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Is F1 a TEAM sport, or not?

Discussion in 'F1' started by Brian C. Stradale, Jun 21, 2004.

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Is Formula One a team sport?

  1. Yes, F1 is a team sport in every sense!

  2. F1 is only a team sport pre-race, during the race it should be individuals.

  3. No, there should be no team tactics in F1; just two competitors with the same constructor.

  4. None of the above. (Please explain below.)

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  1. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
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    Mar 17, 2002
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    I asked this question in the thread on petitioning to allow Rubens to race, but I thought it might be better asked as a poll in a separate thread...

    Is F1 a team sport, or not?

    That is, is it like basketball where there are star players and star teams, but ultimately the best-of-the-best occurs when you find star players willing to sacrifice their own a bit for the good of the team... because in the end it is a team sport.

    Consider the (arguably) greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, and his Chicago Bulls team which is arguably one of the greatest teams of all time. Jordan wasn't the only star player on that team... Pippen was a great player as well. But Pippen could have scored more if he wasn't playing #2 to Jordan's #1. But then again, if Pippen and Jordan didn't work as a team, both of them would have succeeded less than they did. That team worked because they each found roles they were happy to play that benefitted the team as a whole... as a team.


    Sooooo, if Formula One is a team sport, then it should be no great surprise that when two top drivers (like MS and RB) have actually agreed to act like a team that they get fantastic results. Similarly, when two drivers like RS and JPM do not agree to act like a team, then they get inferior results.

    I like the idea that F1 is a team sport. I like to see Rubens carrying MS at times; and I like to see MS helping RB. I like the extra strategy complexity of the teams being teams. I like that team Ferrari was so quick as to call RB to slow down to time perfectly his arrival in the pit with MS's departure. In that way it did not cost RB anything relative to the rest of the field (he'd have come out 6th in any case), but nearly locked the race for MS (he'd have been 3rd or 4th rather than 1st).

    Note that the move, while not costing RB relative to the rest of the field, it cost him big time relative to MS. If RB wanted his best shot of winning personally, then he'd never have done that knowing MS is his strongest competitor. He'd rather MS be held up giving himself a better shot at winning. But he didn't do that... he did what was best for the team... but given the chance, it appeared he'd have still passed MS for a Ferrari 1-2 with him as 1 and MS as 2. But first ensure Ferrari 1-2... and then try to be #1.

    Will history frown on MS's accomplishments because of the team tactics??? I don't think so... I think it will ensure that the record-setting is depicted as a team triumph, not just an individual one... and that is how it should be!

    So, is F1 a team sport, or not???
     
  2. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    To me F1 is a team sport consisting of two race drivers, the racing team, the engine provider, the devlopment and race engineers and mechanics, the sponsors, and the partners such as tire manufacturers and fuel providers.

    It would be kind of hard for the drivers to drive without a car. It would be harder for a driver to drive the car without wheels or fuel in it. All the race engineers, partners and developers must work together to participate in a Grand Prix.

    Each racing team requires two drivers to win the Constructors World Championship. These two drivers have to accumulate maximum points for the constructors to win that title. So it is a team sport.
     
  3. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
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    It is a team sport between the crew and the driver; as the driver is driving to win the team the constructors championship, while the team works to provide the driver with the best equipment to get them that construtors chamionship.
    However, it should not be a team sport between the two drivers, since the drivers championship is divorced from the constructors, and only 1 driver (not a pair or team) can be world champion -- it should be, every man for himself.

    (Edit: For the first time, in all my time watching F1, I finally got that hollow feeling regarding Schumi's win. In both the Canadian GP and this most recent IndyGP, it was obvoius that Rubens was putting in 110%, and yet whenever the chance for a decisive move prompted him, he magically seemed to back down, and let MS by; makes the thought of something dubious going down behind the pitwall seem (almost) obvious.)
     
  4. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Team sport yes, the question is how heavy handed do you play it?

    At the end of the season the 2nd driver (which could be the #1 in the team as in 99 with Eddie in Sepang) in the points ought to help the one standing a chance to win the WC. Nothing wrong with that. Only purists like Williams are willing to give away a title for being fair to his drivers.

