There’s no cake, let them eat asphalt

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In 2010, Formula 1 went to Canada to race. They did so on a resurfaced track on tires that Bridgestone said were struggling, due to the new surface, to get into the optimum heat window.

At that time, F1 was becoming a little, dare I say, processional and this tire issue—which could have gone 2005 US GP bad—managed to upset the apple cart so much that everyone thought it was terrific. The irregular degradation of the tires was seen as a quick way to possibly change things up and make the racing more exciting.

As such, the powers that be decided to offer a sole-supplier tire tender and while Michelin was initially interested, they bowed out saying, effectively, we’re not about to make dodgy tires…we don’t make dodgy tires.

Pirelli decided they would throw their hat in and they too said “we don’t make dodgy tires either” but if F1 wants special HD tires, then we are happy to accommodate because we’re just that good at it.

I’ve never been a big fan of the HD tire and yet it is still here. My tolerance of it is fueled by the thought that it is the same for everyone in all situations, unlike the lamentable DRS. While we have these HD tires, there were some recent comments in the press by F1 about possible track changes.

To that, I said it was easier to change the cars than ask all the track owners to make major changes to their property as they don’t have the resources to do so. Besides, F1 track designer extraordinaire, Herman Tilke, has already been designing most of the new circuits for the current aerodynamic impact today’s cars have—ripe with 45 degree turns etc.

Now it seems that these track changes are something that F1 technical boss Ross Brawn is going to be focused on according to Liberty Media executive Greg Maffei. Greg says that Ross is going to…

“work on things like making it more exciting on track. And there are a host of really simple things there from when tracks get resurfaced, or tracks are rebuilt or renewed, that you have the right kind of surface so there is tyre degradation so that there are enough tyre changes to make it an interesting story. That you have the right changes, turns and chicanes where there is likely to be overtaking. So there are things around that.”

This comes on the heels of the recently resurfaced Barcelona track and the bespoke tires Pirelli brought that caused some controversy given Ferrari’s inability to get on top of the new compounds. Is this a simple Canada 2010 notion all over again?

Are we suggesting that tracks should all be resurfaced like Barcelona so we can “spice up the racing”? Color me reactionary but this is not a good idea. We are getting pants-on-head silly now if we think taking the HD tires concept even further would be a good idea. Did Indy 2005 not teach us anything?

I’m struggling to find wisdom in some of the comments coming from Liberty Media folks over the last 12 months if I am honest. It’s strange to buy a sport you seemingly know very little about and then try to add bright lights, baubles and cheap parlor tricks to make it more like a Mario Kart video game.

The social media wave of Formula E couldn’t be more fabricated and in your face with Jean Todt positively beaming from the electric paddock and yet this fossil fuel bastard called F1 is left lumbering around trying to be both electrified sustainability wrapped in a video game veneer with tires that suck in an effort to be like the NFL and “spice up the show”. Please stop.

Could everyone just take a moment here and get your filthy hands off my desert? For heaven’s sake, fans aren’t asking for any of these contrivances with their sport. They just want reduced aerodynamic reliance, closer racing, real engines that could have hybrid KERS and a decent sound and some better fan access to the teams and paddock. How damned hard is it to understand that? Surely this isn’t rocket surgery.

Hat Tip: Independent

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Well said. Can someone PLEASE send Liberty Media links to all the YouTube videos about the death of NASCAR and their comment sections? Liberty seems to be heading the same way. And for the love of all that is Holy, being the NFL isn’t even working out all that well for the NFL! There are good, solid reasons the NFL doesn’t appeal to overseas markets which, it just so happens, are the bread and butter of F1. Unbelievable.

sunny stivala

Certainly one of the best editorials penned.


It’s begun. Ferrari off the top step and we’re back to “everything is wrong” rhetoric.


