Unpopular Motorsport Opinions

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Senna's death was a sad event yes, but in the long term it has been one of the best things that has happened to F1. The safety improvements since have meant that drivers like Kubica, Burti, Alonso, Webber, Diniz, Kovalainen etc are still alive and competing despite having horrific accidents in F1 that could have been fatal without the changes made in the wake of Ayrton's demise.
I... don't think this should be an unpopular opinion. Same thing can be said for when Jules Bianchi died, because it was the catalyst for F1 to introduce the Halo, and that has saved quite a lot of drivers up to this point, especially Romain Grosjean in 2020.
 
Stroll's reaction following his China incident, prove the guy is delirious and out of touch with reality.

He only has a seat at Aston Martin for the most obvious reason, and I seriously doubt any other team would consider him an option, unless he had millions in funding
 
Stroll's reaction following his China incident, prove the guy is delirious and out of touch with reality.

He only has a seat at Aston Martin for the most obvious reason, and I seriously doubt any other team would consider him an option, unless he had millions in funding
Is that really unpopular though? if anything, I'd argue its even more popular then its ever been.
 
What's funny is that if you consider finishing positions at the end of the year. 2023 was Stroll's best year in F1 so far, finishing 10th.

But... yeah, the Aston is capable of more than he gets out of it, for sure. But still, over 200 career points and 3 podiums is more than a lot of drivers get in their time driving an F1 car.

I'm sure Stroll would be a good asset in Aston Martin's WEC program though, maybe he could see some more success on the sports car side of things. Gio winning Le Mans with his co-drivers was perfect for him and I shed a tear lol. He was so loyal to Ferrari and despite not being good enough for a main team drive, he was able to help them win a very historic victory over in the WEC.
 
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What's funny is that if you consider finishing positions at the end of the year. 2023 was Stroll's best year in F1 so far, finishing 10th.

But... yeah, the Aston is capable of more than he gets out of it, for sure. But still, over 200 career points and 3 podiums is more than a lot of drivers get in their time driving an F1 car.

I'm sure Stroll would be a good asset in Aston Martin's WEC program though, maybe he could see some more success on the sports car side of things. Gio winning Le Mans with his co-drivers was perfect for him and I shed a tear lol. He was so loyal to Ferrari and despite not being good enough for a main team drive, he was able to help them win a very historic victory over in the WEC.
I actually agree with this. Stroll might not be a nice option for F1, but he could maybe thrive in the WEC!
 
The Indianapolis 500 hasn't been a good race in over 12 years

That's how long it's been since a good car/driver combination could actually drive away from the field

The race for the last 10 or so years has been a NASCAR style restrictor plate race, drivers can't create gaps, it's one big pack. It's become a lottery almost. Good for entertainment, pretty poor in terms of sport
 
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The Indianapolis 500 hasn't been a good race in over 12 years

That's how long it's been since a good car/driver combination could actually drive away from the field

The race for the last 10 or so years has been a NASCAR style restrictor plate race, drivers can't create gaps, it's one big pack. It's become a lottery almost. Good for entertainment, pretty poor in terms of sport
F1 2023 must have been your favourite season of all time
 
The Indianapolis 500 hasn't been a good race in over 12 years

That's how long it's been since a good car/driver combination could actually drive away from the field

The race for the last 10 or so years has been a NASCAR style restrictor plate race, drivers can't create gaps, it's one big pack. It's become a lottery almost. Good for entertainment, pretty poor in terms of sport
I'd argue that this race being a lottery is what makes the sport so good. To have a good race, you need a combination of these things: Competitiveness, Multiple Talented Drivers vying for the Win, a sprinkle of Drama, Lap Long Battles and a little bit of Luck, too.

The Indy 500 is not a race where the drivers choose who wins it, people say that the track itself chooses its winner.
 
Someone leading by three-quarters of a lap on an oval sounds like a pretty crappy race to me.
 
Over 12 years ago was 2011.

12 years ago was 2012. Sato started 19th and came within a hair's width of winning before Franchitti ran him into the grass on the final lap.

7 years ago was 2017. Sato wins.

4 years ago was 2020. Sato wins.

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The Indianapolis 500 hasn't been a good race in over 12 years

That's how long it's been since a good car/driver combination could actually drive away from the field

The race for the last 10 or so years has been a NASCAR style restrictor plate race, drivers can't create gaps, it's one big pack. It's become a lottery almost. Good for entertainment, pretty poor in terms of sport
This is just ragebait
 
The Indianapolis 500 hasn't been a good race in over 12 years

That's how long it's been since a good car/driver combination could actually drive away from the field

The race for the last 10 or so years has been a NASCAR style restrictor plate race, drivers can't create gaps, it's one big pack. It's become a lottery almost. Good for entertainment, pretty poor in terms of sport
are-you-serious-spiderman (1).gif
 
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Like I kind of get the take that hes coming from to an extent but I think the "Mario Kart" nature is a staple of Oval Racing as the tracks are designed for high speed on tight tracks where a single slip up is a dead end which brings pthers either down or back at it again. It definitely isnt overly pushed like NASCAR.

