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Juha Bos
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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 11:36

Timo Vermeersch wrote:
Now, one can say a lot of things about Bernie, but that is one of the things he always seemed to have captured very well. Let's make sure that there is no true alternative for F1. Just look at how he dealt with Group C-racing when that was becoming too popular for his taste in the late eighties.

It wasn't just Group C. The only series he allowed to blossom was F3000, because he owned a huge stock of DFV engines.

ETCC attracted manufacturer entries in the mid 80s. Manufacturers who weren't into F1. It was turned it into a WTCC and it lasted one year. One competitor series gone.

Rallying became popular in the 80s. Bernie took notice. The FIA switched to dull cars and blamed all safety issues purely on the cars. People lost interest. Bernie reappeared in the late 90's and again tried to change the nature of the sport.

Rallycross became popular in the early 90s. Bernie bought the TV rights, suddenly there was no coverage and it became a niche sport again for a long time.

500cc racing was another threat, especially if it shared tracks with F1. So Bernie became the promoter of the GP at Spa. He moved the race to Saturday, people showed up on Sunday because it wasn't marketed properly and the the fact the race took place on Saturday was well hidden. Spa disappeared off the calendar.

He did a great job at professionalising F1, but he could also have ensured it wasn't a borefest instead of killing every other competitor in the arena.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 12:11

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As for Spec racing, CART was already headed down that road before the Split happened, in 1995 there were only 2 chassis manufacturers in CART, Lola and Reynard. Penske was building it's own chassis, but it was a shitbox and only Penske and Bettenhausen ran them. Bettenhausen's was a year old car too. Now there were 3 engine suppliers, with Buick being #4 at Indy only. But Honda and Ford were pouring a shit ton of money into those programs.

Penske had a great chassis in 94 and still quite decent in 95, capitalizing on being the first team who brought the 3rd spring to champcars. During Unser Jrs triumphal 94 season everybody was puzzled about the great traction at low speeds of their cars, speculating with a hidden traction control, but wheelspin exiting the pits hinted at there being none. What happened was that they were using softer main springs than everybody because the 3rd spring prevented the tub from bottoming at higher speeds, when the downforce pressed the car down. In 1995 they still had a good car, but Reynard was already on their way up to dominate the following years. They were however beaten by its bastard son, the Penske reynard of 2000/2001 and then Lola took over with one of the most dominating chassis ever, which carried on to the ill fated spec series CCWS.

Now, the problem of CART tecnology wise was that they wanted real tecnology competition -unlike NASCAR- but also did not want to go the trouble or cost of developing it themselves, as happened in F1. So they came up with the brilliant idea of buying chassis from 3rd party people like Reynard and Lola. The idea seemed good at the beginning, but of course the flaw on it was that if you could buy the best chassis, then everybody else also could, and the game was quickly turned into a spec series as you point out. In F1 teams only rarely share engines, and almost never the chassis itself, which forces everyone to build the best thing they can, and asume that cost. I never really understood why no big constructor ever managed to create "customer" chassis for a bunch of F1 teams on the grid, as the sum of their budged would be much closer to what the bigger teams have. Of course Lola and Reynard tried to promote themselves racing in F1, but things never fell into place for that to happen, which is sad as it could have shortened the distance with the top teams considerably. The last nail in the coffin was the cocky attitude of the teams reacting with rule changes to anything that threatened how they understood "their" competition, f.e. banning the Porsche carbon chassis and imposing rdidiulous limitations on anything that veered of the traditional approach.

Anyway, the last thing that killed the innovation you mention from the 60s and 70s was the law of diminishing returns. Once the obvious things were discovered (Wings, underbody effects, etc) and started being used, it was impossible to make huge leaps forward with small budgets, the game was now of investing millions for fractions of a second time gains. Nothing someone could do in a small shop, which inmediately killed variety and at the same time required huge budgets. From there to the F1 model of crazy money for almost no returns or the rest-of-the-world model of spec series the road was already paved.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 12:51

Jason Fitch wrote:
 There is this great myth that Indy "used to be about innovation" For a very brief period at the end of the 60's was when Indy was about innovation. Indy and IndyCar has ALWAYS been about stagnation and replication. 

I think this myth is purely an American one, Indy racing has always been considered (often quite arrongantly I must say) by Europeans as a backwards type of racing as far as technology is concerned. As you said, the only true era of constant innovation at Indy was the late 1960s and early 1970s, but that was the trend in racing everywhere with turbines, 4WD, wings, turbocharging making their more or less lasting appearance on the racing scene.

This of course applies not only to Indy but to the American racing scene in general, which has always been more about making it a profitable and entertaining show than a testing ground for technological innovation. But on the other hand American racing was always very advanced on many aspects of the sporting side and the rest of the world, particularly Europe and the F1 gang, was inspired by many of America's way of doing things : corporate sponsors, sports marketing, TV broadcasting, pace-cars or professional rescue/medical teams for instance were all copied from the American way of racing.

Alberto Ibañez wrote:
I never really understood why no big constructor ever managed to create "customer" chassis for a bunch of F1 teams on the grid, as the sum of their budged would be much closer to what the bigger teams have.

The reason for that not happening is simple : it is forbidden by the Concorde Agreement of 1981 Sad. Each team has to build its own chassis and cannot sell it (or sell its previous year's cars like they used to do) to a private team. There have been since then many instances of a team running a chassis it did not build itself (f.e. Larrousse with Lola, Scuderia Italia with Dallara and later Lola, BAR with Reynard) but these were exclusive partnerships and not a privateer effort in the traditionnal sense of the term. And it didn't go smoothly with the F1 management either, particularly in the early Larrousse days. Tom Walkinshaw also got into a lot of trouble when he owned both Benetton and Ligier and both teams fielded almost identical cars, which was seen by Bernie as a breech of his beloved Concorde Agreement. The said agreement, amongst other outrageous rules such as super-licence or promoting rights being handed over to the FOCA, also made it mandatory for each team to attend every race of a season (or to pay very expensive fines if it missed races), which was yet another nail in the coffin for privateers as they usually could not afford a full-season or the expensive out of Europe trips.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 13:00

Ah, suspected something like that but was not sure. Thanks Frank :top:

What a draconian rule, outrageously ridiculous. Weird that the smaller teams always accepted that and never decided to give Bernie the one-fingered salute and leave the grid. F1 would never resist a season like the infamous 2005 US GP with only 6 cars running.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 13:24

Yes indeed, but the stranglehold of the F1CA/FOCA/FOA/FOTA (I'm losing tracks over its changing name :aie:) on Grand Prix racing is too strong and can never be broken imho. It has the full support of the big automobile manufacturers, it holds circuits owners by their tiny balls and no corporate sponsor would even dream of backing a renegade series :smil20: .

The irony of it all is that Bernie himself did that, a renegade GP series. In the height of the FIASCO (FISA vs FOCA) war he is the one who broke away from the FIA to create the World Federation of Motor Sports and a Grand Prix series to go with it. The main reason was that the British teams were against the cost of turbocharging which only could be afforded by the big auto manufacturers. The series of course had similar rules to F1 (but not identical) but it only lasted for one race though : the 1981 GP of South Africa. After that they all patched up, but it wasn't the end of the war as such : there were many other episodes (drivers' strike at Kyalami in 1982 and the Imola boycott the same year, or the row over refuelling in 1983) before they buried the hatchet for good.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 13:44

It will be interesting to see where F1 is gonna go in the near future now that Bernie has resigned (was forced to resign) and an US-based media firm has taken over. F1 on ovals? Who knows?

Timo

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 13:55

Frank Verplanken wrote:

The reason for that not happening is simple : it is forbidden by the Concorde Agreement of 1981 Sad. Each team has to build its own chassis and cannot sell it (or sell its previous year's cars like they used to do) to a private team.

I think CART went the exact opposite way and I think the rules stated that any chasis manufacturer had to provide at least two teams with his chassis within a certain period of time of entering the sport. That was the rule for engine suppliers anyway, and I think it also applied to the chassis manufacturers.

As to the rule in the Concorde Agreement, even if the Concorde Agreement was also FISA's (Ballestre) doing, I'm pretty sure that that rule was slipped in by Bernie. In his capacity of president of FOCA at the time, he defended the interests of mainly the UK-teams such as McLaren, Williams, Tyrrell, Lotus and his own Brabham. These all build their own chassis and said rule thus helped them limit possible competition.

Maybe, they also had the March-initiative of early seventies on the back of their minds. As of 1970, March effectivelly offered F1-chassis for sale. It allowed Tyrrell to bridge the gap between Matra and it's own chassis and Frank Williams also used March-chassis in his initial years. The March was not even unsuccesfull, the Tyrrell-March winning some races and Peterson taking some second places in a works March.

But by 1981 Tyrrell and Williams were solidly established teams who build their own chassis... Just a pity how Ken and Frank seemed to have forgotten how a "serial chassis provider" allowed them to start...

Timo

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 14:07

Timo Vermeersch wrote:
I think CART went the exact opposite way and I think the rules stated that any chasis manufacturer had to provide at least two teams with his chassis within a certain period of time of entering the sport. That was the rule for engine suppliers anyway, and I think it also applied to the chassis manufacturers.

