Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 26th June 2014

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Previously on TJ13:

#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Spielberg 2014 – #AustrianGP


OTD Lite: 1906 – The first ever Grand prix

Mercedes gives you wings

Form an orderly line for F1 engines please

Getting new fans to F1

Ferrari LMP1

FIA software causing problems again


OTD Lite: 1906 – The first ever Grand prix

Today marks the anniversary of what is officially recognised as the first ever ‘Grand Prix’. 108 years ago the competitors lined up to participate on the 64 mile lap based near Le Mans, France.

It was originally organised by the Automobile Club de France to circumvent regulations which limited the amount of cars a country could enter into the prestigious ‘Gordon Bennett’ races – seemingly French politics have always been prevalent in motor-sport!

The Grand Prix would be held over two days and the drivers would lap the circuit six times on both days. A combined race distance of 1,238.16 miles, the winning driver – Hungarian Ferenc Szisz – won in 12 hours, 14 minutes driving a Renault. Felice Nazzaro followed over 30 minutes behind in his FIAT. In total, 11 of the 23 cars finished, with the leading Mercedes over four hours behind…

The prestige of the race practically doubled Renault’s sales within the year and increased a similar amount in 1908 and until the First World War it remained the only annual race to be called a ‘Grand Prix”

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Mercedes gives you wings

mercedes-poster

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Form an orderly line for F1 engines please

One thing is certain, as McLaren toddles off to Honda, Mercedes will have no shortage of suitors wishing to insert the German F1 engine manufacturer’s power plant inside their 2015 chassis. Further, the fact that McLaren were known to be offski sometime before the final deals were done for between F1 hybrid engine suppliers and customers is likely to mean the odd savvy team will have negotiated opt out clauses from the current engine deals.

Either that, or a scorched earth policy may work. Don’t pay Renault F1 for this year’s engine, get kicked off their list as a customer and BINGO! You can switch to Mercedes power for 2015……..Oh yes, Lotus is trying that one at present.

Caterham are unlikely to be in F1 next year – certainly in their present form – so we can cross them of the list of possible Mercedes engine customer’s for 2015.

Marussia are a possibility, though for them on the budget they have, the difference a Merc engine would make of the Ferrari is probably marginal. Add to this, Ferrari have been fairly benevolent with Marussia in terms of credit and technical support.

Sauber have been in bed with Ferrari for almost ever and a day, with the, exception of a couple of adulterous interludes. If it wasn’t Ecclestone who bailed them out to the tune of $10m earlier this year, then the only other reasonable benefactor would have to have been the team in Red.

Where Red Bull go, little Italian Rosso Bull will follow as it appears a deal has already been done behind the scenes to allow teams to share more common components.

So this leaves Lotus. If Alain Prost fails to get his way and see Renault invest in a full works team, then surely Enstone will opt for the Mercedes power train in 2015 – and Mercedes will oblige – of course following a substantial up-front payment to indicate ‘good faith’.

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Getting new fans to F1

The team principal FIA press conference event in Austria was interesting indeed. Fresh from their Biggin Hill F1 commission wrangling, for the most all the major players from the team appeared to be on the same page.

The recurring theme was F1 needs to engage more with new fans. Presumably this is based upon the 50m fall in viewer numbers this year which has set the cat amongst the pigeons.

Social media and fan engagement were repeatedly trotted out as solutions for the current malaise F1 finds itself in. Yet the only real detail of what could be done emerging from the eminent panel included the trading of twitter follower numbers and whose show car did the most promotional events – quite depressing.

Having been silent since his departure from Maranello, Stefano Domenicali emerged at the FIA’s annual Sport Conference, held this year ironically in Munich. He was part of a panel led discussion on “How to grow motorsport in a changing world”.

Dominelicali outlined the difficulties facing Formula 1 in terms of competing stakeholders who all demand satisfaction of some sorts. “First of all we need to talk about an incredibly large base of licence holders, support networks, teams, manufacturers and fans, so it would be wrong to say there is only one thing to do – it would be to look at only one part of the motor sport cake.

We are talking about a thing that connects different people of different ages and cultures. You have older people who want to simply go racing and enjoy it and then younger people who want to enjoy a different experience. You have manufacturers who have marketing and technical interests and teams who generally have an interest in pure racing. You have to keep developing for all these different communities.”

