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Brawn offers no genuine comfort for British F1 fans

NEWS STORY
11/03/2018

At a time it remains to be seen when British F1 fans will be able to access the sport's much anticipated, all bells and whistles, streaming service, with no current hope of a breakthrough until Sky's deal ends in 2024, there is also the little matter of the loss of their home Grand Prix.

In the days leading up to last year's British Grand Prix, circuit owners, the British Racing Drivers' Club, despite their previous denials, pulled the plug on their contract to host the race, meaning that as things stand next year's race is the last.

As ever, money is the issue. While the BRDC needs a reduction in the race hosting fee, Liberty Media is unable to offer such a deal, aware that if it were to offer Silverstone a reduced fee other circuits would demand the same.

Taking to BBC's Look East, Ross Brawn claimed that he is "very optimistic" about "Silverstone still being part of the sport", though one would be hard pushed to find anything of real worth in his comments.

"I think Silverstone has a really bright future as part of Formula 1," he said. "We've obviously got the topic of the race coming up, but we're very optimistic we'll find the correct solution between ourselves and the circuit for the future.

"There's a technical centre here, there's a school here, there's lots of businesses getting based here so it's great to see Silverstone prosper," he added. "It's had some tough times in the past but I think it's on an upward trajectory."

All very diplomatic, but none of which actually answers the question that British race fans are asking, namely will there be a British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2020 and beyond.

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1. Posted by Ro, 13/03/2018 13:51

"The day the car manufactured were allowed to dictte the rules was the day F1 started going southwards. It would be like football players dictating the rules and overuling both the refs and their manages. Absolute madness."

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2. Posted by Steve W, 13/03/2018 9:01

"Ross Brawn is nothing more than a Liberty Media shill. All he's going to do is toe the party line..."

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3. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 12/03/2018 9:27

"The only streaming will be the tears...
"

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4. Posted by Stitch431, 12/03/2018 8:56

"Off topic, because there is no article here yet fitting this problem with the current cars, contrary to some other sites where Adrian Newey has been stating why F1 is killing itself and he has decided to take a step back:
To understand why we are stuck with these complicated cars with which no close racing is possible, we need to go back a couple of years when the first ideas for an ideal racing car were publicly out on the table.

The initially suggested solution, at that time also brought on and supported amongst others by Adrian Newey, would have been a car that looked good and which would provide for close racing (read slipstreaming). It would have to be a car with 1. MORE MECHANICAL GRIP (broader tyres) in combination with 2. GROUND EFFECT solution (which is better understood now and with the current state of technology, freak accidents with flying cars, such as those that still occurred in the 1980s, could be prevented), 3. HEAVILY REDUCED AERODYNAMICS and 4. A MUCH SIMPLER, CHEAPER, STRONGER AND LOUDER MOTOR FORMULA (yes there we heard/read about the 1000 horse power phrase for the first time).

So far so good. However, at the time the FIA started to change the regulations, the infamous STRATEGY GROUP had to approve these new rules, and when they were put on the table, no team present thought about the interest of the sport, but only that of their own (which is natural, but someone had the brilliant idea to give them the power to have a say in this...). What happened was this:

1. Mercedes (back then still with Ross Brawn) and if I am not mistaken also Ferrari, vetoed the simpler and cheaper but stronger and louder motor formula because they did not want to lose their advantage over the Renault teams (Mercedes had already secretly worked on the current engine formula a year ahead of everyone else and had it implemented through their lobby at the time). Hence this veto.

2. As a result, Renault backed teams like Red Bull (yes, ironically with Adrian Newey, who suggested the ideal solution using GROUND EFFECT instead of heavy use of aerodynamics on top), reacted by vetoing the reduction of aerodynamics. Also McLaren joined this veto, as they were changing to Honda engines at the time and had taken over aerodynamic specialist Peter Prodromou from Red Bull just a year or two before. As a matter of fact, together they negotiated for an increase of aerodynamics instead …

This resulted in the lame compromise, which became the current car:

Ultimately, now there is more mechanical grip (broader wheels), so this part was approved, but because of the reinforced (instead of the reduced) use of aerodynamics, the drag behind the car has once again increased, making it almost impossible to overtake. Even with the hated DRS (that with the ground effect version would have been no longer needed). Now, on most of the tracks it is no longer possible (or at least very hard), to come so close (within 1 second) to ones predecessing opponent, that one can overtake even with the use of DRS.

Some races last year were won by drivers who were not the fastest (e.g. in China which was won by Bottas with Vettel stuck behind him for a long time because he could not get close enough - because of the drag - not even to use his DRS and get past). Can you imagine what this fight would have looked like in cars with ground effect in which close racing, read slipstreaming, would have been possible?


All in all, one can say that a really good solution is only possible was at the table, but a good solution is only possible when the teams no longer have any control or say over the rules (Strategy Group).
It was instated by Bernie Ecclestone ("I thought it was a good idea at the time ...") together with Jean Todt (in exchange for a percentage of the income and a new FIA head quarters in Paris which costed 45 Million! if I remember correctly),

Now Liberty Media has to deal with this. How they are going to dismantle the Strategy Group without al lot of collateral damage, that is the question ..."

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5. Posted by Joop deBruin, 12/03/2018 2:34

"Solution: split up all current Legacy payments to manufacturers and pay one to Silverstone as the premier legacy track. Fixed.

Nobody else can claim their status."

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6. Posted by fastfreddy, 11/03/2018 21:29

"I take it that people in the usa will get the streaming service, the system recognizes where we are based by our IP address why not just install a VPN which basically lets you set up your system to be recognized in any country so I could say I live and are based in Florida and the software will set my computer up with the correct IP address etc.
Why sky continue to broadcast F1 is beyond me there presentation has just not any better whereas the bbc used to extras to educate the public with great items sky does very little now it was summed up by the first week of practice reports which they ran in the evening it was bad you just wanted to hide behind the sofa."

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7. Posted by Ro, 11/03/2018 15:23

"Lets face it F1 is near-on dead now. Crappy engines that no living sould will ever drive on the roads, extorcionate fees for watching it, even dearer costs to go watch a live race. I will however follow F1 thru Pitpass!
Message to Liberty Media : youve lost the plot, youve done nothing to better it, apart from changing your logo and theme song...well done!"

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