If you consider that Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll represent the only midfield drivers who have scored a podium finish since 2017, you get a sense of the disparity between Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and the rest of the field.
In fact, as Autosport points out very well, the gap between Red Bull and the fourth place or “best of the rest” team, Renault, is the margin since the points system changed back in 2010 (don’t get me started on that rant). This disparity has been something that Formula 1’s Ross Brawn has been charged to cure and he’s not happy about the difference in performance.
“As was the case in 2017, only once and significantly, on a very unusual street circuit like Baku, did a driver from one of those seven teams make it to the podium,” said Brawn.
“Two podiums from a total of 123 [across the two seasons] is unacceptable, especially when it comes with an ever increasing technical and financial divide.
“It’s a problem we are tackling together with the FIA and the teams, because the future of Formula 1 depends on it.
“There are various solutions on the table and we must all accept that we can’t go on like this for too much longer.”
Kevin Magnussen was quoted as saying that he was driving for the “other championship” or championship B and that was met with some furrowed eyebrows this year. Bran doesn’t want there to be two championships.
“Their battle was certainly thrilling, however, it’s hard for the fans to truly get excited about a battle for eighth place,” said Brawn.
“Having said that, congratulations to Renault for finishing fourth, confirming the progress it is making and to Haas, as finishing fifth in only your third year in the sport is a great achievement.”
There are a few, but significant, changes for next season with a raft of possible changes due in 2021 and Brawn hopes this will cure what ills F1 at the moment. As we’ve said here many times, getting all the teams to agree to those 2021 changes is going to be very difficult and the first step in doing so is the slowly pull each white-knuckled team finger from the steering wheel of F1.
The big teams have a firm grasp on the direction of F1 and are the heavy investors, so they carry a large stick. Can compromise between the teams and F1 actually see enough significant changes to make an impact?
Hat Tip: Autosport
A very good article, and on point. At times, the past 3 years, it has felt as if this were the Le Mans formula with different categories of “winners.”
Okay, quick, who can name any non-LMP1 class winner?
Alpine won LMP2, Lappiere was part of the team. Porsche won GTE PRO with Christensen, Estre and I think Laurens Vanthoor? I can’t recall who who GTE AM clearly at the moment, probably also Porsche, the BOP wasn’t great…
The year before that, I think DC Racing won LMP2, Olly Jarvis and Ho Pin Tung were with them, I can’t recall the third driver and Aston Martin Racing won GTE PRO with Johnny Adam beating Corvette Racing at the very end of the race, I think his teammates were Serra and Turner but I could be wrong.
We see the issue with every race. But we all know a solution to the problems are almost impossible to fix without someone, some team or some manufacturer openly complain or threatened to leave the series. So, Ross, how do we fix it and keep everyone happy until 2021?
F1 can’t change because it is dependent on big car companies to fund the sport. But what is F1 going to do when those car companies go away? And they are going away. When Mercedes is only allowed to sell socially responsible self driving cars, why would they put millions into F1? I think F1 is worrying about a future that doesn’t exist.
Nigel you’re absolutely right but maybe your answer IS the answer. Perhaps when what you say happens, certain car companies will get into the sport on a more limited, sustainable level & we’ll be treated to actual race cars again bc they’ll have no motivation to spend the big $ on the sport the way they do now. Hope springs…
I sure hope so! Honestly, that is my dream. I want F1 to realize it’s not relevant anymore, then it can go back to just being a sport. I mean really think about it: F1 doesn’t have a home in the “global warming”, safety obsessed, #metoo femi-nazi world. It just doesnt.
When the budget disparity is 4:1 and the rules are sooo restrictive you can’t innovate cheaply then there you go. Wholesale rule and innovation restriction change possibly with something to even out the effect of the budget differences.
It’s like everything.. change some things to tweak something, (wider cars, bigger tires / follow closer / less aero wake ) top teams ace it and the gap grows or stays the same. Freeze the rules and let them converge. And cost capping.. somehow without making it a field of ‘b team’ test teams..
Has to be a way that we can make the system work for the underdog.. constructors would be good with that right?.. … …
This a problem with ever race series, or has been. To fix it requires some type of spec car, like Indy car or NASCAR. I don’t think anyone wants that.
I’d argue that the idea that spec cars fix this is a myth. Yes the field has the same or similar equipment which reduces the gap but since Indycar reunification in 2008, Penske and Ganassi have secured between them all but one Indycar title.
In a full spec series such as GP2/F2, DAMS & ART Grand Prix have collected the lions share of teams championships since 2005 between them.
Agree, the best teams with the best drivers always rise to the top. All we want is for a new face to rise up and challenge for the podium. They do it enough, they get drafted into the top teams and the cycle repeats.
No, the problem is the car companies have F1 by the balls and thus dictate rules that small teams cannot compete with. But it doesn’t matter because the car companies are going to eventually leave F1 anyways.