Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Jerez, 2014

Mercedes teams to oppose double points expansion

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Jerez, 2014In the round-up: Mercedes’ F1 teams are expected to oppose Bernie Ecclestone’s plan to add two more double points races.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Mercedes backed F1 teams likely to block double points move for final three races (James Allen on F1)

“The word among teams backed by Mercedes is that they will block any upgrading of the final three rounds.”

John Malone in talks with CVC over F1 stake (FT, registration required)

“However, Mr Malone has not made any formal offer and talks are at an early stage, two people cautioned. Any deal is expected to value the motorsport at more than $9bn including debt.”

John Malone set to take on Rupert Murdoch for F1 stake (The Telegraph)

“Formula One looks set to become the latest battle ground in the rivalry between media chiefs John Malone and Rupert Murdoch, after Mr Malone entered discussions to buy a major stake in the motorsport.”

Mercedes admits Brawn will be missed (Autosport)

Toto Wolff: “He was an iconic leader, and we are going to notice that he is missing when it is getting stressful on race weekends. His leadership and his guidance is something that was extraordinary.”

No pressure on Daniel Ricciardo, says David Coulthard (The Age)

“There’s going to be a lot more demands on his time, especially making his season debut in Melbourne. He’s an approachable, smiley character, and if he hasn’t done so already, I think he’ll really connect with the Australian people.”

1974 Hesketh Formula One (RM Auctions)

An early ex-James Hunt Hesketh F1 car is being auctioned.

Why F1 will be worth watching this year (MotorSport)

“It?s hard to believe that a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 motors could sound better than a normally aspirated 2.4-litre V8s, but they do.”

Nico Goes “Full Attack” with 2014 Helmet Design (Mercedes via YouTube)


Comment of the day

A sharp analysis of F1’s declining viewing figures from @Coefficient:

For me, part of the problem with F1 is that people just don?t believe in it any more from a sporting perspective. Yes, there are die-hard fans who will never hear a bad word said and there are those of us who are fascinated by the technical aspects of the category. However, I feel that it is impossible for F1 to hope to maintain long-term credibility and gain respect as a sporting endeavour whilst the the results are to a certain degree fixed or pre-ordained.

I know it?s the same in football (and Bernie Ecclestone has long desired a similarly commercial product) where the Manchester Uniteds of the world thrash the pants off the poorer clubs but to all intents and purposes when the match starts it?s still two teams of guys running with the ball and the underdog still has a chance. Formula One’s wealthiest teams have massaged the sport into a situation whereby they are doomed to win and in doing so have removed the most fundamental aspect of any sporting event, i.e. the competition.

People aren?t fooled into thinking that each car/driver combination have an equal chance because the financial status of each of the teams is flaunted on the TV as presenters saunter past a Ferrari/McLaren/Red Bull hospitality unit in the paddock which is bigger than most normal people?s houses and then they stroll past the Caterham Transit van parked in the corner.

They rub our faces in it and as with most things like that it has started to wear thin, especially now that we all have to pay an enormous subscription for the privilege. They think we are lack the intelligence to be insulted by their false claims of equal competition and I think they might be heading towards a crisis on two fronts. These being, lack of fan interest/loss of viewership and collapsing infrastructure due to people being stupid with stupid amounts of money.

Don?t get me wrong, sometimes the category does offer up some stunning, edge of the seat races but they are few and far between and more by good luck than good management. This is plain to see in the post race celebrations as the racers that work in the teams are always openly more gratified and always pleasantly surprised after such events (as are the fans) compared with the majority of races where the cars come in two by two with the rich boys at the front and the less rich boys at the back.

Something else that is a concern is that if the incumbent audience start switching off, who will replace them? Of my group of friends I am the only one who has a strong interest in Formula One. There are a couple of others who have a passing interest and of the ones who aren?t interested I have tried to get them to develop an interest in it and it always comes down to one thing. ??Why can?t that guy at the back catch that guy at the front??? to which I reply ??because his car only cost one-tenth of the cost of the one in front to make so it’s not as good??.

You see, to someone who has no knowledge of the category who is considering watching, the fundamentals need to be in place to attract them in the first place and they aren’t. People want to feel like they?re going to watch 24 racers fight tooth and nail on a reasonably level playing field but F1 can?t offer that so people don?t bother. It?s different for me, I?m dyed in the wool. I?ve been watching so long that I?ve grown up with it and its as much an addictive soap opera as a fascinating technical endeavour to me and for that reason I am more able to tolerate dull racing. F1 sells itself as a racing category first and foremost so people are just confused when there is no racing and give up. Two hours is a long time to sit starting at a foregone conclusion and a maintaining season-long interest/viewers is not going to happen unless people are given what they want.

The world has changed. With the internet etc… people are able to get exactly what they want more readily rather than be told what to want by the super-rich. Customers have more power and have grown very accustomed to that and if they aren?t satisfied they will look elsewhere. This is something that F1 has failed to notice.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Tom Watson and Ian Hayward!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Hector Rebaque who is 58 today.

Rebaque was one of few Mexican drivers to compete in Formula One before Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez came long. After an unsuccessful stint with Hesketh in 1977 he entered his own car in the following two seasons, scraping a solitary point at the Osterreichring in 1978.

Halfway through 1980 he was drafted in alongside championship contender Nelson Piquet at Brabham in place of Ricardo Zunino.

He fared little better than his predecessor yet remained at the team in 1981, still very much a number two to Piquet. While his team mate took the title, Rebaque ended the year tenth, and was replaced by Riccardo Patrese.

After a brief spell in IndyCar racing, where he took a fluke win at Road America in 1982, a high-speed crash at Michigan led him to call time on his racing career.

Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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  • 113 comments on “Mercedes teams to oppose double points expansion”

    1. That’s a great comment @coefficient.

      Read it everyone, it’s worth it.

      1. Indeed.

        However, one should notice that making F1 a race everyone has a shot at winning is not easy. FIA’s efforts to standardize the series aims at producing more compact racing but F1 engineers are built to exploit every possible loophole to create advantage and the possibility of having a car trashing the rest is always there unless we move to a perfect spec-series…

        On the Internet, it has changed not only TV but the whole media. I read news on-line, watch TV online and even listen to radio on-line. So, it’s not all about content but rather a matter of device. A computer, tablet or smartphone a powerful tool and saves us time and space while offering a massive set of options, TV makers are trying hard with smart-tv but it seems people in the future will use TV only for showsworth watching in family of with friends.

