June 24, 2014

2014 Austrian GP: Let them race!

It was nice to see F1 on a track with few corners and actual gravel traps.  A track that seemed to reward the better breakers but punished those who overdrove the cars.   It was interesting to see the FIA enforce track limit rules rationally for once and, as current F1 races go, it was not too bad.

But am I the only one who's had it up to here of drivers having to ask for permission to race from their engineers?  
I have been F1 biggest fan and its biggest apologist, but at a time when we have drivers of the caliber of Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel,  the last thing I want to hear is a racing version of NASA's Mission control telling them they can push for 1.5 laps before their left front brake temperature climbs 12 degrees beyond range.  
"...You have 2 laps with the boost Checo, use it wisely"  don't spend it all at once, reminds me of that scene in Trading Places.

And let's not even get into warnings about too much rear wheelspin... god forbid some of this happened!

Yes I get it, it's really about the quest for perfection but perfection is the most boring thing in the world.    Why do fans still idolize Gilles Villeneuve, a driver who never won a championship and crashed most of the time?  Because he never gave in and would drive on three wheels if one came off.

In Austria instead we saw Red Bull choose to retire Vettel's car to save parts and penalty points. It may have been the most rational thing to do but fans were deprived of watching a 4 time champion try to fight his way back into the points.  It's sad.

Before the Canadian GP, BBC's 5 Live Chequered Flag podcast had a very interesting interview with Fernando where, among other things, he put his finger on precisely the biggest issue with the current cars,  that you can't push consistently.
If racing drivers don't like it, it's no wonder fans are not thrilled, despite what you may read in the cheerleading press.

Of course, Rosberg has no problems with this state of affairs because it's working out for him this year, but c'mon enough of this Formula Management guys,  let's bring back Formula Balls

Let them race!


  1. My thoughts exactly. I understand what the FIA is trying to achieve but for the first time in 30+ years I won't build my summer schedule around the F1 calendar. I will watch Spa and Suzuka but that's about it. I want to enjoy F1 but they're losing me.

  2. I do agree with your points BUT one thing regarding what Fernando is saying.

    In 2005 when tire change was banned. He was a Champ because he had the best tires at the moment, Michelin, and he was the best nursing the tires.
    At that moment Bridgestone's drivers were complaining they can not push consistently.
    Remember la rossa moving like a snail in the back of the grid...

    What I'm trying to say this is not new.
    As I always say.. I would love to see an F1 of the sixties again... with no aero. It was 15% mechanical grip, 25% Engine and 60% driver.

  3. I generally like the current formula. Hybrid powertrains, turbochargers, and exhaust gas waste heat recovery are all good. My biggest complaint about the formula is the tires. The cars are already carrying enough fuel to make it around the track for a whole race. Why not provide tires that are difficult to overwork with the current cars? Then drivers could push for a larger portion of the race.

    Also, this is unlikely to happen, but I would rather see more interesting aerodynamics (fully active aero) or a formula that reduces aero's importance, bringing more importance to the powertrain, mechanical grip, and the drivers, rather than a formula that rewards aero tricks (exhaust blown diffuser, f-duct, etc).

    Also, the engine freeze makes it more difficult for teams to catch up to Mercedes. I would rather see unrestricted engine development throughout the season rather than unrestricted aero development throughout the season.

  4. what about a single tire that could make it to the end of the race if they are careful with it, that way they could play the speed vs tire life game more?


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