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Author Topic: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars  (Read 5308 times)

Offline Scott

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2014, 05:30:27 PM »
A timely link I came across today...the new Williams Advanced Engineering Centre has opened its doors.

http://www.pitpass.com/52029/Cameron-opens-Williams-Advanced-Engineering-facility-at-Grove
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Irisado

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2014, 07:56:29 PM »
24 race seats are 24 race seats.  They have to be filled.  If those 24 seats are backed by 'deep pocketed' teams, then they're less likely to be pay drivers taking them.  That would leave MORE room for up and coming drivers, not less.

Yet the teams will always be smaller, regardless of who's backing them (look at Toro Rosso for an example), and are at the forefront of bringing on new driving talent, which in turn answers the point below.

Quote
I agree that at one time F1 needed the small teams to push innovation.  What innovations have small teams brought to the sport in the last 10 years?  Even if you count Williams and Sauber as 'small' teams, they haven't been at the forefront of innovation.

Williams has brought quite a few, and Sauber were the first team to actually pioneer a number of safety features on their car in the 1990s.  I particularly remember the high cockpit sides being employed by Sauber in 1995 before the rule was even introduced in 1996.  It's true that this isn't in the last ten years, but you cannot afford to innovate as a small team any more, because if you get it wrong, you will be in so much trouble it could jeopardise the future of the team.

What smaller teams do bring is the place for drivers to develop.  Look at the number of drivers who did their apprenticeship at small teams before moving on to drive for the top teams.  From the current grid we have Alonso (Minardi), Raikkonen (Sauber), Vettel (Toro Rosso), Button (Williams), Ricciardo (Toro Rosso), Rosberg (Williams), and Perez (I count him because he drove for McLaren last year; Sauber).  There are plenty more examples going back down the years.  Most débutantes don't have the luxury of jumping straight into a front running top team like Hamilton did.  Starting with a smaller team is usually the route which they take.
Soņando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

Offline Jericoke

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2014, 08:55:54 PM »
What smaller teams do bring is the place for drivers to develop.  Look at the number of drivers who did their apprenticeship at small teams before moving on to drive for the top teams.  From the current grid we have Alonso (Minardi), Raikkonen (Sauber), Vettel (Toro Rosso), Button (Williams), Ricciardo (Toro Rosso), Rosberg (Williams), and Perez (I count him because he drove for McLaren last year; Sauber).  There are plenty more examples going back down the years.  Most débutantes don't have the luxury of jumping straight into a front running top team like Hamilton did.  Starting with a smaller team is usually the route which they take.

That's what I was saying though.  So you're suggesting that F1 is better because Alonso drove for Minardi as a rookie instead of Ferrari?

F1 is not a 'development series'.  If a driver isn't ready to win, then let them drive in GP2, or Formula Renault or whatever. Drivers like Hamilton and Villeneuve have demonstrated that a good driver can win straight away.  Does anyone think that if Alonso, Kimi or Vettel had been in top three WCC car in their first season, they WOULDN'T have won races?

As far as I can tell, the only champion I've seen 'develop' in F1 is Button.  He was clearly not a competitive driver when he started but he learned.  I started watching F1 when Jacques Villeneuve joined the sport, and every champion I've seen since was someone who was clearly a champion forced to start racing in an inferior car.

I don't see how forcing champions to drive inferior cars is crucial to the future of the sport.  (I'm not suggesting that small teams are necessarily 'inferior' cars, but it's been a long time since Enstone won championships in a 'mid budget' car - acknowledging that Brawn's win was a big budget design run on a minnow budget)

Offline John S

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2014, 09:40:12 PM »


As far as I can tell, the only champion I've seen 'develop' in F1 is Button.  He was clearly not a competitive driver when he started but he learned.  I started watching F1 when Jacques Villeneuve joined the sport, and every champion I've seen since was someone who was clearly a champion forced to start racing in an inferior car.


Jeri you were making such a good argument and then you had to pick on poor old Jens.  :crazy:  In his Early career, indeed for most of it Jens never had a championship winning car, However that didn't stop him from finishing 8th in the WDC in his first and F1 debut year with Williams - a notable feat that many others would love to have achieved.  Alonso only achieved 23rd in his first full season 01, I know it was in a Minardi but Mark webber in his debut year 02 trumped Nando with 16th in the same Minardi team.  Now who you calling a slow starter?  :P



 
Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Irisado

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2014, 04:19:00 PM »
That's what I was saying though.  So you're suggesting that F1 is better because Alonso drove for Minardi as a rookie instead of Ferrari?

