Formula One’s future blueprint


Following yesterday’s F1 strategy group meeting, the FIA have issued a carefully worded statement that a “comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport has emerged”.

This is notably not a ringing endorsement of the ideas contained within the proposal, some of which are becoming clearer this afternoon.

The statement however does conclude, “All parties agreed to work together with an intention to firm up these proposals and submit them to the approval of the F1 commission and the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA as soon as possible for implementation.”

Now there’s a challenge.

There is to be an exclusive commission comprised only of the big rich teams to further the cause of customer cars. Also, engines will sound louder and rev higher, which means the fuel flow limit has to be scrapped or raised because the FIA say the “maximum fuel race allowance is to remain”.

Fortunately the retention of the 100kg race limit on fuel has prevented a renewed focus on big developments within the combustion engine aspect of the F1 power units. Had this limit been raised, another several container ships of cash would have been sunk into old fashioned ICE R&D.

Pirelli have lost their battle to retain control of the tyre selections at races. From NEXT YEAR, the teams are set to be able to choose from each of the four dry compounds on offer. It is unclear whether the teams will be required to still pick two from four – and how far in advance of a race weekend this would need to be.

The cars will become lighter and the aerodynamic regulations will be subject to a rule of thumb which will be to increase speed. Disappointingly, there appears to be no efforts planned to reducing aerodynamics that deliver turbulent air which halts the progress of quicker cars attempting to overtake.

Wider and taller tyres are also on the agenda as TJ13 reported yesterday.

Well blow me down with the hair off a fleas back – in race refuelling is set to return to F1 in 2017.

We’re on the magic roundabout again. Where’s my mate Dylan?

So what happened to cutting costs? And isn’t re-fuelling dangerous.

Refuelling rigs are expensive pieces of kit. They have to be transported around the world which costs lots more money.

Granted seeing Felipe Massa hurtling down the pit-lane with a torn 30 metre long re-fuelling hose attached to his car, was a spectacle to behold – great for the show – but clearly Mr. Todt and his personally approved global safety campaigners will not be advocating this event is seen again.

The F1 strategy group feels that bringing back re-fuelling in Formula One will add to the viewer’s experience and improve the show.

Well. The critics of degrading F1 tyres argue – the more pit stops you get, the more confusing it is for the viewer. Add into the mix that nobody has a clue how much fuel the car is carrying, and suddenly a sluggish looking Hamilton may have just lost the plot – whilst a flying Romain Grosjean will bring back memories for Lotus fans of Kimi’s performances for their team.

Yet would these temporary differing performances have any actual meaning?

Yes they will – as the race unwinds we can all sit back and reflect AFTER THE CHEQUERED FLAG – who had the best strategy.

To argue for the return of Re-fuelling – a highly dangerous activity – seems absurd in light of the FIA’s obsession with tarmacking every corner in F1 on the grounds of safety.

Williams had a devastating fire in their garage in Barcelona following the Spanish GP in 2013 – and that was caused without the frenzy and confusion which can take place during a pit stop.

The FIA indicates, the goal for 2017 is to make the cars 5-6 seconds a lap quicker. If this is the case, then re-fuelling should just be part of the plan to lighten the cars.

To avoid the unknown factors described above, the cars must start on the same fuel level, and at each stop the fuel replenishment levels need to be the same up and down the pit lane.

Now the cars go quicker, but hidden strategies are avoided.

As the details of these proposals unravel in the inevitable horse trading over the coming weeks, it will be fascinating to see what is left of this blue print for F1’s bright new dawn – by the time it comes out from the F1 commission.

Oh and one more thing…. Research into genetically modifying pig embryos is to be supported together with feasibility studies on cross breeding them with newly discovered pterodactyl DNA on an archaeological dig in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – where co-incidentally Mr. E was spotted recently eying up a new F1 venue to replace Monza.

40 responses to “Formula One’s future blueprint

  1. You know what, I feel that over the decades people always complain about F1, see the past with rose-tinted glasses and we end up with the proverbial roundabout when it comes to regulations. Improve aero, reduce aero, let the engines make the bigger impact, then aero and back again, no re-fueling, re-fueling, no re-fueling, re-fueling, wider tyres, narrower tyres, and so on and so forth. I won’t be surprised if we get back to grooved tyres at some point too.

