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The Malaysia GP Podcast

NEWS STORY
02/04/2014

The Malaysian Grand Prix has come and gone for another year leaving the Pitpass team to bicker, argue and generally disagree with each other in its wake.

And for a time they do, there are literally seconds of conversation about the Sepang event before resident crack-pot theorist Glen 'Crompo' Crompton hijacks the show.

It starts off well enough, editor Chris Balfe briefly touching on the new live timing app while the patriotic partisan pair, Crompo and Mat Coch, sing the praises of countryman Daniel Ricciardo and his stellar start to 2014.

The discuss the (endless) penalties meted out to Ricciardo, Balfe suggesting the 10-place grid penalty for Bahrain reminds him of the classis line from Carry on Cleo... "infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me". They discuss, team orders at Williams and why isn’t Nico Hulkenberg driving for one of the big teams before quickly realising that in many ways there was very little left - in terms of the 'racing' to talk about.

But from there the show quickly descends in to anarchy with Crompo suggesting the sport has not only lost its way, but is without a map to find its way back. 2014, the team declare appears to already be becoming a season of false promises at the hands of a selfish corporate machine.

However, in a Pitpass first the podcast team wants to hear from you. Balfe, Crompo and Coch realise they have an opinion, but so do you, and they want to hear it. They want to know what you think is wrong with the sport, if anything, and what you think is right with it. They want to know how F1 can strengthen your passion for the sport, or what it's doing that pushes you away.

Share your thoughts and have your voice heard; the team will look to read some of the best on a forthcoming podcast... indeed, we may well select a few to join us in a forthcoming podcast.

You can download the latest episode on iTunes here.

Android listeners can download or subscribe here.

Simply listen online here.

Alternatively You can also hear all Pitpass podcasts here here. (warning: external site)

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Dreadnaught, 08/04/2014 20:33

"I write with the benefit of hindsight but have previously made the same comments elsewhere.
I am also an old ****, probably more so than you lot, much less so than the real old**** and about the same as the Italian and Austrian old *****.
Your comments were much too premature, too much influenced by others whose comments have done so much to damage F1 and fortunately completely negated by this weekends great race. Please do not join the ridiculous comments that say it was all down to the safety car. It absolutely was not !
The noise can be criticised, personally I find it interesting, but little else. This weekend we even saw a bit of drifting and if the wings, which should have been stillborn, were to be reduced even or better still much more, then the cars really would move and look far more spectacular. The lap times are immaterial, the cars need to look spectacular and we need competition.
As far as F1 generally is concerned there is much to criticise and perhaps that should be the subject of a separate comment but there are far too many people putting their perceived interests, generally financial, ahead of the interests of the sport, the enthusiasts, the drivers and the spectators. "

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2. Posted by Nool, 04/04/2014 8:10

"PS: In my post a minute earlier, when I said Kers, I meant DRS. I think I need some sleep."

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3. Posted by Nool, 04/04/2014 8:08

"After following F1 for years, I'm on the edge of giving it away. Here's a few reasons. The penalty system seems to actively discourage racing. Sure give a penalty when someone makes an intentional agressive and dangerous move, but the these days people seem to penalized when just about any contact is made. I want to see drivers racing at their limits, not holding back because they might be penalized for a late braking manoeuvre that doesn't go perfectly to plan. Then there are team errors such as the Ricciardo wheel incident in Malaysia where the driver is penalised for no fault of his own. Surely in situations like these the team has already paid a penalty by the time lost putting the wheel back on. Why penalise the driver any further (let alone with 2 penalties). The farcical double point race that follows effectively adds another level to that driver's penalty.

Last year the frustration amongst some drivers (Lewis in particular) was obvious having to constantly hold back to save their tires. I wanted want to see drivers race at their limit, not display who's best at minimising wear. This years fuel consumption restrictions takes this frustration to new height. When we see one driver pass another, it's safe to bet he didn't pass because he's the faster driver with faster package. No, it's more likely that he's managed his fuel better, or his tires, or his batteries are fully charged and he can hit the pass button (with the help of Kers of course). But we don't know which it is and frankly I don't really care, because they're not really racing any more.

It's not a race, it's a fuel economy run, tyre management display, kers assisted hyrbid energy management puzzle, penalty hobbled, farce."

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4. Posted by TheBucketOfTruth, 04/04/2014 0:03

"Here are some gripes. I have been against DRS since it was announced. It is artificial and unfair in what some would call a sport. If a team in another sport is behind, should they get an extra player on the field/court over their opposition until they can get ahead? No.

