F1 overtaking slashed in 2017

Discussion in 'Open Wheel Racing' started by FLRacingFan, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    I don't think anyone is surprised.


    Charlie Spencer likes this.
  2. Reck

    Reck Team Owner

    What fixes this? More DRS zones?

    Or is it a matter of the certain tracks just not being suited for passing?
  3. DUN24

    DUN24 Skeptical of the Spectacle

    The Tilkedroms don't help matters I don't think, that's for sure.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  4. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    "This year's crazy Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku accounted for the most overtaking moves in one race, with 42 in total. At the other end of the spectrum was the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, where just one pass was recorded."

    10% of the season's passes in one race.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  5. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    They made significant aero and mechanical grip changes to the cars this year; their goal was to make the 2017 car five seconds per lap faster than the 2015 car around Spain. They succeeded in doing that, but it also made passing a lot harder. Some of the tracks are boring enough to begin with. Fun to watch cars lap around, not so much if you want the order to change on race day.

    This is how much quicker they were cornering at some of the tougher corners on the calendar:


    I think DRS is a poor Band-Aid, and really just ignores the main issue, which is aero. But I'm not sure they'll ever get off of that kick now that it's been around for a while. A lot of DRS passes aren't fun to watch because it's just a guy opening up his wing and sailing past someone who can't defend.
    gnomesayin and Reck like this.
  6. Reck

    Reck Team Owner

    I agree with you.

    It's always kind of awkward seeing the guy getting passed like some kind of schmuck while the other guy goes around him at 5-10mph faster.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  7. kkfan91

    kkfan91 Taking a 10-200

    And this is worlds highest form of "racing" ha
    Candace66 and Charlie Spencer like this.
  8. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    Any guesses why this was considered desirable? To me, it just illustrates the point that faster racing doesn't mean 'better' (more entertaining) racing.
  9. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    There's a lot of belief within F1 that in order to be "the pinnacle" it needs to be by far the fastest, most innovative series in the world, and the cars of the past few years paled in comparison to the cars of 2004 and 2005 when F1 was at a high.

    Of course, they forgot that people also want to see the running order change sometimes, and that they'll always be the fastest series in the world anyways.
  10. kyle18fan

    kyle18fan OWD

    One pass in the Russian grand prix ........ no thanks fellows
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  11. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I can understand having that as an objective, but at some point it becomes a parade. A fast, innovative, expensive one but still just a parade.

    Apparently there are plenty of people who want to see that. :idunno:
  12. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    I think the teams and management are coming around to the idea that it needs to improved. I'd say the fan base is generally split though, a lot of people just want to see drivers push ridiculously fast cars to the limit.



    ^ Regarding Abu Dhabi specifically, Lewis said his engineer told him he needed to be 1.4s/lap quicker than the car ahead to pass.
    gnomesayin and Charlie Spencer like this.
  13. DanicaFreak

    DanicaFreak Green monster

    bring the turbo back
  14. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I swear I've read both of those articles before.

    Oh, wait; those were NASCAR articles I read. These sure sounded familiar though. Funny old world, ain't it?
  15. Zerkfitting

    Zerkfitting Team Owner

    More grid penalties should help.
    Reduced down force helped NASCAR but I don't know how that would apply to F1 where the only evenly matched cars are team cars and they usually don't race each other.
  16. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Indycar is moving away from top side produced downforce (wings, etc) to more downforce from the underbody. This creates much less turbulence and allows the cars to run closer to each other.

    Conversely, Formula One uses a flat bottomed chassis with a diffuser aft of the rear wheel centerline. That's not much downforce, so they get it instead from complicated 50 element front wings, monster rear wings, and all the add on, tack on widgets and wollybobble pieces. These pieces produce incredible turbulence and I think some of it is aimed at disturbing the downforce to the car behind. If you get within 1.5 seconds or so to the car in front, the turbulence blankets your wings and you lose downforce and destroy your own tires. That's why no one can pass in F1.

    The DRS system actually works, but the drivers are allowed to nullify it by chopping, blocking and swerving on the straight. Just wait for the driver behind to swing out, and then you swerve on him. Make him back off and lose momentum or have a colossal accident. Since no one is in this to get killed, drivers simply back off when the have a legitimate pass in the works. Still, the FIA allows this, or at least they will until it gets someone killed. This is why they have zero credibility when they start talking about "safety."

    Finally, the hokey two compound mandatory option tire rules are fake and phony, and do nothing to make the wheel to wheel racing any better.

    They don't need to change the circuits, except maybe get rid of the car width curbing, put the grass back in and move the barriers back to where they were 20 years ago. The tracks have no consequence and I think we are all a little tired of seeing track limit penalties so inconsistently enforced or even not enforced at all.

    The circuits are not the problem because we have had complaints about turbulence since the mid 80s. Before that there was very little complaining about overtaking. It was only when Formula One went to flat bottoms that the cars started producing so much turbulence it started making a real difference to the car behind.
  17. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    The most obvious aerodynamic devices on a Formula One car are the front and rear wings, which together account for around 60 percent of overall downforce (with the floor responsible for the majority of the rest).

