Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Baku City Circuit, 2016

Alonso tired of rules U-turns

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Fernando Alonso says it is not normal for sports to change their rules back and forth as often as F1 does.

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Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, 2016

Jenson and Fernando after finding out that there can be no engine failure for four weeks now

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  • 49 comments on “Alonso tired of rules U-turns”

    1. haha wonderful COTD winner! Bravo Sumedh!

      Also I agree with Alonso, about constant rule direction changes being bad for F1. Aside from hardcore fans, this constant tinkering only bores the wider audience and makes them switch off permanently. Although even the term “wider audience” is questionable since most of them switched off with the move to pay TV already

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        15th August 2016, 4:00

        Congratulations to Sumedh.
        I thought this was one of the best pictures, but hard to find super witty captions for.

    2. Alonso speaketh the truth

      1. CAN I GET AN AMEN?!

      2. He doth.

    3. Re “They’re going to be so different to drive that it will take different qualities from a driver.”
      Yes, I can see patience being an essential trait next year, doing well in qualifying, and being in front at the first turn. Oh, and being nice to the people at the back of the grid, so they’ll move over quickly when the blue flags are waved. Lewis is going to have to restrain that finger of his.

      1. @drycrust How is that an issue for Hamilton? Don’t you hear Vettel whining every race about backmarkers? Vettel was also showing his middle finger and he was even using derogatory names for people holding him up. In the end he didn’t get a penalty for his outbursts, but it was close.

        1. @patrickl, the behaviour of Vettel and Hamilton is tame compared to some drivers in the past – for example, Senna famously punched Irvine to the ground because he objected to Irvine unlapping himself in order to score a point, whilst Montoya and Villeneuve both had to be physically restrained after trying to start a fight in a drivers briefing after an argument over possible brake testing on track got out of hand.
          Gutierrez’s driving has certainly brought complaints from other drivers – we heard how Ricciardo mocked him after he was blocked by Gutierrez in the German GP – and I wager that some drivers of the past would probably have punched him for driving like that.

          Equally, quite a few other drivers on the grid have been known for also swearing at other drivers on track – Alonso famously gave Ralf Schumacher the one finger salute after he crashed during the 2004 Monaco GP, with Alonso gesturing towards Ralf even as he was sliding backwards out of the tunnel. Kimi, if I recall well, has made the same gesture towards some other drivers a few times in the course of his career, whilst Vettel repeatedly gave Karthikeyan the finger after the pair clashed during the 2012 Malaysian GP – when you’re driving in hot, tiring and stressful situations, you are probably going to snap in ways which you wouldn’t under much more relaxed conditions.

        2. Cucumber?

          1. Evil Homer (@)
            16th August 2016, 14:22

            Senna did punch Irvine once in the head, but he certainly didn’t give him a beat down. Mansell also famously threw Senna up against the wall and it took a few guys to pry him off !!

            Alonso keeps making these comments, really quiet often, and while some may think its frustration and sour grapes with no WDC in 10 years I honestly see it as he making strong comments as where F1 is going wrong and can improve while he is still in the sport, as his opinion, like it or not, wont pull the same punch when he is out of F1 in 12- 24 months. He speaks in good faith for the sport I think, and maybe some need to listen.

        3. You really hate Vettel, don´t you? Every comment you make is an ignorance fest.

    4. – “We’ve made progress on the chassis, and of course these things have to work in combination, but the biggest element I would say is the step forward in the engine.”
      “We could never have imagined in a million years what we have achieved in the first half of the year, it’s been very positive,” said Horner

      Nice words for Renault from Horner.
      I hope they continue giving credit where it is due as obviously Renault have indeed gone to work on their PU and the difference is clearly being seen. Let’s hope Redbull’s 2017 chassis is the best of the field and that Renault can then build a great chassis next year to take advantage of the progress they have made in power and move the team further up the field.

    5. Doesn’t this now make Red Bull’s outburst at Renault last year look even more pathetic? If they’d have just been patient and stuck by Renault in the professional way, they would be exactly where they are now.

      Their Renault engine has now helped to get them ahead of Ferrari, meanwhile the silly decision at Toro Rosso to go with an old engine which is not being developed, has seen them slipping backwards through the year.

      This makes last year look even more embarrassing for Horner, in my opinion. They were impatient for no reason.

