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Vettel: If you think that was boring...


Just two weeks after Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso claimed the Monaco Grand Prix was the most boring race they had ever contested - the Spaniard suggesting fans should be given a refund - a processional Canadian Grand Prix was even worse, leading to Pitpass suggesting that model Winnie Harlow should have waved the chequered flag 69 laps early instead of just one.

Other than some first corner argy-bargy featuring Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen and a subsequent incident which eliminated local favourite Lance Stroll, there was no discernible action or overtakes.

However, race winner Sebastian Vettel was quick to jump to the sport's defence insisting that not every race can be a thrill a minute.

"It's not justified to criticise the racing or criticise the race," he told reporters. "I don't know if it was boring. From my point of view, you're still busy inside the car.

"I don't know why people today are so short-sighted," he continued. "We've had seven races this year, I think some were phenomenal, some were boring.

"Next week the World Cup is starting, and I promise you that a lot of the games won't be exciting, but still people will watch it. Some games will probably be incredible. That's what we always look forward to, but it can't just always continue to go up and get better. I don't know. There's no reason, so don't look for an answer.

"Don't write anything. Write about something else. I think we do our job inside the car, and if we can race, we race. But obviously we also do our job inside the car to try and avoid racing, disappear or stay in front and not get overtaken. And some races are just exciting and others are not."

Indeed he is correct, it is not the drivers who are boring, rather a rule set which has brought us to this.

As for the football analogy, a game that ends 0-0 can be as thrilling - even more so - than a 6-4 goal fest, for a good football match isn't about the number of goals.

It is about strategy, it is about teamwork, it is about attack and defence. On the other hand, if one team is sent out without boots, or is restricted to 8 men, the match is compromised before it has even begun.

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1. Posted by C5, 15/06/2018 17:48

"@Spindoctor, with exception of fuel flow restriction (which are the same for everyone and doesn't affect how close the cars can race at all) I don't disagree you. I don't think success ballast should be used in F1 either :-)"

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 15/06/2018 13:03

"@C5 & Reindeer

Please chaps! The last thing we need is ANY MORE RULES!!! F1 is awash with the bloody things, which has brought us to the state we're in now; blowing your nose in the pit-lane is likely to get you a grid-penalty for some obscure offence.

Ballast works in BTTC, because the purpose of that series is to promote 'close racing', along with the mandatory use of one useful tyre & one rubbish one, and a reverse grid. This leads to all kinds of entertaining strategic ploys and delivers (mainly) close racing.

F1, on the other hand is traditionally about aspiring to, and rewarding excellence. It would be a tad inconsistent (though in keeping with the nouveau régime) to punish the team(s) and driver(s) for having achieved excellence, or at least been better than the rest.
The various current stupid rules governing fuel-flow, tyre design, Parc Ferme, DRS etc. are an attempt to 'level the playing field', or at least inject some spurious 'excitement. We all know how successful that's been.

F1, unlike BTTC and some other formulae isn't about overtaking,its about RACING. For years Usain Bolt was the fastest sprinter on the planet. No sane people suggested he should be hobbled to give the rest a chance, no matter how 'boring' his success became. That's the correct analogy for F1 - strive only to be the best, irrespective of how good (or bad) the opposition is.

F1's problem at present is that with 3 Teams which have approximately equal (or at least equivalent) performance, the rules mitigate against any racing. Instead they mandate the preservation of resources, because getting closer than 2 seconds to your opponents significantly reduces performance in the short-term, and destroys tyres over the longer term. That's the problem that needs to be solved."

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3. Posted by C5, 14/06/2018 17:56

"@Insane Reindeer, so you're replacing one micro-management rules with another?

You can get the same result much simpler way by just mandating success ballast, like has been used in touring car racing for many years. Either the traditional way of literally forcing the winners of the last race (or the championship leaders, depending on what flavor you like) to run heavier, or by restricting their air or fuel flow for next race or series of races.

Brawn actually discussed this last year - judging from the comment track that was not well received.


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4. Posted by Insane Reindeer, 14/06/2018 9:52

"The simplest, and by far and away the cheapest (because apparently F1 is now *all about* counting the pennies) is to mandate that each and every F1 car has to have a fuel tank big enough to hold 150 kg of fuel. Remove the fuel flow limit. Each car has to start qualifying with 75 kg of fuel on board and no refuelling or taking any out until qualifying is finished. For the race each car must start with the full 150 kg of fuel in the car. And, to make it really interesting, any car that completes the race must have used at least 148 kg of fuel and no more than 149.5 kg of fuel. Yes. The FIA drains the *entire* fuel system of each car and each must return to the FIA between 0.5000 kg and 2.0000 kg of fuel. Even 0.0001 kg of fuel under or above and the car is disqualified. The team docked 10 championship points (yes they can go into negative numbers) and the diver docked 2 championship points (yes they can also go into negative numbers). No need to change the engines, the amount of engines per season, the wings or the tyres or anything else. "

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 12/06/2018 13:41

"Vettel has form!
When RBR's car was nearly totally dominant for 4 sucessive seasons, I'm sure he also thought everything in F1 was perfect. Unfortunatley, unlike Seb, we don't have the luxury of having a job to do on Sunday afternoons to distract us from the tedium of what's happening on-track. Also, unlike Seb, we have to pay to watch it unfold in all its tedious banality.

