The Verstappen effect: Feeder series obsolete

thejudge13

Are feeder series systems, as we know them, becoming obsolete, perhaps even redundant?

Now don’t get me wrong, there will always be demand for feeder series. But is the concept of it in need of a change? First, I’m not talking about karting. For the love of God, let the kids play in their karts! It is there where they get their first feel of how racing should be. To quote Senna: ‘I started racing go-karts. And I love karts. It’s the most breathtaking sport in the world. More than F1 indeed. I used to like it the most.’  

Big words coming from the best Formula One driver of all time. -I said best, not most titles- But as we all know the one with the most titles also started out in karts. -For those of you living in Germany, the Netherlands or Belgium, you might have been to…

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THE TRUTH ABOUT KIMI RAIKKONEN, FERRARI AND SANTANDER IN 2008

F1 Race Reviews

Edit: 12th of September, 2013
As the sensational return of Kimi to Ferrari is now official, I thought it was fitting with a slightly updated prologue. The opinion of myself and the research of wrcva still stands. In fact, as is mentioned many times, the info used here is easily retrieved and found by anyone with internet access and a search engine.

Kimi has proven himself to be a far bigger man than I am. He has clearly chosen to let bygones be bygones. And he may look at what happened as “nothing personal, just business”. Because that is what it was: Business.

Anyway, things have apparently been patched up between Kimi and Ferrari. And more importantly, new assurances have undoubtedly been made in his 2-year contract. What comforts me is that according to MTV3/Oskari Saari, one of the important things in the negotiations between Kimi and Ferrari was that…

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List of must-have Grands Prix

MUST-STAY:

Australia (Albert Park, Melbourne)
China (Jiading, Shanghai)
Spain (Montmeló, Barcelona)
Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)
Canada (Montreal, Quebec)
Austria (Red Bull Ring, Spielberg)
Britain (Silverstone, Northampton)
Hungary (Hungaroring, Budapest)
Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot)
Italy (Monza, Lombardy)
Japan (Suzuka, Mie)
United States (Austin, Texas)
Mexico (Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City)
Brazil (Interlagos, São Paulo)

POSSIBLE:

South Africa (Kyalami, Midrand)
France (Paul Ricard, Le Castellet)
Germany (Hockenheimring, Hockenheim)
Portugal (Portimão, Algarve)

EXCLUDE:

Bahrain (Sahkir)
Russia (Sochi)
Europe (Baku, Azerbaijan)
Malaysia (Sepang, Kuala Lumpur)
Singapore (Marina Bay)
Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)

 

Post-Japanese GP review & news: Perez, Sainz & Vandoorne to Ferrari for 2018?

DRIVER OF THE DAY

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari, P5)

Another race, another lost cause. It may seem bizarre Kimi bothers with F1 anymore, but his majestic overtakes reminded everyone of his passion and resolve. The Finn proved he has unfinished business and his double overtake on Sergio Perez and Jolyon Palmer is proof that the fire continues to flicker in the Iceman’s belly.

Winners

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes, P1)

33 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the driver’s world championship.

Max Verstappen (Red Bull, P2)

Underlined his credentials of a future F1 legend once again. A peerless drive was illuminated by his feisty defence in the closing laps, where his block move against Lewis Hamilton out of 130R into the Casino Triangle chicane raised eyebrows again from critics. However, his perfect exploitation of the regulations showed: the Dutchman used the racing line to go wide on the exit of 130R, but swerved left to position himself onto the orthodox line for the run to Casino. The rules state a driver is allowed one move on the straight leading to a corner; therefore Max cunningly utilised the regulations to his advantage by promptly interpreting his exit line out of 130R as entirely separate from his defensive manoeuvre on the run-up to Casino. Hamilton took the inside line, but FIA regulations deemed Verstappen eligible to chop him off and cover the inside line. The most splendid aspect of Max’s move was how subtle and graceful it was: unlike his hasty, abrasive defensive manoeuvres on Raikkonen on the run-up to Les Combes in Spa, the Dutchman has adapted his defence technique in a very short space of time.

Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari, P4)

Ignoring his foul-mouthed performance on his radio, the 29 year-old German drove as well as could. The decision to gamble on softs in the final stint was, however, yet another example of Ferrari’s never-ending incompetence regarding pit strategy. Relationship breakdowns rumours are escalating and opinions within the Italian media of Vettel are rapidly deteriorating.

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull, P6)

Not one of his finest races, but his outside chances of winning this year’s drivers’ championship have extinguished. The Australian struggled with car balance and tyre degradation in a race where his team-mate illuminated the headlines again.

Sergio Perez & Nico Hulkenberg (Force India, P7 & P8)

The Mexican continued his domination over his highly-touted German team-mate with another narrow finish in front of him, as Force India collected ten points to extend their advantage over Williams in their quest for P4 the constructors’ standings with just four races remaining. Hulkenberg confirmed his move to Renault this Friday, whilst Perez continues at Silverstone-based squad for 2017. Some feel Perez is occupying his seat for one more year in the hopes of a seat at Ferrari for 2018, as the contracts of Raikkonen and Vettel end next season. Other believe he has an eye on a seat at McLaren, but his relationship with the Woking-based squad was tarnished by his poor 2013 season with them.

Felipe Massa & Valtteri Bottas (Williams, P9 & P10)

An average season continues for this Banbury-squad, as retiring veteran Massa finally got one over his fledgling tam-mate Bottas. The Finn is rumoured to be lined up for the second seat at Renault, who are looking to revamp their team after a dismal 2016. Rumours of Lance Stroll & Felipe Nasr continue unabated, but outsiders such as Daniil Kvyat, Romain Grosjean & Pascal Wehrlein remain in the frame for seats at Williams.

REJECT OF THE DAY

Esteban Gutierrez (Haas, P20)

The 25 year-old Mexican’s hopes of a seat for 2017 continue to plummet by each passing race. Despite vowing to end his hoodoo of continually finishing P11, Gutierrez succeeded to outsmart himself and limp home in P20, a staggering ten places lower than where he started. The Haas car may be difficult to drive in race conditions, but he surely isn’t going to attract any suitors after this farcical performance.

Losers

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, P3)

The Englishman went into Japan ill-affording more points conceded to his arch-nemesis Rosberg, but once again Hamilton was completely trumped. There may be 100 points still available, but Rosberg can now finish P2 in the remaining four Grands Prix and win his first drivers’ championship, so Hamilton is in dire need of divine intervention. Speculation over what caused his poor starts left conspiracy theorists raging again, ranging from the damp surface on his particular gird slot of P2, where FIA had explicitly banned any drying of the start-finish straight 30 minutes before the race’s start, to his clutch slipping again. There was consternation over Verstappen’s defensive manoeuvre on the penultimate lap, however in hindsight, Hamilton could have chosen the outside line to avoid such a hoodwink. This will prove academic if Rosberg wins just one more race and seal this year’s title emphatically.

McLaren Honda (P-Nowhere)

In the space of just one Grand Prix weekend, McLaren swing from a double-points finish at Sepang to a horror return to the atrocious displays of their annus horribilis of 2015. Somehow, they failed to find a suitable set-up for Suzuka and this time they could not blame Honda; their chassis never achieved an optimum level of grip and handling required for the elevation changes in the fast corners, leaving Alonso and Button to perform even more abjectly in front of the “home” crowd than they did last year.

Blue Flags

On the tight, twisty confines of Suzuka, traffic was always going to be a major gremlin for front-runners, but the non-existent attrition rate of this year’s display left the big boys fuming in disgust. Depending on your criteria, this year’s Japanese Grand Prix is only the fifth in F1 history (and second race this season after Chinese Grand Prix) to have all starters finish past the chequered flag and classified, whereas if you include last year’s race (where Felipe Nasr’s Sauber was classified despite retiring two laps shy of the full distance) and the dubious 2005 US Grand Prix (where only six cars started and finished after the Michelin-shod cars withdrew before the start), this is the seventh race in F1 history to have all starters classified.

