Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post here all non technical related topics about Formula One. This includes race results, discussions, testing analysis etc. TV coverage and other personal questions should be in Off topic chat.
Chuckjr
38
User avatar
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:34 am

Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Chuckjr » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:20 pm

A plea for sanity.

I'd like to start by congratulating Merc and Lewis on this years championships. I'd also like to congratulate them for winning next years championships also. Well done. You may be on your way to 3 or 5 more! Literally...

Merc has now shown no one will out develop them in season. They have shown their engine is and will continue be the benchmark till AT LEAST 2021 reg changes. Brawn has hinted at extending engine changes till 2023. But even after new engine reg changes, they likely will continue to dominate, because why would it stop? They boast a pool of engineering to draw from world wide that dwarfs every other team on the grid and no one can touch them pound for engineering pound.

Look, even when Ferrari may have caught them season start (that's still up for debate if they did--I don't think they did), Merc have responded beautifully. And clearly when Lewis had a poor start recently he pulled away down the front straight anyway to not only equal **but pass** Vettel-- showed they have fully recovered any deficit they had season start, IF they had any, and then some. I've seen no evidence to believe they are anything but at the top with engine power and they will stay there or within 1% of anyone till 2021 or 2023.

Considering all this, what is going to stop them next season? Nothing. Vettel cracks under pressure. He's great when he has the fastest car but loses his mind when pressure mounts. Alonso please go back.

Yea, Honda may bring some magic next year but reliability will continue to be a concern (as anyone reasonable would expect), and it likely will at best only match Merc but reliability will squander chances till 2020 and then new regs start 2021.

Let's be honest here, Merc can out develop anybody as they have already demonstrated and it won't stop. Anything Honda or Red Bull bring, Merc will be able to match within a few races. Lewis is in his prime, and so honestly I see nobody really challenging him next year either. Furthermore, we all know and have observed they keep it close in the race, until they are challenged, and then just pull away one way or another.

Even if Merc end up being behind at the start of a season, they have entire continents of r & d to draw from and to delve ingenious solutions. They have a budget no one could ever touch with endless opportunities to bury money spent, to employ anyone they want, and pay any price necessary to keep whoever they want thus impoverishing other teams of engineering prowess that could be used to gain advantage.

Merc posses one of the top drivers currently on offer, and since racing is not a physically punishing sport like football or hockey, a racing athletes career can span decades and well into ones 40's--just watch how long Fred keeps racing. Heck if Merc had been fast for Schumacher when he was driving the Merc, he would be winning the championships Lewis is currently winning. So I see no reason why Hamilton would ever leave if he is given a car that can truly win each year for the next 5 years. Why leave? Why retire when championship after championship is well within reach every single year. Schumacher would have never retired if a charging Fred looking for a new contract, reg changes, and some kind of spat with Luca had not somehow ushered him out way too early.

The 2000-2005 Ferrari dominance was directly addressed by virtual removal of all private track testing, engine restrictions and longevity requirements, and massive tire composition and use changes to directly cripple Ferrari in ways money could not overcome. Somehow they got Luca to agree to give up the huge advantage they had of multiple tracks and endless funds to test for countless hours. Luca gave it up and Ferrari dominance was over and has never returned.

Here we have a situation where even critical changes like tires or aero, Merc has so many resources, and so many options to make up any disparity, they can and will adapt and master most any situation thrown at them. They have shown they are more than capable of overcoming virtually any concern, and we have seen this time and time again over their dominance from 2015 till...

Heck, even in private Merc team issues and concerns, they are able to clear them and make them non-issues on track. We saw how they had a number of strategic issues at start his year, and they seem to have cleared those up also with little fuss or controversy. Great job Toto.

So what gives now? What is stopping this team from not only easily dominating the rest of this year (turning all development attention to next year of course) but all of next, and then when new regulations come out, what will stop them from doing it again? Heck Lewis could be at the cusp of a 3, 4, or 5 year run (starting NEXT year) on championships with little to no real and challenging resistance with the types of useless changes they keep doing. DRS anyone? 🙄 And no Lewis is not going to retire if he can win. Gimme a break. Alonso would not be leaving if he could still be winning, and he's years older than Lewis. Schumacher would have stayed for many many years, but Ferrari were unable to overcome regulation changes which crippled them (thanks Luca), and Fred pushed Mike into retirement.

