BBC BLOGS - Andrew Benson
« Previous | Main | Next »

Circuits weigh into engine row

Post categories:

Andrew Benson | 07:25 UK time, Wednesday, 29 June 2011

UPDATED AT 1925 BST

After months of drawn-out and occasionally bitter wrangling, Formula 1's switch to 1.6-litre turbo engines for 2014 was rubber-stamped on Wednesday by the FIA world council, the sport's legislature. In theory, that should be the end of the matter.

But it may not be that simple. It has emerged in the last few days that many of F1's circuits share F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone's concerns about the new engines.

He believes the ear-splitting screech of the current 2.4-litre V8s is a critical part of the spectacle of F1 and that the introduction of the new engines, which will have a different and probably more muted sound, will reduce the sport's appeal.

Those with long memories in F1 have raised an eyebrow about Ecclestone's new concern for trackside spectators. This is a man who, until this latest political battle, appeared to some observers to have an eye only for the TV audience, from where much of the sport's income comes.

The circuits, though, are a different matter. Because of their contracts with Ecclestone's companies, the only way they can raise revenue out of F1 is through paying spectators. Costs are high and margins are tight. So if numbers will fall, they have a problem.

The circuits had already expressed their concerns privately to the F1 teams and the FIA but their worries became public courtesy of an article in a Sunday newspaper.

It claimed all the tracks apart from China and Korea had signed a letter to the FIA saying they would consider dropping F1 in favour of IndyCars if the new engines were adopted.

The story appeared in a newspaper to which Ecclestone often speaks, was written by a journalist who has close links with him and featured quotes from Ron Walker, chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, who, you guessed it, is close to Ecclestone.

Neil England - the non-executive chairman of Silverstone, who deals with Ecclestone regarding the British Grand Prix - described the report as "a slight misrepresentation of the situation". Silverstone had not, he said, been signatories of any letter but they had made clear their discomfort about the new engine rules.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey on 2014 engine rules

England does, he says, see the "media value" of the new engine - Ecclestone himself has described it to me as "PR" - but says he would prefer to focus on the "things that make a difference".

He agrees that the noise is a large part of F1's spectacle and, while Silverstone support attempts to reduce F1's carbon footprint, they feel a bigger impact could be made in other ways, such as producing co-ordinated travel plans for spectators and teams.

England denies he has been lobbied or manipulated by Ecclestone. "He's concerned and has an awareness that it's a potential issue," England says. "I don't feel manipulated and I don't think that's what happened."

Someone on the other side of the argument had a succinct response to that. "Of course they've been pressured by Bernie!" he said. "They've read all his nonsense about engine noise for weeks and weeks and weeks!"

As I said, the argument has got a bit heated.

The new engines were the brainchild of the F1 teams and they have been enthusiastically embraced by FIA president Jean Todt - with whom, incidentally, Ecclestone does not see eye to eye.

The idea behind them was two-fold:

- to popularise and make 'sexy' a direction road-car manufacturers were already heading with their engines

- and to insulate F1, in a world of diminishing fossil fuels and climate change, from charges that it was wasteful by playing a role in the increased development and sales of more efficient road cars.

The idea is that, by using these engines in F1, the public will increasingly understand that an exciting car can have an efficient, small capacity engine and regenerate as much energy as possible. In addition, it will speed up the development of the technology by exposing it to the white-heat of F1 competition.

Those in favour of the engines, then, say that to dismiss the new rules as having only "media value" somewhat misses the point.

It may be true that persuading spectators to get more buses and trains to a grand prix rather than driving their private cars would reduce carbon emissions more effectively than changing the engines in the F1 cars themselves. But it could also be said that if a significant proportion of the world's car users switched to more efficient vehicles, the effect of that would be exponentially larger again.

Those backing the new engines counter the arguments about noise as follows:

- F1 previously used turbo engines of almost exactly the same size as those being introduced in 2014 back in the 1980s (1.5-litre turbos as opposed to 1.6-litre turbos). No-one complained about the noise then. In fact, that time is remembered as a golden era.

- Audi and Peugeot use turbo-diesel engines at the Le Mans 24 Hours sports car race and have done for several years. These sound infinitely less dramatic than the new F1 engines will do - they are diesel, for a start, and they rev much lower - but spectator numbers at Le Mans haven't reduced. The event still attracts around 250,000 people.

- Many of the 'rebels' are old romantics who hark back to the glory years of the 1970s and the sounds of some of the engines used then. But they forget that the supposedly evocative Matra V12 and Ferrari flat 12 revved to no more than 12,000rpm, exactly what had been the initial limit imposed on the new turbos.

- No one knows whether spectators will object to the sound of the new engines because no one knows what they will sound like. That's because they haven't been in a car yet.

Following the intervention of the circuits, the rev limit of the new engines has been raised from 12,000rpm to 15,000rpm.

According to someone intimately involved with the negotiations over the new engines from the very beginning, this was done in response to the concerns about the noise, "even though we were quite confident that the sound was not going to be anything like as bad as most people feared".

It remains to be seen whether this will assuage the concerns of both the circuits and Ecclestone, although the fact England called for a "period of consultation" suggests not.

But there are many in F1 who believe Ecclestone is devoting his energies and concerns in the wrong direction.

As Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn put it: "There are many considerations we have to make when we are changing the power-plant in F1. Obviously the technology in the automotive field is changing and the big question is how relevant do we need to be and how relevant do we want to be?

"The technology we're working on with these new engines is the technology that is going to become commonplace in road car engines in the future: small capacity, turbocharged engine, direct injection, special Kers systems.

"We don't want to end up as a dinosaur in five or 10 years."

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Personally I prefer turbo engines, with boost acting like todays Kers along with a double powered kers, hopefully we can get rid of DRS by then.

  • Comment number 2.

    Please do not equate V12 Matra and Ferrari engines to 4 cylinder turbos, the V12 sounded fabulous, turbo 4s, I could describe the sound in my own way but it is not for public viewing.

  • Comment number 3.

    Is the re-introduction of turbos then going to mean the re-appearance of traction control etc. or will we end up like Indy where there's no racing in the wet because wheelspin = more revs = more boost = more wheelspin=..... and following the furore about using very late sparks to ignite fuel in the exhuast mainfold to power blown diffusers, will using the same effect to keep the turbo spinning for 'instant' boost also be allowed?

  • Comment number 4.

    One thought. How does "being exposed to thewhite-heat of F1 competition" work when the engine specifications etc are so precisely defined and then presumably homologated.

    It doesn't sound to me that there will any improvements over a period of years, so it won't help the transfer of technolgy into road cars.

  • Comment number 5.

    oh dear oh dear. You have just played into bernie E's hand as this has all been orchastrated in an effort to remove John Todt from the FIA.

    See a link for this....... its very inciteful.

    http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/indycars-replacing-f1-the-real-story-behind-the-news/

  • Comment number 6.

    It's now V6 turbos, isn't it? This Blog's a bit obsolete.

  • Comment number 7.

    F1 people are far too dismissive of the engine noise concern. They're blase about the engine noise as they experience it for 20 weekends a year. But if you ask the typical fan that attends maybe one GP per year or someone attending a GP for the first time what impresses them most about F1 cars, they invariably say the sound. The sound of high-revving naturally aspirated engines has become part of the modern F1 'brand'. You dont mess with a winning brand whether it's Formula 1 or the formula for Coke.

  • Comment number 8.

    Why is there now an issue over the carbon footprint of a 2.4 litre engine? No body seems to care about the cost, or the carbon footprint, involved in the manufacture and transporting of a set of F1 tyres that will only do about 30 miles.

  • Comment number 9.

    Just a quick response in the wake of the comments that have kindly come in so far.

    Re post 6, the noise issue is still a concern to some despite last week's switch to b&w from straight fours.

    Re post 4, efficiency will be critical in the new F1 - with fuel limited, it will be about who can produce the most effective engine while using the least fuel. Any advances made will reach road cars, as some Mercedes' Kers developments have been fitted to its road cars, as Brawn pointed out recently.

  • Comment number 10.

    Change or die, it's as simple as that. If it was possible to churn 700 bhp out of a 1.4 litre Ford BDG engine (circuit racing 70's Capris), then it will be possible to get similar amounts of power from these units today with vastly improved engine management systems and materials.

    Most teams, apart from Ferrari need to sell these smaller capacity (lower weight) forced induction engines to the public, as they are the way forward.

    We've seen the result of Eccelstone's meddling, i.e. a season being over only 8 races in, so if he gets his way again it'll mean huge engines until F1 becomes truly socially unacceptable; well done Bernie ...

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    I think the 1.6 litre turbo era would be good for Formula One, the road car industry and the wider environment.
    I've supported F1 for 15 years and attended many races. Just because the noise levels of the engines might be a little muted compared to the past would have no bearing on my decision to attend a race.
    Formula One must stay relevant to the road car manufacturing industry so we can all benefit from lower emission engines which sustain better fuel consumption.

