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Formula 1 is about speed, technology, strategy, engineering and singular driving skills—at least it used to be. Today, it’s about something else.

Regulatory power was transferred from former FIA president Max Mosley to a new protagonist in the diminutive form of Jean Todt. Jean is a man who doggedly gets things done and his agenda, once set, becomes a singular focus just as it was in the heady days of Ferrari’s domination with the Frenchman at the helm.

The FIA’s mission of road safety was unceremoniously placed on the back burner while sustainability and “Green” initiatives became the grandest quest for Jean ‘Ponce de León’ Todt. This quest was wrapped in ideology from world-saving to series-salvaging to manufacturer-luring proportions. Who are we to disagree with this multi-faceted new Bimini?

This march toward “green” begat the V6 turbo engine which, comparatively speaking, sounds like a kidnapped engine with a duct-taped mouth in the trunk of a car in a Jason Borne movie. Regardless, fans just need to shut it and get used to the sound…nothing to see here, I’m sure we’ll all come to love the throaty whine of the turbo era.

The “innovation” also produced new battery technology called Energy Store (I don’t know where the old batteries go to die but suffice it to say, not where old elephants go to die) and a beefed up KERS unit that many claim was the enlightenment of the road car industry as those chumps are incapable of designing any of this creative technology that F1 has graced them with—never mind they’ve been doing this for some time now and need no help from F1 thank you (let’s stop marginalizing road car engineers, they are brilliant people doing brilliant, innovative work).

Becoming a series that mirrors the future of road car and racing technology isn’t easy and F1 has proven that hundreds of millions of dollars can be spent to go from a V8 engine that gets 3mpg to a brand new sustainable, “green” V6 turbo power unit that gets 5mpg. Wow! What a savings!

A circuit as long as Spa Francochamps will go from 63 gallons of fuel used to 38 gallons for the race and that’s a total savings of 550 gallons per race (22 cars) if I have my calculations correct on my F1B abacus. At $4 per gallon, that’s a whopping $2,200 saved for that weekend! Not all circuits are as long as Spa but even if they were, that would recognize a total of $41,000 of fuel savings for the entire year.

Ok, it’s race fuel and perhaps it’s more like $8 per gallon and with that staggering per-gallon price, the series would save roughly $83,000 for the season! With that kind of savings, you could purchase one steering wheel and a couple Gil fuel flow sensors for a Mercedes car! Maybe that on-track savings takes a small bite out of their off-track fuel expense when they fill up their haulers at $900 per truck/lorrie.

Some boast that all of this innovation happened in less than 18 months but I recall writing about these plans well over two years ago so I am not sure where that figure comes from—but it really doesn’t matter because clearly F1 has the right formula now. The driver is back in the driver’s seat and managing some increased torque that makes the car twitchy on throttle out of a corner. Uh…ok.

The gambit worked! Fans are elated with the new look, sound and strategy of F1. Fuel mileage races are what the fans asked for and more passing, which we haven’t seen yet but these are early days…give it time, give it time. I’m sure being a second or more slower than the cars last year will pay dividends in the end and we need to be patient and stop complaining before the new format has time to stretch its green legs.

If we truly love F1, we’ll remain silent (this includes you Sebastian Vettel) and follow the current narrative. We’ll garner equal passion for “green” technology, manufacturer enticement, technological constructs that attempt to thwart the elephant in the room which is aerodynamics (the holy grail of F1 that is not to be touched) and do all of this while sending checks to 15-year-old kids so they can start building a war chest of cash in order to pay a team for the privilege of driving one of these machines of inevitability.

Formula 1 is about power. The new power of the hybrid system really has drivers challenged and hanging it out there although Romain Grosjean said they are actually driving at less than 50% these days. That twitchy torque has sated my desire for awesome racing and I no longer care if the drivers and teams are going flat out for as much of the race as they can because we all know that not everyone goes flat out for 100%—except Jaime Alguersuari of course.

