Decisions and proposals

So we have heard a little more today about what the F1 Commission has been discussing. It is the first time this new body has met and as a result it is a bit new for everyone. January 1 2021 marked the start of the new commercial agreements and with them came a new regulatory structure, which seems a little fairer. I have already been into some detail on this in previous posts so we will just plough on rather than trying to further explain the impenetrable voting system, but as it is all supposed to be more secret than Donald Trump’s tax returns, I am not sure it matters so much.

However, for now that is not an issue because the big thing in the meeting was agreed unanimously – on the basis, I presume, that the deal included a little something for everyone. There were various topics of discussion, so they say, and two are of particular immediate interest: the 2022 engine freeze, and the race formats that are under discussion.

I think others will develop into interesting topics in time (not least the salary cap, the new engine rules and the aim to have another Portuguese GP) but we will gloss over these to some extent and concentrate on the important stuff. The engine freeze, which was asked for by Red Bull, is agreed. And the FIA will not block it. This is very sensible because it means that Red Bull will now be willing to go ahead with its project to take over the Honda engine project and call it whatever they want, depending on what terms Honda was willing to accept.

Back in 2009, when the Japanese manufacturer last walked out, the Honda F1 team became Brawn for a year and then transformed into Mercedes. If one has something similar in 2022 then it could be that in 2023 Red Bull might be using Honda-derived engines badged by a different manufacturer. (Step up to the plate anyone wanting a cheap deal…)

And who is to say that the same package could not be sold more than once? Anyway, we will see how it all pans out, but what we know is that early in 2022 the engine manufacturers will have to deliver a specification of engine that will stay basically the same in 2022, 2023 and 2024, the big difference being that the sport wants to introduce sustainable fuels during this period, which will mean that manufacturers who work closely with their fuel partners might be able to get (or lose) an advantage. We will all start discussing such things as direct air capture, which is quite fascinating…

The quid pro quo for everyone agreeing to this freeze is that they will get new engines in 2025, rather than 2026. And, if all goes to plan, these engines will be cheaper, sexier (noise-wise) and more sustainable. If these goals can be achieved, people think, we will see more manufacturers rushing in as the aim is to create more hybridisation, which people increasingly seem to want, as electric cars still have drawbacks, despite what some of the green mountebanks would have us believe. And just remember before you invest in a fully electric car that snake oil is not always green… even if the snakes are.

However, what I think is the most interesting part of the discussion today is that of the race formats. The plan I hear is for three races in 2021 to have something a bit different. And, Canadians, buy your tickets now if you want to be the first to see it… It’s a risk, of course, because COVID-19 is still swirling around, but F1 says it is going to do everything possible (and perhaps a few things that seem impossible) to have a full season as announced and running the new concept in Montreal is the plan. Having said that there is a clear message about the calendar as well, with the reference to a need to be flexible, which translates into a very clear message: “Things may change”.

So what are these race format proposals? Well, that is still a little bit under discussion but I am told that the idea is to have a Sprint race instead of the qualifying session. This will dictate the grid and it will not feature any kind of grid position reversals (Thank God). It is suggested that the first eight finishers will score points, but the scale of the points will be reduced.

This already happens in Formula 2 where the main race scores 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 and the Sprint race scores 15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1. Thus, winning both races and scoring two fastest laps might, for example, be worth 42 points a weekend. That will make things a little more interesting in the World Championship. However, if one has a bad weekend, it will likely be a very bad one as a no-score in the Sprint Race and a lowly grid position in the main race will mean that a good driver could end up with very little. I spent some of yesterday listening to Formula 2 drivers talking about how important it is to be consistent and so this is what F1 drivers will need to be. Whether than is a good thing for producing better racing is a question worth debating.

What you can say is that the idea being put forward is not philosophically poisonous, as was the reversed grid mumbo-jumbo. The essence of the sport must remain the same, if a little compromised. We don’t yet know about tyre allocations or pit stops but a Sprint race will inevitably be shorter and allow teams to run softer rubber (at least, in theory) and there will be little gain from pit stops.