        1. Perhaps a medium to long term solution to work towards would be to ensure that Grand Prix teams are first and foremost advanced engineering companies offering expertise/goods/services etc. to wider industry like Mclaren, Williams and Caterham do. The teams could then compete in F1 to promote their other interests. This doesn’t mean teams would have to leave, rather the existing teams could diversify.

          Other sponsors wishing to enter F1 would sponsor the sport rather than a team and the FIA would allocate sponsorship decals on a season by season or perhaps race by race basis ensuring that all sponsors took up real estate on the cars of all teams at some point. Some of the sponsorship money the FIA received would be used to administrate the sport and a large percentage of it would be split up evenly between all teams as an annual budget to go racing.

          Teams could then have total freedom to spend that money in any way they see fit. At the same time we could have more design freedom brought to the technical regulations but they only have that set pot of money to use for racing purposes each year. Any residual funds left over at the end of the year is returned to the FIA to be retained for reinvestment into road safety research or whatever and a new allowance is issued to the teams for the following season. This bit stops teams backing off to divert money to next year’s car early keeping the focus on the current season. It also allows sponsors to align themselves with and lay claim to the positive work of the FIA that goes on alongside motorsport governance.

          Prize money and TV Money would then be awarded to the parent engineering company on the proviso that it could not be used in the funding of the F1 endeavour, but to enhance the economics of the parent organisation.

          This would encourage real racers into the business rather than Billionaires who want to spend their way to the top just to advertise their core products. I say this because only your Frank Williams’s still do it just for the racing and if it was a choice between racing and not racing they’d go for it.

          I’m sure there are problems with this model but there are clearly problems with the current one too.

      2. I agree, it was a good comment, but unfortunately not based in any form of reality.

        In EVERY sport EVERYWHERE in the world there are always teams/competitors that are able to outspend the competition, thereby giving them access to better training facilities, trainers, experts and in the case of motor racing, more money to spend on development, materials etc.

        This is the way of the world, so when are people going to stop moaning about it?

        Every effort made by the FIA/Bernie to standardize/spec any aspect of F1 and it’s met with uproar, and I agree. F1 is not just about driver vs driver – it’s about driver vs driver, team vs team and engineer vs engineer. This is the way it should be unless we all want F1 to turn into a totally spec series.

        People seem to just spend their time complaining about the state of F1, and there is no pleasing these people.

        In the big aero days pre 2009, once the first lap or 2 was over the cars hardly changed positions save for pit stop errors or car failures. How many times did you see a car come FLYING up behind another car and then just get stuck there because they couldn’t get within a second of the car in front because of aero issues? Happened ALL the time!

        2009 they tried to address the issues with smaller rear wings and bigger front wings – didn’t work.

        2011 they introduce DRS which gave us what had been missing in F1 for years – overtaking during a race – and we have had nothing but complaints about it ever since.

        Yes, on quite a few tracks it makes overtaking all too easy, but the idea is sound and at least it gives us changes of position. It certainly needs tweaking, but I like it. What most people like to forget is, someone first has to be fast enough to get within 1 second of the car in front before DRS is available to them. This in itself tells you that they are quicker. If not, the car being passed should easily have the opportunity to get back past on the next lap when they should have DRS. If they don’t, it shows they were slower and in these situations DRS shows us that it’s doing it’s job – preventing fast cars from being stuck behind slower cars due to aero ‘block’.

        The ‘one movement’ rule came into effect for the same reason – so a slower car doesn’t hold up a faster car unfairly.

        Then we have the Pirelli tires which have copped no end of flack from the punters. The usual reason is that it doesn’t let the drivers race, which up until last year, was total rubbish. 2013 was a bit of a shocker and it seemed that they had taken the degradation a bit far, but prior to this I think they were spot on. The thing that makes me laugh is people moaning about the drivers not being able to race hard like they used to. Give me a break! Take DRS away and give them durable tires and what are we going to end up with? Bore fests that we were all sick of before, that’s what!

        As far as I’m concerned, these guys are supposed to be the best drivers in the world. If they can’t adapt to tires that aren’t as durable, then they’re not the best drivers in the world. The old saying goes, ‘You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt’, it doesn’t say ‘If you’re not as good at playing with this hand than you were with the hand you had previously, moan about it’!!

        Like it or not, admit it or not, but F1 post 2009 has been FAR more enjoyable and exciting than pre 2009, save for the local excitement that Hamilton brought to the UK when he arrived in 2007. This is a fact and the TV viewing figures prove it. More people are watching F1 now than they ever have and there has to be a reason for that! (prior to the Vettel domination that is)

        Let’s all just watch and enjoy F1 for what it is TODAY and stop looking at the past with rose tinted spectacles!

        1. Actually, the real fantasy here is that the current F1 model is viable and sustainable long term.

          It is precisely this sort of attitude that allows Fossil Fuel companies to ignore warnings about Global Warming despite the fact that 98% of scientific studies agree that Global Warming is real and is caused by polution. The other 2% of studies are conducted by the fossil fuel companies themselves. It is precisely this attitude that allows us to over fish our oceans on an industrial scale despite the fact that without our sea life the planet will die.

          It is this blinkered stance of the super rich who are so petrified of seeing their coffers tighten that they willfully live in denial about cause of all these problems. Only when the last fish is dead will we realise we cannot eat money.

        2. Good debate, good comment @nick101

      3. Something that’s sometimes forgotten in such statements is the tracks: it’s not that the tracks itself are boring (Monaco is the samedull track it was 50 years ago, and we had boring tracks in the past) but that they are located in places where there is virtually no chance of rain. I will remember 2013 as the most dry season I’ve ever watched: no single wet race (except if you coun’t Malysia’s first 5 laps or so).

        Unpredictable races are the most interesting to watch but they have become increasingly predictable and in that matter DRS made things worse, you don’t ask yourself anymore: will he be able to get past? He will get past in the DRS zone.

