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F1 News & Discussions => General F1 Discussion => Topic started by: F1fanaticBD on December 02, 2013, 06:18:26 PM

Title: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: F1fanaticBD on December 02, 2013, 06:18:26 PM
Its been almost an universally accepted truth, at least among GP Wizard members, that the newer tracks are lack of character, excitement and extremely dull. I admit I was among them as well, but then one thing got me thinking, specially after Indian Grand Prix this year, are we being fare to the newer track?

The older tracks have history to offer, have stories about making of hero out of ordinary, as the brave men tackled the corner with machine and his driving ability. Certain track will make drivers fear as many speed demons lost their live while racing through them. There is always a legacy, a myth, an atmosphere about the well-loved old circuits, which are being build in ages, with their evolution of different era.

The newer track, but with latest technology, with a clear intention to catch the flavors of the old tracks, surely lack that sort of legacy or heritage for sure. But criticizing them, not being exciting enough, are we doing justice to them? In early years of racing of F1, when a team went to new race, they were daunted by the prospect of driving in the unknown, racing in the dark, where they went almost blindly. While on the other hand, when a new circuit is introduced, every millimeter of the track is being recorded in the simulator, where they are rigoriously tested, engineers with unbelievable computing power, run the racing scenario with minute detail, and the car will be set-up with that much detail, that it will be able to adapt the circuit in no time thus ensuring the best possible time, which makes the racing a tad bit boring, seems like its pretty easy to drive around this tracks. Anybody who saw the driver's parade in Circuit of America would know how steep that first corner is, that several classic cars fail to make it to the apex with a driver in it. When F1 cars were running it looked astonishingly simple. So if you let the cars of 70's, 80's run the circuit, I thing it will make us realize how difficult the circuit is. I think it goes for the many of the new Tilke-dromes. Also dew to regulation, the circuit nowadays made as wide as possible, which also dilute the ability of the F1 driver to test their racing skill.

Sometimes it makes me wonder, if Monza was presented as a new track, how would be the reception of it among the fans, and I am pretty sure it will be disastrous. The parabolica, the Lesmos would not have been treated with respect, but rather with despair. I have a feeling the Silverstone may have been put under the scrutiny if it have started now.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: vintly on December 02, 2013, 07:17:49 PM
Nicely written piece BD, provocative stuff. Agree about Monza - possibly my favourite track.

Danger is a key element in the excitement of F1, and there's not enough of it around at the moment. Whether it's Tilke or the parameters that he's forced to work within, the tracks are part of the problem. Too wide, too much run-off, too safe.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: cosworth151 on December 02, 2013, 07:59:20 PM
I'm afraid I have to disagree. As vintly said, the wide tracks with huge runoffs of the current generation of dedicated tracks makes them dead bland. Far too many of Herr Tilke's tracks rely on gimmicks and half hearted, watered down copies of classic track features. Shanghai being in the shape of a Chinese letter is so silly that now even they are disavowing the whole notion. The dirt pile at Austin looks more like it belongs on a motocross course.

Most of the classic circuits have evolved over the years. This has allowed them to perfect the features of their layouts. And, yes, they do have heritage. They also tend to have long time enthusiastic fan bases. Most of the new circuits are in areas that really don't care a fig about racing. The empty grandstands prove it.

As for the street circuits, the only one I really care for is Monaco. I'll readily admit that it's main attraction is that it Monaco! It's been there forever and its whole atmosphere is the epitome of F1 ambiance. It has evolved over the years, too. While the section from the current Start/Finish to Tabac has stayed pretty much the same (with the exception of the tunnel being lengthened), the rest of the circuit if vastly different than it was back in the mid 60's.
 
I still feel that any circuit should have to prove its worth hosting other series before it can move up to F1.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: John S on December 02, 2013, 08:01:49 PM

Nice thought provoking piece BD,  :good: not all of us dislike the newer tracks you know.  ;)

I for one think Turkey, Malaysia, Bahrain and COTA are good racetracks, India I just can't make my mind up, I'm also not so keen on and China, Singapore & Abu Dhabi. Now Korea is well..... a half decent track, but it's brought down by no atmosphere - even on TV - because the area around it really is so drab; the media do their best to hide it but there is a certain downbeat perception on Yeongam weekend (Oh I wish there was a yawn emo)   :(

Silverstone to me used to be a hopeless track and was really just a pancake flat road round the edge of the old airfield complex, it may have been fast but it was boring as hell when compared to Brands or Donnington - both of which feature big elevation changes as well as tight corners - ideal to mix up the racing. The new layout at Silverstone makes the track much more interesting and maybe, for me anyway, just about puts it on a par with some of the newbies.

