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Radical SR3 ::



F1 - as DULL as EVER!

Would You watch a sewing championship? An ironing-competition? People who fish in creeks? A crochet-showdown?

Are You making tire-changing competitions with Your friends? And on sundays, instead of church, You drop by Your nearest Shell, BP, or Esso, or Petronas, to admire the guys who refill?

In F1 they did that: By introducing mandatory pitstops, for refueling, tire changing.

20 years ago, in 1994, they killed and buried "racing" in F1

Pit-stops do make sense in long-distance-, in 24-h-races - in Le Mans, at the Nuerburgring. They do NOT make sense in sprint-races. Because sprint-races are races. Nobody's racing in the pit-lane. So pit-stop is stop, not race. Anybody around who would want to watch race-cars that stop??? If stops would make sense then the racing teams would do it. On their own. You do not have to enforce that. You only have to enforce it if it does NOT make sense. (NOW we are at one of the most common, fundamental problems of rules, laws. Meaning "Do You have to enforce things that make sense anyway"? But let us skip that point, for now.)

PLUS: they had more, and better options than this! But that did not show up in their limited minds. If You REALLY think 90 minutes are not good enough for F1, You could have split the race. With FAR better results! Make it 2 stints of 45 minutes, each! Giving You NEW options for the pole-position, f.e. For refueling, for tires. For better adaption to weather. For MORE TV-time ( = more ads, more money!). Since it is more demanding to think smarter they chose the result of simple thinking.

Understanding this I thought I should let Bernie (Ecclestone), Max (Mosley) and Ron (Dennis) let it know, too, tell them that this idea is a silly one, that they were about to make a very bad mistake. So I sent an e-mail to Ron at McLaren, asking to proceed the message to Bernie and Max. They should be up-to-date, too, shouldn't they?

Let me reduce the message to the essentials. These rules will not kill F1, but they will kill competition, they will kill racing in F1. They will reduce F1 to a hollow show like wrestling. No fighting. The best driver, the best car, the FASTEST combination does not win the race any more if the crew loses it in the pit-lane.

BUT: They are doing that for 20 years, now, and they still believe it's great, and they are the greatest, smartest guys in the universe, who also make the most money. Otherwise they would have to admit they did sth outstandingly stupid. Next they will try to take the sound out. First Hybrid, then no sound at all. The problem is: You CANNOT kill F1. Not by taking the racing out. The overall-show is to good. So You can make F1 the most tedious spectacle in the world, leading fishing, cricket, and golf. The spectators will stay. For the hollow show. Same way they love wrestling. 'Cause it's big deal, still, then. And every liftboy thinks he's excited. Today, F1 gives proof that there are billions of people who are willing to pay for a show of spectacular cars driving peacefully one after the other. Just another british queue, so to say.

A car doing an average of 200km/h makes good 60 meters per second. So Your 10-second-pit-stop gives Your opponent an advantage of 600m - which is a LOT. But it is MORE! Since You have to enter and leave again the speed-limited pit-lane You are out of the RACE for about 30 seconds. Which is an ETERNITY, in life, and even more in racing. Giving Your enemy an advantage of 1.8km. Until he has to stop. With the result that You need the best time machines just to know who's in the lead. No spectator has an idea any more without these. In the good old days of F1, and still today in GOOD racing everybody looking at it knows all the time who's in the lead. Because that's the guy in front, with two others in his back trying to outsmart him any second. So the lesson learned is: it does not matter to the spectators who's in the lead during the race. They don't care anyway. Otherwise they'd complain. I do. And so does Jeremy.

And even these most sophisticated time-machines will tell You the NO.4 driver is in the LEAD, First in race, only because 1-2-3 are having their pitstops. NO.4 , who has no chance at all to be in front in a regular race. Does that sound like a genius' idea to You?

Now WHAT do we want??? Do we want a refueling-competition? Do we want a tire-changing showdown? If people were really interested in that stuff there would be TV-stream, with a TV-team at every gasoline-station. Did You ever see one? Do You go there to watch people top up their buckets? Do You see crowds gathering at the petrol-pump when You are refueling Your car? No, You probably do not. Only WHY? I'll tell You: because You will have a hard time finding only ONE in 15 BILLION earthlings who's interested in that.

I did not really expect Bernie, Max, and Ron to catch up with my advanced thinking, so I tried it the other way round to make them understand better: "If You are so convinced this is a good idea, this is what people want to see - instead of racing! - WHY don't You make tire-changing and refueling-competitions and broadcast these? And THEN You can watch who's watching!"

The development in F1 in the years to follow provided the evidence how right I was. The new generation of race-drivers explained to the surprised public why they did not overtake anymore. They said they couldn't. You NEVER heard that from Ayrton Senna. And this is only ONE of the reasons why people nowadays still adore him! Actually he died on 1 May 1994, the year they put this nonsense into F1.

The consequence was that there were countless races in which NOBODY overtook another car, be it then he HAD to pass it because there was an accident or a technical breakdown. That's what they converted racing to. The only competitive situation was in qualifying, NOT in racing. In this kind of "racing" everybody only guarded his position, the one he achieved in qualifying. Good fun?

Guys like the german technocrat Michael Schumacher lead the races, far ahead, short of lapping himself. Nothing else happened. That's what is fascinating?

What happened was that the pit-crews fought for fractions of seconds, and the drivers did not do that any more.

That's the reason, by the way, why there are now fan-clubs all over the world, for the pit-crews, and the fans at the track are waving flags, and banners, everywhere, for lollipop-men, and tire-carriers, and fuel-men, and for the fire-extinguisher-guys. And for the floor-cleaners, the garbage-collectors, and the guards at the gates: because they are all part of the teamwork. And they are already short of outnumbering the guys waving for Hamilton and Alonso.