        Also, DRS makes racing harder to follow for the casual viewer because it’s an artificial thing which most viewers, who doesn’t follow F1 as closely as we do, do not understand.

      4. I completely disagree. Because F1 has always been like this, long before football. It has always been about having the better car, and differences in the past were much larger than they are now. Actually, the last few seasons have seem some of the tightest competition in the history of the sport.
        Whoever doesn’t like it now never really did. Because they come to F1 with wrong expectations.

        1. I don’t think it is a new phenomenon that the have teams do better than the have-nots. I think what is new is viewers attention span with so many other distractions available now that compete against F1 for the viewers time. But nonetheless F1 is a pretty unique entity that still draws a massive audience, and has tons of room to be tweaked to better suit today’s reality.

          Let’s see what today’s product brings this season once they get racing in anger. I remain steadfast in the opinion that reducing aero, which they have done somewhat for now, is the ultimate key to ensuring that on more days than currently occur, some of the mid to lesser teams could actually impress with some gutsy passing if they weren’t even more encumbered in dirty air than the cars that are much better.

          I think having a steady predictable stream of wins by RBR and SV have not helped viewership, but I am also convinced that even a dominant team that has still had to fight tooth and nail for it would be more acceptable with each race carrying some very close and hard-fought action from several drivers rather than the appearance of a cakewalk by the same team and driver over and over again, and would go a long way to attracting and keeping new and existing viewers.

          It’s always been a tough balancing act. Nobody wants F1 to be a spec series…we need, for F1 to be called the pinnacle of racing, similar conditions that could allow one team to dominate, or else it all seems too manufactured, which it does already, particularly with DRS and double points. But I believe F1’s hands could be forced out of this mode if it hurts them hard enough in the pocketbook if it seems their gimmicks aren’t doing the trick.

          Personally I would not have muddied the big changes for this season with double points. It’s like the massive changes were still not enough to convince BE that RBR would not dominate again, and rather he somehow seems to think double points are there to help Ferrari exclusively. It’s this very kind of meddling that caused the boring MS/Ferrari era and turned audience away back then too.

          You changed things up…you gave the teams big new learning curves to deal with, you reduced aero a bit, you shoulda saved double points for another season, any other one but this one but preferably never, and now that you’ve admitted it is to help Ferrari you are supposed to attract a new American team how? New viewers how? Why would they watch a series that seems always about one team, be it one that is dominating all the time, or one that is being set up to stop the domination?

        2. This comparison is disingenuous. In the days of yore F1 Teams could find an advantage by having a good engineering idea. The rules are now so restrictive that it takes hundreds of millions of dollars of expenditure on highly specialised tools to enable teams to analyse technologies to find the micro seconds of performance that make the difference. There comes a point where morally you need to ask yourself “is it worth spending £300m to make this toy car travel half a second faster?”

          Also, the “it’s always been that way” is kind of the point really. The public is starting to require something different from F1. People want to see close racing nowadays and it’s a growing trend. I guarantee that if Sebastian Vettel wins the Melbourne Grand Prix this year what is left of the casual viewership will switch off for the rest of the season if not for good. This isn’t good because it’s patently obvious that F1 is completely incapable of converting the casual viewer into ardent fan these days and the remaining die hard fans are too few in number and getting fewer.

          The level of domination is directly proportional to the level of spending of a team. It is therefore no surprise that Red Bull spend the most on F1. A few years ago Mclaren dominated with the MP4/4 winning 16 out of 17 races that year but it took the 2 absolute best drivers on the grid to achieve and didn’t happen again. Imagine if Daniel Ricciardo proves to be a match for Vettel and they enjoy domination and reliability equal to recent seasons. They’d win every race at a canter and in doing so make F1 a laughing stock.

          If you don’t want the sport you claim to love to die join the modern world and get behind some changes.

          1. I don’t think they can unlearn what they know, so of course it remains that the more money you have the better off you are, more restricted or not. I don’t think it is a moral decision regarding how much to spend on what…it is a business decision and it will either financially make sense or not as to the return on the dollar for whatever money’s are spent for whomever is spending it.

            To me close racing is the key, and if RBR were to dominate but there was actual true and close racing between SV and DR, and it was neck and neck between them all season long, that would be far better than if there is only one rooster on the team.

            The changes I would prefer to see would be ones that simplify and get back to basics. Reduce aero 50%, no DRS, stable tires, no double points. They’ve reduced aero a bit for now, and the tires should be more stable by all accounts, so hopefully they’ve made small strides, but DRS is still awful for me, and the double points is a joke and should at a bare minimum have not even been floated until this season with it’s new look had a chance to show itself as a hopefully improved product.

      5. I’ve written IB essays shorter than that.

        1. And how well did they fare? @mashiat ;-)

          1. What do you think?

    2. I would just mention that at the time Frank Williams used a public phone box as an office, towed a rented chassis to an F1 meeting, yes, with a Transit van, and a few mates, he must have gazed with awe at the slick Ferrari Multi car transporters and their teams of professional mechanics with gleaming white overalls. As erudite as the COTD is, it fails to address the fact that meritocracies have ever been thus, and the desire to aspire to the top is the thrill of the chase for both participants and spectators. Anything else would be a spec series with all that dreaded name entails. That’s the level playing field and you can have it.

      The game is on!

      1. Or, rather than seeing it as only two possible extremes, we could view things as a question of degree. I don’t see COTD advocating a spec series, just fairer competition and more of it.

      2. @baron

        As erudite as the COTD is, it fails to address the fact that meritocracies have ever been thus, and the desire to aspire to the top is the thrill of the chase for both participants and spectators.

        There is something to be said for that point of view, especially when we see an underdog team and driver emerge from the mid-pack to challenge the rich front runners.

        Sadly, the closest we will get these days to the era of Gargistas like Frank Williams, Dan Gurney and Bruce McLaren are with teams like Marussia and Caterham which are still pretty large enterprises in their own right.

        1. @bullmello

          Sadly, the closest we will get these days to the era of Gargistas like Frank Williams, Dan Gurney and Bruce McLaren

          Let’s not forget Pete Lovely who drove his Lotus to the races on the back of his specially modified VW pickup.

