How Is It Going?

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
2011, eh?

What is your verdict on the first three races of the season. How are Pirelli performing? How is DRS working?

With 170 overtakes in 3 dry races higher than previous years, it is difficult to argue "the show" has not improved. But has some of the soul of Formula One gone with it? Are there too many sitting ducks?

Will Mark Webber's example empty qualifying? Is qualifying a secondary concern anyway?

What would you improve?

What is the health of Formula One? And why?
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
Tby - too many questions - 3 races does not a season make and all that.

China was a VAST improvement, but will have to think about the ins and outs (and then probably come to the wrong conclusion LOL).

Hard for an old-fashioned purist (if I dare be so bold?) to assimilate all of the technology and rule tweaking.

May well reach a conclusion in a "while" and could possibly get back to you some time soon 8-)
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
To be honest I don't know know what to think.
Sure those DRS/instantly-degradable tyres make it a bit less straightforward for the fastest car/driver combo to have an easy ride, but I never thought processional races as boring. They have their own way of captivating the motor racing enthusiast, all different races have. And I don't enjoy races being made to look more exciting through "artificial" means.

At the same time, I'm aware they were probably saying something similar when they introduced the pace-car in1993 and scrapped the "added-time" classification...
 

Hamberg

FOTA VIP, I've got the avatar to prove it :)
Contributor
TBY I will never like DRS, I enjoy watching the chase and watch brilliance happen which DRS is ruining for me. We don't need KERS, Pirelli and DRS.

If DRS wasn't limited in the race to only benefit those behind then it's a brilliant tool to have. As it stands it's contrived and together with the apparent clampdown on even the tiniest of weaves/blocks due to the potential accidents, it is one step too far.

Pirelli's and KERS puts everyone level pegging. They can stay.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
If memory serves (and it usually doesn't) none of Hamilton's overtakes in the last race were done with the DRS, it just helped him to stay in touch so he could make a move.

In reply to the original question, it's only been 3 races but I'm quite happy with the way this season is shaping up so far, Pirelli seem to have have filled their pre season brief as mentioned here - Now everyone has KERS (when it works) it's more of a tactical aid than anything else IMHO.

In summary, after 3 races I'll give it an 8/10 so far.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
I have spent several nano seconds trying to put together a meaningful description of my opinion, and whilst the season is far from boring I'm worried about it simply becoming a series of montages rather than a race - I think in China we saw much more action, but much less of the circuit, and I'm not convinced, I may just have to step up my viewing pace (which sensible European clocks will help), but it'll be a grudging change
 

Hamberg

FOTA VIP, I've got the avatar to prove it :)
Contributor
You're right Geoff, I actually felt like a bad fan on Sunday as I didn't pay much attention to the midfield and beyond because so much was happening at the front. That's very unusual and not something I particularly liked.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
If memory serves (and it usually doesn't) none of Hamilton's overtakes in the last race were done with the DRS, it just helped him to stay in touch so he could make a move.

In reply to the original question, it's only been 3 races but I'm quite happy with the way this season is shaping up so far, Pirelli seem to have have filled their pre season brief as mentioned here - Now everyone has KERS (when it works) it's more of a tactical aid than anything else IMHO.

In summary, after 3 races I'll give it an 8/10 so far.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Come to think of it there has been plenty of overtaking that took place outside of the DRS zones in the first three races so far...
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
So far too early to say.Superficially it seems more exciting.But in reality little has really changed.
Much more overtaking its true, but that is mostly down to tyre strategy and DRS.
Hamiltons win last Sunday, although well deserved was due to his canny move of saving an extra set of tyres.Vettels defence was half hearted to say the least as he was well aware that he would be passed by Hamilton.In the end Hamilton just drove past him.
Webbers amazing drive was a combination of one of the fastest cars on the grid and plenty of tyres available due to his poor qualifying.
So I will wait until the teams and drivers get a real understanding of the correct set up for the tyres (which are performing exactly as Pirelli were asked for) before I can reach a fim opinion.
I am very much afraid that last weekend might well have set new precedents regarding qualifying and race strategy.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Fantastic season so far. Overall, the quality of driving has been outstanding. I love incident-free starts and GP's without Safety Cars. There's just something satisfying about a Grand Prix that runs full blast from lights to flag (at least for me).

