2023-24 Formula 1 Off-season thread

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Jimlaad43

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The 2023 Formula 1 season has come to a close with the RB19 being an even more dominant car than the RB18. With 2024 answer our prayers for some more competition at the front? I can't be worse than this year, surely? Anyway, use this thread as a place to discuss anything about Formula 1 that doesn't quite fit within the specialist threads below.

Drivers
Constructors
Calendar

Also feel free to check out some of the games we have played this year within F1, and see if you're interested in joining next year.

Caption Game
Fantasy
Guess the Pole Time
 
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Madrid city track with anticipated 10 year deal from 2026 on replacing Barcelona to be announced soon.
 
They finally get Barcelona halfway decent by removing the final chicane and now they're going to replace it with a street circuit? Not sure I like that.

Rumour is it will be run alongside Catalunya, not instead of.
 
So who’s getting the boot? Drivers already seem annoyed by a 24 race calendar.
Half of the drivers will run Barcelona while the other half will run Madrid. Best way to ensure a non-Max win!
 
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It's also located at a quality location outside of the city. Beautiful scenery of an airport and carpark.
 
A few sites are running stories that the FIA believe that one Formula One team, Mercedes and specifically identifying Toto Wolff, has had access to confidential information in collusion with FOM. Tinhats say it was advanced knowledge of Red Bull's cost cap breach.

Irrespective of your opinion on the bitch sniping Red Bull and Mercedes pull on each other, I think it's quite clear that the teams in general are once again drifting apart from the FIA.
 
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A few sites are running stories that the FIA believe that one Formula One team, Mercedes and specifically identifying Toto Wolff, has had access to confidential information in collusion with FOM. Tinhats say it was advanced knowledge of Red Bull's cost cap breach.

Irrespective of your opinion on the bitch sniping Red Bull and Mercedes pull on each other, I think it's quite clear that the teams in general are once again drifting apart from the FIA.
Oh they're doing conflicts of interest now?

Cool. Let's get into Honda dealer Derek Warwick and a driver's girlfriend's godfather Roberto Moreno as stewards too, or the president of the FIA having a racing career bankrolled by the owner of one of the teams.


Oh it's just about getting women out of the sport, you say?
 
So the Sprint races are here to stay for another year for whatever (money) reason. There is currently discussion on changing the format of it again. We may as well have a discussion on how you would set the grid for the 1/3 race distance races.

We don't need two Qualifying sessions. The SQ plan was just regular qualifying with not enough time in each session. Fridays qualifying has given us some great mixed grids, but makes watching qualifying difficult for the majority of fans who work Monday-Friday. Plus it then makes Saturday morning's session either a useless practice session or the samey SQ.

I see two options:
Friday needs to be FP1 and FP2.
A: Qualifying should be held as the second session on Saturday. The Sprint race should be held in place of FP3. This gives teams time to adjust anything out of parc ferme before quali and learn from the race if they have time - such as the ride height issue from Austin. Grid for the Sprint is based on the Driver's Championship. Top 10 are reversed in the first 10 spots, 11th onwards are then reversed as well from 11-20th on the grid. Channel 4 get to run highlights for both sessions separately.

B: Qualifying is held first on Saturday. The grid for the main GP is set by the qualifying result. The grid for the Sprint is set by reversing the Top 10 from this and maybe even the two elimination groups as well. Channel 4 get to run highlights from both sessions separately. Parc Ferme is set after qualifying, but the teams will have had two sessions on Friday to get prepared.

The best solution is to can the Sprints, but if we have to continue both of these ideas would be better than what we have.The SQ idea was a massive downgrade from the idea of one-shot quali that was proffered before Baku.
 
So the Sprint races are here to stay for another year for whatever (money) reason. There is currently discussion on changing the format of it again. We may as well have a discussion on how you would set the grid for the 1/3 race distance races.

We don't need two Qualifying sessions. The SQ plan was just regular qualifying with not enough time in each session. Fridays qualifying has given us some great mixed grids, but makes watching qualifying difficult for the majority of fans who work Monday-Friday. Plus it then makes Saturday morning's session either a useless practice session or the samey SQ.