          1. @us_peter – That is beautiful! As a former VW bus owner, that warms my heart. :)

      3. @baron, Oh yes, I remember it well, of course in those days the rules allowed the poorest teams to compete by having good ideas, not by having having a team of 150 aerodynamicists work day and night with a $60m. wind tunnel and the entire engineering staff of a major motor manufacturer looking for ways to induce laminar flow and model torque to exactly the grip provided by the tyre compound for every track, with all other areas of endeavour closed by the rules.

        1. Indeed @hohum, it was a great but different time. Those are days we cannot get back to @baron. Even when you look at things like F1 in schools – the teams that win do so by using simulation, windtunnels and high tech equipment to make those forms.

          Ruthless competition needs regulation to avoid ending up with oligopolies or monopolies where the money and power is concentrated. Because at that point there is no competition anymore and the overall quality of things dwindles. We see that in F1 currently IMO.

        2. @hohum I find myself agreeing with everything you have said: F1 rules are far too constrictive, and therein lies the issue. The teams have no opportunities to pursue different perfomance solutions, so it simply becomes a terribly expensive game of copycat. I cannot begin to imagine how much has been spent on exhaust development since 2010…

          What F1 needs is an effective cost cap, complimented by alleviated regulation constrictiveness – that, in my eyes, is the only way to afford the minnows of the F1 hierarchy the chance to compete with and (hopefully) ultimately defeat the established players with their fancy motorhomes.

      4. Baron makes a great point and its the reason I that I myself continue to tune in every race for going on 30 years. I’m always rooting for the underdog and in fact I don’t want the field to be “too equal” as it nearly became in early 2012 because it dilutes the great triumphs that are reserved for once or twice every few years. And the F1 model has pretty much taken care of this for the most part throughout recent history without much tinkering (I would think that a fully functioning head on the shoulders of Mr. E had a role – even if he was always greedy he used to actually be savvy). Don’t forget that the teams have agreed to field 18 cars minimum regardless of what teams remain – I think this fact alone has saved the day a few times behind the scenes.

        A spec series can have the same appeal too if you look at the just the team personnel and driver; in fact I quite enjoy GP2 as a compliment to F1 – sometimes its way more boring and other times its actually a lot better.

        So what’s really got us diehard fans so upset about the double-points and the DRS and is that these are messing up the natural model that had just played itself out over the years. The perfect “motorsport entertainment formula” has just become a bit more of the “motorized entertainment reality show” in the past few years.

        Its not the end of the world really – but I do feel sorry for those Montreal fans that still sit at the hairpin. I have watched 10 races here but surely won’t go back anytime soon. The fact that they have DRS at this track really is indicative that there is a complete lack of fundamental understanding in the key powers that be in F1.

      5. @baron Williams also began his climb up the F1 ladder using customer cars, yet in recent years he has opposed a change in the rules which would permit their use and could make it easier for new teams to enter the sport.

        I’m not saying customer cars is a cure-all, far from it, but I don’t think you can argue it wasn’t far easier for a new team to enter when Williams was trying to do it.

        1. Agree but it is all relative, for example it was almost impossible to rent a furnished room, get a mortgage or even buy a new car if you were under 21. As for an overdraft or a bank loan, forget it, so an F1 entry on a shoestring for such as Frank Williams was no easy task then. What you did have, was an army of enthusiastic ‘volunteers’ as a labour force. My point is that there has to be a goal, an apogee if you like of motor sport excellence, and costs aside, I believe the new formula is likely to provide the ‘thinking’ enthusiast with much to get excited over. There will be casualties along the way, spectators amongst them, and perhaps the business ‘model’ will change, indeed HAVE to change to get rid of the ‘old boy network’, as F1 cannot be everything for everyone which it is trying to be now.

          Sometimes it is good to kill old outmoded and unfair practices off so that they can be kick-started afresh, but who will do this? It must come from a new era and I just don’t see Ecclestone & Todd pulling it off. In the meantime, I am hoping that Renault pull it all together for the coming season. as I must admit, I have not been as fired up about F1 for quite a few years, well, since the engine development era anyway.

        2. Exactly it helped TR as well!

    3. I don’t like nascar, but I came across this video today and it’s pretty cool. Definitely not the same sensation as you get at an f1 race.

      1. That is hilarious!

      2. The only problem @chaddy is that is ridiculously dangerous: I don’t imagine the FIA tolerating that at all!

        Also, in terms of TV spectatorship I have always found NASCAR to be mind-numbingly repetitive.

      3. There are actually a couple spots around Montreal where you can get very close to the cars. When they came flying by in the V10 era, it was mind blowing. Far louder than NASCAR. I’ve been to a couple of NASCAR races and I’d highly recommend it. I’m not a fan, but it’s a cool experience.

    4. I was waiting for the Mercredes engine teams to do somthing like this.

      As I said (as a joke) a few days ago, when Bernie got inside knowledge his favorite F1 team may have a very poor start, he suddenly promotes this new double points end of year rule.

      The joke aside…..The rule basically rewards those teams who have the budget to throw money at the car at the end of the season……if any team had a terrible start to the season (even if was out of their control i.e engine issues) and then go on to win the constructors and drivers championship by virtue of this double points rule…that will be the end of me watching F1.

      1. This. This right here.

        The double points idea is currently just another in a long line of annoying ideas thrust on F1 by people who want money rather than sport. And, in all likelihood, it won’t impact the order too much. Yes, a driver may be higher or lower than he would be without it and a team as well. And yes that has an impact on money to teams. But right now it’s just stupid and will make equalizing historical points that much more difficult.

        But if a driver or team wins the championship based on this scheme, like @mach1, I’m done.

      2. @mach1 – Completly agree. It removes any small chance that the smaller teams may have had of a good finish because you can guarantee that Red Bull will be the fastest team by the end of the season.

      3. The other day there was an article on F1Fanatic about Ecclestone calling the Jerez test a “farce”… I found that quite comical and ironic.

        He’s officially gone mad if the season starts and double points have not been removed from the regulations. He’s always shown brief flashes of madness and/or senility, but if this regulation stays in place he’s completely lost his marbles.

        1. @steevkay The teams did this. Even if he came up with it, and I’m not sure he did (honestly, I can’t recall), the teams could have said, “no!” Especially, Ferrari. They agreed to this. They could get rid of it even now, but haven’t and don’t appear inclined to do so.