So what is good about it? Well, assuming it creates more action, there will be that for a start. It will also be good news for fans who find Fridays and Saturdays to be rather dull, adding spice to the current mix. You have to be REALLY passionate about the sport to pay any attention to the Free Practice sessions and some folks even find it hard to get excited about qualifying (although I am not one of them). If there is a Q session in place of FP2 which creates a race to determine the grid, then that’s not such a bad idea. More fans will watch on TV (and other devices), more will go to the tracks. The numbers will go up and, if all goes to plan, the revenues will follow. That’s the plan. I don’t see this being good news for young drivers who want to do FP1 sessions to get experience, but at the same time, I’m not really bothered because an awful lot of the people doing this at the moment are there because of the money they bring, not the talent they have. So, it will mean that when they get to F1 proper (if their money allows them do it) they will have to learn to swim or sink quite quickly. So, is that a bad thing?

I am sure that lot of people have opinions on such matters, so please feel free to make comments (polite ones please…)

70 thoughts on “Decisions and proposals

  1. I can’t say I’m wildly excited about the idea of a sprint race but might it let us see a car on light tanks and soft tyres actually go at their possible speed rather than in tyre conservation mode? If so, that might be something to see.

  2. While I am interested in seeing the sprint race format, I question if this year to try it out , with the reduced funding available from last year making some teams rather cash strapped. An extra “race” is more chance for expensive crash damage at a time when many can least afford it. Could this lead to some teams having to “take it easy” in a sprint to avoid such expenses? Does this make the sprint irrelevant, or leave some teams at a distinct disadvantage? Is the “race” only for the better off teams at the pointy end of the grid anyways? Just some of the many questions that come to mind about the new format that I suspect we will just have to wait and see how it plays out for them to be answered.

  3. Joe, you have the answer to your last paragraph right there. The Sprint Race should mandate that the, lets call them Trainee, FP1 drivers shall drive in one team car in the sprint race so teams will have to decide a bit more to go for developing talent rather than just filling their coffers… I am ‘mature’ enough to have attended Silverstone in 1977 when there seemed to be about forty hopefulls trying to get through pre-qualifying !

    If these Trainees are local drivers then so much the better as tv figures will soar and all will benefit, just as we saw when George stepped in last year.

    1. So one of the Ferrari drivers has to drop out of a race, therefore not scoring points towards the WDC. A lesser driver gets into his car, but hasn’t done any testing or has tested, altered the car, so when Ferrari driver has it back on Sunday – he’s driving a camel and probably at the back of the field.


  4. A sprint race qualifying is fine I guess (though I doubt it will mix up the order more – in fact it will just entrench positions at the front I think), but I do not agree with points being awarded for it. We already see titles wrapped up very early due to having so many races, and it just means those at the front will pull ever further ahead in the points standings.

  5. I’m skeptical that Montreal will happen on time. Canada has banned cruise ships above 100 passengers until Feb 2022, and if that’s any indication of the government’s view, I don’t see a race happening this June.

  6. I’m deeply suspicious of anyone claiming to have followed Formula 1 in recent decades and who has concluded that to increase its viewership what it needs is less qualifying and more racing.

    1. absolutely, and why would people even label themselves fans if they thought the sport was boring to watch. I used to love watching Friday free practice sessions, Id record hours of it & watch it after I got home from work, even though in the grand scheme of things it didnt mean alot, no prizes for winning on Friday or Saturday as I think Ron Dennis used to say, I did it because I absolutely just loved the sights and sounds of F1 cars on a race track.

      so Im not sure what problem F1 are trying to fix here, no fan has asked for a sprint race to be added, tv hasnt asked for sprint races, why are F1 offering it by diluting the core of the sport and the championship and ramping up the costs to race.

      and how many risks do F2 drivers take when the championship hinges not on being the fastest, not the one who overtakes to winsa race, but the one who just finishes all the time, will that create the spectacle we want to see ?

      like most people Ive got better things to do with my free time on a Saturday,theres alot of competing sports, so if F1 wants to go down this route, I guess I wont be a fan anymore.

  7. Once upon a time, I was a huge IndyCar fan. But the changes made to the sport back in the 1990s severely dampened that enthusiasm and I wasn’t the only one…

  8. I don’t like the sprint race idea . Also Joe the reason many dont attend Friday practice is not because they dont want to watch it . Also the two of races suggested for this pilot scheme are Canada and Brazil races that are traditionallt mid to late afternoon ( teatime) Europe so it perhaps will not give fair comparison for F1 on TV viewing figures. Also I presume the qualifying on Friday for the sprint race on Saturday would follow the current Saturday qualifying format? I still hope the powers that be come their senses and scrap this costly and gimmicky . Qualifying has set the grid the Grand Prix for than 70 years! If it ain’t broke dont fix it.