      1. There’s been undercurrents of a story here that hasn’t really been covered too greatly by the media. It goes a little a little something like this:

        Red Bull’s displeasure towards Renault last year was because they had wanted Renault to use a design by Ilmor engineering. Renault decided not to, and go with their own plans as initial testing on the dyno wasn’t positive for Ilmor’s design. Ilmor continued to work on it with Red Bull throughout the season and got good gains from it (hence the rumours of Red Bull manufacturing their own engine) but towards the end of last year after Renaults disastrous “upgrade” it was confirmed that Renault would indeed go with Ilmor’s design and they would continue to supply Red Bull.

        So essentially this is only partly Renault’s engine, and part Ilmor’s however Ilmor are only being hired as a “consultant” for Renault. I’m far from having any certain knowledge on this subject but it’s just what I’ve been able to piece together from the various articles particularly in the off season when it was a hot topic.

        Either way, Renault definitely didn’t just magically improve their engine without input from Red Bull and in turn Ilmor.

        1. P.S It’s pure speculation on my part, but I believe had Renault decided not to go with Ilmor’s design, Red Bull indeed would have found someone to manufacture the Ilmor Engineering design and the TAG Heuer branding is a remnant of deals being made to secure that.

        2. That’s how I understand it too Tristam.

          If there is anyone who was ‘pathetic’ at some point, it’s Renault when they introduced their engine ‘upgrade’ in Brazil, using 7 tokens to make the engine slower.

      2. nah, Renault are a still pathetic, they just happen to have their only other power unit in the best car on the grid :) And Nico Rosberg has managed to punt Lewis off the course a couple times, and make a mess of the last race. Ferrari being underwhelming in the second part of the first half helped too. The only chance RBR have is if they bring wet setups with them to the circuits and pray. Singapore might work out, but, I doubt that will be the case if Mercedes are listening to Lewis.

      3. No what’s emberrasing is Cyril A. admitting last year that Renault had ‘run out of ideas’ (direct quote).

        It was at this point that the French manufacture waved the white flag and submitted to the help Red Bull had been offering AND paying for the entire time Renault was going down the emberrasing rat hole of development that was the Brazil upgrade.

        Red Bull have been vindicated completely and are clearly the competent partner of the two companies.

        When you’re an engineering outfit and you admit you’ve run out of ideas you’ve just insulted yourself far worse than Red Bull ever could.

        How Cyril A still had a job amazes me.

      4. The Renault is still worse than the Ferrari and both Red Bull and Toro Rosso made the right choice for this season.

        Renault finally finding some amount of performance doesnt redeem them nor does it ridicule Red Bulls struggle for an better engine supplier last year.

        1. @rethla, so what you are saying is that Red Bull made the correct decision by sticking with the same engine that you criticise in the same sentence?

          Equally, Tost has said that the decision to opt for the 2015 spec Ferrari power unit isn’t that great a deal, since he expected the engine to be completely outclassed by all of the other manufacturers by the end of the season. If it was such a great move, why did Red Bull reject the decision to take the 2015 spec Ferrari unit when they were offered the deal (bearing in mind that they were offered that deal first)?

          1. @anon Red Bull needs a better long time strategy than a 1 year deal for an old engine. No matter how bad the Renault was it was something to build on for a worksteam.

            1. @rethla, Given that Toro Rosso is so tightly integrated into Red Bull, why would it then be a good thing for Toro Rosso to have a one year deal to use an old engine?

              Red Bull previously argued that there were several technical advantages from both teams sharing a common supplier – it gave Renault additional information and test data and allowed them to save money by sharing components between the teams and therefore let them focus more resources elsewhere. Why would there then be a strategic advantage for Red Bull to switch Toro Rosso to using an old engine?

            2. @anon its pretty obvious they wanted something stable that aint crap for their feeder team. They are going back to Renault now when thats sorted out.

      5. Er…. Impatient?

        Renault failed to even bother trying to improve their PU last year and continued to resist all help and or ideas offered.
        Let’s be clear here – they didn’t use tokens, spent very little money and frankly had no ideas (even admitted as much) after delivering a worse PU than their 2014 effort.
        In essence, they did nothing until it was decided whether or not Renault was even going to continue in the sport.

        I can’t fault Horner for being upset with them, they deserved it. Conversely now that Renault have actually made an effort and have delivered a much improved PU Horner has acknowledged the difference and them as a reason for their improving competitiveness.

        1. That’s because Red bull demanded that Renault skip dyno tests. Red Bull insisted that they could fix any reliability issues after the season had started. It turned out that was a major mistake which completely ruined any development possibilities Renault would have for the whole season.