          As much as I’d like to blame Bernie, I blame the teams.

          1. Yep, too many people what have voting power and all of them protecting their own interests, even worse interest of their partners/sponsors.

    5. HMMMM. Mercedes must be worried about how good Red Bull will be after the summer break and beyond. 22 1st places out of 33 races after the summer break since 2010, and 11 1st places out of 15 during the last three races of the season since 2009.

    6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      5th February 2014, 0:42

      Terrific COTD!

      I know F1 is largely about teams coming up with their own interpretations of the regulations, and it’s interesting to see these differences in the cars, but this is the reason behind these foregone conclusions of race results. You know that the Red Bull’s/Mclaren’s/Ferrari’s/Mercedes’s are going to win, because they’re the only teams that can actually afford to go racing, and competitively at that. Every other team operates at a loss.

      I doubt it will ever happen, but for a lot of F1’s problems to be solved on the track, every team needs to be assigned with a universal car. As is the case in GP2 (Obviously it would be an F1 spec car, and not a GP2 car).

      Only then, will F1 become truly a competitive “Sport”, when every driver has an equal chance at taking a victory. Because at the moment, it’s just an entertainment showcasing who has the most money to throw around. It’s not technically a sport, even though the drivers have to be physically fit.

      And if every team had exactly the same car, then we could finally put to bed this unresolveable argument over who is the best driver in F1.

      Not to mention we’d get much closer and exciting racing.

      1. @tophercheese21 I’m sorry but this is rubbish. There’s no such thing as a spec-F1 since that goes against the very essence of F1 as the pinnacle of motor-racing. And not only F1. Show me a motorsport discipline that has a World Championship status while at the same time being a spec-series. Don’t bother you won’t find one and with good reason:
        In one sense, if you want to define it by physical human element, motorsport was never ever a sport. Motorsport was always apart from other sports as it’s a combination of man a machine. Take it away and who needs it at all? If you want that, go watch the olympics. But if you are a motorsport fan you have to respect the “motor” part of the equation. There’s the driver aspect and the car aspect which is no less important. To me, what you had said(and if we do a poll I’m sure I’ll be in the majority) is nothing less than blasphemy. And that’s before we considered practical matters even. You went from one extreme which we have now, and threatens the existence of the sport to the opposite extreme that would threaten the existence of the sport. A middle way is usually the “golden way”, and such a way must be found if F1 is to survive into the 2020’s. Your proposal, which will never happen of course(and good that it is so) is akin to attempt saving a seriously ill patient by shooting him in the head

        1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          5th February 2014, 2:08

          if you want to define it by physical human element, motorsport was never ever a sport.

          I disagree. I think that Motorsport is a sport because you have to have a reasonably high level of fitness, strength and conditioning to do it at a high level.

          For example, in my opinion, Golf, isn’t a sport. If you can be 60 years old and obese, and still play on the professional circuit, it’s not a sport, It’s a hobby, like darts. An elderly obese person could not even fit in an F1 car, let alone drive it. Or play a 90 minute football match at the level of professional players.

          I say that F1 is more of an entertainment because the athletes aren’t on a level playing field, not because they have an engine behind their heads.

          I was just giving my opinion that Formula One needs to be more level, so that all the drivers can have a legitimate chance of winning races. It’s really not that radical of an idea to receive a chastising reply lol. Relax.

          1. It’s really not that radical of an idea to receive a chastising reply lol.

            The idea of F1 being a spec series isn’t radical?

            1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
              5th February 2014, 2:39

              It wasn’t a concrete idea. Lol it was just an idea for the sport to be a bit more of an equal chance for drivers.

          2. @tophercheese21

            I disagree. I think that Motorsport is a sport because you have to have a reasonably high level of fitness, strength and conditioning to do it at a high level.

            That’s not what I meant. Of course there is a physical element without it a sport isn’t a sport. Golf isn’t a sport, snooker isn’t a sport and of course, despite some(ridiculous) opinions to the contrary, chess isn’t a sport

            But what differentiates motorsport from most other sports is that in many sports physical element is the defining aspect. Here it’s only equal to the car aspect. The car element was always important even when amateur drivers competed against each other in the 1920s in their Bentleys, Bugattis and Alfa Romeos.

            Btw, motorsport isn’t the only sport which is like that. After all, what is a good horse racer without a good horse? And do they clone the horses for equality there? And in football rich teams win more often than not by a huge margin because they have better everything from players to facilities. F1 is also a team sport so the connection is obvious

            I’m all for a more level playing field. It must be done first by formulating an enforceable budget cap, and second by increasing teams’ share of the revenues. Both are highly unlikely as I see now, but we can dream!

            And no worries, I’m very relaxed.I’m so relaxed that I’m wasting my time having an argument(albeit interesting) on a blog dedicated to a sport, which I’d declared many times already I’m not going to watch at all until the double-points madness(the proverbial last straw for me) isn’t changed. See? I’m relaxed. Chilling really :)

            1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
              5th February 2014, 2:44

              I’m not going to watch at all until the double-points madness

              Haha I plan on watching every race except the double points race! I still can’t believe it’s going ahead.

            2. Golf is a sport, snooker is a sport, darts is a sport (just). The one thing, and probably the most important, you are missing from the definition of sport is skill. All three of these, and motorsports require a high level of skill to win.

              Chess is not a sport, it’s a strategy competition.

            3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
              5th February 2014, 4:01


              They’re not sports. Sure they take some skill, but so does whistling. That doesn’t make it a sport. A sport is something that is both skillful and highly physically demanding.

              In 1994 a 77 year old played golf on the PGA Tournament. It is not a sport. It’s a hobby.

            4. @tophercheese21 Name me a hobby with such an array of sponsors and vast prize money.

            5. Chris, there are many spec series out there but no one cares about them except the contestants and their friends and families, why, because they are uninteresting with only the skill of the driver differentiating between them, no David and Goliath, no V12 versus V8, just a bunch of guys and gals driving round in identical macines,yawn.
              But don’t be disheartened you are not alone with your idea, even such exhalted figures as FIA chief Max Mosely and his buddy Bernie wanted that, so you are in good company there.

