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Post by dyrewolfe on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:48 pm

Just read an interesting Sky article (linked to the BBC F1 page) where Hammy says there is no point in him attending meetings with Charlie Whiting, because drivers' opinions are rarely listened to...and when they are, its usually Vettel doing the talking.

I say he damn well ought to go, instead of sulking, because he has plenty to say and it needs to be heard by F1's rule-makers.

Even if his words aren't acted on, at least he can say he tried. As it is he is just coming across as having spat his dummy out.

http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/10214027/lewis-hamilton-people-making-f1s-rules-dont-know-how-cars-work?



Lewis Hamilton feels too many people making F1's rules have no understanding of how cars work and that drivers aren't listened to enough when regulation decisions are taken.

The world champion was criticised by F1 race director Charlie Whiting in the build-up the Australian GP for failing to attend driver meetings at Pirelli's Milan headquarters in February or in the paddock during pre-season testing to discuss new rules and regulations.

"The drivers get a lot of say," Whiting was quoted by the Telegraph. "I can't see how we could give them more of a say. We have sporting and technical meetings to which a driver is always invited.

"We had a meeting in Barcelona. Quite a few drivers turned up which was nice. Lewis was invited but he didn't come."



Plans are afoot to make F1 cars five seconds per lap quicker in 2017, but that looks set to be achieved by aerodynamics. And Hamilton feels that will only compound F1's current problems.

"I was looking at an old picture of a start at Estoril and the two Williams were ahead then the two McLarens and they were wide cars, wheels looked great, the rear wheels should always be way bigger than the front wheels," he added.

"We need more mechanical grip and less wake coming off the car in front. At the moment you see us just sliding around as we don't have much grip as it is on these tyres and then as soon as we get in the wake there is just nothing we can do.

"We are all capable of racing much closer if we were able to get closer. There needs to be changes to enable us to do that, but they don't seem to be making those changes. Give us five seconds more downforce it will be exactly the same, but just five seconds faster.

"I love this sport, I love racing. Ultimately I don't know all the changes that should be made, but whatever changes have been made it hasn't made the spectacle better, it hasn't made the racing better from a driver's perspective."

The FIA and whoever else needs to hear this to understand that simply making cars faster is NOT going to produce a better spectacle.

The regs need to be changed, such that teams can design cars with less downforce and more mechanical grip, to enable closer racing and promote overtaking.

There is probably more to it than that, but this alone would go a long way to making F1 more exciting, for spectators and drivers alike.
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Post by dyrewolfe on Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:55 pm

Hmm...seems Lewis may not need to do anything after all...

This article came up on the BBC site just now.

Drivers warn success could be jeopardised

In a nutshell the GPDA have written a letter to the "owners and stakeholders" about their concerns for the future of the sport and the way it is currently being managed.


What are the drivers concerned about?

The GPDA has been careful not to single out specific issues but collating recent remarks by many drivers and Wurz - and developments over the winter - it seems likely they are referring to a number of issues.

These are:

decisions on rule changes such as double points in 2014, changing the qualifying format and restricting radio communications for this year, and fundamental errors in the formulation of the turbo hybrid engine rules; plus ideas that have been discussed but not yet accepted such as weight handicaps, reverse grids and qualifying races.

the move towards pay TV, which is at the centre of declining audiences.

the failure of the strategy group of leading teams, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and governing body the FIA to make significant progress in mapping out a clear direction on the sport's future.

what is perceived to be an inequitable distribution of income, heavily skewed in favour of the top teams.

making a decision on F1's tyre supplier for financial reasons when many of the teams and drivers have misgivings about Pirelli.

Many of these issues can be traced back to Ecclestone, but the letter does not mention the 85-year-old.
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Post by Fernando on Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:13 pm

Driver Position Statement

Dear Formula 1 stakeholders. followers and fans,

The Grand Prix drivers would like to state our following position:

We drivers love our sport! Since childhood, we dreamed of racing the fastest race cars from the top teams on the coolest tracks against the best drivers in the worid. We seek competition and love F1 almost unconditionally, which makes us most probably the people with the purest interest for Formula 1, beside our fans.

Formula 1 is currently challenged by a difficult global economic environment, a swift change in fan and consumer behaviour. and a decisive shift in the TV and media landscape. This makes it fundamental that the sport’s leaders make smart and well considered adjustments.

We feel that some recent rule changes – on both the sporting and technical side, and including some business directions – are disruptive, do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing and in some cases could jeopardise its future success. We know that among the leaders of the sport – be it the owners, their representatives, the governing body, the teams or other stakeholders – every individual acts with the very best intentions.

