Technical F1 Cars Too Easy to Drive at the Limit

It appears F1 is paying a very high price for RBR signing a 16 yr old for 2015. Hellmutt really didn't think that through, did he?
Last edited:
The move away from aero to engine was a start but the engine freeze cancelled that out somewhat. They need to allow engine designers more freedom and bring back bigger tyres, enormous rears like the '70's. That will give them the mechanical grip they need for excitement and driver skill. It's aerodynamics which destroyed the F1 spectacle, having partly made that change they now need to take the changes further and finding grip through a larger rubber footprint in each corner of the car would bring back excitement by the truckload. The biggest change was the introduction of flat bottoms when designers realised the air passing under the car was far more important than the air passing over it, that's a change that will never be reversed sadly. I'm sure many on this site will remember the late '60's early '70's when you could see the car working when drivers were pushing through the corners. You could see the suspension working as the cars leaned into the turns, you could actually sense the g-forces the driver was having to cope with. Of course those days are gone but more rubber for more mechanical grip would help a lot.
Last edited:
Pretty normal ain't it snowy. Shows that even kids can drive these cars.

In the olden days you saw men driving these cars, now it's become more a high school series.
Don't remember who said it, but someone said it's pretty hard to have a hero in f1 when they still have pimples on their face.

Lack of horsepower and basically the standardisation of f1 is taking away some of it's magic for me. Fixed ratio gears, fuel flow restrictions and an engine freeze in it's first bloody year has been another blow in the face this year.
To counterbalance that, it's also gotta be said that drivers in the late seventies/early eighties were not prepared for the rapid increase in G-forces that took place during that period. They didn't have the kind of fitness regimes that's part for the course these days. At the height of the full ground-effect era it was pretty common to see the least naturally fit drivers passing out at the end of races, while others never seemed to.
Last edited:
Well that's true for Max Verstappen Incubus . But Kvyat did run the gp3 series which contains 400bhp. Wasn't it in the olden days that they went from f3 (200bhp) to f1 1000bhp? Now the leap isn't that high, the f1 hp monsters have become tame and so the learning curve isn't that long.
Maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot here but, apart from Max Verstappen who isn't even an F1 driver yet, name me one recent driver who has raced in F1 after only one year of racing single seaters. Kvyat, for example, had four years in feeder series. For comparison I believe Senna only had 3 years.
Raikkonen? Alguersuarri?

I wasn't being literal when I said "one year"... I just meant that compared to previous generations today's drivers are by-passing quite a lot of the "traditional" steps that used to be the norm before getting into F1.

eg Formula Ford, one year you learn the next you win the title, F3 one year you learn etc...
Last edited:
Think Raikkonen only had 2 years of experience when he joined. And in those two years I think he only completed half of the season.
How about these ideas ; some simple others not so.....

1) no fuel limit or fuel flow limit
2) no battery capacity limit or limit on how much can be used in any lap
3) keep full range of tyre types but let the teams / drivers pick whatever they want at every circuit
4) keep DRS but no blue flags - its your job to overtake ; its not his job to let you!
5) use hawkeye / goal-line tech to check if you exceed track limits; automatic 5 sec penalty every time unless stewards say it was unavoidable (i.e. avoiding crash, cock-up that cost you more than 5 secs)
6) no pit to car transmission of any kind except safety
7) much greater share of F1 cash to go to teams in a much more equitable manner (cost cap impracticable but Ferrari should not have a budget 5 or 6 times greater than the smallest team
8) after 5 seasons if a team has scored nil points they should be given nil cash for year 6 -so if they want to stay they have to pay big time and only by getting better would there be any business case for them to stay. If they decide to leave the Feeder series constructor Champion should be allotted the space and the vacant year 6 funding plus 25% to ease start up costs but should start in year 7 giving time to design car and select drives sponsors etc etc

Alguersuari had four and a half years in single seaters before F1 and Raikkonen started in the V10 era and turned out to be pretty good...
As cars have become quicker, regardless of the reasons why the drivers have needed a little help. What's wrong with that, if the powers that be had listened and taken notice we probably wouldn't have lost Senna and Ratzenberger.