I have become sensitive to all of the hidden elements that fans can’t see that comprise or conspire to make F1 the most technologically advanced racing series in the world. Things like MGU-H and MGU-K utilization (I have no idea when they are being used but I know they are and that’s good enough for me), DRS button presses, graining or degrading tires and narrow operating temperature windows in which the tires actually work. I’ve grown to love the way in which pit stops are measured in nanoseconds and how the series has adopted a nanny state mentality on penalizing all but the most minuscule of altercations under the broad umbrella known as “causing a collision”.

F1 has finally got it all right. They’ve sussed the entirety of their “show” and found that elusive formula that makes watching F1 fun. Change is good even if it isn’t better. These days, good is good enough. If we want great, well, we need to right-size our expectations.

Sure, we need to recognize that F1 has changed and must change to stay relevant with the future. We certainly wouldn’t want to be “on the wrong side of history”. We need to stop being so negative and find the good things in the series. There is racing going on, the cars are very technologically complex and this benefits road cars somehow (you just need to trust that this is happening now because it did in the past) and we need a cost-cap in F1 and we need to be more environmentally sensitive. These are facts, not opinion, mind you, and it’s time we see this as F1’s new mission…for all we know, our very lives may depend on it according to the FIA and its world vision.

I have often thought that in the hereafter of our lives, when F1 owes no more to the future and can be just a racing series… that we may meet, and F1 will come to me and claim me as its fan, and know that I am its fan. It is a dream I have…

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Ben

    I can’t take claims of F1 going “green” with any seriousness. As you rightly point out, there’s not that much fuel used during a race to quibble over. I’m sure Kimi’s yacht puts out more CO2 idling in the Monoco harbor, than all the cars on race weekend.

    I am blown away by what these new power units can already do. The tech is what impresses me…not the “green”.

    • I think the teams have done a great job of trying to make these things reliable that’s for sure, look what Red Bull have done so far…impressive.

    • Me neither re: green. As many have stated, a more economical travel schedule, fewer trackside resources, innovative battery-disposal techniques, etc would promote “green.” Whomever decides F1 press strategy sends mixed messages, no?

      The fuel-efficiency/power density scheme is really cool; Prototypes with many mechanical/electronic variations that, within a few 1000 miles, can run at peak torque for hundreds of miles at a time (save Lotus), and are smaller/lighter than a road car four-banger… Stunning stuff.

  • Brian DUddy

    Would you prefer an all-Ferrari series? That’s a terrifying thought. And stop with the BS about how conservation is new to F1. Actually it’s the Schumi-style, 100% all race driving that’s new to F1. As a supposed longtime fan much older than I am, I would expect you to know that…

    • Hmmm…I’m trying to recall the last time GP2 or F3000 or F2 cars were going around a circuit as fast as F1 cars. I am old but that could be playing tricks with my memory too. No, I wouldn’t want an all-Ferrari series, although the Ferrari challenge is producing good racing these days. Not asking for 100%…something close would be good and farther north of below 50% for sure.

  • Schmorbraten

    Nice rant … here’s mine:

    How much fuel the actual cars use or save per season isn’t the point, and you know that. I think motorsport in general may be at risk of being outlawed in the long run as a pastime too wasteful to be legal, and it’s at least at risk of becoming seriously out of fashion and therefore slowly dying if it keeps the image (for a growing majority) of being nothing more than a superfluous waste of a precious resource, even if the actual amount of petrol used is, objectively, completely insignificant compared to the world’s yearly petrol consumption.

    The one thing I can think of that motorsport can claim in its defence, and sadly today mostly via references to the past, is that it’s pushing innovation which can filter down to roadcars. If some years down the line, some manufacturer can claim that they were able to introduce whatever to their road car lineup after developing it in a race car, saving another xx% in fuel, then that’s a very much needed lifeline for motorsport.

    So, apart from whether I actually like the sound or the decibel level of that sound or that they can use full throttle for much less of the time or whatever, I’m happy that F1 isn’t just waiting until someone tries to outlaw it as too wasteful or until the current customer base has simply died of old age without replacement. That may sound ridiculous if you live in the US, but I don’t.

    If you take money into account as well, it doesn’t hurt the argument for an F1 leading the way in developing more effient “power units”: If the teams altogether go through $2bn+ per year easily, they might as well do some useful things along the way. That’s not FOM income, that’s roughly what the teams spend.

