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"Formula 1 Goes To War With Itself"

Discussion in 'F1' started by Admiral Thrawn, May 25, 2004.

  1. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn F1 Rookie

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    "Monaco Reaction

    The drama continued off the track at Monaco, as half the grid squared up. Schumi and Ferrari blasted Juan, Juan and Williams blasted Schumi, Ralf and Alonso let rip at each other, Jenson took a pop at Da Matta, and DC was pretty angry with everyone..." - planet-f1.com

    All the F1 news sites are filled at the moment with articles detailing each little squabble. Rather amusing actually! :D
     
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  3. tifosi

    tifosi F1 Veteran
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    nothing new in the world of f-1, just the names change :)
     
  4. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Yeah - I've been seeing that and a tidbit about Ferrari allegedly leaving F1.
     
  5. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn F1 Rookie

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    Well there was talk about Ferrari, Renault, Jaguar, Williams and McLaren Mercedes leaving F1 to start their own series called GPWC... but I think that was settled just recently.

    Anyone heard about the new proposed "back to basics" rule changes for F1 in 2008, after the Concorde Agreement has expired?

    - 2.4 litre V8s
    - max. 4 valves per cylinder
    - two-race engine
    - ban on ultra-high-pressure (direct injection) fuel systems enforced by means of an FIA ECU
    - ban on variable geometry inlet and exhaust systems
    - manual gearbox with manually operated clutch and over-rev safeguard
    - ban on power steering systems
    - no spare car
    - one tyre supplier only

    Among a host of other changes...

    "They are intended to combat widespread fear that F1 risks pricing itself out of existence; that the racing spectacle, currently, is poor; and that rising speeds are compromising safety. The FIA's six objectives are to: improve racing without artificial rules; ban electronic aids to emphasise driver skill; cut the the cost of operating a top team; very substantially cut the cost of operating a smaller competative team; encourage new teams to enter F1; encourage a 24-car grid." - F1 Racing
     
  6. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

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    If they really want to slow down F1 cars just enforce a spec tire like a "Uniroyal Tiger Paw P205/75R15" for the cars and let the teams do what ever they want in terms of Aero, Engine, Drivers aids........ That would cut down costs big time since Mega Hp and Downforce is not going to overcome the POS tire that everyone has to run.
     
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  8. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

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    That's crazy. In many areas (4 valves per cylinder, variable intake geometry, direct injection, etc, etc) the technology would severly lag street machines. And this from a series that is supposed to be the cutting edge of technology. F1 has never been about multiple-pass NASCAR style entertainment, it's about the newest, latest, and most innovative.

    Gary
     
  9. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

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    Just think, if all of these changes took place in just 1 or 2 years, the costs to teams would knock the lower teams out of F1. Paddle shifts have been around for 10 years. It would take time to develop and tweek systems that could be run in these races. And most "mechanics" in F1 look young to me. Have they had expirence using that "old" technology?
    It's a huge step backwards with a hefty price. F1 officials need to think more clearly.
     
  10. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
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    I agree that if all this was done it would take away the spirit of F1. To me it is all about the latest and greatest technology. Unfortunatly that technology is usually very expensive but there are many companies and sponsors out there that have not caught on to the sport. I know it's not going to happen any time soon but if America could embrace F1 the same as Nascar I could definitly see a few more well funded teams out there trying to capture a world championship. Imagine if we could get Bill Gates to drop a few dollars on a car.
     
  11. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn F1 Rookie

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    Not after 2008 if Max Mosley has his way. He's been interviewed quite extensively, and said that changes might be even more radical than those already suggested. The F1 team bosses were all asked for their opinion also, and all were in favour of massive cost-cutting, but were very general about which exact changes that were for or against.

    It's been stated that it takes around $100 million to run an F1 team at the back of the grid, let alone be one of the top 3 or 4...

    With these new rules, costs would be cut by a factor of 4; so at a minimum it would take around $25 million to run an entry-level team.

    Currently F3000 teams are around the $15 million mark, so it wouldn't be far off.