    But that's not how Ferrari is playing it right now: MS dominates and has a substantial lead, yet they don't let RB race. That's what makes this picture ugly and MS' title eventually shallow.

    In Canada I had my doubts, in Indy it became obvious: Rubens was at least as fast if not faster and MS did not even attempt to defend his line. That is pathetic.

    We don't need another Pironi/Villeneuve situation from 82, but let RB run for a while. Ferrari will win both titles this year anyway. Let's have a little fun in the process.
     
  5. DGS

    DGS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    F1 is (theoretically) a manufacturer's series. The team is the cars. Oh, and they get some pretty good drivers, too.
    The driver's championship just spawns tons of debates in years when it's pretty obvious which team is going to win. ;)

    But, short of an overwhelming advantage in hardware, it's really hard to do well in constructor's points if you don't have two good drivers out there gathering points.

    There are plenty of "spec" racing venues just for drivers.
     
  6. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Beautifully put Hubert and I 100% agree and that is how I have always viewed motorsport. Once the race starts it should be every man for themselves ...

    Pete
     
  7. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie
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    Yeah that is just too bad that the two drivers points are added together to win the constructors championship. Ah but winning is not the priority.... I forgot. Having a stupid teammate like JPM that hits his teammates car at turn one is the priority, ending the hopes for the entire team. Yes every man for himself. Agreed. Too bad they share the same mechanics, engineers, team manager, the same engine, the same car... yes everyman for himself!
     
  8. Kevallino

    Kevallino Formula 3

    Feb 10, 2004
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    Well, I screwed up the vote but not sure that it will ruin anything.

    In this day and age (unfortunately, I think) F1 has to be a team sport due to the sheer dollars involved as well as things like safety, etc. Certainly there was a time when motor racing generally wasn't that far off of blood sport - the attrition rate was horrible. These days the whole thing is about eyeballs on TV's as "entertainment" and we like to see our accidents but we don't want people to get hurt.

    Additionally, you hardly have an individual effort anyway - the stuff that goes in to the cars technology-wise commands a huge number of personnel. Even if the drivers were allowed to race as "individuals" that is really a farce since the cars need so many attendents just to keep them operating.

    I don't have too much trouble with the way things are going as I still enjoy watching the racing, and I have attended a couple and enjoyed myself as well.

    We are just never going to see another '66 season - I'd call that individual racing.

    Cheers
    Kevin
     
  9. Mr Payne

    Mr Payne F1 Rookie

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    I think the FIA has implied that once the race starts it will be an individual sport. Why else would they say no team orders?
     
  10. BubblesQuah

    BubblesQuah F1 World Champ
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    Ahh, but how could there be no "team" orders if it isn't a team sport? Isn't that implied?
     
  11. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Lets just think about this for a minute.

    As Hubert said motorsport is seen as a team sport because it takes (usually) way more than just the driver to get the car on the grid and thus some sort of engineering team is involved. This has nothing to do with running more than 1 car per team.

    In most forms of motorsport teams of more than 1 car do happen, and it has nothing to do with helping each other on the track BUT 100% to do with helping each other OFF the track, ie. cost, preparation, setup, sponsors, etc.

    Thus I can think of NO other series where drivers on the track help each other. Maybe long distance races to obtain the staged 1 2 3 finish ...

    - Take Australia's v8 Supercars for example ... so called team mates often bump into each other ;).
    - Formula Ford often ends up being a fight between team mates as they both have the best car(s).

    It is 100% possible for MS and RB to race each other HARD without hitting and taking each other off. A pass attempt in motorsport does not necessarily involve car contact. It is a fine line but I would like to see Ferrari prepare 2 cars for the race, not 1.

    If this cannot be resolved through a return to (or a first find of) sportsmanship then I would like to see 1 car teams ... problem solved!

    Pete's opinion
     
  12. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    My short answer: I want F1 to be a team sport.

    BUT, its position in the general social consciousness is, in my opinion, that of a predominantly individual sport. And I argue this is purely based on the discourse employed to describe it.

