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Opinion Peace


The wonderful thing about opinions, dear reader, is we can all hold them safe in the knowledge that an opinion can never be wrong! Such a pure gift of total self-confirmation.

The internet is brimming with opinion, and one can leap fear-free into great lakes of self-confirming, uplifting, 100% bereft of any alarming facts, to be caressed by wave after wave of affirmation and release.

Miss Physics welcomes opinion, and then dismisses those that ignore the facts with an abrupt life lesson, should someone be of an opinion that does not align, 100% (99.99% will not cut it...) with the actual facts.

Maximum cornering g for your car 0.7g, and current speed and steering settings have you swinging through the apex at 0.6g, the world is good. If current speed and steering have you swinging through the corner at 1.0g, well Miss Physics will introduce you to the delightful sideline she runs in "Abrupt tangental paths to the scene of the crash".

So we can all have opinions on the current strength of the Mercedes team, Lewis' driving ability, and the insanity (...or not...) of the current FIA rules, and their application.

Toto: "It's been a real tough year, this is not easy."

Haas: "Worst year ever, and Mercedes are walking it."

Lewis: "These cars are easy to drive, I could do race after race, back to back."

Max: "Lewis is off the mark, it is only easy because he has that car."

Chase: "Everything is Awesome!" (While doing the Lego dance, and singing the Lego song...)

Circuit Owners: "You're killing us! Worst deal ever!"

Fans: "How did it ever come to this...?" (Slump collectively into Marvin the Paranoid Android silence...)

Opinions all!

Same sport, same planet (well, for most of us...), and same set of actual facts (Mercedes is killing it, Lewis is good, Chase sings the Lego song) and yet not one opinion in agreement!

No wonder the FIA is delaying the rules set for 2021. They are fortunate the teams and circuit owners actually agree with them that this is 2019, nearing mid-season, on planet Earth. Beyond that there is no peace in opinion land.

Emboldened by the populists where 'facts' are whatever best suits your current mood and needs, the world is accelerating away from the Scientific Method that we have spent thousands of years perfecting, into the twilight zone of likes, influencers, and overvaluing the opinions of shouty persons of questionable education.

Miss Physics smiles, she is old enough and assured enough with how her universe works, that no opinion is ever going to alter the speed of light or drop gravity 50% because it is annoying for the fat and the feeble. She knows exactly why the Mercedes is so dominant. She knows precisely how close to perfection Lewis' pole laps can be. She knows every reason Haas has dropped off the pace.

She would probably recommend Boeing turn the 737 MAX fleet into razor blades and start again with a blank Autocad screen... but that's just my opinion of what Miss Physics might say.

So with all these opinions battling for air time, and fevered believers, how is the poor fan to work out what is going on, and who is actually pedalling facts, rather than self-serving half-truths or straight-out lies?

In "The Tower of Fable - Part II", I did a back of the envelope estimate of what a good pay-per-view revenue flow might look like. It crested $10 bn, meaning a five-fold increase in revenue if Chase can get close to the viewing figures long promised. As this is my opinion, based on Chase's opinion, based on "research" paid for by Chase, I'd not place too much store in these figures, but achieving anything even close to this number would enable Chase to pay the teams $400 million each, drop hosting fees to, say, $5 million a year, fixed for five years (and then share revenue income with circuit owners), and still have triple the profit he does right now!

Wow! What a shame it is all based on opinions within Liberty Media, and not the universal immutable laws of Miss Physics! The entire sport would fly directly to paradise. So many issues solved if only some key opinions were fact, and not the wilds hopes of increasingly desperate Liberty folk.

The FIA? Oh, they have world class opinions too! Just look at their opinion of how Vettel should have used the laws of Physics when re-entering the track in Canada, or how Daniel should have followed his own advice from a previous season and stuck a stamp on it and posted it... literally. He should have written a polite "Would you care to move to the left or right, so I can pass now please?" letter to both the other drivers, posted it to their team managers sitting on the pit wall, awaited a polite response, and then, in full agreement with the other drivers, attempted to ease past on the agreed side within the track limits. How difficult is that!? I mean the FIA are only of the opinion that Daniel, and Seb, should be polite and careful at all times, and where necessary bend the laws of Physics to conform to FIA rules and regulations.

Lewis is of the opinion the cars are too easy to drive. I remember when David Coulthard had the joy of driving an old Mercedes racing car and was simply terrified. Drum brakes, top speed in excess of 400kph, open cockpit, no power steering... Well I'm sure Toto could get Mercedes to knock out 20 replicas and let's have the boys run around Silverstone in those for a couple of hours and see how they all feel.

Or even getting Lewis into the Ferrari that Niki used in 1976, I'm sure that would wake him up.

And yet dear reader, that is the whole point! What a dull world if we were all of the same opinion on all topics. There would be only one sport, Golf, because it is boring and safe for all ages. There would be only one car, the Toyota Corolla, because that is all the car anyone needs. There would be only one national meal, chips, tofu and steamed rice, with a hint of nutmeg, because that's all we need. And only one global song. Each evening as the sun sets people would gather, all alone, or in ones and twos, and with the last light of the day shining softly on their collective faces commence singing, "Everything is awesome...!"

