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As we edge closer to our promised RantCast, we (meaning Paul), thought it would be a good idea to offer a place for all of you to share some thoughts on what you’d like us to discuss during the show.

Sure, we know the usual suspects but what is it that you’ve been thinking about that we haven’t discussed before (meaning, moaned about) and what is there that chews you up like Robert Shaw in Jaws? Is there a particular oddity that has you miffed and you want to make sure we cover it? Maybe F1 has its own Jan Brady that you’d like us to heap scorn on?

The idea is to share some thoughts on some of the intricacies and it may surprise you and us as to what we agree or disagree on. It should be fun and we’re looking forward to it.

Just let us know you topics in the comment section below and we’ll try our best to get to as many as possible.

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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.
  • rapierman

    Let’s start with artificial contrivances, then go with the evils of doing things just for the purpose of or the appearance of embezzlement instead of racing and maintaining a sound financial model (CVC, older Bernie), the evils of extracting too much out of people instead of just getting enough and leaving enough in to keep the popular machine going (CVC, maybe Bernie), the act of robbing Peter to pay Paul (CVC, FIA), the moral story of the Deadly Sin of Greed and how it can ruin things (CVC, FIA, and a lot of other things), the moral story of how extremism can ruin things for everyone else (turbo V6 engines, for example), the moral story of how over-regulation can ruin things (a lot of examples here), the moral story of how age is not always to someone’s benefit and can leave one a moral villain against humanity if one is not careful (Bernie, I’m looking at you), the moral story of why it’s not a good idea to be a fence sitter, no matter how apolitical you want to be (FIA & Bernie vs. Abu Dhabi, for example), the moral story of attempting to bring in the new to the exclusion of the old, especially with history on the line (again, many examples)….

    Whew! That’s a lot! I’ll let you whittle those down a bit. ;-)

  • MIE

    The steady decline in driving standards among some drivers. In the days when contact with another car would mean a trip to the hospital or worse, drivers were willing to give each other room on the track, but also would not make over-optimistic attempts at trying to pass. Now F1 looks at times more like Touring Cars, where contact has fewer severe consequences. A similar argument can be made for respecting track limits.

    By the time drivers reach F1 they should (Maldonado excepted) be good enough to race within the track and not to deliberately drive into other cars. However it is those starting out in karting and in junior formula who are influenced by the F1 stars and the way they drive, thinking that that is the only way to be able to overtake (only very few of them have the ability to be able to pull off such manoeuvres without serious impact). In the mid 1980’s in FF1600 the novice drivers had their own separate National series (Stars of Tomorrow), friends of mine used to refer to this series as the lemmings, as they had a tendency to follow each other into accidents. By the time natural selection had weeded them and they moved into the two British FF1600 series the driving was much better. Now unfortunately this lemming like behaviour can be seen in some GP3 and even GP2 rounds (and Maldonado).

  • not really a ranting thing….but explain why formula 1 costs are so high that we’re steadily moving towards a spec ‘gp 1 series’ (as newey referred to), testing bans, homologated engine formula…….when compared to WEC, they have unlimited testing, can run any kind of engines they want, more competing manufacturers, less aero/engineering regulation AT A FRACTION OF THE OPERATING COST……..

  • TurboPhoenix

    Not a topic, but I’m just hoping that when you guys do the RantCast you’ll do it tastefully. Offer up proper solutions and don’t get stuck on the same topic saying the same things over and over (which I feel like has happened a bunch in the past and makes for really boring listening), you know things like that. Regardless, looking forward to it :)

    • Echoing TurboPheonix’ sentiment. I sympathize with issue-frustration, particularly if the issue fails meeting personal expectations. Potential solutions force us fans to think, which is more productive than partisan or contrarian bleating.

      Note this is topic-independent; DRS, Driver behavior, Power Units, Costs, Standing Restarts, FIA reg shuffling, etc… Discourse on any/all of it is healthy and thought-provoking, if intelligently-ranted.