I agree that narrower tracks make for more challenging and therefore exciting racing, however the Elf & safety committees wont allow new Monzas or Spa whatever we agree in debate.  :crazy:



   
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Jericoke on December 02, 2013, 08:07:53 PM
The 'classic' tracks are 'classic' for a reason.

The nature of supply and demand has rewarded the entertaining tracks, and relegated the dull ones to history.  That is to say they've earned the right to be 'classics'. 

As far as I know NONE of the 'classic' tracks have their original layout.  They've taken the time to refine the tracks, to create the spectacle they're known for through trial and error.

Does this preclude a 'new' track from becoming a classic?  Not at all.  But it must be earned.  Some of the new tracks will adapt and become classics.  Others will whither and be forgotten, to be replaced by new 'new' tracks to complain about.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Dare on December 02, 2013, 09:54:23 PM
To see first hand how the classic tracks evolved
all one has to do is buy a copy of Grand Prix Legends
[my favorite racing game].

You can see how dangerous the old tracks were especially
the Monaco chicane and Spa with the hoses and trees along
the course.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: F1fanaticBD on December 03, 2013, 03:36:34 AM
I have nothing to say about Run-off area's, for me that is just a simple no-no, if you are in the pinnacle of the sports, you should be precise better than anybody else. When we know there is a net if take a fall, it does take away most of the credit. I was referring on about lay-out and elevation changes, I will never defend those pathetic run off areas.

Then who is the front-runner among the newbies, who will surely become a classic?

For me, I will put the money for COTA (Sorry Cossie), because that first turn really take away my breath, and the atmosphere is simply put electric. If they could manage it for quite sometime and avoid Michelin/Ferrari debacle for some time, I think it has the potential to become one. I would have loved it, if India made a mark, but if your people consider it as a spectacle and not a sports (Though I have reasons to believe that was more of media stunt, to get attention, rather than actual mindset of people) then how come it become a classic F1 race? As a track Korea is good, but everybody is simply dreadful about the atmosphere, which is pretty shocking. For quite sometime Bahrain has been in talks more for politics, less for sports. And there is not much of a spectacle present there as well. There is mixed feeling about Abu Dhabi and Singapore for me, because the tracks are superb, the atmosphere is tantalizingly addictive. Singapore does put loads of pressure on drivers physically, because of its uneven surface, and tight corners, Abu Dhabi seems to fall in a bit sort of predictable side.

I think the classic track is something that has something for everybody, from a technical nuts to a casual fan, it will offer something unique to everybody. That is a daunting task, and it takes years to attain such ability. But I have a feeling we expect way too much from the newbies, and they don't have much of a chance to show us that.

I am may be a bit naive in this regard, but whenever there is a race, whenever there are motors running, to beat each other, a road or a tarmac or anything in front of them, and guys pushing everything within their ability to clinch the final laugh of a winner, it will always excite me, mesmerize me and like a junkie I will be keep going back to have some more of it, because I feel like its a celebration of speed, celebration of engineering, celebration of racing instinct, and I can't resist any of them,and I don't want to ever.

Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: lkjohnson1950 on December 03, 2013, 07:33:32 AM
Most of the drivers say COTA's sector 1 is as good as any F1 circuit on the schedule. They also say sector 3 is OK. Sector 2 is the lump of coal in the stocking. I liked Turkey, some good fast bits, not a lot of Tilke hairpins, and the triple apex turn seemed quite difficult for the drivers. Most of the Classic tracks are fast, requiring the driver to be precise just to stay on the road, perhaps that is what the newer tracks are missing. And Tilke himself has said that the FIA/FOM regulations take away a lot of his options, eliminating things he would like to do. Of course, Spa, Monza, Monte Carlo etc would NEVER be approved for F1 if they were new tracks.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Irisado on December 03, 2013, 06:36:03 PM
They did get it right with a minority of the newer tracks.  Malaysia's circuit, for example, is pretty good in my opinion.  It's not ridiculously wide, it has some challenging corners, and does not have acres of run off.

