Teams see "no alternative" to power unit penalties

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
It's interesting that the team owners (Wolff and Seidl) have suggested that there is no alternative to engine grid penalties. I really worry when we see these sorts of statements, as they really suggest that team bosses can't think outside of the box:

Option 1:
Drivers could be prevented from scoring constructor points once they've used more than 3 engines.

Option 2:
Teams could be fined $5-10 million (coming out of the budget cap) for every extra engine that they use

Option 3:
Additional engines require a reduction in the amount of fuel that can be used by the drivers

 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
If you don't use grid penalties then you dont discourage teams building more engines

I think back in the 1990's Ferrari could easily go through 200 engines a season which is probably now closer to 400 given the amount of races done.
All that would happen is the teams with the biggest pockets will build more engines or pay for more engines built

Option 1

- Not very popular if a driver can't contribute to constructors which would lead to 3rd cars introduced and certain drivers acting as mobile chicanes

Option 2

- A big team can cough this up but what about a small team

Option 3

- reduction in fuel - just how much less given it means they will go faster then the cars around them from being lighter which they would not mind doing


F1 needs to encourage engine manufacturers to reach for perfection and I can't see any other way

10 place grid drop is already severe enough

I think 3 engines per season was very restrictive but its the same rules for everyone
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Weight penalty- how do you stop drivers Weight fiddling or teams using ways to go underweight- such as carry less fuel ..even hide the tank or the old water bottle row
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Weight penalty- how do you stop drivers Weight fiddling or teams using ways to go underweight- such as carry less fuel ..even hide the tank or the old water bottle row
Why? Is there a problem with cars running underweight using the current regulations?

Adding 10kgs of penalty ballast would be easy to monitor.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
its very situation because i think FIA are at fault here, because 3 power units for a season was never going to be enough. because that ok if you can guarantee all 20 cars wont have engine failure in any of the 21 races. so i think you needed 4 at very least. so the teams are just taking what was realistic

i would say they have it about right although i would make it 10 place not 5 place grid drop for every part or start at the back for a full unit. the idea a few years ago deduction of constructors point idea, is alright for top teams but not for the backmarkers. i like the idea that car doesnt score constructor points at that venue if they take a new unit, as that doesnt spoil the action as many times we gone into a weekend knowing .... is going to win because main rival is back of the grid.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Weight ballast would need close scrutineering such as where and when to apply the ballast because teams will work out the balance not to disturb the handling of the car.

Schumacher tried to fiddle the weight by drinking excess water
 

P1

Race Winner
Contributor
Option 2 is a problem. Imagine you are operating at the cap. You have an engine blow-up at race 17. Now you need to figure out how to get rid of $5 million from you in-year budget. You have 3 months left to the year, so to cut $5m of payroll you have to cut $20 million of expense since you only accrue 1 quarter of savings. So you fire 200 people.

Dumb idea.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
If you were a big team aligned with an engine partner the engines were essentially free whereas the teams at the back had to pay for engines back in the 90s

The idea behind the penalties is to stop teams trying to run engines at full power and blowing them up...Senna would really hate this regulations if he was around
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Weight ballast would need close scrutineering such as where and when to apply the ballast because teams will work out the balance not to disturb the handling of the car

All you need to do if you are going to mandate a weight penalty is mandate where it goes. All cars must have an area of a given dimension to allow the application of up to 10kgs of ballast (a ballast box if you like) fitted at a point on the centre line of the car between X and XX distance in front of the rear axle. Not hard really.

This area then remains empty with an FIA security tag on it until the ballast needs to be added. Once it's in the box, another tag is added to show that it hasn't been tampered with.

The thought of what difference drinking a bit more water would make to the cars performance is hilarious. Somehow I truly don't think it would be worth the effort.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
All you need to do if you are going to mandate a weight penalty is mandate where it goes. All cars must have an area of a given dimension to allow the application of up to 10kgs of ballast (a ballast box if you like) fitted at a point on the centre line of the car between X and XX distance in front of the rear axle. Not hard really.

This area then remains empty with an FIA security tag on it until the ballast needs to be added. Once it's in the box, another tag is added to show that it hasn't been tampered with.