Honestly I don't see any driver in current form that can overcome Lewis in a Merc because even a car that offers a little advantage, Lewis' talent and the Merc empire will be able to out develop any new idea with either engine upgrades of a few hp, or aero development from a globe girdling arsenal of r&d. Who will touch this winning combination for years to come? Nobody.

So what's the solution? I think I have some options.

Unless the FIA make RADICAL and I mean RADICAL changes combined with MASSIVE changes to the power units, I just don't see this Merc with Lewis dominance stopping anytime soon. So if the FIA want to build their fan base, they will have to do something major. I mean let's be honest, only the true Merc and Lewis fan boi's till death would appreciate a 2015-2025 dominance. I've stopped watching the awards ceremonies and post interviews because it's just the same people and same words and same "competition is tough!" bs every single time.

Ideas:
Fully computer controlled constantly adaptable suspensions with simple two element car wide wings. Utilize an aerodynamic based on 90% or more ground effect with a monster diffuser. This would do well to help level things aero wise and following cars. Ground effect based aero would allow for closer following to encourage passing without the need for the ridiculous DRS. I truly hate the DRS. Truly.

They need to rid of the battery recovery nonsense, and load up more turbos with higher fuel flow. Make the cars so powerful they spin wheels any gear. Put power control and delivery back in the drivers hands, not the manufacturer or ridiculous, tricky, over complex recovery software that requires a graduate degree in physics operate.

Return to refueling to open strategies up and offer room for more mistakes which even huge empires like Merc will be subject.

May I suggest a return to steel brake discs? This would lengthen brake distances and would be more in keeping with what everyone uses on the road. Maybe develop new braking material pads but the steel would help encourage passing simply because the cars would not be able to stop as quickly. They want to be road car relevant, here's a great opportunity for the FIA to lead by example.

V-8 to v-12 piston engines with options for oval pistons and multi turbo engines and this will give all the efficiency needed. Maybe even superchargers and obviously multiple spark plugs and all kinds of advancements that could be done on the engine but remove the 3 engines per year nonsense. One engine per weekend is plenty of turnover to allow engine development.

Low profile tires and large wheels for more road relevancy.

Two tire options only, hard as hell -- last the whole race, and soft as f#&k -- dead in under 15 or so laps. No regs for what tires you start on. No regs for having to use both compounds.

Use vacuum trucks during yellow flags to remove tire klagg and debris from the tarmac so outside passing is still possible late into the race.

A return back to the drivers skill being emphasized will at least give more drivers a chance to challenge, and it will also accentuate the atrophy of an aging driver.

Thanks for reading. Cheers-

Phil
348
User avatar
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:22 pm
Location: Switzerland

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Phil » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:35 pm

I have to admit, I didn't quite read your entire post, but I think having only read up until the 5th last paragraph or something, I get the gist of your post.

My question to you:
Why change it? Assuming you are right, and lets assume for a second Hamilton & Mercedes is the best there is until he/they retires... why handicap him/them? Why not enjoy 'history in the making'? I certainly don't think just because i.e. Roger Federer dominated tennis like no other that the rules of Tennis should suddenly change. It's the name of the game and sometimes, dominance is deserved. And as a result of the "formula" not being changed, we see the rise of other athletes in Djokovic/Nadal who have shown they can beat and rival Federer. That puts more weight to their achievements than changing the sport to suit the underdogs.

Same applies to F1. Why handicap the winners to the point it's an uneven match?