The problem with so many of the tracks built in the 2000s is that they're too wide.  You don't need a track which is so wide that almost four cars could, in theory, run side by side to produce good racing.  In fact, excessively wide tracks produce very dull racing, as we keep seeing.  Overtaking should be a challenge, not a case of being able to use all the road to easily sweep by another car on one side or the other, especially in this era of fake (read DRS) passes.

The classic tracks became classic because of the racing and the atmosphere, but it's also worth noting that most of them had a heritage in motorsport before they held their first Formula 1 race.  This is not the case for some of these newer venues, and this is why they fail.  You need demand and passion for Formula 1 before just giving it to a country, and too many of these newer venues have been chosen because of the amount of money Ecclestone gets out of it, rather than because they were suitable places to hold a Formula 1 race.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: F1fanaticBD on December 03, 2013, 08:58:06 PM
I don't go to Grand Prix, I watch them on the TV, so when I am watching it in the TV, how much of that atmosphere does translate into the viewing? We see the glimpse of large crowd only when the pan-out shots taken by the crew, so how come this be a deciding factor?  :DntKnw: :DntKnw:

I am trying to understand the logic behind this repulsiveness about the newbies.  :DntKnw: :DntKnw:
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: vintly on December 03, 2013, 09:12:45 PM
I don't have an answer to that BD, but if when I make it to the Indian GP if when it comes back on the calendar, will you join me there?
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: monty on December 04, 2013, 09:09:08 AM
Are we being fair to the newer tracks? YES! - well some of them.

The atmosphere for visitors is certainly one thing but it is the racing that really matters. If you visit Silverstone you feel a great atmosphere, the facilities are fantastic and there are a number of places where you get a great view. However, even if you are watching a Silverstone race on TV you get a sense of the speed, you can see the cars have to be wrestled through corners, you sense how difficult it is to overtake and in most areas you can see that a mistake will result in a non-finish.
For a visitor, Spa is horrible, no facilities, lots of muddy banks, etc. but again watching races at the track or on TV you really sense the challenge and the excitement. The problem with some of the modern tracks is the lack of danger - not of injury but of simply suffering a penalty if you get it wrong. Where is the challenge of staying inside the white lines when the penalty if you don't, is simply you go over the blue lines! Boring!
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Ian on December 04, 2013, 11:22:53 AM
Monza's toilet facilities were disgusting in my view, just portaloos, no toilet paper and nowhere to wash your hands. Building sites over here have better facilities. You are right though Monty, the atmosphere is why you go to a race and I certainly wasn't disappointed there.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Scott on December 04, 2013, 12:29:30 PM
Monza's toilet facilities were disgusting in my view, just portaloos, no toilet paper and nowhere to wash your hands. Building sites over here have better facilities.

No question...made sure I went before I left the hotel and then didn't drink NEARLY as much beer as Ian  ;) ;)
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Ian on December 04, 2013, 01:43:31 PM
What!!! Don't listen to that reprobate called Scott, I drank very little that weekend.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: cosworth151 on December 04, 2013, 01:57:58 PM
Remember that, in many cases, each of these new venues added to the schedule means that we loose a far, far better existing facility. We still hear, on an almost annual basis, that Spa will loose out to a Tilkedrome, or a boring street race in Rome will replace Monza. Hochenheim and the Nürburgring are already sharing a date because the European GP moved to an already dead street circuit.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Jericoke on December 04, 2013, 02:05:56 PM
Remember that, in many cases, each of these new venues added to the schedule means that we loose a far, far better existing facility. We still hear, on an almost annual basis, that Spa will loose out to a Tilkedrome, or a boring street race in Rome will replace Monza. Hochenheim and the Nürburgring are already sharing a date because the European GP moved to an already dead street circuit.

The 'new' tracks aren't displacing the 'classic' tracks though.

For example COTA didn't replace Indy.  Indy decided that F1 was bad for business.  It's the same with many of the 'classic' tracks:  F1 doesn't make money if you're a track owner.

If F1 didn't go anywhere new, they wouldn't go anywhere at all. 

As always the multibillion dollar sport will go where the money is. If people aren't willing to pay to see races in Spa, but they are in Bahrain, then that's where the racing is.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: cosworth151 on December 04, 2013, 02:15:41 PM
Do you really want to compare attendance at Spa to Bahrain? Bahrain, like many of the new venues, exist solely because a corrupt, totalitarian regime is willing to ship Bernie a boatload of cash. If Idi Amin were still in power, we would probably have a Grand Prix of Uganda. Is that what we want F1 to become? That is certainly the way it's going.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: John S on December 04, 2013, 03:16:07 PM
Bahrain, like many of the new venues, exist solely because a corrupt, totalitarian regime is willing to ship Bernie a boatload of cash.

