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Formula 1 unable to reform: The better F1 regulations

Formula 1 incapable of reforms
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U m to make it clear right away. We don't envy Mercedes its five double victories. Mercedes deserves it. Because the team does a better job than everyone else. Not because they put more money or more people into their mission. Mercedes wins against his peers. Ferrari and Red Bull-Honda spend just as much money, have equally good tools and just as many people at the start as the series winners.

But this is where the first problem of Formula 1 emerges. Nevertheless, the same always wins . That was the case at McLaren-Honda from 1988 to 1991, at Ferrari from 2000 to 2004, at Red Bull from 2010 to 2013. Ever since motorsport became a science, ever since the teams were able to feed their perfectionism with total data transparency, there have been series of victories.

Why is that? Any team enters an era with a head start. At Red Bull it was the aerodynamics, at Mercedes the engine. If you don't make a serious mistake, you conserve this advantage. The hunters are so busy catching up on one disadvantage that the hunted gains an advantage in other areas that the opponent inevitably has to neglect.

Current example: Mercedes is in. With a huge advantage on the engine side the hybrid era entered. While Ferrari was trying to catch up with the engine, Mercedes built up the best chassis department. It's the famous rabbit-and-hedgehog game.

The current system creates a second problem, and that is even bigger than the first. The top teams move further and further away from the rest. At the top, winning is so important that ever larger budgets are approved. The midfield can't keep up. Who wants to invest in a company with no prospects?

Word has got around that it will take at least five years to catch up. The system thus seals itself off from the outside. Formula 1 in its current state will never find a new team. For private racing teams it is too far removed, for automobile manufacturers too exposed to the risk of embarrassing themselves.

Instead of people, machines dominate

Of the last 315 podium places, 292 went to Mercedes , Ferrari and Red Bull. Only five of the last 201 left. That shows the trend. We don't even want to talk about surprise winners. A person is more likely to land on Mars than someone outside of the top three teams to win a race. It is this predictability of events that wears down the sport.

The formula1 is in competition with other sports. Because of the influence of money, there is a similar performance gap in football as in Formula 1, but at least we get surprises there. Liverpool FC can still make up a 3-0 deficit against FC Barcelona. It would be like Ferrari making up for a 20 second delta in a race. Without safety car.

In Formula 1, technology determines who wins the races. Those who invest the most money in technology also have the greatest chances of success.

The secret is simple: In football, he still rules Man. In Formula 1, it's machines, and that doesn't just mean cars and engines. The machines in the background are much worse: the test benches, simulators, computers. Even a Lewis Hamilton wouldn't win in a Ferrari today, and he wouldn't finish on the podium in a Renault.

That can be extended to other areas. The most ingenious designer in the world would not build a winning car at Haas. The smartest strategist in the world wouldn't maneuver McLaren onto a podium. The fastest mechanic crew in the world wouldn't make a Williams finish in the points.

We don't want to take technology away from Formula 1. It's the DNA of the sport. We just want to force them into a corset, and then proclaim total freedom in this corset. A corset that everyone can afford, from Williams to Mercedes. Then, in spite of the technology, the human being determines again. The best driver, the best design office, the best strategists, the fastest mechanics.

Pirate series, so what?

If you want to maneuver Formula 1 out of the impasse, you have to dare a fresh start. The reform proclaimed by the new owners has withered into a reform. Because the FIA ​​doesn't dare to drive a tough course, because the F1 management is too considerate of the teams.

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said something right: “The planned changes are 20 percent of what Formula 1 should actually change. That means nothing happens. ”FIA and Liberty are afraid that theyLose teams in tough reforms, maybe even fuel a pirate series.

So what? Even if all 10 teams got out and started their own series, nothing would be lost. On the contrary. They would carry on as before. Otherwise they could have approved the reforms. The most important bargaining chip would remain in the hands of the FIA ​​and the rights holder: the label of the Formula 1 World Championship.

In no time at all, 10 teams, probably even more, would be found to take part. On a modest basis, but that could be expanded. And you could then control the framework conditions so that they don't get out of hand again. By now everyone knows the mistakes that have been made in the last 30 years.

The sport would definitely be worlds better than what we have today and what the current teams would create themselves . The audience would also appreciate that. Big names or not.

And bet that half of the top drivers would drive in the new series, even if they earn a lot less money there. I already know two people: Fernando Alonso, because he wants to become Formula 1 world champion again. Sebastian Vettel, because then he would finally get rid of the hated hybrid drives.

Frank Jelsema
How would the perfect Formula 1 regulations look like? We have a few suggestions on how to improve the premier class.

Our proposal for a better Formula 1

We don't just want to complain. Anyone who criticizes must also make a reasonable counter-proposal. We have one ready. It is certainly not complete, but it is an approach. You don't have to be an Einstein to know how good motorsport works. Everyone in the paddock knows it, even those who defend themselves against it out of selfishness.

You just have to have the courage to enforce it, even if it may be painful for a while. Here is our plan for a better Formula 1. When it comes to technology for cars and engines, we only give a floor plan. The experts then have to work out the details:

The money:

  • The budget cap includes all costs that are necessary twoDevelop cars and send them to the races. So also engine costs, travel costs, driver salaries. There are no exceptions. The drivers could be offered a certain area for private sponsors on the overall as additional income.
  • The budget cap is calculated from the amount paid out, divided by the number of teams. This should be limited to a maximum of 13. This regulation ensures that every team is financed and making a profit. Sponsorship income, merchandising and license fees are then largely profit. This creates planning security for private teams and gives manufacturers in-house a good justification for a motorsport commitment.
  • 80 percent of the distributed amount goes to the teams in equal parts. 10 percent is a success bonus that is only distributed to the top ten. The world champion receives 25 percent of this 10 percent, the runner-up 18, and then so on up to the tenth, identical to the formula 1 points scheme. Another 10 percent is paid for history. Every year that a team has served in the Formula 1 World Championship under the name under which it is currently enrolled is remunerated. The equivalent for one year is based on the total history bonus divided by the years of all participants. Right now that would be $ 338,228 per season completed. Assuming that one billion dollars will be distributed, a budget cap of 100 million dollars per team as of 2019 would result in the following distribution to the teams. Mercedes: $ 109.5 million; Ferrari: $ 124.6 million; Red Bull: $ 100.7 million; McLaren: $ 108.5 million; Renault: $ 100.7 million; Racing Point: $ 86.4 million; HaasF1: $ 91.5 million; Clean: $ 92.7 million; Toro Rosso: $ 87.3 million.
  • Only the teams that have achieved at least 105 percent of the fastest in 90 percent of all races in Q1 will receive money. This rules out alibi teams.
  • Harsh penalties for fraudsters. Those who overrun the budget by up to five percent are allowed to spend less in the following season. If more than five percent, all points and all money will be deducted. If it is repeated, the team will be permanently excluded.
  • Investments will be charged separately. A list of facilities and tools that a team may have at most is drawn up. An existing team may upgrade or invest a new team up to this limit. The same goes for engine manufacturers.

The decision-making process:

  • The rules are exclusively governed by the FIA ​​and determined by the F1 management. The teams can contribute ideas in regular meetings, but cannot vote. In order to get to this step, it is important that the teams are practically funded by the payout. By definition, they are then no longer investors with a right to a say, but rather beneficiaries who are guaranteed a profit by the system.
Frank Jelsema
The dimensions are limited. But the engineers have maximum freedom with the details.

The car:

  • The car is divided into three boxes. The front box extends from the tip of the nose to the front edge of the front wheel, the rear one from the rear edge of the rear wheel to the rear light. The middle one includes the two wheels. Relatively simple rules and maximum freedom apply within the boxes. Front and rear, the constraint is a square meter of the area that the car projects onto the ground. This is dimensioned in such a way that the wings cannot be much larger than with the IndyCars on the Superspeedways. The shape of the wings, whether wide with little depth or less wide with more depth, is up to the teams. Parallel horizontal surfaces are not allowed. No surface may overlap the other or cover the street. This means that holes and shafts are not possible in this area. The minimum height up and down moves in a specified window. The middle box should be a maximum of 3.90 meters long. That would mean a wheelbase of 3.20 to 3.25 meters, a good 40 centimeters shorter than now. The shape of the cladding or the side pods is free with a radius restriction as we already have today. Parallel vertical surfaces to the chassis are prohibited. This prevents all guide plates and wing-like structures. The sub-floor may have a profile outside the 50 centimeter wide reference plane. Most of the downforce is to be generated here.
  • The minimum weight is reduced to 680 kilograms including the driver.

The engine:

  • A 2.5 liter turbo engine with free boost pressure. The number of cylinders is also optional. The engine must fit into a standard frame that has identical pivot points for the chassis and transmission at the front and rear, regardless of the engine concept. In order to create a clear difference between qualification and race, the amount of fuel in the race is limited to 200 liters. The easiest way to do this would be with a standard tank. This means that in training with 1,500 hpcan be driven, while you may have to be content with 1,000 hp in the race because of the fuel limit. Free boost would be a better and fairer overtaking aid than DRS. Because anyone can use it at will. At some point the driver just has to save the fuel that is lost. Six engines per driver are allowed. Each further threatens a penalty in the starting line-up to the back. There is no longer any distinction made between individual drive units.
  • The budget cover for new engine developments is limited to 20 million dollars, for the further development of an existing concept to 10 million per year. These are not fancy numbers. Mario Illien developed his IndyCar engine off a blank sheet of paper for 7 million euros.
  • The engine costs for customer teams are limited to 10 million dollars per year. With a maximum budget of 20 million for a new development for the manufacturer, the costs would already be covered for two customers. The following applies to the distribution: If requested, a certain number of teams must be supplied, which is calculated as follows: Number of teams divided by the number of engine manufacturers and rounded up.
  • Hybrid disappears. Instead, Formula 1 runs exclusively on synthetic and CO²-neutral fuel. It's a hundred times more environmentally friendly than any form of electrical energy.

The sports laws:

  • Telemetry is prohibited. This means that the driver in the cockpit alone determines how he gets by. All safety-relevant information is shown to the driver directly on the display. The teams can download strictly regulated data sets after each training session or race. The speeds of all mini-sectors are public and can therefore also be viewed by the fans. This means that people rule again and not the computer.
  • Chassis, cladding, aerodynamics, suspensions and radiators have to be developed by the teams themselves. All other components are automatically foreign parts that can be purchased from outside. If you want to develop it yourself, you automatically become a manufacturer and have to offer it to other teams for a predetermined fixed price in accordance with the engine distribution rule.
  • All regulatory crutches and artificial tension generators such as DRS, prescribed tire changes or a free choice of tires from starting position 11 disappear . Pirelli offers five compounds to choose from for all races, and the teams choose the 13 sets of tires for a weekend from the full range. There is no longer any need to use at least two mixtures in the race. If you want to drive through without stopping, you should do so.
  • The parc fermé begins on Thursday at 8 p.m. with the end of the technical inspection. This means that the teams can no longer deliver parts of a new specification during the weekend.
  • The qualification remainshow she is. The system has proven itself. The only exception: everyone starts exactly on the set of tires on which they drove their fastest qualifying lap.

What do you think of our suggestions? Do you have any other ideas on how to make Formula 1 better? Or can you think of something that absolutely needs to be changed? Write us a comment on the post on our >> Facebook page !


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