Yes I think it was for engine suppliers only and came out in the 1990s, Toyota probably being the first one having to comply to this rule. There were several instances of chassis (like the Truesports or Galmer efforts) only fielded by the team who build it, and Penske didn't always sell his previous year cars to other teams either. Now that I think of it though such a rule was also enforced for tyre manufacturers, Firestone definitely had to comply to that when it came back in 1995.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 14:14

The one rule in Concorde that solidified Bernie's position as main F1-honcho beyond anything else was the one regarding TV-rights.

The Concorde agreement provided how the income of television-rights had to be divided among the teams, based on their performance etc. That they had to participate in every race was, to some extent, a compensation for that.

The television rights as such were attributed to FOCA (the Formula One Constructors Association) which was pretty much Bernie's private club. Still, with members like Ron Denis, Frank Williams, etc, it was far from a one man show and Bernie certainly did not have the freedom to do as he saw fit.

So FOCA immediatelly "leased" the television rights out to a company controlled by... right, Bernhard Ecclestone.

In the facts, this meant that all the negotiations and agreements with broadcasters etc, were conducted solely by Bernie's company, without nasty meddling in of other teams. See where this is going? Nobody but Bernie knew exactly how much income those television rights produced. Moreover, broadcast companies etc did not pay directly to the teams, not even to FOCA. But to Bernie's company.

Who then paid FOCA what was due under the "lease" agreement. Still, even if the money was due, he could still postpone payments, delay them, etc. Then the teams still had to get the money from FOCA where, even if not alone, Bernie again had strong influence. He was no longer a man controlling one money tap, he controlled two money taps...

Even back in the day of the Magna Carta man understood the concept of "the power of the purse"... Concorde entrusted that power entirely to Bernie... And boy did he make good use of it Very Happy .

Timo

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 14:39

Sky Willis wrote:
The present also has the disadvantage of not being rose tinted. Laughing

Axel Putra wrote:
I see most of you are stuck in the past huh.
Honouring the past while living at the present is my motto.

As an historian in general and a motoring one in particular, this is a discussion I've had many times in the past. You are both young so the era of racing we are mostly talking of here is something you have not witnessed live but have gotten to know as a part of history. For us older folks it was our very palpable present at one point and something we lived to see. It is equally stupid to magnify the past and turn it into a retrospective golden age if it was not, than it is to constantly praise the present on the sole argument that it is happening now. I don't think any of us has a biased view of the past and we do have an objective point of view on racing both as it has been and as it is now. I followed motor racing as long as it was appealing to me, this has nothing to do with nostalgia. The fact of the matter is that motor racing is and has always been a constantly evolving sport, and to my eyes now it's just a "shining shit and calling it gold" affair. Doesn't mean all was perfect "back in the day", to me it all started going progressively downwards from the early 1970s on, and when it reached a point where the bad overwhelmed the good I just stopped following it.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 15:00

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It is equally stupid to magnify the past and turn it into a retrospective golden age if it was not

Actually, I would even go as far as saying that part of the reason why the past seems now more glorious than it really was, is the comparison with the shitty present Laughing 

I do not think that in 1975 people who had been racing in the 1950 regarded that earlier time as superior, but I also think it's fair to say that motorsports in general is now worse than it was 25 years ago. For comparison:

2017 F1 vacuum cleaners against 1995 F1 V10 engines (Schumacher in Benetton, Hill in Williams, Hakkinen, etc)
2017 crapwagons against 1995 Indycar (With indianapolis in the schedule)
2017 NASCAR against 1995 NASCAR (Gordon vs. Earnhardt in really powerful cars)

etc.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 15:08

And we have not even mentionned Formula E once... Very Happy Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 15:16

Alberto Ibañez wrote:
Actually, I would even go as far as saying that part of the reason why the past seems now more glorious than it really was, is the comparison with the shitty present Laughing

I couldn't agree more of course, but then it also is a matter of taste I guess. I can understand some people love what GP racing has become but I just hope most of them love it what for it really is and not because it just is.

Alberto Ibañez wrote:
I do not think that in 1975 people who had been racing in the 1950 regarded that earlier time as superior

Actually it has always been something that existed in motor racing due to the fact it constantly evolves and changes. There are some funny letters in the early 1960s MotorSport magazines for instance of old-timers litteraly vomiting on the (arguably controversial) 1,500cc F1 rules and calling it a joke compared to the previous GP cars, especially the 1930s ones. This prompted a great article from DSJ explaining how there have always been people who lost interest in the sport due to its changes both on form and content, citing the example of two gentlemen having a drink in the Brooklands clubhouse in 1923 and lamenting over the deplorable state of GP racing compared to its "golden age" era of before the Great War :D !