I understand the concerns that some folks might have about the new regulations, but by and large, I don't think there is much to fear.

On the tires. Coming off using the ultra-durable Bridgestones, where teams could plan their strategies back at base and pay little mind to track conditions, it's clear they are all struggling to understand the Pirelli's. This will change and optimum strategies will start to emerge. These opening races were bound to be absolutely hectic when it came to tire strategies, because of one tiny issue, THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY STRATEGIES. Could you imagine a team turning up at a race from 2007 to 2010 without a tire strategy in mind? No? Now imagine 12 teams turning up with basically no idea which tire, and how many of them they're going to use in the race. That's 2011 for ya so far.

On the DRS. When a notably slower car is able to overtake a faster one on the straight, AND THEN REMAIN AHEAD for any meaningful duration, I might become concerned. If the system was artificially moving slow cars up the standings, then yeah, you could call it contrived. But there is no indications whatsoever that DRS is giving us phony results. The fastest cars/drivers usually find their way to the front.

We're not going to see 50+ overtakes a race for the remainder of the season. Teams won't punt on qualifying in order to save all their tires. Teams will sort out the strategies better and they won't be caught out as much as they have so far. The season will settle down. F1 will not become the open-wheel version of NASCAR.

The only problem I have is the extended layoff following an incredible race like China! Can't Brands put on a Race of Champions this weekend or something. :)
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
If DRS wasn't limited in the race to only benefit those behind then it's a brilliant tool to have.

I kind of addressed this in my earlier post, but I think it's worth putting it another way.

If the car that gets passed by a car using DRS is genuinely faster than the one doing the passing, then he should retake that position fairly soon. You're still allowed to overtake anywhere on the circuit, as a few drivers consistently prove. But even if they can't get it done outside the DRS zone, now it's their turn to open the wing.

A legitimately faster car/driver combo will pull a gap from the following car. No DRS will enable a fundamentally slower car from hanging on to a faster one for very long.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
If DRS wasn't limited in the race to only benefit those behind then it's a brilliant tool to have. As it stands it's contrived and together with the apparent clampdown on even the tiniest of weaves/blocks due to the potential accidents, it is one step too far.
As I've said before, the DRS is tantamount to showing a blue flag to a driver racing for position. There should be no place for that in F1.
 

ramilas1

Podium Finisher
It's an end of season type question, but I suppose an interim opinion is worth looking for and I do have some reservation about DRS as already expressed by those above.

However, the 3 main changes have, as a package, worked fairly well so far - more detailed analysis of each individually can wait until all have been used at a more varied selection and larger number of race tracks.

One thing that is bugging me about this season is the TV coverage - now I'm guessing we all get the same race pictures, whether here in Poland or in the UK (courtesy of Bernie) so I hope my gripe makes sense.

We have always had the replay of the race start after a lap or two, so that it isn't likely to play over the main live action in those first few minutes (fine, OK), and we have also gotten used to replays where the live pictures missed an overtake or an off by somebody (also OK), but why are there now so many replays of the live action immediately after we've just seen it?

On Sunday it seemed that every overtake shown live was followed by the same from an overhead camera :yawn: and then again from a car mounted camera :yawn: and sometimes both car mounted cameras, when what I wanted was to see was a continuation of the live stuff.

Are they under the impression that we all suffer from short term memory loss? ..... or it just me? :givemestrength:
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Don't like DRS and due to it, I have not been paying 100% attention to the races. I have found myself considering doing some gardening or washing the car. Qualifying is just not as important as it was (unless your names Vettel and you can't overtake). I know this goes against popular opinion, but it all just seems so fake. At least with the F-Duct, it was a engineers solution and not contrived by committee and limited in its use.

The tyres are better than Bridgestones efforts, but then that's not too difficult. If only Pirelli would let the hard tyre last longer (even if to do so, they need to make it even slower), then we may get some more interesting strategies as it would give the teams room to manouvre. It would also mean that we could get rid of the stupid 'have to use both compounds' rule.

I know I sound like i'm whinging, but it just seems something is lacking at the moment. I hear people saying, 'best race ever' after China, yet I do not see it.. :dunno:

Maybe the next few races will be better and perk my interest, but I just can't see it at the moment..
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
I know I sound like i'm whinging, but it just seems something is lacking at the moment. I hear people saying, 'best race ever' after China, yet I do not see it.. :dunno:
I know what you mean; for example, Mark Webber had cause to be as excited as anyone after China, yet even he expressed reservations about the new rules, saying that some of the overtakes were in effect too easy.
 