  • Comment number 13.

    Any advances made will reach road cars, as some Mercedes' Kers developments have been fitted to its road cars, as Brawn pointed out recently.

    **********************

    You've not fallen for that one have you???????
    That's just a marketing gag, it's so that Mercedes' customers can "feel" that their cars are "a bit F1", when really it's something to justify the huge sums they are stuffing down Schumachers throat to end up in no-man's land.

  • Comment number 14.

    "9.
    At 09:07 29th Jun 2011, Andrew Benson wrote:

    Just a quick response in the wake of the comments that have kindly come in so far.

    Re post 6, the noise issue is still a concern to some despite last week's switch to b&w from straight fours.

    Re post 4, efficiency will be critical in the new F1 - with fuel limited, it will be about who can produce the most effective engine while using the least fuel. Any advances made will reach road cars, as some Mercedes' Kers developments have been fitted to its road cars, as Brawn pointed out recently."
    ---

    Andrew if efficiency is a huge problem then why are they not looking at running diseasel engines like Audi and Peugeot do in their LMPs?

    This is more about the big manufacturers wanting to promote their road cars, which funnily enough are having more and more small pot turbo engines introduced, than it is about being efficient. It beggars belief that the majority are conned by such things!

    Oh and on the noise point - they are lucky they aren't going down the diseasel route, they'd really be complaining about the lack of noise then, wouldn't they...

  • Comment number 15.

    There's absolutely no reason to change Formula 1...This is the best season for years and I am sure F1 fans all over the world want more of the same

  • Comment number 16.

    I dont want quiet low reving turbo engines . i have seen them in the 80's they were very quiet compared to when asperated v10's appeared. when they arrived it just added to the atmosphere. like my kart engine super high revving. it sounds brilliant.

    f1 is technological but has the race and entertainment sides to consider.

    when f1 went sadly from v10 to v8 it cost car companys 1 bn to develop them.

    if you go to v6 us still using petrol. but a bit less? stick with v8 and mod them to use gas like scirocco cup following dtm. they use 80% less fuel? maybe a way forward. or a bio fuel like indy cars?

    no to turbo i was my v8 screamer.

  • Comment number 17.

    MotoGP bikes have been using small engines in unusual configurations for years, I doubt you'd find too many people arguing that they sound rubbish.

  • Comment number 18.

    I went to Imola in 88 and 89. In 88 they were running both 1.5l turbo and 3.5 aspirated engines. What struck me most of all was the overwhelming amount of noise these cars made as they accelerated up the hill from the Tosa curve (both turbo and aspirated). Shouting directly into somebodies ear at point blank range was a waste of time. The technology was different I admit but I wouldn't dismiss these new engines.

  • Comment number 19.

    Not sure how a 650bhp v6 could possible sound bad. Different I grant you, but bad? Hmm

    At #14 I feel you're missing the point. The brief for the new engines included making the format attractive to current and possible new suppliers. Relating it to their road cars and the marketing potential therein is the tactic. No one's denying this. If no one wants to build teams engines then F1 is in trouble. Like it or not F1 needs to keep the big manufacturers interested as few others will have the resources to build/develop such units. Making it more relevant to road cars is the obvious solution.

  • Comment number 20.

    "12.
    At 09:11 29th Jun 2011, Markj161 wrote:

    I think the 1.6 litre turbo era would be good for Formula One, the road car industry and the wider environment...

    ...Formula One must stay relevant to the road car manufacturing industry so we can all benefit from lower emission engines which sustain better fuel consumption."

    ---

    You have to love ecomentalists. Never looking at the real picture.

    The 1.6l 6 pot turbos will be no less polluting than any other race car.

    The jets they use to fly the circus around the world put out more emissions than the cars do over the weekend, in fact you or I put out more emissions each and every day through travelling to/from work than an F1 car does. And big business has more of a carbon footprint than anyone, how many companies leave the lights on, heating, PC's on etc. when no-one is even around to use them?!

    And since when has F1 ever been relevant to road car manufacture? All the innovations in road cars have come from other quarters, very little of what is done in F1 has ever filtered down to road cars. ABS, Traction Control, airbags, seatbelts, for example all came from manufacturers doing things other than racing in F1, tire technology in F1 also has no relevance to the road car, if it did we'd all be shelling out for new tires each time we even drive the car out of the garage, and if engine technology in F1 ever had any relevance to racing we'd all be driving round in our little boxes with screaming V8s, V10s and V12s, most cars are in fact 4 or 6 pots!

    The cars that race in Le Mans run by the big manufacturers do more to further engine fuel efficiency than F1 has ever done.

    About the only thing that F1 has ever given us in road cars is the flappy paddle gearbox, and even then it's debatable if it's any good, and is mostly only available on higher end cars, and even then I'm fairly sure that the flappy paddle gearbox was being developed well before F1 even got hold of it...

    No offence meant but you really do need to stop believing what the media departments of the car manufacturers and teams in F1 are telling you.

  • Comment number 21.

    agree with matt apart from vettel runaway this year last few champoinships under frozen engine rule has beeen brilliant. .. maybe sucess ballast is an option?

  • Comment number 22.

    "19.
    At 09:59 29th Jun 2011, racingbod85 wrote:

    Not sure how a 650bhp v6 could possible sound bad. Different I grant you, but bad? Hmm

    At #14 I feel you're missing the point. The brief for the new engines included making the format attractive to current and possible new suppliers. Relating it to their road cars and the marketing potential therein is the tactic. No one's denying this. If no one wants to build teams engines then F1 is in trouble. Like it or not F1 needs to keep the big manufacturers interested as few others will have the resources to build/develop such units. Making it more relevant to road cars is the obvious solution."
    ---

    I am fully aware that F1 wants to attract new suppliers, and no I don't miss the point, but the point that I was making is that people like Andrew Benson try to hide what is the actual truth - that it's purely a marketing exercise, behind the claims that it's based on efficiency and being green!

    Lets call a spade a spade, the car manufacturers are financially stretched at this time, they are involved in F1, and they see it as prime advertising real estate - saying that the engine changes are being done to to make F1 greener and more efficient is pure BS.

    Even claiming that these engines will ensure F1 is relevant to road cars is stretching the truth a bit because F1 has never been relevant to the boxes we all drive from A to B in.

  • Comment number 23.

    im up for the new turbo engines as it will finally give some uncertainty on the cars again. also it may be time for bernie to finally step down and let someone else takeover

  • Comment number 24.

    The only people who care one jot about engine sounds are the die-hards who will still go anyway. The casuals (Bernies target/growth market) do not really care about that.

  • Comment number 25.

    I wonder what the teams would do given a free choice?

    1.6 litre V6 turbo
    2.4 litre V8 atmo

    #18 mentions the turbo v atmo period of the late '80s. That was a poor transition period. Those atmo cars were woefully slow in comparison and only artificially strangling the turbo cars brought the racing closer.

    I would be happy with V6 turbos for all teams.

    As stated in my comment to a previous Blog, the current cars are also artifically strangled and not nearly as impressive sound-wise as they were before the current rev limit was imposed a couple of seasons ago.

    There is a synergy with road cars here. In the 1980's pretty much every self-respecting high-performance road car had a turbo, or two ;-)

    During the 1990's - 2000's they fell out of favour, but driven by the diesel development and the possibility of reduced emissions, they are now back in vogue again. So let's bolt a couple on to a V6 1.6 litre and see what it can do!

  • Comment number 26.

    I was at Brands Hatch in 1986 when Mansell and Piquet Senior utterly stuffed the rest of the field, Prost coming in a distant third, a whole lap behind. I will not easily forget the eardrum-shattering growl of the Williams FW11 and its 1.5 litre Honda V6 Turbo as the pair, five seconds apart, blasted past the South Hill with McLaren's comparatively whiny MP4/2 a long way behind. Outside of Santa Pod, I have never heard a more exhilirating engine noise than those two Williams' made.
    I honestly think this whole noise argument is specious and is being stirred by vested interests. Roar, growl or scream, F1 engines will always make a racket fit to wake the dead and, more importantly, be loud enough to please the millions of petrol-heads who flock to hear them.

  • Comment number 27.

    So let's bolt a couple on to a V6 1.6 litre and see what it can do!
    ******************

    The size of the pots in 6 cylinder 1.6 litre engine are tiny. All the extra friction and rotating mass being flung around will negate any fuel efficiency gains and make a mockery of the idea of reducing weight of the engines and entire vehicle.
    Reducing the weight of the engines used, i.e. the sheer size and mass of the components will increase efficiency and transportation weight and costs when lugging all this gear around the world. It's a no-brainer.

  • Comment number 28.

