Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2018

F1’s 2019 rules changes won’t help Red Bull – Horner

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In the round-up: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says Formula 1’s new rules for 2019 are unlikely to help Red Bull get closer to Mercedes and Ferrari.

What they say

Horner was asked whether the planned changes for next year, which include an increased fuel allocation and simplified front wing aerodynamics, won’t play into the team’s hands.

Not at all. It’s down to the engine guys. You think you’ve reached a nice curve where everything starts to converge…

I don’t think it’ll be that much.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Wasn’t there a much more obvious solution to simplifying the tyre names for next year which has been overlooked?

I’m a bit nonplussed as to why a supposed ‘simplification’ should be the source of more confusion.

The only reason the current system can get confusing is that they added a bunch of superlative qualifiers to the names of existing tiers. Just label them with numbers or letters in increasing order of expected durability.

We can take it, as fans and spectators. People don’t just watch races to go “Car fast! Vroooom!!”. They engage our minds with strategy, skill as well as speed.
TR

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  • 28 comments on “F1’s 2019 rules changes won’t help Red Bull – Horner”

    1. I think the tire names have two purposes. Before the race knowing which tires will be used can be interesting bit of information and topic of discussion for the hardcore fans. So before the race it is interesting for these people to know which exact compounds are used and analyze and speculate what might happen. That being said even if the tires were numbered from 0 softest to 10 hardest the number 5 for example is likely not the same at the beginning of the year as it is at the end of the year. So it is not as informative as it sounds.

      The second and more important purpose is to convey tire information during the race. When a driver is going around the track people want to know how he compares on others. Has he softer or harder tires, faster or slower lap times, shorter or longer stint. When it comes to tires the way we know where the driver is is by looking at the tire colors and hearing the compound names. In current f1 neither of those tell you nothing. Soft could be the hardest or softest compound available and without listening the broadcast for 15 to 30 minutes you’ll never know if the tires were the hardest or softest. The more hardcore fans may know the compounds by heart and have memorized the colors and names before each race (do you? List all the compounds and the colors that go with them…) but these are small minority. You need to be very interested about the tires to know anything useful about them.

      It is just much better system during the race to have just 3 names. Soft, medium and hard. Everybody will know instantly how things compare and who has what kind of advantage. All you need to hear is the compound name just once or see the car once in tv and you know the tire situation. The hardcore fan can still read before the race weekend which exact compounds will be used and talk about it. But at least during the race the new system hopefully makes things convenient for the majority.

      I’m a bit worried about pirelli still trying to hang on this stupid system. Just let it go. Release some compound info before the races like they are doing now but when the weekend starts its soft, medium and hard. Personally I have not cared about the specific tire names at all during the pirelli years. All I ever wanted to know how the tire compounds compare without having to do homework before watching a race. It was just annoying seeing driver x in the lead with the hyperbole pink compound tires and the driver z chasing him with the double super hexagon mega compounds. Hopefully the announcer says which is the soft and which is the medium or hard which is all I really wanted to know about the tires. Instead they talk about super softs and ultra softs and I don’t even know which is the faster of those two.

      1. With the tire compounds, the wets are pretty self explanatory. Only 2, one for it being wet on track, one for it actually raining on track is how I explain it to those that aren’t in the know.

        With the dry weather, they (Pirelli) just need to understand that the teams are getting pretty good at figuring the tires out for a track and have started to push them beyond what they are recommending and still setting usable lap times. Just use the 3 softest compounds, call them hard, medium, and soft and get it over with. Maybe with this you can see more 1 stop races.

      2. Release some compound info before the races like they are doing now but when the weekend starts its soft, medium and hard.

        This is exactly what’s going to happen, comment of the day is silly, figuring out the difference between Compound-D or Counpound-F would be just as silly to communicate for the commentators and for the fans to understand during the race.

        @docnuke

        Just use the 3 softest compounds, call them hard, medium, and soft and get it over with. Maybe with this you can see more 1 stop races.

        So far bringing the 3 softest compounds hasn’t produced good racing, teams bring/equip the softest of the softest for the race and then the drivers focus on nursing them so they can get the lap times without fighting for positions. However there is still 2 races left with the 3 softest compounds to see if that’s the norm or just specific to those circuits we’ve seen so far.

        1. @skipgamer The tyre’s used to be known by letter’s up until around 1997 & once you know the A was the hardest & the F was softest it was easy to understand even as a kid as I was at the time.

          For me the current Hyper/Ultra etc… labels we have aren’t so much confusing as they are dumb. Just comes across that there trying too hard to make tyres seem cool by giving them cool sounding names that the kids would probably like.

          From 1997 up until Pirelli came into F1 the tyre naming was as it looks like it will be next year, Regardless of what tyres in the overall range was been used what was brought to each race was simply Soft/Medium/Hard.

      3. Hopefully the announcer says which is the soft and which is the medium or hard which is all I really wanted to know about the tires.

        [Rant Alert]: @socksolid – having heard Crofty, I’m sure he’ll still manage to make a meal out of this. At almost every race in 2019 I’m pretty certain he’ll take great pleasure in announcing – “The qualifying tyre is the soft, which is actually equivalent to last year’s ultrasoft compound, and the medium tyre for this race is last year’s soft. And the soft for this weekend is not the same as the soft used for last weekend.” or some such variation thereof, topped off with a “It’s all a bit confusing isn’t it, Martin?”, which would be a bit rich seeing as its his waffling that introduced the confusion in the first place!

        1. LOL, indeed @phylyp, pretty sad that Pirelli feel the need to change the system essentially because one guy in one country (though that’s the country giving us also the F1tv pro English track, so probably one of the biggest F1 audiences) can’t make sense of himself, and will find ways to screw that up with the new names too :p

        2. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
          15th July 2018, 8:44

          Lol spot on.

          I think crofty needs replacing with someone like Jenson Button.

          Having watched the formula e coverage yesterday, the whole team were funny and kept everything light hearted but still got the commentary right.

          I think I’m going to be prioritising FE over F1 from now on. The whole thing is just much more fun to watch. F1 is just so stiff upper lip by comparison.

      4. @socksolid I think that the compounds are defined by Pirelli for a full year. For them to change in the middle of a championship it would require either some security reason or unanimous approval. Or am I mistaken?

        1. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2018/5/vettel-backs-pirelli-tyre-change-decision-despite-struggles.html

          One of the compounds was changed to have slightly thinner tread depth to prevent blistering. There have been similar cases every year.

    2. Mmmm Red Bull could be in for a world of hurt thinking about it. Reduced aero efficiency along side the Honda engines… I was kind of thinking of the engine situation in a bubble with regards to these regulation changes. Without the current aero advantage they clearly have, next year could be truly disastrous.

      1. @skipgamer – I think RBR’s advantage has always been their ability to extract more downforce out of a set of regulations than other teams, so if RBR/Newey get it right, they will continue to exhibit the downforce advantage they show today. That said, we must cast our minds back to 2017’s aero reset, when we expected them to wipe the floor with great aero, but it was only their mid-season development that showed their true prowess.

        1. And let’s not forget that in 2014, while sure they also didn’t have a great working PU package, the car itself wasn’t all that super either to start with, certainly aerodynamically not up to what the Mercedes had to offer.

          1. I’d hasten to add 2009 to the debate as well. They missed a trick with the double diffuser and weren’t the quickest until about mid season. So whilst there is clearly a lot of talent there, it seems with new regulations, they are sometimes a little slower on the uptake.

            1. @jamiefranklinf1 They might not have been THE fastest, but they were very close. Also, Red Bull locked out the front row at the third race already.

              The first race Vettel was doing fine in P2 before he needlessly crashed into Kubica. He crashed out in 3 out of the first 7 races.

              Crashing that often puts you on the back foot obviously. The car was plenty fast from the get go however.

          2. Looking at the other teams i think its safe to say the RB has had the best aero the entire hybrid era, it just hasnt been enough to compete with a massive engine deficit at all times. These new engine regs probably have “saved” us from 5 RB championships.

