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Big Blue

What can the new lot do to improve F1?

As said in the Bernie farewell thread, here's a thread to start our fomenting ideas for F1's improvement. I'm busy but will add mine later.

Single element front & rear wings.
Smaller diffusers, but stepped chassis for ground effect
Get rid of all the kers bollocks, leaving 1.5ltr turbocharged engines of any design kicking out 1000+bhp
Bin flappy paddle gearboxes and go back to H-pattern manual changes. Keep all the gubbins to prevent the drivers from mis-selecting and grenading the engines.
Ban 'Halo' before it comes in on aesthetic grounds
Budget cap of £100million
Scrap manufacturer agreement to the rule changes. Ross makes the rules. End of.
Nice Guy Eddie

I guess you need to keep Hybrid engines if you want to appeal to manufacturers of course the sport would probably be in a healthier state without those manufacturers but that's another issue.

Ground effects and massive wheels to add grip and reduce the wings and other aero to a minimum meaning the car behind can actually run within a few feet of the car infront without loosing all grip.

No problems on big budgets as it all adds to the razzmatazz but spend it on bikini clad lovely's as they do in the Moto GP rather than speccy geeks in a mission control centre 1000's of miles away form the track.
Andy C

Bring back v10s

Or even v8s

And I'll start watching again
Bob Sacamano

Le Mans style racing starts with the drivers having to negotiate a short steeplechase before getting into their vehicles.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Normally-aspirated V10's or V-8's, no KERS or hybrids, single element front wings, twin-element rear wings, no bargeboards or other aero appendages, front wheels/tyres to be much smaller than those at the rear

Dr H had a good idea in another thread. Some of which seems to be happening this year.
Big Blue

First up: remove manufacturer say in the rules and regulations. The idea that Honda would only come on board if the hybrid engines were made regulatory and the idea that teams can veto rule changes is farcical.

Spread the funding: As a Ferrari fan I should be arguing for the huge annual bonus they get, but in the spirit of competition this is nonsense. We'll never know that if they had a bit more development funding whether Renault / Lotus would have won the title with Kimi when he was doing so well but if a couple of teams are taking a chunk of extra cash and others are going bust because of it that's all wrong.

Simplify the rules and regulations regarding the physical car. F1 cars should have an engine of a defined size and a chassis with a limited max and min. footprint, some defined size wheels and x% of footprint of above floor-pan aero. The rules on safety, cockpit access and egress and driver protection can stay complex but essentially we want an engine with wheels. Combine this with driver-only scrutineering (i.e. no lawyer standing in the bay with the rule book) so the driver knows what his car is doing as opposed to a team of engineers that just tell him "it'll be OK".

MotoGP has banned aero, a lot of the argument was about the injuries the fins could inflict on riders. How many F1 races have we seen fecked up by razor sharp pieces of carbon-fibre wings damaging tyres? So the aero on the car should be designed with a certain edge profile and then destructively tested to meet rules on sharp bits. It goes without saying that DRS should just fade away - "did that driver outrace that car in front or was he simply 20mph overspeed due to an aero-alteration?". How exciting!

Race funding should can change fundamentally. At present there is a license to hold the race that comes with a fee, which then drives up the cost of entry tickets. This has effectively indemnified F1 (Bernie) from the perils of low attendance. In UEFA matches the city and stadium hosting the final gets nothing. All ticket sales, merchandising space etc. goes to UEFA and its sponsors with the idea being that the local economy gets a boost from 60-70,000 visitors. (aside: this is causing a problem for Cardiff as most visitors will not stay in Cardiff as it's too small - and in Cardiff! - unlike Munich, Milan etc. plus the FAW is not as loaded as the DFB or FA etc.) So how about the track pays nothing but the F1 organisation gets all ticket sales, provides a certain level of staffing and has rights to all amenities alongside and inside the track defined by a fence line. Everything outside of that the circuit / local economy manages so crowd catering, other entertainment, merchandising pitches etc. The circuit bidding for the race would have to put together a business model as to how this would create an atmosphere (i.e. they've booked Def Leppard for a gig or Marco Pierre White is doing all the catering) suitable enough for a major event. Monaco can do what it likes as F1 without Monaco is just car racing.