    Example:
    Who won Le Mans? Audi.
    Who won the US GP? MS

    It doesn't have to be this way. For whatever reason, this is how fans and the media have been talking about the sport, and therefore by being described as such it becomes that. This is classic "performative" language, in the linguistic theoretical sense: language that actually creates what it purports to describe. F1 will be an individual sport so long as people think of it as such.

    When asked who won the US GP, I, for one, respond: FERRARI
     
  13. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
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    F1 is supposed to be like no other race series... so, I am not sure you're point there. The question is "in what ways should F1 be unique"... "what is it F1 should be and not be"?? Answering based on other race series, except to say "it should be X because then it would be the same as Formula C", is to miss the point of F1.


    Stuff like that happens in F1, too. And you can see non-team-like behavior even in supposed team sports like basketball players hogging the ball. That doesn't prove basketball should not be a team sport.


    It has certainly been argued that MS and RB did. RB often loses those battles... but then, MS is the best there's ever been, so that's not a great surprise. When its just them fighting over #1 or #2, its clear that FIA wants them to race. But its also clear that Ferrari doesn't want them taking that too far... so far that they risk balling up both cars. If its Kimi in first (last year when he was in contention), Ferrari, FIA, and MS are going to want to take some chances to get by... indeed risking the two cars... sometimes that's what it takes to get by.


    Now that they clearly do. If MS goes out, they want RB to win. They don't want to compromise RB any more than necessary. But there is some compromise that's necessary...

    Every F1 team has to compromise one of the drivers! If they compute the optimal strategy for their car (e.g., 3-stop vs. 2-stop), then one driver gets that optimal strategy, and the other driver gets the next best strategy. If both drivers want their first stop on lap 10, only one of those drivers gets to have it!!

    The only way to resolve that level of teaming is to indeed, as you suggest, go to one-car teams. I think that would be a HUGE mistake... it would eliminate a cool part of F1, IMO... and it would leave team-loyal fans with nobody to cheer for in many more races.
     
  14. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Okay that is where I think we differ. I see F1 as the pinnacle of motor racing not something different, just the fastest and best form of the sport. But still otherwise exactly the same as PSk club racing, just a different championship with a heck of a lot more prestige a long with it ... because it is the peak of our sport. Note the important thing is the sport content is the same in my view.

    Yes agree.

    Yes good point. I also do not think a single car team would be a good thing, but I want to see real gloves of racing, not touring in a row behind MS ;). I want to see RB try so hard that he does accidentally bump MS off ... yes why not!, MS already has this championship in the bag, lets add some interest and real racing.

    Pete's opinion
     
  15. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
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    You say that as if there's just one form of motorsport with multiple levels. That's not right.

    If you want a pure drivers' series... then you want a spec series with no pit stops. Such racing exists in the world. And if you want, you can make it extremely fast by specing a very fast car.

    There are many different series that emphasize many different things. Some have more teaming, some have less. Some have more to do with the car; some have very little to do with the car. And so on. And often there's whole spectrums to choose from.
     
  16. aventino

    aventino Formula Junior

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    My question is, if a scenario arose toward the end of the season where MS was out for, say, the remaining 4 races and Rubens was the only one with enough points to challenge for the drivers crown (he had to win two of the remaining) what would Ferrari do?

    If I were Rubens I'd go out fighting even if it meant MS would have me fired, but I wonder what Ferrari would decide upon.
     
  17. Strasse

    Strasse Formula Junior

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    I was going to try to argue some points here, but it seems that the bitterness and anti MS sentiment is so strong that nothing is going to change your mind, Aventino.

    I'll say that I've never had more fun watching F1 than this season. I like to see my team win, since without doubt F1 is a team sport. Ferrari is dominating and for now are in the lucky position of having their own two drivers be each other's only competition. A team like Williams this season has to worry about BAR, Ferrari, Renault. They are out there to score as many points as possible with whatever driver they can get to the podeum. But if the situation was reversed and Williams was in Ferrari's shoes, do you honestly believe that they would want a second place Montoya to pull some of the s*it he does against a leading Ralf Schumacher? You have to be insane to think they would allow that.
    Double standards are coming into play here in the way that Ferrari is being criticised.