Clearly Stefano has lost none of his political astuteness, but following these two short paragraphs the listener is inclined to switch off, depressed, because the task is too great. Domenicali goes on to outline the key requirement of developing the sport for younger generations.

 “We need to have a strategy. We need to be integrated with the stakeholders promoting all of the different categories. Without an integrated communication plan we will be disconnected. This week will be important in getting all of those stakeholders together, in finding out what each one is dealing with and hopefully then they can formulate a plan and choose the main route to follow. It’s important to act quickly”.

More corporate speak – and no plan of action.

This week, the FIA signed a long term deal with Gran Turismo developer Polyphony to promote new games platforms and to regulate a new FIA online gaming world championship.

This may see F1 enter the world of online championships where participants from across the world can compete with each other in real time. Further, a gaming option where competitors can race live during the current GP against the real drivers – as it happens – is not too far in the distant future.

 “That’s important for those want to be in the show”, adds Domenicali, “but we also need to appeal to people who are purely sports fans and who want to challenge the professional or the champion through games or interactive experiences. One thing I learned from looking at the American market, in different disciplines, is that fans want to be the one challenging the most important player in basketball or whatever. Fans want to be the protagonist. If we can provide that it will help our entire movement to be connected to fans.

For young people who want to get involved as drivers it has to be affordable, otherwise it is impossible. Here there is a dichotomy. New technology at the beginning is expensive. We need to find a balance. If we are too aggressive on new technology we run the risk of losing the passion of motor sport. We need to balance it carefully”.

This is all well and good, but the most significant factor – BY FAR – affecting F1 viewership numbers is TV exposure. The drive towards pay-per-view was always going to reduce the number of people watching F1… it is currently doing so… and will continue to do so further into the future

A great F1 gaming platform is a good idea, but in reality it will attract only gamers to F1 – and will be limited to those with a penchant for racing games.

There was apparently some good news on the horizon this week as NBC Sports reported the highest ever viewing audience figures for a Formula 1 race, broadcast in the USA – for the Canadian GP.

However, in the F1 heartlands of Europe, figures are on the decline. The UK viewing audience had finally recovered in 2011 to almost the peak levels of the late 1990’s only to suffer a huge slump in 2012 as half the races were no longer shown live on free to air TV.

SKY and other pay-to-view channels have since been sweeping Europe, and there too, the viewer numbers are now in decline.

Formula 1 is in big trouble, simply, because it is too expensive to access. Whether it be to go to a race where ticket prices are exorbitant, or because ordinary people can’t afford the TV subscriptions.

Tweeting and gaming and facebooking and video blogging are all very well and good, but they need to be set against a sensible sustainable business model for the sport as a whole. And for now, there is absolutely no sign of a breakout of financial common sense on the horizon, nor even for some years to come.

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Ferrari LMP1

Here’s a picture been flying around the web for the past 24 hours. Apologies to the creator as we cannot find your name to credit you….

Think what Ferrari could do if they entered LMP1

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FIA software causing problems again

“Stereotypes – a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.”

Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s Italian cars were made of tin foil grade steel. Whilst this would have been acceptable in the motherland’s climate, one whiff of the rain which permeates Northern Europe reduced them to rust as soon as they left the dealership and despite the extraordinary success in World Rallying of the Lancia Integrale – the Italian manufacturer eventually withdrew from the UK marketplace in the early 90’s. To this day, the reputation of crumbling metal has been maintained as an Italian build issue despite the cars being built with galvanised steel for over twenty years.

People forget that Vauxhall had similar problems a generation before and today’s Nissan was a re-naming from Datsun because they too suffered chronic rust issues. In 2014 for quality and reliability you buy German and Japanese manufactured cars. The French manufacturers deliver excitement and fun but still the Italian cars carry a reputation of unreliability. Mention of Italian electrics will have any Italian car or bike aficionado nodding knowingly.

Ferrari’s success a decade ago is attributed to the work of a German, Briton, South African and Frenchman – who took over the self-destructive team of Italians and made them fighting fit. Even to this day, this cliched stereotype holds sway with observers. As recently as the Australian Grand Prix when it was discovered that the Ferrari’s were handicapped by coding supplied by the FIA; the general rule of thumb is that in some way it was the input of Italians that was really the cause.

