Thursday Thoughts – What Is This- “Back To The Future IV ?”

Greetings Young Apprentices!

Here we see my own answer to ultimately both my own question and Lukeh’s question of last week, the difference being filling in Bernie’s shoes as the guy who makes the contracts need to get F1 running smoothly, and Jean Todt, the man ultimately responsible for everything in the FIA.  In this article, we look at how the cars are defined, the start procedures, and the circuits themselves.

1.0)  Cars:

The first really thing to do is to redesign the current cars.  As radical as these ideas are, they are actually a though back to the way things used to be in F1.

1.1)   The cars must not only be street legal but either a:) but must be readily available to the general public. b)  Be prototypes of  future street legal cars to be sold to the general public. c) The interior must be accessible to at the open air at all times.  (This is open cockpit racing, not ISMA)

1.2)  Constructors can either build their own cars or purchase a car or parts thereof.

1.3)  Engines are unrestricted in terms of  displacement, but are limited to a maximum number of 96 valves and 24 cylinders, per car.     Multiple engine blocks, and drive shafts are allowed .

1.4) Gearboxes are limited to no more than seven speed manual transmissions, plus reverse gear.

1.5)  No wings.  all aerodynamic devices must be incorporated into the bodywork of the actual car.  Spoiler type devices, such as those used on road legal cars are permissible.  Ground effect systems under the car, go wild. (take a look under the chassis of a Ferrari Enzo, and you will see this is consistent with other policies stated here.)

1.6)  Addition of a FIA approved roll bar is required for both driver and passenger’s seat.  Yup.  The passenger’s seat is to be included in the race car. 

1.7) Gearboxes are made to a standard specification,which can be made by any of the marquee teams, as both customer and works parts.


The idea is your are supposed to be able to sell the car after the race if desired.  Remember the motto, “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday ?”  Well, the my design specifications are such that the ultimate crazy idea of four-wheel independent drive, an independent engine is connected to each wheel is legal provided if each engine has a maximum of 6 cylinders and 24 valves or lower.


Mr. C decides to get a life:  Mr. C decides to stretch my example of a car by purchasing a Chevrolet SSR and two McLaren F1’s, he strips the engines from all three cars, inserts a fuel cell to the front of the SSR and mates the two 5=6.1 litre V-12’s from the Maccas to make a 96 valve,  12.2 litre, W-24 engine giving 1014 kW of power with two driveshafts, using the bed to store the engine.  If he does well his car is declared illegal as it is not a convertible.  Either way, the gauntlet has been dropped.

Christine completes a life goal:  She wins a lottery and enters this race the laziest way possible by purchasing the one of the five Bugatti Veyron Super Sport edition rated to do 431 km/h.  The engine has 64 valves and is of a W-16 cylinder design and is rated at 1,001 hp or 736 kW of power.  Seems her intention is to lap the field a few times at Monza…..If she gets the T (Targa)-top, model, we are all in trouble.  (T-Tops) could almost be called open-cockpit…..

Steven drives a Roadster: My plan is to find an old-fashioned roadster or racer (1953 Ferrari would be about perfect)  which used to carry the engine at the front of the car.  You   see, I am thinking of dropping an 1800 kW Napier Sabre VA  H-24 engine into it and then find out Steven’s next of kin.  I need this particular type of car as the engine has a displacement of 37 litres!  Never heard of a Sabre engine?  well, they have been around since 1938…okay the experts among you are wondering where do I pick up the Hawker Typhoon aircraft  for the engine – my guess would be somewhere in Holland.  Swampy ground should preserve slightly used aircraft….

The name is Lukeh, James Lukeh…:  Realizing that he is a little outmatched in the top speed department, Lukeh decides to have a shot of winning the circuits that have portions of the track beside water as by entering a Lotus Espirit. Not just any Lotus Espirit, but the submarine-car version used by James Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me”.  Now Lukeh can cut the Monaco circuit and go directly from Portier to La Rascasse!  When pointed out that the Espirit is not an open cockpit,  Lukeh picks up a Rinspeed SQuba, which is an open-cockpit car. No details are know if it comes with a blonde Russian Spy as standard.  But perhaps I have blown Lou’s cover?   “Nyet, Nyet, Nyet….” She says….. 

