Voice of the F1 Fans: Ferrari’s new Blingmobile Part 2 – Wheel in the clowns…

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor landroni

This series of articles looks in some length at the latest futuristic design proposed by Ferrari and some of the issues surrounding it and F1 more generally. Part I served as an introduction to the scarlet proposal. Part II introduces the clowns…

Recent news that Ferrari lost its coveted top spot in world’s leading brand thankfully made some sense of il Assassino’s killing spree in Maranello. As TJ13 reports: “Red Bull and Lego brands rank higher than Ferrari. If any confirmation was needed about why Sergio Marchionne ruthlessly removed Luca di Montezemolo last autumn comes news that Ferrari – who were the world’s leading brand – has dropped out the top 5 following a disastrous 2014 campaign for the team.”

However, with the arrival of Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari are now playing political mind-games with the grace of a hippo. By comparison, LdM was a slick and graceful operator. With the exit of LdM there was a sliver of hope that this was the end of the era of the clowns at Maranello, as Marchionne suffered no fools. But maybe common wisdom is misleading in this instance…

Marlboro Man, Oh Yeah!

F1 bigwigs seem to be playing at a delightful “who will come next with the stupidest, most ludicrous and incredibly unnecessary idea” game. TJ13 calls it the “school of bright ideas”. This latest scarlet monstrosity comes as a continuation in this long line of well-thought, carefully considered… initiatives to kill off the sport, F1 as we know it, and drive away those few remaining fans that nowadays are to be counted on one’s fingers and toes.

It’s very hard not to stare in disbelief at all the brouhaha as to: “Why, or why are viewership ratings falling, and consequently sponsors running for the hills?” (Still found that title sponsor, McLaren?)

You don’t need too many experts and research teams to answer this question: If with the brush of a contract signature you put (most of) the races and all the quality coverage behind a paywall (Sky in the UK, Canal+ in France, Sky in Germany, etc.), then no wonder that you mechanically and immediately have a decrease in viewers. What did they expect? That casual fans would immediately start forking on expensive pay-TV on the say-so and wishes of dear old Bernard?

For an institution that is doing its utmost to court “casual” viewers, with gimmicks like late-to-dangerous race starts in far-off dictatorships, DRS, double-points, tractor sprinklers and flying pumpkins (tiny exploding marbles as a replacement for astroturf, anyone?), they have mastered the art of turning those same fans away by putting (1) broadcasts behind a paywall, (2) race weekends under prohibitive prices, and (3) banning the sharing of catchy videos on the internet.

With such policies in place, what else do they expect other than a wholesale flight of viewers, followed by scared sponsors? Bring on 3 car teams and sooner rather than later even Enstone and McLaren will go belly up. And bring on the tractor sprinklers!! This should lighten up the mood…

sprinklers jerez - large

An advanced working prototype of Bernie’s sprinklers

So what they’re doing is put F1 behind paywalls, gasp in horror that viewership is declining, then propose the most ridiculous things to attract eyeballs, the same eyeballs that they’ve dispensed with voluntarily. As the Russians say:

Patient: “Doctor, it hurts.”
Doctor: “Stop doing that!”

As TJ13 reported, “There has been a lot of talk in recent times about improving the F1 show. To those on the outside this may appear to be fiddling whilst Rome burns, but the F1 elite are busy coming up with ideas of how to improve areas of the sport they believe to be of critical importance to its future.

At the last strategy meeting the participants discussed 1000 BHP engines, bigger tyres and cars which were so visually striking they’d take the fans breath away.”

wide tyres - 1421319401

Drag racing, anyone?

So first we hear of the need for wider tyres, as if this were the silver bullet that would make those walking dollar-shaped eye-balls buy expensive pay-TV contracts. Then of revolutionary 1000bhp engines, less than a year after an engine revolution that cost mountains of greenback for the manufacturers to develop.

And never mind that the 1000bhp red-herring will easily be attained in the nearest of the futures, within the current engine regulations. Manufacturers are at the very beginning of a steep learning curve and are just now learning how to optimise this new and experimental technology, reportedly hovering around 850bhp already.

As Merc’s Andy Cowell points out, “We have learned that there are no limits when it comes to Formula 1 engines. We once assumed that the limit for the V10s would be 14,000 rpm. We ended up with engines revving up to 20,000.”

So here cometh Marlboro Man, Ferrari’s very own Krusty the Clown, a very sad and unfunny creature, with his own magical black hat of bright ideas. As reported by TJ13, only very recently in the Strategy Group “Ferrari want to go back to the future past and reintroduce V8 engines, though they concede some efficiency would be a good idea suggesting a reduction from the previous 2400cc down to 1900cc. A turbo too would be on offer.”

Part III will discuss the bad joke…

Disclaimer: TheJudge13 provides a platform for Formula 1 fans to publish their voice on matters relating to Formula 1. The views expressed in Voice of #F1 Fans are those of the contributor and not those held by TJ13.

6 responses to “Voice of the F1 Fans: Ferrari’s new Blingmobile Part 2 – Wheel in the clowns…

  1. I get what you’re saying, but I think you’re missing the true culprits. Namely the governing body and the commercial rights holder. They are the one responsible for the recent lazy decline into technical cul-de-sacs, outmoded broadcasting and commercial strategies, and inequitable compensation packages.
    One can hardly pin the blame for any of the above mentioned ills on the revelation that sometimes a team will allow their technical department have a day off from the daily grind to see what fantastic – or fantastical – ideas they come up with when given the proverbial clean sheet of paper, even though I suspect that, these days, it’s probably a blank screen. It’s interesting to (at least some of) the fans to be able to peek inside the minds of the, largely, invisible boffins who play such a huge part in this sport. And it is likely fertile ground for sparking some fresh ideas or new approaches to whatever the current regulations happen to be.

    • “the true culprits. Namely the governing body and the commercial rights holder.”

      Wait for it…………….

      “sometimes a team will allow their technical department have a day off from the daily grind to see what fantastic – or fantastical – ideas they come up with when given the proverbial clean sheet of paper”

      If only this had anything to do with F1, or open-wheel racing cars for that matter. But it doesn’t. This was little other than a publicity stunt from Marlboro Man, Ferrari’s Chief Marketing Officer, and I mean to call it out for what it really is.

      Fantastic visionary Marlboro Man is not, but help selling scarlet cars Marlboro Man responsible is for…

      • Ok. Obviously a team manager will spin things to suit their own agenda, but I was merely placing the Ferrari ‘conversation provoker’ in the same vein as many other periodic braingasms, the next most recent being the design proffered by Red Bull: interesting doodles to exercise the minds of the engineers, and spark some debate amongst the fans.
        Ignoring my point about the responsibility of the FIA and FOM doesn’t wash. All manufacturers of road cars involved have an agenda to promote and sell their products, but the ultimate responsibility for the state of the sport resides with Andy Warhol and Gene Toad

    • I added a link to Part I at the top of this article. Seems to be working fine on my side…

      • Thank you — the original article is still “page not there” but the link worked fine. Appreciated it. (???).

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