Yes.

Quote
F1 is not a 'development series'.  If a driver isn't ready to win, then let them drive in GP2, or Formula Renault or whatever.

No.  The pressure in Formula 1 is much more intense, the cars are significantly different, and there's a lot more to do other than just drive the car.  It's totally unrealistic for all drivers to come into Formula 1 and be ready to win straightaway.  Some can, but for others it takes time.  One size does not fit all.

Quote
Drivers like Hamilton and Villeneuve have demonstrated that a good driver can win straight away.  Does anyone think that if Alonso, Kimi or Vettel had been in top three WCC car in their first season, they WOULDN'T have won races?

Hamilton did not win his first race, neither did Villeneuve.  Furthermore, Villeneuve was a relatively ordinary driver flattered by a very good Williams in 1996 and 1997.  Once he drove for BAR his performances flatlined significantly, so he's not a good example to back up what you're trying to argue in my opinion.

They might have won races, but they could also have had a lot of accidents from the pressure of driving for a top team where the expectation was very high.  There's no way of knowing.  All I know is that Alonso, for example, was very grateful for his season at Minardi.  He's on the record regarding the benefits that it brought him.

My concern with your argument Jeri is that seem to be supporting the three car no small team concept advocated by Ecclestone.  If that's the case, I think that it's a fundamentally flawed argument.  Small teams who believe in racing and the sport as whole, rather than looking at the books all the time to justify their participation are the life blood of Formula 1.  Turning it into a manufacturer series of just a few teams and cars is a recipe for disaster, as has been seen in other forms of motorsport, and also from what happened at the end of 2009 when manufacturers all began jumping ship in quick succession.
Soņando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

Offline Jericoke

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2014, 07:56:11 PM »
That's what I was saying though.  So you're suggesting that F1 is better because Alonso drove for Minardi as a rookie instead of Ferrari?

Yes.

Quote
F1 is not a 'development series'.  If a driver isn't ready to win, then let them drive in GP2, or Formula Renault or whatever.

No.  The pressure in Formula 1 is much more intense, the cars are significantly different, and there's a lot more to do other than just drive the car.  It's totally unrealistic for all drivers to come into Formula 1 and be ready to win straightaway.  Some can, but for others it takes time.  One size does not fit all.

Quote
Drivers like Hamilton and Villeneuve have demonstrated that a good driver can win straight away.  Does anyone think that if Alonso, Kimi or Vettel had been in top three WCC car in their first season, they WOULDN'T have won races?

Hamilton did not win his first race, neither did Villeneuve.  Furthermore, Villeneuve was a relatively ordinary driver flattered by a very good Williams in 1996 and 1997.  Once he drove for BAR his performances flatlined significantly, so he's not a good example to back up what you're trying to argue in my opinion.

They might have won races, but they could also have had a lot of accidents from the pressure of driving for a top team where the expectation was very high.  There's no way of knowing.  All I know is that Alonso, for example, was very grateful for his season at Minardi.  He's on the record regarding the benefits that it brought him.

My concern with your argument Jeri is that seem to be supporting the three car no small team concept advocated by Ecclestone.  If that's the case, I think that it's a fundamentally flawed argument.  Small teams who believe in racing and the sport as whole, rather than looking at the books all the time to justify their participation are the life blood of Formula 1.  Turning it into a manufacturer series of just a few teams and cars is a recipe for disaster, as has been seen in other forms of motorsport, and also from what happened at the end of 2009 when manufacturers all began jumping ship in quick succession.

Jacques Villeneuve won races against the reigning world champion in identical cars, and then proceeded to make Heinz Herald Frentzen, who is a well regarded racer, look like a speed bump.  However, I understand not everyone shares my views on Jacques, and we shall leave it at that.

The point being that Villeneuve would never have been champion with Minardi, so what's the point of having Minardi in the sport if they're not comitting to winning?  We don't tolerate it in any other sport, why racing?

There WAS a time when the lifeblood of F1 was scrappy independant teams.  There was also a time that death was a regular outcome of F1 racing.  Sometimes the only way to get to the future is to get out of the past.

