Another contributor [to personality crisis in motor racing] is political correctness. I think we’re at the point where we can’t defend this whole argument that racing has to lead the technology for the road car industry. In fact, right now it’s the exact opposite. The road car industry is actually far more advanced today in many ways than the racing industry, especially in the electronics/powertrain side.
Race cars are made to go fast, as they always have been. Nowadays the main emphasis seems to be that road cars are supposed to save the planet. Whether that’s valid or not, that’s the argument. Racing and road cars ought to be heading in two completely separate directions. If there is anything to be learned from racing that could benefit the road car industry, great, but I don’t think the focus should be on that.
Hybrid technology isn’t particularly good for a race car. And the race cars and series using it aren’t inventing anything. They’re basically borrowing the technology from the road car industry to apply to a race car.
The whole concept with this technology – the philosophy of what race cars are meant to be now – is going completely in the wrong direction, in my opinion. This insanely complicated and expensive hybrid technology really doesn’t benefit anyone in racing. The development of the technology for road cars is already as advanced, if not more, than what we see in the F1 or LMP1 cars. So there’s really no gain. Then you can look at the whole aerodynamic thing on top of it – useless for a road car.
Part of the problem is the PR the manufacturers produce. Their PR departments have an agenda, and of course there’s the political side and that’s another agenda. There are all of these marketing efforts, and the racing is just the tiny little bit at the bottom of it. Everything has to conform to all of the non-racing agendas.
From a PR point of view it may be great to talk about these amazing power units that produce virtually zero emissions, the carbon footprint is almost nothing and so on. But all it is, at the end of the day is just that: a PR exercise. I asked someone just for fun to walk over to the parking lot at the British GP where the teams park all their transporters, and there were 350 diesel trucks there to service the 20 cars that were racing on Sunday afternoon. The top teams are using nine trucks just to carry the hospitality units and the equipment, which these days are essentially there to feed the journalists and team members, as virtually no one else has access to the paddock area. I know this may be an irrelevant argument, but nevertheless it’s a sign of the general hypocrisy surrounding this subject.
First impressions always count, especially when you’re a kid.
I pity young F1 fans because modern-day F1 vehicles are not very exciting to watch trackside. Yes, they are fast around the corners and the technology involved is mind-blowingly expensive/complex. Toto Wolff is happy, Lewis is blessed #yo and Jean Todt has political ambitions.
But what’s it like to be at the track these days? The overall experience is somewhat underwhelming: monstrous, elongated, extremely ugly cars with sex aids at the front and no hint of aesthetics whatsoever. Add zero noise pollution to that and you’ll lose all sense of purpose Formula 1 used to have.
It’s also part of the reason why chez Iberianmph dot com we prefer F2 and GP3 to F1 sometimes.
I don’t have children, however I’m nervous about the way things are going: F1 and having kids. Would I take my hypothetical kid to an F1 race if the sport remains the same? Absolutely not! What a nightmare! There’s nothing to see here, please disperse immediately.
Going back to the glorious days of V10 sound (and yes, you can make V10 engines road-relevant again; how? I’ll explain to you in 23 years’ time!) and just looking at how fans were reacting in the grandstands to what was happening in front of their eyes and ears, how could anyone even think there was something wrong with those cars? One Olivier Panis was probably worth the entire 2017 F1 field gently farting on the starting grid.
Also, why there’s no real testing nowadays? We wanna see cars and stars out there. Let young drivers test in proper conditions for once. There’s too many pointless races on the calendar anyway.
Hybrids are dead as dead. Get off my d*ck, political correctness!
Please now go wild and remember F1 glory days by checking out this gallery of Formula 1 cars circa 2002 (Estoril test before the Austrian GP, BAR Honda and Toyota).