      2. There is another worry for Red Bull – Toro Rosso compromised on their car design to help Honda in a way that McLaren and Red Bull can’t. The rear of the car for example isn’t tightly packaged and is quite open as shown in the picture below:
        TORO ROSSO REAR

        Compare that to the current Red Bull design and last year’s McLaren:
        RED BULL REAR
        MCLAREN REAR

        I don’t know if there will be any improvement in this area but it seems like they’ll have to work around Honda rather than asking Honda to compromise too much like McLaren did. This will already hurt their aero efficiency so they’ll be up against it next year.

        I think RBR just need to accept it’ll be a transitional year whilst Honda finally get the chance to log 4 car’s worth of data every race and we’ll then start to see some real improvements for the following year.

        1. That statement is misleading. You’re comparing a Toro Rosso cooling solution to a Red Bull and a Mclaren solution.

          It would make far more sense for you to compare last year’s STR Renault to this year’s STR Honda, and compare the entire cooling solution, and not just the rear hot air outlets. Last year’s STR12 had almost identical sidepods to this year’s STR13. Looking at them both from a high side-on angle and it’s obvious the sidepods are the same size, or slightly smaller overall, this year. The outlet at the back is also practically the same, with both cars having different sized rear outlets for different races. The STR13 rear outlet you showed was actually from a very hot race, where they brought their most open version of the rear outlet.

          Here’s a pic of the 2017 STR12’s large rear outlet, as used in hot conditions:
          STR12 Big Rear
          As you can see, it’s a slightly different shape, but overall about the same size, as the picture of the STR13 you posted.

          Here’s a pic of the STR13’s rear end from a not so hot race. Notice how the outlets are a lot smaller than the picture you posted. The same smaller cooling outlets were used on the STR12 at cooler races too:
          STR13 Small Rear

          And lastly, to prove that using large rear hot air outlets don’t mean the engine isn’t good, or the car is compromised, here’s a pic of the Ferrari SF71H wearing it’s big hot race rear outlets:
          SF71H

    3. For the top 3 the new regulations probably won’t affect them all that heavily as they have the budgets to do all the modelling etc to develop decent downforce and continue as before.

      I recall hearing or reading that RBR in particular was a car that creates vortices behind the car that make them harder to follow that Merc/Ferrari and I’d expect Newy & co to have already started working out how to disrupt following cars within the new Reg’s.

      The true losers will be all the teams with less budget as they’ll have to allocate a lot of money they don’t have to try to develop to the new regulations.

      I expect next year for the gap between the top teams and the second tier to be way wider than this year. What I will be interesting will be whether or not the changes will actually make any difference at all in terms of the ability for cars to follow more closely. That we’ll have to wait until 2019 for, but I’m not expecting miracles because designers, particularly in the top 3 are smart enough to ensure it’s not that easy.

      1. @dbradock, whilst people have occasionally talked about the idea of putting something on the car to make it harder to follow, the problem is that there is the risk of those components having a negative impact on the leading car as well (for example, by potentially increasing induced drag on certain aero components).

        Whilst it is true that the current designs are aimed at creating vortices to improve the performance of the floor, the fact that it is thought to make the car harder to follow isn’t necessarily something that was intended – it is a consequence, but a side effect from what the designer is trying to achieve (increased downforce from the floor).

        If anything, given that the open wheels of the cars generate extremely turbulent wakes, more often than not the teams are trying to mitigate the impact of that instead – and given the wake of those tyres already have a rather significant negative impact on the trailing cars, there really isn’t an incentive to put the effort into “defensive aero” of that nature.

      2. @dbradock I think you are right not to expect miracles from next year’s changes, as they are relatively minor. Oh I know some teams have already decried the costs, but it certainly has not been Liberty’s intention to cause the bigger teams to be advantaged more. That’s always going to be inevitable though. But they have to try to do something ahead of the major overhaul of the regs, such is the dirty air effect too negatively affecting close racing.

        I don’t recall hearing that particularly the RBR cars are harder to follow, but for sure that has been part of the problem which they will address for 2021 and teams have only been incentivized for years now to disrupt the air behind them as much as their efficiency models will allow. I envision the 2021 regs resulting in more of a boat tail shape to the back end.