Pascal Wehrlein (Manor, P22)

The German joins Hans Hermann, Narain Karthikeyan and Jolyon Palmer on the ignoble list of drivers who finished last in races where starters finished. Of course, Patrick Friesacher and Felipe Nasr join the list if you include the classification of the actual starters and retired cars classified having completed at least 90% of the race distance.

2016 British Grand Prix: A Sport in Disarray

DRIVER OF THE DAY

Max Verstappen

REJECT OF THE DAY

F1 Authorities

It is safe to say the start of yesterday’s British Grand Prix was farcical. In spite of the brightening skies and an abrupt end to the downpour prior to the parade lap, Charlie Whiting ordered drivers to meander behind the Safety Car for the first five laps. So one must ask, what is the point of the full wet compounds? Within two laps of the restart, the majority of the field barring the Mercedes and Red Bulls switched to intermediates. The decision to start this year’s Monaco Grand Prix behind the Safety Car was wise; the heavens had completely drenched the track and rain continued to sprinkle after the Safety Car had withdrew. In a circuit surrounded by uneven armco barriers, a potential pile up was always a likely scenario, however, at a purpose built venue such as Silverstone, a similar situation was a much less likely eventuality.

When the track inevitably dried quickly, the multiple dry compound rule was annulled, allowing many to run the remaining thirty laps on the medium compounds. This meant viewers were treated to a less than thrilling race by 2016 standards.

This year’s race will be remembered for Max Verstappen’s extraordinary overtake around the outside on Nico Rosberg at the exit of Maggotts and Becketts; such precocity is leaving believing his ability to dominate F1 for the next two decades and overhaul Michael Schumacher’s seven WDC. Unfortunately, it will also be remembered for the radio ban rearing its ugly head once again; after debacles surrounding the struggles of Hamilton and Raikkonen concerning their car settings in Baku, Mercedes panicked and leaked illegal assistance to a struggling Rosberg, who had gearbox gremlins. It was draconian of the stewards to add ten seconds to Rosberg’s race time, costing three valuable points and leaving Lewis Hamilton just a single point behind his firm nemesis. Hamilton drove impeccable throughout this year’s race; he only a opened a four second gap to the car behind when required and conserved his car expertly throughout.

Life in F1 is rather straightforward when you’re driving the fastest car in ideal circumstances, as everyone else struggled and Williams and Ferrari have both taken gradual steps back as this season has progressed. It appears not only are their strategic decisions are flawed, but the outright pace of their chassis are falling behind where they were in regards to their standing in the pecking order last year post-Silverstone. Red Bull appear to be Mercedes’ closet rivals now, but frustrations from Daniel Ricciardo’s side of the garage could light a bitter feud between himself and Verstappen.

On the whole, it appears most of the paddock is already focused on 2017 with more than half of this year’s Grands Prix still yet to commerce.

Five venues eligible to hold additional F1 races in America

Bernie Ecclestone has again re-iterated his wishes of six Grands Prix to be held in America. Here are five venues capable of holding Grands Prix if modified to FIA standards:

Sebring International Raceway

Capacity: Open seating without capacity limitation

Track length: 3.74 miles (6.02km)

Best known as the venue of Sebring 12 Hours, its track surface contains a mixture of asphalt and concrete. It held the 1959 edition of US Grand Prix, but was shelved due to poor attendance and high costs. At least $500 million would be required to bring this venue up to FIA Grade 1 standards. Its location in Florida, however, would provide convenience for those fans unable to travel to more illustrious circuits based in North America.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Capacity: 235,000 (permanent)

Track length (F1): 2.605 miles (4.192 km)