    • You’re right, that does seem outrageous to me. :) I understand your point though and I’m wondering why F1 seems to be tied to some sort of relevancy other than just pure racing fun and entertainment. are other sports tied to some cultural relevancy standards or eco-standards that you can think of? Football, cycling etc? Just wondering about your comment that F1 could lose relevancy as being a waste of resources…like mobility itself isn’t? Seems a little myopic to me.

      • Schmorbraten

        I know … I think I’ve heard the Tour de France has worse CO2 emissions than an F1 season, and one 747 doing a long-haul flight uses roughly as much fuel as all F1 cars in one season etc. … but it’s about being in the public eye. If every politician in your country wasted $10k of tax money for personal gratification, you could argue and calculate that in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t amount to much at all, and that there’s much more waste going on elsewhere. Would that make it look alright?

    • I actually think motorsports will be the opposite – the only legal way to drive. Automation and regulation will remove drivers from the public because doing so will be “too dangerous.” With improved efficiency, fewer vehicles, fewer people doing wasteful things with road cars, increased taxes, racing will be reserved for the even richer of society. The privilege will restrict even more people from participating, unfortunately.

  • CT

    Just what we needed another cynical, whiny piece on how bad F1 has become. This blog used to be good, but rather than complain about what it has become; I am simply going to stop reading. I suggest you do the same with F1. You obviously don’t like any part of it, why waste your time.

    BTW, I see all these complaints about how slow the cars are going. Who cares? I can’t tell the difference between 3-4 seconds per lap watching on TV, nor would I be able to do so at the track. They are faster on the straights and if anyone is going to notice, that is where it would be noticeable. Anyway, relating lap times to the PUs is completely ignoring the reduction in downforce; but why let facts get in the way of a good complaint.

    • Ah…I see. So my opinion is relegated to whiny because I don’t like some of the things F1 is doing. That seems a tad heavy handed mate. I certainly wouldn’t call you a kool aid drinker for liking the current F1. I just disagree with you on how exciting it currently is and how this change is the best thing for F1. It’s interesting to me that when confronted with an opposing view, we go from zero to pissed, unable to handle dissent and deploy a scorched earth policy when we don’t like a viewpoint. Surely you and I can disagree on what we feel F1 is doing right and wrong? No? Do you like more HP from KERS? I do. Do you like new quali format? I do. See? There are things we may agree on.

      I’m not sure where the “other cynical, whiny” pieces are because all I am being told on broadcast and news stories is how good current F1 is so I’m a little stumped at how my piece of opinion is heaping on to an already massive pile of cynical, whiny pieces. then again, if there are that many, maybe folks should listen or read them closely. Must be hitting close to the mark if there is that much dissent out there but I have not seen it.

      as for reduction in downforce, a large chunk of that is already clawed back through aero design and will be negated by season’s end. I’m not trumpeting the 2014 reduction because good engineers will find it and add it back to the car. As for straight line speed? That’s great but if they are doing 203 or 209mph down a straight, that doesn’t really translate does it? It’s the twisty bits that make F1 epic for me and straight line speed is an added bonus. Doesn’t matter if they do 195 or 205 to me. Either one is damned fast.

  • Clay

    I agree with your sentiment, but not necessarily your reasons discussed here. F1 has gotten less and less exciting, more predictable and, in the end, less relevant. BUT… the mandate to Pirelli last year was specifically meant to inject some unpredictability (and it backfired.) DRS was a response to an often-voiced concern that there was too little passing taking place. Many commentators were hoping that this year’s technical change would break Vettel’s dominance. It has, but it merely replaced it with someone else’s.My point is that the rule changes are trying to address legitimate concerns. It may be wrong, but it doesn’t appear as arbitrary as you make it sound.