      6. Horner, Marko and Mateschitz constantly complaining is simply politics.

        Even when they were winning back to back championships they kept on complaining how poorly powered their Renault engine was. Of course they used inflated figures of the competitors (engine rev spikes on kerb stones) as “evidence” and failed to mention that that poorly powered Renault engine had benefits like lower fuel consumption and better driveability which more than negated the tiny deficit in power. Besides Renault were by far the best in tuning their engine for blown diffuser.

        So all their complianing is simply an attempt to get Ecclestone and/or FIA on their case. Or to whip up public outcry to help boost their case and hinder a competitor or improve their own situation.

        Although in other cases they are just embarrassingly dumb. For instance during the whole fuel flow meter debacle. When it turned out their own fuel flow guesstimates were incorrect and that they were actually damaging the devices to make them them fit in the car.

        Unfortunately, it does work. They got their wishes with the 2017 regulation changes which appear 100% made to suit Red Bull. They got Ecclestone to negate any benefit the engine manufactureres got from their massive investments in the engines for 2017. In fact it means the engine manufacturers will now again have free development which means another spending war which will even keep teams like Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault back while Red Bull needing to spend probably in the hundred million range on their engines again. While Red Bull gets their engine practically for free and can spend all of their budget on the chassis instead.

    6. I fully agree with Alonso’s sentiments regarding the flux in the current formula. The variety and scope of rule oscillations this year has been truly bewildering, if not disheartening. It has been a case of too many cooks in too many kitchens cooking too many different dishes to too many tastes. I can only hope for a few years of rule stability beginning in 2017, for the sake of both the teams and the fans.
      If I may suggest one change that may help: Appoint a set panel of perhaps three race stewards who would attend every race in a season, to address problems of consistency in rule application. I also propose a single season limit on their individual participation, to help avoid any long term political bias. Certain retired drivers would surely welcome this assignment, to both the joy and ire of the fans.

    7. As a general rule of thumb, stability in the regulations means closer racing. Although, I really wish they would be tough on track limits and find a way to get rid of coaching without hindering the engineers too much.

      Let the teams close the gaps to the guys in front, and stop interfering.

      I really hope the 2017 regs are simply left to mature, it has the promise of good looking and very fast racing cars.

      1. Guybrush Threepwood
        15th August 2016, 9:33

        I suggest you take a look at the race winners list over the last 3 years.

        1. Which was caused by a major rules change …

          1. Quite. Leave the rules stable for more than 3 years, at least double, and you will see a very close and competitive field. 3 years, especially with testing restrictions, gives no one a hope of catching. In 2017, one team will nail it and the rest will need time to catch up while everyone complains about domination in F1.

            1. Guybrush Threepwood
              15th August 2016, 20:52

              Not really. The competition was a lot closer in 2009, 2010, etc. Right after a rule change. The reality is that the current regs have allowed for engines that are so complex that one manufacturer has been able to throw enough time and money at it to keep streaking away. It’s been 3 years and the other teams are no closer to winning more GP’s than they have in the last 2 years (in fact less!)

    8. Me too, Nando. Me too. It just makes the sport look silly. It makes the sport look even more silly when a lot of people slam these rules before they even take effect and then they are proven to be absolutely spot on.

      Just get the rules right first time and then we won’t have this ridiculous situation every race.

    9. You cannot have a game without rules. You cannot play a game if the rules change every second. Welcome to Formula 1. I’ve been saying it for years, Formula 1 is not a sport.

      1. Safe to say the important rules are stable and they still go racing as per the schedule. And I disagree that F1 is not a sport. I think these drivers are athletes and that makes F1 a sport.

      2. Of course you can play a game where the rules change. Influencing the rules themselves can completely be a part of the game itself, as it is indeed in F1.

        It’s absolutely ridiculous to state that all games need static rules that can’t ever be changed.

        1. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s impossible for a sport that calls itself the pinnacle of motorsport not to regularly (perhaps not quite as often as F1 is currently, but still) change its rules.

        2. Please give me examples of games that change the rules from week to week? a Sprint race where on Tuesday you only need to run 80 meters instead of the 100? High jump where you can use a step ladder if you wear a helmet? A car race where you cannot tell a drive to flick a switch one week but you can on the next race? One race where it is worth double points one year but not the next. A game of football where the goal posts move on Saturday if you wear red boots? A football game that lasts 30 mins because a player wants to go home early? Throw-ins are illegal because the touch line is not out of bounds. In fact both goals are fair game as nobody wants pick a side. All corners are given as penalty kicks. A swimming race where no water is in the pool so you are allowed to run on the bottom. Basketball played with a rugby ball for the show. Horses racing against Greyhounds… Yes I see how it works. If that happened we could not call them sports. It is why WWE is not a sport, the rules are not adhered to, they change in every match. It is a show not a sport, F1 is the same.