Since I started watching F1 in the early 2000s, I have seen cars in F1 get neutered. The regulations were always strict, but now they strangle. Rev limits, fuel flow limits, Mandated weight distributions, standard ECUs, mandated packaging of ERS systems, restrictions on suspension setup/camber settings for the tires, banning of fuel stops, etc.

Aerodynamics:
Up until the drastic rule changes for the 2009 season, the cars looked gorgeous. Since then, with their heavily restricted aerodynamics and mandated wing sizes, they are just plain ugly. This design was an attempt to allow cars to follow others more closely behind without losing as much downforce, but much of the racing is just as processional as it was before these changes.

Engines: I'll leave KERS out of this, but I saw the sport go from V10s down to V8s and now to these turbocharged V6s. The V10s screamed and had major horsepower. It really set F1 apart from any other auto racing. The switch to V8s was a disappointment, but at least they pushed past the 20,000 rpm mark. Then they forced rev limits upon the teams, and now we have engines so quiet that the sound mix gets turned up for TV coverage just so you can hear the cars.

Tires: We had a tire war between Michelin and Bridgestone which meant cars had major grip and were built to be as good as the engineers could possibly make them. Even in 2005 when tires were made to last the whole race, cars still seemed to be able to push far harder than they do now (and there were far less marbles off line to boot). The reintroduction of Pirelli into the sport as the control tire has been laughable.

I could go on and on, but we've already gotten quite long here. I want to see drivers and cars pushed to the upper limit for the duration of a race, a true sprint to the finish. I don't want to see driving like one is on eggshells to save the tires from wearing out too quickly or a bunch of lift and coast to make sure the cars don't run out of fuel. F1 really is no "greener" with hybrid turbo V6s than it was before. Soon we may live in a world where the V12 and V10 engined road cars have gone the way of the dinosaur, if not the internal combustion engine altogether. It might be nice to go to the track and see 20+ V10 racing cars battle it out at full speed spitting fuel, oil, and rubber about before going home in my electromagnetically propelled passenger car (or whatever it happens to be).

I am a young man and should not be suffering the "good old days" syndrome quite yet. Formula 1 should strive to be better than ever. I shouldn't have to wax lyrical about times that are only a decade or less in my memory. Lose all the gimmicks and heavy handed restrictions and get back to real racing."

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5. Posted by stephenblois, 03/04/2014 13:33

"Regardless of what's wrong with the sport itself, there needs to be more entertainment value for the casual fan of the sport is to grow. Indy, NASCAR, etc know they are in the entertainment business and that people need a reason to spend their money on that particular sport. F1 feels like they are doing the host country a favour by showing up. Sealing off the drivers, insanely overpriced merchandise, and catering to only the rich. Bernie needs to hire someone from outside the bubble with a an eye for marketing. Maybe even an American since they do that well. Until that changes F1 will continue to spiral down to irrelevance. "

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6. Posted by Jharber72, 03/04/2014 13:24

"What's wrong with F1....how long have you got?

Simply put the cars cannot overtake without either drs or a speed difference of several seconds per lap.

Even with the regulation changes there is far too much downforce and not enough mechanical grip, the front wings are so intracate and rely so much on clean airflow that cars are unable to follow closely through corners without suffering catastrophic understeer. This means that they are too far behind at the beginning of straights to take advantage of the draft and, as a result, are too far behind to out-brake into the next corner. Braking zones are also ridiculously short with the convination of carbon discs, aero and engine braking giving us braking distances of no more than 100m at most turns.
My opinion is that F1 needs to cut overall downforce by at least 50% while also restricting front wings to no more than 2 downforce-generating elements. Combine this with the removal of the regulation specifying flat floors, which would allow a limited form of ground-effect while also reducing the reliance on clean airflow, and a ban on carbon brakes which should vastly increase braking distances and it may be possible to bring excitement back.
Just don't hold your breath waiting for any changes."

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7. Posted by honeysucklerose, 03/04/2014 12:54

"I am a mere female and cannot debate the pros and cons of DRS, KERS, rev limiters etc. but as a TV spectator I just want to make a few points.

Some F1 races [and last Sunday's was an example] are unbelievably boring. You would think that 24 supercars racing round a circuit would make for exciting TV but so often what we see is a processional convoy with just a few isolated incidents worthy of attention. The rules change every year [is there any other sport where this happens?] in an effort to "keep things interesting for the audience" but in practise it seems to mean that points are won and lost when the race is over and infringements have been investigated [nothing new there then].

