Can F1 be as "clean as Nascar"?

McZiderRed

Champion Elect
Supporter
As F1 battles with it's demons, is Nascar a shining beacon of truth?

According to Maurice Hamilton's article, in today's Observer, the ever popular series in America has not just lessons on how to correct a wrong, but on why it's probably best to keep things simple.


Nascar is no more immune to rule?bending than any other form of sport but the France family, who founded the series in 1948, use a home-made rod of iron to rule the second most popular spectator sport in the United States. There have been outrageous attempts at cheating – a competitor once went so far as make the shell of his car 10% smaller than the actual size – but offenders are dealt with swiftly. Nascar's word is final.
Compare that to this quote from Jackie Stewart.

I understand the FIA had knowledge of this (the Piquet scandal) last November," Stewart said on BBC Radio 5 Live. "It's also been reported that it was brought to their attention again in April of this year. If that's the case, why was it not dealt with at that time?
From those two quotes, maybe Nascar's "rod of iron" may not go amis in F1...

The above is, maybe, a simplistic way of looking the way to run a sport, but I think the FIA and other governing bodies (yes, I'm looking at you, FA) can learn a lot from this philosophy. A governing body with backbone. that's the way to run a sport...

Keep it simple. Nascar. Not usual bedfellows, I hear you say. But, and the end of the day, or season, the drivers, the crowd and TV audience know that they'll get a fair result. OK, the points system may seem overly complicated to the average F1 fan, but everyone in Nascar knows where they are and how the points work. The drivers, the teams and the fans know what product they're watching, and they love it! Just look at the crowd numbers.

Personally, I reckon that F1 can learn a lot from Nascar. Not by directly cloning the format. But by taking a leaf or two from the "how to run a successful racing event" from the Nascar manual. Page one - meet the expectations of the fans!

Source - http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/20 ... oya-nascar

For your information, today's result from Dover oval:

  • 1. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
    2. Mark Martin Chevrolet
    3. Matt Kenseth Ford
    4. Juan Montoya Chevrolet
    5. Kurt Busch Dodge
    6. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
    7. A.J. Allmendinger Dodge
    8. Kasey Kahne Dodge
    9. Tony Stewart Chevrolet
    10. Ryan Newman Chevrolet

Championship standings:

  • 1. -- Mark Martin 5400 Leader
    2. -- Jimmie Johnson 5390 -10
    3. +1 Juan Montoya 5335 -65
    4. +1 Kurt Busch 5325 -75
    5. +1 Tony Stewart 5294 -106
    6. -3 Denny Hamlin 5292 -108
    7. -- Ryan Newman 5290 -110
    8. +2 Jeff Gordon 5278 -122
    9. -- Greg Biffle 5262 -138
    10. -2 Brian Vickers 5249 -151
    11. -- Carl Edwards 5247 -153
    12. -- Kasey Kahne 5211 -189

Montoya is third! :o
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Well I don't know exactly how NASCAR deals with any transgressions, but I made the same point about the Renault case a while ago.

By all accounts, Bernie, Max and Charlie Whiting were all aware of the Singapore issue many months ago, some of them even as far back as last November.

I don't care whether it was a rumour or even a suspected case of sour grapes, each one of those individuals had an obligation to report it/investigate it as well as they could.
Even a rudimentary check of the telemetry would have identified an issue which then could have been investigated further.

The argument that is usually thrown back is that Piquet was refusing to testify until now and only after being granted immunity was he prepared to own up.
Well if the FIA had investigated it when they were first aware of it, maybe Piquet would have confessed, or even Symonds, or perhaps the mysterious "Witness X" would have come forward.

I get the impression this whole issue was pretty much an open secret judging by the number of people who knew or suspected.
And if Piquet had never made his statement then what? This issue would never have come to light?
That's a disgraceful way to deal with incidents of this sort.

Once again the FIA have been seen to be severely lacking when it comes to governing the sport.
But this seems to be the culture within F1 and the FIA at the present.
The penalty Renault received has been severely lambasted by the majority of people and yet Max Mosley seems to think it was fair, while Bernie thinks it was too severe and Renault didn't really do anything wrong?

A change at the top, both Bernie & Max, is the only way to resolve the current problems within Formula One, in my opinion.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Because F1 has been administered by people who have personal agendas and it's riven with petty squabbles - Simples
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
I agree with MH and was ready to make a similar post this morning.

Thanks to Max's regime, who has overseen the introduction of stricter and stricter 'racing rules' and penalties for the transgressions of such rules, any chance of actual racing yesterday was ruined by the penalties to Rosberg, Vettel*, Webber. We see it every race, petty and minor infringements with no real impact that screws up a decent race.

