Did the rule changes work?


Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
The rule changes before the start of the 2009 season were the biggest seen in the sport for a long time and they were introduced with the aim of improving the spectacle. 4 years later and it's inconclusive.

2004-8 saw 4 different champions while 2009-13 has seen just 2 and had Brawn/Honda not fired a fluke in 2009, Vettel would have reeled off 5 championships in a row, looking at the 2009 championship, Vettel finished 14 points (in old money) ahead of the next non Brawn car in Webber and 35 points ahead of Hamilton in the first non Brawn/RBR car, obviously points totals would be a lot different if Brawn hadn't existed or their 2009 car hadn't hit the sweetspot but I think Red Bull would have walked both titles if that was the case

The new regulations had the aim of improving overtaking but in 2009 there were actually less overtakes than in 2006-8 and these days the uber high 1000+ overtakes are severely affected by the later additions of KERS/DRS/Pirelli tyres. While hindsight is a wonderful thing, looking back, was it a case of (at least on the whole) if it aint broke, dont fix it? Particularly as in 2007 and 2008 we had some of the closest title finishes in recent memory and the same would have been in 2006 if Schumacher hadn't suffered an engine failure in Japan.

Aesthetically the cars are a lot worse and the rule changes proved to be their own downfall with the noses, particularly last year with the stepped nose, compare that to the MP4-23 for example, certainly todays cars are minimalist in comparison to the cars of pre 2009.

It does seem ironic that a set of rule changes designed to improve racing and overtaking inadvertently led to the domination of a different team with Red Bull, would Vettel/Red Bull have won as many titles if the rules fundamentally stayed the same after 2008 with only the usual few tweaks? Who knows, but I wouldn't have seen Red Bull being title contenders in 2009 anyway.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a thread slagging off all of the rule changes implemented in the big shake up and there was good that came out of it, the reintroduction of slick tyres being the main one and I do think KERS does improve racing, it's just overkill when combined with the needless DRS and the extreme nature of the Pirelli tyres. It does seem like the rule changes have done a lot more harm than they did good and perhaps they tried to mend something too much that didn't need an overhaul instead of a few tweaks here and there
Most races are decided at the first corner these days. And overtaking without DRS is still as rare as hen's teeth in the dry.
The gap would have been still wider in 2006 had not Alonso suffered one of the worst penalties in F1 followed by an engine failure. Both drivers had two DNFs, so it pretty well evened out.

During the years 2000 to 2005 there was domination by one team and driver, in the years 2005 to 2009 the teams were much closer together due largely to Ferrari losing most of their most important personnel. This has been followed from 2010 on by one team being dominant, so it is just a return to the early years of the century.

As regards to the changes I do think that there has been no improvement in the racing for the committed fans but the casual fans have been fooled into thinking that the racing has improved. In my opinion going to extremes was a mistake and trying to win popularity by introducing "green" rules is doomed to failure.

What has hurt has been tightening the rules so that their is no room for a lower team to find a chink by a touch of originality as Brawn did. Open the rules more, make them simpler and we might see something.
Its the tyre conservation above all else that I think they got wrong. I can live with everything else. Sure the DRS zones are sometimes to long, but most of the time they help just enough so we actually get to see some overtaking.

The thing ruining racing is the tyres. They should make tyres that can be thrashed for a whole race but make 2 pit stops compulsory to mix things up. That way we still get pit stop drama but also get to see drivers racing at 100% and not 90% because of tyre conservation.
Depends on what you mean by 'work'? Some of the changes aimed at saving money did work for a while, but the changes didn't fix the slippery slope that exists in this area so we are now heading back to where we began.

I think the changes did work if you ask whether they opened up new areas of development - blown diffusers especially - and whether they achieved the aim of all these regular big changes, to reset technology and slow cars down for safety reasons.

But did they increase overtaking? Definitely not. I think this was largely because of the diffuser arms race making it harder than ever to follow in a car trying to overtake. Imagine how much turbulence these cars now create and how hard it must be for a front wing to work in such circumstances. The unintended consequences of change...
Ever since the disinte-Pirellis came on line, the most frequent topics in F1 news reporting have revolved around either Vettel's dominance or some argy-bargy with Pirelli and/or Paul "B.B." Hembery. How you could term that anything but an abject failure is beyond me. They have turned F1 into a spec racing series, but we have nothing to show for it.