    At the end of the day, people want to see competition, so when one-man Ferrari, one-man Red Bull and now Merc dominate, of course people get bored and the value goes down. I don’t think making changes to these rules make such a big difference.

    You want to see competition? Make teams sustainable, look at the unequal income around, nurture and allow innovation, don’t let the big time manufacturers dominate, nor use F1 as their own research agenda.

  2. I’m pleased to see they’ve sorted out the money issue at long last. I really want to watch 2 or 3 sprints at every race. Now we know why a 17 year old driver is on the grid, he weights a lot less than the others and once he hits 10 stone, he’ll be history. Why is there no mention of team owners having to wear clown uniforms at race weekend?

  3. This feels a lot like change for change’s sake. There’s no rhyme or reason in all these proposed new regulations and they certainly aren’t aimed at fixing the problems the F1 already has. Well, except for making it more of a spectacle, but what about the “sport” part of it all?

    • There is no sport, only “THE SHOW!” Customer cars will make a full grid of F1 and GP2 cars. This will lead to thrilling passing with exciting crashes. Refueling gives us the possibility of impressive explosions. Now that will make for a night race spectacle.

    • Dan82 wrote, “This feels a lot like change for change’s sake. There’s no rhyme or reason in all these proposed new regulations…”

      Agreed. One would think that some proper market research would be commissioned to determine clear goals, versus throwing these known failed ideas back and forth at each other behind closed doors.

      Speaking of market research, here is McLaren “hard at work” already:

  4. This just an exercise in sarcasm, right?
    This isn’t really the outcome from the meeting?

  5. All “new” ideas. None of which to adres the true problems. People want real overtakes. Refueling isn’t going to give that. More strategic pitstop overtaking, yes. Track action, no.

  6. And what is the problem judge? Am I on the blacklist? My five last comments all went straight in to moderation 😂

    • All comments are moderated these days. There are other sites that do the same. It appears to improve the quality of what is written.

      • I think it’s unneeded. I think the [mod] Marking makes it more transparant and you keep the discussions Speedy.
        I know Joe Saward moderates all comments…

        • So does Will Buxton and So does James Allen

          Both have experienced the kind of unrestrained insulting drivel we have had written here and they were forced down the same route.

          Further, people should be engaging in the work presented properly – not just shouting “this is the usual shit… bla bla bla”

          Also the abusive nature of the comments section prevents new people from joining in – it appears to be a clique – and they are worried they’ll get their legs taken out from underneath them.

          It’s unfortunate – and I use this example. If you offer people free speech and they then indulge in perpetual vicious racist abuse – something gets done which curbs the previous state of ultimate freedom.

          • I can understand why you’re doing it, but there are plenty of less restrictive ways – especially in wordpress! You can start with moderation and then after x good comments give freedom to that commenter.
            And if someone’s naughty you just put him under moderation again.

            That way the commenters who really add value can discuss Speedy and less time is spent moderating. The freedom is next to the content on my list of reasons to come here daily.

            (This might be a good time to say thank you! Because I really appreciate what you guys are doing)

        • I agree with the Judge on the moderation.

          Some good comments from new folks in the last week have added much here.

          The few unrestrained angry posts seen after the traffic went up, weren’t conducive to sharing ideas.

          JS has his strengths, but he is inherently ornery, and consequently doesn’t play well with others. That leads to one guy unintentionally fomenting angry responses, and then trying to moderate them all by himself.

          TJ’s voice of the fan style, in contrast, is more group oriented, attracts more voices, some of whom become “behind the scenes” participants, and enables this relatively free style of moderation, (in contrast to JS, for example).

  7. It’s almost like F1 has collectively suffered from selective amnesia… for me F1 started to be fun enough to follow it more closely when they finally made changes to combat the Truli train phenomena. Admittedly the changes that were made the cars ugly and subsequent revisions to the rules introduced a lot of new ways to criticize the sport but with the things that are proposed now it seems that we will see a return to a lot of the rules that were scrapped to improve the racing and safety of racing.

