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ggarrard GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/3/23 8:46 p.m.

I wasn't insinuating any preference to Williams' choice of keeping Sargeant... in fact, I'm kind of indifferent to their decision.   Albon has definitely shown his value to the team, and having a second driver that could match him would be good.   Maybe Sargeant will prove us wrong.

Tom1200 PowerDork
12/4/23 11:40 a.m.
maschinenbau said:
jharry3 said:

Why, oh why is it that every time a team or a driver (or the combo) figures out how to win more than others does that trigger animosity against their success?  

I want F1 to be always centered on engineering innovation to catch up in the pack.  Constant competition and innovation.     

This! A thousand times this! 

I have no animosity toward RB or Adrian Newey.................I just want to see something different.

Hopefully no one took my tongue in cheek comments seriously.

Advan046 UberDork
12/4/23 12:50 p.m.

I think Williams made the right choice in drivers. 

I am confused by what is happening with Alpine and Alfa Romero. Are the teams crumbling?

trigun7469 UltraDork
12/8/23 9:42 a.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

Williams made the right choice for a known quantity and showed loyalty to the Driver Academy. In the same equipment in F3 Logan was on par with Oscar P., he had really bad luck the final race when someone drilled him putting him back 3rd in the championship. Year 2 F3 he was put in one the worst teams on the F3 grid and was able to put the best performances together for the team and was miles ahead of the others on the team. F2 was last minute, as he almost made the move to Indycar. He probably should have stayed another year in F2, but he had to say yes to F1.

Albon is doing great, but he isn't going anywhere Ferrari, Mercedes, Mclaren and RB are locked. I doubt that Williams will make the stride necessary to be better then mid low pack. 

In reply to Advan046 :

Alfa seems to be just duplicating what HAAS is doing with Vanilla drivers that hopefully don't crash a lot, making minor adjustments to the car. The relationship of the Audi sounds complex. I thought that Alpine would have been a lot better, but there approach is the opposite, they have good drivers, but make knee jerk reactions, and are not honest about their car (slow engine) and situation. They think they are a top team but really they are not.

Advan046 UberDork
12/12/23 11:08 p.m.

In reply to trigun7469 :

I see you on the Alpine delusion. They may be spending tons of money but don't seem to understand F1. I could see many F1 leaders being able to step in but it feels like Ford/Jaguar F1 in that the corporate folks think they can meddle deeply into the team and expect them to still somehow function as a team. 

accordionfolder UltraDork
12/20/23 7:45 a.m.

Sargeant finding consistent pace would be great. I'm an eternal optimist, and having an American in the fight would be nice. Glad he's sticking around.

MiniDave HalfDork
12/20/23 2:30 p.m.

I think Andretti should buy Renault.....erm, sorry - Alpeen. Kill two birds as it were....he gets on track and learns how to run an F1 team and later when they bring the "Cadillac" engines online - which were always going to be Renaults anyway - then they can rebrand them.

alfadriver MegaDork
12/20/23 3:09 p.m.

In reply to MiniDave :

Two things have to happen for that to be pulled off. First, Renault needs to decide to sell and bail on F1. Second, Mike needs approval from the rest of F1 over all other bids for the team.

Both are a pretty tall order. 

Haas seems like a more likely candidate for a sale. 

MiniDave HalfDork
12/22/23 1:15 a.m.

What other bids? I didn't think the Renault F1 team was even for sale, especially since they have all those sports and Hollywood types putting money into the team now......although I could see them selling the F1 team and keeping the engine business going.

Maybe you're right tho, maybe HAAS is a better candidate.

alfadriver MegaDork
12/22/23 7:43 a.m.

In reply to MiniDave :

Last time a team was for sale, three groups bid on it. If a team goes up for sale, I would expect the same. So F1 can choose the team. 

Hoppps New Reader
12/22/23 7:51 a.m.

Putting this silly prediction here for future me:

Audi backs out of F1 to focus on fully electric racing.

Andretti buys Sauber due to old Ferrari connections.

Wouldn't that be crazy?

alfadriver MegaDork
12/22/23 8:32 a.m.

Stop me if you've heard this before.

There is a new documentary out there covering a magical season for an epic F1 story. 

This one is on Vimeo and not Disney, though. 

And magical isn't winning, it's being one of the worst teams ever. 

The Race really positively reviewed the documentary about Andrea Moda. 

alfadriver MegaDork
1/8/24 9:46 a.m.

ICYMI- Team Alfa Romeo is no more.  It's now Team Stake.  


What a great name.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/8/24 10:27 a.m.
alfadriver said:

ICYMI- Team Alfa Romeo is no more.  It's now Team Stake.  


