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Hagerty Employee

Are F1 and NASCAR manufacturing drama?

Typically, Formula 1 and NASCAR are worlds apart. That's not entirely the case this year, with the two series bound by their respective debuts of brand-new cars.­ F1 is two grand prix into its campaign with a heavier, swoopier open-wheel racer. NASCAR is six races into its Cup Series season, utilizing an independently-sprung sequential-shifting stocker.
Advanced Driver

I don't know enough about nascar to know if their new car will help their problems, but they've gotta do something. There's better racing at your local dirt track or on the back roads at 3am then there is at Daytona.
Intermediate Driver

I'd make an argument that some of the artificiality of F1 has been bled off this season.
The series has long been wringing their hands about how to fix the problem of passing while a basic solution was always staring them in the face. In fact, I recall Jacques Villeneuve being asked on camera (perhaps towards the end of his F1 career or lot long after,) what could be done to allow cars to follow closely and pass each other. "Just take the aero off the cars," said JV. That was a kind of shorthand for what we have now- adding ground effects and designing aero that allows air leaving the rear of the car to not introduce turbulence onto a following car.
It's no coincidence this change is coming from new management that wants to improve the show and protect the future of the sport and not just concentrate on making management-favorable contracts with the teams without much thought to the future. Looking at you, Bernie.
And having Ross Brawn in a decision-making capacity was a brilliant choice.
This year feels way more like actual racing than artificial gimmicks to me.
Intermediate Driver

I stopped watching NASCAR when they moved away from stock bodied cars so I can't comment on that series. On the other hand, I have been a Formula 1 fan for more than 25 years and have witnessed many changes to the formula over those years. The root of F1's issues is the reliance (some might say over reliance) on aerodynamically generated downforce. The Drag Reduction System was supposed to improve racing (e.g. more on track passing) and that was enacted well before Netflix arrived on the scene. So I don't but into the theory that the rule changes are the result of the current media landscape. I have concluded, however, that unlike DRS alone the new cars have not artificially improved the show.
Pit Crew

When Nascar went to 'stages', they lost me. Three stages, three separate races. Restarts all bunched up with the possibility of a wreck. Obviously done for TV.

I left NASCAR when they went to stages and when a guy who sat out half the year with a broken leg won the championship. 


But here is the reality. Real Racing Died a long time ago. There really is no real pure racing in these top series anymore. Why? Costs. 


The old days of one team dominating for years are over as companies all  want their drivers to win but they want to do it on a budget. Ratings are down also on racing as is attendance so they all are looking for ways to even up the competition  and to keep cost down. 


Like the new car in NASCAR. It is here at the request of the team owners to cut the cost of racing. This is also why the penalties are so high to un approved mods. These teams were building cars weekly and had teams of engineers and equipment to make them all identical as they could or to add advantages. This drove up cost at a time sponsorship money was going down. 

Even F1 cost need to be contained as a number of the teams no longer have unlimited budgets.  Also they know the entertainment value of a number of teams being competitive is good for ratings. If Hamilton wins every race after a while people stop watching. 


Local racing is more fun and competitive at times but everyone that is competitive generally cheats some place. We did. 


Same with BOP in WEC and IMSA. They are trying to control cost and make for a good show. 


Racing is a sport and entertainment not pure competition anymore and that is what money does. 

Advanced Driver

I've gravitated to following grassroots racing and Sprint cars on dirt. To me that's real action.

Anytime NASCAR is compared to F1 I stop reading. NASCAR is a show for the rubes. F1 is war without the bullets.

Truer words never written. Bump drafting in stock car racing may be an art form, but watching it for 2 1/2 hours? We long knew an otherwise interesting fellow addicted to NASCAR. A friend suggested we give him a dog dish with some colored BBs or ball bearings, suggesting he twirl those and cut his utility bill.

Where's the thumbs down button. Snob.
Advanced Driver

The other day I read NASCAR was considering electric cars. All they need is groves in the track and they can call their newest boring endeavor National Association for Slot Car Auto Racing. Maybe to make this stupidity more like real cars is incorporate Ford's real engine sound player available on the sacrilegious Mustang E then broadcast it on loud speakers.

F1 has the attention of a new wave of younger fans due to related media getting them watching the actual races. I'm not one of them, know some of these new fans and am a bit surprised by it all. Too much in-team shenanigans impacting race outcome that are obvious in F1 for me.


Nascar overcomplicates itself. Run a "stock" body that is 10% or less variance from a vehicle you have sold in USA more than 5000 examples of. The engine must have been in at least 500 of those. Whatever aero/tech is allowed is generic for all teams with clear limits. Ford sells a new Thunderbird that has an aero advantage --good on them. If a 4-door Camry is the best platform --good for Toyota. If Chevy wants to bring back the Lumina and sell 500 of them with a 572 with dual turbos and a supercharge it --fun.