The FIA are completely incapable of fixing what has caused the dearth of overtaking in F1 because they refuse to acknowledge their role in it. You can't fix bas rules with even more bad rules. They are willing to make F1 slower in the interest of demonstrating fealty to The New Green Religion, but not in the cause of returning the sport to its roots and saving it from its own devices.
significant rule changes

- 1986 - turbos only championship - be it by disqualifying Tyrell from the voting procedure

Despite teams saying the best way to go Renault who pioneered it were faltering , BMW were great for 1 lap but could never last the distance, Porsche were falling behind the competition. Honda came out on top being to find more power than others and whoever was bolted with a Honda unless you're Nakajima tended to be amongst the front runners

Ferrari thought they cracked it and were adamant turbos should be allowed when and thought they had a chance until they were blown away by MClaren.

1989 - non turbos - Mclaren Honda were still the team to beat although Mansell showed he could mix it with them

1990-1991 - First Ferrari then Williams with Renault and occassionally Benetton proved they could challenge Mclaren
1992 - Williams find a significant performance gain in active suspension and semi automatic gearbox with traction control and decimate the opposition
1993 - narrower tyres and smaller wings - results the same Williams dominant despite Senna's best efforts and Prost being a bit clumsy

1994 - no active suspension and traction control and refueling throws Williams off with Benetton outsmarting everyone with pit stop strategy

1995-1997 Williams were the superior car always and only pegged back by the Schumacher/ Brawn/ Bryne combination. However 1997 it was noticeable the gap between the rest was a lot closer in the races

1998 - 2000 - Mclaren were generally the fastest car but pegged back by Ferari with reliable issues and team bungles plus superior strategy and race craft

2001-2004 - Ferrari walkover - the only real change was traction control being allowed and bridgestone decided to favour what Ferrari said and there was no testing restriction

The points change in 2003 was to stop Ferrari dominating and it worked with the ever consistent Raikkonen proving hard to dispose of as well as single lap qualifying with race fuel and no warm up meant it stopped Schumacher dominating but they worked out in 2004 that having a clear track with little fuel sometimes helps

2005 - for one season - tyres must last a whole race completely destroys Ferrari's season except at Imola where Bridgestone proved to be the tyre to be. Obviously Indyfarce was one of the ugly consequences of this rule

the aggregrate qualifying proved unpopular and dropped

2006 - back to tyres allowed to be changed. At first it appears 4 teams were the pace setters HOnda, Ferrari, Renault and Mclaren but only Ferrari and Renault managed to sustain the pace

2007 -2008 Ferrari and Mclaren were too dominant teams

2009 - groove tyres gone back to slicks and it was expected that KERs was going to play a big part but most of the teams read the rulebooks wrongly and did not realise double diffusers was more signifcant which causes mass hysterics amongst the front runners
the recession meant cost cutting introduced with no in season testing which seriously hurt teams with the resources to test

BRawn, Toyota and Williams steal a signifcant march until the leading teams catch up with only Brawn still in contention for wins

2010 - the closest championship in years and it helped to negate the superior aerodynamic Red Bull to some extent with the F Duct

2011 - no DD but the exhaust blown diffuser and Pirelli tyres was the most significant to Red Bull's domination.

2012 - EBD was banned ,Red Bull initially had MClaren and Ferrari and occasionally Lotus challenge until end season revision for Asia rounds seems to pull them clear of the rest with only Mclaren showing any pace to match

2013 - the single biggest change is the tyre farce that Pirelli created
Rule changes creates a small window of opportunity for other teams to catch up for the time being until the teams with the resources work out where they've gone wrong and soon continue their dominance.

It depends how big a change it would have to the existing leading teams in whether other teams can compete even a designer like Newey has been caught out - 1994 and 2009

Adrian NEwey is not attending the flyaway races as he is already thinking about 2014 car !
Remember in Canada 2010 when the race turned into a lottery because Bridgestones did not last that was the race where Bernie thought tyres must not last the whole race to create that lottery and unpredictablity
Current regulations means it is very reliant on designer input and its very difficult to get the gap back especially if the wind tunnel readings do not correlate to the track as Ferrari have found to their cost and so have other teams this season - Mclaren, Sauber and Williams

Ferrari's dominance relied heavily on unlimited testing because they had their own tracks to test if they could not go to Barcelona to test and usually with two test drivers which is why Luca so desperately wants 3rd cars because only them, Red Bull and Mercedes could run one

Its only in 2011 when they found their wind tunnel was outdated to the others that they bought the Toyota wind tunnel
Don't think the rule changes came in at the right time.