Yet Red Bull – undoubtedly the greatest Formula One team over the last five years suffered similar problems due to the FIA software. Thierry Salvi, the head of Renault engines for the team revealed after Austria that Sebastien Vettel’s retirement was attributed to a FIA sourced software malfunction which has been highlighted to the governing body earlier this season.

“There are several possible settings for the driver to use with the engine – including a setting that is activated by a button to deliver more power which automatically sets a different engine mapping.

When Sebastien pressed the button to start the race, there was a problem with the control unit. After digging deeper into the problem we think it is due to a bug in the car’s software which is unfortunately not managed by us but by the FIA.

The issue will be resolved for the next race – I think. We have already made the FIA aware of this bug earlier in the year and the Federation released a new version of the software to resolve the issue but apparently it has not.”

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58 responses to “Daily #F1 News and Comment: Thursday 26th June 2014

  1. I like the Mercedes ad. It’s a good, healthy, pointed message and shows good spirited competition. Banter is good. That’s the sort of spirit I like in competition.

    The bullshit between Ferrari and Red Bull previously when they close together was usually shitty, veiled, and mostly undermining digs.

    Seems maybe Mercedes have a bit of class and a bit of street fighter too.

    That’s my take anyway.

  2. Minor correction that I bring up, only to verify whose side you’re on… You speak of “tv” viewership, subscriptions, etc. but in this day and age “broadcast” is a better, more encompassing word. Broadcast, of course, to include the internet. To speak only of a 20th century broadcast medium in an article about technology is rather ironic…

    • Much like hitting the post button is publishing, excellent point. The youths today consume content in vastly different ways and live sports are about the only thing that tie many viewers to a traditional model of TV.

      Regarding the NBC numbers, the Canada race is shown on the equivalent of Free-to-Air, so it will naturally have a larger audience. Still, it is also being reported as having had the most viewership in 7 years of any F1 race so kudos to NBC.

      In a similar fashion, their fledgling motorsports channel is reporting significant increases in F1 viewership, though complicating factors such as whether the channel is being included more frequently in basic cable packages (meaning subscribers don’t have to pay extra to see the channel) are not mentioned in the body of the article.

      Just to be clear, the average viewership is 377,000 which is fantastic for NBC but will not really be putting much of a dent in that 50m drop worldwide.

    • “Broadcast” means stuff is cast just once to all points of the compass. The internet aint that.
      In terms of marketing (where the money to support the sport comes from), TV and the web are *entirely* different beasts.
      All the media platforms out there need to be elements of an integrated strategy to to truly effective. The new media landscape actually allows you to expand the attractiveness of your product, not to just “sell” it. How you access and interact with things is actually of the product.
      The plan for F1 at the moment is so old school it’s ridiculous – hailing from the days when pay TV was seen as a miraculous cash cow. True broadcast media is dying – TV, radio, newspapers. The current proprietors are doing the ostrich thing and holding up progress into the bargain.
      In Bernie’s world he’s looking for the maximum revenue sweet spot, so falling viewership aint necessarily the issue for him at least. Teams / sponsors see it differently – F1 is a massive “trust” ad campaign for them which relies on bulk people seeing and internalising the association between them and the sport. Thus we see Bernie happy with less viewers on pay-for-view and everyone else wanting more viewers.
      The marketing landscape these days is all about the competition for attention (a limited resource). Currently F1 has too much friction in the audience engagement transaction, so the audience are tending to direct their attention elswhere.

    • You nailed it. Who watches TV anymore? Who here doesn’t have a high speed internet connection at home, and on their phone!

      Hulu Plus and Netflix and Apple TV and NBA League Pass and all these other on demand over internet channels are well established and work.

      F1 also has the benefit of having a big portion of the audience who would like to watch the race live and who will therefore sit through some ad interruptions or will view ads beside the video player without much complaint.

  3. Ferrari LMP1

    Think what Ferrari could do if they entered LMP1

    LOSE ……

    just like they do in F1 😀

    P.S. – remember LdM said they can’t afford to do BOTH !

    • Think of this scenario.

      Ferrari do not win anything for the next 3-4 years, probably even fall behind McLaren Honda. Using low viewership as an excuse when the true reason is that they can’s win, they walk off F1 for a single year. Just as a protest move. Then they fail in Le Mans, they negotiate new F1 rules or preferential treatment that would ensure they’re competitive in F1, they come and say that they leave Le Mans because ‘F1 was always in their DNA’, and…Bob’s your uncle!…or rather Luca!