The thought of what difference drinking a bit more water would make to the cars performance is hilarious. Somehow I truly don't think it would be worth the effort.
cider_and_toast - in 1995 (I think it was), the FIA decided that they would change the weight limit so that it became car+driver, but, they decided that they would only weigh the drivers at the start of the season.

A number of drivers, Schumacher included, suddenly gained between 10 and 20 kg on their previous season's weight.. A number of teams cried foul, and the drivers were weighed again after the first race (Brazil). Several of those drivers had suddenly lost all of their excess weight. Schumacher claimed that it was because he had had a big meal, hadn't been for a dump, and had drunk lots of water... (Ahem)...

Since then, the rules were changed so that drivers were weighed after the race. If car+driver is less than the minimum weight at the end of the race, then sorry meladdy, you're disqualified.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
cider_and_toast - in 1995 (I think it was), the FIA decided that they would change the weight limit so that it became car+driver, but, they decided that they would only weigh the drivers at the start of the season.

A number of drivers, Schumacher included, suddenly gained between 10 and 20 kg on their previous season's weight.. A number of teams cried foul, and the drivers were weighed again after the first race (Brazil). Several of those drivers had suddenly lost all of their excess weight. Schumacher claimed that it was because he had had a big meal, hadn't been for a dump, and had drunk lots of water... (Ahem)...

Since then, the rules were changed so that drivers were weighed after the race. If car+driver is less than the minimum weight at the end of the race, then sorry meladdy, you're disqualified.
Schumacher pushing the limits of rules to almost cheating but not quite. surely not LOL
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
There was, at one time, a rule stopping drivers from celebrating with their pit crew immediately after the race (I believe) as the mechanics would drop "ballast" into the drivers race suit to get them up to the maximum weight.

The ballast option could be an interesting alternative to grid penalties and there could be a mandated position in the car where the weight must be carried to avoid clever designers getting some advantage from locating where it gives it helps the balance in some way.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect

Without that, ongoing check on costs F1 might not have all the manufacturers that it currently has on the grid, simply because they would not have been able to justify their involvement. And there would be a wider performance differential across the suppliers. As such, grid penalties, unpopular as they are, should perhaps be regarded as a necessary evil.

Toto Wolff "I think the penalty system on power units is pretty robust, Because what we need to avoid is that we are building power units in a way that they perform at peak performance for only a few races & if you change regulations, you say okay, there is no grid penalty for the driver, but just constructor points, it will still mean that teams, if you're in a fight for a driver championship, will just throw engines at that car. I think if we come up with good solutions definitely it is worth looking at. It's confusing for the new fans why, out of the driver's responsibility, an engine penalty puts him at the back of the grid. or 10 or 5 places away. that's clearly not great, but I haven't got the solutions."

Andres Seidl "I obviously get the point that it is not ideal having all these penalties, But to be honest, I do not really see a straightforward solution to that. Because for example if you will decide let's go to 4 engines engine instead of 3 we will end up all with 5 engines, because we would just crank up the engines. In the end, it just shows that all the manufacturers teams are pushing each other so hard that we all push the technology we're using to the absolute limit or beyond, that's what ends then in issues or problems. So we simply have to accept that at the moment, and get on with it."

Marcin Budkowski "At the end of the day, you will design an engine to operate in a certain way for a certain mileage, Nothing prevents you in the regulations to design an engine to do 3 races & change every 3 races, just take lots of penalties. It probably isn't going to be advantageous from a championship point of view over the course of a season. The rules are there for cost reasons obviously, but nothing prevents you from designing an engine for shorter life & more performance if you're willing to take penalties."

"Some people hate grid penalties and I haven't met a fan of grid penalties yet, But having been on the on the other side of the fence at the FIA & then in the team I thought for years about an alternative that would be better than the current one, & I haven't found one. So it doesn't mean there isn't one, but it's the least worst case. Now if we had 4 and three rather than 3 and 2 then we'd probably see a lot less penalties, but equally would then people design engines taking more risks & would they then have to use a 5th one? It's a never ending story. You have to draw the line somewhere. Arguably 4 & 3 would probably be more adapted to the season, because we would have seen less penalties"
 
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