Reliability and F1. Good or Bad ?

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


  • Total voters
    40

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
I'm yes, but no, but ... at the moment but sliding inexorably toward yes and no buts and back again to no and no buts! :thinking:

I think the reliability issue isn't that far removed from some of the other gripes we've been having lately with regard to the idea of F1 being the so called "pinnacle of motorsport" or not; is overtaking too easy or artificial; etc. Once upon a time the main reason for unreliability was the pushing of the envelope in the design and manufacture of the machinery. Along with the drivers pushing the envelope both man and machine explored the limits. The racing was not just about who could pass who but it was about which driver and which team could get their car to the end of the race ahead of the rest - and not always in one piece!

My personal opinion is that along with FIA's straighjacket regulations, environmental considerations and the inevitable consequences of the law of diminishing returns those days are well and truly gone. The technological and engineering challenges have, in the main, moved firmly away from the mechanical engineering and innovation into the electronic and ICT age. If we ignore the driving for the moment, making it to the end of a race now - more often than not - depends upon whether or not the software and electrical components hold out. Yes there are still equipment failures like the dodgy wheel rim or the odd piece falling off the car but these are more likely to be as a result of human error in the fitting or manufacture of the parts - not the consequence of trying radical and innovative engineering solutions.

This is why for me F1 is totally different sport in the 21st century. Is reliability good for racing? I say yes, because the drivers can just get on with racing and give us a show. Is reliability good for the show? I say no because it's the unreliability or unpredictability of the current tyres that is giving us all these exciting overtakes in places we haven't seen it done for a decade or more.

So where am I on this now? Oh, yes .... I'm yes but no but yes but .... :givemestrength:Jeez :dunno::thinking::bored:
 

Andyoak

Champion Elect
Absolutely agree F'man... I lament the loss of seeing cars pushed to the limits of design and possibilities.
I'm really glad to have seen racing in those days and would love to have that sense back as part of the whole F1 experience. But like you I don't think we'll see that for some time, if ever, again.

Still, this year and the last couple do seem to be moving back to a focus on the driver (or is this rose-tinted today) which is good.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
This is why for me F1 is totally different sport in the 21st century. Is reliability good for racing? I say yes, because the drivers can just get on with racing and give us a show. Is reliability good for the show? I say no because it's the unreliability or unpredictability of the current tyres that is giving us all these exciting overtakes in places we haven't seen it done for a decade or more.

So where am I on this now? Oh, yes .... I'm yes but no but yes but .... :givemestrength:Jeez :dunno::thinking::bored:

First and foremost you would like to see a race without mechanical failure, I think, and then you bring it down to the tyres which are unpredictable (but nowhere near as unpredictable as the teams reaction to them!).

I would ask - how can drivers race unless they know that they have something reliable underneath them and a pit team with a degree of nous.

The tyres are a sideshow, put there deliberately to minimise the effect of car reliability - you could say the engineers have brought this on themselves.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
I have been mulling this over and have come to the conclusion that the question is far more complicated than first appears. It is not just a question of car reliability - although I have to say I'm still a supporter of that and won't be changing my vote - but also encompasses FIA rules and edicts, the teams ability to adapt to such and the ensuing effects upon the drivers.

As Fenderman says "F1 is totally different sport in the 21st century" and he is quite right - whether for good or ill I'm not sure.

The only thing I know is that I would like to see a race from start to finish without any DNFs skewing the outcome.
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Mechanical failure DNF's are always disappointing and it is good to see a high rate of finishers from time to time. On the other hand it's all part of the emotional investment in the sport. Having said that, there's nothing more galling than cars not making it to the grid or retiring in the early stages. Thankfully we've not seen much of that this season (so far).
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
there's nothing more galling than cars not making it to the grid or retiring in the early stages. Thankfully we've not seen much of that this season (so far).

The eventual winner of the Chinese Grand Prix very nearly didn't make it to the grid.
 
J

johnnoble1990

Guest
I don't think unreliability is essential to exciting races. This said, it does always add in an extra factor to a season. The main thing i like to see is mistakes being punished. Drivers can run so wide these days or spin and they won't DNF. When the pressure to overtake was higher, drivers would tend to take more risks in defending and attacking to have position. This could end disastrously for both drivers sometimes and was very dramatic. Turkey last year springs to mind.

I reckon this weekend we will see a fair bit of this return. I would quite like to see a safety car at one point to see how teams react strategically.
 

RevMaxPower

Banned
Le Mans Races are really "Wars of of Attrition", as indeed F1 races USED to be. I believe that is the difference we are seeing now in Formula 1. Because the cars are more reliable some other method of interfereing with the running order had to be invented. Hence DRS, F-Ducts, KERS and all the other "stuff".

I still reckon if 24 cars start the race then 24 cars shoud be in with a chance a podium finish. If not, why bother to even start?
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
While you can agree to a point, I can't help feeling he's only saying that because more DNFs would mean he has more chance of getting into the points.
 

tooncheese

Hans Heyer
Contributor
With limited engine revs, teams can more easily finish races, they mostly survived at 20,000. Gearboxes lasting 5 races etc, means they all have to put money into reliability and less so speed.

In my opinion they should be allowed to go as aggressive as they like in the quest for speed accepting inevitable reliability along the way.
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
Le Mans Races are really "Wars of of Attrition", as indeed F1 races USED to be. I believe that is the difference we are seeing now in Formula 1. Because the cars are more reliable some other method of interfereing with the running order had to be invented. Hence DRS, F-Ducts, KERS and all the other "stuff".

I still reckon if 24 cars start the race then 24 cars shoud be in with a chance a podium finish. If not, why bother to even start?

The problem is that along with stipulating reliability it is also stifling innovation. That is an area where a new team, thinking outside of the box might have had a chance of getting their car to the podium. As it is they will always remain "behind the game". I might be wrong in that assessment but, honestly, I don't think I am.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
To pick up on Tooncheese's point, Brundle & DC had an interesting discussion during the race (let's face it not much else happened) that the engine rev limit has made the engines far more reliable as they used to buzz up to 20 or 21,000 rpm but were at the limit of what the engineers could achieve. The limit to 18,000 has put them well back into the engineers comfort zone for reliability.
 

Sarinaide

Banned
The reliability though impressive has rather tarnished the impression that F1 is pushing the limits albeit within reasonable bounds.

The lack of mechanical failures has also resulted in the perception of a rather dull championship.
 

RevMaxPower

Banned
The reliability though impressive has rather tarnished the impression that F1 is pushing the limits albeit within reasonable bounds.

The lack of mechanical failures has also resulted in the perception of a rather dull championship.

With so much at stake I'm surprised there's not more in the way of sabotage... ;)
 

Sarinaide

Banned
therein lies the problem, everyone is operating within fail safe conditions instead of pushing engineering to its limits, now the FIA manual is more a x point checklist, before it was who could build a better rig.
 
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