    The FIA bears some blame, sure, and we should not have expected someone who, as team manager, decided the outcome a Paris-Dakar on a coin toss to look after the ‘sport’ aspect of F1. We should also recognize that, as bad as the FIA is, it is way cleaner than FIFA or the IOC. Even if one can think that green, road-relevant racing is more likely to come from WRC, BTCC and other production-based series, it appears that their claim that manufacturers wanted this is legit. It sucks and it isn’t what F1 was about, but it’s at least coherent. And remember our community wasn’t all that impressed with Mosley (and his Feud with Ron Dennis) either. And before that we had Balestre, which was more authoritarian than Todt will ever be.

    This will shake itself out. And it gives us something to complain about. And, after all, isn’t that what F1 is all about?

    • It is indeed. :) If I didn’t love F1, I wouldn’t be upset at some of the changes. I also agree to much of your statement/opinion. I’m being a little tongue in cheek here (or a lot) but ultimately it will hopefully shake itself out. I am sure it will. It has in the past. I am intrigued by the manufacturer demand for hybrids a little because while Renault may have said they wanted a turbo 6, I can’t recall Ferrari or McLaren saying the same thing. Now, Renault carries a big stick in this argument but this isn’t why Honda or Toyota left. Wonder if Merc would have bought into F1 unless the series was moving to a V6 turbo? Haven’t read anything to that effect.

      • Clay

        We know Ferrari didn’t love the idea. That’s just not who they are. I bet they’d still run the V12 if the FIA let them. By the same token, if Renault lobbied for this then its lack of reliabiliy/performance really is poetic justice.

  • It does read as whiny Todd, not because you are, but because you emphasize how a “gambit” made by F1 has worked, the inference being F1 powers-that-be are trying to hoodwink people, and that the “true” fans must hate the new artifices.

    It reads, again, as elitist, dismissive, etc. As your responses to me have shown, you don’t intend that. You’ve written many op-eds about this issue, and as it’s your opinion, more power to you.

    However, as the many posts posit no new solutions, no differing viewpoint, no ideas about change or prompting of discussion, they read as a snob whose intent in the post is self-justification.

    I asked before; why not post an Op-Ed instead asking “How do you think the new regs affect your F1 Experience?” Or “How would you change F1?” and put in your editorial whatever you feel, or limits on the fantasy rules, or whatever.

    Sharing your opinion is wonderful; sharing it whilst respecting others’ opinion and adding to the discussion rather than repeating yourself would be even more wonderful.

    • Did you see my race report by chance? I enjoyed this weekend’s race even it is being called tedious by others. I think FOM got the TV coverage right last weekend and enjoyed several of the battles. I like the increased power of DRS and the new quali format. I like the fact that Mercedes has risen to the top of competitiveness but that initiative was set in motion a few years back so it isn’t the 2014 regulations that have magically made them good. they’ve worked their arse off getting here and I love that about the current season.

      the word gambit isn’t as derogatory as you are suggesting here. It’s simply a calculated move, you may be reading more into my word choice than I was, mate. :) There is a difference between being tongue in cheek and being whiny but if it seems whiny to you and CT, so be it, I’m whining. :) Wouldn’t be the first time. ;)

      Solutions? I’ve offered lots of them over the years here at F1B. We’ve been talking about the elephant in the room for some time now so yes, I’ve done more than offered whiny criticism. :)

      • I’m not commenting on your POV Todd, just how you write it. I made the mistake of commenting on what I perceived your knowledge of the sport was and your opinions in a past response to prove a point, which was poor form by me.

        Your content isn’t the issue, it’s the presentation. Your post STATES F1 has done what certain fans in your view want, and that in time if disgruntled fans keep silent, we all will get used to it.

        You INFER in your post, again, that the truth is F1 has made a mistake w/ the new regs (they cost a ton, the green message is bunk, the engines sound like junk and that we’ll have to get used to the “throaty whine” to love them,), and that the true fan is being outspoken, that “we” shouldn’t take it.

        Fair enough, the last paragraph is opinion and thus well-shared, but in my view not as a sarcastic, passive retort to those that actually like some/all of the changes F1 has made. Read this following excerpt as audience and not author:

        “but it really doesn’t matter because clearly F1 has the right formula now. The driver is back in the driver’s seat and managing some increased torque that makes the car twitchy on throttle out of a corner. Uh…ok.