  9. During this off season, i have been captured by the racing of the AC75s in the Americas Cup.

    The stalwarts would much rather see, J-class yachts doing their thing, but the presentation of their current formula brings a race format that is obvious and exciting to any non-sailor.

    We currently have an F1 formula that could easily be called the Mercedes Cup, so anything that might break that awful perception can only be good for the sport, in the longer term.

    If it does not work, then move on, but please don’t knock it without at least giving it a go.

    1. Completely agree about watching the AC75’s. Brilliant. Crash and burn stuff at the pinnacle of sailing. Just what was needed.
      Re engine freeze till 2025/26 how liberal will the powers be? Loving the stories about Mercedes 2 stroke power units…yes seriously.

  10. Will the PU /Mguk/ transmission etc get extra units for the year with all the wear of these extra races. What about the mechanics curfew. Say both team cars are crashed in a fairly big way. Does the FIA plan to give extra time to the team to repair them overnight or do away with the rule of breaking curfew two times per season without penalty.
    Happy you had a good bit of time off Joe but glad your back!

  11. I find I’m quite into the idea of Friday qualifying for a Saturday sprint race. keeps the one lap quali battle alive and offers a race with inevitably different priorities and focus. especially if they let teams tweat the cars in between Saturday and Sunday races.
    less practice = less set up and more unpredictable performance (which we all enjoy if honest)
    I’m into my 4th decade watching f1 and not given to gimmicks but I’m into this concept.
    (death to reverse grids obviously)

    1. Well, this is my 6th decade and I also like the concept. At least, let’s try it and see.
      A qualifying session on Friday afternoon is so much better than a long practice session, especially when they change to long distance running for tire evaluation/durability.
      A sprint race on Saturday could be fun. The argument that lack of competition will be as boring on Saturdays is a different issue that the new regulations will hopefully resolve.

      1. How about two qualifying sessions on Friday and Saturday or two sessions on Saturday? Quali 1 could be the traditional shoot out and Quali 2 could be the single lap / single driver on track session that we had for some time. Combine the the drivers’ times from each session to get their final qualifying time.

        Maintains the traditional elements of qualifying but adds an element of jeopardy with the second session giving them just one attempt at getting it right.

    2. “Death to Reverse Grid.’ Ditto to that Loony Idea. However the penalty is too severe for low points haul with the Sprint formula..Furthermore how does some viewers preferred
      drivers being knockout so early entertaining?.. Further, I’m not sure Qualifying should be scarf iced because it is often both highly-intense and entertaining .In 2020 Hamilton pulled off some incredible poles. e.g. British GP; Russian GP; Portimao GP;and the Styrian GP -One of the most mesmerizing

  12. I like the shake ups that happened in 2020. New tracks mostly but also a driver of the slowest car able to do a race in the fastest one. It kept things fresh and new.
    I was always against changing the core format of a GP especially reverse grids but reading the details I’m excited to watch it.
    Maybe having four or five events a year with a sprint race format could keep it special without diluting the heritage of GP racing. And Liberty could charge the venues with the sprint race format extra! $$$.
    For example, I don’t think a sprint race in Monaco would be the best idea because qualifying is the best part of the whole weekend!

  13. The points proposal needs consideration, in my opinion. I would have thought opening up more places to points (albeit smaller helpings) makes more sense than reducing the number from ten to eight. Shorter races are likely to have less attrition, which will surely result in the same teams and drivers filling the points paying positions, thus adding to the risk of the championships being decided early.

    Driving standards penalties, especially for contact, will need to be rigorous because misdemeanours will potentially affect two race results.

    Purely fancifully, restricting the sprint races to reserve drivers might be fun. The (reduced) points would count towards the WDC and WCC but the dependency of the feature race drivers on their reserve team mates for grid positions would likely be unpopular and not really F1, although it might ensure talent was considered as well as money in the choice of reserves.

    All things considered, I’m interested to see the experiment but I would rather any improved spectacle was achieved through better regulations than stunt formats. Not easy, I know.