            6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
              5th February 2014, 4:42


              Golf. Lol

            7. Chris (@tophercheese21)
              5th February 2014, 4:46


              I don’t see what’s so wrong with wanting to see my favourite Motorsport become a more level playing field for the drivers involved.

              I just gave a spec series as an example, I wasn’t saying it has to be like that.

              Just something to make the cars and teams more evenly matched so that the racing is closer.

            8. But Chris, F1 has always been about building a better car and while it would be ideal if every team had a car that had different strengths and weaknesses, but was able to complete all 19 races in exactly the same overall time as all the others that will never happen, all attempts to level the playing field by restricting design options merely result in vastly increasing the cost of every 0.1 second of lap time gain giving the wealthy teams an even greater advantage over the poorer teams.

            9. @tophercheese21
              [spawrt, spohrt]
              1. an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.


              Notice the “skill or physical prowess”.

        2. Funny enough @tophercheese if you watch modern Olympics, than this contrast

          In one sense, if you want to define it by physical human element, motorsport was never ever a sport. Motorsport was always apart from other sports as it’s a combination of man a machine. Take it away and who needs it at all? If you want that, go watch the olympics.

          is not there.
          In the Winter Olympics, a big part is about the materials as well as training and athletes. Bobsleds can make or break a team. Just think about how badly prepared skis have cost medals in numerous cases. And new ice skates have brought speeds up and times down radically in the last 2 decades as well.

          And for a look at what F1 might need, look at swimming where the fancy suits were getting more important than the swimmers. This made it primarily a contest of having the money to invest in special materials, in simulation and windtunnel work to optimize.
          To get back to the basics – a competition of people swimming – the sport had to decide to take a step back and make it simpler, make it about the people doing the jobs again.

          Now please do not take that as proposing a spec series, because then you would lose half of the special people competing (the engineers). But I think that F1 should be doing more with less and focus on making it a good competition.

      2. On the definition of sports, I don’t think it is all that clear. What about shooting? It is an olympic sport even though I don’t see a lot of athletic activity except lying still, concentrating and trying to hit the mark. This is actually similar to chess, which at the top level, is incredibly demanding physically: during a long demanding game, the top players will lose significant weight. They also train hard to be as fit as possible. So where is the qualitative difference to F1?

        1. @mike-dee You don’t have to see the physical activity to know it’s there. Shooting for me is very borderline on being a sport, though as someone who practiced in it a lot, it has lots of physical activity, co-ordination between an eye and the muscles and so forth. But even so, it’s borderline. Golf for me is on the other side of the border though there’s not much difference between them

          And in no way it’s similar to chess. Chess is a strategy game that the physical effort in it comes only in form of being able to intensely concentrate on a cognitive exercise for long periods of time. I’ve seen a top chess player who almost became a WCC from close quarters once. His name is Boris Gelfand. He’s a misformed middle aged man with huge spectacles and a belly(not a beer belly as he wouldn’t know what to do with a beer if he ever came across one) that looks like he’s never had an hour of gym in his life. Train hard to be as fit as possible? Please…

          1. This is getting more and more out of topic, but as a former amateur chess player i would like to add that chess players would describe chess as a sport, science and art at the same time (they would say that wouldn’t they?)!!
            My opinion is that if you need to classify it as a sport then you would have to say that it is a Mind Sport.

            The same goes for F1. Simply saying it is a sport is incomplete. You need to say that it is Motorsport.

            By the way the double points rule makes it just a show like Dancing with the Stars…
            I’m a die hard fan for over 30 years, but I am not going to watch it if this rule is not dropped.

    7. Great COTD.

    8. A fantastic COTD, bravo @coefficient.

      It’s sad that F1 has ended up in this situation, being smothered by gimmicks as it’s being slowly bled to death by politics. F1 is a huge passion of mine, more than any other sport. Yet, it’s not inconceivable that F1 may someday die, unlike other sports like football, tennis, rugby ect. That’s why I’m so saddened by the way the sport is going. It’s destroying itself and I fear that even if it tries to turn itself around, by the time it does nobody will be watching to notice and it’ll die a slow death. I’ll watch to the end, but I hope such an end never comes.

      1. I hope it comes soon so something better can rise from the ashes.

    9. I am totally against the idea of double-points, but if the only choices are last-race-only or last-3-races, I prefer the latter.

      1. Same here!

      2. @mtlracer

        if the only choices are last-race-only or last-3-races

        They aren’t. Ecclestone would like to have us believe that, but it certainly isn’t the case.

        The regulations as written state double points will be awarded for the final race. Any change to expand that to three races could just as easily reduce it to zero.

        1. The more I think of it, the more the doble points at the last three races makes sense.

          Rememeber 2009, the first year after a regulation change? That was a hell of a boring season. Why? Because Brawn GP had such a succesfull first half of the season. It made it thus impossible for another team to catch up. With the double points rule at the last three races, Red Bull – which was strong in the second half of the season – would have had a chnace to clinch the title, thus makig the racing ‘more exciting’.

          I don’t know it that’s a good thing, but it does makes sense.

          1. @paeschli – So instead of Brawn being rewarded for innovation and winning the title, Red Bull should be rewarded instead for chucking money at the car until it was the fastest?

          2. You don’t make sense, sorry. Unless of course you purely advocating for your team to win regardless.

    10. I’m for double points, but only if extended to 19 races.

      1. I’m in favour of double points everywhere except in Abu Dhabi :p

      2. Can we arrange a mass F1-Fanatic walk-out on the final round, just to stick the finger up to Ecclestone?

      3. I still don’t get what was wrong with 9-6-4-3-2-1.

        1. I think the only thing that was ‘wrong’ with that points system is that it carried too much potential that a new team could enter and exit F1 without having a single F1 World Championship Point to show for all their efforts, which makes it kind of discouraging if you are trying to attract new teams.

