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Minardi feels big changes are in the air

NEWS STORY
07/08/2014

Veteran team owner Gian Carlo Minardi fears for the future of the sport and warns that changes are needed.

As the teams take an enforced break, during which their factories are effectively under the control of the FIA and no employee or worker may enter the factories and even e-mail traffic is prohibited, Minardi looks forward to the short-term future of the sport but fears for the long-term.

"At the resumption of work it will be Autumn," he says, "the supremacy of Mercedes makes me forecast large movements regarding the teams' workforces. Ferrari has already begun, but what they did seems not enough, so other changes are in the air.

"McLaren is also forced to work in such a way to ensure Honda a technical return on the investments they are doing in F1, not to mention Lotus, that is once again making big changes at the corporate and technical levels to switch from Renault to Mercedes engines.

"However, no team will be free from revolutions, that will either regard the technical side or the pilots, or even changes of Team Principal and Managing Director," he continues, adding "this could be one of the reasons that led Bernie to postpone the meeting in London to find new solutions together with Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren.

"F1 is increasingly split into two groups, with some teams who work to achieve leadership while others are struggling to survive. These two groups will have to match their different interests, with the sole aim to re-launch F1 attracting new fans, particularly among young people, being more effective in promotional and media terms for new sponsors.

"To achieve this, there will probably be the need to rewrite the rules, to make them clear and understandable to all."

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1. Posted by Surfsalot, 13/08/2014 14:52

"Dreadnaught, old goats that's funny. Forgive them Father for they know not what they do or say. Speaking of old goats who's running this operation anyway. Seems to be plenty of Gray hair around doesn't there. Hmmm?"

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2. Posted by Surfsalot, 13/08/2014 14:48

"F One, if you like that kinda stuff hats off to ya."

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3. Posted by Surfsalot, 13/08/2014 14:47

"Natcheztoo I agree 100% with your comments. We too were season ticket holders in the penthouse paddock area on the rail even after tire gate at indy. Those were the days V10's etc. Never to be seen again probably for the very reasons you elaborate on & more. O'well there is the NHRA and other forms to watch that are interesting and fun to watch and attend when we have the time to do so, not to mention cheaper. Try thoroughbred horse racing. The only thing really annoying were the loud mouth arrogant fly-ins from other countries. Never meet one that wasn't rude or down right obnoxious."

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4. Posted by gturner38, 09/08/2014 18:25

"The problem is not with the on track product. The problem is with the marketing of the on track product. F1 does a horrendous job with presenting the series online with little in the way of video beyond three minute recaps with no commentary. They look nice but don't tell the viewer much. There's nothing interactive on their site and they've reduced the amount of information such as timing and scoring that's available for free. Meanwhile every time something exciting or controversial happens in a race, it becomes a race to see it on Youtube before FOM tracks it down and gets it removed.

Now add in some team managers, drivers, a singularly vocal track promoter and a commercial rights holder who all choose to come out and tell the world they don't like the new rules/it isn't F1/ too complicated for the fans/they hurt the show, etc, and we're somehow shocked that people buy into it not being worth watching. Show me another company employs a marketing strategy of "Our product is rubbish and we're sure you won't like it, but please buy it."

To the fan sitting at home, the noise of the cars wouldn't have been an issue. No one in their right mind has the volume turned up on their TV loud enough to accurately replicate the current cars much less the old ones. The rules being overly complicated implies that the fans have to be able to think through the strategy in great detail. Given that they don't have access to enough information to really know who is saving fuel anyway (again an opportunity for F1 to give info to the fans), it's just like watching any other race in any series where a driver may have to save fuel to avoid a pitstop or to allow him to start with a lighter fuel load.

