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http://gptoday.com/full_story/view/591240/Liberty_Media_could_scratch_Fridays_from_F1_race_schedule/

 

Once again, the root of the problems in F1 - the cars (too much downforce making overtaking without aids almost impossible) failing to be addressed. Once again stupid, gimmicky ideas being postulated to 'spice up the show'. Christ Almighty - a Saturday sprint race. This is Formula One, not GP2.

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A thought occurred to me more than once, that financial institution not only do not understand exclusivity of a product they own, a problem which can be remedied by simply hiring able managers, but that they do not care, thus they will steer the Titanic at their own will. I for one had fun for several decades, and I've always knew one day it has to end. It's not all doom and gloom, but directions will be new, and first impressions are, I am not a targeted customer.

This is summary of ideas new owners have been talking about, and potential impact (as I see it):

- Friday track time cancelled => Less testing of new parts => Less time to test setup a car = Battle of Ph.D(s) behind computers performing calculations in lieu of "real thing".

- Low level budget (just to get by, forget about developments)

- More races per season (Karōshi?)

- F1 in the morning, F1 for lunch, F1 for dinner, all 7/24

Qty over quality; so, what else is new?

Edited by Sakae

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Gone are the days of Thursday practice 1&2. Friday practice 3 and qualifying 1. Saturday practice 4 and qualifying 2. Sunday warmup and the race plus unlimited testing and what did that result in? Extremely close and exciting racing.

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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.

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I am not on board with imposing budget limit on spending for reasons stated on several occasions in the past. I don't mind debating pro and cons of it, but first I need to hear some counter-arguments how such regulation would be implemented, what kind of benefits it will deliver, etc., because until now all what I read were just headlines from proponents of it. Unfortunately I can think mostly of negatives how such imposition would impact this series, yet not a single positive, which is not to say, that flow of money out of sport is fine, or that that complex regulations are just right; both actually need to change IMO, and there is where focus should be. Next year changes are just touching the subject in headlines, and nothing more. 

Fridays-my view is centered on quality of the race on Sunday, and considering impact of all restrictions to-date, a team I follow, they do need Friday runs, because they use FP1 and 2 for testing new parts. FP3 usually is devoted to setup. My fear is, that eliminating any and all testing, and increasing randomness speaks more about mother luck, Las Vegas style, than pinnacle of anything. If changed as Liberty suggests, there will be of course solution at the end, it is called standardization, however I am somewhat doubtful that consequently series will continue to be called F1, and retain the same players and clientele. Speaking on my own behalf only, that is not an identity of a racing series I came to see be it in person, on TV, or anywhere else.

F1 racing is diversion alright, as many other things in our lives, but it should be then something we enjoy, and not that it will make us miserable.

Edited by Sakae

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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.

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It has taken I imagine a lot of thought and effort to put down a such long post, but its every single point is so far out of my ideas what needs to be done, its not even funny. All issues raised here were discussed under pro and cons angles many time before, but nothing has been refuted here why this way is a "better" way then presented already. Communication breakdown.

Edited by Sakae

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After several presentations of individual positions, I was now hoping for clash of ideas. Take budget issue. I think I've presented on numerous occasions concerns not only why we do need it, but why in technology sector it is not sensibly possible to enforce such regulations. It has never been explained what proponents of such measure hoping to accomplish. Massa is not alone who is proposing budget cap, but other than hearing about it, I am yet to read any explanation WHY and HOW it would be done.  

Sauber and Manor operating on 100 MM as everyone else would only result in exodus by a few teams, and it would redefined F1 at its roots. They work to regulations, which allows for expensive product on a racing track, and that should change. Hearing from someone defining vision to where F1 is actually going would be a good start.

Edited by Sakae

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I've mentioned on more than one occasion also that budget cuts won't work simply because bernie is bleeding the sport dry with this very scam. How can you keep cutting costs every year for the past decade? Where is all this "saved" money going? Back into f1? Nope, if it was, then why the constant cost cuts? It's all going into bernies pocket . If these cost cutting effects actually worked, car should only cost 10 bucks to make instead of still past the 10 million each. I can't say much more obvious it can get, bernie needs to go before the sport can truly flourish again. Until then, all these new regs to suposidly improve the sport are only "band aid" solutions until he is inpeached or steps down. It's as simply as that, think about it with common sense.

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SM asked for internal study on historical cost savings as tangible result of changes on regulations. He has admitted that Ferrari saved exactly zero EUR, because due to competitive pressures if there was a restriction in one area, engineers were asked to find countermeasures, which often were even more expensive. As an example - FiA blocking testing on Fiorano track that Ferrari owns, necessitated to purchase wind tunnel, and hire bunch of experts with doctoral degrees with it. There were many others similar "savings". Again, imposition of budget and removing restrictions would not solve it. Ferrari and alike do not care for competing with Manor. Mercedes wants to see clash of their AMG against McLaren or Ferrari and squash them, that is the goal. 

Edited by Sakae

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On 12/28/2016 at 10:13 PM, Massa said:

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.

Massa, my friend. I agree with all the above bar Fridays. More in-season testing is welcome but they are two completely different things. The latter is all about the continuing development of the cars whereas FP1,2 & 3 are car and race setup-specific. There is an argument that Sat AM should be the only FP slot [90 mins] with quali in the PM. It would suit the punters for sure. I like Sun AM warm up too [30 mins] to shake out the gremlins and set the atmosphere for the spectacle ahead with the race after lunch. I am all for an exuberant, hang-the-expense, balls-to-wall formula with the most powerful, smelliest cars on earth. That what I remember when I was 15 sitting on the grass at Brands Hatch. All we've managed to do since then it seems, is make everything so much more difficult.

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F1 is a very complex and difficult activity with much to understand all correctly. There are all kind of rules in place, and they do not affect individual participants equally, thus racing results differ. There are computer aided strategies in the background, just as there are technical, commercial, and legal disciplines which are all affecting product on the race track, disciplines, which most of us has only superficial understanding. No wonder our conclusions about what we think that we see are so much different, just as our favorite remedies how to "fix the darn thing" do vary. Yet naked truth is, ours is only a one decision to make, namely, take it, or leave it. That's all what we can do.

Edited by Sakae

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This is the snowballing effect that began all the way back in 1998. Why fix something that didn't need to be fixed at the time? That's where it all began. Teams having less room to do things that they had no issue with before and it leads up to the sport today.

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The problem above everything is... innovation. Or lack thereof. The sport is regulated and homogenised to the point all is the same. There's no room for a truly.. GROUND BREAKING car development. When was the last time something was added to a car that truly, TRULY moved the game forward (aerodynamics, ground effect...etc). Rules, money, money, rules. 

 

**** off.

Edited by Unknown?

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Date 2020.06.30   Time 6:09 (UTC)

F1 SECURES $2.9B LOAN AMENDMENT TO HELP WITH FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES

Being entertained by inccuring debt (at undoubtedly high interest loans)? Not to everyone's taste, but whatever consequences.  

Add McLaren...

Add Williams...

Others?

Someone will have to pay for this but I doubt it will be Liberty. Obvious question, is this sport salvageable or actually worth saving under current conditions?

Mr. E must be sipping his gin and tonic with rather large grin on his face.

 

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