I see two options:
Friday needs to be FP1 and FP2.
A: Qualifying should be held as the second session on Saturday. The Sprint race should be held in place of FP3. This gives teams time to adjust anything out of parc ferme before quali and learn from the race if they have time - such as the ride height issue from Austin. Grid for the Sprint is based on the Driver's Championship. Top 10 are reversed in the first 10 spots, 11th onwards are then reversed as well from 11-20th on the grid. Channel 4 get to run highlights for both sessions separately.

B: Qualifying is held first on Saturday. The grid for the main GP is set by the qualifying result. The grid for the Sprint is set by reversing the Top 10 from this and maybe even the two elimination groups as well. Channel 4 get to run highlights from both sessions separately. Parc Ferme is set after qualifying, but the teams will have had two sessions on Friday to get prepared.

The best solution is to can the Sprints, but if we have to continue both of these ideas would be better than what we have.The SQ idea was a massive downgrade from the idea of one-shot quali that was proffered before Baku.
The Sprints proved this year they can have value at the right circuits. The format would be best if they did do reverse grids, not sure only reversing the top 10 will really add anything though. But it needs to be based on championship order rather than reversing the main GP qualifying. So option A realistically is where I would see it but with more cars getting reversed. Problem with B is qualfying becomes strategic around sprint race placement and faster cars will effectively throw the session to get a better sprint race spot knowing they have the race pace to make up a few spots.
 
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A few sites are running stories that the FIA believe that one Formula One team, Mercedes and specifically identifying Toto Wolff, has had access to confidential information in collusion with FOM. Tinhats say it was advanced knowledge of Red Bull's cost cap breach.

Irrespective of your opinion on the bitch sniping Red Bull and Mercedes pull on each other, I think it's quite clear that the teams in general are once again drifting apart from the FIA.
As much as the teams and FOM have to take responsibility for some of the woes, let's be honest, MBS is rubbish.
 
I'm not defending either party. Greedy, power-hungry, virtue-signalling crybabies and... the other lot as well.
 
Sorry I realise now that looked like a response to what you posted. I was just talking in general. The other lot are just as bad I agree.
 
A few sites are running stories that the FIA believe that one Formula One team, Mercedes and specifically identifying Toto Wolff, has had access to confidential information in collusion with FOM. Tinhats say it was advanced knowledge of Red Bull's cost cap breach.

Irrespective of your opinion on the bitch sniping Red Bull and Mercedes pull on each other, I think it's quite clear that the teams in general are once again drifting apart from the FIA.




All others, apart from Mercedes, have released similar statements.
 
It's also interesting to note that the author of the original Daily Mail article, Jonathan McEvoy, who first spread the story, is the journalist who was verbally hit by Toto in Vegas after FP1, after interrupting Toto in the PK by shouting and triggering Toto's anger speech (about the manhole cover) towards him. He first spread the story from the (insignificant) Business F1, a magazine published many days earlier, which does not name the changing (guest)authors in its articles. It is quite possible that McEvoy could be involved or even an author himself, nobody knows. In the article itself, anonymous quotes are spread, allegedly from team bosses, but 0.0 concrete information about what was so important. 2/3 of the double page are gap fillers with further anonymous quotes and old stories. The article is freely available at Business F1 page 10-11 of the December issue (https://businessf1magazine.com/december-2023-free-digital-issue/).

If Susie Wolff's position is now being criticised for being too close to the (Merc) team, where was the outcry from Domenicali (who succeeded Gerhard Berger on the FIA's Monoposto Commission), Ross Brawn or Jean Todt in much more important positions and, for example, Todt's blunt closeness to Ferrari? The current FIA President Sulayem was under contract with RedBull for a long time and they made many things possible for him in active motorsport. Where was/is the criticism?
Susie Wolff is the coordinator of a women's formula championship under F3. I am very curious if we will ever find out what super important information Mrs Wolff is supposed to have with F1 relevance.

I'm no fan of the Wolffs, but without any evidence or facts other than anonymous chatter, the whole thing reeks of the bruised ego of a British journalist who supposedly wants to get back at Toto after Vegas. Especially now with all those denials it's very unusual (or even a premiere) that teampricipals cover others back and especially Totos in such an important matter.
 
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Nice to see the grid unite behind Team Statement sooner than Team Andretti.
 