F1 needs to give the hardcore fan with an interest in the engineering side of the sport more info to work with, but casual fan just needs close racing and an ability to connect with the drivers. NASCAR is perfect example of this. They don't even bother publishing their technical regs, so all their fans know is that it's a V8 with a 4 speed gearbox and aerodynamically it has to fit templates. "

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5. Posted by my tyres are going off, 09/08/2014 16:40

"Many good points but If a sport had to understandable and relavent to be popular then please explain cricket and it's massive fan base. In my opinion the problems with F1 popularity are:
Price. You only get 1event in your country if you are lucky so compare that to the cost of taking the family to the local Liverpool Everton game.
Limited live media coverage OK if you are a sky sports subscriber but at times it can be difficult to follow especially if you are on the move in the car or not at home.
Difficult to take part. In UK I can watch the US open then grab a bag of golf bats and go hack a local 1st green to bits. It is an exclusive and non spontaneous sport.
Constant rule changes that are difficult to understand.
Three grades of teams competing in the same race. There should be a championship for teams that spend less than (say) £50 million and let the rest have unlimited testing and spare parts . I do not want to see Alonso slow down because his engine needs to do another two races. Yet I do not want to see Caterham drop out due to not being able to afford to compete..
Rant over and now to watch some rugby and try to understand the off side laws !
"

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6. Posted by Natcheztoo, 08/08/2014 20:57

"Sir and Fans,

I remember standing on the balcony of the tower over the start-finish line for the F1 at Indianapolis. The 1000 HP monsters would stop directly below me, rev to 12,000 RPM, and scream (that does not do the sound justice) off practicing their starts. For some reason the Honda was noticeably the loudest.

Now, we have these itsy, bitsy baby engines muffled by a turbo charger put-putting around the track sounding for all the world like a boat's submerged outboard engine.

All of this is being foisted on the long-enduring fans of F1 by people worshiping at the alter of Enviro-Green religion! Primarily at the hands of Europeans as they specialize in these types of things.

Yet, some say, "Fans of F1 will always continue their support of the series." Others say, "F1 just has to do a better job of promoting the series." Still others say, "Well, hell, F1 has the best racing this year in many years." If we were boxing fans, what would we rather see? Heavyweight fighters with lightweight gloves or featherweight boxers with big, fat, muffin-bags fitted over their fists? Maybe we'd rather see football (not American) in which all the players had a twisted ankle by mandate. I think you get the drift.

I no longer sit transfixed on the television screen when F1 practice, qualifying and the race are on. I have been an ardent fan of F1 since the fifties. Until the raw power, sound, brutal speed and high revving engines are brought back to F1 and the cars are undoubtedly the fastest on the planet, I am basically through with it. All of the explaining, promoting and blabber will not bring me back.

How refreshing to hear comments posted on line such as, "Isn't it great! Now we can hear the crowd noise."

Fie on the FIA and every Enviro-Green Freak who brought down the greatest sport the planet has ever produced.

Natcheztoo
"

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7. Posted by Fletch, 08/08/2014 18:57

"Fans of F1 will always continue their support of the series. Attracting new fans may be more challenging. F1 Qualifying now has the right ingredients for the spectator - so no tweeks needed. The race however does need to be better understood in order to be better supported. Needing to drive with a restricted fuel allowance for example, is fine for the technicians but I for one feel let down when drivers need to lift off the throttle in order to manage that allowance. Track Limits (other than pit entry/exit) is another annoyance that needs to be resolved. Perhaps the powers-that-be should open the discussion to the fans, TV viewers and others, to see what really turns them off.
"

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8. Posted by Steve W, 08/08/2014 10:34

"But, but, but... if a customer is not happy with a product, should that customer just smile, nod and buy it anyway? Maybe they will in dreamland, but not in the real world."

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9. Posted by F One, 07/08/2014 18:39

"Less doom and gloom please Pittpass.
This has been the most exciting season in quite some time with some of the best racing for ages and yet it still seems like all you want talk about it doom and gloom and how broken you think F1 is when looking on track it clearly isn't."

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10. Posted by Dreadnaught, 07/08/2014 10:35

"I do wish these dear old things would "fade away". Minardi has been around for a very long time and in F1 never very successfully. None of all this negative talk does F1 any favours, and will not help with the situation in Germany, which probably has as much to do with the trial as anything else, or the appeal to the young which will require the attention of marketing experts not old goats."

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