So I went back and re-read your article to see if I was missing something. To see if it was a fresh take rather than the all too common monsoon of bashing we get when the window of opportunity is presented. Let’s be honest, that opportunity came in the obviously fake and engineered conspiracy that Pirelli made special tires at the request of Mercedes. I will grant you that you have been making these complaints for years. However there is a pattern and timing as to when these “critiques” emerge. Bashing DRS, Pirelli tires and lamenting the lack of wheel… Read more »


To get people to be honest and get to the point, you have to ruffle feathers. Polite debate never gets anything done. Which is why most conversations are bland and no one ever challenges the moderator for fear of falling foul of the “decorum” statues. I actually choose key words for effect. Red herring and straw man were intentionally chosen to draw out certain response in you. Which I believe worked. These are your words so you can’t say you’re being take out of context: “Are we suggesting that tracks should all be resurfaced like Barcelona so we can “spice… Read more »


Sorry but someone has to break to you. Like you said, you’ve been making these complaints for years. Probably coincided with the down turn of the red team. Everything you’re asking for already exists. Its called GP2. F1 has never been about close racing. Its always been an engineering/constructors exercise. Drivers account for only 5-10%. To me, people who go on and on complaining about xyz just want to have their cake and eat it. Demand a return to something that never was.


Now we are getting somewhere. On the issue of aero. This is nothing new. The effect of aero wash on trailing cars has been an around since the 80s. Despite downforce increases over the decades, the racing has gotten only closer and closer. The problem is we have documentaries and five minute youtube videos making people think the racing was better back then. If you looked a finish records from back then, you think you were looking at an endurance race finish because the majority of the finished multiple laps down and the field separated by minutes rather than seconds… Read more »


See what I mean! It’s always a moving goal post. You knock down the baseless complaint and you just pivot to the next. Bottom line is no matter what happens, certain people have a proclevaty for complaining. That’s why I always say a winning Ferrari is the only remedy. When Ferrari is winning, all of this none sense gets ratchet down. In reality you don’t have any meaningful complaints or constructive criticism. Fan engagement- liberty has already done things like London live show. Kids on the grid admiring their heroes instead of scantily clad women. On the technical side you… Read more »


Its getting tedious because you keep ducking every time I address your point head on. I just laid out the different ways of fan engagement and your response is…its not the right kind. This is worst than trying to please Goldilocks. Which speaks to my main point of NOTHING is ever good enough for some F1 critics. On the matter of tracks. Please stop straw manning. Present your case factually. Not ALL tracks are being resurfaced. And not all ashpalt are created equal. No one is going around telling track owners resurface. In some cases its the track owners themselves… Read more »

sunny stivala

ARROW044. a tad too late but just in case you drop back in, When and if a FERRARI is winning they must be cheating. When a Mercedes is winning they have designed a superior car.

sunny stivala

It is normal to feel like you’re getting annoyed or disillusioned.
It’s easy to become disillusioned when the butterflies go away and routine settles I. it can be a turning point. it can help define whether or not it’s worth fighting for.


To borrow words from author Douglas Adams: relax, don’t panic. When it comes to the issue of re-designing tracks for F1, I bet the tracks push back on F1 and reply with what you said, NC: change the cars. Like you, I never liked high degradation tires and this year, there are too many tire formulations with very little difference between adjacent colors. With the last tire issues plaguing the top teams in Barcelona, I almost expected a full tire rollback like the 2013 season. Now in its 3rd year of ownership, it’s time for Liberty to execute a proper… Read more »

Tim C

Grace has always said it best . . . “Racing, just give me good racing.” Best of luck to Liberty Media if they think following in NASCAR’s footstep in “spicing up the show” is a good idea. Die hard fans are leaving NASCAR in droves over the “spice up the show” mentality. Leveling the playing field so teams have a fair shot at winning is a good thing. But resorting to tricks and gimmicks is not going to work. NASCAR is doing these things and the grandstands are almost empty and the TV ratings have plummeted. If this is where… Read more »


I so agree with this editorial. I so hate that we need to hear about tires all the time. OK, if the tires have a critical temp window and you want to make that part of the story, let’s see the tire temp data onscreen so it can be part of the drama. Oh, that’s confidential, etc. etc. etc? Then get rid of, what? Like three or so unnecessary and confusing tire compounds? Maybe buy Firestone’s formulas. Then shut up and drive. Really, the tire situation in F1 is foppish madness. I personally would never buy Pirelli tires. I’m too… Read more »


6 “constructs” is too many.