      PS If you think that scenario is absurd, I don’t care, with Merc dominating I’ll grasp at any straw of conspiracy and fantasy theories to keep me entertained.

    • “I’m sitting on a 1bn dollar cash pile, restricting sales to 7,000 to retain exclusivity… but can’t afford a WEC program that is less expensive than the special 85m that I skim off of F1 revenues before the other teams see a penny” – That’s how I see that quote from LdM…

      Looks like the picture was on wtf1 and is the work of a sicilian student, but it looks very interesting. Alonso’s post-F1 destination? He could race Webber…

      • I doubt they have a billion dollar pile …..

        which would be 740 million euros

        last accounts ( 2012 ) show 312 million euro’s profit

        in 2011 Ferrari paid 388 million euros to FIAT – so 2012 is likely to be the full 312m to offset FIAT’s losses

        in other words they have NO money

        • For 2012, Fiat S.p.A. reported a loss of €152 million, compared with a profit of €99 million for 2011.

        • Yeah, well, not sure I can believe your ‘Ferrari have no money’ belief. They have doubled their car sales in the past 15 years and the Ferrari family still own 10%. So it’s highly unlikely that they give all their profits to FIAT. And even if they do, this is just a tax avoidance game, FIAT can then equally pass funds back to Ferrari through research or whatever other clever way.

        • JS’ words on a piece titled “How not to lose gracefully..” almost a fortnight ago:

          “Ferrari announced earlier this year that its revenues rose five percent in 2013 to a record $3.16 billion and it posted a pre-tax profit of $500 million. The company even said that it has a cash pile of $1.87 billion, despite an increase in research and development spending.”

          Also, if Ferrari had no money, wouldn’t it use Bianchi as a cheap number 2 driver and not Raikkonen?

        • And on cash piles… the amount Apple has could make it the equivalent of a small country! I think it has more than the US government… no wonder they are now buying back shares, there’s no point in sitting on that much money and it devaluing each year.. while their shares will inevitably rise at a small rate at worst..

  4. “Getting new fans to F1”

    One of the worst things about all their social media strategy talk is the fact, that the commercial rightsholder has been undercutting a lot of these efforts for a long time already. I have known for a while, that any campaign to attract a new audience to the Formula 1 can only work, after the Formula One Group has received a radically different strategy (for what to do and more importantly what not to do on the Internet).

    Well, you generally don’t win a new fan by writing a tweet or two, so social media for social media’s sake is probably the wrong strategy anyway. Yet there are ways to get the sport into the hearts and minds of people, making interest in racing more prevalent. The three ways to do that over the Internet are the written word, pictures and video. Lets work through them one by one:

    Words: Journalists may write about fascinating races – the good mood among commentators and writers could be felt after several races this season even – but this doesn’t really lead to an increase in viewers or fans, at least it hasn’t done so on its own. Positive commentary will only be a byproduct which leads a viewer to give the sport a chance, but in today’s strategy of making Formula 1 more attractive, it’s more or less the only thing there is.

    Pictures: Years or decades ago, people might have taken a look at a neat image of a then modern Formula 1 racer and thought: “Man, I’d love to watch that car race”, but is that still true today or even for the past few years? I think not. We’re in our second year of having the ugliest noses the sport has ever seen (in my opinion anyway) and lets not forget the winglet salad on the front wing, which has been an issue of mine for years. Do you guys think modern F1 cars are as beautiful as they were back in the day, a decade or two ago? Personally, I’m much more fascinated by the LMP1/2 cars in endurance racing.

    Video: Since the sport is not only about teams and cars but also drivers – for many that’s even the most important part – a few flowery words or still images may not be enough to get someone new to Formula 1. Without seeing cars race each other and without hearing the roar of the engines, a lot of the fascination of motorsport requires at least some video recordings. What the sport needs are ways for potential new fans to get a look at exciting maneuvers from last year, the recent race or whatever. Yet FOM goes to a considerable effort of removing the vast majority of this kind of content from the Internet. Yes they’ve been almost certainly uploaded to websites like YouTube without permission from the holder of the commercial rights to these videos, but that’s in large part because there doesn’t exist a legal alternative. What video is available on formula1.com is limited to the pole position lap and a short video of random scenes from the weekend, made available almost a week after the event and even then, it’s only accessible after registration. In short: too little, too late, too exclusive, too happy to use DMCA takedowns.