Therefore. the drivers have come to the conclusion that the decision-making process in the sport is obsolete and ill-structured and prevents progress being made, indeed, it can sometimes lead to just the opposite, a gridlock. This reflects negatively on our sport, prevents it being fit for the next generation of fans and compromises further global growth.

We would like to request and urge the owners and all stakeholders of Formula 1 to consider restructuring its own governance. The future directions and decisions of F1, be they short or long term, sporting, technical or business orientated should be based on a clear master plan. Such plan should reflect the principles and core values of Formula 1.

We need to ensure that F1 remains a sport, a closely-fought competition between the best drivers in extraordinary machines on the coolest race tracks. F1 should be home only to the best teams drivers and circuits, with partners and suppliers fit for such an elite championship.

Formula 1 has undoubtedly established itself as the pinnacle of motorsport and as such one of the most viewed and popular sports around the world. We drivers stand united, offer our help and support for F1 to keep it as such, and further to make it fit and exciting for many years and generations to come.

It is important to state that this open letter is intended in the best interests of all and should not be seen as blind and disrespectful attack. Thank you for your attention and granting us the liberty to put our thoughts into words.

Best regards,

Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Alex Wurz. on behalf of the Grand Prix Drivers

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Post by Guest on Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:07 pm

Thanks for this information.  Very interesting.  Well done to Button, Vettel & Wurz for their clarity and bluntness.

Some of the farcical things we have seen (double points, knock out qualifying) is just the tip of the iceberg of all the looney suggestions and options that Ecclestone et al have been trying to push through.


dyrewolfe wrote: ... This article came up on the BBC site just now. ...
What are the drivers concerned about?

These are: ... ideas that have been discussed but not yet accepted such as weight handicaps, reverse grids and qualifying races. ...

Some of the new information reveals I was right when I thought Ecclestone was wanting to bring in a handicap system like in horse-racing.

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Post by GSC on Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:00 pm

F1 is in serious trouble. The product is crap and they'd rather throw gimmicks at it than actually address any of the issues. To further compound that, it becomes less and less accessible as it goes to pay tv. So the product gets worse while it becomes more expensive.

Could very much see it become a lower tier sport in the next few years without serious changes.
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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:31 pm

Now Uncle Bernie has weighed in, backing the drivers. That said he could have an ulterior motive - namely to try and re-assert the supremacy of his strategy group, which has often had its attempts to introduce changes thwarted by the teams.

He has written a letter of his own in response to the one by the GPDA.

Ecclestone: Drivers right that sport is in jeopardy


This is sad news indeed if it comes to pass...


The move towards pay TV is another concern - and their letter came on the day it was announced that F1 would no longer be shown on free-to-air TV in the UK from 2019 as a result of a new deal with Sky.

So, we have at best another couple of seasons of F1 being (partially) free-to-air before Sky make it yet another sport exclusive to them. Rolling Eyes
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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:00 am

Latest News F1 is stuck with the new qualifying format introduced at Melbourne for the foreseeable future:
Bernie Ecclestone presented the F1 Commission with two options:
◾to retain the rules used in Melbourne;
◾or stick with the elimination format for the first two sessions of qualifying but with an extra minute's duration, followed by a final qualifying session run as it had been in 2015.
The F1 Commission was unable to reach a unanimous decision so there will be no change in format for the foreseeable future.  Note that Bernie Ecclestone is a member of the F1 Commission.  He really has a monopolistic power over the sport yet he claims it is other people to blame.

This is how Bernie Ecclestone got F1 in this mess:
The year started with the 2015 qualifying format in place, only for Ecclestone to decide he wanted a change in an effort to spice up the racing weekend.
He gave the teams two options:
◾adopt the new elimination format;
◾or keep the 2015 arrangement and have the top eight re-ordered afterwards, moving the fastest cars backwards on the grid.
That second option was just not feasible because teams would aim not to be fastest - it would be a farce as teams would aim to be slow enough to be around 8th fastest to get on pole.  It would have also split F1 from its glorious past as reaching pole would no longer be for qualifying fastest.

I think we have to include Ecclestone in that group that contains Robert Mugabe.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/35896875

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Post by Guest on Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:52 pm

Apparently the latest mess was caused by Jean Todt not Bernie Ecclestone.

The plan to revert to the 2015 format of three knock-out sessions in which all eligible cars run to the end was derailed by Jean Todt, president of governing body the FIA.

Sources say he was not prepared to be dictated to by the teams, so he did not present that option when the decision to change was put to a vote of the F1 Commission, which includes all teams, the FIA, F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone and representatives of the circuits, sponsors and tyre suppliers.

Instead, Todt offered the choice of a slightly amended elimination format - with the first two sessions slightly extended and only the third session running as 2015 - or to stick with the new rules.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/35937850

About time FIA were investigated like FIFA.

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