      It’s clear you guys love the sport whilst having concerns about some of its directions. Insight into respective POV’s would enlighten and entertain. In particular, I’m interested in hearing Todd’s take on issues; it feels at times he sacrifices listening or input in order to hit the next topic. Curse of moderating/hosting… :D Since this podcast sounds more the *shooting the bullish*t with buddies* thing, I’d value more interplay; heck, do several of these if the conversation’s good.

      You’ll undoubtedly hit standing restarts, the Maldonado situation, and TV coverage, so two talking points I’d like addressed if interesting:

      1. How effectively regulation and ratification of rules is managed amongst the FIA/CVC-Ecclestone/team trifecta; what changes if any you see on the horizon, how power *should* be divided for sport-health.

      2. Driver aids, and notion any decent racing driver can do what these guys do (Paul, you’re up to the plate), and that current drivers are wusses compared to the past. Having never driven anything remotely like a downforce car much less a GP monster, I’ve no knowledge base, but assume slamming, then releasing a brake pedal from 190mph, scalp-aling a late-apex, and exiting straight and clean in these cars is pretty tough stuff. Perhaps slapping paddles is easier than working a Hewland, but I’ve assumed precision-requirements are much stricter today, whilst spare brainpower also needed, like the *monkeys* flying Mercury/Gemini/Apollo capsules vs their WWII dashing pilot predecessors.

      However, I have an issue this year with how much info the engineers are giving drivers like Rosberg, where to brake, what gear to be in. To me, certain parameters require engineer input, like managing max engine vs max ERS efficiency (different, contrasting things), while others should be in the realm of driver skill. Very hard to separate, so where do you fall on how good they are, and what should and should not be their responsibilities?

  • jcm

    it would be great if “fake Charlie” could take part in order to rant about how much f1 coverage sucks in Canada. our coverage starts about 5 seconds before the race, and ends about 5 seconds after, with a million commercials in the middle. if the race goes long, tough bananas, the channel switches to bowling or darts… or paint drying. thank Zeus for Brits who upload skyf1’s coverage, which I can only describe as heaven.

    looking forward to it!

    • @_canuck_

      No Canadian driver is the reason, when JV was racing Tsn had great coverage.

  • Pm

    Most decision made by the strategy group is a good place to start

  • Please rant on how bad the American F1 television coverage is. I’d rather hear Grace overdub “Alonso, Alonso, ALONSO!” on the Univision commercial free feed while streaming the BBC audio 30 seconds ahead. SKY…PLEASE LET US PAY YOU FOR A ROKU SKY F1 CHANNEL! TAKE MY MONEY!

    • @_canuck_

      Stream sky off the net or bbc.or download it after.

  • The Captain

    The perils of Podcasting for F1B.

    • The Captain

      Let’s hear how the sausage is made.

      • We’ll have to ask Mark, he’s the Sausage king of Chicago.

        • The Captain

          You know the young kids might think this was innuendo.

    • They are many indeed. Although it has only happened once where we thought we recorded and entire show only to find out we didn’t record. Grace and I did that a couple years ago. Epic fail but the re-record was really scripted, on target and on time. :)

      • The Captain

        I think I rememberer that! Nothing like a dress rehearsal. I’ve forgot to hit record with a client on the room before. Fortunately the first take was really bad.

  • Mr. Obvious

    How about the beyond-retrograde business & marketing model of F1, where the primary revenue model consists of holding entire nations ransom for the privilege of hosting a race, and making content so expensive and exclusive that most media partners elect to provide little more than basic race coverage? How about the fact that you have to work very hard just to find ways to stay engaged with the sport as a fan in the USA? How about the fact that just about the only place you can find a substantial selection of F1 merchandise in the USA is at a kiosk outside a track in Austin, TX for three or four days a year?

    • Mr. Obvious

      I guess my point is that EVERYTHING about the F1 fan experience in the USA makes the sport seem an arcane, amateurish exercise that caters exclusively to a bunch of global elitists that have way too much time and money to burn.