Would that be the same regime that has close links with the United States, and is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.  :confused:

Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Jericoke on December 04, 2013, 03:18:27 PM
Do you really want to compare attendance at Spa to Bahrain? Bahrain, like many of the new venues, exist solely because a corrupt, totalitarian regime is willing to ship Bernie a boatload of cash. If Idi Amin were still in power, we would probably have a Grand Prix of Uganda. Is that what we want F1 to become? That is certainly the way it's going.

I'm not talking about attenance.  I'm talking about money.

People in Spa won't pay the same as the people in Bahrain.  I don't know why:  if I'm going to spend a zillion dollars to attend a race I'm going to go somewhere nice, not the middle of the desert (even assuming the track experience is identical... why would anyone go to Bahrain instead of Belgium?) so I have no idea why the economics are so screwed up.

But since F1 operates on cash, they go where the cash is. 

I'll agree that it's a somewhat short sighted approach, and yet before the 'asian expansion', F1 was losing teams very quickly.  That's stopped happening over the last few years (teams are hanging on with their fingernails... but they are hanging on).  That is to say, sticking with the old tracks was bad for business.

If the teams would allow more races, there would be room for more races that make less money.  Since they don't... F1 goes with the money.

I'd like to see F1 get into the track ownership business.  Bernie is wasting a lot of profit by dealing with middlemen he has to bully, rather than employees he can boss around.  (Without rehashing the IRL/CART war... having Indy own the IRL was a great idea.)  There's plenty of quality F1 capable tracks in Europe and North America that can be bought cheap, and bring their own enthusiastic fan base.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: John S on December 04, 2013, 05:46:19 PM
.

I'd like to see F1 get into the track ownership business.  Bernie is wasting a lot of profit by dealing with middlemen he has to bully, rather than employees he can boss around.  (Without rehashing the IRL/CART war... having Indy own the IRL was a great idea.)  There's plenty of quality F1 capable tracks in Europe and North America that can be bought cheap, and bring their own enthusiastic fan base.

I think that may be a non starter under EU laws, Jeri, it wouldn't be fair and open competition. Existing track owners who host or want an F1 race - but just can't see the economic model of huge fees to FOM as viable with only gate receipts and catering to set it off against - would be at a disadvantage. The FOM would effectively be subsidising the tracks they own if they didn't pay the same huge fees for the races; paying such fees would most probably result in losses for the track operation. The FIA as series owner is based in France so is subject to European Union laws. 

I believe Bernie already owns, or has controlling interest in, several tracks, most notably Paul Ricard Circuit in France, and therefore is well aware of the pitfalls. He wanted the French GP to alternate with Spa a year ago using Paul Ricard, however this all fell through as no state or local government funding could be obtained for the return of the French GP.



 
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Jericoke on December 04, 2013, 06:12:53 PM
.

I'd like to see F1 get into the track ownership business.  Bernie is wasting a lot of profit by dealing with middlemen he has to bully, rather than employees he can boss around.  (Without rehashing the IRL/CART war... having Indy own the IRL was a great idea.)  There's plenty of quality F1 capable tracks in Europe and North America that can be bought cheap, and bring their own enthusiastic fan base.

I think that may be a non starter under EU laws, Jeri, it wouldn't be fair and open competition. Existing track owners who host or want an F1 race - but just can't see the economic model of huge fees to FOM as viable with only gate receipts and catering to set it off against - would be at a disadvantage. The FOM would effectively be subsidising the tracks they own if they didn't pay the same huge fees for the races; paying such fees would most probably result in losses for the track operation. The FIA as series owner is based in France so is subject to European Union laws. 

I believe Bernie already owns, or has controlling interest in, several tracks, most notably Paul Ricard Circuit in France, and therefore is well aware of the pitfalls. He wanted the French GP to alternate with Spa a year ago using Paul Ricard, however this all fell through as no state or local government funding could be obtained for the return of the French GP.
 

Ah... so instead of 2 German races, 2 Spanish races and 2 Italian races... we see one of each, and a host of races in Asia and the Americas.