So please dear reader, continue to have opinions on end plates, hybrid relevance, engine limits per season, and if Lewis is more than the car, sorry package, or the car more than Lewis.

And allow the FIA the good grace to have opinions on where and how the laws of Miss Physics apply and what it really means to have track limits with kilometres of run off beyond.

Pursue each of your cherished opinions with passion, share that passion, delight in it! And then with good grace respect the opinions of others. This can then inject passion, delight, and energy back into a sport where right now holding an opinion all too often goes hand in hand with being a grumpy ratbag shouting about how "they was robbed!!!".

I've noted before that sport is warfare refined and bound in rules to avoid death while providing thrills, so we do not want Opinion Peace in our time, but a little respect, good grace, and an understanding of both Miss Physics and life on earth would be welcome to avoid embittered trench warfare.

Gentlemen, please criticise your engines!

Max Noble

Learn more about Max and check out his previous features, here



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1. Posted by Laz, 10/07/2019 6:27

"After 50+ years I have stopped watching F1 and only follow it occassionally on Pit Pass and Crash.Net. The reasons are simple - F1 TV has changes channels in NZ so not paying for a new one, I don't consider McLaren a Kiwi team anymore, and Mercedes domination (not Lewis's) has ruined it. Forget the Lewis is best - ask his Team mates - once they were mid-field runners with obvious talent -stick them in a Mercedes and suddenly they are top 4 runners and as Mr Rosberg showed -beat Lewis and become world Champ. I think on current form Max has to be the best driver out there and Seb is getting passed it, and Leclerc is doing the passing. I hate pit stops -totally artificial, fuel limits that make it an economy drive, and ridiculous aerodynamics - please just let them race Man to Man and the engines must make a great noise."

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2. Posted by Fambank, 09/07/2019 17:17

"I am a firm believer that Miss Physics is a close relative to Miss Karma.
Treat one bad and endure the wrath of the other.

Nice read !"

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3. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 08/07/2019 20:56

"@cricketpo - what has not been publicised so much with the 737 Max are the many complaints from pilots about the handling characteristics that have been lodged ever since the damned thing went into service. And comments I have read and heard from pilots about automated systems in general, including the Captain of the Qantas A380 that survived the engine explosion, all have the same theme - it should always be the pilot that has the ultimate say in control.


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4. Posted by Max Noble, 06/07/2019 4:52

"@SpinDoctor - thanks for some interesting feed back, that a neat perspective... I’m never grumpy! (that’s my opinion... :-) )

@TedBaker - We embrace diversity here at PitPass, as long as it is respectful. Esteemed Editor Balfe does a top notch job of only removing offensive comments. You can politely disagree as much as you want :-)

@Uffen - quite! And the fact Liberty is having difficulty with is that too many of us “oldies” (aka core fan base) do not watch the races on our mobile phones and do not have an interest in paying excessive $$$$ for a streaming service... We want great racing on a sweet free-to-air, or real cheap."

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5. Posted by Uffen, 05/07/2019 18:52

"Another excellent piece, Max. Fact vs. opinion? Well, the fact is that my opinion won my internal battle over F1. After many years, starting strong and remaining strong, it was a fact that I loved F1. There were many, many, changes over the years and I was okay with them but then the last decade really did me in. Despite the fact that the current engines are amazing, it is a fact that I don't care for them. Even though the computers change the gearbox gears up and down in milliseconds, I am disinterested. The list goes on.
So, the facts that matter to me are (just about) all the facts that matter. And that's my opinion! "

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6. Posted by Ted Baker, 05/07/2019 10:10

"Yes I fully agree Max, it would be so boring if everyone had the same likes and opinions there would be no debate and no expression of personality, what a boring world that would be. But social media has allowed a new way of expressing opinions with so much aggression and vitriol and "trolling", courtesy, etiquette and manners have gone out of the window.
I think it is good that Pitpass monitor all opinion posts on your site and kick out all of the readers that like to attack anyone with an opposing opinion expressing it in a vicious way, I would ban all of them!!!"

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7. Posted by Spindoctor, 05/07/2019 9:50

"I think Mr Noble is in danger of becoming a tad grumpy! (just an opinion...).
I wholeheartedly concur, I'd actually take the thesis a bit further. It is becoming clear that even 'scientists' are dropping empiricism in favour of epidemiology, at least in respect the the matter of correlation vs causality. Ms Physics will have none of that, at least not in Engineering where no amount of theorising links between 'facts' & 'outcomes' alters gravity. The truth will be revealed when (as they say) the rubber hist the road.

We are in the age of what I call 'Jean-Luc Picard thinking' where reality follows from a wave towards one's minions with the command 'make it so'. Implicit is the notion that once the great man (nearly always a man) has uttered, the world will immediately bend to the power of his will. Even when, as is frequently the case, reality decides to follow her own rules & ignore the human upstart, as long as everyone concurs the deed is done.
As you suggest, the beauty of Motor Sport is that no amount of BS changes what Mr Universe allows to happen on our little ball of mud. FIA & Liberty need to consider that when making their rules."

