Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

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Exediron
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Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Exediron »

This Autosport article was the one that inspired me to make the thread, but it's been something of a bugbear of mine for a while now.

Zandvoort's deliberate decision to not offer up all its track data to Formula 1 teams, in a bid to hamper their headstart in preparations for the Dutch Grand Prix, will certainly have divided opinion depending on which side of the pitwall you sit.

For the race organiser and the fans, the hope is that the limited flow of information to teams will put them a little on the backfoot as they head to the race in May. This will hopefully mean more track action on Friday, and the potential for a shake-up in the order...


The article seems to take the implicit stance that 'unpredictability' - a word you hear a lot these days in sports - is automatically a good thing. That if the sport becomes more unpredictable through whatever artificial means necessary (and withholding data from the teams is certainly artificial) then the spectacle is automatically improved.

I don't agree with this viewpoint, and I'll try to articulate why.

I don't watch sport to be unpredictable. I - like, I think, a sizable number of people - watch to be impressed by the best in the world performing at a level that only they can. As someone who knows my sport and has a healthy appreciation and understanding of it, I actively enjoy being able to make an educated guess on the outcome. I want to feel that I know and understand what's happening, and if a genuine upset happens, I want to be surprised and equally impressed by it.

And that's the key for me: unpredictability can only exist against a backdrop of predictability. A shock winner or a surprise podium is only a rare and special thing if it isn't the norm. If literally anyone can win on any weekend (something Formula E is fond of using as a selling point) then the surprise is cheapened. It's not against the form book because there is no form book. Unpredictability taken to the logical extreme is just randomness, and it's hard to get emotionally invested in a random outcome.

If this experiment works and the Zandvoort event somehow produces a classic, I'm worried we're going to have our newest degrading tyres moment. The bigwigs behind the sport will look at this and say 'see? unpredictability is the key!' and they'll start making changes aimed solely at making the sport more unpredictable - not better, just more random.

/discuss 8)
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mikeyg123
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

Exediron wrote:This Autosport article was the one that inspired me to make the thread, but it's been something of a bugbear of mine for a while now.

Zandvoort's deliberate decision to not offer up all its track data to Formula 1 teams, in a bid to hamper their headstart in preparations for the Dutch Grand Prix, will certainly have divided opinion depending on which side of the pitwall you sit.

For the race organiser and the fans, the hope is that the limited flow of information to teams will put them a little on the backfoot as they head to the race in May. This will hopefully mean more track action on Friday, and the potential for a shake-up in the order...


The article seems to take the implicit stance that 'unpredictability' - a word you hear a lot these days in sports - is automatically a good thing. That if the sport becomes more unpredictable through whatever artificial means necessary (and withholding data from the teams is certainly artificial) then the spectacle is automatically improved.

I don't agree with this viewpoint, and I'll try to articulate why.

I don't watch sport to be unpredictable. I - like, I think, a sizable number of people - watch to be impressed by the best in the world performing at a level that only they can. As someone who knows my sport and has a healthy appreciation and understanding of it, I actively enjoy being able to make an educated guess on the outcome. I want to feel that I know and understand what's happening, and if a genuine upset happens, I want to be surprised and equally impressed by it.

And that's the key for me: unpredictability can only exist against a backdrop of predictability. A shock winner or a surprise podium is only a rare and special thing if it isn't the norm. If literally anyone can win on any weekend (something Formula E is fond of using as a selling point) then the surprise is cheapened. It's not against the form book because there is no form book. Unpredictability taken to the logical extreme is just randomness, and it's hard to get emotionally invested in a random outcome.

If this experiment works and the Zandvoort event somehow produces a classic, I'm worried we're going to have our newest degrading tyres moment. The bigwigs behind the sport will look at this and say 'see? unpredictability is the key!' and they'll start making changes aimed solely at making the sport more unpredictable - not better, just more random.

/discuss 8)
I know what you mean and I agree on the whole. I think the problem is that F1 has removed so many variables it now has to artificially add some back in. I think in the past team performance was more undulating than it is now. I do think the idea of having a larger pool of potential winners is an appealing one. I do get what you mean about not appreciating the unpredictability if you have no predictability but remembering back to say 2009 which wasn't a great season for on track racing but it was exciting to see a team like Force India able to move from the back of the grid to the front in basically one race. In 2018 I could have told you all the winning teams for 2019. That's something new. The sports never really been like this before.

Paolo_Lasardi
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Paolo_Lasardi »

I fully agree that too much unpredictability may be bad. Not many are interested in a random walk.
On the other hand, too much predictability is also a bad thing. Not many are interested to watch if you know the result before the contest starts.

So, the real problem for those running a professional sport is: what is the optimal amount of (un-) predictability and how can it be achieved. This is not trivial.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

The Zandvoort race though is just a one off, after this year then the teams know all about Zandvoort for next year, tin foil hat on, wouldn't it be nice if Verstappen won the race, now if something could be leaked to Red Bull? :)

It's the circuits own decision which is not linked to Liberty Media so I'm not overly concerned about the mechanisms involved that might affect other aspects of the sport in making it more unpredictable, after all they already tried to go down this route with reverse grids and this got knocked back by the teams and in particular by the drivers, so there is a level of integrity floating about.

Interesting you mention FE, the drivers themselves hate the qualifying system in particular the top drivers but they signed into this virtually from day 1 when they took their pay cheques.

For me FE is just light entertainment, I can't get into something too seriously that looks to handicap success, other sports I watch don't go down that route even though some have financial imbalances like F1. The puzzling thing about FE is why do they need to go down that route with the cars being that close in performance, there's just no need.
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by j man »

"Unpredictability" comes in many flavours. In essence it is a good thing for competitive sport, ultimately people are watching it to be entertained and the drama of not knowing what the outcome is going to be is a massive part of that. Some sports can entertain without being competitive or unpredictable just because watching the skill of it being executed to perfection is entertainment in itself; this generally works better for individual sports like athletics (or the one that came to mind for me personally: snooker). F1 should actually fit nicely into this category but with the cars having so much downforce now and with the driver barely visible, seeing the cars being driven to the limit just isn't much of a spectacle any more apart from when it's raining.

So I would say that F1, particularly in its current guise, needs some unpredictability to be watchable and the acceptability of this depends on how the unpredictability is being engineered. This is where contrived solutions that randomly penalise certain competitors (such as unnecessary Safety Car deployments) are a terrible way of doing things and damage the sport's credibility. However I have no problem with an idea that creates unpredictability by means of an added challenge that affects everybody equally. Quite often the best way of sorting the great from the merely very good is to take everyone out of their comfort zone and give them something unexpected to deal with.

So I'm in favour of this idea. All the teams are in the same boat here, I say let them work it out for themselves and see who is best at it. Which teams really understand the fundamentals of what makes their car go fast, and who is overly dependent on what their computer models tell them?

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:The Zandvoort race though is just a one off, after this year then the teams know all about Zandvoort for next year, tin foil hat on, wouldn't it be nice if Verstappen won the race, now if something could be leaked to Red Bull? :)

It's the circuits own decision which is not linked to Liberty Media so I'm not overly concerned about the mechanisms involved that might affect other aspects of the sport in making it more unpredictable, after all they already tried to go down this route with reverse grids and this got knocked back by the teams and in particular by the drivers, so there is a level of integrity floating about.

Interesting you mention FE, the drivers themselves hate the qualifying system in particular the top drivers but they signed into this virtually from day 1 when they took their pay cheques.

For me FE is just light entertainment, I can't get into something too seriously that looks to handicap success, other sports I watch don't go down that route even though some have financial imbalances like F1. The puzzling thing about FE is why do they need to go down that route with the cars being that close in performance, there's just no need.
Did you see how F1 used the "safety" car last season?

pokerman
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:The Zandvoort race though is just a one off, after this year then the teams know all about Zandvoort for next year, tin foil hat on, wouldn't it be nice if Verstappen won the race, now if something could be leaked to Red Bull? :)

It's the circuits own decision which is not linked to Liberty Media so I'm not overly concerned about the mechanisms involved that might affect other aspects of the sport in making it more unpredictable, after all they already tried to go down this route with reverse grids and this got knocked back by the teams and in particular by the drivers, so there is a level of integrity floating about.

Interesting you mention FE, the drivers themselves hate the qualifying system in particular the top drivers but they signed into this virtually from day 1 when they took their pay cheques.