I would rather F1 be populated with 20 teams of dedicated racers willing to do whatever it takes to win.  We don't have 20 teams of dedicated racers willing to do whatever it takes to win.  We have debately 5.  The others are just happy to be there. 

The current system is skewed against small teams.  There is very little they can do to differentiate themselves from the large teams.  As long as that's the law of the land (and something Bernie has no control over), something must be done to ensure every single car has a chance of winning.  Bernie's suggestion that each car is backed by someone who can afford to race is a good one.

Offline lkjohnson1950

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #36 on: July 19, 2014, 07:05:25 AM »
Quote
The point being that Villeneuve would never have been champion with Minardi, so what's the point of having Minardi in the sport if they're not comitting to winning?  We don't tolerate it in any other sport, why racing?

Hmm, The Chicago Cubs? The Buffalo Bills? On the contrary, wcwry sport has teams that don't have the resources to compete with the Yankees or Patriots.
Lonny

Offline Scott

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #37 on: July 19, 2014, 08:38:37 PM »
I don't think you can really say the back markers are just happy to be there, or at least not that they had that attitude going into the sport.  Now that they see the reality that they will never be able to have the funding and reward of the big teams, so in a sense now they are just happy to be there.  Making eight 3 car teams instead won't change anything.   There will still be have's and have-not's, and it will pretty soon appear that the last few teams will just be happy to be there...what then?  Six 4 car teams? 
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline John S

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #38 on: July 20, 2014, 09:51:31 AM »

No on all counts.  First, few front runners have dropped out this season.  Ferrari, for example have a 100 percent reliability record, McLaren have only suffered two failures, Ricciardo has finished all bar one race, and the Mercedes cars have only three DNFs between them.  Add in a very good finishing record for Force India too, and you start to see that the chances to score are very limited.

Yeah a good point you make Irisado and after thinking about it a bit more I feel maybe it's the points scoring system at fault as well now we have so many cars routinely finishing races.

How about extending the points down to 12th place, just a shift of the current 25 to 1 should be possible without too much change. But then we could have Lucky Thirteenth, the car finishing in 13th would get an automatic upgrade to Q2 at the next race.   :D 

Not only would  an automatic pass to Q2 push 'dog' cars forward a bit at the next race, if they get that spot - no running in Q1 would mean saving tyres - it would also put more pressure on other teams as an extra place in the drop zone would be created. There's also a bonus for a front/mid running team who hit problems and end up 13th, again the tyre saving from not running Q1 could put them further forward at the next race.   ;)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2014, 10:24:27 AM by John S »
Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Scott

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2014, 11:46:52 AM »
Actually, if there is no other solution to get the back markers working harder for their race places, run the points all the way to the back. 

Messing with Q I think would be a bad idea though.
The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

Offline Irisado

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #40 on: July 22, 2014, 05:39:28 PM »
Jacques Villeneuve won races against the reigning world champion in identical cars, and then proceeded to make Heinz Herald Frentzen, who is a well regarded racer, look like a speed bump.  However, I understand not everyone shares my views on Jacques, and we shall leave it at that.

Frentzen didn't gel with Williams at all, and drove poorly as a result.  He was also very inconsistent, except in 1999.  Villeneuve almost threw away the 1997 title, despite having the best car, and ended up being outperformed too often by Olivier Panis and Jenson Button at BAR.  He was not a great driver Jeri.

Quote
The point being that Villeneuve would never have been champion with Minardi, so what's the point of having Minardi in the sport if they're not comitting to winning?  We don't tolerate it in any other sport, why racing?

Let me see, BTCC, lower level formulae of motor racing, all of these have smaller teams, and their presence is not questioned like it is in Formula 1.

Minardi were a superb team operating on a tiny budget who did a lot more for Formula 1 than many of the big bucks super teams, such as Toyota, Jaguar, Honda, and Toyota ever did.  The fact is that they, along with other smaller teams over the years, have lived to go racing.  They are passionate about the sport, about the competition, and are committed to it.  That's what they bring.

Without them, the sport would nothing.  It may as well be a game of monopoly, with manufacturers throwing around large sums of money and looking at profit margins and number of cars sold.  That's not Formula 1 or motor racing, that's board room politics.  I love the former and couldn't care less about the latter.  For me, that's the difference.  If there were no smaller teams in Formula 1, I'd stop watching.

