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Debate reaction: racing and technology popular as Kvyat calls for F1 tweaks

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Debate reaction: racing and technology popular as Kvyat calls for F1 tweaks
Feb 18, 2016, 6:48 PM

Sebastian Vettel’s recent suggestion that Formula 1 should be primarily about which driver is fastest provoked an interesting debate about the na...

Sebastian Vettel’s recent suggestion that Formula 1 should be primarily about which driver is fastest provoked an interesting debate about the nature of the sport and what interests its supporters.

F1 has faced waves of criticism over the V6 turbo hybrid power units that were introduced at the start of 2014 and Vettel’s suggestion that the sport should focus on the drivers rather than overly complex regulations.

Vettel-and-Shells-chief-scientist-in-Shells-trackside-laboratory

But readers of this website have expressed their desire for F1 to be about a combination of technological advancement and exciting on track racing.

Poll result

A JAonF1 poll that was conducted in response to Vettel’s comments asked readers what they thought F1 should be about: The best drivers competing on the global stage, technological advancement or a combination of the two.

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 17.29.49

Almost 2,000 votes were cast and 73.81 per cent of participants said that they wanted F1 to be a combination of the two.

A quarter of voters said they wanted to see driving battles as the main reason to watch F1 and just 2.19 per cent said they thought the sport should just be purely about technology.

Kvyat: F1 needs fine-tuning

Daniil Kvyat explained to this website at Red Bull’s livery launch that although he feels the sport needs to be fine tuned to sort out its issues, there is always a way to stand out in F1.

Daniil Kvyat

He said: “Formula 1 is always about showing your skill [and] there is always a way to show you skill. There is always a way to stand out as a driver even if you don’t win.

“But I think there is always something to be fine tuned in any situation and improved. Obviously there has been many things going on in Formula 1 lately so I think it is yet to find the perfect combination but it might not take only one day.”

Kvyat, who recorded his highest Grand Prix finish with second at the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix, believes that although more competition would be good for the sport, F1 has enjoyed some good racing in recent years.

He said: “Let’s give it a bit of time and obviously it would be great to see a bit [of a] tighter fight for the win in the future. But you have to be patient and I still think we have achieved some really nice races lately in Formula 1 and so it’s been good.

Daniil Kvyat

Fan reactions

In well over 100 comments as part of the debate on the nature of F1, readers of this website explained what they thought the sport should be about and explained if they agreed or disagreed with Vettel.

Here is a selection on those views:

Tacomajack wrote: “They call it racing, and that should be what it is. Currently we have too much technology and too many rules governing the ‘show’.

“Personally, I would like to see less emphasis on the aerodynamics and ‘tyre and fuel management’ and more of a speed and balance contest where the driver makes the decisions.”

The complaint behind this view, that F1 is focuses on technology and improving the show too much, is currently under discussion during talks about the potential changes to the regulations for 2017.

Abu Dhabi start

It was thought cars would be made faster and more aggressive by using wider tyres and aggressive aerodynamics next year, but that proposal is under threat as Pirelli proposed a watered down solution that did not please all of the teams.

Sir Tease wrote: “Maybe as a driver he struggles to “connect ” with the car, but it makes no difference to me how it’s built. I don’t see how the hybrid tech is so unapproachable for fans.

“It has an ICE, it harvests kinetic and heat energy, it pumps it back in to the turbo at the push of a button. I guess all the grid penalties for this and that are quite off-putting but they’re easily dismissed because they’re silly anyway.

Mercedes engine

This argument counters Vettel’s view that the overly complicated rules takes away from the driving battle. The large number of grid penalties that were awarded in 2015 as the Honda and Renault powered teams changed components regularly were widely derided.

John Marshall wrote: “I don’t recall Seb complaining too much when Red Bull was winning championships with complicated aero solutions. The same criticisms were made when he was winning and Red Bull was dominating. Get on with it and build a better car.”

One thought left by some commenters was that Vettel did not complain when he and Red Bull enjoyed an aerodynamic advantage during their run of success between 2010 and 2013.

Red Bull 2013

Do you agree that F1 should be about racing and technology? Is Kvyat right that F1 just needs fine-tuning? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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