Site logo

Happy New Year from Pitpass

NEWS STORY
01/01/2017

Pitpass would like to wish all its readers a very, very happy and prosperous New Year and a great season of racing in 2017.

With Mercedes having taken its third successive constructor and driver titles it would be easy to hope that things change in the coming year and that we see the German team put under sustained pressure.

However, as was our stance during the era of domination by Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, it is up to the opposition to raise its game, not for the leader to hang back or be handicapped by changes aimed at manipulating the desired result.

The much anticipated new regulations are more retro than new, and while we are delighted to see wider tyres it is disappointing that the sport still relies so heavily on aero grip rather than mechanical.

Yet this is a time for positivity, and other than the hope that the new rules will shake up the order, we have the exciting prospect of seeing young Max Verstappen further honing his undoubted skills, seemingly ticking off another box with each new challenge.

Despite the disappointment of Spain and Monaco, teammate Daniel Ricciardo was soon wearing his customary grin again, demonstrating to the world, and his precocious young teammate, that he will be no pushover. The Australian's love of the sport, his enthusiasm, is infectious, long may it continue and may other inhabitants of Planet Paddock learn from it.

Lewis Hamilton remains the benchmark, and few would bet against him securing his fourth title this year. Then again, perhaps he might have a teammate who can put him in his place on a more regular basis than Nico.

We had hoped for a Ferrari resurgence in 2016 but it never happened indeed, the Italian team slipped further behind. Sebastian, Kimi and race fans around the world deserve better, F1 needs the Maranello marque in the mix.

F1 also needs its icons, and as McLaren undergoes massive change, let's hope that the Woking outfit and engine partner Honda is able to give Fernando Alonso something with which to challenge. Two titles hardly does the talented Spaniard credit.

Will Williams rediscover its form, can Force India continue to be 'best of the rest', in the words of the classic TV show Soap, these questions and more will be answered over the coming months.

Other than new regulations, the sport faces massive upheaval as the old guard seemingly makes way for the new. With Ron Dennis quietly - and in our humble opinion cruelly - exiting the stage, all eyes turn to Bernie Ecclestone who has built this sport into what it is today.

It is easy for keyboard warriors to criticise the man for making a fortune from the sport as he took it forward but those of us who remember the sparse coverage it used to get, the ramshackle approach to the entry list and calendar, appreciate what a magnificent job he has done and continues to do.

That said, those that live in the past are doomed to repeat it, so let's hope that Liberty Media can pick up the baton and further improve the spectacle without demeaning the sport or trashing its history.

In a year which has seen countless heroes taken away from us, F1 didn't escape, as we said goodbye to Tyler Alexander, Maria Teresa De Filippis, Aki Hintsa, Paul Rosche and of course my own hero, Chris Amon.

Yet F1 is a sport forever changing, and while we said goodbye to Jenson Button and Felipe Massa*, we welcome Stoffel Vandoorne and Lance Stroll.

(* To be Confirmed… as the FIA says)

Due to Mercedes continued domination of the sport, interest has admittedly waned, some months seeing reader numbers fall by as much as 20% on 2015. However, thanks to Nico’s retirement, December traffic is up by over 40% on 2015 so let's hope it continues.

Ahead of what will be our sixteenth season of coverage, may we take the opportunity to wish you and yours the very best and hope that you will join us for what we hope will be a great season of racing... with added drama, rumour, tantrums, surprises and passion… smiles, speculation, sparks and seagulls.

Chris Balfe

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by RDFox, 02/01/2017 20:00

"Happy New Year, and I'll pass along an old anecdote that might have some relevance to the current status quo. Richard Petty, the undisputed "King" of NASCAR, was himself a second-generation racer, following in the footsteps of his father, Lee. Petty once stated that the most important lesson about racing his father ever taught him was that, if he had a car that was capable of winning a race by ten laps (admittedly, less of a feat on half-mile ovals than on F1 circuits, but still a sign of complete domination), he should never even attempt to win the race by that much. Instead, he needed to make sure to win by just a second or two, for three reasons. In increasing order of importance, these were:

A) To protect the car and make sure it didn't break before finishing (this WAS in the 1950s, when race cars were notoriously unreliable),
B) To avoid tipping his hand to the other teams (and the rulemakers!) as to just what he had, and
C) Most importantly, to ensure that it looked like there was a chance he'd lose, so that the spectators would get an "excitingly close" race and come back next time--because if they get bored with him completely dominating and stop buying tickets, then there's no money in racing and he'd end up working in a textile mill somewhere in North Carolina instead.

While I'm certainly not going to advocate attempting to rein in Mercedes and artificially slow them down rather than demand the other teams elevate their game instead, I will note that perhaps the dominating drivers should consider Lee Petty's advice to his son all those years ago, as at least two of the reasons he gave for slowing down and keeping the competition close still have validity in F1 today."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by RomeoPapaKilo, 02/01/2017 12:25

"Happy New Year to you Chris and your great team. Keep the excellent work up in 2017!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Yves, 01/01/2017 16:13

"To Chris, Mike, Mat, and the whole Pitpass team, I wish you a happy and prosperous new year. I cannot thank you enough to provide me with my daily fix of F1 stimulant, always of the upmost quality, always giving me a high with the relevance of the information, the finesse of your analysis and your ever-underlying exquisite humour. Reading you, gentlemen, makes me feel smarter and makes me want to read more and more. What makes Pitpass unique is your integrity; you never fall into the easy, cheesy, or gossips. My only wish for 2017 is that a billionaire (wonder who…?) would come and make a donation to Pitpass to get rid of those horrible ads on the site – frankly the only bad side effect of my addiction. Perhaps you could offer an ad-free version for paid members? No matter what you do, I’ll be there religiously every day to enjoy your amazing work. Thank you, and the very best to each and every one of you for 2017.
"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by jcr, 01/01/2017 12:41

"Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all,
Still The Best !!."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 01/01/2017 11:00

"Happy New Year Chris and the Pitpass team.

"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2019. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms