver stats having actual meaning. When you look at in e.g. tennis or golf and you see how many major tournaments players have won, it's a proper objective meaningful mark of the player. F1 has never had that. This series would. And by the way, I feel the need to head off comments like "Why don't you just watch x spec series?" because this often comes up. That would miss the point. This isn't about any old spec series. This is about getting the best drivers in the world into a series where they can compete on an equal footing against each other.

 

Some of the stuff I put in the other thread - I'd have about three times as many drivers per meeting as go in a race. Then after qualifying you could have an A, B and C race. This would make it a much more open formula with maybe 78 drivers (assuming 26 in a race). Plus it would not need to be the same 78 all year. The lower ranked drivers could swap about based on performance and how they do in e.g. qualifying tournaments. But the high-scoring drivers would be safe from any sort of demotion. Like grand slam tennis I suppose.

 

I'd make sure the cars would be able to follow and overtake properly. Obviously I'd work with engineers to achieve this, but I'm not bothered about losing the wings and downforce generally if need be - but there'd be no crappy compromises based on vested interests. Reducing braking power would probably help here too. This is more about the drivers than the cars, but the cars would still be quick, and they'd look quick as the drivers pushed them to their limits.

 

There would also be just one type of dry tyre that would last a race. Changing tyres would generally be for wets or if there is a puncture. We don't need artificial gimmicks like pitstops when it's all about the racing! The cars would generally be simple, with just the controls to drive the car. No proliferation of buttons on the steering wheel.

 

But basically - raceable, simple, spec cars, no teams and an open series where drivers move up and down the ladder purely depending on their results.



#33 AlexS

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 21:53

Much better tracks. Assuring that various trajectories are valid for at least a couple corners.



#34 Gravelngrass

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 22:57

Some of the stuff would be the same as I put in the recent thread about improving F1 - https://forums.autos...now/?p=10487958 and https://forums.autos...now/?p=10504209

However, since this is not F1 but an alternative, there would be more freedom for change without worrying about it being "in the DNA" of F1.

And one of the main problems with F1 is that it has very little credibility as a competition for drivers, outside fans of F1 at least. If you disagree with me, I don't trust your opinion anyway because you're an F1 fan so there's a selection bias! So yes, I would not have teams. Every driver would have the same spec car and it would be a competition for drivers. As long as this series could be made generally good in other ways (entertaining racing in cars that look fast and gets crowds), this would become attractive to the drivers - well all those not in the best F1 car of the day anyway. No more spending years trying to get into a good car to prove yourself. Just be good enough to get into the championship at all and you're there.

Imagine driver stats having actual meaning. When you look at in e.g. tennis or golf and you see how many major tournaments players have won, it's a proper objective meaningful mark of the player. F1 has never had that. This series would. And by the way, I feel the need to head off comments like "Why don't you just watch x spec series?" because this often comes up. That would miss the point. This isn't about any old spec series. This is about getting the best drivers in the world into a series where they can compete on an equal footing against each other.

Some of the stuff I put in the other thread - I'd have about three times as many drivers per meeting as go in a race. Then after qualifying you could have an A, B and C race. This would make it a much more open formula with maybe 78 drivers (assuming 26 in a race). Plus it would not need to be the same 78 all year. The lower ranked drivers could swap about based on performance and how they do in e.g. qualifying tournaments. But the high-scoring drivers would be safe from any sort of demotion. Like grand slam tennis I suppose.

I'd make sure the cars would be able to follow and overtake properly. Obviously I'd work with engineers to achieve this, but I'm not bothered about losing the wings and downforce generally if need be - but there'd be no crappy compromises based on vested interests. Reducing braking power would probably help here too. This is more about the drivers than the cars, but the cars would still be quick, and they'd look quick as the drivers pushed them to their limits.

There would also be just one type of dry tyre that would last a race. Changing tyres would generally be for wets or if there is a puncture. We don't need artificial gimmicks like pitstops when it's all about the racing! The cars would generally be simple, with just the controls to drive the car. No proliferation of buttons on the steering wheel.

But basically - raceable, simple, spec cars, no teams and an open series where drivers move up and down the ladder purely depending on their results.