Quote
There WAS a time when the lifeblood of F1 was scrappy independant teams.  There was also a time that death was a regular outcome of F1 racing.  Sometimes the only way to get to the future is to get out of the past.

You're comparing apples with oranges there.  Death of the competitors was a bad thing, universally accepted.  As I've explained above, small teams keep Formula 1 going through the good times and bad, while the manufacturers are only present when they can make money out of it.

Quote
I would rather F1 be populated with 20 teams of dedicated racers willing to do whatever it takes to win.

All the small teams which lasted for any reasonable period of time were dedicated racers.  Let's go back through history:  Minardi, Jordan (which became a small team), Super Aguri, Stewart, Arrows, Tyrrell, Prost, RAM, Osella, Onyx, Simtek, Pacific, Forti, Larrousse, heck even Coloni, all these teams were run by real racers.  Some did better than others, but the commitment was never wanting from any of them, and your refusal to recognise that is baffling.

Quote
The current system is skewed against small teams.  There is very little they can do to differentiate themselves from the large teams.  As long as that's the law of the land (and something Bernie has no control over), something must be done to ensure every single car has a chance of winning.  Bernie's suggestion that each car is backed by someone who can afford to race is a good one.

No, it's plain daft.  He knows that with the current costs of the sport that his suggestion is risible.  There's no way it's even practical.  It's more idealistic and fanciful than double points and medals, and that is saying something.



I think that the scoring system is okay as it is.  The problem is that the cars are too reliable, because of the rules.  Change the rules to make the cars less reliable, and the problem goes away.
Soņando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

Offline Jericoke

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2014, 06:57:59 PM »
Jacques Villeneuve won races against the reigning world champion in identical cars, and then proceeded to make Heinz Herald Frentzen, who is a well regarded racer, look like a speed bump.  However, I understand not everyone shares my views on Jacques, and we shall leave it at that.

Frentzen didn't gel with Williams at all, and drove poorly as a result.  He was also very inconsistent, except in 1999.  Villeneuve almost threw away the 1997 title, despite having the best car, and ended up being outperformed too often by Olivier Panis and Jenson Button at BAR.  He was not a great driver Jeri.

Indy 500 rookie of the year
Indy 500 champion
IndyCar series Champion
In 1998 the only F1 driver to podium twice without a Ferrari or Mercedes Engine.  The most points of any driver without a Ferrri or Mercedes Engine.  Still beat his teammate.
In 2000 Villeneuve outscored his teammate AND Jenson Button, whom this thread alleges was always a superior driver the day he joined F1, and didn't learn the craft (in a glaring counter example to my argument even!).
in 2001 Villeneuve outscored his teammate, and Button, again.
In 2002 Villeneuve outscored his teammate (in an embarassing effort all 'round)
2003 in his 8th F1 season, Villeneuve is outscored by a teammate for only the second time.

The BAR programme was an embarassment technically, as a business, and as a payday for Jacques Villeneuve.  (Oh wait, BAR was a privateer team, and obviously the life blood of the sport...)

I'm not claiming he's the greatest driver of all time, or even of his era.  My point was, and remains, that 'minnows' are not the only source of championship drivers.  The sport is not better because drivers 'cut their teeth' with underfunded teams.  (Shall we see make note of how fast Michael Shcumacher ditched Jordan once everyone belived a German could race F1 cars?)

Quote
Let me see, BTCC, lower level formulae of motor racing, all of these have smaller teams, and their presence is not questioned like it is in Formula 1.

Lower series are littered with people who love racing for the sake of racing.  If F1 was run by these people, then it would be a better show.

Quote
Minardi were a superb team operating on a tiny budget who did a lot more for Formula 1 than many of the big bucks super teams, such as Toyota, Jaguar, Honda, and Toyota ever did.  The fact is that they, along with other smaller teams over the years, have lived to go racing.  They are passionate about the sport, about the competition, and are committed to it.  That's what they bring.

I don't know what Minardi brought.  They had fans, but I doubt anyone started watching F1 because of Minardi, rather fans felt it easy to cheer for Minardi if their own team/driver wasn't doing anything spectacular.

