Atlas F1

Readers' Comments

Updated: 4 May 1997 San Marino Issue

Passing another car is a difficult task at any time, but passing in F1 is made more difficult by the reliance the cars have on aerodynamical grip instead of mechanical grip. More mechanical and less aerodynamical grip would allow the cars to run closer through the corners, and hence down the straights. The next thing you know, drivers are trying to outbrake each other!!

Rather than introduce grooved slicks and narrower cars, why not reduce wing sizes or angles and increase rear tyre widths.

Cars and drivers appear to be on the ragged edge when oversteering out of a corner, something you don't see much of in F1 these days. The excitement generated when we see drivers controlling a power slide is what the sponsors and the FIA should be seeking.

Alan Owens

Who the hell decided that ITV should have the coverage of F1 this season. Please bring back the BBC. Most of the coverage consists of a bunch of smart alecs talking about what might happen, then what did happen. In between, we get loads of adverts. Why are the cars covered in adverts when we hardly get to see them nowadays?

Ian Larman

Ian: At this time, I'm afraid we agree with you. In the past four races, ITV has not delivered coverage over and above that of BBC and Eurosport coverage of F1 in years past. With all the hype surrounding ITV's broadcast schedule this year, MACH1 productions have failed miserably in materializing the importance of the sport over the presentation itself.

Aside from Martin Brundle's commentary and James Allen's support in the pits, the rest of the ITV team appears to have put their own self importance above that of the fans. Although Louise Goodman may be an F1 insider, but her impromptu interviews on pit-lane tend to leave us so embarrassed that we end up wincing and hiding our eyes.

Simon Taylor, Tony Jardine and the monotone Jim Rosenthal may be the heart of ITV's problems. Their condescending diatribe before and after the races leave us uninspired and disinterested. The fact that press conferences are tape delayed and edited in favor of their torturous re-creations and explanations of what what we were all perfectly able to watch and digest for ourselves, comes off as ignorant and amateurish. Not the best result for F1's broadcast re-organization in an effort for professionalism, commercialism and respectability.

As an American, I find myself almost yearning for Bob Varsha and an ESPN feed. Like Eurosport and the BBC, ESPN's budget for F1 is probably not what F1 Productions would encourage for a racing Mecca such as England. However, the BBC and Eurosport managed to do the job in gaining fan and sponsor support worldwide. For all the money poured into coverage by ITV, they have apparently done little in furthering this trend. However, I am not aware of the figures and the season still young. We will, painfully, tune in the rest of the year and see what transpires.

Thanks for your comments,

Paul Kaizar

I noted, with interest, Chris Becker's thoughts on my observations of the sub-standard performance of the Arrows racing stable... and, in particular, the attitude of Hill as it pertains to losing.

I did not have the benefit of hearing Hill's comments subsequent to his San Marino debacle; but I'll accept Mr. Becker's rendition that he was not the least bit pleased with the events that unfolded in a corner that could be re-named NASA corner for the substantial boost Nakano received from Hill.

If the reports reaching these shores are correct, I am given to understand that Hill was lapping some 3 seconds quicker than Nakano... a lifetime in F1 parlance. No doubt that Nakano was holding the racing line. And, no doubt that Hill was technically incorrect and vastly impolite (if not irrational), to undertake the action he did. Fortunately, no one was hurt. But, permit me if I offer up the following unintentionally perverse observation. God, it was almost inspiring to see Hill lose his otherwise tightly held, polished demeanour. May I say, with copious amounts of respect to all Senna fans of which I count myself... it was almost Senna-esque!

Let us also not lose sight of the fact that Hill was not the only one at San Marino to be less than captivated by Nakano's driving performance... there is the matter of an Alain Prost who ultimately will have more input on Nakano's F1 tenure than any action Hill may impart.

No matter how many ways we shape this event and Hill's reaction to it, nothing can diminish the cloak of embarrasment I feel for any driver who is last year's World Champion, then finds himself being shackled to a grossly inferior mount the following year. Regardless of anyone's opinion of Hill and his driving abilities, surely we all share in the hand of F1 fate he has been dealt this year.

Do I hear the distant whine of a Honda V-10...?

Ward Hargreaves

I thoroughly agree with Mr. Adam Jones about Damon Hill. In fact, he is a superb driver. The only problem with him is that he is also a compulsive impersonator (since he discovered to be a Anthony Perkins lookalike, his secret dream was always to be a famous actor and eventually win an Oscar). So, in the last 36 years he is playing the role of an idiot, and we must recognize that he makes it with perfection. His most recent appearance was in Imola, acting with Mr. Nakano.

Nuno Becker

Aside from the change for the tires which seem ridiculous to me, what about the new width of the car. I do not know all of the technical implications. But, these changes seem likely to increase the difference between medium size teams (Ligier, Jordan, Sauber etc..) and the leaders (due to budgets).

I do not think F1 is gaining anything of of these new changes.

Sylvain Denis

I think that Schumacher's blocking swerve manoeuvres are outrageous (most recently cutting off HHF in San Marino).

When he's being overtaken, he threatens to push the other car off the track (eg., Villeneuve in Brazil at the first start this year and Hill in various races in 1995&6). Then, when finally he is overtaken, he dares to suggest that the other racer was dangerous (eg that Villeneuve's passing manoeuvre in 1996 in Spain) was "dangerous".

Its a shame when a man of such racing talent is too insecure to accept that he's been fairly passed.

Leaders in their sports have a responsibility to develop and promote sportsmanship - rather than let the sport degenerate into a culture of ruthlessly winning at everyone else's expense.

