Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Next race: Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona

When did you lose interest? // Complaining about F1 is easy, but giving it up is hard to do

Published by Stuart Codling

Like it used to be?
Like it used to be?

There is a cult today that it is fashionable to be 'bored by it all' and in that cult you are not permitted to show any enthusiasm for anything, unless it is enthusiasm for being bored...

- Denis Jenkinson

I love motor racing and consider myself fortunate to have been employed at various times to write about it. Having this kind of mentality enables one to (for instance) get off a 24-hour flight to Australia with a spring in one's step and a cheery demeanour which even the dreary officiousness of that nation's Customs & Excise officers cannot despoil.

But there are others who purport to enjoy motor racing, and F1 in particular, yet can see nothing good in it. Chiefly these people inhabit internet forums and greet any new development with a tiresome blast of cynicism and negativity, issued more often than not from a very shaky high ground of assumed knowledge. Formula 1, they say, isn't as good as it used to be. And of course it's Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone 'what done it.'

The LAT archive is a marvellous place. In a recent moment of serendipity while researching the project codenamed 'my booky wook', I came across a piece by the patron saint of motor racing scribes, Denis Jenkinson (for anyone new-ish to F1, 'Jenks' co-drove Stirling Moss in the 1955 Mille Miglia, reported from grands prix in the days long before live timing and 24-hour internet news – and lived in a shed with just a Honda generator for power). 36 years ago he was getting every bit as wound up by these tediously predictable naysayers as I am today, and over two and a half pages in the March 1973 edition of Motor Sport magazine he outlined why. The story was called "When did you lose interest?" and I’ve abridged it for reasons of brevity and copyright:-

I can almost guarantee that as I cross the paddock at Brands Hatch, during the Race of Champions, to look at the new UOP Shadow I will meet someone who will say, "Grand Prix cars are not what they used to be, are they?" hoping to draw me into their pet aversion. This sort of thing seems to happen at any motor-racing gathering that I go to and I have to refrain from the obvious reply, which would be, "No they are not. If they were, they wouldn’t win races or break lap records..."

I find the ones I meet at gatherings other than Grand Prix events are the most vehement, so I ask the question, "When did you lose interest?" to which I get evasive answers and a lot of chat about "I don’t go to Formula 1 races any more, can’t stand those wide tyres and those wing things; more like aeroplanes than racing cars." The objections cover a wide range of things, like "they all look alike", "can’t see the driver working", "all those fancy sponsors' colours they paint them nowadays", "can't see the driver's face with those space helmets", and "they've all got Cosworth engines". While listening to these moans I can't help feeling that for people who have "lost interest" they have a remarkable knowledge of the current scene!

Occasionally I can track down an actual point in history, like "when Alfa Romeo withdrew the 158s" or "when Hawthorn and Collins died" or even "when Jim Clark died" but these are rare. Most of the moaners cannot say exactly when they lost interest but they know full well that they don't like "Stewart and his lot" or "their black and gold Lotuses" or "the little roller-skate wheels" or "the advertising and funny colours", in fact, they don't like anything that is on the current scene. To tell the truth they are professional moaners who keep in touch with all the latest trends just so that they can complain.

It amused me to read that a period considered by a substantial number of bulletin board windbags to be the golden era of motor racing was viewed with such disdain at the time. The whingers of the early 1970s no doubt had the 1950s in mind as their own golden era; but how insipid the Coopers and Vanwalls must have seemed to those who were fortunate enough to have seen the pre-war Auto Unions at play. Ah, those were real cars! Stirling Moss? Who he? You are nothing if you haven't seen Nuvolari in his pomp!

To anyone who has already decided that KERS is a waste of time; that Michael Schumacher ruined F1; that F1 was better in the 80s/70s/60s/50s (delete as appropriate); that the 2009 cars are hideously and irredeemably ugly; that things haven't been the same since turbos were banned; that a single-engine rule would kill the sport; that you wouldn’t watch another F1 race after Lewis Hamilton’s penalty in Belgium; that any manner of change is axiomatically bad: a last word from DSJ:-

We all have high points and low points in our interest, usually tied up with a particular happening. I enjoyed the Monoposto Alfa Romeo as it was the first Grand Prix car of which I became aware. I loved the sheer dominance of the Mercedes and Auto-Union, but I prayed that the 1938/39 Maserati would one day beat them. The post-war 158 Alfa Romeo 158s were marvellous, but the 4.5-litre Ferraris that beat them were even better, and Fangio’s reign was terrific, but what a high point it was when Vanwall conquered everyone. The Cooper/Brabham era was a bore, but the rise of Jim Clark and Lotus was refreshing while the return to 3-litre power put things back into perspective.