I honestly wouldn’t mind a spec series with the best drivers. And I have advocated on different threads for races without stops.

What I’m not sure of, however, is if drivers really would like equal cars, on one hand, and how enforceable equal cars would be. The other question one has to ask in this case is, who would be interested in taking part and financing the cars (can you have equal cars if you have teams and if you don’t have teams, who would invest in the cars other than the original billionaire that creates the series).This, of course, is not to say I wouldn’t like it.

The amount of drivers you mention sounds large, especially if you have to do more races per weekend to accommodate all. I’m not sure you could gather so many of the highest level and if this wouldn’t somehow devalue each individual driver. But I love the idea of having meaningful driver stats for the first time ever…

#35 pdac

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Posted 26 May 2024 - 23:00

#1 most important thing - get broadcast contracts in place with broadcasters that have big reach and will publicise events like crazy. If you want to be big, you have to have everyone know about it and be able to see what it's all about. Once you have that, make sure you deliver on people's expectations.

 

You need to get the audience first and then sort out the racing - not the other way around.


Edited by pdac, 26 May 2024 - 23:01.


#36 juicy sushi

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 00:24

Not sure about downforce levels from 2022 compared to, say, 2021, but I would say they are higher now. The racing though (not championship fights) was not that great then either. So should we go back to no-ground effect cars with less aero then?

Looking at the lessons from Indycar’s work on bodywork to improve racing, I think you’d want to aim for 80% of the downforce to come from the underbody, but also for the cars to make only 50% of current levels. So, much shorter-chord, single element wings, with smaller tunnels than now.

#37 Gravelngrass

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 01:03

#1 most important thing - get broadcast contracts in place with broadcasters that have big reach and will publicise events like crazy. If you want to be big, you have to have everyone know about it and be able to see what it's all about. Once you have that, make sure you deliver on people's expectations.

You need to get the audience first and then sort out the racing - not the other way around.

Agree that broadcasting is one of the main points to think about. However, if I did market research and the result was, for example, that they want something very similar to what F1 already is, I would not go ahead with the project, as much profit as it would bring.
For this idea, I’d come up with the type of racing I think has a niche that could make it sustainable or, hopefully, profitable, but the general idea of the product would already exist: a series with the highest probability of good on-track racing. In other words, no traditional market before product but rather find a market that likes my product. Maybe against all marketing concepts, but I think it’s time to start putting the market further down in the list of priorities. And not just in auto racing, but that’s for another forum…

Edited by Gravelngrass, 27 May 2024 - 01:03.


#38 Gravelngrass

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 01:07

Looking at the lessons from Indycar’s work on bodywork to improve racing, I think you’d want to aim for 80% of the downforce to come from the underbody, but also for the cars to make only 50% of current levels. So, much shorter-chord, single element wings, with smaller tunnels than now.



I’m sure from the research of Indy and F1 only, you have enough information to come up with the best car for close racing possible. It’s basically mostly a matter of will, resources of course and, probably most important, lack of politics…

#39 juicy sushi

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 02:39

Let's say you were a motor racing loving millio (billio?) naire who's sick of F1.
 
What are the main three things you would do to maximize the probability that your new racing series could truly compete with F1?

 1.  Free distribution via multiple easy to access media channels.  I'd want free to air TV carrying the series in multiple countries, plus youtube.  
 
2.  An annual marketing budget for the series of at least $100 million USD.  With very experienced individuals overseeing the effort.
 
3.  A willingness to run the series for a decade while losing massive amounts of money each year.
 

What other factors do you think would be important?

 Better camera work to improve the visual spectacle is key.  You want to chose camera angles which show the speed, rather than zooming out to give clear shots of lots of cars circulating.  The marketing needs to focus on social media, with plenty of easy to find links and clear info on when and where they can see all the races and other sessions.
 
Also, tickets for events need to be cheap.  I'd look at WEC or Formula E pricing as the guide.  F1 is a premium experience, but a start up cannot command those prices.  You want packed grandstands.  So you want things cheap enough that families can pack them.
 

Not looking for another "what would you do to improve in F1" thread, but rather, what would you do to "dethrone" F1 as the "premier" open wheel racing series?