    I'm loving F1 now. After years of staying up to 3 am to watch a Ferrari engine blow up in the warm up lap - no effing sh*t that I'm happy to see the tide has turned. Back in those days both our drivers had jack for points no wonder they were forced to fight each other: what did anyone have to lose?

    Chill out dudes, Forza Ferrari.
     
  18. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Well I see you point but I thought ALL forms of motorsport involved a driver racing a car to win. All the other little things are simply to tart the series up.

    Motor racing is just men racing each other, instead of running we build a car. If you are not racing to win then you are not playing the game.

    Thus I see no difference between v8 Supercars, NASCAR, Formula Ford, go kart races and F1. Whether you have to stop to change tyres, add fuel or whatever, does not matter you are still racing on the track to get to the finish first. Some series specify different types of cars ... many for cost reasons ... still same game.

    That is what motor racing is about. F1 exists to be the fastest and pinnacle, no cost restrictions form of men racing each other to get to the finish first. Fuel stops were added to make the 'show' more interesting ... but the fact is it is still about getting to the end first.

    Thus I still do not see any difference in my club racing than F1. Faster cars, more laps, better tyres ... prettier grid girls (if any in the first place) but the goals are exactly the same.

    I think you are making way to much out of F1 (and other series) if you do not see it as just another form of motor racing. Everybody involved in F1 simply wants to get to the finish flag/line first, just as everybody involved in my club racing ...

    Pete's opinion
     
  19. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2004
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    As has been pointed out, of course F1 is a team sport. And that team is made up, in the case of Ferrari, of several hundred people not just the two drivers.

    With regard to the drivers, which I guess is the real question here, the relationship between two drivers on the same team should always be different from that between drivers on different teams if you want to be successful. They need to work together to develop the car, run complimentary programs during practice to get the best set up and tyre choice and so on. When it comes to the race itself they race each other but not to the detriment of the team. In other words, they don't take each other out (are you listening JPM and Ralf?) but also they don't compromise each others' races. An example of that would surely be if Rubens had backed off at the Indy restart so that Michael had passed him before the line. Michael would then have been penalized (a stop-go, I think). Now, if it had been a driver from another team that might have been legit (though might also then have given the drivers behind a run on Rubens losing him places to them).

    With regard to the MS/RB situation in the last couple of races, I think it is very clear that they have been racing each other (excepting that Ferrari tell them to back off and conserve the cars after the last pitstop - which seems only sensible). You can tell that by looking at Rubens face. His emotions are written all over his face and it seemed pretty clear to me that he had no gripe with the team (unlike in Austria 2001 and 2002). I think part of the story is that Michael is just that much more ruthless than Rubens and he will take half a chance and rely on Rubens to take care. I suspect, if the situation had been reversed at the restart Michael would not have let Rubens by so easily. But that, it seems to me, is part of why Michael is a 6-time world champion and Rubens isn't. MS has that selfish streak that you need to be the best. Rubens is just too nice a guy. No, I don't believe Ferrari are holding Rubens back. Why should they the way things are going? But then I do also believe that Neil Armstrong did walk on the moon; that Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy and Princess Diana died in a road accident, even if the conspiracy theories are more interesting.

    By and large Rubens was quicker than Michael in Indy, but then Michael had apparently set his car up with less wing to allow for passing on the straight. Rubens admits he didn't have his tyres up to temperature when the safety car came in. That is the kind of small thing that is the difference between winning and losing that Michael so often gets right and others (not just Rubens) don't. And that was the crucial point because it ultimately meant Rubens had to pit behind Michael after Ralf's accident and lost a chunk of time.
     