Ferraris have always sounded wonderful, but the Lotus 72 was really exciting and the Lotus gas-turbine, in spite of its failure, had me on tip-toe with excitement. The abortive 4-wheel-drive season depressed me, but the G-forces developed in 1972 were staggering, as were the lap records. The almost total disappearance of British drivers from the leading group in Grand Prix today is depressing at the moment, but the end is not here by any means.

I don’t think it is possible to "lose interest" in Grand Prix racing, once you have discovered it. Moments of disenchantment may appear, but loss of interest is unlikely. I may be wrong.




  • Brilliant post, Codders, I couldn't agree more. We're set for one of the best seasons in living memory, I reckon, and don't listen to anyone who says otherwise.

    Mind you, Jenks wasn't averse to his own spot of grouching about the golden days of yore - especially when it came to trying to stop drivers killing themselves needlessly. But as JYS has said, he simply had a blind spot on that particular topic.

    We're in the middle of one of the sport's golden ages in terms of driver talent, and possibly seeing the last incarnation of F1 as the multi-million dollar technology parade it has been for the last decade. Time to raise a glass and enjoy it, I say, for who knows what it will look like in twelve months' time.

    And it's going to seem all the more special for the fact that the new season will begin with The Chain. That, perhaps, is the only bit of F1 that really was better ten years ago.

  • Amen

  • I don't think I could ever stop watching F1 and I laugh when people declare that they wont watch anymore if x or y happens.

  • OK, I admit I do tend to moan quite a bit about F1, but that's because I can see certain things that can be done better than they are being. If I thought F1 as a whole was truly boring, I'd spend time moaning about something else instead ;)

    This is a very good entry, illustrating the hypocrisy of the professional bore.

  • I don’t think I could ever stop watching F1 and I laugh when people declare that they wont watch anymore if x or y happens.

    I admit to threatening not to watch if it becomes a standard engine/spec series. I truly think if it became like A1GP that I would stop, but perhaps F1 will be impossible to give up!

    I still maintain that the 2009 cars are fugly, but that's not gonna stop me this year :)

  • i can't argue with any of the above. very interesting to see nothing changes :)

    one thing i would like though, is for regulation changes to be managed to be in a more gradual way. for example: imagine if the "redbull/vettel '09 changes" video was released before the first pics of the williams rear appeared.

    you'd get a - "this is how things are changing and why they're changing, but don't worry we're still driving cars" heads-up warning, and i bet the reaction would've been less severe.

  • Time to raise a glass and enjoy it, I say, for who knows what it will look like in twelve months’ time.

    seconded. although, i might still secretly wish for a lower rear wing anyhow ;)

  • seconded. although, i might still secretly wish for a lower rear wing anyhow ;)

    You said it wasn't that bad earlier. Traitor.

  • You said it wasn’t that bad earlier. Traitor.

    well, i just found this again:

    www.flickr.com/ph…c_pix/2595578020/

    and it's lovely. how can i help it if i change my mind daily?

  • aI may say that I'm F1 addicted, that it's more than hobby nowadays and would like to be surrounded by engine sounds and fuel smell everyday as Stuart means.

    I would add that loosing the interest in it quite strange, F1 is such a competitive motorsport category that things change very often, that's in fact happening every 2 days. How to get bored feeling that it's monotone? Well, such things can happen, it's obviously that there's people which can't understand changes because are little addaptive to them or that they're too impatient for waiting for any changes to happen. Who is thinking that 2009's season won't be exciting? The sport is going to change completly maybe in the next years, and the this year's competitive season will be the very beginning of those changes, it's just a single season, but will be long enough to showing us exciting moments.

  • Great stuff Stuart.

    While I will always look for great things in the history of the sport the only thing that matters is tomorrow and not yesterday.

    I am one of those people who thinks KERS is a bad idea and particularly the Max version of KERS. That doesn't mean I am am not enthusiastic about the season to come because in reality I don't think KERS will have much of an impact and I doubt very many teams will actually run it until we get to the European season and maybe many will still not run it then.

    There are good and bad aspects to both the past and the future about F1 but one fundamental aspect that should be a corner stone of the sport is that a driver should only gain a position from another driver if he takes it from him on the track by positioning his car on the piece of tarmac the other guy wanted. Taking a position by pressing a button is not motor racing any more than driving fast on a piece of empty road that Ross Brawn has identified is motor racing.