    How can person xy tell is Twitter/Facebook friends about the exciting race they missed, when they can’t see it (or at least parts) for themselves? Really, they won’t care or think “nice on you for having fun, dude” at best.

    That’s my take on it. Social media is all about some idea gaining momentum, but if that ever happens FOM is always standing by, ready to stop the avalanche. Maybe others see it differently, so let me know what you think about this topic.

    • I agree that if we get social media for the sake of social media, that might be the wrong move.

      For me, there’s only one solution. Let the big teams and engine manufacturers develop their engines throughout the year, or allow 2 windows during the season that they can do it. It’s the only way for competition to thrive.
      – Gold will shine even in a pit of turds. But no matter how much you try to polish a turd…or market it through social media, it will stay a turd.

      For the past 15 years, we had the sleep-fest of Ferrari’s domination, Brawn’s domination, Red Bull’s domination, and now Merc’s…although for the moment it’s good with allowing Nico and Lewis race.
      I still look back at ’07/’08 with rose-tinted glasses and think ‘Ah, good old days, when Ferrari and Macca were battling it out with the genious of Alonso, speed of Kimi and a new exciting driver in Lewis.’ And it had everything. Intra-team battle, conspiracy theories, exciting racing, two big teams going at it, and the year after a title decided in the last race, last lap, last corner!

    • Good post Dan. Saward has a very interesting post about the FIA/FOM up today; it’s well worth a read.

    • @ Dan. outstanding post! it is hard to get hooked to racing unless one gets the whole live experience. long gone are the days when as a fan, you had Mario and the Unsers sitting on their mopeds next to you half way around the track – all too happy to give autographs and graciously chat awhile about winning (and losing) the 500 just a few weeks ago – or when you could sit around the campfire with Paul Newman, Sharp, Ganassi, or the Archer brothers. or having full paddock access with no special pass needed… all that was needed was the patience to work thru the mass of fans.

      every track was filled with wall to wall tent campers with amazing tailgate food samples handed out by everyone until the food ran out. grandstands were for Indy. a grassy or muddy hillside did nicely, thankyou. and sometimes without even a cow pasture fence between you and your hero yanking the wheel back & forth on a 160mph turn… however one wishes to define “party”, it was all around in spades including some not so good times like the burning of a bus in the bog. (bonus points if ya know what that is about). it was a time when one could strike up a friendship with a rookie newspaper photographer (whose photos we have since enjoyed seeing everyday for decades). a time when you were awakened at dawn by 20 minutes of throttle blipping of a BRM H-16 or a 600 cubic inch Shadow filling the hills and valleys with sweet music and the smell of that special fuel blend.

      it was a time when the super stars of F1, Can-Am, Winston Cup, Indy, Bikes, USAC dirt track, Trans-Am, F5000 and more walked into someone elses house and kicked ass and took no prisoners!! men were men. no room for pretty, prissy rich boys or far away computer nerds. of course, as is today, if you were not playing superior mind games or down right cheating, you prolly weren’t winning very often 🙂

      it was a long time ago when most formula cars had little to no engine covers, letting the World see , hear, and smell the Beauty and the Beast in all it’s glory directly next to our heros’ behind. a time when we would be able to read at least a little bit about the race in any newspaper the next day. a time when we tingled with excitement to actually watch Monaco, Brands Hatch, Indy, or Dan Gurney driving his car across the finish line with his starter motor at Daytona for the win – all courtesy of ABC Wide World of Sports. a time when the most important day of the month was when Sports Car Graphic arrived in the mailbox…

      ahh, indeed. the ’60’s and ’70’s were a time long, long ago :), but that is how the Sport got me and hundreds of millions Worldwide “hooked”…

      thanx to all for indulging me in this trip down memory lane!! I feel many to most have very highly compelling memories to share! I have to believe there are tiny snippets of successful by-gone eras which can be modified and re-visited to better engage todays’ and future fan bases.

