Fool’s Gold: Pirelli and #F1

Here’s an article by Leigh O’Gorman. He runs which is dedicated to providing track-side coverage of UK and European based motor racing events.

If you want high quality coverage of the Cooper Tyres British Formula 3 Series, European Formula 3, GP2 and GP3 then Leigh is your man.

I follow Leigh on twitter, and this article I know will sit well with some of the TJ13 fraternity, though I find myself not completely in step on this matter… anyway I’m sure it will stimulate a good debate……
News emerged from Italy today (5/11/13) that Pirelli bosses had met with member of the FIA and FOM over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend to discuss the possibility of mandating two tyre changes in Formula One next season.

I will be quick about this, but will probably fail.

To me, the current sporting formula of endless tyre stops are just a dull reminder of the drab years of refuelling, where a mirage of pit stops disguised itself as great racing, while teams determinately ran almost identical strategies in each race in order to achieve the same result that they got the week before.

In a sense, it doesn’t help that we have been partially brainwashed into thinking the old days were always amazing. Those who rave about the 1979 French Grand Prix and the four-lap battle between Rene Arnoux and Gilles Villeneuve should try to sit through the opening 76 laps… Same for the dreary 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, until Nigel Mansell decided a tyre stop was necessary.

‘Back in the day’, the joy of highlights and magazine-style broadcasts was that the dross was often left on the cutting room floor.

In a sense, it is a shame that the occasional procession is deemed to be the end of the sport. Like football, rugby and all other sports, sometimes a game / race / contest is just not that enthralling.

That’s life, it happens sometimes – but engineering the sport to invent crude excitement at the expense of tension and suspense can be just a dull.

This entire story reminds me of an April Fools Day joke played by the BBC and the English FA during one of the Grandstand broadcasts in 1994. In the practical joke, the show reported that from the 1994-95 season onward that the FA would make the goalposts larger in order to make scoring goals easier.

So, they set up a scene at Highbury with specially made goalposts that were about 20ft wide x 12ft high.

For sure, if the goalposts were increased in height and width, then there would naturally be more goals scored, because no goalkeeper could ever psychically reach that high or across. And that would be fantastic, because every match would probably end 7-6 and more goals equals more excitement, right?

They then showed mock interviews with some players, David Seaman and FA top brass during which they all said the idea was wonderful and that they couldn’t wait for the weekly ‘goal-fests’.

Except it was nonsense. It was a joke and at the end of the sketch, the presenter Bob Wilson did an ol’ “Gotcha!” and the pundits and everyone else involved had a good laugh. No harm, no foul and all that stuff.

After every had a good chuckle, the panel had a brief discussion about what would happen if this came to pass and one of the general themes became “if the goals come too easily, then each play and score becomes less fun and less relevant” and they concluded that it was a good thing that goalposts had not grown as it might dilute such an important aspect of the sport.
It is doubtful that those running and supplying modern Formula One were paying attention that day.

The drive for mindless passing, whether it be through a DRS flyby or endless pitstops, when hands wash quickly as they change jelly tyres is to me, just mind-numbing. The overtakes that were special 25 years ago are still special today, but as with the Alonso / Webber battle from Spa-Francorchamps last year, the efforts can be annulled by an open flap on the rear wing.

But let’s be fair. Sport – all sport – is entertainment and finding the balance between sport and entertainment is incredibly difficult, especially in a sport that demands so much of technology.

Those who argue Formula One is more of a business than a sport are probably sprouting nonsense clouded by rose tinted glasses in need of a quick polish – Of course Grand Prix racing has always been about selling something, whether it be under the name of Karl Benz or Dietrich Mateschitz. It exists to sell time on television for sponsors, partners, governments who wish their cities to appear polished and other branded entities.

Alas, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull may be utterly dominant at the moment but they aren’t killing Formula One as an entertainment spectacle.

Formula One is killing Formula One.

60 responses to “Fool’s Gold: Pirelli and #F1

  1. So let me get in first – seeing as I know the second this was published 😉

    Do you believe F1 would be better as a zero specification series… ok car dimensions etc to prevent monster cars… but let’s say ‘lightly touched by regulation’.

    • In what is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport and the top of automotive engineering, the engineers are too much restricted; and in some respects always have been, but it’s only recently that they’ve been truly kicked into a small operating corner in the interest of keeping all the cars with a few tenths of each other.