The BBC commentators are good but it would be lovely if they didn't fill every moment with dialogue. I don't need to know what happened at that corner three years ago, or that there's a ten per cent chance or rain in the next forty minutes. Information overload coupled with a dearth of interest on the track is the best way to send anyone to sleep.

I like motor racing - sometimes F1 is brilliant and can't be beaten for excitement, drama and style [some of the circuits are fabulous] but the memorable races are in the minority and that's a real shame for everyone - the drivers, the teams and the audiences around the world. "

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8. Posted by Colin M, 03/04/2014 4:32

"What's wrong with F1:

1. DRS is a dead duck now the downforce is less. Get rid of it.
2. Instantaneous fuel flow limit should be removed in races, imposed in qualifying
3. Speaking of qualifying, bring back the 1 lap challenge, but if track conditions change markedly, reset qualifying and specify the tyre to be used
4. Allow dual exhaust outlets to get back some of the aural excitement. Keep the rev limit (you would have to with the current race fuel restriction)
5. Allow freedoms in development of the power train for teams that fall outside the top ten of constructors for the previous year"

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9. Posted by Gilles#27, 03/04/2014 2:46

"I've been following F1 since the mid 1970's and always loved the sport with a passion. This year though may be my last as for me, F1 has become boring. Ugly dull sounding cars, too much emphasis on strategy and not wheel-to-wheel racing, souless Tilke-drome circuits and a sport that imho has simply become too corporate and politically correct. "

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10. Posted by TokyoAussie, 03/04/2014 1:16

"What's wrong with F1? That's too broad a topic to cover in one year...

What can be done with what we have right now?
1. Get rid of the fuel flow restriction. I've harped on about this one, and now even the teams and FIA? seem to be on board.

2. Get rid of the rev limiter. This is my other favourite harp. The rev limiter can be gotten rid of quickly, to let the engines make some noise. The bigger problem will be that these engines have not been designed to rev beyond 15,000rpm. I'm sure some engines would handle it better than others, which means there will never be unanimous agreement among engine makers.

But imagine if those 2 things happened. Teams would manage their own consumption and top speed, deciding when they can turn the engine up or down. It would also have the benefit of eliminating the need for DRS, which is and always will be unfair and fake."

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11. Posted by Racer, 03/04/2014 0:27 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 03/04/2014 7:27)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

Rating: Neutral (0)

12. Posted by Silver Fox, 02/04/2014 22:29

"Your wanted comments: well, here's mine....;-)

To quote 'The Who' all this years changes have resulted in is a change from a parting on the left to a parting on the right (all that's happened is that Mercedes have replaced RBR as the dominant team). I also think that all of the talk of 'lack of noise', etc as an issue is just a smoke screen thrown up in an attempt to disguise the sports real issues. If they really want to fix F1 they should:
1) Get rid of the current limited number 'team franchaise' system: They should limit the grid to 24 cars and anyone who has built a car that meets the regulations should be able to enter it in a race subject to it passing the 107% rule. If more than 24 cars turn up there should be pre-qualifications on Saturday mornings. That way if Haas (or anyone else with enough money for that matter) wants to build and enter a car they can do so knowing that - if it is good enough - it can race.
2) Allow customer cars (or at least customer chassis's): Look at the great teams in the past who started off this way. I could also be quite interesting to see how a Ferrari chassis with a Merc power pack compared against the Ferrari works cars. 21st century garagista's could and should have a place.
3) Make the drivers drive: today's cars are built for playstation generation drivers with infinite adjustability and mod cons such as power steering and semi-auto gearboxes. Dump the lot and give them a manual shift, a conventional clutch and non-cockpit adjustable diffs. Don't tell me that today's cars are too powerful for that when Lauda and the like were driving 1400BHP turbo cars in qualifying with stick shifts in the '80's'. They are supposed to be the best drivers in the world: make them prove it by driving real racing cars!
4) Dump the Tilke tracks for real circuits: its no coincidence that the best racing occurs on traditional F1 circuits such as Spa, Silverstone, Suzuka, Interlargos & Monza. Most of the modern circuits (with the possible exception of Austin) are totally bland, having been primarily designed to aid TV coverage rather than test the cars & drivers. I don't care if the race is in daylight or under lights. Those new circuits are still totally boring when many, many more good old circuits remain unused. If Bernie is the deal wizard that everyone makes out why can't he make a deal that sees us back in Mexico or South Africa (or even Long Beach)? "

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