    So let's bolt a couple on to a V6 1.6 litre and see what it can do!
    ******************

    The size of the pots in 6 cylinder 1.6 litre engine are tiny. All the extra friction and rotating mass being flung around will negate any fuel efficiency gains and make a mockery of the idea of reducing weight of the engines and entire vehicle.
    Reducing the weight of the engines used, i.e. the sheer size and mass of the components will increase efficiency and transportation weight and costs when lugging all this gear around the world. It's a no-brainer.
    ***************

    I never said they would be more fuel efficient. As for hauling the stuff around the world: that's a tedious argument with nothing to do with the engine format. Perhaps we should just have all the races in Spain like MotoGP ;-)

  • Comment number 29.

    current engines with bio fuel / gas must be cheaper than building all new engines?

  • Comment number 30.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again:

    Give them a finite amount of fuel. Allow no refuelling.

    Let them build whatever they want in terms of bodywork, engine etc.

    This will drive innovation and we'll see different cars competing against each other....at least until they work out who has the best answer!!

    The clever bit is of course, how much fuel!!

  • Comment number 31.

    I think the new turbo engines are an exercise in exploring turbo-compound engines, which may be something that develops into road going turbo cars, although I have no idea about the potential of that.

    This is Detroit Diesels blurb about it

    ----------
    With Detroit Diesel's turbo compounding technology, you save fuel without sacrificing power, making it the best way to battle today's soaring fuel prices.

    Hot exhaust (which is normally thrown away) turns a turbine wheel that boosts your engine's power. This lets you squeeze more energy out of your engine, and leaves you with a smaller fuel bill.

    But the really amazing part is that turbo compounding also delivers up to 50 "bonus" horsepower. When you burn less fuel and get more power, can you really say no?
    ---------

    If F1 is willing to explore it in a petrol form I am all for it, but in terms of racing I prefer turbo based boost buttons/modes than engine maps, they tend to be a lot more punchy and come with the fuel consumption negative to mean you have to balance how much boost you use as appropriate to your potential to gain/lose a place.

    As for environmental crap...well they should just rearrange the order of the circuits for the biggest fuel saving, what happens on track is nothing compared to off the track.

  • Comment number 32.

    I never said they would be more fuel efficient. As for hauling the stuff around the world: that's a tedious argument with nothing to do with the engine format.
    ***************
    I disagree, this is the main argument for reducing "engine size" and returning to small swept volume, forced induction engines (possibly using turbos combined with compressors) to reduce emissions (to some extent) and to not appear so wasteful with the earth's resources. Whether it will truly make a difference is another matter.
    As for reducing the calender and not sending the teams to countries that don't have a motorsport history to line people's pockets, where's the problem with that?
    A GP has already been scrapped this year due to it not being suitable to stage it in that country.
    The noise issue is also ridiculous, since when is a car that had no baffles in it's exhaust system being quiet, be serious people.
    It's just Bernie's tactics again.

  • Comment number 33.

    "32.
    At 10:57 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    A GP has already been scrapped this year due to it not being suitable to stage it in that country."

    ---

    Ahem.

    Actually Bahrain was scrapped because of the logistical problems the teams would face with a race so late in the year - they were more concerned with their holiday plans than anything. The rhetoric from the teams had nothing to do with the venue being unsuitable. If that were the case F1 would not go to countries such as China. ;-)

  • Comment number 34.

    anyone who's driven behind a 1994 corsa with a baseball cap wearing numpty behind the wheel knows u can make any engine sound ridiculous given the right exhaust, maybe we should wait and see what they sound like b4 judging. and only complain when F1 says were going electric (its the future)

    i just want to watch good racing so yeah bring on indycar

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm not a fan of the Turbo engine, that said Andrew is right, various races of the Turbo era are regarded as fantastic.

    I personally think they would save more fuel if they traveled more logically rather than global criss-crossing. Apparently the point was raised at the FOTA fans forum, and the response was just swept under the carpet.

    One of the engine manufacturers also needs to get an engine made so it the noise argument can be put to bed. It needs to be ran in a practice session and see what it's like. I know it's not as simple as that, but it would be an idea.

    I agree with @30's idea of maybe just let the teams do what they want, but I think the teams need to be restricted to say 750bhp (as they are now) but they can have and engine in any configuration they want (inline, flat, V or W). Attach a financial incentive saying the less fuel it uses the more money they get at the end of the season. F1 looks green (it isn't and really cannot be made to be so very easily) and we get lots of ingenuity again.

    It's just an idea with quite a few problems in it perhaps, but it's jsut an idea

  • Comment number 36.

    Actually Bahrain was scrapped because of the logistical problems the teams would face with a race so late in the year
    ****************
    The race was cancelled in the first place due to political unrest in the country, which by the way, is ongoing. Even though it could still have been possible, everyone except Eccelstone agreed it was morally unacceptable, and it was postponed.
    If another reason has now been found to cancel it for 2011 then so be it, F1 should not have been going there in the first place, what's next, The Grand Prix of Zimbabwe???

  • Comment number 37.

    "36.
    At 11:13 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    Actually Bahrain was scrapped because of the logistical problems the teams would face with a race so late in the year
    ****************
    The race was cancelled in the first place due to political unrest in the country, which by the way, is ongoing. Even though it could still have been possible, everyone except Eccelstone agreed it was morally unacceptable, and it was postponed.
    If another reason has now been found to cancel it for 2011 then so be it, F1 should not have been going there in the first place, what's next, The Grand Prix of Zimbabwe???
    "

    ---

    Why not Zimbabwe? They go to China and Abu Dhabi, both of those countries arguably have just as bad human rights records.


    But to address your claim that the race was cancelled due to the civil unrest - f it was possible for the race to be held without another race being moved to the end of the calendar the teams would have gone as the Bahrain authorities were promising the FIA, Bernie and the teams that security would not be an issue.

    All of the statements I read and watched from teams were focussing on the possibility of an extended season, not the human rights violations and unrest currently going on in Bahrain. In fact many of the people making the statements distanced themselves on behalf of the teams stating that the morality, politics and human rights issues were not for F1 to be engaging in.

    I mean no disrespect but if you seriously believe that the race was cancelled on moral grounds then you are very naive - F1 has no morals or care for human rights abuses, if they did they would not visit countries like China.

  • Comment number 38.

    I mean no disrespect but if you seriously believe that the race was cancelled on moral grounds then you are very naive - F1 has no morals or care for human rights abuses, if they did they would not visit countries like China
    *****************

    Who said F1 is a morals talking shop?
    The consensus was simply that is was inappropriate and the safety issue was used to excuse the teams' obligation to go to Bahrain as the unrest had not spread far enough for it actually be a serious issue for the F1 teams.

    Whether you view it as a "moral argument" or not, most associated with F1 knew the publicity would be very bad if F1 travelled to Bahrain to "race around in circles for two hours" when there were people dying on the streets being oppressed by their own government.

  • Comment number 39.

    Can the engine suppliers not get together and make a prototype 1.6 V6 turbo, stick it in the Pirelli test car and see what it sounds like? Would save a lot of speculation...

  • Comment number 40.

    I have another "solution" for Bernie, if he's so worried about the sound factor, why doesn't he suggest a device similar to that on Porsches. They use a device to "compose" an exhaust note (for the driver), a loud note cannot be emitted due to European noise emission regulations, but the resonance makes the exhaust "sound" sporty.

  • Comment number 41.

    "38.
    At 11:40 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    I mean no disrespect but if you seriously believe that the race was cancelled on moral grounds then you are very naive - F1 has no morals or care for human rights abuses, if they did they would not visit countries like China
    *****************

    Who said F1 is a morals talking shop?
    The consensus was simply that is was inappropriate and the safety issue was used to excuse the teams' obligation to go to Bahrain as the unrest had not spread far enough for it actually be a serious issue for the F1 teams.

    Whether you view it as a "moral argument" or not, most associated with F1 knew the publicity would be very bad if F1 travelled to Bahrain to "race around in circles for two hours" when there were people dying on the streets being oppressed by their own government."
    ---

    Err, you claim it was cancelled on moral grounds, your words - "Eccelstone agreed it was morally unacceptable."

    So is F1 a morals talking shop or not?

    To say it is inappropriate is to exert a moral point of view, the very question of if something is inappropriate is a question of morality, without morality you cannot know if something is appropriate or not.

    If there was a question of the appropriateness of going to Bahrain when the situation appears to have calmed down, which was the intention, then the same question would be asked of China and Abu Dhabi.

    It is not.

    You are quite right that the publicity that would have been generated would not have been a good thing, but then many of us don't agree with China or Bahrain, both equally oppressive regimes as Bahrain, having a grand prix - where are the concerns of morality or appropriateness there?

    The argument that the race was cancelled because it is viewed as inappropriate to go to Bahrain this year is rubbish because they will be going back next year (assuming the race doesn't get rescheduled again), and Bahrain will still be oppressing it's citizens, any other argument is blown wide apart by the fact that they will be going back next year and that F1 seemingly has no concerns about other countries human rights records or the oppression that they meet out on a daily basis.

  • Comment number 42.

