News and views on motorsports

Monday, December 19, 2005

You Gotta See This

Having read this article on, I was lead to RaceFax dot Com, a truly great website that focuses a lot on the inside scoop into the world of Formula 1, Indycars, Champcars and MotoGP. I seriously suggest all you serious fans of Grand Prix motor racing to pay the website a visit. Unfortunately its not free and its articles are available only to subscribers. However, you do get a 30 day trial to which I signed up for.

There are some amazing content in there that talks about both the business and technical sides of the sport. The feature articles on it are of exceptional quality with a mixture of inside knowledge and intelligent analysis and reading between the lines. Some of the things you discover in there are very enlightening especially to those (including yours truly) who are mostly fed by the mainstream racing press, who in turn only report the stuff that the teams, Max and Bernie want you to read. I doubt it very much, but I wonder do these guys have FIA media accreditation?

Anyway the website isn't without its own speculations and hypotheses. Some of which are truly eye popping but they do present their arguments in an untypically considered and thoughtful fashion.

Some of these speculations include:

- The FIA in the shape of Max and FOM with Bernie are deliberately messing things up with all the rule changes and proposals to drive away the manufacturers. Its close to something this editorial on PlanetF1 stated about the new proposed 2008 rules. Its bound to drive the manufacturers up the wall. RaceFax argues that it is Max's intention to do so. For years lawyer Max and used car sales (con) man Bernie has given the team bosses (previously independents like Ken Tyrell et al who are racers first, businessmen second) the run around. Now they have to deal with these manufacturers and their high priced lawyers. An entirely different kettle of fish and unlikely to be easily bent to their will.

- The reason why the GPMA has not released any concrete rules and regulations is because they have already drawn it up but are in no hurry to reveal to Max. The reason for that is that they are indeed already committed to a separate series in 2008 and can see no point in participating with Max's brigade in formulating the rules for that season. The recent World Motorsport Council's decisions to support Max's proposals for the 2008 rules with scant attention or comment from the GPMA teams is offered as proof.

- The proposed Centreline Downwash Generating wing is complete bollocks and merely a smoke screen to divert attention from the real commercial and governance issues at hand. It is nothing more than a napkin sketch from the FIA technical team who only recently acquired AMD assistance and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) technology. The fact of the matter is the Technical Working Group (comprising tech bosses from the teams) rejected the wing proposal for 2007. In 2008 it is alleged, they couldn't be arsed anyway since they're going to bail out of the FIA World Championship.

I get my printed copy of Autosport more than a month late here in Malaysia but reading the very latest I have, it is true that more than one technical director and aerodynamicist has rejected the concept sight unsound. If Max seriously wants to push the concept, it is highly unlikely to bring about more overtaking. If anything it will make matters worse because all that turbulence on the rear wheels is not going to make those two tiny wings work at all. Any downforce you might have in the front wings (in the FIA sketches 2005 vintage items) are going to move the centre of pressure of the cars way forwards to make the cars wildly oversteer.

As states, its all smoke and mirrors from Max to demonstrate publicly at least to fans and sponsors that he has "the show" at heart and only he can guarantee the future of Grand Prix racing. In fact, the CDG in my view is Max's technical incompetence at its worse.

There are lots of other stuff on the website, too numerous to mention here and I won't because tells them far better than I ever could.

If you are a serious fan, then you have to at least take a look. This is important stuff and affects the quality of racing you will see (or not) in the future. Oh and if anyone of you have subscribed to it, could you please give me a copy of the Concorde Agreement? I'm just dying to know whats in that confounded document.

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