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 15:19

Timo Vermeersch wrote:
And we have not even mentionned Formula E once... Very Happy Very Happy

Because we're talking motorsport, not robot wars. lol!

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 15:37

Quote :
the example of two gentlemen having a drink in the Brooklands clubhouse in 1923 and lamenting over the deplorable state of GP racing compared to its "golden age" era of before the Great War

lol! 

Reminds me of my favourite quote from the late Carroll Smith: "The older we get, the faster we were" :rigol:

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 15:40

lol! excellent quote haha !

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 17:06

The giggling smiley might have been a clue that my last post wasn't entirely serious. :langue:
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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 17:09

Timo Vermeersch wrote:
F1 on ovals? Who knows?

Technically, the Indy 500 was an F1 race from 1950 to 1960, so F1 has been on ovals  :D

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 17:18

Sky Willis wrote:
The giggling smiley might have been a clue that my last post wasn't entirely serious. :langue:

Yes sorry, the tedious old bugger in me is triggered very easily :D !

Jason White wrote:
Technically, the Indy 500 was an F1 race from 1950 to 1960, so F1 has been on ovals  :D

Nope it was never a F1 race, it had its own set of technical rules (pre-war GP formula and then USAC formula). It was part of the World Championship of Drivers indeed, but this was not a F1 series but rather a series of races to determine who was the best driver in the world. Granted, most of the races were for F1 cars, but in 1952-53 all the major Grandes Epreuves (as they were called) were run to Formula 2 rules, and apart from the Indy 500 there were a lot of instances of WC races allowing non-F1 cars at the start (most usually F2 cars).

Grand Prix racing has seen oval races in the past though, whether it was at Brookland, Miramas, Montlhéry or Monza for instance.

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 18:31

Jason you just hit Frank's sensible point. Be prepared for

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 18:39

:hihi: lol!

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 18:41

I was looking for a chance to use that new emoticon :D

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Thu 6 Apr 2017 - 18:45

:D Welcome to our latest new member, the Spanish Inquisition Laughing !

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Fri 7 Apr 2017 - 10:23

Juha Bos wrote:
Timo Vermeersch wrote:
And we have not even mentionned Formula E once... Very Happy Very Happy

Because we're talking motorsport, not robot wars. lol!

Well it is motorsport. We have to face the future too.

The first "mortosport" were done with chariot and horses. For example the oval races began at Rome...What a shame :D :D :D. Well to be honest no one really know where it start. Could be in Egypt or in any Mesopotamian civilizations. Greeks were to doing horse races as said the Illiad.
Sorry historian reflexes :D even if unlike Franck racing history isn't my primary interest.

Then the horsepower get from real horse to fuel based engine (but still retaining the old horsepower name). Everything changes. Our engine had too. We've got turbocharger and different layout of the engine (line, V, W, H, Flat and I'm sure I'm missing some). Not to mention all the cylinder capacity.

Then come Audi at Le Mans with Diesel-powered cars...then the so-call hybrid using part electrical part fuel power.

So why not a next step of evolution to electrical?
Let's face it. Racing had evolved. In a world where petroleum is going to be rare some day, we need to switch to another way to have motoracing.
So why not E-engine? Ok the sound is not great at all. But that's really easy to solve. We have the technological way to add "fake" sounds on the car. Nothing difficult to give an electrical car the sound of a Matra V12 or a flat-6 Porsche or a H16 BRM or Corvette V8 or an Aston Martin V12 or rotary Mazda (well may be not this one lol! ) or wathever sound you like.

Quote :
Grand Prix racing has seen oval races in the past though, whether it was at Brookland, Miramas, Montlhéry or Monza for instance.

Avus could be add to the list even if it's not really an oval shape racetrack don't you think?

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PostSubject: Re: New look for IndyCar in 2018   Fri 7 Apr 2017 - 11:35

There is racing, and there is motorracing. Racing is any competition where the objective is to go from A to B quicker than the rest, which involves from 1/4 mile drag to snake races. Motorracing instead implies the use of a  mechanical means of propulsion that converts stored or real-time captured energy (f.e. solar) into motion of your vehicle. So of course electricity enters into that category, as electric motors are like the name implies a motor. Therefore horse racing won't count in my book as motorracing, because a horse is not a mechanical mean or transforming energy into motion. It's a living being what does that transformation, same as when you do bycicle racing.

OTH as much as I dislike in general racing with electric cars, I accept that it is a kind of motorracing. 

One category that seems dubtious is sailing. It's means converting by mechanical means natural energy into motion, though the simplicity of the mechanical mean (Sail) tends to rule out the idea. There have been however projects of ships where windmills were attached to masts and geared to the underwater propeller, in which case it could maybe fit the category.

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