        I am very confident about the future of F1 and I hope people will just be patient that Liberty is just trying their best to make due with the last gen of BE cars before they really get to put their twist in the plot, particularly for 2021.

        1. @robbie I guess that’s my point.

          2021 is the point When new design regulations and essentially a whole new concept has been targeted.

          Why then force teams to the expense of the redesigns they’ll have to do next year if it will (or may have) have minimal effect and could in fact widen the competitive gap between teams when they seem to be converging currently.

          Seems just a little knee jerk to me and that is the one think I thought Liberty and the FIA were keen to avoid.

          1. @dbradock While you may turn out correct that the top teams will adapt quicker, as is usually the case with reg changes, that reality is already in place. The idea behind the inward washing front wings is to help a little to promote closer racing due to the overwhelming dirty air effect coupled with tires that can’t handle trailing a car in dirty air. So the reg change is not meant to help the lesser teams get closer in overall relative performance, but for all cars to race closer to each other for a more exciting product on the track. Liberty is just trying a relatively small and manageable change to try to improve the show rather than having two more seasons after this one of cars unable to get within a few seconds of the car in front without ruining their front tires and causing strategic changes to adapt to that.

            On that note too I would sure like to hear more about them mandating better tires next year and going forward, that can actually handle some dirty air, especially given that F1 admits dirty air is as big a problem as ever.

            I am convinced Liberty wants to be as free from knee-jerk decisions as possible, but for now as they deal with cars that they themselves wouldn’t likely have promoted to begin with but that BE left them with, they obviously feel this change in the regs for next year is a necessary evil vs. more races of cars unable to follow, let alone pass.

    4. When the manufactures dump F1 cause gas engines no longer fit the board plans, they MIGHT tell F1 to start making and using electric motors. But I doubt it. After all this puppet manipulation by the manufactures, they are just going to dump F1 in typical manufacture style. Not a tear. Refusing to get rid of aero dependence, or the lack of a racing solution regarding aero has been F1’s downfall for quite some time now. If they do not fix it within a few short years, it will be their ultimate downfall. And by then, the manufactures are going to have the convenient excuse to say that gas engines do not fit their business model anymore. It’s gonna go critical before we know it.

      1. Car manufacturers are primarily in it for the marketing buzz. Yes they might (probably will) sell out one day, but that will happen with any engine format.
        I hope you didn’t think that Red Bull is in F1 because it wants technical knowledge about ‘gives you wings’ :P

        This just reinforces the need for F1 to have lucrative team franchises (like most major team sports nowadays). This way an owner (car manufacturer, drinks company, priveteer) might sell, but he’ll always finds a willing buyer.

      2. F1 is a specialist field. While the petrol they use is 95 octane, it has been made specifically for racing, and often made for racing in the engine used by the team the petrol company sponsors. My guess is this costs lots of dollars per litre.
        It could easily be that one day F1 teams will want to use electric engines. I don’t see this as being a major problem provided the battery can last a whole race. All that’s required is a rule change.
        I don’t see much interest from teams in this until an electric car is able to compete with a petrol powered one.

    5. Regarding the COTD: I’m happy that they’re still going to inform which specific compounds are going to be chosen for each race weekend beforehand like now as well as like Bridgestone did, although I still think it’s more or less entirely unnecessary as I don’t find the current format confusing nor complicated at all. In the end, it isn’t rocket science, far from it, so I don’t understand all the fuss about it. ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

      1. I forgot to add: That crash in Alex Payne’s tweet, though. It’s a bit reminiscent to the Webber-Kovalainen incident in Valencia in 2010.

    6. I have been thinking about this tyre thing for a while and have actually changed my mind about it. This is what I now think: The tyres should be fixed before the beginning of the season and only 3 compounds – soft, medium, hard plus inters and full wets. The hards would not be as durable as current hards. After the season begins here should be no changes in the compound manufacture allowed unless due to provable safety grounds. Teams can take any combination of tyres to each race up to a maximum number of tyres (decided on 2 races in advance). 2 compounds need to be used during the race. Some races there would only be one stop, but some races would require 2 or 3.

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