  14. How much of Fp1 and FP2, already cut by 30% is about testing new parts rather than set-ups of the car, tyres, fuel.
    Unlike F2, F1 is a free technology car not a SPEC one. The teams bring new parts to most events and gurus like to speculate about whether they will work. How much development /testing can be done with only FP1 & Quali.
    How long before a SPEC F1 like Indycar?!!!!

    1. I think that the cost cap will greatly reduce the number of iterations of a cars that teams can produce in any season.

      I would prefer to see aero limited to perhaps just 4-homologated sets per season, rather than the infinite number the 4-works teams can currently afford.

      I want to watch exciting racing – last year we had 4-divisions within 10-teams. Division-3 was where any excitement took place. McLaren, Racing Point, Renault, Ferrari and Alpha Tauri.

  15. A sprint race for the grid will probably work as long as it doesn’t develop and get as complicated as NASCAR, where it seems you have to qualify to qualify and then race for the grid places below the first row. It is exciting in the flesh though, having been at the two qualifying sprint races and race day for the Daytona 500 way back in 1982. MotoGP make it interesting with a best time from the first 3 practice sessions used to decide which of two groups the rider qualifies in, which means there is qualifying set up and running in each of the practice sessions, as has been described in the comments several times. Reverse grids are silly and potentially very dangerous, even at this level.

    1. The only time NASCAR uses that qualifying system is for the Daytona 500. For every other race on the calendar, it’s the traditional single car fastest one or two lap qualifying run.

  16. Wonder if they would still have 3 practice sessions before a sprint race? Could cut to 2 but then it would hurt the reserve drivers chance of experiencing the cars, more of an issue if they bring sponsor money? You can see why it’s so hard to make changes.
    Last year with races at the same circuit a week apart I wondered if they could have 2 races in a long weekend?. Say qualify Thursday, race Fridayy and again Sunday. I guess TV rights wouldn’t permit it but if you can have 6 Nations rugby or Premier football on a Friday evening why not and the pubs/ bars might welcome F1 on a Friday if they survive Covid. Not a hope I expect.

  17. I am open to near anything, short of reverse grids (I just think it such a stupid concept even for 7-year olds in a Green Machine race). The one thing I love most about F1 is the change element. The cars continually evolve, change shakes things up even if only for a little while, changes force changed techniques and strategies, etc. My mind will remain open.

  18. I really don’t see Montreal happening… Québec is the most hard-hit province in Canada and Montreal is the epicentre of COVID it seems. I think the government would send a really foolish message if they let the GP go ahead as the circuit is in the middle of a highly populated area…

  19. Sounds interesting – I wonder would the sprint race finish setup be the setup required for the start of Sunday’s race or would teams have the ability to change set up and presumably tire choices as well – but then would that be based on an earlier practice session or maybe just make it all open?

  20. I rather like the concept however we need to see it first before any definitive opinion can be made. My biggest concern is that if Mercedes are consistent then this will only further entrench their hegemony…and that is highly undesirable.

  21. Agree, with all those saying its an interesting experiment, but let’s see how it goes first. Not sure points should be awarded until we see how it works in practice.

    I would like to see a Reserve drivers world championship run at selected rounds. 1 driver per team, so 10 current F1 cars in total scrapping it out to show they are worthy of the full time seats in future. Would be open to each teams official reserve, potentially including sidelined drivers like Alex Albon or Hulkenberg as well as young talent. Perhaps just 3 – 6 races per season, run on the Monday after a Grand Prix (so not to affect or over shadow the regular weekend). Probably more something for the hardcore fans, but I think it would be fascinating to watch. I guess the problem would be which team car to rack mileage up on, unless the teams were allowed to bring a third car to each race – and that would bring extra costs.

    1. I’d like to see the Saturday races being only for women… that would accelerate the finding of new talent because teams would actively search for and develop women drivers…

      1. I watched and enjoyed the W series in 2019, and am looking forward to seeing more this year, as support races at the F1 rounds. I like your suggestion, Joe. My only concern is that the FIA/ F1 Management might get side-tracked by the current dogma that anyone self-identifying as female is female.
        Pete J

      2. In the same hardware that would be great

        may I advocate a mad idea ?

