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Author Topic: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1  (Read 1135 times)

Offline cosworth151

Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
« on: June 28, 2019, 07:46:17 PM »
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  • I started to post this in the What's Wrong with F1 thread, but there's enough other stuff here that it rates its own thread. I think he makes a lot of sense in his ideas about F1's problems. Whether you like or dislike him, I think most of you will agree with him that Toto Wolff should not be the next head of the sport.

    https://racer.com/2019/06/27/medland-the-real-reason-f1-needs-lewis-hamilton-right-now/


    “You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
    ― Bob Dylan

    Offline Jericoke

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #1 on: June 29, 2019, 04:52:08 AM »
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  • So who SHOULD be in charge of F1 (I sort of like Max's idea of a 'dictator')?

    Maybe a former driver?

    I don't see Alonso doing it, but maybe Prost? I think Kimi would be great at it, but can't imagine him wanting the job either.

    Offline Scott

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #2 on: June 29, 2019, 04:06:33 PM »
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  • I'm not sure a driver is equipped to be in charge of the sport, and as Lewis mentioned, anyone previously part of a team cannot be completely objective (Jean Todt?), it's simply human nature. 

    I think a superfan with a strong technical and racing background would be the best choice (who choses?).  I vote for Alia.   :D :D

    First of all, F1 should decide what it's primary goal is going to be.  Is it exposure and profitability (as opposed to just viability like it appears to be these days)?  Competitive racing?  Technical innovation? 

    I think it would need to be a combination of those things and the leader would need to be an expert or at the very least, expertly advised and able to make critical decisions.

    I do agree that it should not be a democracy.  The teams should be presented with the rules before they are accepted into the series.  It should be economically painful for them to be part of it, and even more painful for them to leave.  And if they must leave, then the series should make it less complicated for a new owner to take over (naming and profit sharing rules are stupid).  On the economic side of things, F1 should not be owned by a corporation.  It should be an equal share owned by each team and a certain amount by the FIA.  This is the biggest problem Bernie caused imo...he arranged it so FOM had too much value (greedy little man), and brought corporations and shareholders into the picture, who rightly demand a return.  FOM should never have been anything but a subsidy of the series empowered to negotiate races, advertising and broadcast rights, but without taking direct profit.  The profits should have gone entirely back to the series itself (the teams and handsome budget for the FIA).  The teams allowed it to happen at a time when the sport could have evolved into a much more profitable direction simply because Bernie convinced them to cede control to him in trade for quick easy profits.  Another example of why it should not be a democracy.

    Not being a democracy should also mean no favouritism.  No legacy payments (sorry Ferrari)...all teams on equal footing and profit sharing.

    I liked what Lewis had to say about regulation freezes (get rid of them).  Why should teams and fans have to wait 5 years for another overhaul?  To save money?  Come on...any respectable company knows how to get into the black, and that is to choose itself where and when to cut costs, not have that dictated by the FIA.  I know this goes back to the circle of big teams vs little teams vs costs and viability, but it hasn't been sensible, and the big teams will always find ways to spend more money, so if profits are balanced across the teams with a healthy purse to supplement the winners and punish the losers, teams will be self motivated to save money in some areas and then pour more into R&D that they can manage themselves.

    That's probably enough for now... 
    « Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 04:09:03 PM by Scott »
    The Honey Badger doesn't give a...

    Offline lkjohnson1950

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #3 on: June 29, 2019, 04:46:43 PM »
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  • I'm not going to address money. The biggest reason F1 is the way it is is too much down force in the wrong places. They depend on the front wing for front grip and anything that interferes with the airflow reduces front grip and causes understeer. You can't follow the car in front closely enough to make a real slipstream pass. Hence DRS, which either doesn't work at all or works too well. Racing in the US' three major series (Indy Car, NASCAR, and IMSA) improved when those series reduced the effect of the front wings or splitters. F1 needs to reduce the front wings and do away with all the barge boards, vortex generators etc. They won't though because the teams want that stuff. Too bad for F1.
    Lonny

    Offline cosworth151

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 07:04:46 PM »
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  • There have been many cases where having a "dictator" for a racing series (or other sports league) have worked very well. Tony Hulman at USAC/Indy, Bill France Sr at NASCAR, Wally Parks at the NHRA, Don Panoz at IMSA. Even Bernie in his earlier years at F1.