  • @_canuck_

    Just rant about how poor the strategy group are they need to disolve this and reverse the crazy changes they made this year on the fly as if they were reinventing the sport.

  • Andreas

    There’s plenty of material, of course. Should the pits be closed during safety car? What about the restarts? How can it be that the ticket cost to Hockenheim’s DTM race is only 1/10th of the cost of an F1 ticket for the same seat?

    If you had free reign, how would you set up F1? Sporting/technical regs, costs (how to generate revenue, how to allocate it and if there should be any spending caps), which tracks to race at etc. Some of this stuff will obviously shine through in the general ranting, but it’d be interesting to get a more complete picture.

  • mark h

    This seemed an ideal topic on which to make a long overdue F1B comment – I’m just sorry I could keep it neither short nor sweet.

    My biggest and most pointless gripe, by far, is and will always be the fundamental economic underpinnings of the series. ftghb was asking about costs above; I’d argue the more pertinent questions concern revenue. No race team, and no business, could survive while kicking back at least a quarter of its total revenue (can anyone do the EBITDA estimate while filtering out the Sylt cheerleading? http://www.forbes.com/sites/csylt/2014/04/15/how-cvc-has-made-8-2-billion-from-formula-one-auto-racing/) to the shareholders/owners every year – but F1 muddles through, very much for the worse. I wouldn’t mind so much if the “owners” actually DID something besides exist – the teams use their (supposedly generous) cuts to make F1 into a race series!

    This systemic leeching, in my eyes, either explains or exacerbates every major fiscal problem the series has: from near-bankrupt teams, to Bahrain and Russia, to GP attendance/ticket prices, to TV viewer figures and even Venezuelan crash-magnets. But of course it’s wasted breath. The loop is closed, all the stakeholders with any say are beholden: At best, they will whinge, but they will never walk. (Maybe when the ISIL Caliphate Grand Prix is held in Mosul in 2019? I doubt it.)

    So, instead a question: Is F1 currently missing a dictator on the regulations front? One of the things I rather liked about Max Mosley was his courage in his own convictions (or bloody-mindedness, depending on POV). He’d sometimes stick his fingers in his ears and simply through an unpopular measure he truly believed in. With massive exceptions – the 2001 sale/lease of F1’s soul being the primary example – I think he was often proven right in the end.

    To my mind, the majority of F1’s most flagrantly idiotic recent contrivances (DRS, double points, boom-box exhausts, sparky-floors and standing re-starts are among my ‘Greatest Hits’) are the result of a sort of rudderless, reactionary approach that is the opposite of the FIA/F1 autocracy of old.

    Instead of: “We’re doing this, get used to it,” the approach – especially the strategy group’s attempts to paper over perceived cracks recently – seems to me more like: “Oh, a few people said they wanted this last Sunday evening, how can we pretend to provide it (quickly, on the cheap, and artificially)?” Pat Symonds and Merc’s Andy Cowell pretty much admitted this on Motorsport Mag Pod the other month.

    If that’s really the rationale, I’d argue it’s better to do nothing. For instance, I’m cautiously excited (haven’t heard them trackside yet, ask again in September) about the new engines. Now, not everybody agrees on that matter, to say the least – but I truly believe everybody would agree that sticking a Marshall amp posing as an exhaust on the rear-end is both a waste of time, expertise and money, and an insult to everybody’s intelligence. Right? (If it’s really come to that, somebody just develop motorsport’s equivalent of a “laugh track” and play it over the broadcast.)

    “Lapped traffic may now overtake,” to my mind, is another prime example. Some people said “oh no, restart X’s battle for 1st place – just this once – happened to be spoiled by backmarkers,” so some bright spark decided that an extra 3 laps behind the sodding safety car – every single time – was the answer.

    Well, that was cathartic. My apologies to anybody who actually read it.

