guy_smiley wrote:Safety is paramount, but the topic of slowing the cars down really sticks in my side. A few things....
Runoff. If it were up to me, fast and classic circuits which were deemed unsafe and consequently removed from the calendar would simply have more runoff area. There would be an adequate amount of tarmac so drivers could recover from mistakes, then a gravel trap in case of failures, then the aforementioned tecpro barrier. There is a reason the drivers want to win at monaco, monza, spa and silverstone--they are classic, fast (well not monaco) and un-fooled around with. When was the last time you heard a driver say "If I could win one GP this season, it would be Bahrain." For me the spectacle (the grandstand placement) isn't really an issue because you can put the grandstands around any part of the corner. If you think of it as 360 degrees, you can't put the stands in about 20-60 degrees of that circle given the nature of the corner, but you still have a huge amount of area for stands.
Slowing the cars. A few drivers have expressed the opinion, which I share, that F1 cars should be the fastest, most technologically advanced racing machines in the world, and when you mess with the cars you mess with that image. Plenty of members here have expressed their fears that F1 is so close to GP2 and so have drivers. Here in the states Ricardo Zonta set the lap record around Laguna Seca in his Toyota's F1 car and the record was quickly broken by the Champ Cars during their preseason testing--if you ask me that's just wrong!
Cornering speed. I'm no expert here, but I was thinking about Eau Rouge and how we don't really see huge shunts there anymore even though the cars of today and the past couple of years are much faster. Today's cars are taking it flat out no problem and getting through without a problem, whereas slower cars (think Jacques Villeneuve and his old BAR ) would crash more often. Anyway, basically what I like are the ole greats. I think it would just be sooo cool to watch modern day F1ers going round the old osterreichring and classics like that.
My rant is done I'm not picking on anyone or anything, I'm just expressing my dream for F1 circuits
Bingo. I have constant worries about the speed of current F1 cars. Even though I know the V8 powered cars are still ridiculously fast, I have this impression that they are somehow slow. F1 should be the fastest racing cars in the world. They were in the past, and they should be in the future. Jarno Trulli was quoted stating how much he hated the V8 engines and that they made the sport too easy. And by the looks of it, he's correct. The cars seem to be far too forgiving with far fewer crashes in a race weekend than we used to have. The cars are glued to the road with much more grip than power. Even with next years regulations, the cars will be even more drivable. The FIA needs to take a good look at what F1 is...and what it should be. When I go to the circuit, I go to see the fastest cars in the world driven by the best drivers in the world. Well, the past 4 years we've had successive slow-downs of the cars. Whilst this isn't perceptible to the audiences on TV or at the track...it's still a subconscious knowledge that they can, have and SHOULD be faster than they are.
So looking at F1 right now:
-Drivers unhappy with level of performance
-This makes the sport less of a challenge
-Fans unhappy with the removal of the V10 engines
-Ever increasing track safety means fans can't get anywhere near the track on certain corners (like Turn 8 at Instanbul and Copse at Silverstone)
-Lesser series quickly catching up in terms of both performance and some (ALMS) has more innovation
-Fans yearning for the past, and this will only increase next year with the removal of downforce.
-The cars being more and more homologated and restricted down to the point where a 2006 car could probably do alright now
What has F1 become? Since 1998 it's been on a steady knife-edge down to the point we're at today where we have no inspirational drivers (I really miss the Shumacher vs Hakkinen days) battling for the title with tooth and nail, in the fastest cars on the planet developed by the best engineers.