The request for the "good" Indycar race sounds more like Oval Racing isn't for you and better off just paying attention to Endurance Racing
 
What makes oval racing so fun is how close it is. Everyone can run pretty much the same pace so it becomes like a game of chess. The 500 is one of the best races of the year, every year.

Everyone should at least find a sim and try racing in a pack of cars on a oval, it’s some of the most intense racing you will experience. I used to think it was boring but iRacing has opened my eyes.
 
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The request for the "good" Indycar race sounds more like Oval Racing isn't for you and better off just paying attention to Endurance Racing
Less than 1/3 of the tracks Indycar compete at are Oval Racing - some of the oval racing is "good" but the track layouts for the street and road courses in the last few seasons often create better than good racing. It has in many instances been great or exception competition and entertainment.

I know this was a response to post re Indianapolis 500 specifically that is an oval race, and yes there's an element of luck - but driver skill, team setup, driver and team strategy all need to be strong to link with the luck for the win.
 
Yeah I shouldnt have said Indycar outright and should have just said Indy 500 like the whole point

Though on the topic of Indycar and Unpopular Opinions knowing Penske went out to cheat in their own series when they own it puts integrity in the sport into question...

They eventually got penalised months later but if the series owners are going to disobey their own rules then why should the other teams follow them?
 
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The Indianapolis 500 hasn't been a good race in over 12 years

That's how long it's been since a good car/driver combination could actually drive away from the field

The race for the last 10 or so years has been a NASCAR style restrictor plate race, drivers can't create gaps, it's one big pack. It's become a lottery almost. Good for entertainment, pretty poor in terms of sport

Was looking for a reason to whip this back out:
Hot Takes.png
 
Overall the Senna worshiping is over the top, there are dozens of other drivers who gave their lives and barely get any recognition
Unfortunately, Roland Ratzenberger is one of them. Died at the same time Senna did, and yet only Senna is recognized more. I should know, because I'm Brazilian, and while I do loved learning about Senna and agree with him being an inspiration and one of the best drivers of all time, other drivers also deserve such recognition because of their courage of racing in these crazy death traps.
 
Overall the Senna worshipping is over the top
I wouldn't call it unpopular to think this but I just think the number of people who hero worship and deify him vastly outnumber those who don't.

It's been 30 years. Let the man rest.
 
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The biggest reason Imola is struggling to produce good F1 races is that awful main Isn't Straight. On a wide circuit, the kinks in the straights don't often make a difference, but there are plenty of examples where having a long section between braking points drawn freehand is detrimental in many ways to good racing.

For starters, an arrow straight Straight looks interesting from head-on camera shots, something which can be achieved somewhere like Shanghai, but needs three or so cameras to follow action at Imola. These kinks are designed in a way that first goes right past the Pitlane (the starting grid feels like it's in the wrong place but that's a different issue), before two left kinks before a left-hand bend. The first of these kinks is at terminal velocity and has directly caused massive accidents at Imola since it came back to the F1 calendar, including the Russell/Bottas collision in 2021 and the F2 disaster this year. The second of these kinks left in the braking point naturally squeezes the racing line, making defending a line on the inside super-easy as the car will naturally drift wide and narrow the width of track an attacking car can have. Couple this with the nature of the following chicane being medium-speed and having only one real line and clunky kerbs and side-by-side action cannot exist further than turn 4.
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How can the main straight have 3 official corners in it?

The track may have only one DRS zone, but that's not really an issue as plenty of other circuits are like this. Passing is possible at Losail, Mugello and Suzuka too, but that is helped by having a good main straight to allow the passing on. Losail is perhaps the best analogue for comparison to Imola. It is also a varied circuit with short straights, high-speed turns everywhere and only one main straight. In its two F1 races, the order changed a bit even if the passing was mostly only done at Turn 1, and sometimes did make it to Turn 4. Imola has a fine, historic layout and the isn't straight not having the Variante Bassa chicanes of the 2000's is definitely an improvement, but Imola had always (at least since the changes after 1994) been a track like Monaco and Hungary where passing was going to be difficult, as shown by the 2005 San Marino GP. Where Hungary seems to have had a renaissance in the Hybrid era to being quite regularly an incredible circuit for F1 wheel-to-wheel action, it sadly never spread to Imola.



Screw it, time to turn this post into a rant, essay about Isn't straights in Motorsport.