    NASCAR is a little farther along the descent than F1 for many of the same reasons. They're at the point where they are running in front of mostly empty grandstands & plummeting TV viewership. It happened because they dropped great venues for a bunch of BCC (Boring Charlotte Clone) tracks at "destination" cities, cookie cutter cars and incomprehensible rules (the infamous Race to the Chase for the Cup for the Thing).
    “You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
    ― Bob Dylan

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #5 on: July 01, 2019, 08:47:06 PM »
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  • Warning! Long post alert!

    I'd settle for someone who knows what they are doing with their portfolio. (Remember the FIA portfolio includes every motorsport, even if the leader chosen was to excise the motoring part that currently exists). Essentially, someone who can give a proper answer to Scott's first question. (Thank you for the vote also - I'm looking for a job at the moment due to a mass reorganisation at work, and my manager would probably like to hear something different from "I'm going to work at the call centre in the next town across" :) )

    I'd want someone knowledgeable about motorsport, who can figure out where F1 fits into the general landscape of sport, and is willing to guide things accordingly. Apparently that is more than the last three FIA leaders managed to do, which doesn't do anything for my confidence that the next one would be an improvement.

    I disagree with a lot of what Lewis is saying. While the teams are talking about making the cars heavier... ...so is the FIA. Each has their own agenda for it, but the only power not "for" it is Liberty, and the FIA/Liberty voting bloc means they are unlikely to vote against unless they can come up with a strong reason for taking that position.

    The last time the FIA had the balance of power, it nearly destroyed F1 by trying to set a budget cap that was comically low and unrealistic, forcing general mutiny. Without that mutiny, F1 would have ended in 2011 due to lack of teams. This is why someone other than the FIA has to have the power of veto over the FIA's decisions. At least the teams are competent enough to have some idea of what their interests are and how to meet them - the FIA, despite condescending attitudes from its leaders, hasn't had that since the mid-1990s.

    Liberty has thrown its lot in with the FIA in exchange for extra power, so it can't be trusted to hold the balance of power. Bernie was capable of doing it when it aligned with his own interests, until he became more interested in figuring out who he could resell F1 to next (2000, in other words).

    (Of course, the teams cannot have the full balance of power either. Then F1 would have ended in the mid-1990s. There must always be multiple power-brokers with different agendas, to keep the series afloat. Most sports don't, but most sports have competent governance - even football, whose top tier of management is blatantly corrupt, manages to make decisions that are workable at some level. That's not likely to be the FIA's wheelhouse any time soon, and the lack of trust that comes from it is almost as dangerous as the fact itself).

    One part I do agree with is that Toto Wolff would not be the right person for the job of next F1 boss. Jean Todt's already proving that the two jobs require quite different abilities. Many more interests have to be balanced as FIA leader, there is more opportunity to repent at leisure for decisions made in haste - and you have to work at many more layers at once, because leaders are apt to cop some of the blame for every mistake that in some way involves FIA personnel (whether said personnel are even part of the problem) as well as a lot that don't.

    Technically, the FIA isn't allowed to receive income from the commercial structure of F1, because that would contravene an agreement to that effect made with the EU in 2000 (in exchange for the FIA being allowed to veto any series it doesn't like, something that was also justified for safety reasons). Even the 1% it currently gets from Liberty keeps it under continual risk of being referred back to the EU courts - simply because teams withdrew the last complaint doesn't make it any more legal. The FIA is instead only meant to make money by exercise of its legitimate governance function (primarily entry fees for drivers and teams - the most successful ones pay millions every year to enter F1, and Mercedes' fee alone probably pays for the FIA's actual expenses regarding F1. The occasional big fine for flagrant regulation breaches does no harm to the FIA's bottom line either).