Whilst the above did break the rules, as they are written, did they really gain any advantage, and was it an advantage so great as to warrant the penalties? Webber you could argue, but why the hell have a track 40 ft wide and only be able to race in 20ft of it anyway?

*Nascar do have drive throughs for pit-lane speeding infringements, but they also have the benefit of caution periods so drivers don't lose so much. And they can also do that magical thing called overtaking, so drivers have a chance of getting back into the fight. But generally NASCAR lets the drivers race, and then gives out financial or points penalties afterwards, so the fans still get to see a good race.

I also read here (so am not sure if its correct, but it wouldn't surprise me) that the reason for one of the chicanes at Singapore is to make traffic across the bridge go in single file. Now, if the track is unsuitable for racing, then why are we racing on it?
I'm really starting to despair. On second thoughts, what's Ari's number, I want to be his PR man.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Muddytalker said:
Thanks to Max's regime, who has overseen the introduction of stricter and stricter 'racing rules' and penalties for the transgressions of such rules.... We see it every race, petty and minor infringements with no real impact that screws up a decent race.
Well you say that but I seem to remember Kimi going extremely wide at Spa with all 4 wheels well off the circuit and when he regained he had enough momentum to pass 2 cars on the straight.
It's funny but I don't recall seeing him penalised for that.

He did the same thing at Turkey last year and again wasn't penalised.

Conversely, last year when Lewis went off (well, was forced off) at the chicane, despite yielding and then dropping back behind Kimi and passing him on the other side he was penalised, even though Kimi crashed out so didn't ultimately benefit from Hamilton being penalised.
Strangely there was no rule against this at the time but the FIA conveniently invented one just to punish Hamilton.

Rather than the rules being strictly enforced, I would say the opposite.
We have seen too many cases where 1 driver is punished for 1 particular incident and yet another isn't.

As Speshal says, "F1 has been administered by people who have personal agendas and it's riven with petty squabbles".
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
But the point is that previously, that part of the track was either accessible, or lined with barriers.

I agree with your gist that Ferrari are penalised less, this I can't argue with. But remove the rules, and you remove the need for consistency.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Muddytalker said:
But remove the rules, and you remove the need for consistency.
Oh I couldn't agree more.
Formula One has, over the years, just become burdened with ever more rules and regulations.
Most of which haven't done anything to improve the racing.

Whether it's the aero rules which make every car identical.
Or the engine rules which make every car identical.
Or the testing rules which stop teams developing cars.
Or the racing rules which penalise drivers for trying to overtake.
Or even the stupid rules dictating that drivers are fined if they do not turn up for media events during a race weekend.

Hopefully if Ari takes over and when Bernie disappears, we might see a change in culture which will filter down.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I will admit to only having watched one NASCAR race in my life and being bored rigid. I can only equate the "spectacle" to a 200mph traffic jam, then it rained and the race stopped (I know racing on a banked track in the rain is dangerous but it was such a bad way to end a sporting event)

The whole thing seemed very contrived, the cars when viewed on the TV screen looked identical, rather than overtake some drivers took to pushing the car in front to go a bit quicker and the safety car was deployed every time someone spilt a drink in the grandstand. This had the effect of allowing the slower drivers, or those penalised to catch back up but isn't the point of a racing penalty supposed to be to put you at a disadvantage to your competitors as you have trangressed the rules? Correct me if I'm wrong but in some American race series the safety car has been deployed with the sole purpose of bunching the cars up for a grandstand finish, what the guys leading must think of this I don't know.

I would agree that there is too much "interpretation" of the rule book in F1, some offences appear to require sanction whilst other similar incidents are overlooked. However, I would hope that F1 could get it's house in order without taking lessons from NASCAR. I would also agree that there has been lots of hidden agendas in F1 over recent years. Perhaps the departure of Max, Ron Dennis and Flabio will herald a brave new world, we just need rid of the ring master.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
I agree in that sometimes NASCAR do throw a caution just to bunch the field up, but at other times it's needed. 200mph+, cars in very close order, you really don't want a bit of carbon fibre on the track looking for a tyre to shred.
Besides, is it any more contrived than the safety car not being sent out until the Brawns have made their pitstop, and then staying out for a few laps too long?

The ideal of American racing is that they need the fans, the paying public (and I think you can start to spot the differences early here, ladies and gents), to pay for the racing. In return, the public want to see racing. And overtaking. Yes the races can drag on a little, and you might think what's the point of racing for 390 laps if it all comes down to a 5 lap sprint at the end?
Well, the points structure is different for a start. There are rewards for leading the race, for leading the most laps, and the prize money goes all the way down the field. The early part of the race can often be a kind of test session, see how the car handles in short runs, long runs, etc, so you can then set up the car for the last 50 or so laps. But all the time, they are still racing, and trying different lines, thinking about where they can make passes. In F1, you have one line, dirty air, impossible to pass.