The venue of US Grand Prix from 2000-2007, Indy has unfortunately encountered the dark political side of F1 more often than it should done. In its first Grand Prix held on its custom made road course, controversy arose in qualifying due to the position of pole and 2nd place being placed directly on the famous bricked line. Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher and McLaren’s Hakkinen deliberately set slower times to start on the second row, but the front row was dropped back on race day to avoid wheelspin issues for their respectative team-mates Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard. The 2004 race saw a worryingly slow response from the safety crew, who took two minutes to drag themselves to the aid of Ralf Schumacher. The German had crashed into the concrete wall on the banked oval and he would fly home with undiagnosed fractures of vertebrates in his back. He later threatened legal action against the Speedway officials for his inadequate medical treatment. The 2005 edition, however, would witness F1 politics at its ugliest, as Ralf’s practice accident near the same spot of his accident from the previous year’s Grand Prix due to a delaminated tyre sent Michelin into disarray. who later ordered their contracted teams to avoid doing more than ten laps on any set of their compounds. Race day would see a farcical pull out of the Michelin-shod teams, as a failure to agree a temporary chicane before the final banked oval turn would see just six cars start the race.

Road America

Capacity: Open seating without seating limitation

Track length: 4.048 miles (6.515km)

Seen as the best road course in North America, this venue located in Elkart Lake, Wisconsin would almost certainly gain popularity with international fans. It contains fourteen daunting turns, with frequent bumps and varying levels of residual grip. Road America has held many encapsulating Indycar races sanctioned by the now defunct CART organisation, including Al Unser Jr’s last lap engine failure in 1996 and Juan Pablo Montoya’s gearbox dying in the 1999 edition. If F1 was to hold a race here, its spectacle may sadly been hampered by fuel restrictions, which would demand the cars to lift off early at the end of straights. However, the close proximity of the walls and blindness of the kinks will demand the respect of the world’s best racing drivers. Like Sebring, work would be need to be done on laying asphalt run-offs, as well as proper permanent seating areas and a high tech pit area.

Sonoma Raceway

Capacity: 47,000

Track length: 2.22 miles (3.57km)

Based in California, Sonoma is often seen as poor cousin to the famous Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. This venue is a dusty, twisty circuit capable of testing the stamina of the best road racers, however some F1 fans may see his track mirroring features of the much-maligned Hungaroring. Its capacity would need to be doubled in order to hold a F1 event and its safety features would need to upgraded to FIA Grade 1 standards.

Watkins Glen International

Capacity: 38,900

Track length: 3.4 miles (5.43km)

Last, but not least, we have Watkins Glen based in the outskirts of Schuyler County, New York. This track was the venue of US Grand Prix from 1961-1980. The lower safety standards required by NASCAR, Indycar and sportscar racing has allowed this venue to remain with mediocre safety features. The picture above shows Tony Stewart testing a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 in a Mobil 1 promotional event.

Pirelli threatens to pull out of F1 if test plan is not agreed TODAY

Paul Hembery on today’s F1 Commission approval:

This is it. We cannot do our job without this. We cannot deliver.

The continuing procrastination over 2017 regulations has reared its ugly head once again, with F1’s sole tyre supplier showing its frustration at F1 Strategy Group’s inability to ratify a coherent plan to reform the physics of the cars.

Pirelli has developed a rather mixed reputation since its return to F1 in 2011, with the tyre blow out incidents at 2013 British & 2015 Belgian Grands Prix incurring the ire of teams across the paddock. It appears this news announcement is a cunning attempt by Paul Hembery and his executives to arrest some political power towards themselves, as the Italian tyre supplier attempts to redeem its image. It is clear that Pirelli are stuck in an existential crisis, having indulged many of FIA’s wishes for variable tyres with a wide range of degradation and performance. However, it has struggled to avoid heat sensitivity issues related to their compounds, with many teams and drivers infuriated by unpredictable operating temperatures and tyre pressures required to achieve optimum performance and mileage from the Pirellis.