    I often complain about the state of F1 and with good reason. Things could be so much better and as long as Bernie is running the show that will always be the case. I don't see my view as negative. I see it as highlighting a more positive alternative.

  • Great post Stuart!

    There is a great quote from Socrates which I often find myself thinking of:

    The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

    I.e. It was ever thus.

    Whenever anyone ever says, "ahh it's not like it used to be" I always worry. And I think you've summed up how that applies to F1 rather nicely!

  • It's all good!!!

    Why we love it

  • Very interesting topic. I lost interested in 2004, so the next year I decided to start a website...

    I'm concerned about what the appearance of this year's F1 is going to do to the man on the street's impression of the sport, and what the consequences of that might be.

    But the last few years have been much better than 2000-2004, which were the least engaging seasons for me since I first started watching F1 in 1989. That's when my interest waned.

  • I have always loved F1 - bits of it have annoyed from time to time, but it has never failed to entertain (well, the Schumacher era was a bit boring).

    We’re in the middle of one of the sport’s golden ages in terms of driver talent, and possibly seeing the last incarnation of F1 as the multi-million dollar technology parade it has been for the last decade.

    I agree with that.

  • It's about time someone had the guts to strike back at all the moaning sceptics that dismiss the changes that are happening this year, ie : 'the cars look ugly' (it's not a cat walk, it's a race track!). 'I want to see more overtaking - but i don't think the slick tyres will work and i hate KERS and the wide front wings will blow off in the wind and the rear wing is too small and the cars are to dart like so they will be dangerous...moan! moan! moan!, Max Mosley this, Max Mosley that!' - oh dear!, i'm so sorry!, i had to get that off my chest!, i dare say i've bitched about a few things myself - he who is without sin and all that...it's, it's...just that this has got to be the best most refreshing thing i have read about F1 in years!. I bet it's put a few noses out of joint?. What a refreshing guest post. Thanks Stuart.

    S.

    Ps, back in the late seventies i remember hearing my Dad complaining how, 'these modern F1 cars!, they look like bl**dy lawn mowers!...and there's no overtaking!, and...!'

  • I don't think its moaning for the sake of it to question the manner in which Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone conduct their affairs. I believe both individuals have exploited the sport for their own short term financial and petty political ambitions, which has been detrimental to the sport that I love so much. I also don't think its petty to complain about the quality of many races. I can't imagine the 2008 valencia race inspiring anything but derision, and if someone claimed to enjoy it I simply wouldn't believe them.

    Only by complaining about it can anything be done to change things. If we all kept quiet and placidly accepted the fare provided, then we wouldn't be getting this year's aerodynamic changes aimed at improving the racing.

    Its a sport that attracts many different people for many different reasons. People follow the sport to support certain teams, certain drivers or certain countries. Some F1 fans love all motorsports, some are only into F1. Some are keen on the aesthetics of the cars or the basic thrill of high speed racing where anything can happen ("and it usually does"). Its inevitable therefore that any changes will alienate some people.

    Having said all that, I can appreciate Stuart Codling's irritation at internet messageboards. The fanboys and their petty, inane fighting drives me up the wall.

  • My interest in F1 has moved in a fairly linear direction for about 8 years now. There was the initial leap of interest while I was learning the basics of F1, where interest increased more or less exponentially, between 1993 and 1997. Then came what was perhaps the best era of F1 I've seen so far - the 1998-2002 (inclusive) period. There was lots of action relatively untainted by blatant stupidity, enough happening to keep up interest and the preoccupation with safety in the immediate post-Senna era had eased somewhat to allow other matters to be considered. Interest was gradually increasing.

    That era ended on 15 January 2003. The document the FIA issued on that day looked interesting and promised a lot. Unfortunately few of the promises were delivered and it seemed to encourage a lot of artificiality and control freakery from the FIA. In a sense, everything that's happened to F1 thereafter has been an attempt to repair the damage. Thankfully, the battle has begun to be won on certain fronts, but on others it's still not returned to 1998 levels.

    Still my interest was maintained. In that I was helped by the discovery of the F1 forum concept. Suddenly there were other people to discuss F1 stuff with other than my dad. The social linkages kept increasing, even in the times when F1 appeared to be on a path to self-destruction (I'm not entirely sure it's stepped off that path entirely, but that feeling isn't as strong as it was in 2005-2006).

    I have known some people who stopped watching F1 and have still stopped because Jordan stopped racing in the series. However, the type of people who really stop watching F1 because of event x or y are different from the people who claim such a thing. People who quit this sort of thing do it without fanfare or backward glance; the exact opposite of the "F1 ain't what it used to be" crowd.