        How about a grid penalty of one position for every participant for every 20 points they hold in the drivers championship ?

      3. I reckon you’d struggle to find 20 decent women drivers. There were 20 in the W Series and around half were not up to it.

        1. Sadly at least half the grid weren’t competent to the levels required of F3 machinery. Pretty sure the safety car led more laps than any other driver across the series. Which is a shame, as clearly the top 4 or 5 drivers are perfectly good and it gave them opportunities they might not otherwise have had.

          It’s a tricky problem for the organisers as it needs to be about F3 level to be worthwhile, but there’s no ‘staircase of talent’ below that to provide a qualified field. If driver development were the sole criterion you’d spend the massive budget on a Paul Stewart Racing type multi-series team exclusively for women drivers, in existing series.

          by the by the series also demonstrated the fatuousness of reverse grids, with a reverse grid race lead from flag to flag by a driver who never scored a point otherwise.

  22. Without meaning to sound heretical you can have too much F1. People are busy, and there is lots of content in the world for us to consume in the time available. Sprint races would effectively double the time commitment required to follow a season – that doubling of time commitment would reduce the number of viewers not increase them. There are plenty of people on the fringe of any sport who can wake up one day and decide their interest in a given sport is taking up too much time and drop it.

  23. I think that one of the main benefits to F1 has already been achieved, and that’s the fact that the teams, liberty and the FIA are able to all sit down, discuss rationally and actually agree on something…. that alone has not always been the case.

    Whether or not the Sprint race is a good idea will only be learned over time. I suspect that further tweaks may be needed as the plan unfolds. But if all of the parties involved can continue to work together and to genuinely put the health of the sport and the interests of fans above their own individual short term goals, then perhaps the overall health of F1 (and the viability of the individual teams) will improve and as a result all of us who are (or are yet to become) F1 fans, will benefit.

    Here’s hoping for as full of a season as possible of competitive racing, and let’s hope that you Joe remain safe and well enough to travel to them all on our behalf.

  24. Any race where drivers are more able to race and have to concentrate on tyre management less will be a good thing.

  25. I’m sure someone* was pushing the idea of a sprint race to decide the grid back in the 1980s, which idea got short shrift from the teams.

    * Short bloke, bit of a control freak, not above the odd dodgy deal. What was his name again?

  26. As usual only time will truly give us the answers to all the positive and negative comments.
    Personally, replacing Friday practice with something else is a must. I’m 51 and watch the GP weekend with my son 16 and he can’t take 5 minutes of Practice. I can’t argue with him on this. A combination of race sims, paying drivers, and testing not even disguised as practice has made all of FP1 FP2 and FP3 a boring snoozefest. Should anyone doubt this may I make a suggestion……. Take a listen to Martin Brundle, Crofty and even Karun Chandok trying desperately to make even the most rudimentary aspects of F1 sound exciting, honestly it’s embarrassing.
    My only real concern is engine mileage. If the teams don’t get an extra PU then will they really sprint anywhere?
    One other thing, ban race strategy algorithms.

  27. Sprint races on Saturday, not a bad idea. On the opposite. However I think we should have a fraction of points for the sprint race. An idea: 9-6-4-3-2-1 (old fashion!)

  28. Surely a “sprint” race on Saturday will be an exercise in self preservation. No-one is going to risk an engine or damage to a car just to move up a couple of places on the grid, particularly if they are in direct competition for a championship place. Of course the “dodgem” brigade will go all out for glory once or twice, but then even they will realise that the main event is the main event.
    Also, each racing weekend mileage is going to be extended by about 50%, so what about engine life and for that matter all the other “life” parts on the cars, it may be a “sprint” but you can guess the engines will have to be turned down substantially to compensate for the extra mileage.

    1. Could the opposite be true if a lower grid team prioritised the sprint race over the main one. If your car was tough on it’s tires you could go all out in the sprint race to get some points, knowing that in the feature race you would be falling back anyway.

  29. Quali on Friday, Sprint on Saturday, Race on Sunday. Meaningful action on all three days. No sitting about in garages if the weathers not quite right – get out there and drive. More chances of spanners being thrown in the works as drivers and teams have to push more. But also more chance to recover if things go wrong.

    If it’s wet on any of the three days that is also going to spice things up.

    Glad reverse grids is booted out the door. But lets give the rest of it a go.

    1. ” Quali on Friday, Sprint on Saturday, Race on Sunday. ” Sounds like a Craig David song. What will they get up to on Monday……..

  30. I think that Saturdays need to be more exciting as it brings more people to the sport, on TV and at the track. Shorter races should also appeal to the younger audience looking for instant gratification in all aspects of their lives and not having the patience to sit still for 1h30 during a full-on feature race. The only thing I would make an effort to keep is qualifying sessions when drivers could go full beans. Make it a 15-minute session immediately before the sprint race and a 30-minute session before the feature race. Just time enough for a few laps with fresh soft tires and low fuel levels, allowing teams to quickly change their cars to race trim before the races (it takes seconds to change tires, top up fuel and adjust ride height and wings). People go on an on about how good the 80’s were and I believe that, even though we can’t have qualifying tires and engines anymore, having proper time attack sessions would generate a lot of attention.

  31. Joe, will the sprint races count as races in their own right – i.e. towards meeting/exceeding the number of races (minimum 13?) that F1 is contractually obliged to run?

  32. If we are to have a sprint race on the Saturday, then FP3 should not be changed to mirror the current qualifying format, IMHO. Simply take the fastest time set by the driver over the course of the hour (as per ‘old style’ qualifying). This would at least give the teams a chance to continue set-up work over the whole period, if that’s what they prefer, rather than circulate for three or four laps in each Q session.

    Personally, I’m not in favour of points for the sprint race, unless they are not added to the WDC but kept separate as a ‘Sprint Challenge Cup’ or similar. As pointed out by several others, if the points are combined, the top teams are going to get clear of the others in fewer events which surely cannot add to the interest of the season overall.

  33. I’m all for giving the sprint races a try, but I think they’re giving too many points for it… I worry it’ll mean a return to what was happening in the mid-late 2000s before the points system was changed, where drivers are happy to just rack up lots of podium places rather than fighting for the win.

    Happy to have my mind changed if the format works, but I really don’t think that lack of excitement is why a lot of people skip the Fridays – people have work and three days for one event is quite a lot when there are 20-odd races a year.

    Honestly, I’d love to see F1 try out a straight-up copy of Formula E’s qualifying format – i.e the top 5 in championship order go out first, when the track is green, then the next 5 and so on. At the end, the fastest 6 overall go into a pole shootout. I think that format works really well as it mixes up the grid a bit without being too artificial, and whilst it’s more difficult for the top drivers to get to the front of the grid, it’s not impossible.

  34. I wonder if your inflight movie time has included The Death Of Stalin Joe? That film had some amusing insights on ‘unanimous’ committee votes which may well be applicable…

  35. If you’re going to have a sprint race to decide the grid, then there should be no points awarded – the reward must be the grid position alone (likewise the penalty for failure or accident in the sprint quali). If they do that, then I am all for it.
    I stopped bothering with FP sessions and qualifying some time ago, so a sprint race might encourage me to give up some of my precious weekend time again.

  36. Hi Joe – I can’t see Canadian GP happening at at. Quebec is under pretty severe restrictive measures and Montreal has fared worse than many jurisdictions in Quebec. The thought that in 3 months hoards of visitors will descend upon the city is hard to recognize right now. I believe this race really depends upon visitors to make it viable with the govt paying many if the bills upfront. Canada is recording the highest debt ever and has spent more than any other G7 country on Covid support measures. I hope I’m wrong but it would also be nice to be refunded my $ from last years GP before I commit to this year!

    1. Same issue – last year’s ticket moved to this year, but I’ve also a prepaid hotel room that will likely turn into a pumpkin when this year’s race doesn’t happen – as I agree it’s unlikely to.

  37. First of all, i doubt there will be a race in Canada this year, Covid is still very active here and Quebec (with Ontario) is the hardest hit part of the country. We’re still tightening restrictions and if the patterns observed last year are anything to go by i don’t see the mandatory quarantine rule being dropped even for F1 (just as they weren’t dropped for other Canadian pro sports teams so they now play their “home” games in the US).

    Second, while i like the idea of more action in a Grand Prix weekend, having qualifying on a Friday sucks because some (or rather most) of us still work Mondays to Fridays which basically means we won’t be able to watch. And i do agree there are things that could use some fixing to “spice up” F1, i can’t find much wrong with the current qualifying format either – so why mess with something that works fine?