Not that I necessarily agree this is wanted or necessary. Contrary to you, I think Ferrari have matched Mercedes. The only reason they aren't any more, is because Ferrari went backwards, not because Mercedes made gains. In the race, Ferrari is proving that their engine is just as good as the Mercedes. Arguably, some thing Ferrari might just still be slightly ahead with the engine. If anything, the last 2 seasons have proven that Mercedes can be rivaled. We're on a good way IMO that the pack gets closer together. I have my doubts about Renault, but Honda is certainly showing that they are making big gains. I still firmly believe RedBull continues to perhaps build the car with the best chassis and aero. Imagine them with a better engine. I personally think the future for a more competitive F1 is bright.

Rule changes have again and again shown and proven to give the biggest advantage to the teams that can afford changes and lots of R&D. No changes mean people catch up. So, if you don't mind me saying - your proposed changes will only serve to widen the pack again and make the dominant teams even more dominant.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II
#Team44 supporter

TAG
78
User avatar
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:18 pm
Location: in a good place

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by TAG » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:45 pm

I used to walk to school three miles, in the snow, up hill, both ways.

Long term regulation consistency is the only thing that will be guaranteed to bring teams closer together. You're also making a hell of a lot of assumptions about Mercedes's infinite resources which if their success was due to that, there are manufacturers that dwarf Mercedes that could come in and do like wise, but they don't. I'm sure Mercedes and Hamilton will heartily accept your congratulations thought.
5 Time WDC Party Mode ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

cirrusflyer
5
User avatar
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:17 pm

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by cirrusflyer » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:58 pm

Remove tyre temperature sensors and leave it to the drivers to feel how tyres are doing.
It would produce waaay more mistakes in warmup lap or during the race.
If flying were the language of man, soaring would be its poetry.
It's all about technology!
When you go fast, do not hesitate to go faster!

dans79
140
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:33 pm
Location: USA

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by dans79 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:15 pm

Phil wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:35 pm
Rule changes have again and again shown and proven to give the biggest advantage to the teams that can afford changes and lots of R&D. No changes mean people catch up. So, if you don't mind me saying - your proposed changes will only serve to widen the pack again and make the dominant teams even more dominant.
I agree!

Sieper
28
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:19 pm

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Sieper » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:45 pm

Well, there is Some truth in your post/feeling, but I have not given up hope yet, Ferrari is not far off and it seems Honda is making progress.

Something has gone on with mercs tire management though, suddenly the problems seem almost solved, they must have a trick car. Oh Yeah, not so long ago Lewis was still using those very words. But for sure merc is the biggest spender, that gives them a big advantage.

Just_a_fan
354
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:37 pm

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Just_a_fan » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:16 pm

Steel brakes won't make for longer braking distances. Short braking distances are a function of high downforce cars.

As to the rest - what happens when your changes just create another all-conquering team?
Turbo says "Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools."

Peter1919
6
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:15 pm

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Peter1919 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:10 pm

I think the proposed budget cap is the way that will eventually help level the playing field rather than regulation change as those with the biggest budget inevitably can adapt to regulation changes quicker and better

Sieper
28
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:19 pm

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Sieper » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:55 pm

It is needed, we can say, Yes but there were always teams in the lead for a period of times, Yes, true, but back then the upper limit of what was being spent was much lower.

ScottB
55
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by ScottB » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:58 pm

If we take one of your core assumptions; Mercedes are the best / strongest at development, how does changing the rules help? Indeed, we've already seen Mercedes continue to dominate through a major regulation change, we're heading into another noticeable tweak next year, and the talk of new cars in 2021 still. Changing the rules, if anything, favours a team that has already shown itself to be very strong at development, and gives it the opportunity to translate that into increased dominance, as opposed to a period of stability, where all the teams slowly converge on the best solutions.

Ultimately, what will end Mercedes domination is a natural process; key team members will retire, or be lured away, be it aerodynamicists, engineers or Lewis himself, this is inevitable. It's also what happened to early 2000's Ferrari, as much as regulation changes. Or, alternatively, outside economic forces or change in views / leadership at Mercedes leads them to cut back their funding or leave the sport altogether. I guess a budget cap could also work, though obviously within that cap, Mercedes could still find itself with the strongest technical team for awhile.