For me FE is just light entertainment, I can't get into something too seriously that looks to handicap success, other sports I watch don't go down that route even though some have financial imbalances like F1. The puzzling thing about FE is why do they need to go down that route with the cars being that close in performance, there's just no need.
Did you see how F1 used the "safety" car last season?
I don't recall it being a SC enthused season although the one in Brazil wasn't needed.
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:The Zandvoort race though is just a one off, after this year then the teams know all about Zandvoort for next year, tin foil hat on, wouldn't it be nice if Verstappen won the race, now if something could be leaked to Red Bull? :)

It's the circuits own decision which is not linked to Liberty Media so I'm not overly concerned about the mechanisms involved that might affect other aspects of the sport in making it more unpredictable, after all they already tried to go down this route with reverse grids and this got knocked back by the teams and in particular by the drivers, so there is a level of integrity floating about.

Interesting you mention FE, the drivers themselves hate the qualifying system in particular the top drivers but they signed into this virtually from day 1 when they took their pay cheques.

For me FE is just light entertainment, I can't get into something too seriously that looks to handicap success, other sports I watch don't go down that route even though some have financial imbalances like F1. The puzzling thing about FE is why do they need to go down that route with the cars being that close in performance, there's just no need.
Did you see how F1 used the "safety" car last season?
I don't recall it being a SC enthused season although the one in Brazil wasn't needed.
That wasn't the only time. You have to ask why the safety car is being released when cars are being recovered before safety car procedures actually come in to effect.

pokerman
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:The Zandvoort race though is just a one off, after this year then the teams know all about Zandvoort for next year, tin foil hat on, wouldn't it be nice if Verstappen won the race, now if something could be leaked to Red Bull? :)

It's the circuits own decision which is not linked to Liberty Media so I'm not overly concerned about the mechanisms involved that might affect other aspects of the sport in making it more unpredictable, after all they already tried to go down this route with reverse grids and this got knocked back by the teams and in particular by the drivers, so there is a level of integrity floating about.

Interesting you mention FE, the drivers themselves hate the qualifying system in particular the top drivers but they signed into this virtually from day 1 when they took their pay cheques.

For me FE is just light entertainment, I can't get into something too seriously that looks to handicap success, other sports I watch don't go down that route even though some have financial imbalances like F1. The puzzling thing about FE is why do they need to go down that route with the cars being that close in performance, there's just no need.
Did you see how F1 used the "safety" car last season?
I don't recall it being a SC enthused season although the one in Brazil wasn't needed.
That wasn't the only time. You have to ask why the safety car is being released when cars are being recovered before safety car procedures actually come in to effect.
It's the only one that stands out and how does this compare to the inbuilt qualifying system in FE that handicaps successful drivers at every race?
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:The Zandvoort race though is just a one off, after this year then the teams know all about Zandvoort for next year, tin foil hat on, wouldn't it be nice if Verstappen won the race, now if something could be leaked to Red Bull? :)

It's the circuits own decision which is not linked to Liberty Media so I'm not overly concerned about the mechanisms involved that might affect other aspects of the sport in making it more unpredictable, after all they already tried to go down this route with reverse grids and this got knocked back by the teams and in particular by the drivers, so there is a level of integrity floating about.

Interesting you mention FE, the drivers themselves hate the qualifying system in particular the top drivers but they signed into this virtually from day 1 when they took their pay cheques.

For me FE is just light entertainment, I can't get into something too seriously that looks to handicap success, other sports I watch don't go down that route even though some have financial imbalances like F1. The puzzling thing about FE is why do they need to go down that route with the cars being that close in performance, there's just no need.
Did you see how F1 used the "safety" car last season?
I don't recall it being a SC enthused season although the one in Brazil wasn't needed.
That wasn't the only time. You have to ask why the safety car is being released when cars are being recovered before safety car procedures actually come in to effect.
It's the only one that stands out and how does this compare to the inbuilt qualifying system in FE that handicaps successful drivers at every race?
Silverstone was another one but I think it happened more. It's just not always as obviously shown on TV.

They both use procedures to artificially manipulate the race. You can kind of pick your poison really. F1 does also penalise the top 10 in qualifying don't forget.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

Unpredictability where the talents and the skills of the team can give the opportunity for advantage is an excellent thing as it breaks the formulaic, work to procedure nature of the weekend.

Unpredictability where it is literally just a random roll of the dice who wins is a terrible thing. This is one of the reasons that while I found Hockenheim this year to be an entertaining race, I don't consider it to be a classic. Every driver (except maybe Vettel) had a major spin that race and it was mostly luck for those who didn't hit something.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote: Did you see how F1 used the "safety" car last season?
I don't recall it being a SC enthused season although the one in Brazil wasn't needed.
That wasn't the only time. You have to ask why the safety car is being released when cars are being recovered before safety car procedures actually come in to effect.
It's the only one that stands out and how does this compare to the inbuilt qualifying system in FE that handicaps successful drivers at every race?
Silverstone was another one but I think it happened more. It's just not always as obviously shown on TV.

They both use procedures to artificially manipulate the race. You can kind of pick your poison really. F1 does also penalise the top 10 in qualifying don't forget.
It's not obvious as in it actually doesn't happen that often?

You choose your poison in that one may make you feel a bit unwell whereas the other will kill you?

The reality of F1 is that the top drivers are not really penalised in qualifying, it doesn't hinder them from qualifying on pole from which they are very much favourites to win the race, whereas the opposite can be said of the top drivers in FE.
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mikeyg123
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote: I don't recall it being a SC enthused season although the one in Brazil wasn't needed.
That wasn't the only time. You have to ask why the safety car is being released when cars are being recovered before safety car procedures actually come in to effect.
It's the only one that stands out and how does this compare to the inbuilt qualifying system in FE that handicaps successful drivers at every race?
Silverstone was another one but I think it happened more. It's just not always as obviously shown on TV.

They both use procedures to artificially manipulate the race. You can kind of pick your poison really. F1 does also penalise the top 10 in qualifying don't forget.
It's not obvious as in it actually doesn't happen that often?

You choose your poison in that one may make you feel a bit unwell whereas the other will kill you?

The reality of F1 is that the top drivers are not really penalised in qualifying, it doesn't hinder them from qualifying on pole from which they are very much favourites to win the race, whereas the opposite can be said of the top drivers in FE.
It hinders them in the race. The fact it doesn't hinder them much is only due to the massive performance advantage the top 6 have. If a team had that advantage in FE they would still win as well. And remember when the top 10 had to use race fuel in quali where as people outside the top 10 could start with whatever load they liked?

The point is that it is undeniable that F1 does penalise success with some of it's sporting regulations. You cannot argue that point.

I like both F1 and FE. I wouldn't want one to be more like the other.

pokerman
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote: That wasn't the only time. You have to ask why the safety car is being released when cars are being recovered before safety car procedures actually come in to effect.
It's the only one that stands out and how does this compare to the inbuilt qualifying system in FE that handicaps successful drivers at every race?
Silverstone was another one but I think it happened more. It's just not always as obviously shown on TV.

They both use procedures to artificially manipulate the race. You can kind of pick your poison really. F1 does also penalise the top 10 in qualifying don't forget.
It's not obvious as in it actually doesn't happen that often?

You choose your poison in that one may make you feel a bit unwell whereas the other will kill you?

The reality of F1 is that the top drivers are not really penalised in qualifying, it doesn't hinder them from qualifying on pole from which they are very much favourites to win the race, whereas the opposite can be said of the top drivers in FE.
It hinders them in the race. The fact it doesn't hinder them much is only due to the massive performance advantage the top 6 have. If a team had that advantage in FE they would still win as well. And remember when the top 10 had to use race fuel in quali where as people outside the top 10 could start with whatever load they liked?

The point is that it is undeniable that F1 does penalise success with some of it's sporting regulations. You cannot argue that point.

I like both F1 and FE. I wouldn't want one to be more like the other.
I can only deal with the present and future, race fueled qualifying was 10 years ago now.

The fact is that the present F1 qualifying system bears little to no hindrance to the top teams, and the future is that the tyres are going to be free to race on, no starting the race on qualifying tyres.

It's true that past systems were used to try and mix up the grid because of the inequality between teams, however I believe if the cars were close in performance like we see in FE such systems would never have been introduced in the first place.

This then asks the question why FE feels the need to have the qualifying system they have now, what's wrong with the best man winning?
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mikeyg123
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote: It's the only one that stands out and how does this compare to the inbuilt qualifying system in FE that handicaps successful drivers at every race?
Silverstone was another one but I think it happened more. It's just not always as obviously shown on TV.

