F1: All things to all men, or nothing to no man?


Staff Member
F1 is so contrived now it's ridiculous.

They attempt to save costs in some areas (engines, gearboxes, personnel, etc.) but not others (tyres, flying back and forth across the globe, no cap on spending).

They claim to be the pinnacle of motorsport and utilise technology found on road cars yet stifle innovation and ban anything which does eventually find its way onto road cars.

Besides which, when was the last time anyone saw a single seater open wheeled road car which can do 350KPH on tyres which last 20 kilometres, with no ABS, KERS which can only be used for 6 seconds every 2 minutes and an engine which revs to 18,000 RPM?

And don't get me started on the absolute farce that is DRS. The rules with regards to using that couldn't be more contrived and artificial if they tried. At least now they have aligned qualifying and race use.
The next step should be to kill it dead. Then burn it. Then bury it in a deep hole. Forever.

F1 is trying to be all things to all men and failing. Badly.

It's a load of ****ing bollocks!

(I was going to do a thread about this a few weeks ago but could never word it exactly how I wanted it to come across.)

Edit: Moved to a new thread.
:thumbsup: Damn straight!

Well Brogan you have just managed to say something I have been thinking in a lot fewer words than I've been posting to say more or less the same thing. Only I didn't think of using the irrelevance of F1 to road cars when thinking about it or writing it. Nevertheless that's pretty much what has been in the background of my head for a very long time.

Edit: Smoothly moved indeed! Nice one. Gloves are off let the fun begin!:)
Yes some things are broken but you can't have motor sport and no rules or the cars just get to fast, expensive and dangerous. So you have rules restricting tyres engines dimensions etc. the rules certainly need tweaked to rid us of DRS but still enjoy overtaking. And yes last weekends 6 lap soft tyres were a joke but we would be complaining if they lasted the whole race.

Tweeks not radical changes are what is needed.
I don't want f1 to end up like this..
Screen Shot 2013-04-17 at 14.57.55.png
Problem is I believe the cars would end up so fast the the human element wouldn't be able to keep up and you would have a situation where computers are doing almost everything just to keep the car from crashing. F1 should be about the pinnacle of 'racing' and for that I want the drivers in control not computers.
In which case the ECU needs to be removed and they need to revert to manual clutches and gearboxes.

This is precisely my point.
F1 doesn't know what it wants to be so it is a mish-mash of ideas, ideologies, and implementations.

No ABS, no TC, yet paddle shift gearbox and programmable ECU's and clutch bite points.
KERS but limited in energy re-use in terms of amount and duration.
Well it needs to be a mix of things you can't have teams build the fastest car they can build like they did in the 50's and 60's and expect drivers to be able to cope. Technology is just way to advanced, if you made the fastest car possible with no driver aids people would die. So you either restrict the technology or introduce driver aids. F1 has gone for a balanceā€¦ which needs tweaked.
Contrived? No. In fact the hallmark of the Pirelli era is the lack of contrived races. Its extremely difficult to predict with any certainty what the Final Classification of a GP will be. And if a faster car passes a slower car (which is the fundamental premise of the DRS), I fail to see how that's contrived either.

I often dream of an ideal world, where everything is just as it should be. Its a remarkable place where things run smoother than swiss timing. Money is no object and harmony reigns supreme. Then its back to the real world.....

The F1 you opine for cannot exist. This has been clear for a while now. The current iteration of F1 is thoroughly enjoyed by millions of people around the globe, and is indeed a fantastic product. Although there appears to be a growing opinion around here that F1 is quickly becoming a joke, I firmly believe this is a minority view on the whole.

Formula One has never been perfect and it never will be. You've got 16 more races to suffer through Bro, then you'll have a whole host of new issues to decry with the Turbos and whatnot.
My point is still being missed somewhat.

I don't particularly care what is and isn't permitted.
Just don't claim it is the "pinnacle of motorsport" when it clearly isn't.

And just because the races are unpredictable that doesn't mean it's not contrived.
The two are not linked, nor are they mutually exclusive.

DRS is contrived in both intent and implementation.
Deliberately degrading tyres to introduce at least one extra pit stop per race is contrived.
Forcing drivers to use one of each compound per race is contrived.
I could go on.
The whole man and machine vs. another man and machine can only be attained in one way: a strictly, to the letter spec series at F1 levels where absolutely everything, to the smallest detail, except the driver is identical. Do we want that?
That's exactly what I'm advocating against Porceliamone.

Give the teams free reign on design, strategy and tyre use.

Take the infamous McLaren F-Duct - banned.
Or the double diffuser - banned.
The "moveable aerodynamic rule" was even used to thwart Renault one season.

Yet flexing front wings are (were) permitted, for some strange reason.
Despite reams of evidence showing them to be illegal.

Allow the teams to innovate, coming up with new features and concepts, and only then can it class itself as the pinnacle.
With regard to "expense" frequent rule changes and safety improvements also cost money so that side of the argument is irrelevant. As far as the technology outstripping the driver's ability to use it, I would suggest that restricting engine size, horsepower and minimum weight is enough to keep the cars within reasonable limits of performance.

So we are left with the question "What is F1?". Well I know what it was. Once upon a time it was a competition between builders of fast cars using fast drivers to drive them as fast as possible. For builders it was about who could build the best and most advanced vehicle of its age. For the drivers it was about being the best at taming whatever beast was put into their hands for the purpose.