      In my opinion, the engineers are as important as the drivers and both shouldn’t be forced to do pitstops or design a car to specific regs; if you let the engineers create new things and advance new tech then the world will be a better place especially if you look at all the things invented for F1 like seatbelts, ABS and traction control.

      Give them the freedom and you’ll get all the new fuel conservation that the FIA want so much, you’d advance so many areas of motor cars it would make F1 massively attractive by manufacturers again.

      • “… the engineers are too much restricted… into a small operating corner in the interest of keeping all the cars with a few tenths of each other.”

        Good points which I generally agree with. I believe the underlying primary reason for these tighter regulations is economic, not sporting. The goal was to reduce the overall costs of the sport so that they can maintain a decent sized grid of cars.

        In some ways, the question from the Judge, which you have addressed well, is almost tangential to the article. Leigh O’Gorman’s point is on the sporting versus entertainment value of passing in F1, and F1’s efforts to devalue an F1 pass for entertainment purposes.

    • Judge, I do think the tyres are too much, I don’t care fir pit stops myself, let’s have qually rubber and race rubber that goes the whole race long and can be as abused as the drivers see fit. It’s sad these tyres die if you follow too close etc, but does it matter we think? Those who make these choices will make them with their own agenda and personal preferences in mind without really caring for how the fans feel. I would guess they justify it by saying you can’t please all the people all the time.

      I think the answer us not about spec or non-spec, regs or no regs, it’s the tracks themselves. They are too sterile, and especially the Tilk-dromes. Austin is probably 1 on the best new tracks to hit the calender. Why not design the to help overtakes and have sequences of corners where there is a choice of lines through them so a fast line through the 1st still leaves a choice through the next. Let the drivers wring the neck of the car from start to finish.

      I may be in a minority but I couldnt careless who wins but how they win and why.

    • Well, how lightly is lightly? I mean, you do need a regulatory framework. But maybe it should be less restrictive than now. Like in rugby for example, you’re not allowed to pass the ball forward. Fine, so let’s have a range for the front and rear wing rather than exact measurements. Then teams can play with it and will allow teams with smaller budgets to be more creative. Make tyres more durable. Allow both pure racers and cerebral drivers to thrive by allowing teams to make the cars exactly to suit their needs.

      And make sure that aero doesn’t overtake the show. It’s car racing at the end of the day. Chassis and engine should come first and then aero. It’s not the Red Arrows show!

    • I think thats the right idea. to keep an open wheel open cockpit prototype series ensuring they are the fastest road going machines around a circuit. Rules should be few and simple but completely literal regarding driver safety, overall dimensions, four wheels, one powerplant, and fuel available for use. That leaves room for interpretation and variation from everywhere else.

    • I’d say it depends on what you mean by a ‘deregulated’ series…

      if you’re really up for a Formula ONE, where you give the designers and engineers a box and allow them to fill it with whatever they want to, are you prepared to say goodbye to hydrocarbon fuels…? Could a team field a car without a combustion engine and what would THAT mean for the sport..?

      Could a car be 4 wheel drive, or all wheel drive… 6, 8, seven.. 😉 .?

      Could a car be steered from the pits (or by the vehicle itself), maximizing all of the cars resources and allowing driver control only for overtaking… or get rid of the pilot all together .. 🙂 hehe

      Or on a slightly more serious (read reality based) note, do we retain an FIA with a certain amount of control over the specification over the series, where they determine the maximum amount and type of fuel, tyres, wheels, safety, weight, budget, etc…?

      I think that giving everyone free reign may be interesting from a theoretical point of view (and MINE of course!), and might tempt manufacturers back in the short term, but the sport would likely end up being dominated by one manufacturer for several years, until some bean counters decided it was no longer worthwhile and pull out, leaving the rest to scrabble for a while and then reassert a new status quo. And what would be difficult to control is track safety, could a car capable of 450 kmph ever be safe driven in Monte Carlo? Also without a certain amount of continuity in the types of track, teams could design a car that would have no chance of a quarter of the circuits (Monaco, Singapore, Valencia et al), and blitz victories at all of the high speed circuits and then still be in contention for world titles.