They both use procedures to artificially manipulate the race. You can kind of pick your poison really. F1 does also penalise the top 10 in qualifying don't forget.
It's not obvious as in it actually doesn't happen that often?

You choose your poison in that one may make you feel a bit unwell whereas the other will kill you?

The reality of F1 is that the top drivers are not really penalised in qualifying, it doesn't hinder them from qualifying on pole from which they are very much favourites to win the race, whereas the opposite can be said of the top drivers in FE.
It hinders them in the race. The fact it doesn't hinder them much is only due to the massive performance advantage the top 6 have. If a team had that advantage in FE they would still win as well. And remember when the top 10 had to use race fuel in quali where as people outside the top 10 could start with whatever load they liked?

The point is that it is undeniable that F1 does penalise success with some of it's sporting regulations. You cannot argue that point.

I like both F1 and FE. I wouldn't want one to be more like the other.
I can only deal with the present and future, race fueled qualifying was 10 years ago now.

The fact is that the present F1 qualifying system bears little to no hindrance to the top teams, and the future is that the tyres are going to be free to race on, no starting the race on qualifying tyres.

It's true that past systems were used to try and mix up the grid because of the inequality between teams, however I believe if the cars were close in performance like we see in FE such systems would never have been introduced in the first place.

This then asks the question why FE feels the need to have the qualifying system they have now, what's wrong with the best man winning?
Why shouldn't they? As you say it's a series based on generating entertainment. That will please some and not others. You'll never make everyone happy. I think FE chose the right path by not trying to be a slow, electric F1.

Nobody who accepts the safety car in F1 can ever complain about gimmicks in any sport tbh. Motor racing is the only sport i can think of that changes the entire complexion of the event just by chance.

oz_karter
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by oz_karter »

I don't think you can compare withholding track data to something like reverse grids.

Reverse grids are obviously contrived, but deciding not to give teams detailed data puts them all in the same boat.

Setting the car up for the track is a process which F1 teams have refined so much and is so data-driven they have it done before they even arrive at the track (unlike in other motorsports where there are extensive practice sessions and setup is worked out over the weekend).

Not giving the teams data just makes this process more difficult. The teams will have to use guesswork and the practice sessions will become crucial. It is likely team performance will be shaken up as it will come down to driver feedback and engineer savviness more than data processing.

It's an interesting idea and not something I compare to artificial methods of creating unpredictability.

pokerman
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote: Silverstone was another one but I think it happened more. It's just not always as obviously shown on TV.

They both use procedures to artificially manipulate the race. You can kind of pick your poison really. F1 does also penalise the top 10 in qualifying don't forget.
It's not obvious as in it actually doesn't happen that often?

You choose your poison in that one may make you feel a bit unwell whereas the other will kill you?

The reality of F1 is that the top drivers are not really penalised in qualifying, it doesn't hinder them from qualifying on pole from which they are very much favourites to win the race, whereas the opposite can be said of the top drivers in FE.
It hinders them in the race. The fact it doesn't hinder them much is only due to the massive performance advantage the top 6 have. If a team had that advantage in FE they would still win as well. And remember when the top 10 had to use race fuel in quali where as people outside the top 10 could start with whatever load they liked?

The point is that it is undeniable that F1 does penalise success with some of it's sporting regulations. You cannot argue that point.

I like both F1 and FE. I wouldn't want one to be more like the other.
I can only deal with the present and future, race fueled qualifying was 10 years ago now.

The fact is that the present F1 qualifying system bears little to no hindrance to the top teams, and the future is that the tyres are going to be free to race on, no starting the race on qualifying tyres.

It's true that past systems were used to try and mix up the grid because of the inequality between teams, however I believe if the cars were close in performance like we see in FE such systems would never have been introduced in the first place.

This then asks the question why FE feels the need to have the qualifying system they have now, what's wrong with the best man winning?
Why shouldn't they? As you say it's a series based on generating entertainment. That will please some and not others. You'll never make everyone happy. I think FE chose the right path by not trying to be a slow, electric F1.

Nobody who accepts the safety car in F1 can ever complain about gimmicks in any sport tbh. Motor racing is the only sport i can think of that changes the entire complexion of the event just by chance.
Given the choice between a SC and a totally restarted race I would take the SC, let's also not forget the option of the VSC which in theory neutralises the race, apart from allowing pit stops. Although for some reason there now seems a reluctance to use that system which I guess is the cornerstone of your argument that SC's are deliberately being used, when at times they don't need to be, just to spice up the racing.

I find it a strange argument that if you allow the SC then there's no defence against anything put forward to spice up the racing like say reverse grids.

Like you say FE has gone the route it's gone, looking to be something different were entertainment comes before it being a sport in my opinion.
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

oz_karter wrote:I don't think you can compare withholding track data to something like reverse grids.

Reverse grids are obviously contrived, but deciding not to give teams detailed data puts them all in the same boat.

Setting the car up for the track is a process which F1 teams have refined so much and is so data-driven they have it done before they even arrive at the track (unlike in other motorsports where there are extensive practice sessions and setup is worked out over the weekend).

Not giving the teams data just makes this process more difficult. The teams will have to use guesswork and the practice sessions will become crucial. It is likely team performance will be shaken up as it will come down to driver feedback and engineer savviness more than data processing.

It's an interesting idea and not something I compare to artificial methods of creating unpredictability.
Yeah It's not something to get over concerned about for those of us concerned with artificial racing.
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by tim3003 »

Exediron wrote:
The article seems to take the implicit stance that 'unpredictability' - a word you hear a lot these days in sports - is automatically a good thing. That if the sport becomes more unpredictable through whatever artificial means necessary (and withholding data from the teams is certainly artificial) then the spectacle is automatically improved.

I don't watch sport to be unpredictable. I - like, I think, a sizable number of people - watch to be impressed by the best in the world performing at a level that only they can. As someone who knows my sport and has a healthy appreciation and understanding of it, I actively enjoy being able to make an educated guess on the outcome. I want to feel that I know and understand what's happening, and if a genuine upset happens, I want to be surprised and equally impressed by it.

And that's the key for me: unpredictability can only exist against a backdrop of predictability. A shock winner or a surprise podium is only a rare and special thing if it isn't the norm. If literally anyone can win on any weekend (something Formula E is fond of using as a selling point) then the surprise is cheapened. It's not against the form book because there is no form book. Unpredictability taken to the logical extreme is just randomness, and it's hard to get emotionally invested in a random outcome.

If this experiment works and the Zandvoort event somehow produces a classic, I'm worried we're going to have our newest degrading tyres moment. The bigwigs behind the sport will look at this and say 'see? unpredictability is the key!' and they'll start making changes aimed solely at making the sport more unpredictable - not better, just more random.

/discuss 8)
The problem with predictability is that it can be boring. And the Mercedes dominance of the past 6 years has led to a complete lack of excitement concerning who'll win the driver's championship. You could say 2016 when Rosberg won was exciting, but it was still a Mercedes lock-out. Grands Prix are races, and no-one wants to watch races that are predictable do they?

As I've said before, a good way to increase unpredictability without completely artificial constructs added to the races (like reverse grids) would be to decrease the cars' reliability. Mercedes should not be able to produce a car that can go a whole season without a DNF. The fact that they can removes a significant area of unpredictability from races, and to me shows that the rules do not force them near enough to the edge of the performance envelope to stress components to their limits. I blame the cost-cutting rules: banning spare cars, limiting engines, standardising gearboxes, regulating fuel-flow etc. The more you remove the ability to innovate and take risks the more reliable cars become.

As for withholding track data from the teams. Who will make up the lost ground quickest? The biggest and best funded teams of course, so my guess is it'll make no difference.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote: It's not obvious as in it actually doesn't happen that often?

You choose your poison in that one may make you feel a bit unwell whereas the other will kill you?

The reality of F1 is that the top drivers are not really penalised in qualifying, it doesn't hinder them from qualifying on pole from which they are very much favourites to win the race, whereas the opposite can be said of the top drivers in FE.
It hinders them in the race. The fact it doesn't hinder them much is only due to the massive performance advantage the top 6 have. If a team had that advantage in FE they would still win as well. And remember when the top 10 had to use race fuel in quali where as people outside the top 10 could start with whatever load they liked?