    Err, you claim it was cancelled on moral grounds, your words - "Eccelstone agreed it was morally unacceptable."

    So is F1 a morals talking shop or not?
    ***********

    Actually I said "everyone except Ecclestone"

    ++++++++++
    To say it is inappropriate is to exert a moral point of view, the very question of if something is inappropriate is a question of morality, without morality you cannot know if something is appropriate or not
    *++++++++

    That's the point, if people around the world had not considered it "morally unacceptable" there would have been no "bad publicity"

    ---------++++++++++++++++++++++++++************

    The argument that the race was cancelled because it is viewed as inappropriate to go to Bahrain this year is rubbish because they will be going back next year (assuming the race doesn't get rescheduled again), and Bahrain will still be oppressing it's citizens
    ***************++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You seem to know what's going to happen in this country, more than the journalists that comment on it do...
    You must have some insight...

  • Comment number 43.

    Please do not go down the road of quoting spectator numbers at Le Mans to justify turbo engines. The diesel engined cars at Le Mans make virtually no noise whatsoever so much of the spectacle is lost. Le Mans is a totally different animal. If Formula 1 wants to consider itself to be the pinnacle of motorsport technology it needs noise and not muted exhausts.

  • Comment number 44.

    If Formula 1 wants to consider itself to be the pinnacle of motorsport technology it needs noise and not muted exhausts.
    **********************************
    I agree some of the "spectacle" may be lost, but F1 is supposed to represent the ultimate in technology. Surely making as much noise as you can for two hours is not how you measure technological progress, rather the reverse; unless you happen to be an elected representative in the house of commons or another parliament...

  • Comment number 45.

    The best noise I ever heard, Gilles Villeneuve's ferrari being fired up at 10 o'clock at night in the pits at the 1978 gp at Brands, don't tell me the sound of the engines are not important, F1 is now a boring, predictable shadow of it's former self, a series of sprint races where the tire technicians win, don't make it any less attractive. Better still watch F3, Formula ford or even the Moto Gp bikes if you want real racing.

  • Comment number 46.

    To be honest. As already mentioned even if the new engines dont sound great. they are ways to fix that problem if it arises.

    I can't see what all the fuss is about. It is better to wait and see what happens with the new engines instead of getting all hot and flustered about something that may or may not be a problem.

    on the issue of F1 being a moral talking shop? yes it should not be, but there has to be a line. It just a matter of where the line should be.....

    the bottom line is we should wait and see what happens. we don't know what happens behind the scenes. As they say "Bekara karı boşamak kolay" people who try to understand something from the outside can't because they don't know everything about it.

  • Comment number 47.

    What about "Vorpsrung durch Technik" then?

  • Comment number 48.

    "42.
    At 12:05 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    Err, you claim it was cancelled on moral grounds, your words - "Eccelstone agreed it was morally unacceptable."

    So is F1 a morals talking shop or not?
    ***********

    Actually I said "everyone except Ecclestone"
    -----

    Ah apologies you are quite right you did say everyone except Mr E. But even so that goes directly against many of the statements from the teams leading up to the possible re-instatement of the race, because pretty much all of them were citing logistical problems of the extended season as a reason for not going.


    ++++++++++
    To say it is inappropriate is to exert a moral point of view, the very question of if something is inappropriate is a question of morality, without morality you cannot know if something is appropriate or not
    *++++++++

    That's the point, if people around the world had not considered it "morally unacceptable" there would have been no "bad publicity"


    ---

    Right so why is there no negative publicity over China or Abu Dhabi which many of us can see are just as bad as Bahrain?

    This is where you argument falls flat on it's face because we seemingly turn a blind eye to the oppression of countries such as Abu Dhabi and China whilst claiming that it's inappropriate to go to Bahrain.

    The two reactions are at direct odds with each other!


    ---------++++++++++++++++++++++++++************

    The argument that the race was cancelled because it is viewed as inappropriate to go to Bahrain this year is rubbish because they will be going back next year (assuming the race doesn't get rescheduled again), and Bahrain will still be oppressing it's citizens
    ***************++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You seem to know what's going to happen in this country, more than the journalists that comment on it do...
    You must have some insight.."

    ---

    No no insight. Just a calendar that has been published by the FIA listing Bahrain as the 1st race again and no mention of any further problems with going back to Bahrain. You'll note that I said "assuming it doesn't get rescheduled again", I am fully aware that things could flare up again, but providing they don't F1 will be going back to Bahrain, unless the FIA/Bernie/the teams sit down in the off season and have a good hard long discussion about the morality of doing so.

    But then they'd have to have the same discussion about China and other similar countries they visit, or intend to. Lol.

    Oh and I don't know about you but I really wish the BBC would implement some way of quoting another commentor so that we don't end up with chaotic, almost hard to read posts such this one...

  • Comment number 49.

    What about "Vorpsrung durch Technik" then?

    *****************************

    Didn't VW (Audi ad in fact) chicken out?

  • Comment number 50.

    No no insight. Just a calendar that has been published by the FIA listing Bahrain as the 1st race again and no mention of any further problems with going back to Bahrain.
    *****************

    What if the current govt is ousted? Who says that a new govt will even allow F1 inside or F1 will want to go? And as said, the unrest is ongoing, so it can't "flare up again".

  • Comment number 51.

    "You seem to know what's going to happen in this country, more than the journalists that comment on it do...
    You must have some insight..""
    ---

    Just want to add to my reply to this part of your comment Letsbe_avenue that history shows that Bahrain will continue to oppress it's citizens - take a look at China around the time of Tienanmen, did that change any of the oppression in that country?

    This is how I (or anyone else) can comment on the situation in Bahrain and how it's going to pan out.

    I could be wrong, but looking at history and human habit I feel that I'm not.

  • Comment number 52.

    "50.
    At 12:18 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    No no insight. Just a calendar that has been published by the FIA listing Bahrain as the 1st race again and no mention of any further problems with going back to Bahrain.
    *****************

    What if the current govt is ousted? Who says that a new govt will even allow F1 inside or F1 will want to go? And as said, the unrest is ongoing, so it can't "flare up again"."

    ---


    See my comment above.

  • Comment number 53.

    Right so why is there no negative publicity over China or Abu Dhabi which many of us can see are just as bad as Bahrain?

    This is where you argument falls flat on it's face because we seemingly turn a blind eye to the oppression of countries such as Abu Dhabi and China whilst claiming that it's inappropriate to go to Bahrain.

    The two reactions are at direct odds with each other!
    ***********************************************
    No it doesn't, I didn't say it was OK to be going to any of these countries.

    The difference is that all developed countries trade with both and don't take a proper stand on the internal issues because money's involved.

    However, people can see that this is part of a movement in that region, bringing a more democratic, less oppressive regimes to the fore. To be seemingly supporting a regime that is trying to crush this movement in its country looks and feels cynical (money). People have rightly condemned the attempts of Ecclestone to "persuade" the teams all's well.

    As said, the logistics argument is just a face saving way out, nothing else.

  • Comment number 54.

    As an F1 follower of many years, I can remember standing at Becketts with my eyes closed, feeling and listening to the different sounds of the engines available. There were only three engines if I remember rightly, Ford Cosworth DFV, Ferrari flat 12, and the Renault Turbo. The turbo did have a different tone, and didn't sound as mechanically supreme as the Ferrari, but still quite some noise.

    For those who get to watch a Grand Prix at a circuit, (sadly Bernie has priced me out), noise is only one small component of the experience.

    TV can not give the viewer the sense of acceleration, the carcophony of noise, or the amazing ability to slow down and change direction that the modern F1 car provides. Providing these are kept intact, the actual engine configuration should have little real effect on the viewing experience.

    Two really crucial points were mentioned in Andrew's article:
    1. Ross Brawn raising the point of how relevant F1 wants or needs to be
    2. Why not make efforts to reduce the travelling carbon footprint which must account for more enviromental impact than the race itself?

    How relevant do the manufacturers want their road cars to be to F1 technology?
    For years mechanics in F1 have been able to strip down and replace componentry really quickly due to "hi tech" fixing methods on suspension, steering and powertrains.
    Look under your road car, and its still the same old systems, same old nuts and bolts, and same type of limited life bushes, joints etc. Maybe the manufacturers need longer repair times and built in obscelesnce for their components in order to support the Dealerships who sell their products? Or am I just cynical

  • Comment number 55.

    See my comment above.

    *****************

    Quite, no idea.

  • Comment number 56.

    Look under your road car, and its still the same old systems, same old nuts and bolts, and same type of limited life bushes, joints etc. Maybe the manufacturers need longer repair times and built in obscelesnce for their components in order to support the Dealerships who sell their products? Or am I just cynical

    **************

    I think if you compare the components of a 2011 car with those of a car from 1980 you're going to see quite a difference.
    No more solid rear axles etc, instead blade type suspension.
    As regards obselesence, you don't seriously believe do you, that the price of developing and marketing new models is covered by the screen price? ANd what are the dealers to live off? DO you go to work for nothing, I don't.