Drafting, bump drafting, side drafts, they are all a part of Nascar, and it's a part of the culture that you can't really equate to F1. However, do you know how they draft? Because they are close together, they are able to follow closely and gain an advantage through slip-streaming. We used to see it in F1. Another aspect is the 'buddying up' to catch on the leaders. I saw a race earlier this year when about 10 laps from the end a pair of guys around 6th & 7th, or 7th & 8th drafted together so well that they gained around half a second a lap on the leaders and came past on the last lap around 10mph quicker. They then had half a lap to fight it out themselves.

I also like the attitudes of the drivers. You've led a race for 199 of 200 laps, and going into the last bend have been taken out by your championship rival. In F1, teams would be protesting, appealing, fines get thrown around, appeals, then the forums are filled with is X's WC tainted? *yawn*...

In Nascar, it's 'No hard feelings, just a note to self that next time I'll be pushing you off, buddy'. It's give and take, and they respect that they are all there to win, but know that they will have another chance next week. Does Nico think he can be in contention for winning at Suzuka? Not a chance.

Addition: - Not to mention the commentators; Once you get past the accent, terminology and sponsor placements, they are more conversational, and less 'stiff' than UK commentators. Often they can just ramble, (anyone who has listened to TMS will know this is a 'marmite' situation) but they are all knowledgable, enthusiastic and entertain the audience. Again, they remember who pays for them to do this.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Muddytalker said:
Another aspect is the 'buddying up' to catch on the leaders. I saw a race earlier this year when about 10 laps from the end a pair of guys around 6th & 7th, or 7th & 8th drafted together so well that they gained around half a second a lap on the leaders and came past on the last lap around 10mph quicker. They then had half a lap to fight it out themselves.
That is great to watch in NASCAR.

The fact that cars which wouldn't be able to catch the car in front on their own but can by working together is what separates Nascar from other forms of motorsport.
 
Here is an example of the "Iron Fist' of NASCAR... Carl Long is a guy who often tries to qualify but as an owner driver with an extremely low budget rarely does. He was just fined 200,000 dollars, suspended for 12 races and docked 200 points for his engine exceeding the maximum displacement by .17 cubic inches. In his defense he bought it as a used engine from another team so therefore they are really the ones that broke the rule but NASCAR does not take cheating, particularly with the engine lightly. That pretty much puts Carl Long out of business, he only won $26k this year. He also now has -200 points, so even if he won a race (185 + 10 possible bonus points for leading a lap and leading the most laps) he would still have negative points.

NASCAR is not without their problems though, there is a yellow line rule at the super speedways (Daytona & Talladega) that causes issues. There is a yellow line around the bottom of the entire track that separates the racing surface from the apron. You are not allowed to cross the line (two tires is considered crossing) and advance your position. Before this rule under restarts and close to the finish people would be dropping wheels even into the grass to advance position which is just to dangerous but this has also had the affect of increasing blocking. Now they will just run you down to the yellow line or run on the yellow line which causes accidents as well as judgment calls on penalties.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Compare Carl Long's penalty with that of Renault and there really is no contest when it comes to ensuring the rules are adhered to.

As you say, a bit tough on Long and perhaps the original owners of the engine should also have been penalised but I guess there's no proof they ran it when it was over-capacity.
 
Brogan said:
Muddytalker said:
Another aspect is the 'buddying up' to catch on the leaders. I saw a race earlier this year when about 10 laps from the end a pair of guys around 6th & 7th, or 7th & 8th drafted together so well that they gained around half a second a lap on the leaders and came past on the last lap around 10mph quicker. They then had half a lap to fight it out themselves.
That is great to watch in NASCAR.

The fact that cars which wouldn't be able to catch the car in front on their own but can by working together is what separates Nascar from other forms of motorsport.
Another part that really impresses me is they are allowed no on board telemetry at all, the only link between the crew chief/engineer and what is going on with the car is what the driver tells him. To be able to feel whats wrong with a car on the edge is difficult but then to be able to articulate that at 170+ mph to your crew chief who then interprets that into changes to the car I think is pretty impressive.
 

veravista

Rookie
the only link between the crew chief/engineer and what is going on with the car is what the driver tells him - not sure that's strictly true ODB - I'm sure they have spotters in the grandstands to tell them if there are cars approaching from behind and whether to go high or low for the overtake.
 
The spotter tells the driver if he has a car on either side, if he is clear, or if a lane of cars is making a charge on a super speedway. He could also give him reference on who is running what line. But as far as handling changes of the car the spotter really has no say.
 
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