  • Having said all that, I can appreciate Stuart Codling’s irritation at internet messageboards. The fanboys and their petty, inane fighting drives me up the wall.

    I agree mate. They are all a bunch of sad little haters...

  • I disagree only with the end:

    I don’t think it is possible to “lose interest” in Grand Prix racing, once you have discovered it. Moments of disenchantment may appear, but loss of interest is unlikely.

    I 'discovered' F1 about 10 years ago and one of the things I think differentiate it from the vast majority of other racing leagues/series is the fact that it isn't a spec series. A huge part of my interest is the fact that the teams' cars are different and can be tweaked in numerous ways (there is not 1 optimal setup). I also love that this is cutting edge technology. The closer to a spec series, the less interesting it gets.

  • I initially flirted with Formula 1 from about the year 2000, watched my first race which was I think Canada, perhaps thats why I love the track so much. I liked Sauber when Salo got a point in Austria, I think again. Really, I knew about F1, I'd get the games, get the mags, watch the odd race, earliest I definatly remember was USA 2001, where Hakkinen won his last race, which I loved at the time, I do share a bit of a soft spot for Hakkinen.

    There is certain races I can remember, Brazil 2003, the one of few races I watched that year, I wonder after watching that as a 9 year old kid and the mayhem I didn't start watching it full time. Oddly enough, USA 2005 was the race I remember when I really started to watch F1 closely, bad race to start you may say, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

    2006 I started full time really, obviously missing out on the early hours ones, I celebrated Button's first win, despite Heidfeld also coming third, I was happy when Villenuerve left BMW.

    Back end of the 2007 season I found the F1 community, never looked back at it, as I've mentioned before, found it via grandprixgames, then when i got the iPod, found Formula 1 Blog, from there, sidepodcast in April, the website in June.

    The only time I've cried during F1 was when we won, tears of joy, oh my god was I happy, for once to say, we beat you, and we beat you good. I didn't give a damn it was lucky, we won, we won.

    Rest of the season was crap, but you can't go wrong with a good bit of championship fight right down to the thinnest string of time and universe.

    I don't think I've lost intrest, possibly the long off-season, with too much talk about Honda that I'm getting sick of it (sorry lou and dom, but every single day is driving me mad), about how good/bad/breathtakingly beautiful the new cars look. I do prefer racing than waiting, but who doesn't? Not a patient person myself, less than 30 days to go, and I can't bloomin wait for it.

    If I do lose intrest, most likely when BMW/Sauber go, but I'll still watch, I'm a fan, and whilst im a Sauber Nutter still, I do love it when their is exciting and thrilling action elsewhere on the grid. Or, it could be when the new rules in 2010 are 'proposed' or something are brought in, which personally I'm not to keen on, like ban on refuelling and shortening races, which I could bore me to death in places like Monaco, unless it gets Fuji like weather.

    So, you've just read an excerpt of 'The Life of RG : Chapter 12 - F1'

  • Nostalgia and memories in general is a dangerous thing. It seems to smooth over things, hide facts, and creates myths. For example I still don’t give Rick Mears the credit he deserves because he beat Bobby Rahal all the time when I was a kid when I was obsessive about CART. Also, when I was a kid I believed that any CART driver could take on and beat Senna and Prost in F1. Like I said… when I was a kid.

    When you are a kid, thing seem better. The music was better, the drivers were better, the food tasted better, and on and on. It is something that is an innate thing in the human conciseness when people come of age between 7ish to their teens. People take ownership of that stuff they first discovered when reaching this age. People look back with nostalgia thinking that their champions were the best and that their cars were the best looking. It just a part of human nature and the maturation process that the thing you discover when you started understanding things are the best.

    It also has a weird effect on how you remember those things. It has a weird way of warping truths. Everyone forgets that F1 was a mess and a disorganized sport till Bernie and Max came along in the early 80’s. Now they are panned by people (I have to admit, like me) for being THE problem. Everyone forgets how people loathed Williams for dominating the sport in the 80’s and the early 90’s. Now they are everyone’s favorite underdog. Everyone forgets how much people didn’t like Senna during his career. It took his death and motorsport beautification for him to be universally loved.

    I’ve had this same conversation with my 15 year old niece who thinks that the Killers and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs are the greatest bands ever where I bring up bands like Dead Kennedys, Nirvana, Sleater Kinney, Sonic Youth, and Radiohead to her rolling eyes. It just a part of life to defend the things you first grew up and loved. The only thing now is that we have more of a chance to debate it now that we all are connected via the internet.