    11. On the double point situation, it’s now too late. Double points WILL happen. The reason is that now we have gone past testing all of the teams are looking at their own personal agendas the Mercedes engined teams who think they are ahead will push for the rule to be revoked and the Renault teams will push for it to be extended. Both are just looking out for their own short term interests which happens every year in F1. I know many people don’t believe Bernie should have the power he has over F1 but when the teams are all so fueled by self interest it gets to the point where someone has to use power plays to get them to do SOMETHING. The fact is that Mercedes and Ferrari are now complaining about the rule, but where were their complaints when it was being made in the first place? Also Red Bull have criticized it but now they are behind I’m willing to bet that they will suddenly start supporting the rule. I’m sorry if I sound cynical but F1 could be called politics, but the fact is it isn’t politics has to listen to the people eventually and it seems that F1, its teams and the FIA never will.

      1. @tuvothepirate Red Bull isn’t “supporting it”. Horner said that if there are going to be double points, he’d rather have them in three races than in one, to minimize somewhat the lottery effect.

        There’s a vas difference between that and supporting double points.

      2. To be fair, Ferrari and Mercedes had long raised the issue of these double points weeks before they tested their cars. Vettel and Redbull had even spoken out against it, immediately it was announced and long before their testing issues. So if any one turns out to be inconsistent, it may well be Redbull than either Ferrari or Mercedes.

    12. Wonder how interested John Malone is in F1 and how far he might want to go. Is it just the TV rights to trump Rupert Murdoch? Or, does he sense an opportunity to have the whole enchilada, so to speak, taking Bernie’s legal troubles into consideration?

      1. Maybe he is thinking that CVC having already made a 500% return on their investment and worrying about the whole pack of cards collapsing, may be ready to offload cheap, and with some good management and the acceptance that a lesser percentile share of the profits taken out of the business each year might get the show back to its former glory and popularity and still be an excellently performing investment.

      2. Hard to tell, but as with the Sky deal at the time, I think competition guarddogs in both the US and Europe will want to have a carefull look. Not the least because I would be surprised if a Murdoch did not file complaints about it.

    13. Looking at the COTD, unless works teams a banned then there will always be a major gap between cars. Look at sports car racing, the difference between factory backed GT and LMP1 cars were so great they needed to make privater categories. Hell during the 80’s turbo era the N/A championship was pretty much that. What I’m saying given the differences in budget I’m surprised the mid-fielders can even pull the occasional upset.

    14. With the motorsport article about why to watch F1 this year, he states “good old fashioned slip angle means the art of opposite lock may be about the make something of a comeback.”

      Makes me think of Piquet’s classic pass on Senna

      1. Now that is proper racing, bring it back.

      2. Drivers should recall their go-karts days, it will help.

    15. Hesketh, the first F1 car to offer a fully integrated umbrella shelf. (Please remove before race start).

    16. The fact that we are sitting here, debating double points, tells you all you need to know about why people are getting fed up with F1.

      I said few weeks ago, when Bernie had some other outburst about double points, that at this point it seems as if he is doing it just to shove it in our face and show us that he can do whatever he wants and we’ll still be asking for more.

      I can’t say I won’t watch F1 this year, because I’m thrilled with new technologies coming in, but if it weren’t for that, I probably wouldn’t bother any more. It seems that these days, following F1 takes more energy for putting up with ********, than it gives the pleasure from positive things like technology and great driving.

      And I can’t help feeling disappointed before the season has even started, because such a rare opportunity for having such a great first season, a fresh new start with so much new technology, is ultimately going to be ruined with double points idiocy.

      After that, I’m done with F1.

    17. I said right at the beginning; If the double points rule is supposed to stop Vettel winning another championship it would be better applied to the 1st. race.

      I don’t care about the self interested politics just drop it.

      1. @hohum

        If the double points rule is supposed to stop Vettel winning another championship

        It isn’t, it’s intended to artificially prolong the championship battle until later in the season.

        1. By somehow exclusively helping Ferrari, according to BE. Like the extra money and veto power wasn’t enough. While I agree that double points are meant to prolong the season’s Championship deciding race ideally until the very last, I’m sure the underlying reason, as pointed out by BE, is to stop RBR’s run. Certainly that’s what RBR’s line will be if they are indeed relegated to being a third place team now. We were already hearing it last year, even when they still dominated, ruing the fact that EBD was curtailed to affect them the most negatively. I think that double points is damaging enough, but if RBR snatches a 5th in a row because of it I fear for what knee-jerk thing might happen next. Only Ferrari gets double points in the last race or three? Nah…too obvious. They’ll just go back to (read continue to) resorting to different enforcement (or not) of different infractions depending on which driver you are, for which team, and in which position in the standings at which point in the season.

    18. I tend to agree with some point on the COTD, but..

      One thing we have to get straight is that F1, has always been about money. I could be wrong, but no one has won the World Championship while moonlighting as a busker in Covent Garden. Its the ultimate capitalist enterprise. F1 has never ever been a level playing field, not even remotely close. You’ve alway had the big teams upfront and in certain years the midfield has also challenged at the front. So why do we keep harping about this? People have been avidly following the sport for years on end under the same conditions, so whats the issue? I dont want to see a spec series version of F1, its against the principle of the sport.

      However, I disagree with the fact that only 6 teams get to decide the fate of the whole series, a more democratic process is required. Further to this, the CVC will need to reinvest in earning back in to F1. What they’re doing now is akin to killing its cash cow.

      Much has been made about teams struggling, but hasnt that been the case over the years? Ok I agree that more midfield teams struggle these days…but it is up to the teams to be creative and find funds.

      This is F1. It has been the same over the years….whatever the case..I love it!

    19. The motorsport article is not directed to f1fanatics but its a good propaganda for one of the most interesting seasons in prospect. I don’t think you need to advertise f1 more you need to make f1 available. Unfortunately its f1’s pop that is making it further more artificial and as corrupt as always, as cotd states football, f1, I’ll add nba for those rare souls who watch it, are some examples of fixed or staged “sports” in my view what bothers me is that none are openly viewed as what they are, all of the above are shows just like wwe, and what annoys me the most is people saying otherwise, to me f1 is all about the thrills and the machines, eagerly looking forward to Melbourne.

    20. The more I think of it the more I come to the conclusion that F1 may not be for everyone, it is a highly technical sport and people have to know that their favourite driver, as skilled as he might be, can’t always win everything.

      The person who understands that and accepts it, will enjoy F1 in many levels that traditional sports just don’t offer. It’s a shame that the ones in charge can’t see it and try to change the rules of the game to appeal a market that is never going to be interested anyway.