    Unfortunately, regulation freezes are essential if the "pay big to enter and make it painful to leave" system is to work. If you've locked teams in, you can't then have big changes unless they all agree to them, otherwise you get the 2010 team situation (I doubt any of them would have signed up if they had known the budget cap rule wasn't as set in stone as Max Mosley had claimed to the world). If you have regulation changes at short notice that are not to the teams' collective liking (and not compelled, which is why safety changes have long since been an exception), you have to let teams quit without much penalty, otherwise that's a breach of contract and extremely expensive for the FIA (since any team that objected could rightfully get back all their expenses for leaving, plus anticipated benefit of staying under the agreed regulations, through the French national court system). Change usually benefits the richest teams too, something that F1 doesn't exactly need more of (given that at the moment, the richest 5 teams are in order in the top 5 of the championship).

    For that matter, most sports do freeze regulations for a number of years at a time. A good example of a sport which does so while changing important things nearly every time a window of opportunity exists is sailing. The regulations for racing boats last three years at a time, so people can make good on investments, but detail rules are expected to change each time the rulebook is re-examined. (It's a better example than football, which has changed fewer than 20 rules in the last 50 years - albeit some of those have had to be changed multiple times - or rugby, which I believe has had 7 in that time period, 2 of which relate to concussion protocols).
     
    Having a dictator only works if the dictator knows what they are doing. I would argue that for most of the last 30 years, F1's survived despite, rather than because of, dictators, and even the current setup is too dictatorly (for a start, six teams get to dictate terms to the other six). Figure out what F1 is supposed to be doing first, then find a structure that gets F1 most reliably to that place.

    Finally, how's this for an idea - drop some weight by removing lots of front aero (and a bit of rear aero, so they slide a bit more but are still capable of being handled? Two birds, one stone.

    « Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 09:24:54 PM by Alianora La Canta »
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Offline John S

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 02:10:25 PM »
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  • Nice post Alia, I enjoyed how you have framed your arguments.  :good:

    Two points though that I'd like to pick up.

    1. Rule/regs book needed for F1 is so much more complicated than almost any other Sports series because of the constant push into the very edge of technologies, so any comparisons, direct or indirect, is I believe impossible.

    2. I'm pretty sure that there are only 10 teams in F1 currently (make that 8 if you count Alfa & STR as 'B' teams). Are you taking theoretical FIA allowable grid size, or is your reference to Six v Six counting Liberty and FIA as parties in the loaded dice scenario?  :confused:

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

    Offline Alianora La Canta

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 05:42:48 PM »
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  • Nice post Alia, I enjoyed how you have framed your arguments.  :good:

    Two points though that I'd like to pick up.

    1. Rule/regs book needed for F1 is so much more complicated than almost any other Sports series because of the constant push into the very edge of technologies, so any comparisons, direct or indirect, is I believe impossible.

    2. I'm pretty sure that there are only 10 teams in F1 currently (make that 8 if you count Alfa & STR as 'B' teams). Are you taking theoretical FIA allowable grid size, or is your reference to Six v Six counting Liberty and FIA as parties in the loaded dice scenario?  :confused:

    1. The entire regulation set (or even "the entire set minus the International Sporting Code that is shared with other series" could be frozen for 3 years at a time, barring safety improvements. Most other motorsport series, including development and partial-development ones like WEC and Formula E, already freeze regulations for 3-5 years at a time.

    2. I keep thinking the optimun number of teams in F1 is 12, and tend to think accordingly. Sometimes I forget that F1 has failed to reach this for nearly all the time I have watched it. So imagine the six biggest teams giving a stern lecture to four other teams plus a pair of empty chairs ;)
    Percussus resurgio
    @lacanta (Twitter)
    http://alianoralacanta.tumblr.com (Blog/Tumblr)

    Offline lkjohnson1950

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #8 on: July 06, 2019, 11:53:58 PM »
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  • Lonny

    Offline John S

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #9 on: July 07, 2019, 01:26:52 PM »
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  • As I've mentioned elsewhere taking away power steering will certainly make the sport more physical for the drivers, and I think that's a fair step if you bear in mind the preparedness for electronic aids amongst the youngsters now.
    Kimi is right though, rose tints too often cloud memory.

