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Massa

Pit Crew
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Everything posted by Massa

  1. My proposal: (1) Phase in a serious budget cap. Year one: no budget cap, but a test-run of the reporting system to make sure it works. Year two: implement the cap, going down until year five, when you hit the final number. I don't actually know what is realistic because, for starters, I don't know what the teams spend these days. The other way you could do this is have a "tax" on spending. The four teams that spend the most in a year must pay X% of that budget as a tax, which then goes directly to the four teams that spent the least as a reward. This would both drive budgets much lower and provide some assistance to these teams like Manor or Sauber that are struggling to stay afloat. (2) Allow refueling. Abolish the fuel flow rate cap. Keep the 100 kg of fuel maximum. Q3 = qualify on race starting fuel load. Full range of dry tires (softest, softer, soft, medium, hard) at every race, but limited number of each. Allowed to run anything you want in any session. (As a sidebar, wet tires would include inters, full wets, and monsoons). You'd see interesting strategies. They key to a good race is multiple strategies, whether tires or fuel. I have never seen an exciting Grand Prix where everyone at the front ran the same strategy. That's just not how racing works. Positions do not change from qualifying if there is no variable other than pace, because the fastest cars start at the front already. You need ways for a slower car to get ahead of a faster car, such that you have the drama of whether the faster car can catch back up and get back around. That's good racing. When you ban refueling and when tire wear is too dangerous/fans complain about 2012, you end up with bland racing because the faster cars are always ahead of the slower cars, so of course no one is going to pass anyone. (3) I am fine with F1 cars having tons of downforce. That's what being the pinnacle is about—performance of the car, not what we think challenges a driver. But they should look at how IndyCar designed their car cleverly to allow for close racing. Those hideous pods on the back cut drag big time, which allows for huge tows to set something up. Subtle things like that, which don't compromise the freedom of design and don't play too heavy a hand in "forcing" overtakes (like DRS), can make enough of a difference where it is still in the driver's hands, but also not impossible for the driver to do anything. (4) Better distribution of revenue. Did you know that, outside of the Indy 500, there is no prize money in IndyCar? Every team is given the same amount each year as part of the "Leaders' Circle" program, or some dumb name like that. Let me tell you: the teams have so many incentives to win. Everyone out there wants to win just because of the inherent appeal of winning, let alone the fact winning gets them sponsor money and attracts better talent to their teams. There is no one on this grid who will stop trying to win just because the difference between winning the WCC and finishing 11th in the WCC isn't so stark. Like I said, IndyCar doesn't do that, and IndyCar has some of the most competitive racing on the planet by an objective measure of number of unique drivers on the podium in a single season (in 2016, 20 drivers started every single race; 15 had at least one podium finish. And 2016 was considered by most to be less competitive than prior years). I'm not saying they should copy IndyCar with a flat rate, but every team should get paid, and the gaps shouldn't be so humongous. One points result should not be the difference between competing next year and entering administration. (5) Condensed schedule. I know the travel is an absolute killer on the mechanics, but the reality is that a season that runs from early March to the end of November is hard to keep up with. Every sport deals with this, and F1's the only one that spreads its calendar of 21 events over so many months. Give the mechanics a longer off-season in return for fewer in-season off-weekends. The summer break hasn't cut costs, is a media buzz killer, totally guts the momentum of the championship battle, and gives the fans four weekends to find something more interesting to do on Sundays—which they just may keep doing by the time F1 comes back. If you want TV numbers up, you need a TV product that's more regular than this. You're already fighting a losing battle racing around the world, where each race airs at a different time due to the time zones. Don't make it even harder on yourself by disappearing for weeks at a time, and crowning a champion almost nine months after the season began. I realize the calendar has to be a little bit long to accommodate the fact countries have different climates and so you need to be racing in all seasons, but I think they could do better to condense the schedule. (6) Change the at-the-track experience. Tickets are too expensive, and what can you do at F1? Sit on a hill and hear the no-longer-great-sounding cars whiz past as you look at trees. I'm sorry, but only the most hardcore fans are doing that, and even then, they have to be wealthy. Look, the best way to make new racing fans is to get them to the track! You want people to watch F1 on TV? Have them attend a race in-person and get them hooked that way. The problem is that no one can afford to go to F1 just to "try it out" and no one who did try it out would enjoy it. Other series have major perks: huge festivals (music, food, craft beer, amusements, simulators, even engagement with sponsors that can sometimes be fun if you aren't as jaded as I am), access to drivers at no additional cost, better seats at reasonable prices...give people a reason to attend, give people the ability to attend, and reward people who do attend. (7) Eliminate Fridays. I want to make you mad.