What a great name.

Offically, it is "Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber"

I suspect most people will just call it Sauber.


alfadriver MegaDork
1/8/24 10:28 a.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

And I learned today that Stake is a gambling company, so their logo won't be on the car at some races.  

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/8/24 1:25 p.m.

TL;DR: I still don't think F1 does a good job of being the pinnacle of motorsport, but I keep checking back because it continues to hold that title in some meaningful ways that make it hard to just ignore in favor of other series.

A few thoughts after paying a little more attention in '23 than I had in a while (probably more listening to The Race's F1 Tech podcast than anything, though I did watch some race highlights). These are (obviously) just my opinions; the opinions of someone who's predisposed to being a fan, trying to be a fan, and mostly failing.

  • Is F1 broken? I don't like that way of putting it because it echoes a thing we do a lot: "If the big machine's settings aren't exactly here, it won't work at all." F1's doing quite well right now, but I also think it's simplistic to say "the advertising and viewing numbers are good right now, so everything's great." The current situation is on the heels of a big marketing push which itself was on the heels of the success of Drive to Survive. F1 just got a big injection of fans who are not intrinsically motorsports fans. It puts me in mind of NASCAR's "WWF of motorsports" phase. I think NASCAR's doing okay, but it's not like the trajectory was "we have achieved success, and now upwards!"
  • I don't think domination by a very small number of teams is good, and in the longer term, I don't think it's even good for the winners. We're seeing a little of this, and almost a little of this turned upside down in MotoGP, and I like how they're handling it. You could say that Ducati's dominant, but it's partly that they have eight bikes and a bunch of data each weekend. KTM and Aprilia are very close. The bigger problem is that Yamaha and Honda have lost the plot, and proportionally, the adjustment isn't "You're winning too much. Here, hold this anvil," it's "You haven't had decent results in the last year, you get some extra testing, you can update your engine more often. When you get results, the concessions end." So Ducati doesn't lose anything relative to the companies who are nipping at its heels, but we hopefully drag Honda and Yamaha back to relevance.
  • What is F1? Well, obviously, it's open wheel, open cockpit, because That's The Way It's Always Been. Just look at Fangio's car. But... look at the current cars. They bear almost no resemblance to those early cars, and in fact are only notionally, technically, arguably open wheel and open cockpit. If you ask 1000 people what's sacred about F1 and what's open to change, you will get... not unanimity. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle, but the reality at this point is that starting with a blank sheet nobody would draw an F1 car. Starting with more or less a blank sheet is more or less how the series started, and now we have prescribed bore centers, don't we? It's not like we can actually give a blank sheet at this stage of the game, I just think we're attached to things that no longer make any sense.
  • DRS: It's a gimmick, and a dead solid indicator that other things are wrong. Until the cars can actually have a meaningful race with passing without DRS, I'm convinced they're just charging further down the wrong road. I feel similarly about any rules about when and how much KERS power can be used; that should be handled by a battery size regulation, and anything you can work out about harvesting and applying energy should be dandy. To spell it out, I think that it is way more important that there be real racing for position than that there be wings.
  • The tire rules are contrived.

Some of the best things about F1 have nothing to do with the cars as they are now. It's the level of coverage, the detail of the analysis, and the quality of the engineering (and driving, and everything else). If we had the same giant circus racing Locosts, it would be better for me. That's a silly example and a nonstarter of course, but I think it's nearly as silly that while I can find a podcast about F1 tech with a former team technical director, the analysis seems with amazing frequency to be a rehashing of whether it was a big gamble to go with pushrod vs pullrod rear suspension because the current phase of development and rules put more emphasis on airflow under the car or over the car this season... And will it go back the other way next year? It's gone stale.

The bulk of fans making up the positive viewing numbers don't give a flying fig newton about pushrods vs pullrods, and that's absolutely fine. But I feel like there's some aspect of addressing the fundamentals that is important to the long term health of the whole thing. There's a huge amount of money in F1, and large investments like predictability. I suspect, however, that the management that creates a predictable return on an investment in racing is not the same set of choices that result in the best racing, and by that I mean the best total competition between drivers, crews, managers, engineers, etc.

And thus ends my annually evolving rant about F1. I will totally watch some more odds and ends, and catch a few of the tech podcasts.

DirtyBird222 PowerDork
1/8/24 1:46 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

In reply to Mike924 :

I agree. More teams and fewer races would be fine. They could drop every middle eastern circuit and no one here would cry about it.