    The aerodynamic forces of a Formula 1 car can produce as much as three times the car's weight in downforce. In fact, at a speed of just 130 km/h (81 mph), the downforce is equal in magnitude to the weight of the car. At low speeds, the car can turn at 2.0 g.

    They need to start jerking off big pieces of the car IMO. But like FL said they might lose their precious claim to having the fastest cars.
  18. aunty dive

    aunty dive Team Owner

    The atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars is approx. 0.6 % of Earth’s mean sea level pressure.

    When the tracks up there open none of this will be a problem.
    DanicaFreak and Charlie Spencer like this.
  19. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    I think in terms of pace this was actually the most evenly-matched season in a while. Ferrari and Mercedes were neck-and-neck most of the year and Red Bull had their weekends as well. If they didn't have thousands of thousands of wing elements and vanes and so on there probably would've been a lot more passing there.
  20. gnomesayin

    gnomesayin Team Owner

    For me this graphic represents the heart of the problem. As in many other forms of racing, greater opportunity for passing and competitiveness are the result of higher differential between straight-line top speed and cornering speed. I agree that F1 cars should be the fastest in the world. Those who dismiss that don't understand what F1 is IMO. It isn't just another racing series. However, this shouldn't translate to an absolute pursuit of lower lap times. They could actually increase the top speed of the cars while reducing aero and mechanical grip, and they would be more difficult to drive, which should also be the goal. This would give the drivers some ability to actually out-maneuver each other while cornering. I agree with @Doc Austin that swerving and blocking are real problems that should be officiated more seriously. However, the absurd over-defensive driving is in part a by-product of how difficult overtaking is. If passing were more possible, drivers would be less tempted to go to such lengths to defend position at all costs.
  21. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    Drivers in other forms of racing will sometimes let a faster car go by, esp. early in a race. They expect they'll be able to get back around later when that passing car wears out his tires or brakes, burns off fuel load, etc.

    Of course, that requires a race to run long enough for resource management to outlast wear and tear.
  22. Zerkfitting

    Zerkfitting Team Owner

    How fast is an F1 car? I always thought they were quicker (acceleration, braking, corner speeds) than an Indycar but I thought Indycars were faster (top speed). I don't think F1 runs a track with higher speeds than Indy or California (I think I read Indycars hit 240 mph at California a long time ago).
  23. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    I guess that's a question of the top theoretical straight line speed vs. top speed achieved on series' tracks under race conditions.
  24. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    Best trap speed at Mexico this year was 225 MPH I think, last year it was around 230 MPH. And obviously they brake and corner better than any other car in the world.
    Zerkfitting likes this.
  25. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    F1 has not always been the fastest. For most of the 1960s a sportscars were much faster, and had much more modern technology. It was actually Porsche you made the most advances in composite material with the 908 series, but that didn't show up in F1 until the 80s.

    I believe Formula One needs to make up it's mind whether it wants to be a driver's series or if it wants to be a technology showcase, because you can't have both. You can't have the best driver in the world (Alonso) fighting for his life to get into the top 10 and call it a driver's series.

    I'de like to see F1 go with less technology, and have the sportscars advance the technology. I believe manufacturers should be racing each other in a manufacturers championship, not in a drivers championship. A driver's championship be decided by the drivers, not by the technology. As it stands no, only two drivers had a prayer of being champion the last four years, and this year I'm not even sure it was two.
  26. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    This. It would be nice to know their focus one way or the other. I'm not likely to be interested in a technology-oriented series; it's just not my thing. If they decide to be more driver-focused, I might find it worth taking another look.

    Just me.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 7:06 PM
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  27. StandOnIt

    StandOnIt Farm Truck

    The techno thing is a ruse anyway. I don't see how having a pit full of different tires has really done much or movable vent louvers being cutting edge. Adding more do hickies to the wing gives the allusion they are doing something to the cars. Smoke and mirrors.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  28. Hotrod

    Hotrod Team Owner

    I am just so sold on F1 - hook,line and sinker - that it just did not come
    up on my radar that there was less passing this season. The cars are just
    so incredible and I look forward to next years formula.
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  29. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Not just you. Driver popularity is what drives nascar. Driver popularity is what drives Indycar. Most F1 fans I talk to care more about drivers than manufacturers.

    Sportscars are different because they always have at least two drivers in the car. I have my favorite drivers, but any more I cheer for whomever is the best running privateer on any particular weekend. It's more fun to see someone with a small budget and a Ligier win than a factory Cadillac. While the storyline of sportscars racing is manufacturers beating each other's brains out, it's was also (in the past) seeing the privateers running customer cars and giving the factory cars a bad time, and sometimes even berating them. So, sportscars are not really so much about the drivers, and more about the makes and teams. . That's why I believe the technology belongs in sportscars.