        The gambit worked! Fans are elated with the new look, sound and strategy of F1. Fuel mileage races are what the fans asked for and more passing, which we haven’t seen yet but these are early days…give it time, give it time…”

        How does that read to you? Or, are you implying F1 clearly doesn’t have the right formula, and that the resultant twitchy cars is another artifice a la track sprinklers? Starting the next paragraph with that exclamation belittles the fans that might enjoy those attributes, which you further denigrate by stating they want ‘fuel mileage’ racing rather than what you perceive as true racing.

        See, it’s the tone and structure, not necessarily the content that I have a problem with. Judging from the comments, those arguing about your discontent as much as your dismissal of other viewpoints as equally educated, knowledgeable, or pure.

        I agree w/ you about more volume, disagree about the sound quality, like the twitchiness, and am undecided on fuel capacity and/or flow restriction. It would be nice to debate with you about the merits of F1 rather than defend my or others’ legitimacy as F1 fans.

        • I am certainly not dismissing other viewpoints. If you love everything about the current F1 including sound, tech, green, noses and more…that’s perfectly fine. I have no issue with that at all. However, that isn’t the baseline that we are delivering our views from. I don’t think twitchy cars on torque is putting the driver back in the driver’s seat. Sorry for that view but I just don’t think that’s really doing it for me. Senna at Monaco, Gilles at Zandvoort, Schumacher at Spa, Kimi at Spa…those are moments when driving was more tangible to the fan at home. Don’t take my word for it, Grosjean said he’s driving at under 50%. You can say you really think they are all on it but Romain, a driver, says they aren’t and I think he’d know. You can say that you don’t expect them to be “on it” the whole time and you still like under 50% and that’s ok too. It’s just a view I don’t share.

          I think I may be old school in the fact that I know that there are lots of you out there that really are enjoying the direction the series is heading in. That’s ok, I’m not going to stop reading your blogs or comments because I disagree with you. In the end, discourse is about sharing opposing views. My “tone” is just being cheeky because I feel strongly that fuel mileage and tire preservation (of this proportion, not like the old days) is silly. Senna never had to manage tires like this. Teams never had to manage fuel like this with an errant sensor so l just ask that we stop drawing conclusions and parallels that quite honestly seem to lack context to me. That, however, is my opinion and if you’d like to suggest that Senna did have tires like these, then that’s ok, I’ll still read your comments and enjoy your opinion on it and honor you for that. Even though we disagree.

          It takes very little to agree but it takes a lot to disagree and remain civil these days. :) Good thing we aren’t talking about gay marriage or abortion or religion or Crimea. :)

          • You should read the commentary on Senator Leland Yee in SF @ the paper’s forums; people saying Chinese are disgusting thugs, or SF is a haven for drugs, or at least we’re not XXXX city/state, pretty much all bashing one creed/code w/ completely irrelevant to the subject matter. Talk about civility/dercorum…

            I won’t further muck up the site w/ the debate; wish there was a PM function.

            I’m obviously being unclear w/ my verbose ramblings; my issue isn’t whether I agree/disagree w/ your point or opinion Todd, just the manner in which it’s stated. I guess I’m being an unwanted parent, in that I feel some topic tones are disrespectful of alternate viewpoints, and that grates on me. You’re right, I Could be misreading your tone or intent, but I don’t think so; you acknowledge alternative viewpoints on current F1, but in a tongue-in cheek manner a parent might disregard a child’s argument.

            You know, the “okay honey, OF COURSE frogs can fly, you’re absolutely right. *sigh*”

            Maybe others don’t feel as strongly, maybe I’m being too sensitive or flat wrong, but it’s what I garner from many posts you right; you’ve spent so much time arguing respect in your community, I hate it when I perceive hypocrisy. It has nothing to do w/ my opinion of you or your views; as mentioned many times, i agree w/ some of your points. I’d just regret no longer being @ F1B because discussions devolve into “I’m right, you’re wrong” or worse, “I’m a savant and you’re uneducated, how cute” bullcrap that other sites allow uncontested.