I'm guess the EU competition rules work in favour of Europeans becoming unemployed?  :DntKnw:

Seriously though, I don't think it would be illegal for FOM to own the tracks it races at.  Surely soccer (football) teams own the stadiums they play at.  Why shouldn't FOM own its own tracks?
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: John S on December 04, 2013, 06:27:49 PM


Seriously though, I don't think it would be illegal for FOM to own the tracks it races at.  Surely soccer (football) teams own the stadiums they play at.  Why shouldn't FOM own its own tracks?

You're trying to compare apples and pears Jeri. It's the football teams owning the stadia not the organising/sanctioning body owning them. There's no problem with F1 teams owning tracks but it's a no no for the organising body to do it. In Britain the Football Association owns a football ground, Wembley stadium, but it is only used as an English national venue not as a normal club ground.

 
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: cosworth151 on December 04, 2013, 06:59:41 PM
I don't know about soccer, but I can't think of a single MLB, NHL, NFL or NBA team that owns their venue. They all play in government owned, taxpayer financed stadiums/arenas.
Quote
Would that be the same regime that has close links with the United States, and is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.  :confused:

Yes, and we should have cut them off years ago.

Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Jericoke on December 04, 2013, 08:05:57 PM
I don't know about soccer, but I can't think of a single MLB, NHL, NFL or NBA team that owns their venue. They all play in government owned, taxpayer financed stadiums/arenas.
Quote
Would that be the same regime that has close links with the United States, and is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.  :confused:

Yes, and we should have cut them off years ago.

Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Raptors
Toronto Blue Jays*
Toronto FC
Montreal Canadiens**
Ottawa Senators***
Vancouver Canucks
New York Rangers
New York Yankees

*The Rogers Centre (ne Skydome) was government built, but is now privately owned by the cable company, who also own the Blue Jays

**Not only was the Montreal Canadiens arena privately owned and built... the government was so stingy, the team had to reimburse for the parking meters closed during construction.

***When the Ottawa Senators built the Palladium, they were billed for the highway infrastructure the government had to build to access the arena... and surrounding neighbourhood
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: cosworth151 on December 04, 2013, 08:42:29 PM
I'm not familiar with the Canadian team. As for the Yankees, Bloomberg was throwing a batch of city cash their way. The New York City Independent Budget Office, a publicly funded agency that provides non-partisan information about financial issues, estimated the Yankees deal cost the city $362 million up front, $787 million over 40 years.

(Source: USA Today, 6 April 2009)

You'll find that the Rangers got much the same deal with MSG.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Jericoke on December 05, 2013, 03:36:25 AM
I'm not familiar with the Canadian team. As for the Yankees, Bloomberg was throwing a batch of city cash their way. The New York City Independent Budget Office, a publicly funded agency that provides non-partisan information about financial issues, estimated the Yankees deal cost the city $362 million up front, $787 million over 40 years.

(Source: USA Today, 6 April 2009)

You'll find that the Rangers got much the same deal with MSG.

Well, I cheated a little... MSG owns the Rangers, so if there is public money in MSG, I guess it's complicated.

Canadians don't have much of a palette for public arenas/stadia.  I think after getting hosed on the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, it really soured the whole idea.  The Skydome was publicly built, but now private.  It's considered a white elephant.  Hamilton (near Toronto) built an 'NHL Quality' arena with the hopes of getting a hockey team.  It too is a white elephant.

The Edmonton Oilers are trying to build a new arena.  Their owner asked for the government to kick in half, but the people of Edmonton, told them to stuff it.  They're not paying for a billionaire's piggy bank.

It's crazy that Americans keep falling for this 'pay to stay' strategy.  Where would the Yankees really play if NYC didn't build a stadium?

I imagine Bernie's strategy will eventually unravel.  The people aren't interested in Bahrain or India or Shanghai... so the backers aren't getting the prestige they seek.  They'll get bored, and F1 will have to head back where there are people who want to watch.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: lkjohnson1950 on December 05, 2013, 06:13:04 AM
The last several posts have touched on the reason why we are losing venues like The 'Ring and Spa; local and national governments won't kick in the cash to support the races. In addition there is a fairly strong "Green" movement in Europe that is opposed to racing and tells politicians so regularly. In Bahrain, if the King/Sheikh wants a race, he gets one. This is also a strong reason why Bernie doesn't like to deal with the classic tracks, he feels national governments should pay for the races as a point of pride. The EU governments obviously feel differently, as they have shown on several occasions. In America, between Humpy Wheeler's organization which owns Charlotte and several other tracks, and NASCAR's own ISC which owns Daytona, Talledega and several other tracks, the owners of Kentucky Speedway (or maybe it was Kansas?) threatened to sue NASCAR if they didn't get a Cup race. Which is why NASCAR's classic tracks like Atlanta and Darlington are disappearing from the Cup schedule. As Jeri said it's all about the money.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Alianora La Canta on December 09, 2013, 02:49:08 PM
Bernie buying tracks is legal. The FIA buying tracks would be illegal (mixing regulatory and commercial aspects), but it can't afford to do that. The reason we don't see Bernie buying and running tracks is because from current evidence, he's rubbish at it.