Safety improvements to circuits and the cars is a bona fide part of the equation in the evolution of the sport. Unfortunately there is a natural law of economics, the law of diminishing returns, that influences everything in the progression to some sort of perfection. F1 like every other human endeavour is not immune to this law. Essentially as the technology reaches the limits of its development the investment required is ever greater than the return in advances.

The way F1 has developed, the current format has reached the end of its useful life. As ever the sport itself has recognised this in the nick of time. 2014 will be a sea change, at least for while. Having said all that the pinnacle of motorsport as far as relevance to the automobile in general, has always been endurance racing. Sure, LMP1 is not faster round the corners but they've had the capacity to be faster in a straight line. The variety of approaches to the engineering challenge has persisted in LMP racing whereas it has long been neutered in F1.

The downside of all this is the diminishing attention span of an ever larger component of society who have been socially engineered to take the quick thrill and quick fix over the long, tense haul. As long as we have the choice to enjoy the two extremes and the variations in between I have no problem with that. But let's not deceive ourselves about what F1 is. It is a sprint formula trying to be an endurance one. The cars are thoroughbreds running on tyres that don't allow the sprinters to sprint. It is a technical challenge formula consigned to being a spec' formula.

The rules are constricting innovation and the excitement of revolutionary discovery. No motorsport formula can really claim to be the pinnacle having come to this. However, it can claim to be the apex and the end of itself if it can't be made any better than it is. The big picture question is "Is that where it is now or can its reinvention for 2014 give it a new life and take it somewhere where it has never been before?"

My brain hurts :givemestrength: now so I'll stop now and read on with interest,:goodday:
edit - (wrote this before seeing your last paragraph Fender)

Brogan What other series can claim the title of "Pinnacle" then?

As far as I'm concerned there's little doubt that F1 combines the most technologically marvelous vehicles in the world with the most talented drivers in the world, letting them duke it out at some of the finest circuits around the globe while under immense scrutiny and pressure to perform every time they take to the circuit.

Or are we talking like a "theoretical pinnacle", where F1 might have ventured in a Utopic vision of motor racing?
You would need to ask that question directly of F1.

I have no idea what it means when it refers to itself as that.

Well said Fenderman.
I think the comment about sprint and endurance racing is spot on; F1 doesn't even know which one of those it wants to be.
It's clearly a mix of sprint and endurance. Nobody exemplifies that better than Fernando. He can usually produce whatever lap time is needed of the current situation. F1 was more of an endurance series back in the day, but its definitely become more of a hybrid since the 70's. It did reach a point in the 2000's though where it was pretty much an all out sprint on bulletproof tires.
When was F1 closest to being the pinnacle of motorsport? Judging by most of the lap records in F1, the answer to that has to be 2004. The 2004 season, according to Galahad, had a "massive" 202 overtakes in the dry.

The tyres in 2004 were absolutely fantastic. Bloody brilliant they were. Of course, the fact that Bridgestone's tyres were slightly better than Michelins meant that doubt about who'd be the Champion barely even left Albert Park. It is difficult to forget that the next year saw tyres that'd last the whole race. Except at one race, where they weren't fit for purpose, because Michelin pushed the boundaries too much in the "tyre war", and thus 6 cars started.

Anyway, at least we didn't have DRS. We had the much less artificial spectacle of cars dumping loads of used air in a window a second behind him, such that no-one could overtake them, regardless of skill, ability or speed.

Not much from F1 gets onto road cars. Well, I think that is sort of the idea, is it not? F1 is, and always has been, about chasing speed within a set of regulations however loose or tight. Building a road car is not, and never will be, about pure speed. The ride comfort, boot capacity and passenger capacities of a F1 car are sadly lacking in comparison to anything that would be even remotely practicable to drive for anything other than motorsport. Not forgetting that the vast majority of public roads are speed limited.

So, as for banning innovation with regard to road cars, I very much doubt they're about to build a Nissan Micra with an engine blown diffuser, F-Duct or a steering wheel with more buttons than a tailor's top drawer.

As for sprint and endurance, well, again, it is sort of the point that F1 is neither. That there is a requirement to drive a car fast while keeping it intact. That has been the sport since the dawn of time, and it does create a certain level of interest not to have a clear blueprint for what makes the best driver. Senna vs Prost, Hamilton vs Button anyone?

If you want a free-for-all, with tyres that last and "natural" components and innovations, with teams allowed to do whatever it takes to win - well, be careful what you wish for. Because to my mind, it seems that would be excruciatingly dull. And I'm not sure anyone really wants F1 to be that boring?
Not much from F1 gets onto road cars. Well, I think that is sort of the idea, is it not? F1 is, and always has been, about chasing speed within a set of regulations however loose or tight. Building a road car is not, and never will be, about pure speed. The ride comfort, boot capacity and passenger capacities of a F1 car are sadly lacking in comparison to anything that would be even remotely practicable to drive for anything other than motorsport. Not forgetting that the vast majority of public roads are speed limited.
So why are the FIA pushing that agenda then?

The engine changes next year are precisely because of that, as are the "green" issues they keep introducing and bleating on about.
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