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I hate the fact that the governing bodies limit the ability of teams to innovate. It's a belief of mine that racing is 50% technology and 50% driver ability. If FIA and SCCA want "fair competition" so bad, why don't they just have all the racers driving the same damn car around the track? They can give them all tuned Celicas like the celebrity races they do. Yeah, that'll be real fun to watch!
 

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The FIA proposal is just that, a proposal. This is the opening salvo in the negotiations and is similar to the proposal that preceded the changes in regs that brought about the grooved tires and the narrow cars, IMHO.

What is more disturbing is the trend away from the European tracks. There are many reasons to want new tracks, new audiences and new money but some of the venues have a long history and it would be a shame to lose them.
 

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The clutch idea I like, it adds more of a human element in racing which should make things more interesting. However, the race IS getting boring to watch and I attribute that mostly to TV coverage. There is good racing behind Shuey, but you don't see much of it. It's boring to watch the same guy clip lap after lap with no traffic but lapped cars.
That being said, I do agree that they are going too far in their quest to overregulate F1.
 

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I agree that the proposal goes too far, but it's not all bad. I like the ideas of having to use the engine for a weekend, and the manual clutch.

The chassis weight reduction is good if it enhances safety.
 

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Of course, most of the manufacturers will be fighting the engine rules as they all have created flagship performance cars with V-10 engines for marketing purposes.

The brake rule is the one that might actually allow some passing to happen again.

I agree the engine and ecu restrictions are questionable, OTOH, the main reason for this is to eliminate the temptation to use traction control. Combined with the requirement to use a real clutch and shifter, the driver will be an increasingly more important part of the equation.

These teams have inconceivable budgets to spend. I don't care how many rules you dump on them, they'll find a way to spend that money to make their cars faster.
 

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Ideally, I believe that racing at this level should have no technology restrictions. If anything, they should restrict weight for safety reasons, but for the sake of advancing performance technology, allow teams to do whatever they can with that weight!
 

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transio said:
Ideally, I believe that racing at this level should have no technology restrictions. If anything, they should restrict weight for safety reasons, but for the sake of advancing performance technology, allow teams to do whatever they can with that weight!
I think that the real limiting factor _is_ safety. You can build a car that will kill you just because you'd black out under the g-forces. What they should do is have a driver's championship where they all drive the same car, and a engineer's championship where the cars are autonomous and the only requirement is that they maintain contact with the ground or something like that. Oh, and they shouldn't be allowed to destroy the other cars. :)
 

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The SCCA has a series that is all of the same cars and it is called the Spec Racer Ford. These are rear engined, tube frame, fiberglass bodied, purpose built cars. And the last that I checked, it was the most popular series (meaning the most participants) in club racing. Even so, the pro racing series is dominated by a talented few. The only thing you can adjust in there cars are the suspension bits, and brake bias. The power train is sealed at the factory, so no internals can be changed. The tires are all the same. However, a talented driver can move up quickly. Dorsey Schroeder is rumored to have gotten his start in Spec Racers. But for the most part it is pretty close racing.

NASCAR is a really weird combination. The cars are not stock any longer. They are using 1950's era equipment with 21st Century R&D applied to get the most out of the machines. Anyone of 15 drivers can win on a given weekend. For me it is too boring to watch, but the racing is close and the show is good. It used to be that street cars dictated what went on the track, now it is the opposite way around in some cases.

My point is that for the fans, close racing is the most fun. Watching the Ferrari parade has lost its attraction for me. I do love the technology and seeing how the machines are sorted out to become consistent racers. For some, racing is about the personalities. I am more impressed by the machinery, old and new.

Just one more note about these top racing series. One of the things that is moving strongly into the decision making is fan and worker safety. From some of the F1 people that I have spoken to, they are very concerned about a tire from a wreck flying into the crowd or other similar accidents. The U.S. letigiousness seems to be moving to Europe. The statement was made that if one bad accident occurs involving fans, the whole series could be shut down. A lot of work being done on safety barriers, and tethers for tires/wheels, etc..
 