      1. Well said @mantresx.

        I for one have long had to accept that my favourite driver (Jenson Button) is not going to win everything whilst a certain Mr. S. Vettel is still around.

        However, despite what many here might think, it does not drive me mad when Vettel wins (or Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen or Rosberg), as the sport has always been about the combination of the best drivers and car.

        I’ve been watching F1 since 1989, and it was ever thus.

        Just wish that Ferrari didn’t wield so much power and influence: that is the only unfair part of the competition, not the difference between the larger, more established teams and the smaller, newer rivals.

    21. I am probably not going to watch F1 this year after following the sport since the mid-sixties. It has become a contrived spectacle and the double points rubbish is the last straw.

      1. @cynical, excuse me if I am cynical about your resolve, you are reading this blog because you, like many of us, are an addict. But I do sympathise, I may well give up on F1 also, but the chance to see 3-4 motor companies developing the most useable power with a fixed amount of fuel and also reduced aerodependence combined with (promised) durable tyres is to good to miss.

        1. Well said @hohum I am in the same boat. I am too intrigued with the new regs to not watch, and I admit too weak in resolve to not give it a chance, otherwise I would have packed it in in the manufactured MS/Ferrari era. In fairness to @cynical he does say ‘probably’. And perhaps, just as some speculate about Brawn being drawn back at some point in the future, so will David.

    22. While I agree with COTD’s sentiment, I do not think that those bad things are anything new as it suggests. The financial difference has always been there in motosport, starting with Auto Union before F1 even started.
      I think one of the major culprits in F1’s current problems is progress. In the glory days of the past, the constructors had only a very basic understanding of aerodynamics (compared to today) and a lot of intuition went into design. This produced some of the weirdest cars ever seen (which is one of the reasons I like F1 of the 1970’s), but also gave every team a chance to hit a jackpot.
      Today, using CFD one can reasonably reliably judge the merit of a new idea, designs can be optimized to a degree that inevitably leads teams in similar paths. Budget cup or not, convergence in form seems the rule for F1 now, witness how glad we are to see different noses this year. It also means that aero is likely to stay the king, unless regulations change in a drastic matter (my fav suggestions: the flat floor must be under the whole body of the car, including the nose, wider tires, the front wing can consist of only one rectangular board curved in only one direction, with flat endplates allowed).
      Since there is no unlearning of what we know, we cannot expect F1 to go back to what it was. Rather, it has to find ways to adjust to the new environment (different level of knowledge, boy’s interest shifting from cars to computers etc.). And there most people seem to agree that Bernie/FIA/teams are doing a very poor job.

    23. Great COTD. Would have been nice to maybe suggest a tactic the FIA could use to improve the racing/regain viewers? A mini complaint essay is fun to read, but without trying to actually help, what’s the point.

    24. Bernie is a master strategist; and he is doing what he has always done –
      Moot a bad idea. Moot an even worse idea. Wait. People then unconsciously pitch the ideas against each other. They split into camps for and against. One of the ideas – usually the first one is adopted. People think they have “won”. They are “happy”. In reality, Bernie wins. Again. Genius!

      1. I don’t think your comment is inaccurate. BE, not for the first nor last time, has created heady debate which creates attention and headlines. But I do find this scheme to reek of desperation if the overwhelming need to see the viewership remain pensive until the last race outweighs the fact that whoever wins and whoever loses the WDC will be perceived to have only had that happen due to the assistance of double points. We’ll have the excitement of a last race dash for the WDC, only for it to be empty of integrity.

    25. “The word among teams backed by Mercedes is that they will block any upgrading of the final three rounds.”

      Is that really the best idea? A single double-points race puts all the emphasis on the final Grand Prix. And if a title contender should suffer from a mechanical failure or get taken out by someone else’s mistake, they take twice the punch of losing points. If double-points were applied to the last three races, it would at least give a driver a chance to recover. I suppose Mercedes might think that this opens the door to making double-points a permanent fixture, but at least it would make the final few races a bit more balanced.

      1. I agree 3 races might be slightly better than the final 1 race, but it is like picking your poison…I’d much rather neither, and yes perhaps Mercedes is concerned about the slippery slope of this being a permanent fixture and opening the door for all kinds of goofy points arrangements meant to mask fundamental problems.

    26. In the James Allen article linked in the Round Up the most interesting item is that Bernie admits he came up with the double points to help Ferrari. As Allen says, an “astonishing claim”. Bernie also says he told LdM that he was doing this because Ferrari wasn’t performing and that LdM acknowledged despite his public claims that he is against double points. Not surprising that the Mercedes teams would be against double points and expanding them to three races just on general principal, then Bernie throws out a tidbit like that.

      1. I don’t think this is an ‘astonishing claim’ given the favouritism Ferrari gets and has been getting since the push for MS/Ferrari to end their WDC drought. What is astonishing is that BE would expect new teams to be interested in joining Ferrari1, or existing ones to stay. What is astonishing is that BE would think this points debacle couldn’t just as easily see RBR snatch a 5th in a row for no other reason than he offered them up a chance at a lottery win in the end.

      2. He mentioned Ferrari for the glitter. What Bernie said was aimed at every other team that are unable to stop dominance of a certain team.

    27. Keith (or anyone) – if after the last race points are equal and the championship comes down to most wins, and the number of wins is equal – will the last race count as a double win?

      1. That’s a good question mate.

    28. I would like to cancel double points for the last race as well.

    29. I’m looking forward to the forthcoming season – where reliability may be a big factor. A chance for the occasional underdog victory?

    30. @coefficient you are not alone in this buddy. I guess we (hard core F1 fans) are the extinguished breed this days. Imagine what would all those who watched last year’s season, and at the same time are not technical freaks, think about totally changed situation in 2014 (that is if the results of Jerez testing are taken in to account). Imagine Force India beating Red Bull and Lotus, and Massa racing wheel to wheel against Alonso, and Magnuseen takes F1 rookie title against Rosberg in the last 50 point’s Abu Dhabi race?!? This kind of scenario can only be appreciated by the die hard fans only :).

      1. I meant extinct breed :). Sorry for my bad English everyone.

    31. @Coefficient Superb observations. Kudos.

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