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Discussion Starter #1
It starts on March 8th with 10 episodes of Netflix original series about 2018 season a bit boomastically named "F1 : drive to survive".

That said, Mercedes is really lame sticking to slowest times in Montmelo during official testing. Knock it off, already. Your Kasparov-like moves were already so well described more then 30 years ago with "I'd let you watch, I would invite you but the queens we use would not excite you". Getting only your strategists and slide-rule guys excited is not going to save you in the long run. At least sign agreement with Ferrari and Red Bull to stcking with X:YY:ZZZ time, without disclosing what that time meanx in 10ths and fake the "fight" around that time.
 

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what network is it on this year ?
 

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It's testing - the only firm conclusions are that Ferrari are fast, Williams have become an embarrassment and Merc are sandbagging. Nothing new.

I watched the trailer for the Netflix show and it should be worth watching.

Motorsport.com talked to Ericcson about the differences between Indy and F1 cars. Interesting, especially regarding downforce and braking zones. I think Indy may have a better idea.

As far as coverage, I think that ESPN broadcasts the Sky feed in the US. You also have the F1TV option.
 

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Thanks that's where it was last year.
 

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Sandbagging doesn't gain anyone anything in testing. There's no BOP rules in F1. I think Mercedes only were able to ratchet up their performance at the end of the second pre-season test when they matched Ferrari's times. They did bring a massive upgrade to the second test. First test it seemed like they just pounded around trying to get to understand tires and their reliability. Second test seemed more focused on aero. Looks like Ferrari completely messed up with their front wing. Not enough downforce. But they do have some crazy deployment in the straights. They can deploy all their power all the way till the end of the straight when you hit the brakes. That with the slippery bodywork they are super fast in a straight but Mercedes has superior low speed corner grip and traction. That's where they are making up all the time. Baku should be interesting. I would have predicted an easy Mercedes 1-2 at Baku as well with Bottas winning but I think Ferrari are bringing their first set of major upgrades so that will be good to see. Hopefully they work cause damn that's 3 1-2 lockouts by Mercedes!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is interesting. Some radical, but sensible ideas from a thinking former F1 pilot.

https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/johansson-proposal-f1-awesome-economics/4374192/
Yes, very intersting and well thought out. The two things I disagree with are

1. Common monocoque. No. That's like saying that Macan, Cayman, A3, Q3, Golf (all variants), Fabia (Skoda, all variants) have to use same MQB chassis and then they can differentiate with body panels and engines. No. Just no.

2. I call "impossible" to control and enforce spending ceiling full BS. Get reputable accounting firm, every team deposits $200 million on October 1st and that money is used all the way to November next year for the final race. That will also mean that no one can start next year's car development before October 1st. Incentive to do well in current year. Nothing is purchased unless the check comes from accountants. Done.

2a. As mentioned in other F1 thread, that would be liberatory rule where you have to only brutally control safety and very little else. Let immagination soar.

IMO, of course. If I knew anything about F1 my name would be Bernie Ecclestone.

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Discussion Starter #8
Wowza! Who would ever have thought that Practice 1 can be so exciting. Now, THAT was a proper spectacle. :)

So, I got up in the morning today very early, couldn't sleep, and went to see what's happening in Baku. Practice 1 lasted all of 13 minutes (I believe) up until a Williams suctioned up a manhole cover and tried to make a spring roll out of it with the bottom of the car. First guy out was a short-sleeved Vin Diesel double with black face mask immediately inspecting the hole and the cover for wrongdoing, then regular guys with brooms showed up. Couple more Vin Diesel lookalikes showed up all with faces covered and decided that nobody sabotaged the track, then left. Wow. Better security than G7 summit in Azerbaijan.

Then we get to the point where the poor Williams got loaded onto the flatbed truck. Very experienced truck driver attempted to bring it back to Williams' garage. How do I know he was very experienced? Well, he obviously knew the road so well and also knew there are not bridge-like obstacles on that road. Normally. But someone decided to place F1-event-only pedestrian bridge just at the pit entry. Well, after two loud bangs (very loud bangs, he hit the north and south end of the bridge with a truck crane), the poor Williams car got a proper hydraulic oil shower from the crane. Mechanics in the garage were NOT amused.

Practice over, they sent two Smart-like trucklets on the track with two crews to double-check screws on 320+ manhole covers on 6 km of the track.

Now, THAT'S entertainment ;)

Not sure what happened with Practice 2, allegedly screwing in 320+ manhole covers could be a day job, not 1.5 hours job.
 

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Nothing quite so exquisite as the crane hitting the gantry, but lots of action nonetheless. I am not generally a big fan of street circuits, but Baku does provide excitement. Especially when the temperature isn't high enough for the drivers to get these new tires into the proper temperature. A good dozen offs in P2, with Stroll and Kvyat hitting barriers and doing significant damage to their cars. Also a bit of a tiff between Magnusson and Hamilton. A promising beginning to the weekend.
 

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Is the season over already... Ferrari looks dysfunctional, Red Bull has lost their aero?!!