  • #22 - Dan Brunell said:

    Nostalgia and memories in general is a dangerous thing.

    Bravo Sir!

    Nostalgia ain't what it used to be!

  • Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book. - Cicero (106BC-43BC)

  • Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book. - Cicero (106BC-43BC)

    True. Except the part about writing a book.

  • Really interesting and revealing article, thanks. I am literally counting the days (29)until the start of the season and have done for years. The "tweaking" of the rules intrigue me only slightly more than they do disappoint me. Bring it on.

  • I’ve had this same conversation with my 15 year old niece who thinks that the Killers and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs are the greatest bands ever

    "Smile like you mean it" is a Killer song though (get it? get it?)

  • I am one of those people who thinks KERS is a bad idea and particularly the Max version of KERS.

    in that case we haven't done a good enough job of convincing you.

    i'm pretty much sold on kers in f1 now, and i applaud max for both bringing it in, and doing it in this way.

    it's not perfect, it could be bigger, better, faster, more. however it is an important technology and it really does have relevance to you and i, and the cars that we drive on a daily basis.

    learnt a great deal from this evenings tech talk, and hopefully we can all discuss further on sunday. the one vital thing i took away from it though, is that a man who potentially has a lot to gain from an increase in the available energy recovery within f1, was advocating a slow and measured introduction of any changes to the regulations.

    the motor industry (and f1) it would appear, don't move nearly as quickly as we assume / would like them too. max understands that, and we just have to realign our expectations to those realities.

  • McLaren had a KERS system ready for introduction about 10 years ago and Max banned it.

    F1 has always been much slower to adopt new technologies than people think. I am think about writing something on that sort of theme. All the stuff about F1 being about advancing technology for most of its existence has been rubbish.

  • McLaren had a KERS system ready for introduction about 10 years ago and Max banned it.

    he did. and as he pointed out t'other day, there were some safety concerns. we'll probably never know if they were justified, but it didn't matter because no car manufacturer was that interested in the idea back then anyway.

    it's only become very important, very recently.

    I am think about writing something on that sort of theme. All the stuff about F1 being about advancing technology for most of its existence has been rubbish.

    would love to read it. i recall when christine made this show:

    www.sidepodcast.c…art-5-technology/

    it was a bit of a struggle to find hard evidence of where exactly f1 made a difference.

  • he did. and as he pointed out t’other day, there were some safety concerns. we’ll probably never know if they were justified, but it didn’t matter because no car manufacturer was that interested in the idea back then anyway.

    It wouldn't have taken ten years to sort out the safety problems unless they are so major in which case they are either still there or they are the reason for the watered down version.

    I fundamentally disagree with the push to pass aspect of KERS. If the were recovering energy and giving a constant feed to the drive chain fair enough but push to pass should not be part of F1.

    Listening to the show you linked I find it odd that one of the examples given is that F1 could help re-fueling in dusty conditions. The F1 re-fueling rigs are based on air to air re-fueling rigs with little or no development on the original design. F1 effectively has had no impact on the design of the equipment.

    The artcle I am thinking of is about someone who introduced many new technologies to motor racing and F1 picked them up from him and various people in F1 got great credit for inventing them. Some of the greatest technical innovators in F1 borrowed ideas from him.

  • It wouldn’t have taken ten years to sort out the safety problems unless they are so major in which case they are either still there or they are the reason for the watered down version.

    fair point.

    I fundamentally disagree with the push to pass aspect of KERS. If the were recovering energy and giving a constant feed to the drive chain fair enough but push to pass should not be part of F1.

    here's another way of looking at it... the driver is in control, the driver has more to do this year, has the potential to make more mistakes and has an opportunity to make a difference. isn't that what we've been asking for?

    Listening to the show you linked I find it odd that one of the examples given is that F1 could help re-fueling in dusty conditions.

    can't argue there, but the quote was "looks promising" :)

  • The artcle I am thinking of is about someone who introduced many new technologies to motor racing and F1 picked them up from him and various people in F1 got great credit for inventing them. Some of the greatest technical innovators in F1 borrowed ideas from him.

    i'm gonna fail this test... umm?

  • i’m gonna fail this test… umm?

    If it helps (& it won't) I am thinking of calling it Jim Who?

  • here’s another way of looking at it… the driver is in control, the driver has more to do this year, has the potential to make more mistakes and has an opportunity to make a difference. isn’t that what we’ve been asking for?