  • Tom Firth

    I’m so very confused as to the direction of what F1 is trying to appeal too, since MotoGP was formed as “MotoGP”, I’ve seen F1 and MotoGP as the prototype classes of the sport, where the concept is to create machines which have little relevance to what people will ever own but have a place in showcasing what is possible. Whereas Le Mans was about creating the technology that appeared in our road cars eventually, if not immediately, and WSBK and Touring cars where about applying those technologies to cars/bikes that you and I could potentially buy through a dealership on Monday morning.

    In F1, we went from F1 technology perhaps trickling down to road cars but not with the initial intention of road car relevance to effectively in the ’00’s when we had very little relevance at all to what happened on the road, with the core of F1 been about advertising as far as car manufacturers where concerned and seeing what could be created in a prototype racing arena which is why Honda, BMW, Toyota et all jumped onboard.

    Now we appear to be at a crossroads, with on one side, the sport looking at increasing road relevance forcefully in adopting the engine regulations we have, hybrids, etc and on the other side, the sport trying to keep the concept of “a show” for entertainment purposes. The series can’t seem to decide in which direction it is actually moving towards and who it is trying to appeal too and I think until F1 decides who it is appealing too and for what purposes, the sport will struggle.

    My other rant is basically what is F1 doing to prepare itself for the future ? It’s 2014 and F1 seems to see the world as if it’s still 1998 with everything effectively resting on television as a platform to get the sport into people’s lives. This can’t continue as people are consuming media differently. According to JustMarketing’s Year in review 2013, there are 600 million F1 fans out there, ok so why then is only 67 million of those using F1’s official website throughout 2012 ?

    The series has to adapt, has to build an online presence that is relevant and oncoming with current technology. Not a website that basically shows me a few pictures, Some PR rubbish and some live timing …
    In an Ideal outcome, F1 should be broadcast on Youtube or whatever video sharing social network that the sport chooses, even if its bespoke with an official online feed on it’s own website, non geo-restricted open for all. Something that actually attracts viewers to go there. It won’t happen because the television companies also still believe its 1998 and won’t allow it but effectively something has to give as F1’s average audience age is 38, NASCAR’s is 43 and Indycars was 42.

    It’s not about Generation Y not been interested in F1 for the length of the race, or how many mickey mouse concepts you can add to make them interested, it makes no difference, if the way media is consumed by them is been completely missed by the sport.

    Rant over.

  • Please make this podcast as long as possible. I WANT AS MANY RANTS AS YOU GUYS CAN THROW OUT!! I’m stoked for this podcast. Paul and you are right about the sound.

    Also, +1 to the US broadcast rant, can we for god’s sake move past F1 101 every other Grand Prix? The amount of commercials is brutal! What is worse, is they repeat them over, and over…

  • 6 cylinder hybrid formula sucks. The whole show should about how the engine manufacturers hijacked the sport for their own ends, Did I say the 6 cyl hybrid formula sucks? Why yes I did but I’ll say it again.

  • Kevin

    I miss the engine noise, but ive moved on. I think that formula 1 and the fia came to a crossroads where they had to choose between road relevancy (which hasn’t been applicable for awhile) in hybrids and on-track product. they chose to “move with the times” in the v-6 hybrid lumps, but I think that f1 should have become the last holdouts in becoming a ‘green series.’ that’s what formula e is for. FIA claims to have done this for cost-cutting measures, the result? most expensive development ever, and as we saw in Germany and in viewership numbers, the fans aren’t turning out for the new show. Then they set off cutting testing sessions for next year, which will hurt everyone, most of which, Honda. If drivers are having to raido back to pit lane to ask them to get their teammate out of the way or if they are racing the guys next to them, then they are truly ‘taxi drivers’. I only started following F1 at the 2012 Spanish gp, and what fascinated me was the engineering and the connection betwwen man and machine. the luster has started to wear off and ive found myself being drawn to Indycar, its much more competitive, affordable to attend, and least of which its always in my general time zone.