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Featured How to Make Formula One Awesome Again...

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    How to make Formula One awesome again.jpg
    Formula One has become a technological battlefield for major manufacturers with impressive technology at the forefront, but is it still great, and what would you change?

    This is likely to divide opinions, and many will feel that the sport is in a golden age already and nothing needs to be changed. These are opinions, and like any opinion, none are right, and none are wrong. Just different.

    Now in my personal opinion, and it is very much my own opinion and not an official RaceDepartment stance, I think Formula One is well and truly broken at the moment, very much to the determent of the on track spectacle and racing that it produces. Now before I go off on one saying what I think the sport should do to improve it, I need to elaborate a little on where I'm actually coming from...

    Motorsport for me has always been about the sport, about the actual 30/60/90 minutes or whatever of action out on the tarmac itself. I care nothing for the technical side of things, I have zero interest in big manufacturers or outright lap time and top speed. For me none of these things matter, it is simply the action out on the circuit that I come to see, nothing more, nothing less. Racing. Pure, hard, close, fair racing. Simple.

    Now take a look at other forms of motorsport for an example. I'll sight something like Caterham racing or Clio Cup. I know these aren't open wheel cars, but the example is still relevant. These cars have little to no downforce and few in the way of electronic aids. Just simple mechanical engineering and the ability to race close. This is good, this encourages cars to run nose to tail and side by side, almost every single race, which is good. Additionally they have long (ish) braking distances and solid and robust cars, without going lightening fast so everything is manageable from behind the wheel and a pass or a fight can relatively easily last for several corners, with both drivers in control. This is good, this is the exact opposite of modern Formula One.

    Formula One in its current guise is designed to fail, right from the very core. Stupidly high speeds, high downforce, miniscule braking distances, practically no chance of driver error, lack of punishments for going off track... the list goes on.

    So what would I do to make it great again? Well to be honest it is rather simple, and I will try and explain below:

    Downforce - Remove lots and lots of it. I would engineer the rules to remove 75% of the downforce of current Formula One cars, and while I'm at it I would have it engineering in such a way that the cars are heavily influenced to produce considerable levels of understeer (where the front washes out and steers less than the driver requests). Why understeer you ask? Well coupled with a normally aspirated high torque engine, I would like it so the ideal and quickest way to drive would be to "steer with the throttle" and get the car sideways, cancelling out the understeer by using power to break traction at the rear and slide the car round a corner. Think any given lap by Ronnie Peterson as a reference.. Additionally front and rear wings should be spec units supplied by the FIA, designed to cause minimum disruption to airflow and thus increase ability to run closely together.

    Engine - Normally aspirated, no turbo or hybrid / KERS etc. Also I'd have it open to V6, V8, V10 and V12, but limited to no more than X number of each type allowed on the grid each season. So in effect engine manufacturers would have to preference their chosen type pre season, and allocation be distributed out by the governing body. These engines would be basic mechanical engines with emphasis on excessive torque with no electronic throttle control, just a sweet right foot. In my vision due to the relative lack of complexity, this would open the door to customer engines the likes of Cosworth, Hart, Judd and other one man bad type of operations. Increasing variety, increasing supply and enticing variation.

    Engines should be restricted by fuel allowance (not to the level where fuel saving applies of course), but enough to make it possible for example to go flat chat in a slower V6 but have to apply caution in a powerful V12. Think (although not a great example I admit) the 1995 Monaco Grand Prix, where thanks to rain Mika Salo brought home his V6 Tyrell in fifth positon due to not requiring a fuel stop, whereas faster V10 and V12 cars had to come into the pits. This sort of thing, where drivers can go for multiple strategies such as running the V12 rich and stopping for fuel 3 times, V10s stopping twice, V8s once and V6 straight to the flag, how exciting would that be?

    Refuelling - As covered above, bring it back to mix with the engine size variety.

    Gearbox - Manual 6 speed H pattern, no mechanical assistance. With lower speeds thanks to lower downforce and engines designed more for torque than top end, a return to manual H patter boxes and the need to take a hand off the wheel to shift would be possible, and bring back the magic possibility of driver errors and missed gears, increasing overtaking opportunities and adding another element of driver skill and spectacle for the viewer. Any true driving nut knows H pattern is far more engaging that flappy paddle shifters, and produces better racing and more spectacle.

    Tyres - Open the rules to any manufacturer, but keep the compound hard as a rock. In my opinion tyres are necessary to keep the car off the floor, but shouldn't have any impact in the outcome of a race and shouldn't be a talking point during a Grand Prix weekend. At all. They should last easily for a full race distance, but a "joker" set that are quick but last for a maximum of 10 laps should be available, for those wishing to roll the dice..

    Brakes - Get back to steel disks. Make braking distances super long so an out braking move doesn't have to be done in fractions of a second just yards from a corner entry. I want to see it become a challenge to slow down a car, and I want the deceleration zone to be extended considerably. Now I know it will be the same for all cars, so in theory just as hard as it is now, but with extended zones you have more time to get alongside, more time for both drivers to know where you are on track, and more time to out psych your rival. Getting alongside someone in a braking zone is half the battle to overtaking, and with extended braking zones, limited grip and manual boxes, it becomes much harder for a driver to hit the correct marks every lap, and thus more mistakes and more opportunities to pass.