The point is that it is undeniable that F1 does penalise success with some of it's sporting regulations. You cannot argue that point.

I like both F1 and FE. I wouldn't want one to be more like the other.
I can only deal with the present and future, race fueled qualifying was 10 years ago now.

The fact is that the present F1 qualifying system bears little to no hindrance to the top teams, and the future is that the tyres are going to be free to race on, no starting the race on qualifying tyres.

It's true that past systems were used to try and mix up the grid because of the inequality between teams, however I believe if the cars were close in performance like we see in FE such systems would never have been introduced in the first place.

This then asks the question why FE feels the need to have the qualifying system they have now, what's wrong with the best man winning?
Why shouldn't they? As you say it's a series based on generating entertainment. That will please some and not others. You'll never make everyone happy. I think FE chose the right path by not trying to be a slow, electric F1.

Nobody who accepts the safety car in F1 can ever complain about gimmicks in any sport tbh. Motor racing is the only sport i can think of that changes the entire complexion of the event just by chance.
Given the choice between a SC and a totally restarted race I would take the SC, let's also not forget the option of the VSC which in theory neutralises the race, apart from allowing pit stops. Although for some reason there now seems a reluctance to use that system which I guess is the cornerstone of your argument that SC's are deliberately being used, when at times they don't need to be, just to spice up the racing.

I find it a strange argument that if you allow the SC then there's no defence against anything put forward to spice up the racing like say reverse grids.

Like you say FE has gone the route it's gone, looking to be something different were entertainment comes before it being a sport in my opinion.
You don't have to decide between a safety car and a full restart. VSC is a good thing and should be used to cover absolutely everything up to the track being blocked. No other sport would ever allow something as corrupting in the safety car.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by DOLOMITE »

Tricky one isn't it. I agree it's enjoyable to draw on your knowledge to try and work out what you think is going to happen. I also agree that a "random" result each race would render the whole thing a little pointless.

It's about possibility vs probability. In any F1 race, there's a possibility and driver could win, but the probabilities vary massively.

There are hundreds of variables that will ultimately decide this, but the ones with the biggest weighting are the car and then the driver. So elements that mean the result can't be predicted are already there and playing their part, but what you don't want is things being introduced purely for this reason. Cue the car swaps/sprinklers/random grid/monkeys-with-bananas brigade.

I think the holy grail is to have all these existing factors play a slightly bigger part. And also to have more of those under the direct influence of the driver - which is why we still hear people wanting to see manual gear boxes back for example. Also the impact of some these things could be bigger - such as track limits where a driver who has diligently adhered to track limits can still be caught and passed by a driver taking liberties lap after lap.

Reliability used to have a much bigger influence on results and WDC standings but I don't think that was a good thing at all.

From my own point of view, I don't mind similar podiums occurring week in week out, as long as the races are entertaining.
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Siao7 »

DOLOMITE wrote:Tricky one isn't it. I agree it's enjoyable to draw on your knowledge to try and work out what you think is going to happen. I also agree that a "random" result each race would render the whole thing a little pointless.

It's about possibility vs probability. In any F1 race, there's a possibility and driver could win, but the probabilities vary massively.

There are hundreds of variables that will ultimately decide this, but the ones with the biggest weighting are the car and then the driver. So elements that mean the result can't be predicted are already there and playing their part, but what you don't want is things being introduced purely for this reason. Cue the car swaps/sprinklers/random grid/monkeys-with-bananas brigade.

I think the holy grail is to have all these existing factors play a slightly bigger part. And also to have more of those under the direct influence of the driver - which is why we still hear people wanting to see manual gear boxes back for example. Also the impact of some these things could be bigger - such as track limits where a driver who has diligently adhered to track limits can still be caught and passed by a driver taking liberties lap after lap.

Reliability used to have a much bigger influence on results and WDC standings but I don't think that was a good thing at all.

From my own point of view, I don't mind similar podiums occurring week in week out, as long as the races are entertaining.
I agree with this. I also think that an early/easy step is what we have be talking about for a long time; banning radio comms (obviously apart from emergencies). This will only add to what you mentioned above, if a driver is not hand-held through driving around problems that they can see from the pits or change various settings or things like "move my team mate, he is slowing me down", then more mistakes will occur, hence more unpredictability.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote: It hinders them in the race. The fact it doesn't hinder them much is only due to the massive performance advantage the top 6 have. If a team had that advantage in FE they would still win as well. And remember when the top 10 had to use race fuel in quali where as people outside the top 10 could start with whatever load they liked?

The point is that it is undeniable that F1 does penalise success with some of it's sporting regulations. You cannot argue that point.

I like both F1 and FE. I wouldn't want one to be more like the other.
I can only deal with the present and future, race fueled qualifying was 10 years ago now.

The fact is that the present F1 qualifying system bears little to no hindrance to the top teams, and the future is that the tyres are going to be free to race on, no starting the race on qualifying tyres.

It's true that past systems were used to try and mix up the grid because of the inequality between teams, however I believe if the cars were close in performance like we see in FE such systems would never have been introduced in the first place.

This then asks the question why FE feels the need to have the qualifying system they have now, what's wrong with the best man winning?
Why shouldn't they? As you say it's a series based on generating entertainment. That will please some and not others. You'll never make everyone happy. I think FE chose the right path by not trying to be a slow, electric F1.

Nobody who accepts the safety car in F1 can ever complain about gimmicks in any sport tbh. Motor racing is the only sport i can think of that changes the entire complexion of the event just by chance.
Given the choice between a SC and a totally restarted race I would take the SC, let's also not forget the option of the VSC which in theory neutralises the race, apart from allowing pit stops. Although for some reason there now seems a reluctance to use that system which I guess is the cornerstone of your argument that SC's are deliberately being used, when at times they don't need to be, just to spice up the racing.

I find it a strange argument that if you allow the SC then there's no defence against anything put forward to spice up the racing like say reverse grids.

Like you say FE has gone the route it's gone, looking to be something different were entertainment comes before it being a sport in my opinion.
You don't have to decide between a safety car and a full restart. VSC is a good thing and should be used to cover absolutely everything up to the track being blocked. No other sport would ever allow something as corrupting in the safety car.
Like you say though at times there is no better alternative than the SC, at least F1 has the VSC alternative compared to some other series.

Also the SC is not the most corrupting aspect, at least the drivers tend to keep their order on the track, a fake qualifying system is far worse.
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote: I can only deal with the present and future, race fueled qualifying was 10 years ago now.

The fact is that the present F1 qualifying system bears little to no hindrance to the top teams, and the future is that the tyres are going to be free to race on, no starting the race on qualifying tyres.

It's true that past systems were used to try and mix up the grid because of the inequality between teams, however I believe if the cars were close in performance like we see in FE such systems would never have been introduced in the first place.

This then asks the question why FE feels the need to have the qualifying system they have now, what's wrong with the best man winning?
Why shouldn't they? As you say it's a series based on generating entertainment. That will please some and not others. You'll never make everyone happy. I think FE chose the right path by not trying to be a slow, electric F1.

Nobody who accepts the safety car in F1 can ever complain about gimmicks in any sport tbh. Motor racing is the only sport i can think of that changes the entire complexion of the event just by chance.
Given the choice between a SC and a totally restarted race I would take the SC, let's also not forget the option of the VSC which in theory neutralises the race, apart from allowing pit stops. Although for some reason there now seems a reluctance to use that system which I guess is the cornerstone of your argument that SC's are deliberately being used, when at times they don't need to be, just to spice up the racing.

I find it a strange argument that if you allow the SC then there's no defence against anything put forward to spice up the racing like say reverse grids.

Like you say FE has gone the route it's gone, looking to be something different were entertainment comes before it being a sport in my opinion.
You don't have to decide between a safety car and a full restart. VSC is a good thing and should be used to cover absolutely everything up to the track being blocked. No other sport would ever allow something as corrupting in the safety car.
Like you say though at times there is no better alternative than the SC, at least F1 has the VSC alternative compared to some other series.

Also the SC is not the most corrupting aspect, at least the drivers tend to keep their order on the track, a fake qualifying system is far worse.
No, I haven't said that. I think it's absurd fans accept the safety car.

It's like having an FA cup final having a 3-0 lead overturned to a 1-0 lead with the losing team getting a penalty off the back of some completely unrelated incident.

No other sport would ever tolerate something like the safety car.