  2. A thought on Liberty Friday: Honestly, I am fine with eliminating Fridays, for four reasons. The first is selfish: I don't watch practice, so what do I care? The second: most tracks sell tickets in weekend packages, which really screws people paying for Friday when they work Friday and can't go (especially those of us in humongous countries, such that to go to F1, you must fly on an airplane, so to be there Friday means you have to fly Thursday, which means you miss work for two days, and chances are, a third day, Monday, to fly back because the races end too late to get a flight home on Sunday accounting for traffic and airport procedures). It's bad value, and you can't split the packages because then no one would buy a Friday ticket, and the whole goal is that if they force it on you, you'll show up and buy lots of food and beer to give them money. You don't buy food and beer when you don't feel compelled to go. The third: If you're going to do a budget cap, you have to equally reduce the costs via the rules. There you go. The fourth: simulators give the teams so much data, and while the actual track conditions change, and drivers may need time to learn circuits, there's kind of an excitement in the teams having a gap in their knowledge. U. S. races: No. I live in the United States. I was paid money to write about United States racing. Without sounding too arrogant, I kind of know a thing or two about the business of U. S. racing, and the business cannot support multiple Grands Prix. COTA's in enough trouble with the sole franchise. They added Mexico, and COTA's attendance went down. Add Las Vegas, and COTA goes under—killing a legitimately nice, permanent venue for the USGP in a super fun city for a three-year run on a terrible street circuit in a tourist trap that will go under when everyone gets bored with the novelty. Don't do it! Saturday races: Sure. Whatever. People can talk about tradition and gimmicks and stuff, but you are literally watching cars go round and round and round. It has no meaning. It has no purpose. I know you can say that to justify anything, but you know what? It's true. We take this s##t so seriously because it fills the voids in our lives and reminds us of whenever we were either kids watching racing with dad or when we weren't divorced and neglecting the wife who left us while listening to Murray and James or whatever the hell our issues are. If you remember, for a moment, that it's a TV show, and that the concept of "who has a faster car" is fun but serves no use in the world, I can't see why Saturday races would get anyone's a## burnt. Budget cap: Do it because it'll make the dumb idiots who have power mad, and your boy hates authority figures. A thought on other stuff My problem with F1 is honestly that I hate things that take middling paths. Either be extremely wasteful and over-the-top at 21,000 RPMs and all the winglets in the world generating so much downforce the cars fall through the track to the core of the earth (science isn't my strong point) or become Formula E. But don't do this, "well, it's kind of green with this kind of 6-cylinder engine and this fuel limit and these hybrids, but it's also kind of still big-time racing and stuff." Just commit to something. Anything. NASCAR is trash, but at least NASCAR knows what it is: trash. And it tries so hard to be trash. F1 has no identity. That's the problem. If Liberty can't give it an identity, Liberty can't save it; all it will be is too watered down to be the pinnacle of motorsport, and trying too hard to be its old self to be something innovative and unique.
  3. Glad to hear that you will be staying!
  4. Welcome. Your last question is certainly one of merit. Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit stand out. Reddit is very large and very active, with the option to not only post in the F1 community, but to use the same account to post in other sub-Reddits of interest. Twitter's great component is the ability to "live-tweet" Grands Prix with other viewers, while also being connected to updates from insiders who enhance the race-viewing experience with information not picked up by TV. Sometimes, even "famous" racing personalities will interact directly with you. Facebook's appeal is that you can customize your groups, perhaps tailoring them for less noise, or doing the opposite and making public posts to get shared around to others. There's also the fact many articles now have commenting interfaces, so people can react to the news right there, rather than on a forum. The forum still has a dear place in my heart, though, even if most of my racing-related content now appears in tweets. Welcome back.
  5. Couldn't resist.