            Okay, enough meandering from me; I’ve been away from F1 for 4 whole days, and need to catch up. Hope I understand your point, and vice versa.

          • You’re not wrong at all Jeff, just sharing your opinion. Trust me, if you’re getting the message that I am a savant and you’re uneducated, that isn’t anywhere close to the reality. I am far from savant. I couldn’t carry these F1 engineers pencil cases. Just sharing my opinion. :)

        • offcamberm3

          Jeff, I agree with your point and I’m glad you have made it. Todd, F1 Blog is one of my favorite things on the web. I love the content and your approach, especially the decorum. As I’ve posted before, thank you for all of your hard work, it is appreciated.

          I have to say that as someone who likes the twitchiness in this year’s cars I feel denigrated by a couple of your recent posts, including this one. I think that this is a result of your “cheekiness” – I don’t think you are actually denigrating me (although I could be wrong about that. . .). Careful reading of your entire post is required – and I don’t think that’s asking too much. However, I agree with Jeff’s comments. I won’t repeat them because he’s written them better than I will.

          Todd, I get that you aren’t happy with some of the features of F1 in 2014. That’s cool. I don’t like some of them either. It’s important to me that you know I am an experienced track driver and as a result I probably know more about controlling a car at the limit than many people do, even some that post on this site. I’m confident in my experience and my opinions. Having said that, your opinion carries a lot of weight with me. I respect you. The tone of your post makes me feel like the feeling isn’t mutual. I’m not an idiot because I like seeing a driver fighting to get torque down onto a track. But your CHOICE of words is making me feel that way. Please choose your words carefully.

          Thank you, Todd, for your great work on this website. And thank you, Jeff, for your comments as well. I feel like you are sticking up for various and possibly conflicting opinions, and I appreciate that.

          Regarding driving at less than 50%: True as that may or may not be, I guarantee that when a car is twitching and being caught as it’s powering out of a corner it is being driven at more than 50%.

          • offcamberm3

            OK, Todd, I just saw your intro to the “Marbles” post. Thank you. I feel better.

  • F1derbar

    Romain is definitely racing below 50% but that’s mainly because the Lotus is rubbish. Ask one of the driver’s in a working car ;)

  • Rapierman

    “I have a dream…..it is deeply rooted in the American Dream…”

    Oh, sorry, wrong dream. What was I thinking? ;-)

  • True that, Schmorbraten. I tend to think on a lot of issues the world faces, much of it goes back to what Plato called The Noble Lie. :)

  • jiji the cat

    well i think they got it wrong.the future is cold fusion. Now that we have discovered away of making cold fusion a reality and keeping the reaction cool, surely we could push the manufacturers to develop cold fusion tech. ;)

    • The byproduct being water for the drinks bottle?

      • jiji the cat

        and drivers that glow in the dark.

  • Jean Todt told Bild: “”Pollution, financial crisis, dwindling resources – these are problems that can not be denied. When Formula 1 will remain the pinnacle of motor sport, it has to change, “judged Todt.

    Two of the three reasons given are financial but the first reason? Pollution. Well, I assume he means dwindling resources as in financial resources and not raw resources. That seems odd to me but it a way to drive an agenda that you want.

    It’s like saying that F1 is beating children and if we want to remain the top sport we have to change and stop beating children. Who wouldn’t agree to any changes recommended if you’ve told the world you beat children?

  • First: The hallmark of an effective publication (in my humble opinion) is one which creates controversy, thus spearheading a rational, educational and productive discourse. Score 1 for F1b

    Second: “This march toward “green” begat the V6 turbo engine which, comparatively speaking, sounds like a kidnapped engine with a duct-taped mouth in the trunk of a car in a Jason Borne movie.” One of the all time gr8 visuals.

    Third: I guess I simply do not comprehend the rational for the 100L/hr fuel delivery figure. Let the cars have 110 liter tanks (race fuel plus reserve) and then turn the teams loose to develop the best, most efficient power unit they can. If the cars don’t use the ERS power effectively, they’ll run out of fuel, anyway. The teams will maximize recovered power to the greatest extent possible just so they won’t need to drag around the extra fuel weight, especially at the race start. I think the rules folks got too clever by half this time. I bet we would see some pretty bodacious engineering sprout, both ICE-wise and ERS-wise.

