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Do you ever race in VR?

  • Yes

    Votes: 167 37.4%
  • No

    Votes: 280 62.6%

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The Engineers have finally been heard!!!

I've been an F1 fan as far back as I can remember, thanks to my Dad. I was born in Nashville, TN, where I still reside, in November of 1964. My Dad was a huge Jackie Stewart fan so naturally, I am as well. We didn't get much coverage of F1 in the states except for the big races like Monaco, the Nordschleife and a few others. It was just enough to keep my interest and see the cars go from being cars, to ground based airplanes to the rocket ships they are today. During that time, there were many hero's that we lost, but the tragic weekend of 1994 at Imola really turned the world on it's head and, imo, overreaction and a loss of sense so to speak.

From that weekend, we saw a great improvement in more protection from the shoulders up for the drivers and I think this has led to some horrific crashes, that would have seen drivers careers ended or worse, where in total shock to me, they simply get out of the car, admittedly a little shook up and sore, and simply walk away or go to the hospital to be checked out and released to race in the very next session or race. I'll never be able to thank the powers that be for protecting our hero's in this way, but I'm afraid the other side of the coin doesn't fair so well.

That same Imola weekend marked the end of active suspension which again, imo, wasn't so bad if it had just been that, but they took the bottom of the car almost completely away from the engineers. It wasn't so obvious at first, how bad this was for racing, but with time and 24/7/365 wind tunnel and aero work, we started seeing the effect of the little flick ups, barge boards, body sculpting etc. of the cars where the close racing we loved was no longer possible. Dirty air was the buzz word, not of the day, but of the next 20 years or so. From 1994 to the early 2000's, racing was still pretty good, but we had tires that would grip and refueling so you had real strategies that came into play. Remember the French GP where Ferrari decided to make it a 4 stop race for Schumacher? I still remember Ross Brawn telling Michael that this would only work, if he could put in 17 laps at quali pace.............and Schumi did it and won the race. I miss the drama of that era and it covered up the disastrous aero effect that was already happening. As fans, we started seeing the affect and complained rightfully so.

The powers that be in F1, not necessarily the teams, did and introduced all kinds of things to try and fix an issue that they created. Meanwhile, the engineers were telling anyone that would listen, if you give us the underside of the car, we can make racing better for everyone. They repeated this every year for over 20 years and finally, the powers that be have swallowed their ever loving egos and pride and said ok, let's try it your way. Maybe they always thought of ground effect with active aero and what failure could mean, but we've seen wing failures, brake failures and carbon fiber suspension failures that are just as dangerous. I mean really, carbon fiber suspension? At lest with metal you have a fatigue window before failure, but carbon fiber is either working or it fails, but I digress;):D The new car that they will be racing isn't very pretty, imo, but it's a start. I'm anxious to see if the changes make for a better show, but I'm hopeful because they've addressed the top side of the car and in theory lessened the dirty air.

Time will tell, I suppose, but I'd love to hear what others think about this subject. BTW, I'm still missing the screaming banshee wail of the V10's and the beautiful gird girls. F1 is a spectacle, just ask Lewis. He was in awe of that V10 Ferrari of Michael's that Mick Schumacher was driving.

Here's Scott Mansell's take on the subject, if you haven't seen it. His opinion carries a lot more weight than a guy from Tennessee's does any day.

Cheers
 
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