Personally all i want is Kimi or Ricardo to beat their last year teammates, or Williams to finish with a point, ocon to get a ride...
Sigh
 

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Huge Mercedes fan here. Huge Hamilton and Vettel and Verstappen and Sainz and Lando and Ricciardo fan here.

I am enjoying the Mercedes domination because it's fascinating to me to follow them behind the scenes. The way they analyze their problems and relentlessly fix their deficiencies...their Social media contributions - and of course their on track performance - can't help but like them.

Insane how this year their Achilles heel was low speed traction and they got on top of it. Gotta applaud that. Amazing to see Honda get so much better. Red Bull went the wrong direction with their aero as did Ferrari. How is it that with all these reg changes that have happened in the hybrid era that Mercedes has stayed on top? Fascinates me to understand their team structure and behind the scenes operations.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Wow. It will be really, really hard to stay engaged and finish watching this season. And when you don't finish watching this one, there is almost no reason to start watching the next.

One thing out of the way : I am not a Ferrari fan. At all. Also, nobody wins the whole championship because they are lucky, nor do they lose it because they are unlucky. Those two things said, I really had enough how Mercedes, when things do not go according to the plan, ends up better than the plan while everybody else gets penalized (by fate, not stewards). The fortune favors the brave, yes, but enough already, it is to the point where it is unwatchable.

No it is not the first time something like this happened (even if I keep hoping it is the last time) - 1999-2004 was very, very similar story. And yes, one of the reasons I do not root for Ferrari. They almost killed F1 for me then, now it is Mercedes doing it. The only difference seems to be that Ferrari were using their own weight and favorite treatment inside F1 to create luck, while Mercedes (and Hamilton specifically) truly cannot put a foot wrong. Yes, I understand that you have to run behind a deer until you can't see or breathe anymore in order to capitalize on a luck of it trampling over a tree root and falling down - but allow me to be disgusted anyway. I have no idea why, but 2010-2013 Red Bull reign was not nearly as disgusting as the other two were/are. Frankly, I don't know why, I can only speculate that 3rd placed car was much closer (maybe) and that there was zero love lost between Webber and Vettel creating spectacle worth watching (like Mercedes did in 2014 and 2016 to a degree). Something that was not even possible or allowed in years 1999-2004. Google "2002 Austrian Grand Prix" if you feel a need to be sick to your stomach.

Anyhow, long story short, I went through McLaren (1988-1990) years entertained, through Williams (1992-1997) years entertained, tolerated Ferrari years, went through Red Bull years entertained somewhat ... but I am not sure I will survive Mercedes years. If F1 wants to continue to be relevant, the only way forward that I can see is to restrict money as much as possible and loosen the technical rules as much as possible. Oh, yes, one more thing ... if Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes want to keep current engine formula "because regular street cars production - relevant", then I want to see homologation model required to be produced with said engine in it. If you cannot, then scrap the crapshow and let's go back to truly cheap engines and have enough money to have 20 of them lined up per year per car.

If F1 is not aware of it, it seems to me like there was not a SINGLE point in time where F1 cars were as "normal" as they are today when compared to street-legal cars. It used to be that even technological marvels like 959 Porsche were kid's toys when placed on track to go against ANY F1 cars of the era. Not just Williams or McLaren. Today? Cars like Aston Martin Valkyrie and announced McLaren T.50 on a track where downforce doesn't do much to help F1 could be on similar lap times. And that, my dear friends, is a travesty. Yes, those two cars are totally "bonkers" - but still street legal, with a license plate.

Maybe it is time to say "It was a great ride, but it just got old".
 

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It is not the best of seasons but I am enjoying watching it. I love the technology and the behind the scenes and I love watching records being broken. I supported Red Bull and its winning ways and people were whining away then too. And I support the Mercedes dominance as well. No one whines as much when Marc Marquez keeps winning MotoGP or Johnathan Rea kept winning WSBK. It's easier somehow for people to whine about F1 because Ferrari is not winning (for some reason people love Ferrari a lot - I don't) and because a black man is winning a lot. Simple as that. Especially when he is tattooed and all over social media.

That rant being over I agree with the Vettel penalty but I wish it was not applied. Would have kept the momentum going. Still quite amazing how Ferrari keeps screwing Leclerc over and over.
 

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I don't think it's about Ferrari not winning. I really really don't understand that believe that every F1 fan is Ferrari fan. I don't care. I just like some good fight for the top step. And this season - the only fight going on - is second tier. Mercedes has won the title already and Vettel is f*cked again. Just proves that car is EVERYTHING. The good news is - Kimi is still Ferrari's last champ! :)
 

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I think all those pseudo-green regulations killed F1. 2 engines per season, 15L of fuel per race... how stupid is this. Drivers basically have to always think about babying car to the finish first. The main cost of engine is in the development. Not actual unit. Trying to saving fuel in F1 and then bringing caravan of 30 trailers per team, not to mention 100tons of jet fuel for air-travel - is utter ridiculousness.

Plus regulations are so tight - all the engineers allowed to do now is to experiment between 16 and 17 slots on front spoiler.