This fake qualifying system you speak of they do at least still line up from fastest to slowest time on the day. At least your own performance can effect the outcome.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote: Why shouldn't they? As you say it's a series based on generating entertainment. That will please some and not others. You'll never make everyone happy. I think FE chose the right path by not trying to be a slow, electric F1.

Nobody who accepts the safety car in F1 can ever complain about gimmicks in any sport tbh. Motor racing is the only sport i can think of that changes the entire complexion of the event just by chance.
Given the choice between a SC and a totally restarted race I would take the SC, let's also not forget the option of the VSC which in theory neutralises the race, apart from allowing pit stops. Although for some reason there now seems a reluctance to use that system which I guess is the cornerstone of your argument that SC's are deliberately being used, when at times they don't need to be, just to spice up the racing.

I find it a strange argument that if you allow the SC then there's no defence against anything put forward to spice up the racing like say reverse grids.

Like you say FE has gone the route it's gone, looking to be something different were entertainment comes before it being a sport in my opinion.
You don't have to decide between a safety car and a full restart. VSC is a good thing and should be used to cover absolutely everything up to the track being blocked. No other sport would ever allow something as corrupting in the safety car.
Like you say though at times there is no better alternative than the SC, at least F1 has the VSC alternative compared to some other series.

Also the SC is not the most corrupting aspect, at least the drivers tend to keep their order on the track, a fake qualifying system is far worse.
No, I haven't said that. I think it's absurd fans accept the safety car.

It's like having an FA cup final having a 3-0 lead overturned to a 1-0 lead with the losing team getting a penalty off the back of some completely unrelated incident.

No other sport would ever tolerate something like the safety car.

This fake qualifying system you speak of they do at least still line up from fastest to slowest time on the day. At least your own performance can effect the outcome.
Comparing motor racing with football is somewhat ridiculous, when does a game ever get completely stopped and then restarted, maybe when there's a floodlight failure and in this instance it's much easy to restart a football game then a race were racing gaps need to be restored, how do you do this also considering that it's much better for a race to be continuous rather than the cars being completely stopped for a period of time.

Fastest to slowest after the faster drivers have been compromised by having to qualify on a slower track, how you can consider this to be fair whilst SC's are fake is beyond me.
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote: Given the choice between a SC and a totally restarted race I would take the SC, let's also not forget the option of the VSC which in theory neutralises the race, apart from allowing pit stops. Although for some reason there now seems a reluctance to use that system which I guess is the cornerstone of your argument that SC's are deliberately being used, when at times they don't need to be, just to spice up the racing.

I find it a strange argument that if you allow the SC then there's no defence against anything put forward to spice up the racing like say reverse grids.

Like you say FE has gone the route it's gone, looking to be something different were entertainment comes before it being a sport in my opinion.
You don't have to decide between a safety car and a full restart. VSC is a good thing and should be used to cover absolutely everything up to the track being blocked. No other sport would ever allow something as corrupting in the safety car.
Like you say though at times there is no better alternative than the SC, at least F1 has the VSC alternative compared to some other series.

Also the SC is not the most corrupting aspect, at least the drivers tend to keep their order on the track, a fake qualifying system is far worse.
No, I haven't said that. I think it's absurd fans accept the safety car.

It's like having an FA cup final having a 3-0 lead overturned to a 1-0 lead with the losing team getting a penalty off the back of some completely unrelated incident.

No other sport would ever tolerate something like the safety car.

This fake qualifying system you speak of they do at least still line up from fastest to slowest time on the day. At least your own performance can effect the outcome.
Comparing motor racing with football is somewhat ridiculous, when does a game ever get completely stopped and then restarted, maybe when there's a floodlight failure and in this instance it's much easy to restart a football game then a race were racing gaps need to be restored, how do you do this also considering that it's much better for a race to be continuous rather than the cars being completely stopped for a period of time.

Fastest to slowest after the faster drivers have been compromised by having to qualify on a slower track, how you can consider this to be fair whilst SC's are fake is beyond me.
aha so after all this you are actually happy for the sporting event to be corrupted in the name of entertainment?

I don't even agree. How can it possibly be better for us to lose 10% of the race for every safety car. How can you say that's better for the race than actually having the whole race.

It's not a ridiculous comparison to football at all. Just because something is more difficult should not be an argument in itself. Especially when those difficulties are far from insurmountable.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Remmirath »

Unpredictability isn't a good thing to chase, in my opinion; not only does it not necessarily equal excitement (such as when sufficiently wet weather turns everything into a lottery), but the pursuit of unpredictability tends to lean towards gimmicks that erode the integrity of the sport.

This isn't to say that shake-ups are uninteresting. They certainly can be. But going out of one's way to try to create them causes a lot of problems. At best, it works, but unpredictability becomes the new predictability, and the viewer knows that the result will end up close to random. For some, that might increase their interest; for others, it will certainly decrease it. And to achieve such a dramatic rise in randomness, the least gimmicky change one could hope for would be some manner of mixed up qualifying like Formula E has - which is still pretty bad. At worst it doesn't even work, races are still predictable, but now they're predictable and gimmicky, which I would assume nobody wants.

Really, the only thing I'd like to see become more unpredictable again for F1 is "who will build the best car this season", which has to do with regulations and budgets and not track-side rules.
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Siao7 »

Remmirath wrote:Unpredictability isn't a good thing to chase, in my opinion; not only does it not necessarily equal excitement (such as when sufficiently wet weather turns everything into a lottery), but the pursuit of unpredictability tends to lean towards gimmicks that erode the integrity of the sport.

This isn't to say that shake-ups are uninteresting. They certainly can be. But going out of one's way to try to create them causes a lot of problems. At best, it works, but unpredictability becomes the new predictability, and the viewer knows that the result will end up close to random. For some, that might increase their interest; for others, it will certainly decrease it. And to achieve such a dramatic rise in randomness, the least gimmicky change one could hope for would be some manner of mixed up qualifying like Formula E has - which is still pretty bad. At worst it doesn't even work, races are still predictable, but now they're predictable and gimmicky, which I would assume nobody wants.

Really, the only thing I'd like to see become more unpredictable again for F1 is "who will build the best car this season", which has to do with regulations and budgets and not track-side rules.
This is so true, imagine having 19 '11 Canadian Grands Prix... It would be so tiring. That race was special because it happened once; if that was the norm, people would get tired of it.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Badgeronimous »

Unpredictability isn't necessary a good thing, but there surely is no denying that F1 has became too predictable over these last 20yrs. The 2010's weren't a good decade.

However the variables that gave natural and purer unpredictability in the past have been removed or stretched so far that unpredicability doesn't happen very often any more.

1) Performance and budget have a strong co-relation.
2) The way F1 is now it would be very difficult to break into the top 3 without significant backing - as proven by the (lack of) podiums from other teams in the last 6 seasons.
3) It has seen the top 3 teams have a clear advantage over the rest of the field.
4) Cost cutting initiatives have made the sport even more expensive and.... harder for the gap to close.
5) Lack of testing has made gaps harder to close without huge budgets
6) As a by product, it has made the cars so reliable, but so expensive to develop.
7) Cars and drivers are not pushed near enough to the limit anywhere near often enough - top cars rarely fail, top drivers don't often make race compromising errors.
8 ) When drivers do make an error, or push too hard, the punishment is a tarmac run off area and losing (at most) a couple of seconds.
9) Driver market has stagnated at the top end - top drivers are happy to stay in their seat. Limited opportunities for others to join the best seats

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Siao7 »

Badgeronimous wrote:Unpredictability isn't necessary a good thing, but there surely is no denying that F1 has became too predictable over these last 20yrs. The 2010's weren't a good decade.

However the variables that gave natural and purer unpredictability in the past have been removed or stretched so far that unpredicability doesn't happen very often any more.

1) Performance and budget have a strong co-relation.
2) The way F1 is now it would be very difficult to break into the top 3 without significant backing - as proven by the (lack of) podiums from other teams in the last 6 seasons.
3) It has seen the top 3 teams have a clear advantage over the rest of the field.
4) Cost cutting initiatives have made the sport even more expensive and.... harder for the gap to close.
5) Lack of testing has made gaps harder to close without huge budgets
6) As a by product, it has made the cars so reliable, but so expensive to develop.
7) Cars and drivers are not pushed near enough to the limit anywhere near often enough - top cars rarely fail, top drivers don't often make race compromising errors.
8 ) When drivers do make an error, or push too hard, the punishment is a tarmac run off area and losing (at most) a couple of seconds.
9) Driver market has stagnated at the top end - top drivers are happy to stay in their seat. Limited opportunities for others to join the best seats
I mostly agree, but I am not sure about point 3; it is something that happened in the past, a lot. Some of the gaps they had were several seconds, that's why they introduced the 107% rule so that they didn't have to worry about the great speed differences. But the better reliability is making it easy for the front runners go the distance nowadays, with less chances for a smaller team from behind to get a lucky win/placement.