There a multiple different types of "Isn't Straight". By this I am defining a straight as starting from the point where the car has left the corners where the car was first flat out. So for example, the Hangar Straight at Silverstone starts after Chapel, as it is part of the section of corners preceding it. The end is the apex of the first major corner where either braking has happened, or you would naturally assume DRS wouldn't be used. This allows me to rule out classing Luffield to Becketts as one straight as Copse despite being flat-out in an F1 car, is definitely a corner. Turn 1 at Suzuka also counts as the end of the straight.

The best kind of isn't straight, and one which could be argued works far better than a conventional straight line, is one where the straight curves one way, and the following corner turns in the opposite direction. This is still further split into two types.

Curve into Opposite corner: Hockenheimring T4-6, Knockhill T7-9, Montreal T14-1, COTA T11-12, Long Beach T13-T2, Sochi T2-4
This Straight is defined by one with a pronounced direction change down the length of the straight, with the first corner after being to the left if the straight curves right, and vice versa. The slight curve makes a singular line of least distance viable, but one which still requires a bit of steering lock, scrubbing a small bit of speed off the car. As they get around the corner, they will naturally be on the wrong side of the track for the racing line and have to take a longer line to get to the ideal. This makes the ideal line a longer distance, and thus the inside line for the corner becomes a lot easier to pass into. Hockenheim especially is the master track of this, and the modern layout has proven itself over so many years to be one of the top 5 circuits for wheel-to-wheel racing in any category.

Corner into Opposite corner: Istanbul T10-12, Nurburgring T11-13, Hockenheim T6-8, Singapore T5-7, Suzuka T14-16
The alternative to this is to put a single but significant direction change halfway down the straight. This can be an easier corner like the kink under the bridge at Singapore or something more dramatic like 130R at Suzuka. If this corner is one which cars can easily take flat-out, then it helps make it a slipstream boosted zone or a corner drivers can take side-by-side. This has the same effect of making drivers choose which side to defend with. Do they take the faster racing line which means taking a longer line or defend the inside and deal with the consequences of giving an attacking car the racing line? The fact Hockenheim has one of these Isn't Straight configurations directly after the previous isn't a coincidence and is a significant reason for the layout's success.

So curving into the opposite direction is good, but how does it work the other way around?

Curve into Same corner: Abu Dhabi T7-9, Nurburgring T15-1, Interlagos T12-1, Melbourne T2-3, Brands Hatch T9-1
When the curve before is the same direction as the one following, the curve feeds perfectly into the racing line, thus making passes slightly less likely and mostly bolder. Whereas Abu Dhabi, Interlagos and Melbourne in these examples have the curve done early, the others have a small kink before the braking point, where the car on the inside can quite easily turn a straight braking point on the inside to a perfectly reasonable middle-of-the-road position, squeezing out the car on the outside. These corners usually have the larger crashes in wheel-to-wheel racing at them compared to the others. Whereas a regular straight may get plenty of collisions and the opposite turns have plenty of divebomb related accidents, the wheel-tangling of moving braking zones means there are significantly larger crashes at for example Turn 3 at Albert Park than anywhere else on the track with plenty of passing spots.

Corner into Same corner: Sochi T18-T2, Magny-Cours T3-5, Laguna Seca T11-T2, Virginia IR T17-T1
When the kink in the straight is a more pronounced corner, it produces a more rigid racing line, which works spectacularly for when the next corner goes the opposite direction, but fails when it makes both cars in a battle end up on the correct line for the next point. It basically shops the straight up into two sections, requiring the following car to be side-by-side by that corner to force one or the other off the ideal line. This one in particular makes divebombs or late moves much harder as momentum down the straight can be disrupted for the following car badly through these corners.

Chicane Straights: Red Bull Ring T1-3, Red Bull Ring T3-4, Abu Dhabi T5-6, Mugello T15-1, Bathurst T17-20, Sepang T2-4
A chicane straight has two kinks in opposite directions along it. This can range from something like the Conrod Straight at Bathurst, which works just like a "Corner into Opposite corner", to something as disgusting as the silly lane change on the straight at Abu Dhabi built because the Grandstands were too high and the track wouldn't have been visible without the lane change. These double direction changes often mean there is one line which crosses the width of the track and a following car has to pick a side and force itself to be noticed. This works somewhere like the Red Bull Ring, where the T1 and T3 corners respectively are fantastic for getting a following car into a position to pass down the next straights, and the kinks in the straights allow for divebombs at T3 and the passing driver getting into the position to go around the outside of T4. The chicanes are easier to defend on if the following driver isn't able to get an overlap and they often just look messy on TV.

Wobbly start of a straight: Baku T16-T1, Spa T1-T6, Indianapolis Road Course T4-7
Before bringing up the proper Wobbly straights (the worst of all), it is worth pointing out that long flat-out sections can still be passing zones IF the corners are done early. Baku and Spa have the two longest sections of flat-out on the F1 calendar and get their corners out the way earlier, while the chicane at Indy isn't quite flat-out, it also fits here as a "mistake generator" section before a long straight which is perfect for making a driver under pressure lose momentum before a proper passing point.