    Rules - Formula One should always be a single race lasting a substantial length of time (i.e. 90 minutes), and for me this shouldn't change in any amendment to the series. Saying that, I think it would be sensible to make Formula 2 as close to the main series rules as possible, however with maybe a few spec items such as engine (FIA developed and supplied). This would allow a promotion / relegation system where in the newly formed regulations it is substantially lower cost to race, so many more teams would submit an entry (think early 90's pre qualification sessions). The top 28 cars would qualify for the Formula One season, the bottom 28 for Formula Two. At the end of the season, the bottom, say 3 teams would be relegated, and the top 3 Formula Two teams promoted. Or something similar.

    Tracks - Bring back gravel traps. When faced with a potentially race ending gravel trap on the outside (or inside) of a corner, drivers will tend to leave a little bit of a margin of safety out on track. This is good, this helps those super talented or brave drivers some wiggle room to rise above the rest of the field, and also increases overtaking opportunities when someone is willing to risk it all on the inside / outside of a corner when his rival is playing the percentage game. Plus I feel mistakes should be punished, which isn't the case at present.

    I could go one forever with this, but this article is designed more as a community discussion point than listening to me ramble on... sorry I got carried away..

    Ok folks, lets have your opinion below.....

    If you like your motorsport fast and open wheeled, check out the Formula One sub forum and get yourself in on the discussion today!

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    What would you do to bring glory back to Formula One? In an idea world, with no limits, what would you change about the sport we love? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  2. samcar304

    samcar304

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    I'd personally like less downforce. put the car in the mechanical grip regions and more in the drivers hands again. Prime example is the picture heading this article. one of the all time greats at car control and there was hardly a dull moment with Ronnie on track.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  3. FeltHat

    FeltHat
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    add ramps
     
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  4. Bjay_23

    Bjay_23

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    So basically you just want the old F1 back? Sorry, but that`s not what they should do. A few things like different engines are good, but h-pattern??? seriously?
     
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  5. Peter Kerényi

    Peter Kerényi

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    Less compounds, less front aero dependence, more competition and Ferrari winning :D

    Edit: For the disagree people who do not share their opinion why they disagree with me, F1 was awesome for me when my favourite team was winning and I'd like it back. I don't see why this would be a controversial opinion. Replace "Ferrari" with your favourite team and you should not have a problem with it.

    About the other points... I don't like a gazillion compounds with their asymmetric naming convention and less front aero would mean smaller dirty air effect which would make following another car easier. Competition is always welcome, I want my favourite team to fight and deserve their victory.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  6. Fabrice Bourguignon

    Fabrice Bourguignon
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    Steel brakes.
     
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  7. Johnpiou

    Johnpiou

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    I understand where are you coming from and yes some of those ideas are nice but i think the fact that the current cars being the fastest of all time is awesome at its own.
    I strongly agree with the tracks part, but brakes would be a huge step backwards.
    Also different tyre manufacturers would be bad because of what happened of Micheal Schumacher in 2005.

    To sum up i think these ideas would be perfect to be implemented in a new type of Motorsports, just not Formula 1.
     
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  8. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

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    Ditch hybrids, ditch durability rules, ditch any form of telemetry, enforce that suspensions should be springs and dampers and completely independent (no form of connection or non linear behaviour).
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  9. Patrick van der Meulen

    Patrick van der Meulen
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    And V8 bigblocks and suspension with like one meter (3ft) travel :D. I like the idea. Super Formula 1 :cool::roflmao:.

    On the serious side. Make it cheaper, make it less complex, make it more about driver and less about technology which factually exclude other manufacturers due to absurd complexity and even more absurd amounts of money to become competitive.
     
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  10. the_Thunderbirds

    the_Thunderbirds

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    Grid Girls! Drivers that have free speech. Cars that can not be manipulated by the pit managers. Stopp doing politics. F*** rich families like Saudi-Arabia. Show the people you making a show for the people. Lower the prices. Stopp letting Hamilton win.
     
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  11. Isaac Chavira

    Isaac Chavira
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    Open development. The only thing that should be regulated and/or changed are:

    • Safety.
    • Overall dimensions of the car and wheel sizes.
    • Let the manufacturers choose engine types and configurations.
    • Eliminate KERS and any driver aid not related to safety.
    • Get Audi, Porsche, Aston Martin, Honda, Ford and Cevrolete in the series too.
    • PRIVATEER TEAMS!

    Just my humble uneducated opinion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
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  12. Angelo Bonito

    Angelo Bonito

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    get rid of all those awful aerodynamic appendages!!!!! like Indy did!!
     
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  13. Enthilzha

    Enthilzha
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    Reduce downforce from the cars wings lessening the effect of turbulent air behind and thus enabling chasing cars to feasibly pass from slipstreaming once again. (Also simplifying the design of the wings would make the cars look cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing.)