 The only way to dethrone F1 is to make the alternative series something which the average person considers more important to win.  You can't overtake the heritage of F1.  So you need to do it by having all the stars, and all the brands.  You need to be the "mostest" of something.  
 

Would you try to convince the best drivers to switch series?

 Of course.  You need the big names to get the public recognition, and have the street cred.  You'd need at least the current McLaren drivers, Alonso, Verstappen, Leclerc, Sainz, and Hamilton.  You also need at least Ferrari, McLaren, and either Mercedes or Aston Martin.
 

Would you come up with a car formula that had the highest probability of creating close, on-track racing?

 There is no point in going for being the fastest.  If you want to outdo F1 you need to provide more drama and memorable moments, which means you need better racing.   So, to that end, I'd be looking at open-wheel race cars which must fix within a 4.5 metre x 2 metre  x 1 metre box, weighing 600kg.  I would insist on a spec tub, front and rear suspension, and since this is rivalling F1, a spec gearbox and electronics.  The teams can create their own bodywork, but the underbody is spec, and cars much be wind-tunnel tested and matched, with all cars having a downforce/drag ratio of 3:1 with single element front wings of specified dimensions, and a spec rear wing.  I don't want teams ruining the racing by trying to spend a ton on aerodynamic development.  The entire point is to keep the racing as close as possible and making the points of differentiation quality of preparation, strategy, teamwork, and driving talent.  We want to be bigger than F1, so while I would like to do an EV series, for the sake of public engagement, it's got to be 3-litre V10s putting out 750hp on carbon-neutral bio-fuel (the current fuel being supplied to WEC Hypercar teams would be ideal).  Spec slick tires of probably F2 dimensions would work great, although I'd probably want the rules worked out so you could either run a race with no stops, or 1-2 stops, with the rough time difference between the two strategies being the same.  There will be no DRS, or P2P.  Put on your big boy or big girl pants and send it.
 

Would you create rules that are conducive to better racing?

 Indycar blocking rules, and no testing at tracks on the season calendar.
 

Would you try to attract the most important auto manufacturers to the series?

 Of course.  If you want the fans, you need brands they've heard of.  So I'd be trying to entice, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes or Aston-Martin, Porsche, VAG, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and GM or Ford to the party.  Ideally it'd be 12 2-car teams, but If fewer brands are in, 3 car teams can also work.
 

Is F1 beatable at all as an open-wheel racing series, especially in what appears to be its most popular times?

 Yes.  People want drama, and DTS was good at providing the human side of the series broad exposure, but if they're watching the races, they want action.  They want passing, cool looking cars, and tight battles with multiple protagonists.  F1's regular failure to provide that means there is an opening for other forms of the sport to thrive, with enough promotion to make people aware of it. 
 

Or is it just not possible to replace it, so you would focus on creating a championship that attracts other niches such as older audiences who are nostalgic for certain elements of "their era of F1", or would be OK with a spec chapionship? 
 
Would love to hear your inputs. Who knows, maybe Stroll or Norris Sr. take a look and get ideas...

I think that engineering purists would be incredibly offended at the idea of spec chassis and minimal aerodynamic development.  I also think that they are not the majority of F1 fans, and most fans would probably happily trade "purity" for regular endings to races similar to the last 20 laps of the Indy 500, rather than the last 20 laps of Monaco.  You would also get a lot more casuals joining in to that kind of drama, rather than seeing the best car win.


Edited by juicy sushi, 27 May 2024 - 02:44.


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#40 Jackmancer

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 02:50

Manufacturer series, basically a faster F2.



#41 r4mses

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 03:54

Doing the opposite of whatever Liberty does sounds like a save bet to longterm success.



#42 messy

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 08:26

Super Formula or F2 cars would be fine, and a tour of all the best ‘classic’ tracks rather than the ones that bring in the most revenue. Basically fantasy selection of the best circuits in any video game. I haven’t thought any further forward than that. Let ‘em race.

#43 cjm321190

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 10:29

I would not do that. I would make an indycar Europe with a better selection of circuits even if slightly lesser grade. That would kill F1. Reasonably priced racing.

Edited by cjm321190, 27 May 2024 - 10:29.