      What I often think is overlooked is the contribution F1 makes to other walks of life, outside of the motor industry. The impact of carbon fibre (think Boeing 787 Dreamliner) among other technologies is massive, and should we be limiting the enormous F1 budgets with an incredibly large spend on essentially pointless aerodynamic burden, when these guys have millions and millions of dollars to spend on each campaign? say for instance if the top 4 spend a quarter of the annual budget on aero, that leads to an annual spend of a conservative $200,000,000. , Which is TWO BILLION DOLLARS in the last decade alone. Mind boggling. Imagine how good flywheels could be by now with that kind of investment. If a team decide to cover their car with photo voltaic cells in order to gain an extra 2 brake HP, why not let them…

      Sorry for all the CAPITALS! … just got a bit excited, that’s all 🙂

        • Yeah I meant $200m a season, for ten years, don’t worry, Im not gonna get all British with my billions 🙂

          Thanks for the heads up tho

      • Instant apology, it way my poor reading not your mistake.

        Totally agree that the money spent on “pointless” R&D that either goes in the bin or is only ‘F1 relevant’ for a single season.

        I think the aero (front+ rear wings especially) should be set fast by regs to stop sillyspending, I mean how much have Williams waisted on a coanda exhaust, just to take it off and discard it because it offers no advantage on their car?
        The rest of the car should be open to interpretation, set a max BHP for the power plant (no sspecific fuel so there can be anything from electric to hydrogen cell) a max car footprint, obviously the silly bits like the driver must be facing forward and use his own field of vision so they don’t lye the driver down for c/o gravity purposes and he drives using a periscope etc and let them rip. Possibly a max tyre width front and back but let them use any profile tyre and any size rims etc.

        • no worries Clear View ! what I wrote wasnt totally obvious to me a second time through 😉

          what about a maximum top speed..? that way the circuits wouldnt need redesigning too much, but emphasis would be placed on accleration, braking and efficiency…

 like your idea of drivers lying down though, Formula Periscope would look amazing

    • Zero is a bit too extreme, F1 would still be all about aero.
      but on engines, I sort of agree. in my view there should be a limit to the amount of energy to attrack outside players like Samsung or Vattenfall and stimulate a formula based on engines – more power then grip.

  2. Personally, I believe it’s time rule makers to seriously think about the problem of dirty air in F1 (remembering this is how the whole DRS / jelly tyre syndrome began) – and I don’t mean dropping the odd barge board, I mean a total rethink of the aero regs.

    As well as that, I would also love to see the chains taken off the new-for-2014 ERS regulations. Innovation shouldn’t be a dirty word.

    ….but… how does one guard against the likes of Red Bull spending their way out of the regulations and then leaving when they’re bored of winning?

    • I don’t think you can ever guard against teams leaving, whether they’re bored or bankrupt. One thing that might help is thinking about regulating resources globally and leaving the teams to innovate in any direction they see as advantageous. Right now, the teams are spending to get results, maybe the points in the constructors should also depend on your budget, i.e. the winner is the highest points per dollar/Euro ratio.

      Likewise, give the teams a yearly fuel ration and give them a bonus for every Liter unused at the end of the season. That should see some innovation in the efficiency department. For that matter, you could limit DF the same way if you wanted to force even more mechanical innovation.

      As far as tires go, they are not enticing the teams to gamble on different strategies for the most part as you point out. When they do, the run up is exciting but the reality is rarely as good. Until we see reasonable testing allowed for tires it’s just going to be hit or miss. Even Bridgestone had a recent embarrassment with Moto GP because of their lack of testing. And to the best of my knowledge no tires have ever lasted a full race at 10/10ths. Better data for Pirelli (or whoever) will yield better racing, beyond that we’ll either get lucky or we won’t.

      Here’s a thought: Give the teams a yearly tire ration and require them to use a minimum of 2 different compounds during the race, but let each team choose the compounds it wants and how many to bring to each race. That should open up the strategies a bit.

    • I second your call for a total rethink of the regulations in regards to the dirty air problem. That is the root of the problem.

      There have been an often time embarrassing myriad of false solutions to the dirty air problem… refueling, of course, as well as narrower cars, grooved tyres, then back to slick tyres, an expensive tyre war, various minor tweaks to the aero regulations (to too little effect), changing thoughts on how to design F1 tracks, now soft tires, and soon reduced fuel levels.

      I’m of two minds on this issue, by the way.

      First, the dirty air problem is the root problem. In my simple mind the answer is simple, pull the wings off these cars (like a naughty little boy pulling the wings off some poor little bug).

      In contrast, I do believe that driving with limited resources, such as softer tires, and/or limited fuel, is not only good, but an important part of the history of F1 and motorsports.

      Prior generations of F1 cars were not as durable. So many of the great historical drives of F1 involved managing the resources of then car, while driving as fast as possible.