Points 4 and 5 are true, but I would add that the biggest cost in F1 in this era - the engines - was not a cost cutting measure, rather a way to attract more partners commercially and make it more "relevant" to this era. Had they kept the "cheap" V8's, the smaller teams would have been in a better position.

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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote: You don't have to decide between a safety car and a full restart. VSC is a good thing and should be used to cover absolutely everything up to the track being blocked. No other sport would ever allow something as corrupting in the safety car.
Like you say though at times there is no better alternative than the SC, at least F1 has the VSC alternative compared to some other series.

Also the SC is not the most corrupting aspect, at least the drivers tend to keep their order on the track, a fake qualifying system is far worse.
No, I haven't said that. I think it's absurd fans accept the safety car.

It's like having an FA cup final having a 3-0 lead overturned to a 1-0 lead with the losing team getting a penalty off the back of some completely unrelated incident.

No other sport would ever tolerate something like the safety car.

This fake qualifying system you speak of they do at least still line up from fastest to slowest time on the day. At least your own performance can effect the outcome.
Comparing motor racing with football is somewhat ridiculous, when does a game ever get completely stopped and then restarted, maybe when there's a floodlight failure and in this instance it's much easy to restart a football game then a race were racing gaps need to be restored, how do you do this also considering that it's much better for a race to be continuous rather than the cars being completely stopped for a period of time.

Fastest to slowest after the faster drivers have been compromised by having to qualify on a slower track, how you can consider this to be fair whilst SC's are fake is beyond me.
aha so after all this you are actually happy for the sporting event to be corrupted in the name of entertainment?

I don't even agree. How can it possibly be better for us to lose 10% of the race for every safety car. How can you say that's better for the race than actually having the whole race.

It's not a ridiculous comparison to football at all. Just because something is more difficult should not be an argument in itself. Especially when those difficulties are far from insurmountable.
The races were corrupted before when they had to be stopped for major crashes, they are now less corrupted by using a SC, cars nominally don't immediately pass on a SC restart but they tend to do on a grid restart, and the VSC that F1 has is even less corrupting, and all of this is less corrupting than the FE qualifying system which you seem to be fine with?

So for someone who doesn't want races to be corrupted you would want the more corrupting grid restarts just so we don't lose as many racing laps and then your view I think begins to become confused, was you in favour of reverse grid races?
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote: Like you say though at times there is no better alternative than the SC, at least F1 has the VSC alternative compared to some other series.

Also the SC is not the most corrupting aspect, at least the drivers tend to keep their order on the track, a fake qualifying system is far worse.
No, I haven't said that. I think it's absurd fans accept the safety car.

It's like having an FA cup final having a 3-0 lead overturned to a 1-0 lead with the losing team getting a penalty off the back of some completely unrelated incident.

No other sport would ever tolerate something like the safety car.

This fake qualifying system you speak of they do at least still line up from fastest to slowest time on the day. At least your own performance can effect the outcome.
Comparing motor racing with football is somewhat ridiculous, when does a game ever get completely stopped and then restarted, maybe when there's a floodlight failure and in this instance it's much easy to restart a football game then a race were racing gaps need to be restored, how do you do this also considering that it's much better for a race to be continuous rather than the cars being completely stopped for a period of time.

Fastest to slowest after the faster drivers have been compromised by having to qualify on a slower track, how you can consider this to be fair whilst SC's are fake is beyond me.
aha so after all this you are actually happy for the sporting event to be corrupted in the name of entertainment?

I don't even agree. How can it possibly be better for us to lose 10% of the race for every safety car. How can you say that's better for the race than actually having the whole race.

It's not a ridiculous comparison to football at all. Just because something is more difficult should not be an argument in itself. Especially when those difficulties are far from insurmountable.
The races were corrupted before when they had to be stopped for major crashes, they are now less corrupted by using a SC, cars nominally don't immediately pass on a SC restart but they tend to do on a grid restart, and the VSC that F1 has is even less corrupting, and all of this is less corrupting than the FE qualifying system which you seem to be fine with?

So for someone who doesn't want races to be corrupted you would want the more corrupting grid restarts just so we don't lose as many racing laps and then your view I think begins to become confused, was you in favour of reverse grid races?
1. No they weren't. Before the safety car races were very rarely stopped and when they were, if more than 2 laps had been completed we had an aggregate timing on the restart.

2. Please don't do your straw man thing with me. I've never said I want to see full grid restart. Where are you getting that from and given what I've said why on earth would you think I would find that a reasonable solution. That would be worse than having a safety car. We need neither.

3. I'm fine with the VSC. Pitting should be banned though.

4. For the reasons I've explained I don't find the FE qualifying system more corrupting than the usage of safety car.

5. And yes the only accurate thing in the post above is that I was in favour of giving reverse grids a go. Remember it was you not me who demanded a pure sport. I just responded given that it was a surprise you could watch F1 with the way the safety car was used. As I've said repeatedly it is unnecessary and only motorsport would ever put up with something so intrusive.

pokerman
Posts: 35334
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote: No, I haven't said that. I think it's absurd fans accept the safety car.

It's like having an FA cup final having a 3-0 lead overturned to a 1-0 lead with the losing team getting a penalty off the back of some completely unrelated incident.

No other sport would ever tolerate something like the safety car.

This fake qualifying system you speak of they do at least still line up from fastest to slowest time on the day. At least your own performance can effect the outcome.
Comparing motor racing with football is somewhat ridiculous, when does a game ever get completely stopped and then restarted, maybe when there's a floodlight failure and in this instance it's much easy to restart a football game then a race were racing gaps need to be restored, how do you do this also considering that it's much better for a race to be continuous rather than the cars being completely stopped for a period of time.

Fastest to slowest after the faster drivers have been compromised by having to qualify on a slower track, how you can consider this to be fair whilst SC's are fake is beyond me.
aha so after all this you are actually happy for the sporting event to be corrupted in the name of entertainment?

I don't even agree. How can it possibly be better for us to lose 10% of the race for every safety car. How can you say that's better for the race than actually having the whole race.

It's not a ridiculous comparison to football at all. Just because something is more difficult should not be an argument in itself. Especially when those difficulties are far from insurmountable.
The races were corrupted before when they had to be stopped for major crashes, they are now less corrupted by using a SC, cars nominally don't immediately pass on a SC restart but they tend to do on a grid restart, and the VSC that F1 has is even less corrupting, and all of this is less corrupting than the FE qualifying system which you seem to be fine with?

So for someone who doesn't want races to be corrupted you would want the more corrupting grid restarts just so we don't lose as many racing laps and then your view I think begins to become confused, was you in favour of reverse grid races?
1. No they weren't. Before the safety car races were very rarely stopped and when they were, if more than 2 laps had been completed we had an aggregate timing on the restart.

2. Please don't do your straw man thing with me. I've never said I want to see full grid restart. Where are you getting that from and given what I've said why on earth would you think I would find that a reasonable solution. That would be worse than having a safety car. We need neither.

3. I'm fine with the VSC. Pitting should be banned though.

4. For the reasons I've explained I don't find the FE qualifying system more corrupting than the usage of safety car.

5. And yes the only accurate thing in the post above is that I was in favour of giving reverse grids a go. Remember it was you not me who demanded a pure sport. I just responded given that it was a surprise you could watch F1 with the way the safety car was used. As I've said repeatedly it is unnecessary and only motorsport would ever put up with something so intrusive.
Thanks for your honesty with being happy with reverse grids, I think my views are more consistent when it comes to the integrity of the races, and a SC is brought out for a reason that being safety, something that was often ignored in F1 in the past and I know your views on safety would be more lax.

I think having a race corrupted on the grounds of safety is a bit different from reverse grids and the FE qualifying system.
PF1 Pick 10 Competition

2013: 5th Place
2014: Champion
2015: 3rd Place
2016: 4th Place

2017: 9th Place
2018: 7th place

Wins: Canada 2018, Abu Dhabi 2017
Podiums: (8)

mikeyg123
Posts: 17828
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote: Comparing motor racing with football is somewhat ridiculous, when does a game ever get completely stopped and then restarted, maybe when there's a floodlight failure and in this instance it's much easy to restart a football game then a race were racing gaps need to be restored, how do you do this also considering that it's much better for a race to be continuous rather than the cars being completely stopped for a period of time.