A much touted belief amongst F1 Strategy Group revolves around wider car and bigger tyres, raising the wheel rims from 13 inches to 18 inches. However, there is much debate over the effects over the handling of the cars, as well as how the tyres and the enlarged size of the cars will affect the ergonomics of the driver’s seating position and his peripheral vision. It was Michelin who proposed the idea of larger wheel rim, but Martin Brundle’s unfavourable verdict of this when he tested a modified GP2 car at Monaco, it was quietly shelved. Michelin had been contenders to take over as F1’s control tyre supplier for this season, but disagreements with FIA over the manufacture of tyres meant their return failed to materialise.

Pirelli clearly want as much time as possible to eradicate these prevalent issues, but whether the CEOs are willing to cut their losses and pull the plug on its ailing project is one to be seen.

F1 decision making won’t improve for another 4 years | DN&C 06/04/16

thejudge13

F1 could be stuck in political quagmire until 2020

FIA president Jean Todt does not see Formula One’s governance changing before the current Concorde Agreement and commercial contracts with teams expire in 2020.s always the goal – but to be honest my attention was elsewhere at that point.

i

The FIA agreed to the existing system (see below for details) in 2013, and at the time heralded “a strong and stable sporting governance framework which includes the Formula One Group, the FIA and the participating teams”

F1’s rule-making process

Strategy Group

Rules are formulated in the F1 Strategy Group, which is made up of six of the 11 teams, the FIA and the Commercial Rights Holder, which is represented by Bernie Ecclestone. Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull and Williams have permanent seats on the Strategy Group, while Force India is the sixth member this year because it was the best placed of…

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How F1 is failing to prioritise its agenda and is smearing the image of motorsport

The week following the opening Australian Grand Prix has been one of farce and disbelief amongst fans and journalists alike. The political state of Formula One has reached its nadir, but many within the organisational bodies of the sport remain as headstrong and firm in directing their affirmative against reviving the structure of the premier class of motorsport. The egregious and shambolic elimination qualifying format has formed a soap opera of its own and the announcement of Sky Sports’ deal to agree exclusive live race coverage of F1 from 2019-2024, ceasing free-to-air live coverage likewise, are just the tip of iceberg within a sport whose relationship with its fans has hit point zero. Fan satisfaction of the sport is at absolute all-time low, with many questioning why they even ever took an interest in F1 and taking flak from bemused outsiders for their continued interest.

Fans of rival motorsport series may scoff with incredulity when reading this, but Formula 1 is and has been the face of motorsport since 1950. It has been marketed as having the best drivers in the world competing in the fastest cars, with an image of glitz and glamour to accompany to gladiatorial demeanour of its competitors. The trouble is however, it has appeared to represent anything but this since the loud, screaming 3 litre V10 engines, which were pushing close to 1000 horsepower, were outlawed at the end of 2005. In the place came the puny 2.4 litre V8 engines, slurred with statements from hotheads such as Juan Pablo Montoya as a transition from “Formula 3000 to Formula 3”. Constant restrictions of chassis developments, cutting down on testing, replacing gravel pits with tarmac run-offs, inflating parameters on driver and team penalties & fines and frivolous campaigns such as the FIA Action for Road Safety, are just some of the dismaying evolutions of recent seasons. Lack of driver satisfaction has become an ever-loudening presence within media printing, culminating in the infamous GPDA statement printed last Wednesday, slamming unnamed senior figures within the F1 ranks for the whole of the world to see.