  • Comment number 57.

    53.
    At 12:26 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    Right so why is there no negative publicity over China or Abu Dhabi which many of us can see are just as bad as Bahrain?

    This is where you argument falls flat on it's face because we seemingly turn a blind eye to the oppression of countries such as Abu Dhabi and China whilst claiming that it's inappropriate to go to Bahrain.

    The two reactions are at direct odds with each other!
    ***********************************************
    No it doesn't, I didn't say it was OK to be going to any of these countries.

    The difference is that all developed countries trade with both and don't take a proper stand on the internal issues because money's involved.

    However, people can see that this is part of a movement in that region, bringing a more democratic, less oppressive regimes to the fore. To be seemingly supporting a regime that is trying to crush this movement in its country looks and feels cynical (money). People have rightly condemned the attempts of Ecclestone to "persuade" the teams all's well.

    As said, the logistics argument is just a face saving way out, nothing else.
    "
    ---

    Hmm you appear to be backtracking there...


    ============
    "55.
    At 12:26 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    See my comment above.

    *****************

    Quite, no idea."

    ---

    Based on historical facts I have a very good idea, thank you very much.

    Don't get me wrong here, I'm happy to be proven wrong, if the government is overthrown in Bahrain then will F1 go back? Who knows. If there is further violence (there don't seem to be many reports of the level of violence we saw earlier on this year coming out of Bahrain at this time) then will F1 again reschedule the race and plan again for an extended season? Again who knows.

    But precedent dictates that will not be the case. And there is no talk of that being the case at this time.

    And if the government were likely to be overthrown it would have happened already.

    Again history teaches us that the longer a conflict such as what is happening in Bahrain drags on the more it goes in favour of the establishment.

    With all due respect take a look at some history books before you accuse someone of having no idea.


    But again I put it to you that if the thought was one of concern over human rights and all that the race would have been scrapped right from day 1, not rescheduled for a projected time when it would be "safer" as was the case initially. Why was that not the case?

    But of course you can't or won't come up with a credible answer to that, and you will continue to maintain it was scrapped eventually on moral grounds and that the logistical concerns were simply a smokescreen or face saving measure.

    Lol.

  • Comment number 58.

    I've never been to a Grand Prix but I was lucky enough to watch testing at Silverstone a few years back and can honestly say that I've never heard anything like the Mercedes V10 that Mclaren were using that day. It was simply awesome - a proper gutsy growl at low revs with harmonic overtones and a full on soprano scream at full chat down the pit straight into Copse. The traction control system produced deafening cannon-blasts from the exhaust through slow/medium speed corners - spine-tingling stuff. Hmm, excuse me, I need to be alone for a moment...

  • Comment number 59.

    A few comments on this piece.

    1. Indycars will be running turbo V6 engines next year. Do all the circuit operators believe their V6 engines will be louder or something ?

    2. No one in Europe watches Indycar and there is no way any of these track operators actually signed and sent this letter.

    This is all gutter journalism at it's very worst. None of the above is true, past fans complaining about a possible loss in noise levels.

  • Comment number 60.

    But again I put it to you that if the thought was one of concern over human rights and all that the race would have been scrapped right from day 1, not rescheduled for a projected time when it would be "safer" as was the case initially. Why was that not the case?

    But of course you can't or won't come up with a credible answer to that, and you will continue to maintain it was scrapped eventually on moral grounds and that the logistical concerns were simply a smokescreen or face saving measure

    *********************

    A tad arrogant...

    I have not maintained anything of the sort. I have said that due a great tide of opinion that considers driving around in circles for two hours whilst people are dying on the streets in a country where the people are fighting for their freedom from oppression is adjudged (by many people) to be morally wrong (especially in Bahrain as people seemed to have switched off about China).

    Hence potential bad press.
    In the face of such widespread opinion, at the last minute, the excuse was used that the safety of the teams was "in danger".

    A further excuse, i.e. logistics has been subsequently used to abandon the re-scheduling.

  • Comment number 61.

    Oh dear, you really have played into the hands of the tabloids with this one. It was obvious as soon as that report surfaced that it was a power play - no circuit in their right mind would replace F1 with Indy, which has virtually no support or interest at all outside the US - and it didn't exactly require experience as an F1 "journalist" to figure that out.

    It's odd that you waited until Wednesday to pick up on this, when the article was published on Sunday. Slow week?

    On an unrelated note, to those commenters banging on about how much the jets use etc...it's not about how much less fuel F1 uses as a whole, it's about being relevant to the road. Fuel savings will be minimal, but that's not the idea. The idea is to improve public perception and awareness of fuel-efficient technologies, and the forced-induction, low-capacity, hybrid V6s are a great compromise for everyone.

  • Comment number 62.

    This whole thing about the circuits protesting is just another attempt by Bernie Ecclestone to undermine the FIA and Jean Todt. Just as he tried to get FOTA to go against the FIA on the engines and then his backing both sides in the Bahrain argument. He expected Jean Todt to be his lap dog, that hasn't happened so now BE wants rid of him so he can replace him with someone who will be his puppet

    The big giveaway in the falseness of this story is the idea of replacing F1 with Indycars. Which are quieter than the proposed F1 engines (higher capacity v6 turbo with same power will need less revs and Indycar doesn't want a load of road course races outside the US anyway.

    It lists Silverstone as one of the circuits backing this switch to Indycars. You really reckon you'd fill Silverstone for an indycar race? I reckon more would turn out for the BTCC race. The other thing is how could Silverstone dump F1? Haven't they just signed a deal that ties them to hosting F1 races for the next 18 years?

    This story shouldn't be given any column inches as its just feeding Bernies propaganda machine.

  • Comment number 63.

    Frankly, high-revving V8’s or V10’s with relatively small capacity’s (compared to road car V8’s) have never been particular ‘relevant’ to the automotive industry. It’s interesting that 20 or so years later, people have woken up to that reality. I don’t see what is wrong with not being ‘road relevant’, as Adrian Newey has revealed, even when Formula One proposed a four cylinder engine to Audi – they still turned their noses down on it. Therefore, this raises a concern about which new engine builders will actually come to F1.

    There seems to be a consensus that if F1 has engines that are more aligned to road cars, it will appeal to new car makers – but there is no firm evidence of that at all. As number 7 writes, the insanely high-revving engines that beautifully scream has become a great part of Formula One’s appeal. Whilst other forms of motor racing have gone down the sensible, if boring route of downsizing with twittering turbochargers are diesels – F1 has retained its crown jewels of NA engines.

    Finally, these proposed engine regulation changes are clearly aimed at large-scale car manufacturers. But should F1 be so reliant on big car makers, considering a lot of them left F1 with a lot of uncertainty when they got bored in 2008/2009? I think the sport should ultimately retain its current engines and attract more independent engine suppliers, who do not have such vested interests like big car makers – creating a more stable and sustainable future for F1. Plus, engine costs have dramatically declined in recent years - supplying engines could be very attractive to company's like Zytek.


  • Comment number 64.

    Finally, these proposed engine regulation changes are clearly aimed at large-scale car manufacturers. But should F1 be so reliant on big car makers, considering a lot of them left F1 with a lot of uncertainty when they got bored in 2008/2009?
    ***************

    How can it survive otherwise, Ferrari has F1 (and vice versa) to thank for its survival. Most small volume car manufacturers are either financially unstable or owned by volume manufacturers. Its only really volume manufacturers that can afford to compete. Porsche is also a prime example, at the beginning of the 90s, they were all but bankrupt, if it hadn't have been for Mr Wiedeking, they'd be gone, or at least belong to a volume manufacturer... oh wait they are...

  • Comment number 65.

    This argument about engine emissions is misleading. 24 or so cars doing 150 or so laps over about 6 hours for 20 weekends on an engine 800cc less will make no difference to global environment whatsoever. I have no problems with F1 evolving but lets have clarity around the argument. It its about carbon reduction cancel 1 long haul race! All the energy & carbon used in transport, production etc. etc. in getting to 1 longhaul race will contribute far more to carbon reduction than a season full of slightly smaller engines.

    What this is about is relationships with the mass manufacturers. Is Bernie making it easier for Toyota & Honda to return? Easier for Audi, Nissan, Peugeot etc. to enter. I feel this is the true agenda for Mr E.

    As for performance, it does not matter really. The level of performance the F1 boffins will get from these engines will make them as quick, probably quicker, than the current or previous generations.

  • Comment number 66.


    At 13:02 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    *********************

    A tad arrogant...

    I have not maintained anything of the sort. I have said that due a great tide of opinion that considers driving around in circles for two hours whilst people are dying on the streets in a country where the people are fighting for their freedom from oppression is adjudged (by many people) to be morally wrong (especially in Bahrain as people seemed to have switched off about China).

    Hence potential bad press.
    In the face of such widespread opinion, at the last minute, the excuse was used that the safety of the teams was "in danger".