          1. it is possible to make excuses though. I would also add, that F1 is better at selling authority and rules then actual competition and racing. Lets be honest, nobody can compete for wins in F1, and all people seem to talk about is how much better things will be with new and improved rules.

            ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” (Animal Farm)

    10. I’m one of the few who doesn’t like football. But whenever I see a game I can still understand what’s going on and it’s rules because it’s mostly set in stone from day one. Making it easier for the casual viewer to understand it and get invested in the game.

      In my eyes this also contributes to not being able to attract new manufacturers. A new team might enter because of a set of regulations they would seem suited for them. This is what happened with the teams who entered in 2010 (Virgin, HRT and Lotus/Caterham) on the promise of a budget cap which never came and they all struggled with finances. And in case of most, going bankrupt. Why would a new manufacturer come in, preparing for a set of rules which they signed upon and then change without any discussion with the teams?

      Would you as a executive of any major manufacturer who, had money to burn enter F1 in it’s current state? No.
      Because you can’t set up and carry out a businessplan if you have to adjust it every 2 weeks.

      1. You say that, it’s precisely the reason Audi has not joined F1.

        1. Ruben, @craig-o I would separate cosmetic rule changes like qualifications format, single clutch, three tyre types by race and radio messages ban with manufacturing rules which have been quite consistent since the new formula: engine and chassis. Those are the ones which matter when building long term manufacturing business plans. They are now in the process of making a shakeup possible after three years of utter dominance due to the combination of a brilliant work by Mercedes and too restricted development rules.

          Having ‘only’ four major manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda is not that bad. This year in WRC only Volkswagen and Hyundai are officialy listed. In WTCC it’s Citroën, Honda and Lada. In LMP1 it’s Porsche, Audi and Toyota.

          As such I do not believe constant rule changes was the reason for Audi not to join F1. They did not join in because all their possible budget sunk in the dieselgate.

          1. @spoutnik http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/123076 – Dieselgate probably didn’t have much to do with it. The funding is clearly still there, and VAG are spending as much on WEC as they would likely spend on a team in F1. Obviously the drop to two cars for Spa and Le Mans was noticeable, but it’s nowhere near as bad as what it could have been.

            The rules have only been consistent for three years at the moment, but there has been talk of changing the regulations ever since they were introduced back in 2014. We had eight years of consistent engines (with KERS on top of that for half of the time) prior, and a large number of years with V10s before that. The fact that there seems to be no plan is clearly what is putting Audi off.

            As for having just four manufacturers, given that these changes were brought in to try and attract other big names, it has failed spectacularly. We have lost Cosworth (Ford) and gained only Honda. A net of zero is hardly a success.

            1. @craig-o Indeed I’m certainly too simplistic in my reasonning about Audi. But I still think that dieselgate played a big factor. They have reduced their involvement in WEC and maintained only what was a safe bet stability-wise.

              I have the impression that the current constructors problems has more to do with them unable to catch-up than the will to change the engine formula. But it has effectively broken 6 years of potential stability into two three year spells.

              Again about the amount of constructors it failed but with the ongoing consumer market crisis it is not a disaster either.

            2. @craig-o, the thing is, there have been regular changes to the regulations for the WEC as well – for example, after Porsche’s performance in 2015, the ACO rewrote the regulations on the deployment zones for Le Mans for this year by setting a hard cap on the maximum combined power output of the engine and hybrid motors.

              Equally, it could be pointed out that the WEC is not that much better off in terms of net manufacturers – they have gained Toyota and Porsche, but lost Peugeot and are about to lose Nissan. There are also rumours that the WEC might be losing at least one privateer (the ByKolles team), and might potentially lose Rebellion as well given that the ACO’s proposed 2017 regulation package is continuing to push the cost of competing ever further upwards.

    11. Alonso’s gonna be mad when he learns about the mandatory u-turns next year.

    12. 60 Minutes featured a story on Lewis Hamilton last night in the US. If you are interested, they put extra bits on their website. Try this link, not sure if it works outside of the US.


      1. Cute segment. Pretty sure that was from last year as they do re-runs in the summertime, not new shows. New shows will start again in September.

    13. That Alex Zanardi is really quite amazing.

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