    My personal opinion is divided on the issue.

    One frame of mind says: Cost be damned! Let F1 continue to invest massive amounts of money into R&D, continually producing faster, more advanced cars every year, so long as big name sponsors continue to provide the cash (which they seem happy to do at the moment). Lets keep F1 from turning into another clone Formula and truly make sure it stays the pinnacle of motor racing.

    On the other hand: Spiraling costs make the sport uncompetative for those that don't have hundreds of millions of dollars worth in sponsorship. Price of admission is absurd. It is almost impossible now to enter as a new team in F1. Despite being considered the closest "feeder" catagory to F1, F3000 running costs are one sixth that of the cheapest F1 teams. NO matter how much we may love the 900hp 3.0 litre V10's screaming at almost 19,000rpm, it is inevitable that as they continue to produce more power each year, the cars will exceed the maximum safe speed the tracks were designed for, and thus major changes will also be inevitable.
     
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  13. JOEV

    JOEV F1 Rookie
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    Very well said James.

    Two dated (around a month old) yet interesting columns from GrandPrix.com:
    http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns12803.html
    http://www.grandprix.com/ns/ns12796.html

    The viability of the GPWC angle seems to come and go on a monthly basis. I'd really like to know where that is going.

    As for costs, I am still mystified as to how/why Minardi, Sauber and Jordan can even afford to show up. Even with subsidies from Bernie and the other teams, they must just be bleeding money yes?

    I think that empty section of grand stand in Monaco is a good indication of how costs have become out of hand for all parties.
     
  14. Gman

    Gman Formula Junior
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    I agree with the comment about replacing paddle shifting with manual gearboxes will not be a major cost saving however there is another side of the coin on this issue that falls in line with other ideas proposed by Bernie. That goes to the idea of more competive racing. With manual shifting I assure you that there are going to be miss shifts occuring during the races going into and out of turns which should in theroy make for more competive racing. Putting more driver skill into the race may result in more passing and thus make for a better race. Just my $0.02.
     
  15. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
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    LoL!

    Costs are one thing, perhaps caps would be a way of maximizing spending without limiting ingenuity?
     
  16. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

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    I would like to see any comparisons that have been made in regards to the rule changes in other motorsports that were made in an effort to control costs, and the actual cost of racing under the new rules after a few years. I would be surprised if the costs were actually reduced in the long run. It seems to me that the expense of racing will always increase unless every competitor uses the same spec. equipment.

    I could be way off base here, but I heard very recently that IRL cars cost just as much as CART cars to campaign for a season. Yet one of the biggest reasons Tony George cited for his breakout series was escalating costs. So what happened?

    I love F1. I agree that the costs are staggering. I am just not convinced that junking the technology is the answer. How is thowing out the V-10 going to reduce costs? Is there going to be no expense for developing the smaller V-8? Get real! The outlay for new V-8's has got to be massively expensive. Only the Cosworth runners would have reduced expenses intially. I am just not convinced that reducing costs is possible long term.

    If the cars are bigger F3000 cars, why bother? Love it or hate it, F1 has been about technology. Strip the technology and you have IRL world wide. Screw that!
     
  17. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

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    I heard IRL was like 1-3 mil per car(per season?), whereas CART was 3-5mil per car...
     
  18. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn F1 Rookie

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    Well the idea is not to just change the general size of the engine and do away with some electronic driver aids. There are other major changes which will contribute towards reduced costs.

    For example:

    The FIA will lay down strict contruction guidelines for both the engine and chassis, and exotic contruction materials like titanium alloys (for the engine) will be banned.

    There will no longer be any restrictions on teams exchanging components. So for example, a team which had newly entered F1 would be able to buy last year's second hand cars from a more established team.

    Tyre changing during races (except in the event of a puncture) will be done away with.