    A further excuse, i.e. logistics has been subsequently used to abandon the re-scheduling."

    ---

    Ah well I apologise then.

    For a moment there I could have sworn your comments do indeed indicate that you are stating that the race was cancelled on moral grounds - i.e. it was deemed inappropriate.

    But now you are saying (or seem to be) that it was cancelled on the grounds that the negative press would have been deemed to be too much to risk a return to Bahrain later on this year.


    Which is it? Was it deemed inappropriate to go there, i.e. cancelled on moral grounds, or was it cancelled due to the negative press potentially being too great if they did indeed go back when the situation could have appeared to have calmed down - as was initially the plan?

    Lets not forget that if the race had gone ahead later this year, and things have calmed down by then, we would simply be looking at a race that is being held in another oppressive country, much the same as we do China and Abu Dhabi. The general public and the media currently are not all that concerned with the events still going on in Bahrain so the negative press probably wouldn't actually happen.

    And you seem to be overlooking (conveniently) the fact that the race was not scrapped on day 1 and was rescheduled for a time when it was supposed to better, and the teams seemingly went along with that initially. If the teams were in fact concerned about the morality (as all of your comments indicate you believe they are) then they would not have agreed to the rescheduling of the race in the first place, would they?

    No need to answer though I can see you are getting tied up in knots and cannot keep any continuity between your posts.

    Lol.

    Besides we are grossly off-topic. ;-)

  • Comment number 67.

    "64.
    At 13:17 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    Finally, these proposed engine regulation changes are clearly aimed at large-scale car manufacturers. But should F1 be so reliant on big car makers, considering a lot of them left F1 with a lot of uncertainty when they got bored in 2008/2009?
    ***************

    How can it survive otherwise, Ferrari has F1 (and vice versa) to thank for its survival. Most small volume car manufacturers are either financially unstable or owned by volume manufacturers. Its only really volume manufacturers that can afford to compete. Porsche is also a prime example, at the beginning of the 90s, they were all but bankrupt, if it hadn't have been for Mr Wiedeking, they'd be gone, or at least belong to a volume manufacturer... oh wait they are..."

    ---

    Er one word - FIAT.

  • Comment number 68.

    Ask anyone at Le Mans what they think of the diesel cars and their response will be an immediate 'Boring!'.
    Fortunately there are not the only ones there, which is no doubt why there hasn't been an impact on spectator numbers.

  • Comment number 69.

    In response to Comment 64:

    "How can it survive otherwise, Ferrari has F1 (and vice versa) to thank for its survival. Most small volume car manufacturers are either financially unstable or owned by volume manufacturers. Its only really volume manufacturers that can afford to compete. Porsche is also a prime example, at the beginning of the 90s, they were all but bankrupt, if it hadn't have been for Mr Wiedeking, they'd be gone, or at least belong to a volume manufacturer... oh wait they are..."

    I don't recall mentioning small-volume car makers, I talked about independent company's that make racing engines - like Zytek to supply engines to teams. I didn't mention small car makers at all.


  • Comment number 70.

    No need to answer though I can see you are getting tied up in knots and cannot keep any continuity between your posts.

    **************

    If you say so. Thought it actually has more to do with the fact that you seem unable to read, misquoting me and the like, but hey don't let anything like the facts get in the way of a good provocation. You should be a journo, or maybe that's what you are...

  • Comment number 71.

    "- Audi and Peugeot use turbo-diesel engines at the Le Mans 24 Hours sports car race and have done for several years. These sound infinitely less dramatic than the new F1 engines will do - they are diesel, for a start, and they rev much lower - but spectator numbers at Le Mans haven't reduced. The event still attracts around 250,000 people."

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Have you seen the spectator numbers for The Tour De France?

  • Comment number 72.

    So it wasn't you that said
    *******
    But should F1 be so reliant on big car makers?

  • Comment number 73.

    "70.
    At 13:33 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    No need to answer though I can see you are getting tied up in knots and cannot keep any continuity between your posts.

    **************

    If you say so. Thought it actually has more to do with the fact that you seem unable to read, misquoting me and the like, but hey don't let anything like the facts get in the way of a good provocation. You should be a journo, or maybe that's what you are... "

    ---

    I have misquoted you once, for which I apologised.

    All you have done is state that I have no idea - which in itself is insulting, and yet you feel no need to apologise. Hmm...

    Tell me seeing as you seem to know it all, what are the facts?

    You have claimed the race was called off because it was deemed inappropriate - and after I stated that it was actually cancelled on logistical grounds you claimed it was cancelled because of the morality of going there at a time when the country is oppressing it's people.

    Then you have gone round in circles changing your claim of why it was cancelled from morality (inappropriateness) to the potential negative bad press being the reason, because you have no answer to the question of why the races in China and Abu Dhabi are held despite them being equally as oppressive as Bahrain has been and is continuing to be. (I can see the level of violence being an issue, but that still does not explain why races have been held at Bahrain and will no doubt continue to be held providing the situation is no worse in the future.)

    The fact is that the race was put on hold for a period of time, and then rescheduled. At no point at the time the race was initially rescheduled did anyone express moral concerns about the race going ahead at the rescheduled date, it wasn't cancelled until the teams stood up and said "Oi! We can't do such a long season!".

    Now from an observers point of view that does not seem like a moral argument, and as I stated many of the statements from the teams distanced themselves from the moral issues.

    However from all of your comments it seems you are denying even that!

    But lets not get heated and personal and insulting, I am no more a journalist than you are, and much of what you are saying could be interpreted in the same way.

    After all I find when one starts slinging insults and accusations that one has lost a debate and doesn't have any further valid point to make. ;-)

    Care to comment on my comment regarding your comment about small car makers being owned by mass production car companies and Ferrari only having F1 (and vice versa) to thank for it's survival?

    Lol.

  • Comment number 74.

    How relevant are 2.4 litre V8 engines at present anyway? Diesels have increased in popularity massively in the UK over the last decade and small/medium-sized cars don't use engines like this much anyway. Fuel efficiency, yes; but this is motor racing; the actual carbon footprint of the F1 cars themselves over the course of a full season is miniscule compared to spectator travel. Forget the issues over noise; if cicuits want to increase spectators then they need to make it cheaper to attend or Bernie has to give some of the revenues back to the cicuits.

  • Comment number 75.

    Response to comment 72, calm down dear - no need to get all hot and bothered. I did indeed raise the question about F1 being so reliant on big car makers, and as as a solution, I stated that attracting independent motor racing engine makers (quite different to small volume car makers) as a solution for stability. Company's like Zytek - who specialise in making racing engines and not making cars.

    If you poor darling cannot grasp what I'm saying, it's terribly tragic.

  • Comment number 76.

    After all I find when one starts slinging insults and accusations that one has lost a debate and doesn't have any further valid point to make. ;-)
    ********

    I don't recall flinging insults but there, again if you say so.

    Quoting FIAT is not the basis of a discussion.

  • Comment number 77.

    If you poor darling cannot grasp what I'm saying, it's terribly tragic
    **********************

    Hmmm, you mean my making an argument that the opposite of your opinion is correct and pointing out that I didn't misquote you was being horribly aggressive?

    OK sorry, you win.

  • Comment number 78.

    Nice piece Andrew, I have the following comments...

    I first heard an F1 engine in 1992 at the Australian Grand Prix.

    I've never forgotten the shriek of Honda and Ferrari V12s and the might of the Renault V10s.

    I think F1 is going down totally the wrong track. We should have MORE cylinders, not less!

    I can't understand why Max Mosley didn't just bring in a rev limit for the V10s rather than introducing V8s for 2006.

    To my mind the V8s sound pretty average in comparison.

    As for your comparison to Peugeot and Audi at Le Mans... I think fans are attracted to the closeness of competition there but most would still much prefer to have a race car which made a decent sound.

    Those makes just sound like something's missing...

    Cheers!

    P

  • Comment number 79.

    hmmm. A reduction in the screach would be a good thing for trackside viewing. Regularly attending historic races the 70's and 80's growls are far better on the ears than the vespa like screaches of the 18,000 rpm era! Especially if you want to discuss the race with other spectators....

  • Comment number 80.

    76.
    At 13:51 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    After all I find when one starts slinging insults and accusations that one has lost a debate and doesn't have any further valid point to make. ;-)
    ********

    I don't recall flinging insults but there, again if you say so.

    Quoting FIAT is not the basis of a discussion.

    ---

    No of course you haven't been "flinging insults", you've just been rather condescending in claiming I have no idea...

    And whilst I have apologised for misreading your comment and misquoting that comment - once, you do seem to not see reason to apologise for your assumption that I have no idea.

    And you have the nerve to imply I am a "tad arrogant"...


    And actually quoting FIAT is a basis of a discussion because it points out a major flaw in your comment and shows that you seemingly can't put a coherent argument together.