    My problem with push to pass is not about how I view it but with my fundamental view of what racing and race driving should be. To me a driver should not be able to take a position from another driver unless he corners, brakes, changes gears better than the other driver and occupies a piece of tarmac as a result of those skills that denies it to the other driver. Pushing a button at the right time is not a skill that should gain benefit.

    My major objection to routine pit stops is that a driver should not gain a place because his group of staticians have guessed better than the other guys where a pice of empty tarmac will be on a particular series of laps. The example I always quote is one year at Imola Schumacher went from 12th to second by passing one car on the road.

    If you want to take a slightly different view the fans are being robbed of wheel to wheel racing by pit stops and the same will happen although not so obvilously by push to pass. If a driver has two cars behind him somewhere like Canada (where unfortunately for this analagy there isn't a race) and uses his push to pass onthe approach to two of the braking zones to hold off the guy behind him he could end up defenceless because the guy two behind has saved up all his KERS boost to use on the approach to the fourth braking area. Now that is nothing to do with better driving it is dumb luck.

  • Another thing worth considering is how many stupid accidents are we going to see because the driver is distracted by KERS or adjustable aero.

  • To me a driver should not be able to take a position from another driver unless he corners, brakes, changes gears better than the other driver and occupies a piece of tarmac as a result of those skills that denies it to the other driver.

    is it any difference from changing the brake bias before each corner though? and did it bug you when schumacher used to do it?

    Pushing a button at the right time is not a skill that should gain benefit.

    i don't see why it couldn't become one? it's not a skill that's ever been needed before, but how is it any different from pulling on a flappy-paddle-lever?

  • ...uses his push to pass onthe approach to two of the braking zones to hold off the guy behind him he could end up defenceless because the guy two behind has saved up all his KERS boost to use on the approach to the fourth braking area. Now that is nothing to do with better driving it is dumb luck.

    that's not luck though?

    he knows the cars are behind him, and he has to make a judgement as to when it best to use the button. the guy behind makes a better judgement, he earns the corner.

    that's a new skill, isn't it?

  • Another thing worth considering is how many stupid accidents are we going to see because the driver is distracted by KERS or adjustable aero.

    from the less capable drivers, plenty!

    and that's what makes it great - something else to separate the men from the boys.

  • that’s a new skill, isn’t it?

    You could argue that but I prefer a situation where a driver can use all his skills at every corner. This is like saying you can only use a gear higher than fifth once a lap. It is completely artificial.

  • is it any difference from changing the brake bias before each corner though? and did it bug you when schumacher used to do it?

    I think there is way to much setting up for every few yards of the track and I would prefer it not to happen. However there is not an artificial number of changes they are allowed to make so I can live with it.

  • You could argue that but I prefer a situation where a driver can use all his skills at every corner. This is like saying you can only use a gear higher than fifth once a lap. It is completely artificial.

    interesting. it is artificial, but i'm not sure that it bothers me, as much as something like the 'engine life' rule.

    don't know why though, will have to give it some thought.

  • I am one of those people who thinks KERS is a bad idea

    And time may just prove you right! My beef is with the kind of people who take an apocalyptic view of any minor change; like that character from Dad's Army whose catchphrase was "We're all doomed!"

    For better and for worse we live in a world shaped by market forces and any idea ultimately has to stand on its own merits (whether those merits are inherent in the concept or added by the inventiveness of those who take it up)

    and that’s what makes it great - something else to separate the men from the boys

    .

    A view that DSJ would heartily endorse...

  • I agree mate. They are all a bunch of sad little haters… {Comment #19}

    Some of them can be very sensible - but not all of them. Even as an admin to one-and-a-half fora, I have to admit that much.

  • True. Except the part about writing a book. {Commnet #25}

    Nowadays it seems like everyone claims to be writing a book. Which is a lot simpler than actually writing one, even in this day and age.

  • the driver is in control, the driver has more to do this year, has the potential to make more mistakes and has an opportunity to make a difference. isn’t that what we’ve been asking for

    The driver only gets to control something that will make a small difference to the car, the increased workload is minimal if they approach the matter in a reasonably logical manner, the boost button is more effective in defense than attack (or at least that's what appears to be the case in A1GP) and the difference it will make may or may not be beneficial.

    So I'm not sure this is what was requested.

    The aero for 2009 may well be what was requested (apart from the looks), but KERS probably won't, at least in this iteration.

  • is it any difference from changing the brake bias before each corner though? and did it bug you when schumacher used to do it?