Over the years F1 has tried (and failed) to please its fans and participants in numerous variations of hackneyed solutions and false promises. These include:

  • Insisting to reduce costs (Proposing the £100 million budget cap in 2009 to attract Caterham, HRT & Manor, the former two liquidated with massive debts)
  • Closer racing between cars (The research of the defunct Overtaking Working Group being deviated to suit the teams’ insistence on a large front wing, therefore disregarding its conclusions)
  • Accessibility for fans (Increase in the exclusivity of paddock passes, restrictions on boundaries have reduced fan enjoyment and the increase of pay TV broadcast deals)
  • Showcasing the modern automotive technology (Many see the current hybrid power unit formula as outdated and only existing due to the car manufacturers (Ferrari, Mercedes, Honda & Renault) determined to re-establish themselves on top of the sport’s hierarchy)
  • Clarity of the progression of the sport from the FIA, F1 Strategy Group and Formula One Group (Very little evidence of this)
  • An increase of aero appendages in order to restore F1’s status as overwhelming faster than rival series by 2017 (Teams and the FIA are still in the midst of negotiating the new technical regulations, with no agreement appearing to emerge in the immediate future)
  • A better distribution of TV and commercial revenue by CVC group (Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes unfairly receive the bulk of the revenue due to recent championship success and historical existence)
  • Attracting new manufacturers to supply hybrid power units (Volkswagen continue to express disinterest in doing so, whilst former suppliers such as BMW, Toyota and Ford insist upon never returning to F1)
  • Improving the Pirelli tyres and the authenticity of racing (Drivers and teams still express misgivings over the functionalities of the Pirelli tyres and the DRS wing is ever-increasingly relied upon to help drivers overtake slower cars)
  • Increased involvement on social media (Formula 1 only started to become proactive on Twitter, Instagram & Youtube as of last year, whilst rival series such as MotoGP started much earlier and have even started using emoticons on Twitter consisting of their riders’ numbers!)

By creating so many incongruous promises, the senior figures are establishing unrealistic ideals that are impossible to achieve simultaneously. The interests of major car manufacturers are guaranteed to clash against of the well-being of F1 and by allowing them to create a F1 Strategy Group, where only the top 5 finishers of the previous season’s constructor championship are permitted to the majority of technical conferring with the FIA, is absurd and wholly undemocratic on its merits. By listing a lengthy and ambiguous agenda, F1 is attempting to deliver numerous promises without realising only a few of them can be delivered upon. It needs to realise what is paramount in terms of importance before it can create a coherent marketing strategy. Being able to provide the best technology, with increased aero performance AND close racing are incompatible in their functionality together and many need to avoid being swayed by alarmist opinion pieces by idle journalists.

What Formula One fails to realise that the fans of motorsport operate their allegiances in a markedly different way to rival sport fans. Fans of team sports such as football and rugby lean towards supporting a club and watching matches of rival teams to check upon progress of rival players, whilst motorsport fans appoint their attachment to an organisation of a championship series. Although Motorsport fans may claim allegiance to a team (e.g. Mercedes) or a driver (e.g. Hamilton) within a series (e.g.F1), they supporting the championship series primarily as a whole by watching and attending their races. Whilst team sports will hold multiple one-to-one matches between teams at various venues within a league simultaneously, motorsport series pitch their competitors against one other within the same venue. There is also widespread conflict of opinions over whether motorsport is a form of sport or entertainment. Motorsport struggles in its popularity due to the lack of tribal culture shared within team sports amongst its ranks, as fan participation within football and rugby invariably lends itself towards fierce dedication to a club within their leagues. Therefore an “I-must-watch-my-team-at-all-costs” loyalty is paramount to the mentality of consumers of team sports, whilst motorsport series are regularly judged upon their entertainment factor, something which is disregarded to be a primary necessity by watchers of team sports.

In my own point of view, my interest in F1 principally lies within the support of an individual driver: Kimi Raikkonen. Arguably the sport’s last true maverick and a throwback to the old days of motorsport, Raikkonen has unwittingly forged a large fan-base, due to carefree and monosyllabic approach to media duties and his personal and professional life. The Iceman refuses to arrogantly rave about his status as one of the sport’s five world champions, preferring to avoid the glare of cameras by donning a trademark combo of shades and a cap. Often regarded as rude and aloof, Raikkonen is (silently) questioning the misguided need for lengthy press conferences, which consist of journalists asking vague questions and the sport’s attempts to masquerade its political situation. It is likely Raikkonen’s participation will cease by the end of this season, due to rumours of Ferrari refusing to offer a contract renewal. Why did I choose to support this driver? He is a symbolic representation of the drivers’ and the fans’ rapidly growing disillusion with F1 as a whole and the stale corporate image which is hammering the sport with an unappetising aura to casual viewers.