    1. HandyNZL

      HandyNZL

      Couldn't resist them Cadbury Cream Eggs? (youtube it Eric, and then you'll understand)

  6. Welcome to GPToday! You're not the only ice hockey fan on the board.
  7. F1's summer break is ending and so is mine. How quickly that goes.

  8. Don't open spam threads. Don't click the links in spam threads. Don't reply to spam threads. They will be removed as soon as they are seen. Thank you.

  9. Welcome to all these new members! Great to see the discussions growing.
  10. This might be the greatest finish to an auto race ever, and it happened just a few minutes ago!

    1. Quiet One

      Quiet One

      O for George's sake! They were racing at what? 87.51677754%? What a joke.

  11. Given the way these things seem to go, less than welcome, I think we all need to say thanks for not leaving!
  12. Found time for a 5-mile walk today after an outdoor lunch. So pleasant.

    1. JHS18

      JHS18

      Walks are always great to think about things and clear your head.

    2. Massa

      Massa

      That's pretty deep. I mostly just thought about when it's safe to cross the street and how cliché it is for all the people who smoke to do so right next to the "Tobacco Free Campus" sign. :P

  13. Sporano's from another part of the Internet that we don't talk about here. I think him joining here was the next-best alternative to posting about me on the "Missed Connections" section of the North Jersey Craigslist. There aren't any other websites where users can create content out there (this is the only one), but if there were, we'd have probably used some of the same ones.
  14. Lost my little buddy to cancer this morning. He loved doing homework and watching game shows (so pretty much everything I do in my free time). Great dog.

    1. JHS18

      JHS18

      That sucks. Sorry to hear that mate. Stay strong and hopefully we'll get to chat on Friday.

    2. LabradoRacer

      LabradoRacer

      Sorry to hear that, Eric. It's never easy to lose someone who loved you unconditionally.

    3. Massa
  15. Surreal to receive concerned phone calls. A relief to be able to answer them with reports that all is well with the family. I'm sad as a former resident, and sadder as a human being. Close-by or across the world, violence is no abstraction, and its impact is too far-reaching.

    1. Quiet One

      Quiet One

      Glad to hear you and yours are OK!

    2. Rainmaster
  16. The flowcharts in law textbooks are hilarious. Two full pages, going off in every direction, no way to understand...it's like something I'd write about the ALMS.

  17. Sébastien Loeb will attempt the Pikes Peak hill climb, on top of his WRC, FIA GT, and WTCC ambitions. Tested in F1 and raced Le Mans, too. I like this guy.

    1. JHS18

      JHS18

      And comprehensively destroyed the Rallycross field at last year's X Games despite it being the first time he'd driven an RX car too...

  18. The new Spotify is extremely disappointing. I wish I had just put my money into iTunes years ago.

  19. The hardest part of teaching? Having to shake so many people's hands.

    1. HandyNZL

      HandyNZL

      That's sexual harassment

    2. Massa

      Massa

      On their part, not mine. They should know better. They're older than I am.

  20. Will have ~90 cm of snow by the time this storm is over. Winds in the 30-35 mph range. Anyone caught driving will be subject to up to one year in prison. Brutal weather...

    1. Rainmaster

      Rainmaster

      I'm sure there's some Family Guy meme I could write here. But I won't, because I'm better than that.

  21. Teaching my first class tomorrow. So excited!

    1. JHS18

      JHS18

      Best of luck, looking forward to hearing all about it.

  22. Hey there, GP Today.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Massa

      Massa

      It's GP Today now. Embrace it.

    3. JHS18

      JHS18

      It'll always be TF1 to me!

    4. HandyNZL

      HandyNZL

      What? GP 2 Day....next it will be GP 3 Day...Formula Ford Day...and gods be bad...NASCAR Day

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