    Formula One can still be a technology showcase, but they have to find a way to eliminate the disparity. The disparity is why you don't see the drivers battling wheel to wheel as much as, say, IMSA, where the cars are performance balanced. I don't want an F1 BOP, but I do want the tail of the field to be much closer to the front. As it is, even when the big teams have disastrous races, the small teams are so far behind they can never take advantage of that.

    I don't know how you could eliminate disparity in F1 and still keep it pure, except to start off getting rid of the fake things like mandatory option tires, DRS, and grid penalties. Fake things never produce good racing.

    Simplify the aerodynamics and get rid of the barge boards and wollybobble tack on pieces. Make them run small, single or double element wings with flat end plates. Then give them some bigassed ground effects tunnels and big powerful motors.

    Simplifying the aero would go a long way toward eliminating the performance gap. It would also allow the cars behind to run in cleaner air and maybe actually get into the fight.

    As far as engines, you can't even see them, so who cares? Just make the motors simple and get the power from displacement. I can imagine with today's technology a 3 liter motor would make terrifying power. Here's another example: The 4.2 liter Gibson P2 motor makes 600hp and will run 24 hours wide open. I'm not saying we should have a spec motor like that, but you can easily see that displacement and lower revs can produce power and stunning reliability. I'm betting a Gibson in a F1 car could easily run half a season.
  30. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    Almost all of my sports car exposure has been within the last six or seven years through IMSA. I have completely different expectations when watching those classes.

    As you noted, I expect it to be about manufacturers beating each other's brains out, about the GT classes pushing production models as far as possible, about the prototype classes pulling out all the stops, about BOP keeping the makes competitive. All of those are built-in features of the series, defined up front, making it easy for me to understand where the emphasis is in the series. Yes, drivers are important too, but I just somehow watch those races with a different mindset than when I watch stock cars or Indy. I do think that my ability to enjoy watching those races makes me rethink my earlier statement about not enjoying a series oriented toward the hardware.

    I can't get that same feeling for F1 with regards to what it's about. Maybe that's just me, or maybe I don't know enough about it. Regardless, I don't get any entertainment from watching the races.
  31. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner


    The teams themselves need to come up with some sort of direction. They want the cars to be road-relevant, so in 2014 F1 introduces cutting-edge power units. Then, when Mercedes build far and away the best power plant out there, the teams get mad that F1 has been reduced to an engine formula. So they open up the aero regs and make cars as fast as they've ever been, except passing is reduced and quite frankly, nothing on the aero side is carrying over to the road car side. And now they're mad about 2021 engine regs, which are supposed to be simpler and more cost-effective, even though they piss and moan about insane budgets all the time, because - guess what - the proposed PUs aren't as road-relevant as they want them to be.

    Charlie Spencer likes this.
  32. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Well, they aren't good races. If you are entertained by a technical exercise, F1 is fascinating, but think moist of us just want to see a good race. I mean, I can't really get excited about Red Bull's new 50 element front wing, but I about jumped out of my shoes when the Visit Florida car dive bombed the Whelen Engineering car at the corkscrew. That was like reliving Zanardi all over again.

    Please, no. Remember cart? That's what happens when you let the teams run the show.

    We really need sensible people calling the shots, but since every race has a controversy of some sort, or an official blunder, and unfair penalty, or a missed penalty, seems like the sensible people are in IMSA and Indycar. That, and the only consistently stable series over the last 60 years has been, like it or not..........Nascar! Maybe those people know something after all.
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  33. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    Oddly, those really do actually do something. They screw up the air to the car behind and makes it impossible to get close enough to pass.
  34. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    They need to come up with something more concrete than just incessant whining. They need to have some sort of vision or definition of what it is F1 needs to be. Because with the way the rules are written, real change can't happen unless the big teams agree to stuff and, maybe most importantly, Ferrari agrees with stuff.
  35. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    A thing of beauty. I dragged my Darling Bride in front of the TV and insisted she watch that one.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  36. Doc Austin

    Doc Austin Team Extreme Flight

    The teams are so busy trying to undercut each other politically they could never work together for something as unimportant as the good of the sport.
    FLRacingFan likes this.
  37. Matthew2470

    Matthew2470 Filthy Casual

    When has higher corner speed ever had a positive impact on any form or racing?
    LewTheShoe likes this.
  38. DanicaFreak

    DanicaFreak Green monster

    jeepers FLRF is like a encyclopedia of racing. I feel like a racing toddler next to him. hey @FLRacingFan we are lucky to have you here.

    I wonder...how fast did a F1 car go at daytona? I wonder how fast they would be at dega,.
    I know they had the cars at 'tona....
  39. FLRacingFan

    FLRacingFan Team Owner

    I don't remember hearing about or seeing any speeds, but I'd be willing to bet if they ran at Daytona they'd probably trim out a lot and be right up around the 230 MPH mark.
    DanicaFreak likes this.
  40. Charlie Spencer

    Charlie Spencer Short tracks and road courses rule.

    230? Hell, Rusty ran, what, 224 at Talladega in a test session.

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