Media platforms need to be fundamentally changed. Sure pay-TV is a leader in sport and could remain that way but this should coupled with a deal to show at least highlights on a non-pay channel. Sponsors are missing out on exposure by not being on mass-TV. However, as seen by the reported viewing figures for a certain trio on Amazon if F1 has a massive enough audience then an app based platform with either a race-by-race charge or annual and half-season ticket (a la MotoGP) should be considered. This should be wholly run and hosted by the F1 company.

The MotoGP app is simply awesome: I can set the home page so even if I've not seen any news all day / the next day I won't see the colourful pictures of the winner when I open it; I can watch the whole race, have three or four different sound feeds, choose a single camera, including those on the bikes, have several small screens showing at once with the main race a back-drop. It costs me Ä200 a year - not exactly cheap but less than a single ticket to an F1 GP. For that I can watch any motoGP race for the past few seasons, see additional content and news etc. plus unlike a lot of apps I can bounce it to my AppleTV (I guess the other platforms also work). F1 needs to just copy that and I'll be a happy punter.

Aside from that though F1 has one other problem: it's very sterile. F1 cars don't even look like they're on the edge - not on the edge of adhesion, of power application, of breakage. †Technology and manufacturing means that the cars are uber-reliable so unless they crash they tend to finish; the crashes themselves are often dull as cars get beached or some small bit snaps off and they can't continue. All this means fans that were raised on exploding turbos, bodywork simply falling off, cars continuing with bashed up bodies, drivers dying every time they came off the road (OK, maybe we're happy that's ended) are now trying to sell a sport to their off-spring that involves the top six starters finishing in the same order after 90 minutes of stopping for fuel and tyres.

There's loads more (Sav will in-fill ) but time will tell what actually happens. Hopefully some of the above.

You make some excellent points Jeff. Some probably just cannot happen due to the history of the agreements that are in place.

I agree when it comes to TV rights though. Moving to having just highlights of some races on free to view tv was fine at first but the number of races shown live has dwindled dramatically and, for me personally, are often on at the wrong time (I don't have the telly to myself all evening on a Sunday) and TBH it's far too easy to know the result by the time it airs. when Sky got the pay tv rights they included F1 for Sky Sports customers but now it's an extra, but the sport is just not exciting enough at present to make people want to pay.

I also agree regarding the cars. The regulations have been made so complicated that if they were all painted white you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart. The innovative side of the designs is in the intricate aero setup which your average Joe Numpty cannot easily see. That's not to say we should ever expect to see another fan car or six wheeler but allowing much more freedom of design would be interesting and drive progress.

You are right too that they are too reliable and too. When did we last see an engine eat itself and spit a big ball of flame out the back? I don't want drivers to be in danger of course but a failed battery pack just doesn't have the same level of excitement.

Turbo and hybrid technology is good and I don't think it shouldn't have its place but perhaps allow teams to have whatever setup of engine/turbo/motor they wish but set a max power/torque output. You could have an NA V10 (the last ones had almost 900bhp) or a V6 hybrid depending on which you think works best.

Andy C wrote:
Bring back v10s Or even v8s

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Normally-aspirated V10's or V-8's, no KERS or hybrids

F1 needs forward thinking, not relics from the past.  People mock Formula E but unless F! it sorts itself out I can see it being overtaken (with a fan boost obviously) by it in a few years.

I agree with most of BBs points above and only add that the media stuff needs interaction with the fans. Where as we want, on a Sunday afternoon, to sit down on the sofa with a nice bottle of red or a few beers (and in my case fall asleep) the yoof of tomorrow will want to plug in their Playstation 6, strap on their VR headsets and race against Massa Junior, the old guard like Verstappen and Schumacher's brain in a jar.
Twelfth Monkey

It needs technology and spectacle, but more than anything else it needs close racing and easier overtaking.  One-team dominance is what's killed it for me.

Had to buy some oil last week, and studiously avoided the brand with Da Ham's childishly surly mug on it.

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
It needs technology and spectacle, but more than anything else it needs close racing and easier overtaking. †One-team dominance is what's killed it for me.

Had to buy some oil last week, and studiously avoided the brand with Da Ham's childishly surly mug on it.

Think I'd prefer to keep my trust in good old Castrol rather than any dodgy Petronas stuff.
Twelfth Monkey

I'd rather not shore up Da Ham's ego by a single penny.