    Remove artificial overtaking aids such as DRS and KERS.

    Ensure the funding split between F1 teams is fair and gives smaller teams a fighting chance.

    Remove driver/team radio communication during racing.
     
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  14. Shadowoff

    Shadowoff

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    I agree to a lot of what you said Paul. But at the same time (as someone else already said) is Formula 1 not the Motorsport to implement it. Its just known for its intense speeds and laptimes. I would make it as simple as it might sound like, add BoP... All modern racing series include this and they are all growing while there a few without (F1 for example) which get more and more uninteresting... IMSA, Blancpain, WEC are great examples for growing racing series with some real racing. They dont get popular due to big names, they got popular due to great and intense racing sometimes even over 24h! If F1 wants to be this number one most known racing series they should seriously think about their future and what they can improve. Cause speed and laptimes are in modern racing definetly not the main aspects why people watch races.
     
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  15. felippekiss

    felippekiss

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    simple, just look at the past not so distant so, cars with simple lines without excessive downforce, nor that for this has to return the TC to have gain of mechanical grip but cars that provide a vacuum a cleaner airflow for those who come back to try something without the need of an atrocity called DRS, in addition to a simpler engine, less expensive thus allowing a greater opportunity for all automakers to produce something that can indeed be on the same footing after all they know to produce from v6 to v12 simple or turbo but this current electronic part of battery and every recovery system is where it favors ones and strangles others.
     
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  16. the_Thunderbirds

    the_Thunderbirds

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    Technical things wont do it. It´s the emotional side that is completely missing. There are no developments that nobody has ever seen or wants to see (like e-motors) in technical things. It´s the magic they lost. You can´t do magic with a bit more wing here or a bit gear change there.

    What F1 needs is a Donald Trump! Mr. Lauda you´re fired.
     
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  17. RasmusP

    RasmusP
    AC Stuff and G27 help Staff

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    In my opinion F1 should push the pinnacle of race cars further and further as hard as it can. Like in the old days when crazy ideas lead to something awesome.
    Restrictions should only be made for car-costs (only x amount of engines and car parts (no crashes included!)) but not the development costs.
    Then make the car specs open to everyone. They want to copy? Let them! They want to run hybrid fancy whatever? Let them! They want to run W16 non turbo engines? Let them!
    Let's see what's fastest!

    Ground effect? Well maybe a little to counter the aero disturbance.

    Of course a new set of rules for that would need lot of discussion to come up with something working!
    Oh and limit the amount of little micro parts on the chassis...

    Personally I would love to see a Haas v12 beating a Mercedes hybrid while screaming like hell! It's also a lot cheaper so they can spend more money on the chassis.

    I also like "eco" solutions. Amount of fuel is ridiculous though in F1 while the amount of SUVs on the roads is increasing... I say restrict them to be "clean". No black smoke from an F1 exhaust. Put in some limits for the exhaust air and that's it.
     
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  18. Isaac Chavira

    Isaac Chavira
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    I think they can do the engine choice like this:

    • 2.0L RW3 Turbo (rotary wankle 3)
    • 2.5L B4 Turbo
    • 3.0L V6 Turbo
    • 4.0L V8
    • 5.0L V10
    • 6.0L V12

    Must have no more 700hp/600lb-ft
    Car weight of no less than 730kg (1609lbs, 4oz, 22gr)
     
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  19. Ted Duncan Jr

    Ted Duncan Jr
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    Lets bring back drivers who can drive without electronic help.

    I agree with almost all of what @pauljeffry is suggesting, especially getting rid of all the down force and driving aids. OK ... maybe keep anti-lock brakes. But the rest of that crapola has got to go.

    I think I would make engine displacement and number of cylinders unlimited and restrict everybody to sanctioning-body supplied pump gas ... and limit everybody to the same amount of fuel. Fuel injection is fine ... but no turbos or superchargers.

    6 speed manual gearboxes only. And let's go back to cast iron rotors ... pad material can be open.

    Most importantly, put limits on tire sizes, and everybody gets the same size. This is a rule I would love to see applied to ALL forms of racing. You limit speed with tire size ... NEVER put limits on horsepower and torque. HP and torque are tools a driver needs. NASCAR proved that a million years ago with restrictor plates. What a stupid idea THAT was. And, oh yeah ... NO MORE SPECIAL TIRES OR SETUPS FOR FOR QUALIFYING. Qualify the dam car you're gonna race with.

    If they had limited tire size and fuel ... I think the old Can Am series would still be running. Read The Unfair Advantage and see what Mark Donohue had to say about the tire size wars.

    It's a great dream ... and a very old one. But most race fans are more impressed with artificially fast lap times then they are in good driving.
     
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  20. Davebrave

    Davebrave

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    On the technical side, I would probably only change the engines. Just get rid of the hybrid element and bring back just simple V10 or V12 normal aspirated. But I would also change the races, why not two short races like in other disciplines? Or one single race but regroup the drivers with a safety car, that will give us more chances for overtakes and different strategies.
     
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