In 2000, Bernie bought the rights to Spa through a 3rd party. Said 3rd party went bust in 2002, necessitating an emergency buy-out by an independent organisation. In 2009, Bernie bought the promotion rights to Turkey, forgot to promote it, then wondered why the visiting figures went through the floor...

In 2006, the BRDC considered selling Silverstone to Bernie directly. Wisely, they decided to wait for a competent buyer.

(Edited to add: there is also an issue because, unlike most single-use stadiums, it's a rare track that only has FOM events. The most profitable tracks have racing series from several different organisations present (though all must be FIA-approved) as well as home-grown events and possible non-racing activities like concerts. While it's perfectly possible for a series to race somewhere owned by another series, it probably makes things more difficult).
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Alianora La Canta on December 09, 2013, 02:55:37 PM
Monza's toilet facilities were disgusting in my view, just portaloos, no toilet paper and nowhere to wash your hands. Building sites over here have better facilities. You are right though Monty, the atmosphere is why you go to a race and I certainly wasn't disappointed there.

Wow, that is bad! Even Vallelunga manages better toilets (and showers, would you believe?) and that's barely a Grade Two track...
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Jericoke on December 09, 2013, 02:59:59 PM
Bernie buying tracks is legal. The FIA buying tracks would be illegal (mixing regulatory and commercial aspects), but it can't afford to do that. The reason we don't see Bernie buying and running tracks is because from current evidence, he's rubbish at it.

In 2000, Bernie bought the rights to Spa through a 3rd party. Said 3rd party went bust in 2002, necessitating an emergency buy-out by an independent organisation. In 2009, Bernie bought the promotion rights to Turkey, forgot to promote it, then wondered why the visiting figures went through the floor...

In 2006, the BRDC considered selling Silverstone to Bernie directly. Wisely, they decided to wait for a competent buyer.

(Edited to add: there is also an issue because, unlike most single-use stadiums, it's a rare track that only has FOM events. The most profitable tracks have racing series from several different organisations present (though all must be FIA-approved) as well as home-grown events and possible non-racing activities like concerts. While it's perfectly possible for a series to race somewhere owned by another series, it probably makes things more difficult).

Again we can go back to Indy (the speedway) to see that other series can race successfully at a venue owned by another series.  The USGP and Brickyard 400 (NASCAR Race) were successful events in many respects.  (It is argued that the Brickyard 400 is now more successful than the Indy500.  I wouldn't agree, but don't know the facts either.)
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: cosworth151 on December 09, 2013, 03:07:24 PM
Indy has been around for over one hundred years. Most of the other classic tracks we are discussing have been there for 50 to 75 years. How many of these new circuits will survive 50 years? How about 25 or even 10? Barcelona is gone already. The best of the newbies, Istanbul, is done for. How long before the rest of them go the way of Texas World Speedway, Ontario Motor Speedway and many of the other "new super tracks" from the last burst of track building?
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: lkjohnson1950 on December 09, 2013, 03:08:31 PM
The Brickyard 400 is in some trouble. Attendance has been declining steadily since the tire fiasco of a few years back. The 500 is also down, but not by as much.Despite it's problems with the 2 competing series over the last 15 or so years, The 500 is still a special and unique event that fans want to see and experience.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Alianora La Canta on December 09, 2013, 03:13:23 PM
Bernie buying tracks is legal. The FIA buying tracks would be illegal (mixing regulatory and commercial aspects), but it can't afford to do that. The reason we don't see Bernie buying and running tracks is because from current evidence, he's rubbish at it.

In 2000, Bernie bought the rights to Spa through a 3rd party. Said 3rd party went bust in 2002, necessitating an emergency buy-out by an independent organisation. In 2009, Bernie bought the promotion rights to Turkey, forgot to promote it, then wondered why the visiting figures went through the floor...

In 2006, the BRDC considered selling Silverstone to Bernie directly. Wisely, they decided to wait for a competent buyer.