Inclusion for the sake of inclusion isn't the way to go though. Opportunities should be available in motorsports but sport is also a results business or is supposed to be a results business. Balancing meritocracy with fair opportunity is never going to be easy in a sport that has always been a rich man's game.

On the topic of the Wolffs though, was Susie Wolff targeted for this supposed hatchet job because she's a woman or because she works for Mercedes? I have to say I did find her "I am a woman in F1" statement a bit of a weird addition.
 
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It's gonna be a sad day when Lewis Hamilton is no longer a regular part of F1.
Hamilton:
  • Calls out the FIA for holding the Prize Giving in Baku rather than in Europe, questioning the sustainability credentials of the event
  • Attends the event and calls out the FIA for its investigation into Susie Wolff, aims barb directly at ben Sulayem
  • Congratulates Red Bull, "faultless" Verstappen, and Perez on stage during the prize-giving (though it looked a little uncomfortable with Horner at the end)
  • Leaves his trophy behind - apparently "given" to a fan, although this has subsequently been denied by Mercedes which says it's in a custody chain to be returned to Brackley

The FIA has only responded to the first one, by announcing the 2024 event will be in Kigali in Rwanda. Obviously.
 
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The FIA wants to start penalizing drivers who cause red flags in sessions by deleting their best time. BUT they need to test it in F2 and F3 first.

Why does this need to be tested? Just do it.


 
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Inclusion for the sake of inclusion isn't the way to go though. Opportunities should be available in motorsports but sport is also a results business or is supposed to be a results business. Balancing meritocracy with fair opportunity is never going to be easy in a sport that has always been a rich man's game.
So, I do generally agree that it's more important for new people to be brought on based on their ability rather than just the for the sake of inclusion. However, from what I've seen over the years, Lewis' thing has been campaigning for for the FIA to just give these people real chances to get their foot in the door, regardless of their backgrounds, which it sounds like the FIA (or at least some of its leadership) is hesitant in doing. Of course, I say that not knowing what the hiring process in the FIA (or motorsport in general) is like.

That being said, I don't think it's horrifically controversial to say that it's much harder for certain people to get their foot in the door within the racing industry as a whole if they're not cut from a particular set of cloth. To that end, I do support Lewis' efforts to help make changes in that aspect.
On the topic of the Wolffs though, was Susie Wolff targeted for this supposed hatchet job because she's a woman or because she works for Mercedes? I have to say I did find her "I am a woman in F1" statement a bit of a weird addition.
The insinuation seems to be that certain individuals within the FIA were going after Susie after at least in part because of her being a woman relatively high up the motorsports food chain, and were perhaps seeing this investigation (brought about by a single article from F1 Business, apparently) as an opportunity to discredit her. Granted, there's been absolutely nothing confirmed that this was the case, and likely never will be publicly.

Though, being honest, I really can't blame Susie for being pissed and wanting to see heads roll for this situation. I can only imagine how immensely frustrating in must be working for your entire life to have a career in motorsports (which was likely made more difficult for Susie because she's a woman entering an extremely male-dominated industry), getting to a high-up position within your field, and working your ass off to introduce a new audience and talent pool to the thing you love, only to have your organization question your loyalty and commitment to them based entirely on a single "news" story from a highly-questionable source, and without consulting you first.
Hamilton:
  • Calls out the FIA for holding the Prize Giving in Baku rather than in Europe, questioning the sustainability credentials of the event
  • Attends the event and calls out the FIA for its investigation into Susie Wolff, aims barb directly at ben Sulayem
  • Congratulates Red Bull, "faultless" Verstappen, and Perez on stage during the prize-giving (though it looked a little uncomfortable with Horner at the end)
  • Leaves his trophy behind - apparently "given" to a fan, although this has subsequently been denied by Mercedes which says it's in a custody chain to be returned to Brackley

The FIA has only responded to the first one, by announcing the 2024 event will be in Kigali in Rwanda. Obviously.
If the Rwanda decision was indeed made in part to appease Hamilton, that would be hilariously stupid, but would be just one more thing to add to the list of "Stupid 🤬 the FIA says/does."
 
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I had to double check to make sure the 2024 event really is being held in Kigali, I thought it was a mod to Tory brainfarts.
 
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