    Let’s hope that when the proposal comes the new rules have measures built in to prevent the sort of racing that makes the sport as boring to follow during the period Truli drove for Toyota. The cynic in me thinks the only things that the teams that are writing the proposal can agree on is a formula that ensures that they can stay on top of F1 for the foreseeable future.

      • Apart from the refuelling, I’d say they did a somewhat moderate job. They could’ve however looked to have done more about the amount of energy that can be recovered and deployed, because it seems they’re only focusing on the ICE.

        Just one question and it relates to the tire choices. Will it be a majority vote system?

      • I do!
        This very good for Finnish drivers, since we have very high threshold for heat from driving through refueling fires due to been forced into saunas since new born.
        Now Bernie dear, please place refrigerating units in couple on corners on the tracks, some icy bits of the track will spice up to show immensely.
        This will guarantee that only Finnish drivers will win WDC next years, which is only fair in my humble opinion, of course the lonely Swede will also benefit nicely.

      • Should the tyre change happen that would be a positive development. Worried about the fine print stating fuel flow limit may have to be raised as a consequence of raising revs, if I didn’t know better (and I don’t), I’d assume the revs were being raised as a consequence of (somebody = guilty party?) wanting to raise the fuel flow limit. Refueling is such a bad idea it would almost seem to be solely to attract people’s attention and take notice away from other (non)details , fail for me overall then.

      • What good is refueling unless you start the race with the fuel you qualified with.

  8. Because these are proposals, it’s worth closely examining (again) the process for these proposals to be written into the regulations.

    For example, I’ll speculate that the 2016 proposal to allow teams to choose tire compounds is only for public consumption and has a poor chance of becoming regulation, since the process is different for 2016 rules writing versus 2017 (& +) rules writing.

    The process for proposals to become regulation isn’t well understood. Is there a good guide to help us understand it?

    • 2016 regulations were finalised in March. Any change requires unanimous support in the F1 strategy group and unanimous agreement at the F1 commission.

      2017 regulations before March next year require majority voting only.

      So ALL the teams, the FIA and Bernie have to agree the tyre proposal

      • I’m not totally clear on the tire choice thing; do teams still have to run both compounds? It would be great if they didn’t have to.

        And…… are they getting rid of the fuel flow rate regulation? If they want higher revs they’re going to have to.

      • So the news that “From NEXT YEAR, the teams are set to be able to choose from each of the four dry compounds on offer” can’t, yet, be true. Hasn’t been voted on by the F1 commission yet…

  9. Refuelling? Dumb motherf***ers. I weep for this sport. There is no real leadership, and without that, the fans a buggered.

  10. Refueling. Seriously? Will we not get endless complaints about passing in the pits like we did last time refueling was in place? I realize passes in the pits still do happen (i.e. the overly talked about undercut) but during the last refueling era Schumacher in particular (though it applied to everyone and everyone did it) was constantly berated for not being a “real” racer for passing in the pits. In addition to all the other nonsense coming from this meeting, this is yet another example of how the Strategy Group is full of massive amounts of male cow waste.

    The model in place is basically let’s let Wall Street create all the financing and banking laws because we know they will only watch out for their own interests and gamble with everyone’s money and future. Wonderful.

  11. This is only further evidence that the leadership doesn’t care about the state of the sport and only about the length of its pockets.

  12. I don’t have a problem with in race refueling rearing its head again. Really.
    Sure it’s somewhat illogical but in that, it’s not unique in F1. Carting several tonnes of extra gear around race to race and the personnel to man….well just put to work some of the excess man/woman power that clutter up the pit lane now, so not going to get too hung up on the topic. For mine, if they can cart that electric car show around the world by jumbo freighters then what the hell…..

    • The equipment is costly (both itself, and shipping it) and is unsafe (transferring fuel under F1 performance conditions is a tricky business). I recall it was binned for cost and safety reasons. As such, at a time teams need a reduction in costs, putting it back looks as inspiring as Little Jean’s face after a botched breakfast…

      • Sure, but what the hell? No more illogical then too many other aspects of F1.
        Above all else, it’s just rooting around the edges, doing absolutely SFA….

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