Jolle
113
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: Dordrecht

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Jolle » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:49 pm

in the past decade there were three major regulation changes ('09, '14 and '17), the Brackley team aced all three. If you want Mercedes and Hamilton domination, just change the formula every few years...

In retrospect, I assume that at the moment there it was clear that in '17 the rules were about to change, Ferrari dropped development (they had a pretty decent '15 after the disaster of '14) and that is why they were relative close in '17. This (and last) year it looks like the domination of Mercedes is less then in the period before, but Hamiltons grip on Vettel is even more powerful. The guy just refuses to drop points.
Give Ferrari and RedBull/Honda a bit time to catch up and who knows, Leclerc and Verstappen could be worthy adversaries to Hamilton.

strad
256
User avatar
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:57 am

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by strad » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:50 am

cirrusflyer3
Don't like to agree with the SKY broadcast guy but I agree ...Get rid of the tire sensors.
I'm about ready to go back to no Pit to Car advice.
Let the driver be responsible for driving.
Motorsport without danger is like cooking without salt
Sir Stirling Moss

Chuckjr
38
User avatar
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:34 am

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Chuckjr » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:17 am

Really appreciate the strong feedback and opinions from everyone. It's great to read what people think of the situation. I am surprised at how much resistance there is to change, and a strong desire to let things go as is. I find that interesting because it seems so counterintuitive to competitive sport.

Phil I was surprised you didn't read all of my post! Lol! I took your example in post length my friend! :)

I was surprised to read steel brakes can stop a car as fast as carbon. That is new information to me.

I feel the higher fuel flow and open engine regs make it an issue of driver skill rather than who can make the most horsepower, so it would negate Merc's advantage. Horsepower which surpasses the tire grip at all points of the track automatically limits power to driver skill because there's only so much push two rear tires can manage. Make the wheels spin anytime in any gear and it defaults to driver prowess. So it doesn't matter how much power is found through r&d, at some point nothing more can be put to tarmac and the team is better off making better pit stop choices, tire change choices, fuel efficiency choices, and driver choices than 100 million finding 10 more horsepower. All teams would be able to spin their wheels in any gear pretty easily under such regs. Am I wrong in assuming this theory? I well may be because people in this forum are smarter than I am.

I wish F1 luck leaving it as is, or not leveling the playing field in a way similar what they did to Ferrari years ago. I guess I'm under the crazy impression a 10 year run of any team/driver --basically contriving competition for years on end-- would be detrimental to the sport but hey, maybe I'm nuts thinking that, and people like the current show -- rather than a truly competitive sport. And I'm not saying that mockingly, I really am beginning to think that after reading some of the responses.

I'm not looking for the glory days of yesterday or trying to bring back the past greatness of F1. It would be like trying to bring back 70's rock--and that's tasteless. I'm simply trying to make sense of a situation that to me doesn't make competitive sense but again, maybe the concept of real competition has changed like music has changed.

Thank you again for all the feedback! It's good to read opinions here.

TAG
78
User avatar
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:18 pm
Location: in a good place

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by TAG » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:56 am

Chuckjr wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:17 am
Really appreciate the strong feedback and opinions from everyone. It's great to read what people think of the situation.
-
I feel the higher fuel flow and open engine regs make it an issue of driver skill rather than who can make the most horsepower, so it would negate Merc's advantage. Horsepower which surpasses the tire grip at all points of the track automatically limits power to driver skill because there's only so much push two rear tires can manage. Make the wheels spin anytime in any gear and it defaults to driver prowess.
Rain has this exact effect and we tend to see which drivers do what in the wet stuff all the time.
5 Time WDC Party Mode ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Ringleheim
3
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:02 am

Re: Merc, Lewis, and a plea for regulation sanity

Post by Ringleheim » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:32 am

I'm in favor of stabilizing rules long term so everyone can catch up.

But for God's sake, get rid of the turbos and all this electric motor/battery crap before then!

These cars are so bloated now. Hack a few hundred pounds out of them and give us proper NA engines again.

Also, # of cylinders should be unregulated.

And if I am just dreaming anyway, I would dearly love to see the drivers have to shift a manual gearbox again.