Champions like Pete Sampras and Tiger Woods warm the hearts of many fans around the world. Its a shame that the ex-Formula One champions do not. Lets hope that Jacque Villeneuve may set a good example.

Sunny Choong

How refreshing it was to hear Giancarlo Fisichella's comments after the San Marino Grand Prix. Not moaning or complaining, or citing tire wear, gearbox problems etc.. Instead, he had something positive to say:

"I am very happy with today's work," said Giancarlo. "It was a hard race, with lots of fighting between myself and Ferrari and McLaren, but I enjoyed it and I was very happy with the car. We have a car capable of finishing in the top three at any race now, and with a little more luck we could have been on the podium here."

I'd like to hear more of it!

Mike Whooley.

I find that Ward Hargreaves comments are interesting and, with the benifit of hindsight, rather ironic.

I think that the Yamaha engine will last only until such time as a suitable replacement is found. It surprises me that Tom Walkinshaw fails to notice that, based on the Yamaha's results, a rubber band would be a suitable replacement.

The irony begins with Mr Hargreaves' comment "Walkinshaw does not strike me as a man who suffers losing gracefully...ditto for Mr. Hill.", and goes on to say "It is bad enough to watch last year's champion subjected to this display of mechanical ineptitude only to have this view further exacerbated by the unequal driving results of one H.H. Frentzen.". You are certainly correct about Damon Hill not being able to lose gracefully. Hill's comments on the TV broadcast at the San Marino Grand Prix were amazing to say the least. After performing a kamikaze manoeuvre on Nakano thus taking them both out, Hill has the gall to suggest that Nakano shouldn't have been in his way. Does Hill realise that he was not lapping Nakano? he was racing for a position. Not to mention that you must first finish to get a place.

Even though I have the benifit of hindsight, it is not difficult to see that Hill is the Claytons world champion (i.e. the world champion you have when you do not have a world champion). He is fine whilst in front driving the fastest car but, put him in a position where he has to overtake and he is diabolical. Proof of this came on more than one occasion last year. A memorable one was when he spun the Williams a number of times whilst trying to keep up with the leaders, and eventually failed to finish the race due to damage sustained. I think that you will find that name D. Hill will stand for Down Hill in the future. I give him two more years in F1 if he is lucky. I wonder whether Indycar teams would consider him? Yeh, he would fit in well with the likes of Kamikaze De Ferrin.

As for the driving results of Frentzen, I do not really need to comment here. Even though HH still looks a little ungainly (his attempted pass on M.Schumacher), I think that you will see a marked improvement in the rest of the season. I guess this is not a difficult task!

It was terrific to see the Germans dominating San Marino, although I would have much preferred to see Schumacher win. No ranting and swearing about Germans here Mr. Barker. At the moment, being German and driving F1 is a fantastic combination.

Chris Becker

I`m from Montreal,Canada. I grew up in the same neighbourhood than Gilles Villeneuve and still remember Gilles walking through tables in pubs in our hometown collecting funds from friendly customers in order to help him making it in Atlantic formula. His great racing aptitudes were already obvious when we were watching Gilles and trying to compete against him in snowbile races. He never forgot his pals from Berthierville and was always coming back -- even as a Ferrari driver to visit us and share stories and laughs around some Labatt beers. His simplicity was not faked and his honesty was appreciated even when it could hurt when he telling the whole truth.

Seeing Jacques Villeneuve continuing the tradition is fantastic for us Canadians. It brings us closer together as a united people and a nation, especially at a time when we need it more than ever. Jacques is the most popular Canadian around the world now, and proud to be. He has improved in his own way the basic raw and agreesive natural talent picked up from his dad. I believe this will result in a maturity + intelligence + natural blended talent... in other words, A World Champion!

On May 2, we will remember 1982 and the terrible tragedy that brought Gilles to the great "unknown race track" where he is probably teaching the angels on how to get faster with their wings!

May Gilles, the angels and God protect our Jacques for a long long time. We invite you all to our Canadian Grand Prix! Best regards.

Jimmy Cardin

Once again, I write in about the tyres. What Villeneuve is saying is 100% correct. Formula One will not only react like a Formula Ford with grooves, it will also look ugly and not represent what the pinnacle of motorsport should.

If Max Mosley says: if aerodynamic changes made never work, then widen the rear tyres which should put the drivers closer together and overtaking would be plentiful.

In looking at the results for the first two practice sessions, the 107% rule was about 2 seconds off Trulli who was 22nd. Isn't that proof that F1 is getting more competitive and closer than ever? The top 11 are within a second of eachother. After all, isn't that what F1 is all about: going forwards, NOT BACKWARDS? You're not the only one upset by this Jacques and, it might not do much, but I'm 100% behind you. I wish fans had more say in this.

Mike Cox

I just want to say that I love F1. I hate to see F1 having grooved tires next year. I really think the FIA should be operated something like any government body. If the majority don't approve, they will all be out of a job.

Robert Shiu

Since Moxley appeared on scene, all the changes have been terrible. It seems as if he wanted to have turtles instead of F1 cars. Why don't you organize a poll, with the help of the Renault Site, the Shell Site, the Rothmans Site, and deliver it to the FIA guys.

Jose Antonio Bravo Garcia

The people who started the myths about Frentzen being as quick as Schumacher are looking pretty silly now. I am a Hill fan but i like Frentzen. Don't tell me Heinz-Harold was an equal swap for Hill at Williams -- Damon is a class above Frentzen on the track.

Adam Jones

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