Formula 1


The Alfa Romeo livery from last week was also a one-off. Which is a pity, because it looks much better than their real livery:

Even so, I think Alfa Romeo actually have one of the best looking cars on the grid. I don’t hate any of the liveries this year, though a few are a bit boring.

My ranking!

I like:
Alfa Romeo
Racing Point

Toro Rosso
Red Bull

Ferrari … the “red” mostly looks orange on the TV footage. How can you fuck up “A Red Car” design so badly?


The Haas reminds me of the Lotus cars from a few years ago, minus the red accent.


The Netflix F1 show is pretty good for someone with moderately-interested-American level of knowledge about the sport.

Daniel Ricciardo’s PR team is much better than Max Verstappen’s.


I’m really enjoying it so far. It works for someone like me who watches the races and follows the news and gossip and politics. I know how all the stories are going to end, and who will crash in each race, but it’s great to see the focus on the moments behind the scenes. Reading about the driver rivalries and backroom politics is one thing, but seeing the moments between the Red Bull and Renault bosses is soooo great.


I didn’t know F1 has these press conferences where they make guys from different teams sit next to each other! Awkward and awesome. I can’t imagine LeBron and Kevin Durant sitting at the same table postgame and taking questions about what team the other is playing for next year.


Race 1 Melbourne here we go!


Here’s the thing: Sebastian Vettel isn’t good enough to be a Ferrari driver. He’s just weak. In five races last year he cracked under pressure from Hamilton and others, and fucked up his own race.

And he’s back at it!

Last year, if Alonso had been in Vettel’s car, he’d have won the championship. Verstappen too. And probably a few others on the grid who would kill for a Ferrari drive.

This is super clear now, because in the first two races this he’s already been shown up by Charles Leclerc, who was told not to try to overtake Vettel in Australia when he could have given it a go, and in Bahrain overtook Vettel and just disappeared into the distance. His car was better than Mercedes enough to pass Bottas and keep ahead of Hamilton, so he is the driver a dominant car deserves. Vettel was as far behind Leclerc as Bottas was to Hamilton.

Leclrec is obviously a world class talent, and I’m super excited to see him do well this year. Vettel is already showing that he should be a Bottas-like wingman, at best. The real battle this year is between Hamilton and Leclerc. I hope it’s a good one, because Vettel and Bottas and Raikkonen haven’t been up to the challenge these last few years. Again it just makes me think more and more highly of Nico Rosberg.


Everything I know about F1 (what little that is), comes from the Netflix show. I wish that Ferrari and Mercedes had given the TV people permission to cover them more, because while I liked the show a lot, it felt weird to have the two best teams not covered at all. I did like the little sub-plot about Charles Leclerc wanting to drive for Ferrari and was happy to see him get the job.

Hopefully Netflix does another series for the 2019 F1 season.


As an F1 fan, I liked that the main story wasn’t Hamilton vs Vettel, as it could concentrate way more on smaller stories I didn’t know so much. For more distant viewers, it’s a big pity.

Are they doing it again for another season?

1 Like

Kimi is my guy, so I was grumpy he got demoted, but Leclerc really does seem like some new hotness.


I thought I saw at the end of season 1 that they’d be doing a season 2.

Apparently for season 2, F1 is trying to get all the teams involved:

1 Like

Here isn’t a video so targeted at the Geeknights audience it’s kind of crazy. The argument being made is probably not a shock to anyone here but I almost never see it laid out so matter-of-factly in the world of F1 media coverage. I think there should be lots of discussion about this singular topic before any new mechanical or aerodynamic rules are decided upon.


This is literally what the FIA and Liberty Media and the teams are discussing right now. It’s all part of the rule changes for 2021 on.


From what I’ve heard of the 2021 rules, they are focused on bits and bobs and limits of design and such. The purported goal being to improve the ability of cars to safely and consistently race close to each other. Instead I think a serious discussion about how teams can get caught in a failure or success loop and we don’t see much variety over a season or multiple season in who the best and worst teams are. MotoGP introduced some of these a few years ago with the Open vs Factory rules differences.


Also all the rule changes about more equitable sharing of prize money, clarifying how many parts a team can buy from another, budget caps to make it so that big teams can’t outspend smaller teams by too much, and all that kind of thing. This is what the current negotiations are about. The car design and technical rules are a different issue which play into it a bit, but only so much in that it doesn’t increase costs too much for engine suppliers and things.


Oh no. I like that F1 doesn’t have a salary cap. They’ve made the other sports such a mess.


F1 should require stock cars :smirk:


The problem is that F1 is about advancing engineering as much as it is about driving skills.

Rather than stock cars, F1 needs to be more like pinewood derby. Everyone gets exactly the same materials to work with. Literally the same factories, the same windtunnel, the same carbon fiber, the same tires, the same everything. Teams can make as much money as they want, but every team has exactly $X to spend on developing the car. Just like in Warhammer where your army can only have X points of units no matter how wealthy the player is.

Whoever can make the best cars out of the same (very large) pile of stuff, and also throw in having a great driver. That’s where it’s at.

There is the separate problem where advantages of car matter more than advantages of driver. A middle of the pack driver in the top car is going to win or come close. A god-tier driver, even Schumacher or Senna in their prime, could not make a piece of shit car win the race. If we want to test driver skill more, the design of the cars and tracks needs to be intentionally restricted as to make driving vastly more difficult. I can’t say excatly what those changes should be, but it is theoretically possible.

A simple idea that could be implemented very easily is a luxury tax and revenue sharing like what MLB has. You can avoid having the strict salary cap, which is also bad because it is an unfair cap on labor expenditures. Yet, you can also help achieve more competitive balance. Teams can spend as much as they want, but if they spend more than X, they have to pay a penalty tax. That tax money goes to the crappier teams, who now will have more money to spend and become competitive.


A luxury tax going to the bottom teams is interesting, though given how stingy Mercedes and Ferrari are I suspect they would go right up to that line and find clever ways to avoid paying out money. I like various ideas of giving the truly bottom feeder teams extra bonuses, like extra engine allocations or running a 3rd car in practice or allowed to burn more fuel or something. Of course there would have to be more of a disconnect between F1 sister teams (like Red Bull & Torro Rosso) as well as when teams buy parts from other teams (like engines) to prevent the top teams from directly benefitting from the bottom team bonuses. It also could entice new teams and manufacturers into joining F1, like Porsche and Audi and others that have suggested potential interest.

As you point out Scott, F1 at it’s core racing identity is about pushing the bleeding edge of automotive technology. So any restrictions on development and homogenized cars is antithetical to the identity and purpose of F1.