Fastest to slowest after the faster drivers have been compromised by having to qualify on a slower track, how you can consider this to be fair whilst SC's are fake is beyond me.
aha so after all this you are actually happy for the sporting event to be corrupted in the name of entertainment?

I don't even agree. How can it possibly be better for us to lose 10% of the race for every safety car. How can you say that's better for the race than actually having the whole race.

It's not a ridiculous comparison to football at all. Just because something is more difficult should not be an argument in itself. Especially when those difficulties are far from insurmountable.
The races were corrupted before when they had to be stopped for major crashes, they are now less corrupted by using a SC, cars nominally don't immediately pass on a SC restart but they tend to do on a grid restart, and the VSC that F1 has is even less corrupting, and all of this is less corrupting than the FE qualifying system which you seem to be fine with?

So for someone who doesn't want races to be corrupted you would want the more corrupting grid restarts just so we don't lose as many racing laps and then your view I think begins to become confused, was you in favour of reverse grid races?
1. No they weren't. Before the safety car races were very rarely stopped and when they were, if more than 2 laps had been completed we had an aggregate timing on the restart.

2. Please don't do your straw man thing with me. I've never said I want to see full grid restart. Where are you getting that from and given what I've said why on earth would you think I would find that a reasonable solution. That would be worse than having a safety car. We need neither.

3. I'm fine with the VSC. Pitting should be banned though.

4. For the reasons I've explained I don't find the FE qualifying system more corrupting than the usage of safety car.

5. And yes the only accurate thing in the post above is that I was in favour of giving reverse grids a go. Remember it was you not me who demanded a pure sport. I just responded given that it was a surprise you could watch F1 with the way the safety car was used. As I've said repeatedly it is unnecessary and only motorsport would ever put up with something so intrusive.
Thanks for your honesty with being happy with reverse grids, I think my views are more consistent when it comes to the integrity of the races, and a SC is brought out for a reason that being safety, something that was often ignored in F1 in the past and I know your views on safety would be more lax.

I think having a race corrupted on the grounds of safety is a bit different from reverse grids and the FE qualifying system.
If it was totally unavoidable I might agree with you. The situation we have now is, even if you agree with using the safety car for genuine safety reasons, totally indefensible in my view.

There is nothing unsafe in using the VSC for almost all incidents where the safety car is currently used.

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Badgeronimous
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Badgeronimous »

Siao7 wrote:
Badgeronimous wrote:Unpredictability isn't necessary a good thing, but there surely is no denying that F1 has became too predictable over these last 20yrs. The 2010's weren't a good decade.

However the variables that gave natural and purer unpredictability in the past have been removed or stretched so far that unpredicability doesn't happen very often any more.

1) Performance and budget have a strong co-relation.
2) The way F1 is now it would be very difficult to break into the top 3 without significant backing - as proven by the (lack of) podiums from other teams in the last 6 seasons.
3) It has seen the top 3 teams have a clear advantage over the rest of the field.
4) Cost cutting initiatives have made the sport even more expensive and.... harder for the gap to close.
5) Lack of testing has made gaps harder to close without huge budgets
6) As a by product, it has made the cars so reliable, but so expensive to develop.
7) Cars and drivers are not pushed near enough to the limit anywhere near often enough - top cars rarely fail, top drivers don't often make race compromising errors.
8 ) When drivers do make an error, or push too hard, the punishment is a tarmac run off area and losing (at most) a couple of seconds.
9) Driver market has stagnated at the top end - top drivers are happy to stay in their seat. Limited opportunities for others to join the best seats
I mostly agree, but I am not sure about point 3; it is something that happened in the past, a lot. Some of the gaps they had were several seconds, that's why they introduced the 107% rule so that they didn't have to worry about the great speed differences. But the better reliability is making it easy for the front runners go the distance nowadays, with less chances for a smaller team from behind to get a lucky win/placement.

Points 4 and 5 are true, but I would add that the biggest cost in F1 in this era - the engines - was not a cost cutting measure, rather a way to attract more partners commercially and make it more "relevant" to this era. Had they kept the "cheap" V8's, the smaller teams would have been in a better position.
The top 3 have had the advantage for so long now, and (safest bold prediction ever) will have again next season. Maybe 2021 will mix it up a bit, maybe not.

Yeah the grid is "closer" now than at times in the past, but.... the natural variables that mixed it up are so stretched that even small advantages are significant and consistent advantages.

pokerman
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by pokerman »

mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote:
pokerman wrote:
mikeyg123 wrote: aha so after all this you are actually happy for the sporting event to be corrupted in the name of entertainment?

I don't even agree. How can it possibly be better for us to lose 10% of the race for every safety car. How can you say that's better for the race than actually having the whole race.

It's not a ridiculous comparison to football at all. Just because something is more difficult should not be an argument in itself. Especially when those difficulties are far from insurmountable.
The races were corrupted before when they had to be stopped for major crashes, they are now less corrupted by using a SC, cars nominally don't immediately pass on a SC restart but they tend to do on a grid restart, and the VSC that F1 has is even less corrupting, and all of this is less corrupting than the FE qualifying system which you seem to be fine with?

So for someone who doesn't want races to be corrupted you would want the more corrupting grid restarts just so we don't lose as many racing laps and then your view I think begins to become confused, was you in favour of reverse grid races?
1. No they weren't. Before the safety car races were very rarely stopped and when they were, if more than 2 laps had been completed we had an aggregate timing on the restart.

2. Please don't do your straw man thing with me. I've never said I want to see full grid restart. Where are you getting that from and given what I've said why on earth would you think I would find that a reasonable solution. That would be worse than having a safety car. We need neither.

3. I'm fine with the VSC. Pitting should be banned though.

4. For the reasons I've explained I don't find the FE qualifying system more corrupting than the usage of safety car.

5. And yes the only accurate thing in the post above is that I was in favour of giving reverse grids a go. Remember it was you not me who demanded a pure sport. I just responded given that it was a surprise you could watch F1 with the way the safety car was used. As I've said repeatedly it is unnecessary and only motorsport would ever put up with something so intrusive.
Thanks for your honesty with being happy with reverse grids, I think my views are more consistent when it comes to the integrity of the races, and a SC is brought out for a reason that being safety, something that was often ignored in F1 in the past and I know your views on safety would be more lax.

I think having a race corrupted on the grounds of safety is a bit different from reverse grids and the FE qualifying system.
If it was totally unavoidable I might agree with you. The situation we have now is, even if you agree with using the safety car for genuine safety reasons, totally indefensible in my view.

There is nothing unsafe in using the VSC for almost all incidents where the safety car is currently used.
I agree the VSC should be used more often instead of the SC, at least F1 does have that extra option though.
PF1 Pick 10 Competition

2013: 5th Place
2014: Champion
2015: 3rd Place
2016: 4th Place

2017: 9th Place
2018: 7th place

Wins: Canada 2018, Abu Dhabi 2017
Podiums: (8)

Siao7
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Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Siao7 »

Badgeronimous wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
Badgeronimous wrote:Unpredictability isn't necessary a good thing, but there surely is no denying that F1 has became too predictable over these last 20yrs. The 2010's weren't a good decade.

However the variables that gave natural and purer unpredictability in the past have been removed or stretched so far that unpredicability doesn't happen very often any more.

1) Performance and budget have a strong co-relation.
2) The way F1 is now it would be very difficult to break into the top 3 without significant backing - as proven by the (lack of) podiums from other teams in the last 6 seasons.
3) It has seen the top 3 teams have a clear advantage over the rest of the field.
4) Cost cutting initiatives have made the sport even more expensive and.... harder for the gap to close.
5) Lack of testing has made gaps harder to close without huge budgets
6) As a by product, it has made the cars so reliable, but so expensive to develop.
7) Cars and drivers are not pushed near enough to the limit anywhere near often enough - top cars rarely fail, top drivers don't often make race compromising errors.
8 ) When drivers do make an error, or push too hard, the punishment is a tarmac run off area and losing (at most) a couple of seconds.
9) Driver market has stagnated at the top end - top drivers are happy to stay in their seat. Limited opportunities for others to join the best seats
I mostly agree, but I am not sure about point 3; it is something that happened in the past, a lot. Some of the gaps they had were several seconds, that's why they introduced the 107% rule so that they didn't have to worry about the great speed differences. But the better reliability is making it easy for the front runners go the distance nowadays, with less chances for a smaller team from behind to get a lucky win/placement.