I also do not see track owners making changes to the track simply to spice up the show. Most tracks are having trouble surviving as it is already (but hey, that doesn’t stop the teams from spending for spendings sake despite the potential peril of smaller teams, you could say that is in the DNA of F1 but that’s another conversation!) In fairness to what is quoted though, it does not seem Greg wants the tracks to make changes just for changes sake and bare the brunt of the cost. But rather if the track is going to be “resurfaced,… Read more »


Fair point. I was only thinking that it wouldn’t take that much to convert if other projects were going on. I can see after thinking about it more that for a track like Melbourne, it would take numerous permits and approvals just to re-profile a public road, much less have it go in all sorts of new directions. Yeah, the tracks are not gonna pay for all of that. Now, if Liberty wants to go with a deal where they pay the entire cost of the upgrades they would like done so that they can see more commercial upside then… Read more »

sunny stivala

“There’s no cake, let them eat asphalt” as soon as it popped-up on my screen I posted “Certainly one of the best editorials penned”. It was my honest opinion, both NC and all else on here might rest assured that I was not rubbing NC’S back or anything the like, as everybody on here knows I will be the first to disagree with anybody were I don’t agree, and that includes NC. But credit is where credit is due. If anything in my opinion NC was too conservative in his editorial article in regards the powers that be. He didn’t… Read more »


@sunny stivala

“Mercedes not only requesting help with the tyres, but also supplying recommendations as to what should be done to the tyre. ”

This is an interesting conspiracy theory. Any links to that?

Are you saying that, not only did MB ask Pirelli for help but that they asked for the 0.4 mm reduction? Fascinating but without links or concrete evidence it will just sound like you are spreading speculation, hearsay and conspiracy theories.

sunny stivala

@ Broderick1.
Pirelli modifiziert reifen: dunnere laufflache bei…-auto motor sport April 6 2018.
Revelation:mercedes asked Pirelli for help by April 7 2018. caters to mercedes blistering tyre demands! 07/04/2018 at 09:39.
Revelation:mercedes asked Pirelli for help:TJ13 Aprl 7 2018.
Pirelli agree to change after mercedes approach: PlanetF1. April 7 2018.

sunny stivala

NC. no offence taken, not at all, what you or anybody else believe or not is a right of yours/theirs. But to the “they approached all teams after Australia, and all teams agreed” that has been put to Arrivabene right after the race (Spain) and his pronto response was, in English: “FERRARI had been informed about the tyre change, but not consulted”. by this he meant that the reverse had happened with Mercedes (consulted rather than informed). in Italian: “l’unico accenno ploemico sugli pneumatici portati della Pirelli con un battistrada piu basso di 0.4mm se lo e concesso prima del… Read more »


Are your links a joke meant to waste our time? I didn’t see/hear anywhere in your ‘links’ a quote on your theory. Speculation and innuendo do not translate to the ‘facts’ which you are trying to peddle. Repeating something also does not make it fact. Two of your links directly references your first link as the source (which was speculation). The video… I don’t know what that was trying to prove. So now we have a situation where someone speculated, a couple of people repeated it, and you read it. You then decide to repeat it here (again) as fact.… Read more »

sunny stivala

All that speculations theories about helping Mercedes when they requested help seems to have lead Pirelli and the powers that be to change the tyre goal post at the fifth race of the season by means of “Safety reasons” more than by what some believe was an agreement by all teams.


Yeah, just as I thought wasting our time


Frustrating isn’t it? What Sunny is doing is not a banning offense and I don’t want him to get banned. However, the only way this stops is if Todd, the authority figure, tells him he can’t behave this way. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen so Sunny will continue to spread the fake news, Todd will ask for links, and the rest of us will have to decide whether or not to just ignore Sunny’s post.