    You claimed Ferrari had F1 to thank for it's survival but then you go on to say that small car companies are either financially unstable or owned by mass car manufacturers and you stated that only mass volume car manufacturers can afford to compete.

    That seems to me (perhaps I am misunderstanding your point) that you believe that Ferrari have only survived because of F1 and are indeed one of those financially unstable small volume car companies.

    Now if Ferrari only had F1 to thank for it's survival just what do you suppose the ownership of FIAT has done for them? Nothing?

    FIAT have had controlling shares in Ferrari since 1969 so if you are indeed implying that Ferrari have only survived because of F1, i.e. that as a small volume car company they are financially unstable and not owned by a mass volume car company then you are grossly erroneous.

  • Comment number 81.

    Now if Ferrari only had F1 to thank for it's survival just what do you suppose the ownership of FIAT has done for them? Nothing?
    ***************************************

    If Ferrari didn't take part in F1 then it would go into decline as Porsche did, i.e. no advert for its product which is squarely aimed at success in motor sport, where it was born.
    This actually makes my argument, such small volume manufacturers can only survive if it has a multi-national behind them, Jaguar as another example.

    The Jaguar F1 team was also basically only a Ford team anyway, but even the company itself could not survive without a volume producer behind it.

  • Comment number 82.

    Equating engine noise with potency is like equating the cleaning capacity of detergent with the amount of bubbles it produces.
    No wonder we have idiots who doctor their silencers in a pathetic attempt to impress people when they go by.

  • Comment number 83.

    I remember the days when your ear drums felt close to bursting because of the noise and it added to the atmosphere. I'm sure there are other ways for reducing the carbon footprint, after all, there are over 1600 lights at the Singapore Grand Prix which require the power of over 3,000,000 Watts.

  • Comment number 84.

    "81.
    At 14:46 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    Now if Ferrari only had F1 to thank for it's survival just what do you suppose the ownership of FIAT has done for them? Nothing?
    ***************************************

    If Ferrari didn't take part in F1 then it would go into decline as Porsche did, i.e. no advert for its product which is squarely aimed at success in motor sport, where it was born.
    This actually makes my argument, such small volume manufacturers can only survive if it has a multi-national behind them, Jaguar as another example.

    The Jaguar F1 team was also basically only a Ford team anyway, but even the company itself could not survive without a volume producer behind it."

    ---

    Fair enough. Your comment didn't seem to indicate that was what you were saying.

    But Porsche have continued to have adverts for it's products in racing, despite not having a works based team in many series (if any).

    We see multiple variations of the Porsche Supercup, both at an international level and national level.

    And I don't quite see your argument about Porsche because a subsidiary of Porsche SE is in fact VW AG - the same multi-national you appear to claim is behind Porsche, if I am interpreting what you are saying correctly. (although they have actually now for all intents and purposes merged to form a "super group")

    Porsche may have gone into decline in the motorsport arena in terms of works efforts but they are hardly in decline if in 2006 they built 195 race cars for various international motor sports events. And in 2007 they built no fewer than 275 dedicated race cars - 7 RS Spyder LMP2 prototypes, 37 GT2 spec 911 GT3-RSRs, and 231 911 GT3 Cup vehicles.

    And your Jaguar example is rather weak also as Ford decided to sell the company in 2008, and Jaguar had long been out of motorsport at that time, the company in fact declined under the big multi national that is Ford. This is the reason it was sold to Tata motors.

    Ferrari have also in the past taken part in GT racing, they even ran an LMP and are currently producing a 458 GT car for the GT3 and GT2 series, so I'm sorry but I don't see your argument about Ferrari declining if they didn't take part in F1 when they are in fact owned by a multi-national car company.

  • Comment number 85.

    Formula 1 needs to be loud, it needs v8's minimum. Its part of what makes the experience special. Why would f1 want 1.6 stupid engines. Pathetic. It's never been about road car relevance! Why now does it need to be!!! With all the cars and transporters going to each race, not to mention the helicopters etc, what difference it will actually make will be ridiculously minimal. It's all about this stupid green image. F1 is not green. It will never be green. It shouldn't be green. It's FORMULA 1!

  • Comment number 86.

    I get why everyone's apposed to these new engines but come on guys, this is F1, I'm 99% sure they can make the engines sound good with trick exhausts, sure it won't be a real sound but does that matter really?

  • Comment number 87.

    Porsche may have gone into decline in the motorsport arena in terms of works efforts but they are hardly in decline if in 2006 they built 195 race cars for various international motor sports events. And in 2007 they built no fewer than 275 dedicated race cars - 7 RS Spyder LMP2 prototypes, 37 GT2 spec 911 GT3-RSRs, and 231 911 GT3 Cup vehicles.
    And your Jaguar example is rather weak also as Ford decided to sell the company in 2008, and Jaguar had long been out of motorsport at that time, the company in fact declined under the big multi national that is Ford. This is the reason it was sold to Tata motors.

    ***********

    As said above, at the beginning of the 90's Porsce was all but washed up. Mr Wiedeking came along and completely turned them around, unfortunately for him, all the praise went to his head and he tried to take over VW borrowing far too much money and ending with VW buying up the debt and taking a controlling share.

    The Jag example is completely valid. The only reason "jaguar" could afford to go racing was because it was all bankrolled by Ford motor company. If Ford had not have bought Jaguar they would have gone bust, the production lines at Brown's Lane etc were from after the war, with just the odd lick of paint and maintenance since then.

    Ford only parted company with brands like Jaguar-Land Rover to avoid having to go the US government and beg for money.
    Jaguar never really made money the whole time, but Ford still did not wish to give it away, as it was intended to be a premium brand and with the death of the Granada left the group with no "top of the range models" made by Ford.

  • Comment number 88.

    F1 is headed in the right direction. Maximizing potential of a smaller unit. As fast as the current crop of F1 cars can reach, few home users (the general population) has little use for. Technology and research into areas as less fuel requirements, aerodynamics, tire efficiency are the highlights of the current F1. Into the consumer area, the KERS system doesn't work for short drives to the mall, grocery, or school. KERS especially doesn't work well in colder climates (winter), as the heat generated would be overly countered by the colder/frigid climate. But KERS is a start. Perhaps technologies will utilize a combination of methods- like the (just-banned) exhaust -downforce aerodynamic body designs, and diffusers, and KERs. Maybe the exhaust output could be directed to the KERs enabled brake systems to keep them warm.
    Regarding the noise factor in the new engines: Broadcasters filter most of the noise out, anyway... And the possibility of being a spectator not needing to wear as much ear protection is probably attractive. Alas, the old school fans will need to adjust once again- as they have had to enjoying races with less pit-stop excitement (from fewer pit stops) or watching races with much fewer overtake possibilities. We have adjusted to all of this. Another adjustment will not turn many more away.

  • Comment number 89.

    You seem to have forgotten Mr Benson that the Turbos of the 80's were a V6 not straight fours and had a rev ceiling of around 20,000 rpm producing almost 1200 bhp in qualifying trim. These lower reving fuel limited fours will sound like a bunch of boy racers Saxo's in a town carpark.

  • Comment number 90.

    "87.
    At 15:30 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    Porsche may have gone into decline in the motorsport arena in terms of works efforts but they are hardly in decline if in 2006 they built 195 race cars for various international motor sports events. And in 2007 they built no fewer than 275 dedicated race cars - 7 RS Spyder LMP2 prototypes, 37 GT2 spec 911 GT3-RSRs, and 231 911 GT3 Cup vehicles.
    And your Jaguar example is rather weak also as Ford decided to sell the company in 2008, and Jaguar had long been out of motorsport at that time, the company in fact declined under the big multi national that is Ford. This is the reason it was sold to Tata motors.

    ***********

    As said above, at the beginning of the 90's Porsce was all but washed up. Mr Wiedeking came along and completely turned them around, unfortunately for him, all the praise went to his head and he tried to take over VW borrowing far too much money and ending with VW buying up the debt and taking a controlling share.

    The Jag example is completely valid. The only reason "jaguar" could afford to go racing was because it was all bankrolled by Ford motor company. If Ford had not have bought Jaguar they would have gone bust, the production lines at Brown's Lane etc were from after the war, with just the odd lick of paint and maintenance since then.

    Ford only parted company with brands like Jaguar-Land Rover to avoid having to go the US government and beg for money.
    Jaguar never really made money the whole time, but Ford still did not wish to give it away, as it was intended to be a premium brand and with the death of the Granada left the group with no "top of the range models" made by Ford."


    ----

    Well I guess it can be looked upon in that way.

    I would still not say Porsche is, or was, in decline in terms of motorsport or otherwise, they have simply taken a different approach than backing works teams. They are quite dominant in ALMS and lesser GT series where their customers run the 911's . They also have customer teams running the Porsche Spyder LMP.