Points 4 and 5 are true, but I would add that the biggest cost in F1 in this era - the engines - was not a cost cutting measure, rather a way to attract more partners commercially and make it more "relevant" to this era. Had they kept the "cheap" V8's, the smaller teams would have been in a better position.
The top 3 have had the advantage for so long now, and (safest bold prediction ever) will have again next season. Maybe 2021 will mix it up a bit, maybe not.

Yeah the grid is "closer" now than at times in the past, but.... the natural variables that mixed it up are so stretched that even small advantages are significant and consistent advantages.
I agree with you fully. You only have to look at McLaren and Williams though to see that even the biggest names (of their days) can fall from their grace. It can happen is all I'm saying

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Badgeronimous
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Location: Scotland & Abu Dhabi

Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Badgeronimous »

Siao7 wrote:
Badgeronimous wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
Badgeronimous wrote:Unpredictability isn't necessary a good thing, but there surely is no denying that F1 has became too predictable over these last 20yrs. The 2010's weren't a good decade.

However the variables that gave natural and purer unpredictability in the past have been removed or stretched so far that unpredicability doesn't happen very often any more.

1) Performance and budget have a strong co-relation.
2) The way F1 is now it would be very difficult to break into the top 3 without significant backing - as proven by the (lack of) podiums from other teams in the last 6 seasons.
3) It has seen the top 3 teams have a clear advantage over the rest of the field.
4) Cost cutting initiatives have made the sport even more expensive and.... harder for the gap to close.
5) Lack of testing has made gaps harder to close without huge budgets
6) As a by product, it has made the cars so reliable, but so expensive to develop.
7) Cars and drivers are not pushed near enough to the limit anywhere near often enough - top cars rarely fail, top drivers don't often make race compromising errors.
8 ) When drivers do make an error, or push too hard, the punishment is a tarmac run off area and losing (at most) a couple of seconds.
9) Driver market has stagnated at the top end - top drivers are happy to stay in their seat. Limited opportunities for others to join the best seats
I mostly agree, but I am not sure about point 3; it is something that happened in the past, a lot. Some of the gaps they had were several seconds, that's why they introduced the 107% rule so that they didn't have to worry about the great speed differences. But the better reliability is making it easy for the front runners go the distance nowadays, with less chances for a smaller team from behind to get a lucky win/placement.

Points 4 and 5 are true, but I would add that the biggest cost in F1 in this era - the engines - was not a cost cutting measure, rather a way to attract more partners commercially and make it more "relevant" to this era. Had they kept the "cheap" V8's, the smaller teams would have been in a better position.
The top 3 have had the advantage for so long now, and (safest bold prediction ever) will have again next season. Maybe 2021 will mix it up a bit, maybe not.

Yeah the grid is "closer" now than at times in the past, but.... the natural variables that mixed it up are so stretched that even small advantages are significant and consistent advantages.
I agree with you fully. You only have to look at McLaren and Williams though to see that even the biggest names (of their days) can fall from their grace. It can happen is all I'm saying
To be fair it is happening more and more across team sport.

The Champions League for example has became same old same old when it gets to the latter stages - a vast financial chasm based on geography and the haves and have nots. Plenty of huge teams across Europe left behind because of what country they are from and restricted to TV money.

I genuinely think team sport was better across the board 20-30yrs ago. Became too results focused, too professional and too money based.

mikeyg123
Posts: 17828
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by mikeyg123 »

Badgeronimous wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
Badgeronimous wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
Badgeronimous wrote:Unpredictability isn't necessary a good thing, but there surely is no denying that F1 has became too predictable over these last 20yrs. The 2010's weren't a good decade.

However the variables that gave natural and purer unpredictability in the past have been removed or stretched so far that unpredicability doesn't happen very often any more.

1) Performance and budget have a strong co-relation.
2) The way F1 is now it would be very difficult to break into the top 3 without significant backing - as proven by the (lack of) podiums from other teams in the last 6 seasons.
3) It has seen the top 3 teams have a clear advantage over the rest of the field.
4) Cost cutting initiatives have made the sport even more expensive and.... harder for the gap to close.
5) Lack of testing has made gaps harder to close without huge budgets
6) As a by product, it has made the cars so reliable, but so expensive to develop.
7) Cars and drivers are not pushed near enough to the limit anywhere near often enough - top cars rarely fail, top drivers don't often make race compromising errors.
8 ) When drivers do make an error, or push too hard, the punishment is a tarmac run off area and losing (at most) a couple of seconds.
9) Driver market has stagnated at the top end - top drivers are happy to stay in their seat. Limited opportunities for others to join the best seats
I mostly agree, but I am not sure about point 3; it is something that happened in the past, a lot. Some of the gaps they had were several seconds, that's why they introduced the 107% rule so that they didn't have to worry about the great speed differences. But the better reliability is making it easy for the front runners go the distance nowadays, with less chances for a smaller team from behind to get a lucky win/placement.

Points 4 and 5 are true, but I would add that the biggest cost in F1 in this era - the engines - was not a cost cutting measure, rather a way to attract more partners commercially and make it more "relevant" to this era. Had they kept the "cheap" V8's, the smaller teams would have been in a better position.
The top 3 have had the advantage for so long now, and (safest bold prediction ever) will have again next season. Maybe 2021 will mix it up a bit, maybe not.

Yeah the grid is "closer" now than at times in the past, but.... the natural variables that mixed it up are so stretched that even small advantages are significant and consistent advantages.
I agree with you fully. You only have to look at McLaren and Williams though to see that even the biggest names (of their days) can fall from their grace. It can happen is all I'm saying
To be fair it is happening more and more across team sport.

The Champions League for example has became same old same old when it gets to the latter stages - a vast financial chasm based on geography and the haves and have nots. Plenty of huge teams across Europe left behind because of what country they are from and restricted to TV money.

I genuinely think team sport was better across the board 20-30yrs ago. Became too results focused, too professional and too money based.
Is that true?

Last year the champions league semi finalists were -

Ajax - First time since 1997
Tottenham - First time ever
Barcelona- First time since 2015
Liverpool - Repeating after reaching the final in 2018 but before that hadn't reached the later stages since 2008.

Siao7
Posts: 8635
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 11:31 am

Re: Unpredictability: Holy Grail, or just a gaudy fake?

Post by Siao7 »

mikeyg123 wrote:
Badgeronimous wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
Badgeronimous wrote:
Siao7 wrote:
I mostly agree, but I am not sure about point 3; it is something that happened in the past, a lot. Some of the gaps they had were several seconds, that's why they introduced the 107% rule so that they didn't have to worry about the great speed differences. But the better reliability is making it easy for the front runners go the distance nowadays, with less chances for a smaller team from behind to get a lucky win/placement.

Points 4 and 5 are true, but I would add that the biggest cost in F1 in this era - the engines - was not a cost cutting measure, rather a way to attract more partners commercially and make it more "relevant" to this era. Had they kept the "cheap" V8's, the smaller teams would have been in a better position.
The top 3 have had the advantage for so long now, and (safest bold prediction ever) will have again next season. Maybe 2021 will mix it up a bit, maybe not.

Yeah the grid is "closer" now than at times in the past, but.... the natural variables that mixed it up are so stretched that even small advantages are significant and consistent advantages.
I agree with you fully. You only have to look at McLaren and Williams though to see that even the biggest names (of their days) can fall from their grace. It can happen is all I'm saying
To be fair it is happening more and more across team sport.

The Champions League for example has became same old same old when it gets to the latter stages - a vast financial chasm based on geography and the haves and have nots. Plenty of huge teams across Europe left behind because of what country they are from and restricted to TV money.

I genuinely think team sport was better across the board 20-30yrs ago. Became too results focused, too professional and too money based.
Is that true?

Last year the champions league semi finalists were -

Ajax - First time since 1997
Tottenham - First time ever
Barcelona- First time since 2015
Liverpool - Repeating after reaching the final in 2018 but before that hadn't reached the later stages since 2008.
I think Badgeronimous has a point, but yes, just look at Manchester United for example, how they fell from grace. Or how Leicester won the Premiership just a few years ago. So many examples, not only in football but in many sports.

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