Quote
Without them, the sport would nothing.  It may as well be a game of monopoly, with manufacturers throwing around large sums of money and looking at profit margins and number of cars sold.  That's not Formula 1 or motor racing, that's board room politics.  I love the former and couldn't care less about the latter.  For me, that's the difference.  If there were no smaller teams in Formula 1, I'd stop watching.

So what... do we post some sort of limit?  If Ferrari, McLaren or Mercedes make too much money they're disqualified from Grand Prix Racing?  It sucks that staunch racing organisations like Honda, Ford and Renault are publicly owned, and their shareholders don't like the perception that their money is being spent frivolously.

Quote
There WAS a time when the lifeblood of F1 was scrappy independant teams.  There was also a time that death was a regular outcome of F1 racing.  Sometimes the only way to get to the future is to get out of the past.

You're comparing apples with oranges there.  Death of the competitors was a bad thing, universally accepted.  As I've explained above, small teams keep Formula 1 going through the good times and bad, while the manufacturers are only present when they can make money out of it.
[/quote]

Making a fast car is easy.
Making a fast SAFE car is hard.  And expensive.

Quote
Quote
I would rather F1 be populated with 20 teams of dedicated racers willing to do whatever it takes to win.

All the small teams which lasted for any reasonable period of time were dedicated racers.  Let's go back through history:  Minardi, Jordan (which became a small team), Super Aguri, Stewart, Arrows, Tyrrell, Prost, RAM, Osella, Onyx, Simtek, Pacific, Forti, Larrousse, heck even Coloni, all these teams were run by real racers.  Some did better than others, but the commitment was never wanting from any of them, and your refusal to recognise that is baffling.

I'm talking about Marussia, Caterham, Toro Rosso and (reluctantly!!) Sauber ( :'( ).  The fact they're NOT in your list of 'real racers' is more telling than me not knowing about teams that quit being 'real racers' long before I started watching F1.

Quote
Quote
The current system is skewed against small teams.  There is very little they can do to differentiate themselves from the large teams.  As long as that's the law of the land (and something Bernie has no control over), something must be done to ensure every single car has a chance of winning.  Bernie's suggestion that each car is backed by someone who can afford to race is a good one.

No, it's plain daft.  He knows that with the current costs of the sport that his suggestion is risible.  There's no way it's even practical.  It's more idealistic and fanciful than double points and medals, and that is saying something.

I agree that the current structure of F1 makes it impossible for small teams to compete.  That's my whole point.  That's Bernie's whole point.  He says fewer teams is the solution.

I say, if the FIA is going to keep their current rules, then Bernie's idea is the best.

*I* say the best idea is to unleash the sport, let engineers build whatever engine they want.  Let aerodynamicists design any car they want.  THEN there's room for small scrappy teams with crazy ideas.

Bernie isn't the problem.  The FIA is the problem.

Offline lkjohnson1950

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #42 on: July 23, 2014, 08:21:55 AM »
Villenueve  was a good driver. Last year (2 ago?) he took a NASCAR Nationwide car that normally doesn't do well and dragged it to the front at Road America, very impressive. I think Bernie will find most teams are very reluctant to run 3 cars. That's a large increase in their budget that they aren't likely to appreciate. I think his idea would fall flat unless the FIA mandated 3 car teams.
Lonny

Offline John S

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #43 on: July 23, 2014, 09:54:01 AM »
Villenueve  was a good driver. Last year (2 ago?) he took a NASCAR Nationwide car that normally doesn't do well and dragged it to the front at Road America, very impressive. I think Bernie will find most teams are very reluctant to run 3 cars. That's a large increase in their budget that they aren't likely to appreciate. I think his idea would fall flat unless the FIA mandated 3 car teams.

Yeah I have to second that opinion of Jacques, :good: he very nearly won the WDC in his first season - I know it was in a superior car but he was still a complete novice in F1, unlike so many European drivers who at the time got to train in plenty of similar lower formula. American single seat racing has always been different in many ways to the European system and it's tough for drivers changing over - even though supposedly we speak the same language.  ;)

Unfortunately Jacques appears to be one of those drivers who can lose motivation easily, his spell at BAR may have been highly lucrative, but it was not his finest hour.