2.0)  Start procedure:

Traditionally, the cars used to form up in a line-abreast formation with every odd-numbered row having three cars and every even row having two cars except the final row which might have one or two cars.  The two cars were positioned to be  in the space between the three cars in front of them so that the first five cars all shared a clear view directly in front of their drivers.

Currently, there are two columns of cars which are staggered so that the odd-numbered position is about half the distance ahead of the even number positioned car, which is further disadvantaged by being on the dirty side of the track. 

My solution is to combined the two starting procedures so that there  are a total of  five columns of cars that are staggered towards the dirtiest side of the circuit.  It would look like this:  The numbers are the grid positions.



(3)        (4)

      (5)         (6)

(7)      (8)          (9)

      (10)      (11)

(12)      (13)        (14)

      (15)       (16)

(17)     (18)       (19)

     (20)         (21)

(22)      (23)         (24)

      (25)       (26)

Assuming that the clear line of the circuit is on the left hand side.  As you can see, the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th and 9th placed cars all have a relativity clear track  in front of them at the start of the race. It also reduces the length of the grid by about a half, which should lead to tighter racing into the first corner, as there is not a massive spread between pole and last places.

2.1)  The traditional parade lap will also stand in effect, with the maximun distance between the cars to be 10 meters.

2.2)  The traditional standing start, with five red red lights going out to start the race, will remain in effect.

2.3)  Cars that did not survive pre-qualifying are allowed to enter if the race has been red flagged.

3.0) Circuits:

I would start with a throwback to the more traditional circuits in F1.  As much as I will endeavour to make the circuits safe, I realize that tikle-dromes are not the way to go.  I view deaths at a race track as a risk that has to be taken, not as something to be completely removed.  Tikle has even failed this aspect at his tracks.  More people have died from boredom watching F1 at Tilkedromes than have driven in F1 from 1950 to today….

3.1)  I am afraid that most of the European circuits will have to be reprofiled to the point I would like them to be.   There would be a total of 21 circuits available for use in Formula 1.  Ideally, a 20 year cycle is used so that the reserve track can be modernized to being it up to current F1 standards.

3.2)  All pit lanes are to be widened to be able to handle more than three cars abreast for safety reasons.  The pit lanes must be widened during the year off if not already done so.

3.3)  Tilke-dromes are to be replaced by order tracks as their contacts expire.  As cars have made themselves safer, the requirements for safety will be lessened with regards to asphalt run-off areas, gravel traps and other methods that allow the cars to re-enter the track with very little penalty. 

3.4)  Bahrain’s 3.5 km11-turn “Outer Cicruit” is to be used to create overtaking opportunies.


Thursday Thoughts – Star Wars F1 ?

Last week Lukeh asked what you would do to Formula 1 if you where in Bernie’s shoes.  I replied not much as to me, Bernie’s job is really to create the contracts needed to make F1 run smoothly.  We all know that he is part of the Concorde Argeements: of how the prize money is divided by the teams; of which teams; which drivers; and most importantly to us fans; which circuits can enter F1.  Clearly a major player, but in terms of the Star Wars Universe, a Jabba the Hutt character.  Very Powerful, no Jedi Mind Trick will work on him, he’s informed of whatever goes on in his domain, although not quite with it outside of his domain, but all-powerful ? No, as the Jedi Mastersaid before dying, “There is another Sky—–”

So who do you turn to if you think that your opponents floorboard flexes under the car? Want to make sure your double diffuser is legal? Wondering why only the rear brake ducts are glowing on a competitors car? Questions about your F-duct? It is not Bernie you run too….

So who is powerful enough to have even Jabba the Hutt or Darth Vader quaking in their boots?  Why the Emperor Jean Todt!  Okay he just rubbers stamps Bernie’s deals but in all other aspects of F1 Todt’s the boss.  As President of the FIA, everything else – safety, technical aspects of cars, number of teams, number of cars, planned operating budgets, kinds and number of tyres are drivers allowed to enter F1? Hiring of the race stewards, start procedures eventually, ultimate responsibility falls on Todt’s shoulders.

So my question is “What would you do to Formula 1 if, Like Jean Todt –  purple lighting bolts could fly out of your hands? as part of your powers as President of the FIA?