    Cars will be fitted with an FIA ECU which will enforce a limit to the number of testing miles.

    etc

    Yeah, I know. I don't like it either. But the FIA's core reasons for the changes are:

    1. Reduce costs
    2. Reduce speeds
    3. Improve ease of entry
    4. Improve quality of racing
     
  19. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    Yeah its a great laugh to see how all the rules in F1 are going to be overhauled to reduce Ferrari dominance. Well they did just that in 2002 and in 2003 Ferrari won again. They did it in 2003 and now Ferrari have won 5 out of the 6 races. I personally will hate f1 it moves "back to the basics" / "bring the driver back" bull$h*t. I want the F1 cars to be teachnically the best they can be and the teams to spend tons and tons of money to develop cutting edge technology that moves into street and passenger cars in the future.

    Ferrari will be better off from F1 if it is just a pointless NASCAR type event.
     
  20. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Take the current 3 litre v10 and cut 2 cylinders off = 2.4 litre v8. That is why they have set that size. This means there is little development cost with that change.

    F1 is long dead IMO :(

    Personally I think assinating Bernie would make sense (he has single handedly ruined F1) ... maybe we could make him the next leader for Iraq (?).

    Pete
     
  21. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ
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    Pete, I agree with those statements. I think the cars would benefit from some of the past racing we saw in the Mid 80's. Go back to a wider car (More Drag), slicks with one tyre supplier, cut the Nose wing and Diffusers (returning the mechanical grip), common ECU (no more traction or launch control), and perhaps putting a rev limiter to decrease HP.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Tony
     
  22. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

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    But this goes back to my original question. Why is there the assumption that there will be no major development work on the smaller engine? Does anyone actually believe the horsepower of the smaller engine will increase every year?

    The cost of racing will increase every year. It always has unless spec cars are the only option. Why would anyone pay money to watch F1 cars that are no better than IRL or F3000?

    I am not saying I don't agree that spending is out of control. But what is expected in the premier racing class in the world?
     
  23. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Okay I think I can see where you are coming from. You are saying that development will continue, etc. and thus cost just as much as the current development ... am I right?

    The reason they are aiming to reduce the engine size is to slow the cars down. I agree with this, as what are we proving with enormous 3 litre engines ... bugger all. I think it is time to reduce the size and be even more amazed at the HP they produce.

    The problem with changing the engine size is that the engine suppliers have to start all over again. This cost is a biggie ... and hence why they have chosen the 2.4 litres, ie. they have a cheaper starting point.

    Pete
     
  24. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

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    Patience as I present an alternative -

    Driver and manufacturer championship points should be awarded for race-finish position, plus a "weighting" factor for prior-year total cost of running the team (which includes all cost of R&D, salaries, tires, spares, etc.). Thus, the team that spends the least will receive additional points (many approaches to the weighting factor can be presented).

    Cast aside the potential for accounting fraud (which I shall address in a moment). This creates an incentive for a team to lower cost while developing a fast car. A decision to forgo a titanium steering rod would be measured against the additional points gained through efficiency. Only the truly beneficial expensive technologies will be introduced.

    Accounting could be made simple with 1) a 3 year penalty from F1 should irregularities be discovered, 2) independent auditor chosen by all the teams examines the books, and 3) the top 3 points winners (combination of racing success and low cost) are carefully examined by other competitors.

    Have a go at it. Does it approach a solution to your conundrum of too much money, too much speed, and the observation that creativity has been replaced by the old approach to solving problems - "throw money at it."

    Jim S.
     
  25. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

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    I don't like the idea of a team getting first place in every race and not winning the championship. I would prefer an idea of "give a team so much money to work with and make the best out of that money" concept. Having different amounts of money would be a very hard thing to balance.
     
  26. jselevan

    jselevan Formula 3

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    Agree that there are operational difficulties, but the concept of a "handicap" works in many other sports venues - golf, horse racing, etc.

    Basically it comes down to accountability. You can spend more money, but you better be sure that it buys you faster lap times. Conversely, if I give up a few seconds, but make it up with handicap points, I'm still competitive.

    Oh well, just a thought.

    Jim S.
     