    • The green message was such a mistake; FIA has Formula-E for that. If FIA had simply said they wanted to advance battery-assist technology, all would have been fine for the fan-majority IMO. If they packaged it as an efficiency and performance move, much would have been forgiven. Let the engine manufacturers trump the green message for road car sales; not FIA’s job.

      I hate the weight of battery packs, but let’s be truthful; properly-implemented, the hybrid systems are pretty beneficial. For F1, using a generator for boost control and lag limitation is pretty neat. In road cars as well as F1, flattening the torque curve of a peaky engine is super cool. If FIA had sold that, and opened the regs further on ERS architecture, I’d be perfectly happy. The cars are too quiet, but that’s the nature of us longer-timer fans; we don’t like any change.

      The argument over fuel flow is FIA wanting the manufacturers to concentrate on increased power density via the ERS rather than ICU. I can see the rationale, and agree w/ others’ sentiments that FIA feared over-boosted and thus dangerous power levels during qualifying, but am still on the fence whether it was necessary.

  • Aadil

    Thank You Negative Camber!!!!

    Finally a journo and website who is willing to say it like it is!!

    I’m flippin sick of other websites mainly the British ones trying to shove this heap of crap they call F1
    down Fans throat!

    They label fans who disagree with the this “New F1” as narrow minded people with blinkers on or rose tinted specs who cant see the future!

    Well if u ask me fans are more important then any so called green technology!
    U can have the greenest cars in the world that can finish a race on 1 gallon of fuel but if there are no
    fans watching then the sport will never survive no matter what!

    I studied economics and 1 of the basics things they teach you is the relationship between
    demand and supply.

    If there is no demand for a product or service then you cant supply any!!!
    In order to supply a product or service there needs to be a demand for it!

    Formula 1 is a product or service provided too people just like any other and clearly fans are been turned
    off and if there is no longer a demand for F1 then there can be no F1 anymore!
    These changes that the FIA claim are going to save F1’s future might be the very things that kill off F1 even
    faster!!

    I dont think its healthy or in the interest of F1s “sustainable future” to be held ransom by car manufacturers such as Merc and Renault!! They dont give a crap about F1!!
    They in F1 for marketing purposes to help sell their cars and promote their brand!
    if people stopped watching F1 tomorrow those same to teams would run away from F1 faster then
    it takes Mr Todt to brush his teeth in the mornings!

    In the interested of a sustainable future it would have served F1 much better for teams to try and build their own engines cheaply (Which i’m sure they could do if a small company like Koenigsegg can do) after all these new engines aren’t exactly cheap they costing teams a fortune and a substantial part most of the smaller teams budgets are used to pay for these engines surely they can use that money to build their own engines!

    I also agree with you that If this new tech is such a game changer for road car technology then why isnt company’s like BMW falling over themselves to get back into F1? surely they will be at a massive
    disadvantage producing hi tech road cars for the future compared to Merc who are in F1?
    BMW certainly didnt need F1 to produce their i8 road car which arguably has a more advanced drivetrain then these new F1 engines!

  • An FIA response to an individual’s early reactions to the new formula: http://grandprix247.com/2014/04/17/jean-todts-fia-chief-of-staff-responds-to-inside-line-open-letter/

    I’m not a fan of the above site, but felt the author’s original letter to FIA contained an interesting, contrasting viewpoint to mine own, and thus found FIA’s response particularly enlightening. For those who feel/felt like the author, and like Todd in this post, how does FIA’s response sit?

    More importantly, if FIA had presented the reg changes as such originally, rather than trumping 2015 as a year of “Green” environmental responsibility, would you have accepted the changes more readily? The candidness in which FIA addresses some concerns, such as the noise or questionable nose aesthetics, do they appease your fears?

    I’m loathe to bring up the issue again because as is norm, as we’ve gotten used to the changes we’ve accepted them; I just found the FIA response a much more palatable stance than the poor PR and tech releases the fan base has insofar received, and as one who appreciates the new formula and its necessity, wonder if those who feel like the author/NC took the same from it.