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8. Posted by zoom, 05/07/2019 2:31

"I was amused about using Miss Physics as a touchstone for scientific truth because I remember the Cassini spacecraft sending, to earth, data about Saturn's rings. The earthbound scientists were flummoxed enough to say they couldn't explain them based on their understanding of physics.

I also recalled my old granny saying "Opinions are like noses, everybody has one." The rejoiner, of course, is that some smell!

Thoroughly enjoyable article. Thanks! "

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9. Posted by Max Noble, 04/07/2019 23:38

"@sagosac - It is always a good lesson to have the gap between what one believes one to have said, and what the listener hears pointed out... :-) I was not aiming for sarcasm in the article, more a neutral incredulity at what the numbers are if they can work... Agree an amazing series free to air is a far better scenario...

@cricketpo - :-) If this was “” you’d have me bang to rights... As it is PitPass (which could equally apply to open cut mining...) and this is an opinion piece about opinions I think I’m safe with a small 737 reference.
Ah, Miss Physics, I could write an article on why I elected for that concept, but as this isn’t “’ that would be an article too far... It’s enough to say that back in the early 1980’s when Ada the programming language was a thing (we were moving from using RTL/2 which had been developed by ICI, but that really is going well left of arc...) the reference book for it had a picture of Ada Lovelace on the cover. This lady was Augusta Ada King, countess of Lovelace, an English mathematician and writer best known for working with Charles Babbage on his Analytical Engine. My Miss Physics is based on this concept. If one looks at the history of science in Western culture, frequently men claimed the glory while exceptional women did the hard yards (the film Hidden Figures actually doing quite a good job for a Hollywood number in this respect...). Alternately the idea of Ross Brawn or Adrian N. Dancing with Miss Physics works for me, while the idea of them dancing together is (for me) less appealing..."

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10. Posted by cricketpo, 04/07/2019 21:57

"Boeing's mistake was not to build enough reduncancy into their aeronautics. Many modern airliners are fly by wire and have many programs running to smooth out pilots decisions. One faulty sensor should not send a plane into a nose dive
Hang on isn't this an F1 site? I do take exception to the concept of Miss Physics. It is a bit patriarchal to assume a female hand is fair and true. Obviously @maxnoble doesn't know many otherwise he would have stated that physics is a moveable feast and the laws of physics vary depending the time of day and whether they look fat in it.
Just an opinion like :)"

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11. Posted by sagosac, 04/07/2019 14:49

"Oh, I was wrong, sorry ! I did not want to cherish exclusive PPV (pay-per-view), like you sarcastically did in your "Tower-of-Fable-Part-II".
I wanted to say that a 400 or 500m contribution to each team's budget can become feasible.
Because a quite open tech racing series, featuring assumably the best drivers of the world, running on demanding, playful tracks; culminating in hard, tight infights, while propelling progress of technology like nowhere else; this scenario has a HUUUGE potential.
In case you keep it diverse, elite, extreme and accessible for as many fans as possible. "

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12. Posted by Max Noble, 02/07/2019 21:59

"@ClarkwasGod - I wince each time I see the current 737 with “my” name on it it ten foot high letters... I don’t want to go on a Miss PHysics rant (...but...) if it simply does not look right it usually it not... Those engines create a turning moment around the centre of gravity of that plane that are no good for anyone (especially those trying to fly it) and no amount of software is going to keep Miss Physics happy... Bin it (you’re right about the razors!) and start again paying your dues to Miss Physics along the way. Grrr... Lauda - a legend :-)

@ChickenFarmerF1 - Trying to think of a food as bland as a white Toyota and Tofu simply jumped at me. That and a vision of the look on the faces of any of the F1 Pit Crews if they were served Tofu and Chips.... :-)

@Sagosac - yes. It was an interesting exercise to run the “backof the envelope” numbers. All of a sudden I can see why Football in Europe has so much money sloshing around, and why Chase is keen t move to pay TV. If you can make it work the numbers are stunning... If...

@Greg - My thanks, glad you enjoyed the ride. Yes. Miss Physics is 100% even handed when applying her Laws to both the just and the unjust... Regardless of your personal knowledge of said Laws..."

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13. Posted by Greg, 02/07/2019 21:13

"I do love ms physics. Treat her well and she does look after you. Try to blindside her or push her beyond and she will kick your a**e. Another excellent story Max as always"

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14. Posted by sagosac, 02/07/2019 20:07

"another oeuvre.
Good that you remind me of your "The Tower of Fable - Part II" and the 10bn of possible revenues, resulting in 400m per team:
if you were a sportsman, and you are believing in the greatness & potential, in the importance & relevance of this sport, then you would go for this gold -- and nothing short of that.
And a proposal like "let's cap tech / budget / sport / audience" you would just answer with a raised eyebrow. "

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15. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 02/07/2019 18:18

"You had me, right up to the tofu. I refuse to eat that pseudo-food.


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