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transio said:
Ideally, I believe that racing at this level should have no technology restrictions. If anything, they should restrict weight for safety reasons, but for the sake of advancing performance technology, allow teams to do whatever they can with that weight!
Ditto man! I'm with you. It's this open forum that had allowed all the advancement in racing technology to begin with. I think watching these races to see who has reinvented the wheel to go even faster , more reliably is one of the most interesting things about the sport. At this top level of of the sport things should be less restrictive then any other because these guys are the best in the business and therefore are the ones who are the innovators and trend setters; for the rest to follow, learn. and aspire too.
 

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I think that the goal of any racing is twofold, to entertain the fans, and to develop technology that could be applicable to cars that the public will eventually get acess to. NASCAR still refuses to allow EFI, and in so doing, has developed huge engines that can run upwards of 9,000 RPM. They are somewhat entertaining, but there is no technology that is even remotly applicable to the public. NASCAR fans are aging, and the younger generation are not looking at huge v-8's for their automotive excitement, but turbo's and superchargers.

Engine development has been central to racing. It was what helped to launch the muscle car era in the US, and it was what customers first attributed to a manufacturer. Today the same things is going on. Ferrari has been defined through the performance of their engines and the sound that they make. People who car afford $500,000 plus for an ENZO are paying for the name and the pedigree. I think that elminiating the possibility for individual teams to develop their own engines would be catrostrophic. V-10 engines are the wave of the future for high priced GT cars and luxury sedans. BMW is supposed to be developing one, the possibility of a new Ford Shelby might use one, and so on. Turbochargers have had a huge impact in the performace sector. Subaru, Mitshu and Audi have all used them successfully. I feel that if this stringent engine regulation is accepted, it would lead to manufacturers pulling out of the competition since they can no longer showcars their own developments, and hurt the series as a whole.

I will get off my soapbox now..:rolleyes:
 

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Evl said:
I think that the real limiting factor _is_ safety. You can build a car that will kill you just because you'd black out under the g-forces.
Technology, man... can't they use pressurized suits to prevent death? Even if not, I'm sure they could find some way to thicken the driver's blood (maybe cold?), or if not, they could drive by remote via a virtual console - which would reduce weight even more and eliminate the death factor :)

What they should do is have a driver's championship... and a engineer's championship
Awesome idea !!!!
 

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Cale said:
My point is that for the fans, close racing is the most fun. Watching the Ferrari parade has lost its attraction for me. I do love the technology and seeing how the machines are sorted out to become consistent racers. For some, racing is about the personalities. I am more impressed by the machinery, old and new.
Amen brotha!
 

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In F1 the car matters more than the driver. That is why you see the same 3 teams winning every year (Ferrari, McLaren, Williams) with different drivers. One example - Villenuve won the championship, then was uncompetitive once he moved to a slow car.

As far as the '08 rule changes, that is just Max's opening bid. He expects to negotiate most of it away. I understand why they want to do the spec ECU, but it is totally the wrong direction for F1. It'll never pass. The world already has NASCAR and IRL for spec open wheeled series. We don't need another.

But this is fun, so I'll play Max Mosley for a minute and list the changes I'd make to F1:
* Target a 250mph top speed on fast tracks
* Go to closed cockpits to increase driver safety
* Update crash testing to cover the increased speeds
* Remove front and rear wings. Reducing aerodynamic grip should increase passing.
* Full manual clutch and gearbox
* Go back to slicks. Increasing mechanic grip should increase passing.
* Make the cars significantly narrower - more passing

* Improve TV coverage through FIA controlled broadcasting.

I know - absurd changes that would never pass. But then, neither will spec ECUs, iron brakes and spec tires....
 

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Nice list there, Jeff. Now add these:

* Make the cars taller for more body roll (less lateral Gs).
* Don't allow open-wheeled designs (to prevent lost wheels in an accident).
* Make the cars front-engined (for whatever reason).
* Make all the tracks oblong.

:D
 
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