I'd say ban the tricky aero. Free the engine regulations, with some basic limits, give them all the fuel they want, give them engine per race. Stop penalizing drivers for not babying the gearbox through 26 races!
 

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One thing out of the way : I am not a Ferrari fan. At all. Also, nobody wins the whole championship because they are lucky, nor do they lose it because they are unlucky. Those two things said, I really had enough how Mercedes, when things do not go according to the plan, ends up better than the plan while everybody else gets penalized (by fate, not stewards). The fortune favors the brave, yes, but enough already, it is to the point where it is unwatchable.
This is not true. Nobody escapes penalties better than Max. He collided with another car in the pit lane, then continued racing in the pit lane until almost put other driver into pit wall. The penalty? 5 sec. It was lightest penalty of the race. Other drivers got much heavier penalties in the same race for fighting ON TRACK. This is wrong. The real problem is utter inconsistency of stuards decisions. No wander Vettel thought he could get away with cutting the corner, not lifting one bit, then driving Ham into the wall. Was there a track boundaries - he would be toast. Was there sand - he would be toast. As there was grass - he was able just to drive straight and so keep his position. Driving straight through the corner is not good. Rejoining the track in front of other driver - not good. But with inconsistent stuards - he really had a 50/50 chance of getting away with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
What does cancellation of LMP1 class in WEC mean for F1?


As some of you might have heard, LMP1 class is gone. After Audi, Peugeot and Porsche said good bye relatively recently, it really doesn't make any sense to have a class with one big dog in (Toyota) and everybody else out. It DOES sound familiar, doesn't it? F1 should take a hard look at itself and do that VERY quickly. To be fair, proposal is on the table for a budget limit of 150 milion GBP which is exactly what F1 needs to get out of irelevance it is now in.

The second very important impact will come from a class that will replace LMP1 - hypercar class. Word on The Strasse is that the class will go back to fewer rules and a requirement for homologation - meaning, there HAS to be a street going car produced in X quantity identical or very close to your entry to WEC in order to be allowed to compete. This is huge because, IMO, it will

a) show how fewer and lose rules make for a lot better racing ( example : the engine will and can be whatever they want - NA, turbo, supercharged, hybrid and even electric)

b) show how F1 is full of $hit when they let manufacturers dictate engine formula because "production relevant"

c) very probably embarass F1 when street going cars start cranking out lap times extremely close to F1 while making for a lot bigger spectacle. For example, Aston Martin already confirmed 6.5 liter V12 naturally aspirated Valkirye for 2021 season. I fully intend to go to Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta just to hear that monster live while having no intention to go to Austin's USGP under current F1 formula not even if I was getting paid- let alone spending my own money. Just think ... street going Valkirye will rev to 12,500 rpm - now imagine how high it will go in race trim. Goosebumps.

In a very ironic turn of fate, WEC with possibly less than 1/5 of viewership that F1 enjoys might end up being the knight that saved the F1 kingdom. But only if F1 is willing to pull their head out of their collective anus - which is hardly a given.

It will be intersting to see the development of this situation, that's for sure.


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a) show how fewer and lose rules make for a lot better racing ( example : the engine will and can be whatever they want - NA, turbo, supercharged, hybrid and even electric)
Cooler cars doesn't necessarily make for better racing though. Look at the FIA GT championship in 97 & 98 for example, since that's the height of the GT1 era that everyone is nostalgic for. The results look very similar to hybrid-era F1.
 

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Agreed. Also seriously there are no cars that will embarrass F1 cars. All about lap times and even with reduced aero they are breaking lap records.

Mercedes dominance is boring no doubt. I'm enjoying seeing them operate at such incredible levels though. Regulations keep changing and they're still winning. Quite amazing albeit boring.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Cooler cars doesn't necessarily make for better racing though. Look at the FIA GT championship in 97 & 98 for example, since that's the height of the GT1 era that everyone is nostalgic for. The results look very similar to hybrid-era F1.
If I had to cgose between dull race done with cars that shake the earth and leave you without breath (literally) and Hot Wheels toy-sounding things ... I have no doubt for which race I would pay money to see in person and which one I will avoid even on TV.

After French GP farce, even hardcore insiders are saying what we have been saying all along - it is self-aggrandizing and the ONLY people having fun are sitting on the pit wall and garages. Dressed in black managing silver cars.

I still think that the best thing to save F1 would be to bring 2004 F1 cars as accompanying act (instead of F2 or Porsche Cup or whatever else) and let them lose for a 30 min race. Once most of the public leaves 3 laps after the start of the current F1 ... message will be clear.

I have hard time understanding importance of the performance numbers of the cars people own who do not use them to make money - who cares, right? As long as you have fun, whatever the performance numbers. Right?

But I cannot possibly understand people getting excited about lap times and performance numbers of cars they don't even drive while racing is called that just because it is a Grand Prix, but it is really anything but.

Don't get me wrong, there is awesome racing going on from P5 to P12 and it is beautiful. Maybe the solution would be to not show Mercedes car on the TV at all from the end of lap 1 until last half of last lap. Unless you are battling, no TV for you - explain that to your sponsors.

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