  38. The decisions appear to have been made and whatever I might say won’t affect matters on bit. I can’t get my head around why these great ideas coming from Liberty are not fully thought out before we hear about them, let alone voted on. Do Liberty believe success is measured in the number of social media posts F1 generates?

    It really pains me to see RB pulling strings at the FIA. I find them to be the most objectionable team in F1, they have no redeeming features that I could support. Exactly what have they put into F1?

    F1 is heading towards silent racing with battery power, why are they making the 2025 engines noisier?

    I heard something really odd about “Saving the Planet Tesla”. Why would the makers of battery powered cars buy $1.5 billion Bitcoin? Bitcoins are generated on computers using vast amounts of electricity, something like £4,000 for one Bitcoin. Why bother recycling food waste when that’s happening?

  39. ANYTHING which bins off reverse grids I will agree to try…sprint race, slow bicycle race, arm wrestling…

  40. I often struggle to watch the qualifying live, due to family/life commitments. While I’m happy to watch qualifying on catch-up, races I want to see live. Spending Saturday and Sunday afternoons watching F1 to the exclusion of my other duties would not go down well.

    My preference to spice up qualifying, which I feel does need spicing up, is to adopt a variation of the track cycling elimination race. All the cars start, and every lap the slowest car is eliminated – slowest on that lap so it may not be the car at the back. It opens up strategy options of low fuelling you car to hopefully gain some places, knowing you won’t be there for the full 20 laps. Consistency pays off, as one bad lap and you are out. Trying to not use your battery boost one lap so you can use it later on when it counts. It also puts more onto the shoulders of the driver as there is not enough time each lap for discussion over tactics, so those who can do more on their own would do well. I have no idea how the impact of yellow flags would be managed though.

  41. Sprint races on Saturday would be entertaining, but the carnage from the “dash for cash” would be difficult to deal with for the mechanics.
    I prefer a series of identical cars. There could be regional cars at each race, supporting the local auto makers. It’ll be a lot cheaper, too.

  42. If the sprint race goes ahead what about tyres? Does this mean that Pirelli will have to supply twice the number? I would advocate that no, the whole weekend must be done on the same number of tyres as normally issued at present.

    Yes having the race for women drivers, one per team, is great idea and totally upsets the established apple cart. It could even create a women driver’s market, rise the profile, credibility and importance of women drivers. However it would inevitably also raise the blame factor!

  43. IMSA tried a sprint race at the Roar before the 24 this year. It was a pointless exercise as the race was a dull procession, whereas the race is what Wayne Taylor Racing prepared for and won first time out in the Accura (Honda).

    I’m still struggling to work out how these changes will save money overall or make the race any more exciting.

    Why do sports think they need to fix what isn’t broken? Personally the best qualifying system I can recall was the “Indy” copy of single car doing 4 laps of which two were timed, but individually. I think 4 laps but an average of the 2 flat out would make fascinating viewing, particularly if the order was randomly generated. Yes sure if George Russell was going last in the Williams, it wouldn’t be exciting for the pole, that battle would have played out, but it would still be interesting to watch how high the car could go.

    The worst was the mad system of a few years ago with cars dropping out before it was quietly dropped. Whereas the most unfair was starting on your race fuel, so you could compromise your race for qualy glory.

    1. Of course we had single hot lap qualifying in F1 for a while but it was not popular with some drivers and boring to watch.
      In the opposite direction we also had Friday/Saturday qualifying with aggregated times from each.
      Overall the current system is probably best.

      1. Personally I think the only problem with the current system is that the teams have optimised strategy to such an extent we got those idiotic situations where at say Monza, everyone is at together but no-one wants to lead. But I agree it’s a good system as it means you can have poke position passing between a few drivers in less than 30 seconds.

        Like I said why fix what isn’t broken and adapt the existing system. Maybe make it 4 session where 5 drop out in each. It’s the same thing but a bit more at stake, as the Q3 would be frantic to be tough on someone as we have 3 top teams, bit if you allowed 6th onwards a free strategy it could spice up the racing a bit more.

        But I still like single car, but then I enjoy Indy Qualifying so perhaps I have a bit of bias.

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