      I don’t miss F1 flogging about on those old hard, powdery Bridgestones that can be re-used race after race. Because as designing a race car is a series of compromises, and setting up a car for a race is a series of compromises, the best drivers in the world can maximize their speed and position while managing the available resources. When they do that better than others, it’s beautiful.

    • I object to the notion of “Red Bull spending their way out of the regulation”. The biggest budget is still spent by Ferrari. Red Bull is “only” joint #2 with McLaren in 2013 behind the Scuderia.

      • Let’s face it Danilo, there’s spending and then there’s “Spending”. RB takes advantage of its Tech center and other operations to spend money without actually “spending” it out of their F1 budgets. AND let me hastily add they are probably not the first nor only to engage in such tactics. Much like the famous Hollywood blockbusters that never seem to make a penny in profits despite doing hundreds of millions in box office, such accounting legerdemain is as much a part of the sport as late nights and global travel.

        Solution to the problem: as I said elsewhere, divide the Constructor’s points by the total spending (including “dark” spending) and highest ratio wins. 😉

          • and Honda – but pissing $1bn up the wall ineffectively doesn’t nullify the argument that used wisely – budget becomes the key factor…

            Then again, if you exclude Chiltern from Abu Dhabi qualy times… the other 21 were separated by just 2 seconds in Q1…. not bad you may say…

            … especially when compared to the days of ‘yore’ when 2 seconds separated P1 and P2 on the grid…

      • How much are Renault spending on R&D around their engine. How much do they spend on work exclusively done for the bulls?

        Budgets are a farce, and totally misleading. Its no coincidence why McLaren have dropped backwards recently – the hidden budget from Merc has dried up and they’re spending all their own money now.

        A bit of creative accounting has always been a part of F1.

  3. Dear Matt

    ” … look at all the things invented for F1 like seatbelts, ABS and traction control.”

    NONE of these were invented for F1 !

    Dear Leigh

    ” … the problem of dirty air in F1 … ”

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – GROUND EFFECT is the answer.


    • FIA will not relent on Ground Effect because it’s deemed too dangerous if the car loses it during cornering. Yes it solves the problem of dirty air but the risk to the driver is considered unacceptable.

      • Dear Mattp55

        How can a ground effect car lose downforce during cornering ?

        I’ll tell you how – by some talentless idiots at the FIA banning sliding skirts …..

        The only risk to a driver was caused by the FIA – not ground effect in it’s original form.

        I know there were some issues with skirts ” sticking ” etc. – but that was down to bad engineering.

        Just as there were many problems in the 60’s when cars started using wings. There were problems then, but they were overcome.

        I don’t see an argument for banning wings on the grounds of them being too dangerous if the car loses them during cornering – but there was such arguments made in the 60’s and they are now moot.

        Just as the argument about ground effect being dangerous is now moot.

        • Oh, I don’t know, contact with another car maybe, hitting the kerbs too hard, mechanical failure, lots of different ways come to mind. Mind you, I’m not arguing the FIA are correct necessarily, but the argument you must face is that if anything goes wrong, and let’s face it, eventually something will go wrong, the driver will be up the creek without a paddle.

          • Dear mattpt55

            By using your argument then surely you should ban ANYTHING that can fail on a car.

            So ……. where do we start ?

            Tyres – yup get rid of them
            Wheels – them too
            Supsension and steering components – gone
            Bodywork – no no
            Chassis – out of here
            Radiators, hydraulics, electrics etc. – they’re vulnerable – so bye bye
            Engines and gearboxes etc – bit dodgy – so adios

            So what are we left with ?

            A driver …… but he’s a bit vulnerable too.

            So maybe we should wrap them up in a Bibendum suit and let them run around the track ?


          • Well, that would be highly entertaining no doubt, but don’t mistake the FIA’s argument for my personal feelings. Nor do I mean to suggest that any part that fails should be banned. Frankly, I don’t know enough about the technology of ground effect (the concept I do get however) to judge whether it could be safely run on today’s tracks, but I do know that the nut of the argument against it is that with ground effect the speeds in the corner would be so high that anything going wrong would be either fatal or nearly so.

            And there is always the example of Indy Car and catch fencing as a counter example, i.e. ignoring the safety issues, but the FIA have safety as one of their primary duties (self-imposed to be sure) so you will need to muster the technical arguments to convince them otherwise. Which information I would find interesting as well. 🙂

          • ” … I do know that the nut of the argument against it is that with ground effect the speeds in the corner would be so high that anything going wrong would be either fatal or nearly so. ”

            Since today’s cars ( and for the past few years ) corner at a much higher speed than cars of the ground effect era – why aren’t today’s cars banned ?