      I am not a fan of James Allen’s blog – way too may fanboys – BUT his recent blog regarding the future of F1 pulled HUNDREDS of great comments and ideas. I think the time has long since passed when the fans need to be heard by their hearts and souls and MONEY. what do you think??

  5. Also, on engine costs, JS wrote some interesting info: Mercedes $26m, Ferrari £30m, Renault $39.5m… so now Mercedes have the fastest AND cheapest engine! That 4th supply is looking more valuable for the cash strapped teams… Renault is really hindering them with their French worker costs.

    RB said their people worked 50 hours a week, while the Viry-Chatillon workers did 35!

      • I can only assume JS is asking the relevant people involved.. but the Mercedes number seems accurate to be using tenths of a million. Ferrari only supply 3 teams, so I can see that they are making the least of the 3 engine makers in total. £ should be $ ^.

    • How can Renault charge 50% more for an engine that is not even as good as a Merc ?

      And I just don’t buy into the difference in labour costs / working hours …….

      • True.. could it be a hangover from the V8 era? Renault was the most successful engine then. However, German working costs are probably more efficient, and in the UK we’ll be working longer hours to compensate. French working costs are holding their economy back in comparison, there was a massive strike recently too.

        • “German working costs are probably more efficient,”

          The M-B engine was designed and is built in the UK – so how do German costs factor in?

          • True, I’m being forgetful now. Will the company be based in the UK as well? I imagine Germany would have more costs for social costs?

        • “could it be a hangover from the V8 era?”

          Engine costs for customers in 2013 were capped at £7 million per season. Other than Marussia – unless you were getting some form of discount all customers paid the same regardless of which engine they used.

      • I believe it got something to do with the fact Renault only provide the engine and its ancillary parts but no gearbox or rear suspension, on the JS article it does say that 9million of the Renault price is to buy a rear end off RedBull to go with Renault’s “twisted elastic band” propulsion system and 2million for lubricants from Total, where as Ferrari supply a full back end of the car with their unit (no mention of the cost of the Shell lubricants) and Merc just supply the engine and ancillary systems, no gearbox or rear suspension and again no mention of the cost of Petronas lubricants either, hence why it “appears” the cheapest. Force India and McLaren use the McLaren gear box, Williams and Mercedes AMG make their own gearboxes and suspension. I think there may some angle that JS is trying to useto make Renault look bad but his article falls apart a bit due to him not making mention of the extras that you have to buy to run the Mercedes and to a certain extent the Ferrari PU. You could in theory add 11million to both the price of the Ferrari and Merc prices to allow for purchasing/building a gearbox if the 9million for an RB gearbox is correct and if Total are charging 2million for Lubricant for the season I would guess it’s fair to say that Shell and Petronas will be pretty close to that too. So in reality Merc engine with gearbox and lube is 37.4million, Ferrari 41million and Renault still at 39.5 million.

        I think the reason I’m banned from posting on JS’s blog is because it’s so easy to pick his arguments aparts and he don’t like it up him, so to speak. Lol

        • @ CV

          your comments make a lot more sense than the originally quoted figures

          and we all know JS talks shite a lot of the time 🙁

          • I’m sure in the same article about engine cost he days that he saves most of the ‘good stuff’ for subscription readers, so he basically admits that everything that is free to access from him is a pile of steaming poo! My m8 went to one of them Evening with Joe things in London and he said the bloke thinks everything that spouts from the hole in his face is pure gold, when in reality it should be called Blowing sunshine up Joe’s ass.

          • Its rare that someone can be such an arrogant manchild due access to a sport.

            Ron got it down best when he said “we make history happen, you write about it” when having a go at F1 journalists.

            Poor aul Joe must have missed that interview…..

      • Customer cost for those who buy and I suppose you could knock off 1 or 2million if a team builds it’s own rear end is it still costs in R&D.

      • Customer costs.. included were also things like lubrication etc. – Renault engines use Total for example.