    So to say they would decline if they didn't have a multinational backing them (which isn't really the case anyway) is wrong. There were at one point a couple of years ago poised to wholly own VW themselves. It is only recently that the situation has changed, prior to that Porsche was not backed by any multinational and has done well for itself in the motorsport arena, both with works teams and customer teams more recently.


    The Jaguar example is not completely valid either because you are saying that the only reason Jaguar could afford to go racing was because they were bankrolled by Ford - but you apparently forget that prior to Ford's involvement from 1989 they were indeed racing and were quite successful in doing so, particularly from 1987-1989 when Tom Walkinshaw was running the Jaguar backed team.

    And under Ford they ceased racing. So for all intents a purposes the racing arm of Jaguar did go bust under Ford.

    Their F1 entry was in fact Stewart Grand Prix, and was then sold off to Red Bull, they were not particularly good as Jaguar Racing at all, and it was just a name as the team had little to do with Jaguar cars, they had their most success in 1999 as Stewart GP.

    Granted they may well have sold the company off to avoid having to go to the US government and beg for money - but that further reinforces my point that Jaguar was in decline under Ford, something which you've also stated by saying they never really made money. Something which is contradictory to what you are saying about multinational backed small volume car companies only being able to go racing due to the financial input of the multinationals. Because Jaguar ceased racing in 2004 15 yrs after Jaguar was taken over by Ford and even then they were only involved in F1, since something like 1990 they have had few notable racing entrants.

  • Comment number 91.

    I would still not say Porsche is, or was, in decline in terms of motorsport or otherwise

    bankrolled by Ford - but you apparently forget that prior to Ford's involvement from 1989 they were indeed racing and were quite successful in doing so, particularly from 1987-1989 when Tom Walkinshaw was running the Jaguar backed team

    **************
    What so Porsche virtually going bankrupt is not a decline in your eyes?


    I remember it well as it happens. The British taxpayer had been propping up Jaguar until 1984 and giving guarantees for it thereafter.
    As said, if you care to do some research, you'll find out that Ford rebuilt Jaguar, what with the plant at Halewood, and complete overhauls of the other factories, new assembly lines, developing new models and the like. If that's supposed to be a demise, I'd hate to see your idea of failure.

    The



  • Comment number 92.

    @89 it has been stated that they will now be V6 engines not straight 4s. I would like the engines to be at their technological limit rather than be specified well within the limit of power available, i.e. rpm limits etc. Would rather have 800 BHP 1.2 litre engines that sounded like wasps, than have engines that can run all year long producing 650 bhp, reliably, as many have said engine noise can relate more to exhaust than purely capacity, and anything producing 700 BHP without baffles is going to be loud. Main point being, want the sport to be at the limits so the engineers are not working within a max BHP, but trying to extract as much as possible from the unit, and if nowadays that means lower capacities then so be it.

  • Comment number 93.

    @90 and 91, exchange email addresses and have fun!

  • Comment number 94.

    "91.
    At 16:21 29th Jun 2011, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    I would still not say Porsche is, or was, in decline in terms of motorsport or otherwise

    bankrolled by Ford - but you apparently forget that prior to Ford's involvement from 1989 they were indeed racing and were quite successful in doing so, particularly from 1987-1989 when Tom Walkinshaw was running the Jaguar backed team

    **************
    What so Porsche virtually going bankrupt is not a decline in your eyes?


    I remember it well as it happens. The British taxpayer had been propping up Jaguar until 1984 and giving guarantees for it thereafter.
    As said, if you care to do some research, you'll find out that Ford rebuilt Jaguar, what with the plant at Halewood, and complete overhauls of the other factories, new assembly lines, developing new models and the like. If that's supposed to be a demise, I'd hate to see your idea of failure."

    ---

    And by your own words (in black and white a few posts up if you wish to check them) Jaguar under Ford never really made any money. If that is not failure what is your idea of failure?

    I am aware of what Ford did with regards to the improvements they carried out and the British taxpayer footing much of the bill until 1984 - we did the same for all British Leyland companies as I recall.

    But your argument is that small volume car companies can only afford to go racing when backed by multinational companies, not that they are in decline unless they are backed by a multinational - something which for Jaguar under Ford is not the case as Ford closed the racing aspect of Jaguar cars in 2004 after 4 very unprofitable and unsuccessful years in F1 and little other motorsport involvement since they took over in 1989.

    Prior to 1989 Jaguar had no multinational backing and were quite competent in the motorsport arena.


    And Porsche only nearly went bankrupt recently due to it's attempts to take over VW where it was left with debts which were aggravated by taxes due on very large paper profits from Volkswagen AG options, this was in 2009.

    Are you still going to claim that Porsche was backed by a multinational that was funding it's racing and that it was in decline prior to 2009 when Porsche was poised to take over VW?

    Porsche still continue to be involved in racing in the same way there were prior to the crisis they had in 2009.


    Please kindly give up on your attempts to show knowledge of how some companies might decline if they are not involved in F1, every example you have given so far has fallen flat on it's face because what you claim simply is not the case - and there is plenty of evidence to back it up.

    Oh and your post seems to have been rudely truncated. Lol.

  • Comment number 95.

    To Lyla, #31 ''This lets you squeeze more energy out of your engine, and leaves you with a smaller fuel bill.'

    Yes and no - you get more power, but the turbo just squeezes more fuel in (you don't get something for nothing), so definately doesn't leave you with a smaller fuel bill. Trust, me I drive a Saab Turbo ;)

  • Comment number 96.

    @92.
    thanks for that i've been away for a bit and missed the anouncement that the plant will now be a V6. It is not the level of noise that is my issue it is what that noise sounds like. Put it this way i can probably sing a Beonce song just as loud as her but i know which one everyone would want to listen to.
    I to would prefer to see the tippy top of enginering but why constantly try to slow them down, as previously stated the sport has never been road relevent from a 1950's Vanwall right up to now. The green argument doesnt fit as the logistics side is far more polluting. The reason why F1 can be so boring at times recently is because everything is to evenly matched because they a choked by the regulations.

  • Comment number 97.

    "93.
    At 16:22 29th Jun 2011, Lyla wrote:

    @90 and 91, exchange email addresses and have fun!"

    ---

    Love to. Can I have yours. :P

  • Comment number 98.

    The hand of Bernie is obviously at work in the circuits expressing their concern, but on this subject (and not many others) I believe he's right. No one should under-estimate how important the noise 'wow' factor is in filling the Grandstands - especially in some of the newer territories. I was lucky enough to be in Singapore for their first race in 2008, and when chatting to people who'd never seen a F1 car before, they all said that is was the engine noise that 'wowed' them most. A GP2 car isn't that different in terms of performance and some would say the racing is more exciting but the Grandstands are still empty - simply because they lack that 'wow' factor. F1 needs to be really careful not to mess with its winning formula.

    However green and worthy, a 1.6L med-revving Turbo sounding like a Subaru is not going to wow those used to high revving naturally aspirated engines. This is before we come on to the subsequent developments like hybrids using (K)ERS-only energy in the pitlane. However green, anyone who thinks we want to see drivers stepping on it out of a pitstop in a car sounding like a milk-float is much mistaken!

    I'll be interested to hear if there's any discussion on this topic at the FOTA Fans forum on Thursday 30th. If you were lucky enough to be selected to attend, get posting tomorrow!

  • Comment number 99.

    "96.
    At 16:35 29th Jun 2011, ivecoj27 wrote:


    I to would prefer to see the tippy top of enginering but why constantly try to slow them down, as previously stated the sport has never been road relevent from a 1950's Vanwall right up to now. The green argument doesnt fit as the logistics side is far more polluting. The reason why F1 can be so boring at times recently is because everything is to evenly matched because they a choked by the regulations."

    ---

    Couldn't agree more with this post.

    The major part of the problem however is the constant development of the aero side of things, because it's about the only thing they can develop, but then we see things like blown diffusers, which then get banned because the teams take the ideas too far.

    If the teams were limited in what they can do aero wise, possibly even taking the aero levels back to the levels we saw in the late 80's or early 90's but were allowed to do pretty much what they like with the other aspects of the cars we might actually see innovations that could be relevant to road cars.

    Development of ways to achieve mechanical grip as opposed to aero grip could be very beneficial to road cars if F1 really wants to make itself relevant to the road car industry.

    An example of how the sport has gone backward in terms of development besides aerodynamics is the Williams FW14B - it is often regarded as the most technologically advanced F1 car ever, even when compared to todays F1 cars. It had active suspension, traction control and for a brief period ABS, all of which have since been banned by the FIA one way or the other.

    That car was built in 1991/1992. 19/20 years ago!

    Mind you if I had my way F1 would be about driver skill, and the cars would simply be a tub with 4 wheels and an engine strapped to it. That would provide a spectacle far greater than we have had since such cars were phased out in the late 60s/early 70s.

  • Comment number 100.

    Oh and your post seems to have been rudely truncated. Lost of love

    ******************************************************

    I see, I didn't know you cared...


 

Page 1 of 2

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.