That is, excuse my French, utter crap.

Amongst all the discussion of Ratzenberger and Senna's death, it has always been agreed that "the cars being a little more difficult to drive" was not a causal factor.

Ratzenberger's car suffered a front wing failure at high speed. Nothing to do with a lack of driver aids. Senna's car either suffered a broken steering column, or bottomed out, causing it to lose downforce, causing it to go off the track.

In neither of these cases was the contributing factor that the cars were too difficult to drive. Similarly, in neither cases was the cause of death the cars being too difficult to drive; the cause of death was excessive speed combined with insufficient run-off, and a concrete wall to hit.

Driver aids were introduced to try and give a particular car an advantage over the others. When one car has it, it gives an advantage in speed, and allowed the cars to carry more speed, particularly into the corners. Similarly, semi-automatic boxes meant that gearchanges were now not a skill that drivers had to learn, but instead were mechanically driven changes quicker than the blinking of an eye. Again, not a cause of anything that is "dangerous"...
To be honest, I believe that the Williams in 1994 was struggling with handling, as a direct result of the loss of active suspension.

Not sure if that is considered a driver aid in the traditional sense, but it made the car harder to drive when they did not have it.
Maybe DRS is actually the solution? Make the drivers have to have DRS open all lap, that'd definitely be a challenge!

Besides, I don't think F1 is getting too easy, it's like saying that the 100m is easier than it was 30 years ago, of course it isn't but with advanced fitness/technology, people go quicker and can cope better! If anything, the only reason why F1 cars are too easy is because of all the safety regs rather than cars advancing, because without the safety features, they'd be nightmares to drive
The Artist..... Fair enough, I shouldn't have included Ratzenberger as an example but I stand by the Senna example. Regarding referring to my posting as utter crap, your effectively saying that Senna's belief that the removal of drivers aids was making the sport too dangerous and could lead to fatalities, is also crap. Regarding the cause of Senna's accident, people will argue over that for years to come though most believe the cause was the car bottoming out due to the tyres loosing temperature behind the safety car. Those that believe this to be the cause also believe the steering column snapped at the weld on impact, not before, therefore having no contribution to the accident. It appears proof can't be found to support either view.
I stand by my comment, that we may not have lost Seena had they listened to him, based on the Senna interview when he predicted fatalities due to the removal of driver aids. If you consider my posting utter crap then I assume you believe Senna's view to be utter crap also.

So, the cause was cold tyres causing the car to bottom out, not the car being inherently difficult to drive? Cars crash at Tamburello, but not because they are hard to drive, but because something goes wrong; whether low tyre pressures, broken steering column, broken suspension, or whatever. Just ask Nelson Piquet, Gerhard Berger, Riccardo Patrese (or look at Michele Alboreto's testament).

Yes, Senna was worried, but the biggest worry was that the cars had out-grown the circuits! He actually looked at the wall at Tamburello before the season, as he was worried that there was only 10m of run off, and in recent seasons, Alboreto, Patrese, Berger and piquet had all had major shunts there (when something broke in each case)

To say that today's cars would be undrivable without driver aids is completely lacking in context; look at the monsters that raced in 1987-1988. These cars had over 1000BHP... No traction control, manual gearboxes, etc., yet the drivers weren't constantly killing themselves!

In much the same way, when traction control was most recently banned, people were claiming that drivers would be spinning off all over the place; what happened? Sweet FA.

Driver aids were not introduced to make things safer. They were introduced to make the cars go faster. When all the cars has the same driver aids, then there's no point in having them! Are you going to tell me that there's a particular safety reason why drivers now have an audio cue to change gear? I mean, WTF?!? Drivers are not driving unaided... They have about 10,000 times the processing power of the Apollo moon landings also helping them along the way!

Get rid of all the engine settings, get rid of all the fly by wire, introduce manual gearboxes, reduce the grip from tyres, and I guarantee you will get great racing!
Do you think that severely restricting the amount of computing power that was allowed in a car would help matters?
Top Bottom