Goodness me, where do we startÖ

Ban tyre warmers. This is totally unnecessary. Letís see the outlaps and the formation lap take a whole new importance by banning the tyre blankets. You might wonder what the impact might be. IndyCar doesnít have tyre warmers, and the outlaps are about two seconds a lap slower on road courses. The preceding driver finds it very difficult to defend against a car on warm tyres. Similarly, the formation lap would also be a lot more important as well because the tyres wouldnít already be up to reasonable temperature.

Ban power steering. Again, IndyCar hasnít got power steering. They race on much bumpier tracks than F1 does and the drivers manage just fine.

Vastly reduce downforce. Iím all for fast cars and fast cornering speeds. Itís just about how this is achieved, and whether it distorts racing. Iím not a fan of the high-downforce, high-draggy approach with shorter braking distances. This increases cornering speeds to levels nobody can notice, and that massively increases the turbulence for the pursuing car. And because there is so much suction, driver mistakes and wheel correction is unlikely.

Unfortunately, the braking zones also become shorter. This is the real nail in the coffin because out-braking someone is the main way to overtake, so reducing scope for this is very negative for 2017.

People talk about more power. If the cars had 1500 bhp it would be demanded that downforce increase, making that extra power a rather diminished return because of the additional drag. The current cars are beasts in a straight-line with over 900 bhp, Bottas clocked 232 mph during the Mexico GP last year. If downforce was reduced compared to 2016, straightaway speeds would increase and braking zones would lengthen Ė making for better racing. Circuits could also reduce the size of the run-off areas too. People will say that reducing downforce is dangerous. If increasing downforce is so safe, why does every Formula 1 circuit have to increase run-off areas and upgrade barriers because of the far greater cornering speeds in 2017? I donít blame the circuit owners or the FIA, if someone loses control for whatever reason mid-corner; the driver is going to need more space to have a crash. Reduce downforce, and they wonít be cornering so fast in the first place, because drivers would have to brake so much earlier.

Proper manual starts. Eliminating one of the clutch levers and limiting practice starts has not reduced the dependence on software for the standing starts. Itís too much of a lottery where the driver only has influence to an extent. GP2 has far more interesting starts with greater variability and wheelspin.

Far more noise. Noise is an integral part of motorsport. Nobody wants to attend a silent music concert, and very few people want to attend a silent motorsport event. Take the motor out of motorsport, and it will lose a lot of fans generally. As a child I didnít have a clue what was going on, but it sounded bloody amazing. I have an ultimatum: if more car manufacturers donít enter Formula 1, the sport should go back to naturally aspirated engines or at least reduce the hybrid gubbins to get back proper-sounding engines. What is the point of having Honda solely return for rubbish-sounding engines?

Less road relevance. This is a fruitless exercise, especially because the automotive industry will experience greater change in the next 10 years than it has in the last 60 years. Should F1 literally chop and change powertrains every few years to mirror the road car industry? If manufacturers want greater technical freedom, LMP1 is a better optionÖ.but nobody apart from Toyota and Porsche are interested.

The 2014 regulations deliberately favoured car manufacturers who were already spending billions of R&D into hybrid recovery systems. There must be a role for privateer powertrain suppliers, but this is absolutely impossible under the current regime. F1ís car manufacturers know that the direct technology transfer is limited. Iím sure Audiís will become a lot shitter because they left LMP1. No, F1 is a marketing exercise for the manufacturers. Itís the worldís most-watched motorsport, and they want that exposure because it is automotive related. NASCAR is the same. Ford, GM and Toyota know that the race cars bare no relation to their respective production counterparts. But itís an automotive-related series; so itís an opportunity to showcase your respective brand and associate yourself with some of Americaís biggest sports stars.

Better circuit design. Abu Dhabi is the worst offender of all. The first and third sectors are fiddly, boring and offer no opportunity to overtake. New circuits must be more distinctive, flowing and have more challenging track limits. Abu Dhabi, Korea and India are just dire. At least two of those circuits are gone, but it illustrates the inadequacy of modern track design. Not sure what happened to Tilke with Sepang; itís a brilliant track Ė wide, fast and flowing with excellent overtaking opportunities. He must have been drunk.

Greater expansion into America. I think Liberty is planning this, but this was Bernieís downfall. Contrary to popular belief, F1 has a strong viewership in America. NBC shows F1 and IndyCar, and F1 can almost match IndyCarís viewership. Viewership of F1 grew in 2016, where it declined in other markets. The American motorsport market is undoubtedly saturated, but the following is sufficient for a second Grand Prix in such a large country.

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