Racing is life - everything else is just waiting. (Steve McQueen)

Offline Irisado

Re: Bernie:8 teams with 3 cars
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2014, 06:57:48 PM »
Indy 500 rookie of the year
Indy 500 champion
IndyCar series Champion
In 1998 the only F1 driver to podium twice without a Ferrari or Mercedes Engine.  The most points of any driver without a Ferrri or Mercedes Engine.  Still beat his teammate.
In 2000 Villeneuve outscored his teammate AND Jenson Button, whom this thread alleges was always a superior driver the day he joined F1, and didn't learn the craft (in a glaring counter example to my argument even!).
in 2001 Villeneuve outscored his teammate, and Button, again.
In 2002 Villeneuve outscored his teammate (in an embarassing effort all 'round)
2003 in his 8th F1 season, Villeneuve is outscored by a teammate for only the second time.

The BAR programme was an embarassment technically, as a business, and as a payday for Jacques Villeneuve.  (Oh wait, BAR was a privateer team, and obviously the life blood of the sport...)

I'll start at the bottom with this.  BAR was never a privateer team.  It was a cigarette company multinational organisation with an enormous budget which it squandered spectacularly.  It was run by BAT tobacco's board.  That in no way meets the criteria for an independent or privateer team.

As for the all the Villeneuve stats.  Points scored glosses over so many things that went on.

Let's start with 1997:

He had the best car by miles, and almost lost the title.  He took pole by two seconds in the opening race of the season.  He should never have got himself into a situation where he was battling for the title at the final race.

The list of errors was lengthy:

Melbourne: Dreadful start off the line saw him caught up in a first corner accident.
Brazil: Goes off at the first corner at the start, but a red flag for other incidents allows him to restart from pole and win the race.
Monaco: Chooses to start on slick tyres in the rain and crashes out.  Yes, Frentzen made the same mistake, and Williams got the strategy wrong, but he has to take responsibility for his choice.  He was stubborn and didn't tow the line, so he could have said 'I'm starting on wets'.
Canada: Slides lazily into the wall at the chicane nose first on lap two, crashing out.
France: Mediocre performance all weekend and spins trying to pass Irvine at the last corner on the last lap, but does finish.
Britain: Would have been beaten by Hakkinen's McLaren had the Mercedes engine not failed with eight laps to go.
Germany: Qualifies very poorly, doesn't race much better, and spins off trying to pass Trulli's Prost.
Hungary: Would have lost to Hill's Arrows, but for the infamous failure of that 50p washer on the last lap.
Belgium: An indifferent performance in the wet.  Finishes only fifth, despite having taken pole.
Italy: Only fifth again, and as in Belgium, is beaten by Frentzen.
Luxembourg: Inherits victory after both McLarens suffer engine failures in the second half of the race.  They were miles ahead of him at the time too.
Japan: Excluded from the race, after only finishing fifth, for cumulative effect of yellow flag infringements from a number of practice sessions.  Careless.

So, that's 12 races where he either won thanks to luck, or didn't perform very well.  In a seventeen race season, and with the car advantage which he had that's not very impressive.

He drove very well to win in Argentina and Spain, especially the latter, where all the other Goodyear runners destroyed their tyres, but other than that, there was nothing noteworthy about his performances.

In 1998, I will agree with you that his two podiums were very good.  He arguably drove much better in 1998 than in 1997, but the Williams wasn't up to standard in terms of being a race winning car.  I'd thus argue that 1996 and 1998 were his two best years in F1.

Moving on to the BAR years.  I'm not interested in whether he outscored Button while they were driving different cars, that's an irrelevant comparison in my view.  What I am interested in is how Villeneuve performed at BAR as a whole and relative to Button when they were team mates.

Against Zonta, Villeneuve held the upper hand because BAR was his team (his manager was the team boss remember), and Zonta struggled a lot more to get to grips with Formula 1 than had been expected.

Against higher quality team mates the story is different.  Panis gave Jacques a very good run for his money.  Villeneuve outqualified him 11-6 and outraced him 5-2 (both BARs only finished seven races together) in 2001.  In 2002 those same figures were 10-7 (to Villeneuve) and 2-2 in the races.  This wasn't a bad performance by Villeneuve, but nor was it great.  He certainly wasn't demonstrating the level of class that many other champions have shown against solid team mates.

To the Button comparison then.  Button outqualified Villeneuve 8-6 and finished ahead of him 3-1 in the four races which they both finished together.  Not a disaster for Villeneuve, but nor was it a very good looking set of results either.

