Reliability and F1. Good or Bad ?

Was the racing and championship better when the cars were less reliable ?


  • Total voters
    40

Greenlantern101

Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Contributor
Looking back over the last few races I have been surprised by the lack of retirements.

In fact if you discount the first 2 races where everyone is still finding their feet, then the last 3 races have only seen a total of 5 DNF's. That’s almost unheard of in F1 particularly in lights of 3 teams only in their 2nd year.

The reliability of course stems from the cost cutting measures of making gearboxes and engines last more than the normal 200 miles from a few years back. Indeed I remember when teams ran qualifying engines that lasted just 5 laps. But I digress.

The question is, has this newfound reliability taken something from the racing and the championship battle. Let me explain.

Not so long ago if a particular driver was 30 seconds in the lead and your favorite was chasing to no avail in second, you always had a glimmer of hope in the fact that the leaders car might not make it to the end of the race.

Similarly if a driver had a vast lead in the championship such as today with vettel 41 points ahead of Hamilton, you knew than 1 DNF from Vettel and a win from Hamilton would see the championship race close up once more.

But now it seems that the top cars are so unlikely to have a DFN due to reliability it has almost spoiled the element of chance.

I’m not saying championships should be decided on chance, but I do think the increased reliability of the cars has taken out a certain je ne sai quoi from the races and in particular the championship battle.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
The problem is, we've had championships decided by reliability, Scumacher in 2006 in Suzuka, Hamilton in 2007, to an extent Massa in 2008 in Hungary.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
I voted no.I lived through all the years of unreliability and I don't think that improved the racing at all.
I much prefer the current format, just think that how exciting the last race was between Vettel and Hamilton.
That would have been ruined if either car had failed.
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
I was just looking up Monaco 96, just before this thread popped up :dizzy: There were great moments with unreliable cars, but equally there were many ruined races IMO.

If we could be this precise, i think it would be really cool if the cars wheels fell off, as the engine exploded and the body panels striped themselves from the car... just as the cars crossed the line leaving Vettel and Hamilton grinding to a halt with just their seat and a steering wheel in hand to shuffle back to the pits on their arses. But we cant.

I remember the misery of watching Kimi and David in their West McLarens as they were, taking the fight to Schumacher week after week, only for their engines to blow up 2/3 into the race:rolleyes: REALLY annoying!
 

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
Contributor
Yeh but no but...

It's one we can lay at the feet of progress - the parc ferme rules have also aided reliability by removing the Saturday-night tinkering and fine-tuning that used to go on, as there was always a chance of sleep-deprived mechanic forgetting to tighten a crucial bolt or install a vital washer.

Actually, I blame that dratted Red Hegemony of the early noughties - Ferrari got so good at the "bullet-proof reliability" bit, that once the rest of the grid cottoned on to the fact that it was quite a good idea to be not only fast but also able to finish a race you'd started, then the writing was on the wall for the "fingers-crossed & hope his engine blows" people.

I guess that's one of the reasons that they started dishing out points down to 10th - the increased reliability of the top teams meant that the midfielders were being "bullet-proofed" out of the points every week.
 

Greenlantern101

Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Contributor
I agree that it was REALLY annoying when your man was leading the race and his engine exploded 2 laps from the end.
BUT it was stuff like that, that had me on the edge of my seat nibbling my fingers down to the bone. Now the thought never even crosses my mind that a car might break down a few laps from the end of the race. I miss praying to Allah to get your man over the line.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
And as well all know if Hamilton's tyre didn't pop in 2010 at Spain he would be World Champion, but then you could argue reliability problems for all of the contendors that year.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I'm with Grizzly in divering on this.

The unreliability used to bring about great moments like the little teams clambering into the points which would see them funded for another year and it also gave us great results like Panis winning in Monoco and Herbert winning at Silverstone.

But then I can see the other point where we were denied proper races because one of the contenders would blow and engine and we'd be left with someone dissapearing off into the distance.

Maybe I'd like cars just slightly less reliable!
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
And as well all know if Hamilton's tyre didn't pop in 2010 at Spain he would be World Champion, but then you could argue reliability problems for all of the contendors that year.
I wouldn't count a tyre popping as a reliability issue. I think of reliability as something mechanical breaking down. Punctures are just part of the nature of the driver and the track
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
That I was not aware of. I guess for me it depends if its a fault in chassie design or a fault of the Tyre suppilier. If its the fault of the Tyre Supplier then as they're are supplied as standard I guess its just luck of the draw.

Thinking about it have we seen anyone have a puncture this season?
 

RevMaxPower

Banned
There is absolutely no problem in having well prepared reliable cars.

Too bad some are many seconds a lap quicker during the race - and I'm not talking about the drivers...

What would make the racing better would be a more level playing field to start with. i.e. More drivers with a chance of a podium finish - rather than the "Magnificent 7" or so we have now. It's the car. always the car...

So my answer is no because how can a driver succeed in a sub standard machine, be it unreliable or just not fast enough. We need 24 horses in the race!
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
There is absolutely NO problem in having well prepared reliable cars.

Too bad some are many seconds a lap quicker during the race - and I'm NOT talking about the drivers...

What WOULD make the racing better would be a more level playing field to start with. i.e. More drivers with a chance of a podium finish - rather than the "Magnificent 7" or so we have now. It's the car. ALWAYS the car...

So my answer is NO because how can a driver succeed in a sub standard machine, be it unreliable or just not fast enough. We need 24 horses in the race!
That my friend...F1 has never been about. 24 horse race? Never in my life have I seen F1 been a 24 horse race, but I have only been watching since '98, but even so checking the past etc. It would really hard for 24 cars to be competitive, there always will be 3 levels in F1 the top, the midfield and then the backmarkers even with a level playing field.

Anyway back to topic...

The main reason why we haven't seen more than 5 cars DNF in 3 races is due to less first corner accidents this year.

As for reliability, it was always a shame to see the same driver get hampered by reliability issues especially when he was doing an exceptional job, like Hakkinen and Coulthard in '98-01, Raikkonen in throughout his McLaren career, Vettel in 2010.

Although in '98-'99 the the McLaren's going out made the title battle exciting, same can be said about 2010. but for '00-01 and in 2005 it robbed us of a great battles.
 

mjo

Procrastinating
Contributor
More reliable cars surely means less unpredictability in races? Although less reliable cars would bring an element of luck into racing, more cars retiring - especially the top cars - would bring even more dramatic moments in racing.

Think back to Monaco '82.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Yes but no.

Without unreliability you don't see the flukes, the one result Stewart got on their debut season that Lotus never could last year. However, in 1988, there were less finishers than in recent years, and who would have won all the races if Nigel Mansell hadn't had a cold?
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
I voted 'no' - like Sportsman I want to see the end to a titanic battle created by the best driver/car combo, not by a badly built and unreliable car going poof.
 
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