            Hmmmm ?

            There is a lot of bureaucratic intransigence and political inertia against ground effect.

            But there is no valid argument against ground effect – fact !

            It’s just bullshit and scaremongering !!!

            And on the point of cornering speeds – with or without ground effect, blown diffusers, coanda exhausts et al ….

            it’s the tyres and the TYRES ALONE that ultimately limit that speed !

          • Well, I suppose technically it’s the drivers that actually limit speed in the corners (until the laws of physics take over that is, LOL) but seriously, don’t just tell me it’s BS, link me to some articles about how GE is safe or tell me why you think they got it all wrong and what is wrong with their thinking. I’d much rather while away my time reading about that than doing what I’m supposed to be doing. 😉

          • Dear Mattpt55

            I never said ground effect was safe ….

            what I said is the arguments about it being dangerous were rubbish. And I stand by that.

            If you want to know how dangerous ground effect was – go and check the number of accidents that occurred in F1 during the period it was legal, and see how many were due solely to the reasons you gave for it being dangerous.

            I’ll bet there is none.

            And why was it banned ?

            Cornering speeds did increase, which meant that if a car did crash it would be far more severe. But this was due to poor circuit design – not ground effect.

            You might remember that this problem of circuit safety due to poor design was only rectified after some Brazilian bloke lost his life at Imola … 🙁

            * and on a sidebar about this tragic event – if the cars had still had sliding skirts – this accident would not have occured.

            They could have ( as I pointed out ) easily reduced speeds by reducing tyre width, hence grip. They did not.

            They could have reduced engine power to reduce speeds – they did not.

            And don’t forget that the most successful exponents of ground effect were the filthy ” garagistes ” …..

            And obviously there was absolutely no political motive behind banning first sliding skirts, then ground effect all together – to the benefit of certain teams who have a penchant for pasta or for frogs legs then …… eh ?

            Plus you have to add in the total ineptitude of the governing body to understand the most basic engineering principles.

            And finally, but not least, you have to remember who was in charge of the FIA ( FISA ) at this time.

            A man of the most colossal and gargantuan stupidity, bigotry, bias and total ineptitude ever seen.

            Yes – even worse than Jean Todt …….

            As I said – the reasons for banning it, and the reasons for not re-introducing it are all bullshit …….

            or to put it politely POLITICAL !

          • ” … during the period it was legal. ”

            To clarify – I mean during the period that sliding skirts were legal.



          • Thanks for the edification, I didn’t even own a telly during that time, and even if I had, I don’t think they were running F1 on my side of the pond at that time.

          • Ground effect is more dangerous.

            A wing can fail on a car mid corner with disastrous consequences. This can happen due to poor manufacture, which is unlikely (although it has happened relatively recently) or due to fatigue caused by an incident – a crash, for example.

            The likelihood of a failure is quite low, even if a driver goes off the racing line.

            The concern with ground effect is the likelihood of failure of the effect is far higher for reasons outlined above. Cutting kerbs and incidents between drivers, which happen with more regularity than wing failures, raise risks to a level currently deemed unacceptable.

    • Ground effects are susceptible to dirty air, and as Mattpt55 correctly pointed out, have a proven history of being too dangerous (in earlier extreme iterations anyway).

      For the cause of closer racing, (in addition to removing or minimizing wings), ground effects should be inhibited to remove the dirty air phenomenon.

      The floor specs should be designed to enable the car to be less susceptible to losing downforce due to dirty air.

      • Dear Vortex – you said

        ” Ground effects are susceptible to dirty air, and as Mattpt55 correctly pointed out, have a proven history of being too dangerous … ”

        Please provide evidence to your claim that ground effect is susceptible to dirty air – because I don’t know of any. In fact if you watch any of the racing during that period it completely disproves your assumption.

        And mattpt55 did not correctly point out anything.

        There is NO proven history of ground effect being too dangerous.

        If I’m wrong – show me the evidence …..

        and –

        ” For the cause of closer racing, (in addition to removing or minimizing wings), ground effects should be inhibited to remove the dirty air phenomenon.
        The floor specs should be designed to enable the car to be less susceptible to losing downforce due to dirty air. ”

        What do you mean exactly ?