Since McLaren is a british team they are well educated, they have manners. They care for their customers, they even care for those of their fans who do not pay. So they answered. Politely.

Not Ron Dennis, though, but his pr-guy. And - as already anticipated ! - they told me they were perfectly fine with the new procedure. Ok, I thought, then I will not watch F1 anymore, for the next 20 years, until they change that and make F1 racey again. Until today I LOVE to watch GP1-bikes, or BTCC, just to name two. Even an amateur Toyota Vios Cup I witnessed was more racey than F1 in the recent 20 years. Because they are competitive, they are racey. Because there is NO moment without position-changes. Because they fight for inches on the race-track. Until the very last seconds. And they win by inches. Not by light-years! It boils Your blood. Does F1 do that? Well, if You are a tailor or a delivery-boy, a laundry-woman or a bookkeeper it might do. Maybe.

I was wrong though. Did not take them 20 years to revoke the nonsense. The first step was ALREADY done in 2009. A miracle. They cancelled the refueling-thing. But NOT the tire-changes, NOT the mandatory pit-stops. Will probably take another 15 years until they start thinking about these.

Then F1 will be managed by Fabiana Flosi, and I will have to negotiate with her.

Next point:

When will they finally abandon that safety-car-nonsense?

The safety-car gives a severe disadvantage to the good drivers who already won a significant distance to their followers! THAT"S NOT FAIR!

Others make ground bu making their pit-stop. You have an advantage if You go to the pits because You lose less distance on Your competition when everybody has to go slow under safety-car. So You win by standing in the pits. Cannot be right. You should advance by going fast, not standing still:

That's NOT racey!

What can they do?

Well, every car has that 80km/h-button for the pit-lane. It should be possible to trigger that speed-limiter wireless in all cars by race-control. Then all cars slow down for the time of the problem. No risk for the rescue-teams. And nobody gains distance for free any more to the disadvantage of the faster drivers. The positions and the distances are not affected, then.

Since You cannot block cars from going to the pits because some might need to refuel You have to allow that. But they should only be allowed to take a limited amount of fuel so they do not gain an advantage. And they must not be allowed to work on the car in an sc-phase.

That's only FAIR!

Best races in the world?

My ranking:

Without any doubt:

First: You die for the Tourist Trophy Isle of Man!

Non-conforming, unconventional!

Second: Moto GP

By FAR the BEST, the most exciting conventional racing ever. They have: fascinating highTec. High tension until last seconds. Races are often decided by only a few inches in the finishing line. Great atmosphere for viewers on TV, even more for those on track. Pretty much fairness on track. They have the legendary old man Valentino Rossi, who is still after many years giving an exciting performance.

The feedback, the technology of the race-bikes pushes immediately into the manufacturer's production bikes. There is no closer connection between Race-Tec and Road-Tec anywhere else.

The extraordinary bikes are close to the bikes You can buy, You get the technology, the power, the thrill You see on track.

Unparalleled! The ARTISTIC performance of the drivers who slide and drift with the bikes.

Third place: The great 24h-race on the Nuerburgring in Germany

It gave me a hard time to decide whether the 24h in Le Mans should share the rank. But it doesn't, even though it is the MOST LEGENDARY race ever. I'll explain.

The Nuerburgring is the best racetrack in the world. It combines the kick of a modern, safe GP racetrack with the rollercoaster THRILL and the multiple challenges of the uncomparable northloop. In comparison the great, famous racetrack in Le Mans cannot pull up and get equal.

Le Mans does not have steep slopes, it is pretty flat. They know great, perfect wheather, like in 2017. They have rain. The Nuerburgring has unbelievable wheather-changes. Sometimes You can experience spring, summer, fall and winter within andonly one lap: there were races that had sunshine, rain, FOG!, even snow or icy conditions. In comparison the great Le Mans-race is a dancehall-event.

I have many laps done on the northloop, about 150 I'd say, plus the countless ones on the exciting Gran Turismo 4 on Sony's playstation, which was a common training device for the race-drivers there. So I know what I am talking about.

The 24h in Germany sport state-of-the-art-HighTec in cars that are reliable for 24-hours, putting race-stress on all parts that might equal the stress a normal car does not experience in 50.000km. These cars are race-cars, of course, but they derive from road-cars You can buy. There is a higher grade of identification for the drivers and the fans: because these are the cars they drive.

A fantastic mix of classes: there are small, slow cars in the race, and the very fast top-range. 230 cars, more than 1000 international drivers racing!!! More than 200.000 fans watching by the track, millions in the uncomparable fever in front of their TV-screens.

For EVERY relevant car manufacturer in the world the Nuerburgring northloop is THE benchmark, the place where they have to go in the final stage of their new models to optimize them, to make them better, or even: the BEST!.

NOTHING compares to the Nuergurgring northloop!

Only Spa francorchamps might come close.

4: 24h Le Mans, France, of course!

5: Pikes Peak, USA

MY personal no. 6: Cannonball Race in the Philippines!


(see "Cannonball Race" in left navigation bar or above for race report!)

Hardly viewers, no TV coverage. But for those who take part it is a PHANTASTIC event: I did it. I know!

But PLEASE never tell anybody. This must be handled discreet, it's for insiders, enthusiasts, petrolheads only. Clarkson, Hammond and May should come here: they'd have fun. But they should not put it in their show.

Because publicity will allow our foolish enemies to destroy it. This is the reason why the organizers keep the ball flat: not much media coverage. No ranking. They are right. It's a pity, but it is good the way it is.

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