  6. one way to get people interested is to get them directly involved. being in timing & scoring or being a corner marshal at amateur events is a great way to get your feet wet and make contacts and friends while experiencing all that a race weekend has to offer on the cheap. of course, that requires a society of folks who actually socialize and communicate…

    auto racing in general needs to get the f**k over itself. in ’79, I was ready to pull the trigger. in no time, I found a ’69 Titan Mk V FF 25 miles away. from factory qc checks/invoice to every log book entry and parts ever purchased. never had a real shunt. zero miles on a fresh Shankle rebuild, fully SCCA legal – Ampeps, Simpsons, Ferodos, safety wired, 2 bodies, every Hewland gear set ever made, 2 sets of new slicks on alum wheels, a trailer and much more. my cost? $1,800. got my suit and was ready to get my license the next weekend…

    for point of reference to those of us who are not old farts :), toss a Coventry Climax in that Titan and it was 95% of what the ’62 F1 cars were (save the Lotus 25)!!! a 7 year old almost F1 car for $1,800. or few more $$ for a BDA/tires/wheels, etc. that would blow any original ’62 race car off the road. let those economics sink in for awhile.

    accounting for general inflation here in the States, that $1,800 would be almost $6,200 today. so, what could I get for $6,200 today? instead of getting a ten year old icon of FF success, I could get a ’69 Merlyn with no log books, no history, no spares, and a generic motor – maybe suitable for dabbling in Vintage or low level autocrossing only. the non-negotiable price is $22,500 and is 2,500 miles away – one way!!!

    the point is, how can younger kids or adults become fans of something they can never even dream of being a part of on a part time basis?? soccer is damned near free. most can afford to rent some beater golf clubs and play 9 on a public course. you get it…

    I like the idea of the internet and gaming side of things. all major racing series are experimenting or talking about it. however, I do not know who I am laughing at more – the fans who think this s**t is the savior, or that group of elitest FIA, FOM, manufactures, team principles (current and recently fired), etc… to paraphrase the above article, the net and social presence is a cheap way to engage current and potential fans, but ya gotta have the right product with awesome personalities at the right price at the right time in the right place with ALL the right ways to market it to be currently successful and possibly sustainable. this is like 2 year community college biz 101.

    for me? I will cherish the occasional great pass, computer designated and finger adjusted perfect lap, verbal outburst and the such, for deep down, I know today is the best it will forever be.

    • @Titanracer, great points well made. I do think people are underestimating the power of the gaming generation. The Nissan/Nismo GT Academy has over 5million entrants that met the qualifying times from northern Europe alone, I can’t find the world wide entry figures but I’d estimate a cautious 20million. Then take all the players who love racing games but simply didn’t qualify for the tournament as they didn’t make the qually time but still love virtual racing and believe me if you love playing Racing games/sims they you are gonna love watching any racing that is reasonably exciting, well I do anyway and I know my son and his mates play Forza Motorsport and GT6 (i think I got the names right) relentlessly, if you get beat by a county mile they say you got ‘Vettled’ or if you won buy a big margin they say they ‘Vettled’ you. Love of motorsport is not deing but for F1 it’s damn near out of reach. I doubt I shall ever get to experience a live race weekend in the flesh as its just way out of my league. I do however have to defend the pay view model (UK anyway) as it only cost me £11 a month to take sky TV on top as I paid talk talk £38 a month for phone and internet, I took Phone TV and internet from Sky (including Sky F1) for £49 a month, I know that’s £132 a year but that is only £6.95 per full LIVE race weekend that I can sky+ (record) if it’s not on at a convenient time. I think that is a reasonable price to pay (i only really watch f1 as the family watch the other crap) for live access so I don’t see that as the problem, it’s the fact that virtually no-one can afford to attend a live race. I’m certain that if you took 10 none F1 fans to a race weekend with good tickets you would get 7 of them to carry on following. This I believe is where the main issue is, plus the fact around 70% of races are less than stella viewing on the excitement stakes.
      In all I don’t think there is a silver bullet, but many tweeks that all need to happen together rather than try 1 thing and if it doesn’t work try something else, they should just totally overhaul the full experience.

      • @ CV

        as I’ve pointed out to you before – but you still won’t understand

        it doesn’t cost £11 more for Sky – it costs you £11 more

        The baseline is not having Talk Talk or any other ISP – it having nothing.

        So it costs £49 pm x 12 = £588

        plus licence fee = £146

        TOTAL = £734

        which means a cost of £ 38.63 per race weekend

        or £ 61.16 per month – which many people just can’t afford.

        • Who the hell with a family does not have internet connected to their house, I got a son who is 15 and uses the internet extensively for his studies and a 17 year old doing A levels so broadband is not a luxury it’s a necessity, to have internet you need a phone line, then to watch any TV you need a license, so if I include that it’s £23 a month.
          If you have no tv license, no internet and no phone you living in the 18th century my friend.