The field in 2008 was closing in, BMW were taking the challenge up to the big guns of Ferrari and McLaren, with Renault closing in.

The midfield battle was ever close with Red Bull, Renault, Torro Rosso, Toyota and Williams all fighting closely in the races.

The one thing that came out of the rule changes was, the rise of Force India.

2009 was an abysmal season, especially compared to the highly exciting 2008 one. 2010 was quite interesting with 3 teams fighting it out, but after that one team romped away.

The changes were done for the good of the sport, can't be faulted that one team and engine supplier peaked and out smarted the rest.
It depends how big a change it would have to the existing leading teams in whether other teams can compete even a designer like Newey has been caught out - 1994 and 2009

Newey had a shocker loosing streak with Mclaren 1999-2005 No championship. Actually 10 years loosing streak as it continued for 4 years with redbull. He can make mistakes. Just not recently.
I enjoyed the racing between 2005-08 for me those years were brilliant.

Overtaking while was hard at times but it when someone over took it was worked for and not silly gadgets to help. I remember when Takuma Sato in a Super Aguri overtook Alonso and Ralf Schumacher in the same corner at the Canadian GP in 07 or 08?.
Plus who could forget Hamilton's overtake on Raikkonen in the 2007 Italian GP.
For me the art of overtaking has gone. It no longer looks real. I loved the aspect of chasing someone down and trying to out think them into corners.
I also agree the tyres haven't helped racing at all recently :).
So to conclude on that no I don't think it worked :).
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Aside from the little advantages Ferrari made into those rules with traction control and getting Bridgestone to do everything for them

Neweye did not help himself by signing for Jaguar then deciding to U-turn which lost the trust of Mclaren and they apparently got a mole to keep tabs on him for that . I think Newey was responsible for the Mp4-19 which never raced but was fast apparently

Mercedes also should share their blame for trying to reintegrate the engine building from Ilmor into another corporate division and the downfall of numerous engine failures Mclaren seems to have suffer from
The creation of a strict set of all encompassing rules will never improve the variation of approach, specialisation of excellence or open the window to genuine engineering inspiration.

The changes we had constricted experimentation and the "artificial" aids gave a very brief spread of exploitation, but have now focused development and been largely marginalised.

So what makes F1 exciting? Well, Newey and Red Bull are doing a great job of exploiting the current rule set, unfortunately they are also well funded and protected from other "out of the box thinking" as Braun's 2009 double diffuser must never be allowed to happen again (apparently), McLaren's F-Duct and the Red Bull flexible wing (that didn't - obviously) are legislated out of the current competition, so Red Bull are the black hole of F1 with everything of note being drawn to them.

Let's hope this changes before Newey retires or Seb gets bored of records. I have a great hope that 2014 will be a significant change that may re-set the basis of competition for a few years, but for heaven's sake when will people realise that if we had constricted the rules like this through F1 history we would never have had Lotus, Brabham, McLaren Gordon Murray or Adrian Newey.... to name a few
The rule changes worked.

2009 was a fabulous season. 10 teams entered, 8 of them got on the podium and another should have. At times you literally had no idea who would be competitive!

2010 saw a ludicrous championship battle of ups and downs, with 3 teams and 5 drivers going into the penultimate race with a chance. The F-Duct stands as one of F1's greatest innovations for years!

2011 saw Hamilton's drive in China, Button's last lap win in Canada, fighting McLarens galore in Hungary and plenty more going on behind Vettel.

2012 saw 7 winners in the first 7 races, the duel on the hill in Austin, and a mano-a-mano championship battle between Vettel and Alonso decided quite late on in the day, and by only a couple of points!

So 2013 hasn't been the best season ever. So four of the five seasons have been won by the same man. No set of rules can both reward innovation and protect against some designer just getting it right...
Following the season...Rule changes...
2009 - Double diffuser banned,
2010 - F-Duct banned,
2011 - Typical "Best of the Rest" season - Brought us DRS... Whoooppeee :rolleyes:
2012 - No team managed to drive on the tyres for the first half of the season, second half dominated with the Red Bull flexible wing... Banned,
2013 - Tyres rule again, Red Bull dominating 2nd half... again
2010 - F-Duct banned,

If the question is the 2008-09 rule changes the answer is yes. If the question is whether removing McLaren's competitive advantage, stymieing creativity and rejecting one of the smartest ideas of the century because some teams could not use it sensibly...

This is the biggest error of this circuit.
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