Yea, but, that's where all the money is at for the FIA. Take the middle east spin out of it and all those tracks are trash anyways. Adrian Fernandez said it best in his Dinner with Racers episode "F1 ruins tracks" or something to that extent when referencing Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. "It's just go fast stop turn with no rhythm or flow"

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/8/24 1:48 p.m.

F1 has always had highly dominant teams.

Grand Prix racing has not always been open wheel - although I think it might have always been open cockpit. I've said it before, I think LMP cars are actually a better design. And think of LMP about 10 years ago - diesel vs gas, turbo vs naturally aspirated, 4 vs 6 vs 8 cylinders, supercaps vs batteries vs flywheels, even FWD vs RWD. Sure, it was expensive, but was it that much more than an F1 car? And as proven by Porsche with the 919 Evo, the cars weren't fundamentally any slower.

DRS exists because the current aero makes it almost impossible to pass otherwise. Again, LMPs make it happen. A number of the recent aero tweaks have been to make it easier for the cars to follow closely and thus pass, and DRS is becoming less critical. Although implementing it well (hello Red Bull) can have a massive effect on your race results.

If you want racing with a field of Locosts, check out the Caterham Academy and some of the Caterham race series. I saw one at Brands Hatch that was fantastic, a change in position in almost every corner. But the cars are nothing like F1 cars, some of us like the tech and the nerdery of pushrod vs pullrod suspension.

The thing is, though, is that F1 isn't a sport. It's entertainment. This was made very clear with the way the 2021 season finished - the rules were thrown out to give an exciting finish. So DRS and the tire rules play well into that.

DirtyBird222 PowerDork
1/8/24 1:50 p.m.
trigun7469 said:

In reply to DjGreggieP :

Or just do what Touring cars did and add weight to the winning car, can imagine Max winning with a car that weighs 200lbs more then any other car laugh

Ah yes I loved when the old Speedvision World Challenge GT and Touring cars did this. 

trigun7469 UltraDork
1/8/24 1:57 p.m.

In reply to Jesse Ransom :

I don't think domination by a very small number of teams is good

Indycar has CGR & Penske

Nascar Hendrick and Penske

Sprots Car Racing (WEC) Audi and Toyota

IMSA-Action Express and Wayne Taylor

I think it's more important that it's a close race between the dominate cars, because dominant teams is obviously how racing works. It’s boring when the championship is pretty much decided before the summer break. In 2022 when Max and Charles were passing each other for the lead it was much more entertaining then watching Hamilton run people of the road and dominate a race. All Ferrari has to do is have a decent car and strategy.

DirtyBird222 PowerDork
1/8/24 2:01 p.m.

The Audi dominance in ALMS and ACO was impressive and they just exploited the gray areas in the rulebook to a T. Peugot in the late 00s put some good pressure on Audi to be even more creative. 

The Porsche v. Audi v. Toyota in the late teens was excellent as well. 

Audi's run was impressive and while I always wanted to see an underdog like Panoz beat them, I miss having them in the sport. 

stroker PowerDork
1/8/24 3:10 p.m.
MiniDave said:

How would you do that? Limit someone to WDC only twice?

Nope.  Limit any team for which Newey works to compete using Challenge rules.


stroker PowerDork
1/8/24 3:11 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The thing is, though, is that F1 isn't a sport. It's entertainment. This was made very clear with the way the 2021 season finished - the rules were thrown out to give an exciting finish. So DRS and the tire rules play well into that.

This times 1000.  It's time to leave the contrived entertainment behind and go back to sport.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/8/24 4:13 p.m.

I feel like the silly thing is that we as gearheads regard F1 as the pinnacle when I don't think it deserves that title, at least not unequivocally. It is a hugely successful entertainment, and I do not mean to denigrate the drivers and engineers and so forth, because this entertainment pays for the very best.

But, calling F1 the pinnacle of motorsport is a bit like calling WWE better than Olympic wrestling because its ratings are bigger.

DRS is required to have a race with the current tech, but having DRS instead of changing directions was the wrong answer, IMHO; my opinion being worth every penny you paid for it.

I think it's possible to have both, and I think MotoGP comes a lot closer. And I agree with Keith about LMP being a great example of what could be a genuinely superior car, with better racing, more interesting tech, etc. Moreover, I think some of the things we're clinging to (e.g. "open wheel" and "open cockpit") as noted earlier aren't even really true any more. They're trying to cling to the ideas of things they've already lost in principle.

MiniDave HalfDork
1/8/24 5:54 p.m.

I think F1 is the pinnacle of money spent on race cars!  laugh

I mean, Red Bull doesn't even buy bolts from anyone, they make their own according to their specs!

The Life of a Bolt (youtube.com)

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