    • Right off the top, I have trouble with Xavier’s initial premise:

      “The foremost discipline of single-seater motor sport must remain at the forefront of technological innovation and as the world comes to terms with the reality of shrinking resources innovation in automotive engineering is increasingly directed towards conservation. Formula One cannot continue to ignore this imperative.

      To do so would marginalise the sport we love and remove it from purview of automotive manufacturers, whose engineering goals are firmly focused on sustainability. The new power units we have introduced are a response to this challenge and each of the manufacturers currently involved in F1 has responded to this challenge magnificently.”

      I’m not sure that is the foremost discipline of F1 racing. Color me reactionary but I thought it was about racing. I am also keen to see stats on the rapidly dwindling birth rates in many of the industrialized nations and the resources they mention as shrinking. F1 says it’s apolitical and to be honest, I think they have gotten very political with this entire issue.

      • Fascinating, shows how interpretations vary. Shrinking resources i.e.; petroleum. I agree, bull poop, the Alaska pipeline and whatnot. Also, the petrol costs involved in say shipping Prius over to the States are F1 around the world. Or environmental awareness, when Energy Cell disposal is a huge issue, or many US states’ electrical power coming from coal, etc. But again, it’s not the actual motivation, it’s the message FIA wants to convey.

        What is racing? Going wheel to wheel to see who’s best, in my view. As F1’s a technical formula, that also means the engineers figuratively going wheel to wheel in the design room, strategists on the wall deciding how best to conserve then use the consumables, and so on.

        As F1 is about technical innovation in racing (not all single-seat motor sport however), there must be constant engineering exercises that the teams attempt to conquer, which FIA then reigns in, and which repeats itself, so no problem for me there. I think it’s the message where much of the objection came.

        Consumer relevancy ie; Conservationism implies a pulling back from the maximum, which I think many fans dislike; they feel F1’s compromised, and should have instead gone for “more,” more power, more freedom, more noise. F1 could “ignore this imperative” of efficiency; there are plenty of technical challenges FIA might explore. However, as an advertising guy, I DO see why F1’s gone the efficiency route. In order to grow/maintain an audience whose consumption ideals have changed, relating F1 to road cars and (erroneously IMO) trumping the new cars as environmentally-aware makes a certain sense. In order to lure manufacturers back, the message, whether true or not, as well as the allure of F1 being on the cutting edge, F1 had to conform to the perceived new frontier.

        To me, FIA’s response in the letter was most factual I’ve seen from them. They’re not trumping the green message because they give a hoot, rather they’re stating the newest frontier is coming from the automotive sector, and that sector is concentrating on the aforementioned challenges. Whether that’s distasteful or not is personal (I believe Rapierman contends F1 shouldn’t kowtow to anyone), but that desire for manufacturer participation hinges on making the formula relatable to the manufacturers and the greater audience’s collective mindset, in FIA’s view.

        I’d thought the letter would be palatable, but it appears not. Thanks for the input.

        • I don’t disagree with you there, Jeff. I think they are trying to read the tea leaves as much as any other shifting corporate entity is. they look to trends and where industry’s are heading and for the supposed survival of F1, they felt they had to cater to the current carmaker direction. That’s fair enough, I don’t begrudge that but pretending that F1’s highest calling is tech innovation seems to be putting the cart before the horse. Racing is its highest discipline and technology enables teams to gain advantages over others through technology and innovation just as Merc did with their split turbo. Fair enough but I think they are trying to reclassify F1’s DNA and that seems a bit myopic to me.

        • Very cool. I’m curious, then, what you’d want the formula to revert/change/evolve to, if you’d had the power? Or anyone else?

          I see many criticizing the formula, myself included in some cases, but very few suggestions from fans, save for the unrealistic “Bring back the V12’s and unlimited budgets” nonsense.

          If F1 isn’t a race of technology and development combined with strategy and driver skill, what is it to someone who objects to either this specific formula change or change in general?

          Note, this is not a contentious question, I’m genuinely curious what others’ viewpoints are on what F1 is to them.