AlexM

Podium Finisher
Contributor
It's all felt very 'false' to me so far. China left me with a feeling of disbelief and although there was a lot of action I don't feel I enjoyed it.

The tyre situation is messy, the huge amount of marbles discarded makes any off-line running dangerous and there seems to be very little difference between how long the hard/soft compounds last - the hard compound should surely last a lot longer, not a couple of laps.

DRS seems to be a free pass, if you have a quicker car behind you then you can't defend against it no matter how hard you try. Even with a similarly paced car it seems to create 'false' overtakes (I believe Kobayashi and Schumacher were overtaking each other lap after lap at one point) - without DRS if one person got past, they'd probably stay there. The F-Duct felt like a better fairer system which could easily have been developed to make its use safer (though it would have been harder to put a pretty icon on TV showing when it was being used).

Even Qualifying feels hollow now, last season it was as good as if not better than the actual race, now it feels like 'nothing' as drivers are discovering they need to save their tyres, and pushing too hard could ruin their race - perhaps we should be returning to the old style qualifying with just one long session.

So, yes, not impressed so far.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I have to say, overall I'm delighted with how the season has turned out.

I've long thought qualifying was excessively important, and it seemed that a succession of changes were moving the action from Sundays to Saturdays in fact, so I'm very happy to see that rebalanced in favour of racing. The Trullis of this world have nowhere to hide now!

Pirelli have done exactly as asked, and rather than teams executing a prepared programme, they are now being forced to react to circumstances and run strategies on the hoof - this can only lead to more mistakes, more flashes of inspiration and more variety in the outcomes. In the 1980s we talked about Prost as the master of thinking his way through the race; but as the 1990s went on it became more about the Brawns and Symonds on the pitwall. Now, clearly, the thinking driver has become of much greater importance in the scheme of things and this, too, I believe to be a good thing.

I still have reservations about DRS philosophically, but I don't really see how you could achieve more overtaking without some degree of artificiality. Until the new aero configuration is agreed for 2013, I think of it as an interim measure, and it's working very well.

There are always things you can point to and want to tweak a little. Ideally, I would either like Pirelli to make the tyres a touch harder (two vs. three stops rather than three vs. four), or provide drivers with a couple of more sets. I'm not a fan of qualifying, but I don't want it to become a complete non-event. Also the DRS activation zones need to be looked at very carefully. I did feel that the one at Shanghai was maybe a touch too long. Of course, with few circuits having quite as long a straight, this isn't a major problem.
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Even Qualifying feels hollow now, last season it was as good as if not better than the actual race, now it feels like 'nothing' as drivers are discovering they need to save their tyres, and pushing too hard could ruin their race - perhaps we should be returning to the old style qualifying with just one long session.

Qualifying at the first race is always great because we finally get to see the true pace of the cars.

The Qualifying session at Malaysia was supremely gripping with Hamilton sitting on provisional pole for most of Q3 only to have Vettel beat him out by a 1/10 in the final run.

China threw us a big-time upset where the fastest car on the grid was knocked out in Q1, leading to an incredible fight through the field for Webber. And we also had Button besting Hamilton, another rarity.

If people want to hem and haw about DRS, that's their prerogative, and only time may change their view. But I don't understand how you can come to such a negative conclusion on Qualifying based on these three sessions.

I said it earlier, but teams will not start to pass on qualifying just to save tires. Nobody wants to start in the midfield where you are much more likely to get caught up in a start-line incident.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Regarding qualifying, I can't say that I have felt negative; I agree pretty much with Keke's comment about it.

Regarding DRS, I'm not against it as a device - how can I be? It's just another form of F-Duct really (not as clever or sophisticated mind), which I was much impressed with. What I dislike are the regulations governing its use, which give one driver an officially sanctioned unfair advantage over another, at one specific point on the circuit (especially when combined with the over-zealous curtailment of defensive moves by the leading driver). Either have it and allow free use of it, or take it off and wave a blue flag to each driver whenever another approaches to within 1 second behind him.
 
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