          You really want me to believe the average family with kids has no TV license, no home phone and no broadband. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.

          • Just to clear up the math,
            I was paying £456 (£38 a month) anyway, to get any kind of internet access, the phone is near free in the deal. Plus the £146 TV licence as the kids and the wife are glued to the damn thing, so in total I was paying £602 a year anyway, so in reality it cost me £132 a year to have SKY connected with F1channel , that is just £11 a month more or £6.95 a race weekend as I had little to no choice to have the internet, phone and TV licence in the 1st place. Plus no Suzie bloody Perry to put up with.

            I perhaps didn’t explain my point clearly enough, I already had certain costs in running my home and to take F1 live for every race just raised my out goings by £11 a month.

            I hope that clears it up.

          • @ CV

            you are a dickhead

            come round to my house and I’ll introduce you to friends that don’t have these things

            they are not the ” average ” family – they are real families

            you are living in la la land

          • Listen Manky, who are you to call me names. I can play that game too. I want my children and family to have as much as I can provide for them and any assistance I can give my children in their education I will, I work, hard may I add, so does my wife, we don’t smoke and only occasionally drink. We work hard for what we have and why should I have a penis growing from my forehead becausethe values are important to me. If any of your mates haven’t got a TV licence (don’t tell me they ain’t got a TV) then shame on them. The point I was making was that for me it was only £11 more outgoing per month for me.

            I will put this bit in words you may understand

            GO FUCK YOURSELF FELLA, I make sacrifices so I can give my family the best I can, maybe you just pissed off cos you didn’t study hard enough to get a good job or perhaps your just a think cunt who can only use profanity due to lacking vocabulary (that means words)

          • Sorry to see this get out of hand, but TBH every day I go to work I see people begging for money, because they have no jobs or the jobs they do have don’t afford them enough cash to afford an apartment, never mind a smartphone and internet.

            I am sure you work hard and make sacrifices for your family, but the simple fact is that I look around every day and am amazed at what I have, because I can appreciate that without the head start that my heritage gave me there is no way I’d have achieved my current level of success.

            If you can afford internet and TV you are already better off than most of the people who live on this planet, may of whom work as hard or harder at worse jobs than you do. @manky might have been a bit quick to resort to name calling, but the simple fact of the matter is that few if any who post on this site are to the point of not having to worry about money, and frankly if it came down to it I would happily give up telly to support my family. And that includes F1!

            Elizabeth Warren (about whom I just read in the NYRB) made her bones discovering that most of the folks who file for bankruptcy in the US weren’t fraudsters, but middle class folk who had an illness or other issue that caused them to get behind in mortgage payments.

            I guess what I’m saying is don’t lose sight of the big picture. We are all at risk of being screwed over by forces that are beyond our control, and attributing that to a lack of effort is buying into a media campaign that bears no resemblance to reality, but does absolutely serve the interests of our oligarchic masters

          • I totally accept that I have luxury that others don’t and I’m thankful for the position I’m in. I was more annoyed about being called a name for no reason, not because I was being called out over a differenceof opinion. My words were of anger and not derision to those less fortunate and that angery was directed squarely at Manky not people in general. My apologiesif my comments have offended anyone as that was not my intention. I was just pointing out that to me personally it cost me £11 a month to have the subscription. I now realise that some people have to live on £11 a month and that I am incredibly blessed to live in the country I do.
            That said name calling is for the playground, there are better ways to make a point.

            Finally, @Manky if my words offended you I hope you can forgive me as oi will you for offendingme.

            CV.

          • TJ and site admins.

            I am disgusted at how Manky talks to people generally on this site.

            Clearview and Fortis have been on the receiving end of personal abuse, and this is wrong.

            There should be standards. Indeed, there were for a while, and this site was the better for it.

            I don’t have much of a problem with industrial language, I use it myself on this site sometimes, but I have serious problems with people being called dickheads for having an opinion over costs of F1 on TV.

            Surely enough is enough. It is time for minimal moderation. Two strikes and you’re out?

            I humbly suggest that it is wrong that anyone can spout such course and crass vitrol at anyone he / she chooses to without some form of repercussion.

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