Perhaps we'll all take on-board the most basic rule of thumb: when it isn't interesting, don't watch it. This is something that more and more people are doing and, who knows, maybe one day Seb won't have that involving job on Summer Sundays...."

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6. Posted by GregT, 12/06/2018 9:11

"ClarkwasGod, the engines would have to last 43 hours if they ran nonstop for all sessions. The reality is that they are only on track for about half the time in practice and qualifying, so they only really have to last around 28 hours and are running at reduced power levels for half of that."

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7. Posted by GregT, 12/06/2018 9:02

"Through 6 races, I wasn't worried too much since we had three good races on tracks that produce good racing and three bad ones on tracks that typically don't produce good racing. This was a terrible race on a good circuit, and is disconcerting. F1 really needs to look at going back to tires that fall apart like they had in 2011 and 2012. Those tires forced teams into different strategies and rewarded drivers for being able to care for rubber while driving quickly. I know people want drivers pushing every single lap, but that was never F1 until a very short period in the 2000s. Before that, they were always nursing an engine, tires, or gearboxes if for no other reason than to avoid being among the 40% of race starters to DNF. "

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8. Posted by Elf Team Tyrrell, 12/06/2018 8:48

"Its all gone to s@%t!"

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9. Posted by imejl99, 12/06/2018 8:09

"1. Dear Mr. 4 time champion, people are not short-sighted, people are foreseeing this for quite some time already.
2. World Cup is once every 4 years, with whole nations emotional about their teams, so no comparison.
3. Wouldn't it be more satisfying to be in front defending position to a competitive field than dirty air keeping car behind at 2 seconds?

The race is determined by qualifying and pit stops - and the worst is that more and more races are 1 stop races, so it could be only determined by pit stop mistake. It is all qualifying, as cars almost can not follow under 1 second, so there can be 10 DRS zones, no use. Good quali, don`t f-up the start, and that is it. I don`t even expect to see on track action, in pit maybe some.

I remember the times when rain was feared of, not wished on..."

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10. Posted by Egalitarian, 12/06/2018 1:20

"Ted and C5. I understand your point, but that fact is we have an endurance championship for that very reason - endurance. For mine, F1 is not about endurance; it is about the limit.. As far as I am concerned, grand prix/F1 racing is a race no longer than two hours pushing the absolute limits. If it were up to me, engines would have a useful life of 500km or 4 hours and then blow itself to bits. I'd be curious to see the costs associated with making something 100% reliable over 4 races (with possibly 85% of performance potential), and something with 100% of performance potential with less reliability. Same for gearboxes. Drive to the limit with no concern for the life of the tyres except overdriving will damage them (thinking Keke Rosberg's Williams at the Race of Champions all those years ago). 18,000 rpm limits. Smaller, simpler front wings and smoother cars (no 10cm winglets and the like). I know I'm not alone in thinking this. "

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11. Posted by C5, 11/06/2018 22:26

"If I had to troll for a second, I'd say that clearly the penalties aren't severe enough...

If the penalties were harsh enough, the PU's and gearboxes would be reliable (they'd likely be slower too, though I'm not sure if I could tell the different without a stopwatch). If finishing reliably was the most sure way to get the most constructor's points over a season, all the teams would be focusing on that. That they focus on performance first and reliability (including employing drivers who doesn't crash...) second or third or fourth says a lot.

I still maintain docking the car only a few grid spots - which is fair since the driver gets a performance benefit too with new components - but combine it with deducting an attention-getting percentage of the team's accumulated constructor's points, and you'd see reliability matching the airline industry come the next race.

And, most like also more boring races since all the fast cars would always start in front.

Component penalties makes races more interesting, not less. Building on that inconvenient fact, the trick to more interesting races has to be getting more teams the ability to compete. Which means a different approach to aero, especially a less sophisticated front wing and maybe improved under car downforce, but more generally a freer rules book that allows the different teams to come up with more different solutions and thus more performance variation on the different circuits.

It also wouldn't hurt if the tires were crap. Clearly Pirelli is doing to well a job making tires that are predictable and long lasting. Add to that additional fuel restrictions so drivers are forced to choose when to use their allotment of power at every race, and you'd begin to have an equalizer for the less wealthy teams.

And with that, let the angry responses begin :-)

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12. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 11/06/2018 21:06

"Ted - current rules require that F1 PU's last for around 43 hours - FP's 1, 2, 3, Qual plus race x 7. So maybe Paul's comment is not so wide of the mark."

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13. Posted by TedS, 11/06/2018 18:42

Endurance cars can go nearly flat out for 24 hours on the same engine and transmission. There is no reason that a F1 engine can't run a similar length of time. If reliability is an issue it is the teams failure not the rule."

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14. Posted by Paul C, 11/06/2018 18:11

"The component limits are going to make possibly the second half of the season as exciting as a vintage car race of rare racers worth millions apiece. End all of the component limits, especially the 3 ICE rule this week! "

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