    Everyone has the opportunity to do as many brake bias changes as they like. It has the same benefit for defender and attacker alike. There are also no restrictions on how much effect the brake bias can have. As a result, there's a lot more skill involved in a brake bias change than a push-to-pass system (even one where the amount of boost is adjustable). Also, it is impossible to be denied the ability to change brake bias simply because you have used it before. So anyone not using brake bias changes for each corner is avoiding it because they either didn't think it was necessary or did not have the capacity to change brake bias and take the corner simultaneously.

  • The driver only gets to control something that will make a small difference to the car, the increased workload is minimal if they approach the matter in a reasonably logical manner

    are you sure? last night we heard a suggestion that it could be as many as five presses when facing a long straight. the driver will also spend longer peering in his (almost entirely useless) mirrors in order to keep an eye on following drivers.

    it looks to me like the chaps have plenty more to do. but we'll find out soon enough :)

  • It's human nature to complain I find myself complaining a little more every year but there is always something to cheer about whether it's your favorite team or driver winning a race or a championship. I find that the people who constantly complain are not race fans at all. I started watching F1 in 1986, the Hungarian GP was my first race but I've been watching racing since about '74 even though it was NASCAR as a 10 year old cars going fast was fascinating I couldn't look away. My family still can't understand why I don't want to be bothered on a Sunday morning, so have I lost interest even though I complain not a chance but I will lose interest when they stick my rotting corpse into the ground, maybe not even then.

  • Ahhh but this is surely the silly season... I am aware that that is mentioned in connection with driver changes but I think it better describes this phoney war period just before the engines start in anger....

    It's that knowing something is about to happen and then each day it doesn't...

    Expecting exciting news to discuss any day now... and then nothing of note arising...

    Wanting desperatly to talk about F1 but knowing in your heart of hearts that it's all been said 1,000 times and you really can't add anything new until.... hopefully ...next week... but possibly not until Oz...

    So you have to take it out on someone or something and have a good old moan to get it out of your system...

    I think that it's a serious psychological issue...

    You've heard of SAD... Seasonal Affective Disorder...

    Well there are fools who assume it's seasonal as in the amount of sunlight we are missing...

    WRONG... it's just that we are missing the F1 racing season of course... agreed sun will help...but only when on a jaunt to Oz for the Grand Prix...

  • Veteran F1 drivers are usually the first ones to make notice the differences about what means and what is F1, they use to say: "In my years driving meant everything, nowadays driving takes part a little effort".

    Haven't heared a single driver over 30's which haven't said it someday. However, seems the times change and the aids are flown away :) So now, all these grumpy, as Lauda is, may feel peaceful now.

  • #50 - Aitch said:

    It’s human nature to complain I find myself complaining a little more every year but there is always something to cheer about whether it’s your favorite team or driver winning a race or a championship. I find that the people who constantly complain are not race fans at all. I started watching F1 in 1986, the Hungarian GP was my first race but I’ve been watching racing since about ‘74 even though it was NASCAR as a 10 year old cars going fast was fascinating I couldn’t look away. My family still can’t understand why I don’t want to be bothered on a Sunday morning, so have I lost interest even though I complain not a chance but I will lose interest when they stick my rotting corpse into the ground, maybe not even then.

    Not a chance. If you end up in one place you can talk to Gilles, if you end up in the other place ask Pironi how are his legs are holding out...

  • Great article.

    It's funny that this has popped up now.

    SPC is now my favoured F1 blog for the character and sense of humour it has. It's fun to talk about F1, and y'all at SPC don't take yourselves too seriously or get bogged down in anti-FIA/Max, anti-Bernie whinging.

    I used to frequent a, shall we say, 'fanatical' blog, but I got over the conspiracy theories and one-sided finger-pointing a while back.

    Great and timely article Stuart, and keep up the good work Mr & Mrs C :)

  • are you sure? last night we heard a suggestion that it could be as many as five presses when facing a long straight. {Comment #49}

    That's only because the five-press system isn't as user-friendly as they could be. Surely a system when you press one button to switch it on and the same one again to switch it off (assuming it hadn't run out of juice in the interim) would be much simpler and not beyond the wit of software engineering?

  • It’s funny that this has popped up now.

    SPC is now my favoured F1 blog for the character and sense of humour it has. It’s fun to talk about F1, and y’all at SPC don’t take yourselves too seriously

    thank you ace.

    please do stick around and help us not to take ourselves too seriously (it still happens). the odd smidge of bernie-winging can't be helped once in a while, mind you ;)

  • 2008 Sidepodcastland Champions Jordan F1: 28/02/2009 at 04:42

    #50 - Aitch said:

    It’s human nature to complain I find myself complaining a little more every year but there is always something to cheer about whether it’s your favorite team or driver winning a race or a championship. I find that the people who constantly complain are not race fans at all. I started watching F1 in 1986, the Hungarian GP was my first race but I’ve been watching racing since about ‘74 even though it was NASCAR as a 10 year old cars going fast was fascinating I couldn’t look away. My family still can’t understand why I don’t want to be bothered on a Sunday morning, so have I lost interest even though I complain not a chance but I will lose interest when they stick my rotting corpse into the ground, maybe not even then.

    Not a chance. If you end up in one place you can talk to Gilles, if you end up in the other place ask Pironi how are his legs are holding out…

    If I get to talk to Monsieur Villeneuve I can tell him about the great article written about him by Steven Roy, I hope they have decent race track up there, but if I get to meet Pironi I will ask about his legs and powerboat racing and then I will introduce him to my size 13 steel toe work boots and procede to kick his *** all over hell's half acre:)

  • If I get to talk to Monsieur Villeneuve I can tell him about the great article written about him by Steven Roy, I hope they have decent race track up there, but if I get to meet Pironi I will ask about his legs and powerboat racing and then I will introduce him to my size 13 steel toe work boots and procede to kick his *** all over hell’s half acre:)

    One of my favourite Nigel Roebuck columns was written in 1985/86 at the time when F1 was becoming aware of the depths of Ayrton Senna's self belief and his religious beliefs.

    Roebuck wrote that one night as he slept he dreamt that he had died and gone upstairs. He was greeted by Saint Peter who asked his name and occupation. On being told that Mr Roebuck was a motor racing journalist St. Pete beamed and announced that he was going to love the track they have up there.

    The scene went blurry and as it cleared Roebuck found himself standing on a grass bank with his guide. In front of him to his right the road came over crest heading straight towards him and then turning right before disappearing in a series of flowing bends. It was a fine site indeed and Roebuck was looking forward to exploring the rest of the circuit..

    As he stood there listening to various engine notes bouncing off the scenerey he heard the distinct sound of a Ferrari flat 12 revving as hard as it could. In a flash a red car aimed straight at him as it crested the rise with with all four wheels off the ground. The car had a number 27 on it. It was Gilles clearly enjoying himself. He threw the car at the corner with barely a lift and as he turned in a black annd gold Lotus with the familiar yellow helmet appeared and tried to drive round the outside of Gilles.

    The Lotus half spun as Gilles got on the throttle and powered the Ferrari through the series of bends at ever more amazing angles. The Lotus driver dropped the clutch and spin turned the car so that it was pointing in the correct direction. With the correct heading selected he took off in a hail of gravel from the excessive wheelspin.

    Roebuck turned to Saint Peter and said 'I didn't know Senna was dead.' Saint Peter replied 'That wasn't Senna. It was Jesus Christ. He just thinks he is Senna.'

  • Roebuck turned to Saint Peter and said ‘I didn’t know Senna was dead.’ Saint Peter replied ‘That wasn’t Senna. It was Jesus Christ. He just thinks he is Senna.’

    Haha! Nice story. Imagine the racing they'd be having up there by now... I think Senna-Villeneuve would've been every bit as big as Senna-Prost became had Gilles managed to stay on.

  • Haha! Nice story. Imagine the racing they’d be having up there by now… I think Senna-Villeneuve would’ve been every bit as big as Senna-Prost became had Gilles managed to stay on.

    Villeneuve was negotiating to go to McLaren for 1983. Had that happened there would have been no seat at McLaren for Prost when he was fired by Renault at the end of 1983. When Lauda eventually retired there is a strong possibility that Villeneuve and Senna would have been team mates. Imagine that battle.

    Gilles by that time would probably have had two or three championships and been used to driving good cars. Could Senna have coped or would Gilles have blown him away?

    I love what if.

  • I love what if.

    Indeed. In fact, if Prost found himself homeless at McLaren, he might have ended up at Williams - and become teammates to Mansell.

    1986 would've been titanic. Prost-Mansell at Williams vs. Villeneuve-Senna at McLaren. That would've been the war to end all wars.

  • 1986 would’ve been titanic. Prost-Mansell at Williams vs. Villeneuve-Senna at McLaren. That would’ve been the war to end all wars.

    I hadn't thought of that. That would have been great to watch.

Comments closed to new entries.