  20. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

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    Well that was answered in '99 wasn't it. Michael gifted Irvine the win in Sepang even though he was way quicker, but ultimately Irvine didn't raise his game in Suzuka (or the pressure got to him or however you want to look at it) and so didn't win the title. I think the point is that Michael is where he is because he is the quickest. On occasions Rubens (as Silverstone last year or Hockenheim 2000) is touched by the gods and can beat anyone, Michael included. But Michael is at that level pretty much the whole time. And this year, I think he's driving better than ever without the pressure of statistics and so on. Not that that means he's any less competetive. Far from it.
     
  21. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Hmmm, funny I saw that very differently.

    MS played the team player at Sepang but did so in such a dominant way to show who was the real fast guy and to make Irvine look slightly silly.

    MS did not help Irvine at all in Suzuka ... funny that Irvine had helped MS atleast 2 times I can think of, but when the roles were reversed there was no way in HELL MS was going to allow Irvine to win the first WC in 21 years for Ferrari. Fair enough to some degree, but hardly looking out for the team.

    BUT MS would never help another driver win the title ... NEVER, no matter what the circumstances IMO.

    Like I have said before MS is a great driver but a lousy sportsman and team player.

    Pete's view of that year and since
     
  22. jtremlett

    jtremlett F1 Rookie

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    I think there's a lot of truth in that. I wasn't implying that MS was desperately keen to help Irvine, but he did gift him the win. If Irvine looked slightly silly in Sepang then that's not only MS' fault is it?

    As for Suzuka it is true that he didn't beat Hakkinen there and there was the impression (rightly or wrongly) that he didn't try as hard to do so as he would have done if it had been his championship chance at stake. I tend to think that is probably the case, but then Irvine, having said all year he would do the business at Suzuka, clearly didn't. Beside the point, I know, but I do think it would have been an injustice if Irvine had taken the title that year. I don't really see how he could have helped Irvine in any other way there.

    Yes, I go along with that up to a point. I think he plays the team game as far as it suits him long term and that may include gifting the odd win to his teammate. But, like many have said before, you have to be pretty selfish to get to the very top and MS certainly is.
     
  23. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Yes agree completely.

    Yes good point.

    Pete's agreeing
     
  24. moretti

    moretti Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Spot on Phil,

    I could care less who wins so long as it is red and has a horse on the front, Schu, Rubinho, Irvine, Badoer, Todt...I don't care who's driving so long as it's Ferrari.

    Like you I had too many years watching races at 3am only to watch Tambay, Arnoux, Berger, Alesi, etc driving crap cars designed by pommy morons, and i include Barnard in that, the overpaid wanker and disruptor of Ferraris efforts, he was NO team player !!

    Just look at the dream TEAM we currently have :

    Luca
    Jean
    Ross
    Paul
    Rory

    These are the guys that got Ferrari back on deck by pulling the team back together, not having half in England and the other half at Maranello, now when they have a problem they can all get together on the same day.

    I personally think Jean Todt is the greatest TD Ferrari have ever had and if you read some of the egalitarian things he does is it any wonder the TEAM work so well together when the head boys are happy to travel in economy with the lowest team member and make them all feel IMPORTANT in a tangible way, not the multinational BS way with words and employee of the month awards.

    All CEOs could take a leaf out of Ferraris book on how to get the workforce on board because this is a REAL TEAM and they all work for the best result for BOTH drivers, it's just that Ferrari are maximising their main asset , MS

    BTW I think Rory Byrne is the most under-rated designer in F1 whereas Adrian Newey is the most over-rated and his cars reflect this, and he has even trained all the personnel to take his place so that the dynasty will continue after his departure
     
  25. Omerta

    Omerta Formula Junior

    Jan 10, 2004
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    Yes, ofcoarse it is a team sport. I think Ferrari's dry spell in the 80's and early 90's shows exactly why it is a team sport. They had many characteristics of a winning team, but it just wasn't clicking. Unless everything is in sync, it wont work out. Everything from the drivers, to the directors, engineers, and the entire pit crew, EVERYBODY needs to be working as a team, syncronized, or it wont work. If the wheelman ****s up putting on a tyre, your in trouble. If somebody didn't put enough pressure (or too much) pressure in the tyres, your in trouble. If the engineers made a poor design call, your in trouble. I think it is the ULTIMATE team sport.
     

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