#44 krapmeister

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 10:42

Open up team entries to anyone, mandate the DW-12/IR-18 as the spec chassis for perpetuity and make the Indy 500 part of the calendar - basically turn F1 into Indycar.

Mwahahahahahaa....

#45 pdac

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 10:50

Agree that broadcasting is one of the main points to think about. However, if I did market research and the result was, for example, that they want something very similar to what F1 already is, I would not go ahead with the project, as much profit as it would bring.
For this idea, I’d come up with the type of racing I think has a niche that could make it sustainable or, hopefully, profitable, but the general idea of the product would already exist: a series with the highest probability of good on-track racing. In other words, no traditional market before product but rather find a market that likes my product. Maybe against all marketing concepts, but I think it’s time to start putting the market further down in the list of priorities. And not just in auto racing, but that’s for another forum…

 

Having worked within and alongside the market research industry for nearly 50 years, I would say that if you have done your market research correctly and it shows that people want something very similar to F1, then I would abandon any idea of starting a rival series and either look for a niche market (which will be small-fry) or look at a completely different sport or business area.

 

The caveat to that, of course, is people, more often than not, do not conduct market research correctly - it costs money and most are not prepared to spend enough to get more than an overview.


Edited by pdac, 27 May 2024 - 10:52.


#46 F1matt

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 11:10

This used to be a straightforward question and like many of us I could come up with plenty of suggestions. The sport has headed off in a different direction over the last couple of years and there is so much focus on non racing factors, fake rivalries, focus on team principals, and now a focus on drivers girlfriends watching from the pits. Would a breakaway series be aimed at traditional F1 fans or the OK magazine crowd? I know which one will provide the most revenue but that probably wouldn't be the series that would survive long term.

 

If I was focusing on the cars themselves (as I am a motorsport fan) I would make any rivals series have much lighter cars, 24 to 26 car grids, guaranteed seat for the F2 champion, no pit to car radio, maximum of 6 mechanics in a pit stop, at least two tyre manufacturers, no DRS, standard floor with no attachments allowed, and standard mirrors. 

 

Don't really need a breakaway to bring much of the above in, just some good leadership and long term planning for the sport. 



#47 lustigson

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:30

  • First lure Ferrari, the rest will likely follow
  • Aim for 24-26 cars: if required allow for third cars, but maybe rev-limited and/or no points scoring
  • Allow for year-old customer cars, but no WCC points (i.e. only self-built cars win WCC title)
  • Schedule based on Grandes Épreuves to build on pre-WWII motor racing as well as modern-day F1
  • Single seater, maybe closed cockpit, very limited aero (however that may be possible), circa 550-600 kg
  • ICE anywhere between 2.5 and 3.5 litres, but with sustainable/renewable fuel
  • No refuelling
  • No more than, say, 17 races per year, perhaps additional non-championship races, e.g. with junior drivers
  • 2-day race weekends: 2 practice sessions in the morning, 1 qualifying session in the afternoon, Sunday warm-up, and a race
  • 90+ minutes / 350+ km races / shared drives allowed (just for the fun of it)
  • Wins mean weight ballast (sorry)

Edited by lustigson, 27 May 2024 - 12:33.


#48 Spillage

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:32

Can I change the circuits too? Becau if so I'd like every corner with gravel. There should be no room for mistakes.

#49 pdac

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:58

Can I change the circuits too? Becau if so I'd like every corner with gravel. There should be no room for mistakes.

 

I'd just like every circuit have barriers right on the edge of the track. Definitely no room for mistakes.



#50 Gravelngrass

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Posted 27 May 2024 - 12:59

No DRS, limited number of push-to-pass per race, the fewer rules the better, promoting engineering ingenuity.

And most importantly than anything else, no pit->driver radio. Once on track, the driver is on its own. No more data- and pit-driven racing where the driver is just an extension of machine learning strategy models.


Yeah, I think not many realize how detrimental to good racing,and unexpected situations and results, the whole remote-driving paradigm is. It has basically managed to make an activity that used to be enjoyable precisely because it had a lot of randomness, into an ascetic, colorless, control-freak driven thing that has lost its soul.
A new series would have to strive to bring the human element to the forefront, severely limiting the influence of data and optimization via technology.