Please Explain...


... something about F1 that has always bothered me. This is a serious question should anyone doubt it.

For some time now 20 plus cars start each Grand Prix and yet, to be honest, we all know in our hearts that only those drivers with one of the first half dozen or so quickest cars stand a hope of winning. 'Tis all too predictable. In all seriousness it really isn't a 24 horse race now, is it?
It's been like this for a while - do you ever see this changing or is it all part of the alleged "pinnacle" of Motorsport that F1 purports to be?
In the 1950 British Grand Prix, Prince Bira of Siam was in 5th place in a Maserati, 1.8 seconds of Guiseppe Farina's pole time. All four cars in front of the Siamese royal were Alfa Romeos. Juan Manuel Fangio's Alfa retired, so the first non-Alfa finisher was Yves Giraud-Cabantous in his Talbot Lago, two laps down.

Two years later at Silverstone, Alberto Ascari lapped the field in his Ferrari, two laps ahead of the first non-Ferrari, Mike Hawthorn in a Cooper-Bristol. In the following race Ascari lapped the non-Ferraris at the Nordschliefe.

The point I'm trying to make is that there has never been a Formula One World Championship race where all of the entrants had any chance of winning. The early days of the Championship were less even than today.

The fastest cars will always win in a non-spec form of motorsport. That is a fact you must either accept, or go off to watch a spec series.
It's not always the same 6 cars though is it? :)

Granted Ferrari and McLaren are usually there or thereabouts but a few years ago you would have been laughed at if you had said Red Bull would be dominating F1.

Who's to say that in the future it won't be Force India the other top teams are fighting with?
Its a good question.F1 for as long as I can remember some 50 odd years has been pretty much the same pattern.My first memories starting from 1954 with the dominant Mercedes Benz W196 beating everthing in sight and a few other teams filling the other top placings.
Virtually nearly every team has at one time had a dominant car with a couple of other teams being nearly there filling the top spots.
But not only F1 suffers this same syndrome.Football does the same thing.The mighty Leeds United back in the sixties, Liverpool with Bill Shankly and Manchester United being obvious examples.
So its unlikely to change radically in the future.Sometimes a team can start the season badly then make great progress but the top teams usually remain the top teams.
At present Red Bull are top of the heap.Williams were back in the day.Mclaren and Ferrari have been there as well.But Ferrari spent 21 years as a midfield team until Brawn and Schumacher years gave them the edge to win the WDC and WCC.
There will always be more competitive teams than others - even in a spec series. As Brogan has said there is no real way of knowing, year to year, who will be fighting at the top. We can make some educated guesses based on previous experience, but we don't know who will really start a new year with the best car.

Also you have to remember that the public interest, while largely focussed on who wins the race, also stretches out to people they know don't have a chance of winning a race. There are many Lotus fans, for example, and their interest comes from seeing whether or not they can beat the more established teams. Without the lesser competitive underdogs there would be somewhat less interest in F1.
Ok - thanks for that - but this year is almost a copy of 2010. Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren - McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull - Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari - and so on.
What can be done to get some variation in the mix?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy F1, but feel that with some thought it could be better. Maybe the Grid needs mixing up somehow? I don't know personally but F1 is stagnating. Bring on Simon Cowell, maybe? :)
Look across sport; it is the same everywhere.

In football there are about 100 professional teams in this country, 6 of which might win the league
In tennis, there are 128 players in a Grand Slam field, about 2 or 3 of which have a reasonable chance

These are just two examples, and I'm sure there are many more. The reason this happens in sport is because there are those who are historically better, "bigger", and thus attract the best people.

Only in international matches does it change, because its slightly more random. But still, how many teams could have won the World Cup last year, realistically...?
Axle, what about your old sport, rallying? Or Le Mans, or even Formula Ford come to that. Does every entrant in those series have a realistic chance of winning?

The points made above about the changing nature of who is at the top at any given moment are all good ones.
HRT for 2018 Constructors' Title! :cheer:
I agree, it is a valid question with no satisfactory answer.

As has been pointed out, all sports (and arguably all fields of human endeavour) will have those who are very good and those that take part. When F1 has a major shake up of the rules every 6 - 10 years then we tend to find one of the good teams fall and someone take their place. This has been seen in my time with Lotus, Williams, Brabham, McLaren, Ferrari and Renault. One day Red Bull will fall and it could be sooner rather than later.

Year on year I maintain my interest by trying to guess who will rise and fall between seasons; praying always for a rise in Williams's fortunes once more. As the season progresses I don't expect to see midfield teams consistantly pulling one out of the hat but I can appreciate all teams efforts to improve and go faster.

So to get back to where this started...
All teams are in with a chance but some chances are better than others and that will never change. For me F1 is like wine appreciation; the more you drink the better chance you get to appreciate the subtle differences.
Even in spec series where the cars are all the same, some teams do a significantly better job than others, like ART in GP2 or Penske and Ganassi in Indycars.

Do you think it's all down to "He who has the most cash wins?" It would be really sad if that were the case...

Obviously money is an important part of it, but it isn't the whole story. Red Bull are spending significantly less than McLaren and Ferrari; Renault are spending less than Mercedes, and so on.

If it was all about money, Toyota would have won every title from 2002-09.

A big part of the fascination for me is the way in which the performances fluctuate as the team dynamics change.
Another thing to bear in mind is that all of the current teams, except the ones that came in last season, have won Grands Prix in their current, or previous guises.

Can Toro Rosso win a world championship? Extremely unlikely. But they can win a race if things fall their way, there's no doubt about it.
To maintain the status quo some teams seem to be able to (no names - you all know which teams I am talking about) get away with "stuff" to ensure they stay in the running at the front end of the grid by manipulating rules and/or construction detail. Certain parties are worse than others and elements of the organizing side of F1 either wear blinkers or turn a blind eye in my humble opinion...
If you're referring to bending the rules around car design, I think it could be argued that is because of money - they can afford the correct minds to create and think about how rules can be bent. HRT, for example, won't have the best talent in the design department, but the biggest factor is then not having the cash to implement and test any ideas. For instance, I think I'm correct in saying the Super Aguri team were the first to come up with the (basic) 2009 concept of a double diffuser. That information eventually assimilated into the Brawn design.
and to some extent this is the good thing about rule changes... it allows the smaller teams to get back on a level playing field and allow those sparks of inspiration to pay off.
As Brogan has alluded to, Red Bull has risen from the mid-field and, yes, currently seem to have the upper hand. What about Bar/Honda suddenly rising from the pit (excuse the pun) as the Brawn '09? I can think of a lot of things to moan about in F1 but this? No. Everyone has to start somewhere and who knows how it will shake out? I think the days when a team "Minardi" would be guaranteed to be last every season are behind us.

Oh, and it's no bad thing to have some "minnows" for the new young drivers to cut their teeth and learn the ropes ... and for one or two old lags to see out their retirement. Ah! that's where Schumi ought to be .. Virgin!
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