There is now an increasing suspicion that recent episodes such as the confusing implementation of the new elimination qualifying is yet another irritating smokescreen to divert fans’ attention from the true issues engulfing F1. It appears the main tactic of FIA (and its impotent president Jean Todt), F1 Strategy Group, Bernie Ecclestone, CVC and the Formula One Group is to create ambiguous headlines to retain a stimulus of interest within the sport amongst fans. In doing so, it instills a belief in many fans that they could solve the sport’s problems if they were given an increased voice. However last year, the GPDA released a survey, which was answered by 200,000 fans, but ultimately these ignored by governing officials. There is intense hubris amongst the major figures within the sport that many will display unquestioned loyalty in lieu of such degrading news, but an exodus to MotoGP (which provides the overtaking extravaganza F1 can’t deliver) and WEC (which provides the technological extravaganza F1 can’t deliver) is now indelibly prominent.

In a sense, it could be regarded that the senior officials of F1 have generally lost interest in attracting the youth of today and prefer to direct its attention on retaining its older audience, whom they believe will spend their larger exposable income on their products. It is well known the youth and the poor cannot afford to buy products from Rolex and Chandon, so it was likely Ecclestone saw the exclusive Sky deal as an affirmation of filling the sport’s coffers and accepting defeat on its quest to attract the less wealthy. In my view, the working class origins of the sport’s five world champions is being despised and viewed with derision, as everyone is passively permitting a return to the days of motorsport being solely a activity of the extensively wealthy for eternity. This is disgraceful, but tragically the new reality of the top echelons of motorsport.

Is F1 a victim of success? It appears definitely so and a restructured organisation of Grand Prix racing as we know it needs to replace it as soon as possible. Such names such as “Premier Grand Prix” or “Grand Prix Elite” could be used for the new organisation, with a strong dictator with engineering knowledge such as Ross Brawn taking the helm to ensure the migrated participants co-operate and ensure the best possible success for the reformation. Ultimately, if F1 is allowed to continue to rein in its position as the premier class of motorsport, then the image and reputation of itself and rival series to the outside world will sustain irreversible damage.

The 2016 F1 season in 20 questions (Keith Collantine)

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/03/12/2016-f1-season-20-questions/

1. Other than Mercedes, which teams will win races this year? Ferrari & Red Bull
2. What will be the best result for Haas? P9
3. Who will score more points: Max Verstappen or Nico Hulkenberg? Hulk
4. Which team will score more points: McLaren or Renault? McHonda
5. Which driver will out-qualify his team mate most frequently? Wehrlein
6. Will Kimi Raikkonen remain on the grid for 2017? Yes
7. How many of the 11 teams will score points? Ten
8. Before the season ends, will Monza be confirmed as the host of the 2017 Italian Grand Prix? No
9. Who will win the FIA pole position trophy? Rosberg
10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted for a race? Ericsson
11. And who will take their place? Vandoorne (Honda pay Sauber to let him race in their second car for the remainder of 2016)
12. Which driver will collect the most penalty points for driving infringements? Magnussen
13. Who will win the Monaco Grand Prix? Ricciardo
14. Who will crash out of the most races? Gutierrez
15. Whose engines will Red Bull use in 2017? Honda
16. At which race will the drivers’ championship be decided? Abu Dhabi
17. What will be the biggest political story of the year? 2017 F1 Regulations, Red Bull vs. Renault & Engines/Power Units
18. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Hungary

Constructors? Merc

Drivers? Hamilton