  27. sduke

    sduke Formula Junior

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    Pete

    Yes, that is what I am struggling to convey. It just seems to me that the costs are not actually going to be reduced very much. The development of the 2.8 will be just as expensive as the 3.0. Obviously the reliability will be a big issue, especially at first, as the teams seek to ring every hp and rpm available with the sharp learning curve. But even more so, is that the R&D costs that will be spent no matter what the formula becomes. I just read where Williams has just completed wind tunnel #2. How is the reformulation of F1 rules going to reduce the cost? Jaguar claims they need 3 wind tunnels. Good grief, how does F1 regulate the expenditure for development? How can they mandate that teams don't seek every advantage presented by any rule? This pie in the sky idea that they will make F1 more accessible to more teams ignores the reality of racing at the top. If they take away all the technology, then they can control the costs. The result is IRL. I had rather watch paint dry than watch a bunch of spec cars that call themselves F1. As long as teams are allowed to build their own cars, the cost for racing in F1 is going to be exorbitant. The teams with the most money for R&D are going to be at the front of the grid. Anyone that believes otherwise is deluded. The idea of a spec ECU is ludicrous. I can see performance differences in ECU's at my dealership everyday. Can you imagine the outcry from teams if the ECU they get allocated at a particular race fails or is not consistent? What a pile of rubbish.

    I honestly do not see a method to reduce the costs in F1 that actually addresses where the big money is spent. The smaller teams want testing reduced because it is expensive. News flash!!!! Everything in F1 is expensive!! The travel budget alone dwarfs IRL. I would imagine McLaren's motorhome/travel castle is worth more than all three IRL teams on the front row of this years Indy 500. I just see this clamoring for cost reduction to be less than an honest approach.

    If they want to slow the cars down, then be honest and say the cars are too damn fast. I do not disagree with this point. The cars are quickly out dating every track on the schedule. Restrict the downforce, reduce engine size, spec tire, etc. All will slow down the cars, but I don't see a single penny in cost reduction. This claim that technology is the cause of escalating costs ignores the reality. Race cars will go faster every year. That is the natural evolution. Be up front with the fans and say that.

    I am not trying to be difficult. I love F1 and I want to see it prosper. I agree that there is not enough real racing. Mid-pack should have much more passing. Passing at the front has never been a common exercise. Anyone that claims such is living in a dream world. A quick appraisal of past results from the 50's on, shows a preponderance of lopsided victories.

    I don't believe Mosely will get everything he is asking for. (I hope not anyway) The manufacturers wield a mighty big stick. Honda, Toyota, Mercedes, and Ferrari need F1 to demonstrate the technology of modern performance engineering. They can hold up to world's consumers, that they are at the cutting edge of automotive technology. No other formula, short of Lemans, offers this world wide stage. I for one believe racing improves the breed, and technology makes todays cars better than the cars of ten years ago.

    I want to see the best cars driven by the best drivers, at the worlds most famous venues. I have no interest in seeing Montoya dicing with Schumi in oversized formula fords. NASCAR is the epitome of spec racing. All the cars are damn near identical. The racing is close. Passing is constant. The field is full with more cars than you can shake a stick at.

    Is this anyones idea of the top echelon of motor racing?
     
  28. owsi

    owsi Karting

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    Question: Would you rather F1 continues as it is and is completely gone in 10 to 20 years, or would you rather see changes to reduce cost that turn F1 into more of a spec series?

    I know this is a fairly doom and gloom view of it, but I am afraid that is what the sport is facing. Think about it, F1 is already dying. Teams are leaving and new teams are not replacing them. Teams have always come and gone in F1. In the past though, teams that didn't make it were replaced by new teams. How long is it before Jordan drops out? A couple of years at best I believe. Jaguar? All it would take for them is one Ford exec. to decide that spending lots of money to lose races and diamonds isn't a great idea. The grid would be down to 16. I could easily see sponsers begin to lose interest in supporting teams in a situation like that. Throw in the lack of tobacco money and it looks even worse.

    I want F1 to be the technological pinnacle of racing. That is what it is about. Unfortunately, without changes, I don't see how F1 can survive.
     

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