Wobbly Straights: Imola T18-2, Sochi T10-13, Melbourne T6-9, Valencia Street Circuit - All of it, Miami T8-T11, Jeddah T17-22, Nurburgring Nordschleife - Döttinger Höhe
As mentioned in the Imola rant above, the wobbly straight is the worst. This abomination has 3 or more direction changes in multiple directions. Whereas something like Interlagos has a big continuous curve made up of a few apexes and feels natural, a selection of apexes in multiple directions just brings in multiple issues. For one (as most prominently publicised at Jeddah), reducing sight lines to drivers at 200mph is a terrible idea and each kink becomes an elevated chance for massive crashes from drivers unable to keep a defined lane when side-by-side. These kind of straights often exist somewhere where it is forced by geography or the streets, and thus these straights can be very narrow, exemplifying the reduced sightlines issue. The straights need more cameras, more marshals flag posts and reduced view for spectators in the grandstands of the battles down the straight preceding the big corner they are sat at. If you ever design a track and have a blank canvas, for everyone's sake please do not ever make your straight wobbly.

Thank you for coming to my rant about straights on race tracks that aren't straight. Also do not ever call a section of a race track a "Straightaway".
 
The biggest reason Imola is struggling to produce good F1 races is that awful main Isn't Straight. On a wide circuit, the kinks in the straights don't often make a difference, but there are plenty of examples where having a long section between braking points drawn freehand is detrimental in many ways to good racing.

For starters, an arrow straight Straight looks interesting from head-on camera shots, something which can be achieved somewhere like Shanghai, but needs three or so cameras to follow action at Imola. These kinks are designed in a way that first goes right past the Pitlane (the starting grid feels like it's in the wrong place but that's a different issue), before two left kinks before a left-hand bend. The first of these kinks is at terminal velocity and has directly caused massive accidents at Imola since it came back to the F1 calendar, including the Russell/Bottas collision in 2021 and the F2 disaster this year. The second of these kinks left in the braking point naturally squeezes the racing line, making defending a line on the inside super-easy as the car will naturally drift wide and narrow the width of track an attacking car can have. Couple this with the nature of the following chicane being medium-speed and having only one real line and clunky kerbs and side-by-side action cannot exist further than turn 4.
View attachment 1357373
How can the main straight have 3 official corners in it?
When they redesigned Imola after '94, they didn't need to put the Villeneuve chicane in. The chicane at Tamburello automatically slowed down the Villeneuve corner.
 
When they redesigned Imola after '94, they didn't need to put the Villeneuve chicane in. The chicane at Tamburello automatically slowed down the Villeneuve corner.
I've always thought this. It's almost like they had to change two fatality areas even if only changing one was enough and, to be fair, adding the run-off they did to Villeneuve would have been enough without the second chicane, given the change to Tamburello.
 
I think they should get rid of Variante Alta/Gresini, and have DRS from Acque Minerali to Rivazza, tighten/widen Rivazza a little bit, bring back the Variante Bassa chicane to create a low traction/mechincal grip exit into the DRS. Maybe even do a single detection, double zone, detection where it is currently and then zone 1 into Bassa, zone 2 down to Tamburello, think it would be more interesting.
 
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I think that Imola is better than Bathurst. The track is challenging but not to the point of being a pain in the arse if you just want to have some fun. I don't always find Bathurst fun to drive on. Not saying it's a bad track but I do prefer Imola just that little bit more.
 
Letting the race go on for the 2005 United States Grand Prix was a good call.

Dont get me wrong, the race was terrible and the people attending should be compensated for watching a Ferrari perade and they probably should have leeway the awful pit rule of the 2005 season of no tyre changes, but in this case the fault was on Michilen, not the FIA, cars or the track, why should Bridgestone teams be punished for a skill issue from the other tyre manufacturer by cancelling or postponing the race outright?
 
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I wouldn't call it unpopular to think this but I just think the number of people who hero worship and deify him vastly outnumber those who don't.

It's been 30 years. Let the man rest.
It is surprising that it makes such a significant mark that broadcasters continue to perpetuate the idol worship, and that even teams and sponsors go on the bandwagon... For me I never forget the 1990 Suzuka race where Senna took out Prost on turn 1 and I have never ever seen any other professional driver go turn-1-take-out and put in zero effort having an actual race... He's a martyr for the sport now so I should not mention such things as it doesn't align with the lore of the sport?
 
For me I never forget the 1990 Suzuka race where Senna took out Prost on turn 1 and I have never ever seen any other professional driver go turn-1-take-out and put in zero effort having an actual race...
And it was extremely dangerous, both could have been killed, what a criminal move, I remember that well.
 

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