    When Kimi first started there were not so many buttons and variants on the steering wheel to aid drivers, older racers have had to learn on the job, the newbies will have been using games controllers since age 4 and will be totally used to the environment of total control and endless possibilities to alter dynamics through the steering wheel/controller.

    I liken this phenomenon to the lack of typing schools now, until the eighties and beyond youngsters were taught how to use a typewriter or keyboard, often as stepping stone to a job, now every kid in school has been using a keyboard/pad since 1st grade is self taught and pretty expert at typing by end of schooldays.

    Whilst we can't take away most of the electronic aids, top teams wont let us, we can push to make it harder to cope with both driving and the plethora of buttons.

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

    Offline lkjohnson1950

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #10 on: July 07, 2019, 02:26:47 PM »
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  • I wouldn't mind if the FIA limited the number of buttons allowed. Say you can have 8 buttons, no dials, assign them any function you wish. What the sport really needs is either more power or less grip. Power should have to be applied with care. Classic era drivers earned their pay by knowing when and where to accelerate. Today they get off just long enough to brake then BAM right back to 100%. If the car slides or steps out they instantly whine about no grip.
    Lonny

    Offline Andy B

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #11 on: July 07, 2019, 11:08:58 PM »
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  • This is a fruitless search for satisfaction which can never be achieved as Ferrari want Ferrari to win as do its fans Mercedes want Mercedes to win etc.
    To get back to "the good old days" is just a dream the technology in every aspect has moved on including the depth of knowledge but there is always Historic GP Racing, https://www.mastershistoricracing.com/historic-formula-1/championship/, but having seen this some years ago it suffers from the same problems that modern day F1 does and that is the individuals ability to spend money so a car that did not win in their heyday are now winning.
    So where do they go with modern day F1?
    Limit the money? How is that regulated as there will be ways around it for the inventive out there.
    Limit the technology? Then would it be F1?
    Maybe just maybe open the rule book little and let the teams become more expressive as the problem I feel is the amount of regulation is strangling the teams.
    Just my thoughts which can be shot full of holes just as we are doing to everything the FIA and Co come up with so only time will tell.
    Once you have retired every day is a Saturday!

    Offline cosworth151

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #12 on: July 08, 2019, 03:15:15 PM »
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  • I definitely agree with Ail that any "dictator" would need to be competent. Brian France totally derailed the NASCAR juggernaut and ran the series into the ground. Roger Penske did the same to Indy racing in the CART era (which allowed NASCAR to fill the void & mushroom into the dominate American series.)

    John mentioned taking away power steering. That might be something to try. IndyCar doesn't have it and I haven't heard any of the drivers complain. Not even the former F1 drivers.
    “You can search the world over for the finer things, but you won't find a match for the American road and the creatures that live on it.”
    ― Bob Dylan

    Offline Jericoke

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #13 on: July 08, 2019, 05:08:17 PM »
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  • I definitely agree with Ail that any "dictator" would need to be competent. Brian France totally derailed the NASCAR juggernaut and ran the series into the ground. Roger Penske did the same to Indy racing in the CART era (which allowed NASCAR to fill the void & mushroom into the dominate American series.)

    John mentioned taking away power steering. That might be something to try. IndyCar doesn't have it and I haven't heard any of the drivers complain. Not even the former F1 drivers.

    I'd love for F1 and IndyCar to homogenize, so that IndyCar teams can be F1 customers (and maybe, but not likely, vice versa)  It spreads the costs of F1, it stops Indy from being a single make series, it allows drivers to move back and forth between series easily.  (I know that CART got into trouble trying to get into F1's turf, but if IndyCar sticks to North America, I think it's good to have a semi-unified open wheel.

    Naturally there are million political problems, but there's really no reason for the cars to be similar but different.

    Offline lkjohnson1950

    Re: Hamilton Speaks Out on the State of F1
    « Reply #14 on: July 08, 2019, 08:01:50 PM »
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  • Indy Car has a lot less aero than F1 and they're pretty happy with that. I doubt if F1 would agree to that so Indy would have to bump up and then the same problem occurs, no passing.     :DntKnw:
    Lonny