(Edited to add: there is also an issue because, unlike most single-use stadiums, it's a rare track that only has FOM events. The most profitable tracks have racing series from several different organisations present (though all must be FIA-approved) as well as home-grown events and possible non-racing activities like concerts. While it's perfectly possible for a series to race somewhere owned by another series, it probably makes things more difficult).

Again we can go back to Indy (the speedway) to see that other series can race successfully at a venue owned by another series.  The USGP and Brickyard 400 (NASCAR Race) were successful events in many respects.  (It is argued that the Brickyard 400 is now more successful than the Indy500.  I wouldn't agree, but don't know the facts either.)

It's definitely possible for the right person. Bernie is not that person, unfortunately, and I'm not sure CVC has anyone who is.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: F1fanaticBD on December 09, 2013, 03:45:49 PM
Barcelona is gone already.

Cossie I think you meant Valencia, because our dear Scotty has managed a ticket for Barcelona already ;)
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Irisado on December 09, 2013, 06:29:30 PM
I don't go to Grand Prix, I watch them on the TV, so when I am watching it in the TV, how much of that atmosphere does translate into the viewing? We see the glimpse of large crowd only when the pan-out shots taken by the crew, so how come this be a deciding factor?  :DntKnw: :DntKnw:

I am trying to understand the logic behind this repulsiveness about the newbies.  :DntKnw: :DntKnw:

Picking up atmosphere is something that I find very easy to do through the television.  I can feel the passion, history, and challenge of older race tracks.  They are more demanding, and when riding on board with the drivers and seeing how much closer the fans are, how much closer the guardrails and barriers are, it's just much more exhilarating.

As I said earlier, this does not mean that all new tracks are bad.  It's just that most of them are just far too wide.  Take away the acres of concrete run off and make the track narrower and some of them would improve significantly.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: lkjohnson1950 on December 09, 2013, 08:10:19 PM
A couple of drivers have said the width of the track going into turn 1 at COTA is a problem, because it's difficult to know exactly where to place the car. Too far outside is as bad as too far inside. From personal experience, I know it's difficult to get a feel for the elevation changes at a circuit on TV. When I finally got to Watkins Glen, I was very surprised how steeply uphill the esses are and how steeply downhill the approach to the boot on the GP circuit is. They were much more dramatic than they appear on TV.
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: John S on December 09, 2013, 09:08:36 PM
Bernie buying tracks is legal. The FIA buying tracks would be illegal (mixing regulatory and commercial aspects), but it can't afford to do that. The reason we don't see Bernie buying and running tracks is because from current evidence, he's rubbish at it.

Sure Bernie can buy tracks, but he can't subsidise these tracks with preferential terms in the FOM contract if he wants to run F1 races at these tracks - that's the bit that's against the EU competition rules.

Seeing how he screws much more than the last penny from the existing hosting tracks there is no way he can in reality stage F1 races at his own tracks without losing money, unless he gets local governments to stump up a real big wad of cash by way of a tourism incentive. 

 
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: cosworth151 on December 09, 2013, 09:23:49 PM
Quote
Cossie I think you meant Valencia, because our dear Scotty has managed a ticket for Barcelona already ;) 

Right you are, BD. Sorry about that. Hey, it was Monday morning!  :confused:
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: Alianora La Canta on December 11, 2013, 02:27:28 AM
Sure Bernie can buy tracks, but he can't subsidise these tracks with preferential terms in the FOM contract if he wants to run F1 races at these tracks - that's the bit that's against the EU competition rules.

Bernie can't give his own tracks preferential terms... ..but as he already gives every track different terms, and nobody can make head or tail of why they all get different terms, I don't think Bernie would have any trouble hiding favouritism for his owned tracks from the EU. The real problem is that he doesn't know how to make the economics work from the circuit's perspective. (The one track he's run successfully is Paul Ricard - and he only bought that after it lost its F1 race contract).
Title: Re: Are we being fair to the newer tracks?
Post by: cosworth151 on December 11, 2013, 12:33:37 PM
The coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela made me think of this. Back in the days of apartheid, almost all the world boycotted South Africa. One of the very few exceptions was F1. The sport was more than happy to take the minority government's money and race at Kyalami. Is anybody proud of that? When we talk about many of the new venues, we would do well to remember F1's history of dealing with any despot with a fat checkbook. Do we really want to repeat the tremendous mistakes of the past?
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