        This is just gobbledygook ……

  4. I think there should be no mandatory pit stops for tyres or anything else. Tyres should be one compound the entire season. The design should be such that NO MARBLES are produced so that side by side racing is possible. Doesn’t make sense to justify ultra wide circuits if all you get is a 3 meter wide racing line anyways.

    • Agree.

      I’d love to see durability increased, but tyre grip decreased – way below current levels.

      No marbles and much more slipping and sliding into and out of corners.

      • The primary source of the grip generated by the tyres today (aka the G-forces) is from the aerodynamic forces.

        In other words, if you want tyre grip decreased, the first step is reduce the aerodynamic down forces pressing the tyres in to track.

        The marbles (versus tire dust residue) is due to the chemical mixture of the tyre compound. If I recall correctly, it’s possible to have grippy race tyres which throw off dust instead of marbles. If FOM asked for dusty tyres (in other words, less or no marbles). It would be interesting to see how tyre companies would react to such a request.

        • Dear Vortex

          no offence – but you are talking complete rubbish

          If you want to reduce tyre grip – you reduce tyre size

          i.e. the contact patch size between the track and the tyre.

          The other, but less satisfactory option is to keep the size the same and change the compound of the tyre itself to produce less grip.

          Either way – You do not need to change downforce levels at all to do this.

          • As you may already know from various good books available on this subject, if we have two examples of the same tire, with the same tire pressures and same tire patch size, and we have (for example) 200lbs of weight on the first tire contact patch, and 1600 lbs of weight (4 x the 1st weight) on 2nd tire patch, which tire will provide greater traction?

            The answer is always the tire with more weight on it.

            And it won’t matter if that additional weight comes from weight transfer (from braking, turning or acceleration, for example), or by tuning the suspension (anti-roll bars, etc.), or from downforce generated by wings or underbody vortices.

            Between two tires that are the same, the tire with more weight on it will generate more traction.

          • Umm… basic math error there… ratio should be 1:8, not the 1:4 that I wrote. Apologies!

  5. No doubt if the impact of aerodynamics were to be greatly reduced we would have to put up with Newey whinging about the success of the teams who relied upon it less, and how ‘lucky’ they were.

  6. Ok I’ll be the first, and probably the last, to say I’m pro regulations. This is to me what f1 is about. Let’s not forget we’ve got some of the most genius masterminds in the automotive business that compete in our favourite sport. Cuz it’s not only a competition on track. And every year it amazes me how they come up with ideas to go faster even though the regulations got strikter. Things like a double diffusor or a blow difussor came to life by finding cracks in the rules. Now I’m not saying that every regulation is one I’d aprove. But without rules there would be chaos. And i know the fia bobos forbade some beautiful inventions and i would like to see some back… but in some cases they where also right in forbidding it.(for example the so called x wings that arrows intruduced in Monaco)

  7. Interesting debate. However, is the current race quality actually so bad? I believe that, despite the dominance of Vettel and RB, we had at least 5 years of very interesting racing, with a lot of good GP’s and a lot less progression races when compared to the Schumacher dominance era. Judge, what is the average race score this year?
    I am not a big fan of DRS and tires that do not allow to race or follow a car close, but at the end, drivers have to and can adapt and deliver an exciting show.
    Regulations need to be balanced. Total freedom is not good, neither are spec cars. But the closeness of the cars today (top-10 qualifying within half a second) is exciting.
    When talking about improving entertainment, maybe more should be done to bring the viewing experience to the digital age. We have a great timing app that has added a lot of value, but certainly, there is a lot more that can be done, no? Internet & social experience is completely absent. And the reason this site is doing so well is that it provides a unique insight into the sport, proving that there is a demand for more.

  8. I’ve been hearing that F1 has been destroying itself for over 30 years now.

    I was one of the people saying it when I was younger. Not now.

    Its no different to selling a good or service.

    Existing customers will usually stick with what they have. Unless another good or service becomes available which is significantly better than what they currently receive they will stick. Some will leave, but its usually small numbers. That’s current F1 fans.

    New customers take significantly more investment, of both time and money. The proposition must be something that the customer can understand. If its aspirational, all the better. If it’s exciting even better still.

    Most businesses spend more time and money on the new client acquisition. That’s where growth is.

    Bernard and the FIA will always listen to what can get more clients, for them. Long time consumers of F1 might be unhappy with changes but we usually stay to look at the show. New consumers don’t want to be bored by a procession, they want excitement. It doesn’t necessarily occur to them that a pass is more sterile than before – they don’t have the before to compare with.

    At the end of the day, the money says whether F1 is weak or strong.

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