After that, he had an indifferent three race stint at Renault in 2004, and didn't do all that well driving for Sauber and BMW Sauber in 2005/6.

Now, I will say that, having looked at the statistics again that he did do better at BAR than I recalled, but for the amount of money his was paid, and the plaudits that were given to him by some in the media, he was disappointing.  Not as disappointing as some (R Schumacher and J P Montoya were much worse in that respect), but I still expected more from him.

I do, however, agree with a number of points that he made about Schumacher's start line chops in the early 2000s.  He was right about that.  I also admired his bravery.  He had some very big shunts, but was never afraid to keep pushing.

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My point was, and remains, that 'minnows' are not the only source of championship drivers.

I agree that they are not the only source, but I disagree with this:

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The sport is not better because drivers 'cut their teeth' with underfunded teams.

It is, because a lot of those drivers who have won races and championships would not have broken into Formula 1 without seats available in the lower half of the grid.  Top teams rarely take gambles, they like to see how a driver goes in smaller teams before signing him.

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(Shall we see make note of how fast Michael Shcumacher ditched Jordan once everyone belived a German could race F1 cars?)

That arguably proves my point.  Jordan gambled on Schumacher when no top teams were interested.  He flew, Benetton got a wake up call, and snapped him up.  Benetton would not have put him in the car had they not seen his performance for Jordan.

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If F1 was run by these people, then it would be a better show.

Agreed.

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I don't know what Minardi brought.

Read my post again, I've explained it to you :P.  There's also a book written about Minardi, Forza Minardi.  See if you can hold of a copy.  It will tell you almost all you need to know.

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They had fans, but I doubt anyone started watching F1 because of Minardi, rather fans felt it easy to cheer for Minardi if their own team/driver wasn't doing anything spectacular.

Minardi had fan clubs all over the place.  There were quite a few in the UK actually, so I'd venture to say that you may find yourself surprised.

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So what... do we post some sort of limit?  If Ferrari, McLaren or Mercedes make too much money they're disqualified from Grand Prix Racing?

No.  Pay all the teams more television money and impose some kind of budget cap.  Yes, there are practical problems with it, but the current system is fundamentally flawed, and a radical rethink is needed.

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Making a fast car is easy.
Making a fast SAFE car is hard.  And expensive.

Both of those objectives are expensive and hard, but making a safe car at least is universal, in that the same standards must be adhered to by all the teams.  If you don't have the money to spend on aero though, then you can't compete at the front of the grid.

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I'm talking about Marussia, Caterham, Toro Rosso and (reluctantly!!) Sauber ( :'( ).  The fact they're NOT in your list of 'real racers' is more telling than me not knowing about teams that quit being 'real racers' long before I started watching F1.

I didn't put them in the list because I was referring to history not to the present.  You're thus reading something into my comment which simply wasn't there, so you're drawing an incorrect conclusion.

As for not knowing, if you don't know the history of the teams that I mentioned you could always ask, or indeed look them up :).

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I agree that the current structure of F1 makes it impossible for small teams to compete.  That's my whole point.  That's Bernie's whole point.  He says fewer teams is the solution.

His solution is wrong.  I will tell you why.  Let's hypothetically remove all independents and small teams.  You'd have the following entrants: Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull, and possibly Lotus (do they still count as a corporate team?).  They field three cars each, assuming they can afford it (I doubt Lotus could, and McLaren aren't as well off as they used to be).  That's fifteen cars at most.

Say Mercedes have a bad year and decide that they're off because the board room doesn't want to play in F1 any more.  Not only do you lose three cars, you also lose their engines (Lotus have signed to use their engine remember).  This creates a massive problem.  You then end up with less diversity, less competition, and even less incentive for others to remain in the sport.  It's the law of diminishing returns.

Look at other series where grid numbers have fallen for any period of time.  F3000 was binned because of falling grid numbers.  The Super Touring era was scrapped for excessively high costs and falling grids.  Small grids dominated by a handful of manufacturers do not make for thriving racing series.  This has been demonstrated time and again.  For that reason, never mind anything else, Ecclestone's idea is poor.
Soņando con una playa donde brilla el sol, un arco iris ilumina el cielo, y el mar espejea iridescentemente

 


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