Or... concede that it isn't about stock cars at all and get free of false brand rivalries that do not matter to many people under 40. Run the spec car/chassis and engine. Everyone gets the same go-cart and push the driver talent as the show, but let them drive. 


See, I'd go nuttier and make them "draw" what body they have to run for the season, scaled onto the generic chassis. 51 Hudson vs. 70 Daytona vs. 91 Lumina  --even better make it a draft so the top performers of the previous season get to select their body last. I bet the "body draft lottery" show would get good ratings... Manufacturers could sponsor in a new body but only allow 1 example (so Toyota wants 5 cars they have to be 5 different things)


Folks it is all cost and money driven. 

it is about making money, keeping things affordable and keeping the racing close. 

Technology has killed most racing as you can win if you spend more. The trouble is when many spend more than they can make to keep a team alive and a sponsor happy. 

Even in soap box derby they have gone to kit cars to retain cost and make them easier to police. It also helps keep races closer. It is hard to get people to race if they don’t stand a chance. 

NASCAR has a kit car as they were asked by teams to control costs. Teams used to get one big sponsor for a year now they need 3-6 small sponsors to pay the bills. 

How many times have we seen IMSA struggle to keep teams, sponsors and mfgs involved. 

Pure racing is over even in WOO as they used to pretty much let them do what they wanted on weight. Today exotic materials are limited due to cost. 

Even in NASCAR the the engines are no longer close to production. The Toyota is pure race as it was never production. They have considered going to a set engine and only stopped because the mfgs are not willing to do that. ARCA is using an Illmore V8 now. 

Hybrids are coming and at some point Electric is going to be seen as that is what the mfgs want to promote. 

It is just what is going on and why. 

When names went on the cars the pure left racing for good. 

The Lemons series is about as close to pure racing left. 




I want real stock car racing. Give me a bunch of off the showroom cars. For safety purposes only, a maximum weight limit plus a roll/crash cage for the driver. Speed limit them to 100 MPH by digital governor, again for safety. Then let them race on a variety of courses and ovals. Only allow dealer supplied standard parts. It would be cheap to operate and much more fun for fans. Horsepower torque, weight, aerodynamics and handling would all become interesting variables across the various manufacturers. Lets call it the RASCAR series: Real Authentic Stock CARs.

Creatively you might even be able to find a way to race ICUs against electrics.
Pit Crew

Real racers and real race fans know that what happens on track is only a portion of the race. I remember doing a pit walk at an F1 race and overhearing a girl being giddy about the pit wall seat that a particular engineer uses (and no, not because he was hot.) A true movie fan is aware of the music, of the different camera angles used, the pacing of the dialogue. If all the new movies are pablum that fan will search out the independent films. This season I will probably spend more time up the street and the dirt track and some club races.
Also, budget caps are worthless. These teams are in business. They will spend whatever the value of the championship is worth to them. The value of the championship is a lot more to a team like Mercedes or Ferrari than a team like Haas. If it's worth 200 million to Ferrari but only 20 million to Haas and you put a budget cap of 150 million Haas isn't going to suddenly spend 130 million more because now they can complete with Ferrari. Nor will Ferrari spend 50 million less if they see the value. They will find a way to allocate resources accordingly if need be. It's like if you have to go buy a new sound system. You could get something that plays music for as low a $10 or you could spend easily more than $10,000 for an audiophile system. You will spend what it's worth to you, not a penny more, and probably not a penny less unless you can get what you want for less. If Ferrari is running away with the championship at 150 million, great. If it's too close they will find a way to spend up to an extra 50. The same is for every team on any grid.

Actually much of how much someone spends comes from how much money they can draw in from sponsorship. Also some teams bring in drivers based not on skill but how much money they bring in to the team. 

Top teams like Benz and Ferrari can ask top dollar for their teams vs Haas that is new and is living mostly on Carl Haas personal financing. 

Even big name have struggles like McLaren. They no longer have the deep pockets of Marlboro. Lotus was a top team but vanished due to money. Others have sold out due to money or lack there of. 

The days of unlimited budgets have damaged F1 and the new F1 owners want to grow the brand globally so they want to keep the tech and strategy but they want more on track action. 

The days where one team dominates and lesser teams are non competitive are limited. They are working to equal the teams and bring the cost down. 

Nascar > Boring to me. Between stages and the fact the cars have no relation between the race car and the production car anymore I have no interest in it. If they were based off an actual car people could buy that would be great but I doubt that day will ever come back.

F1 just has not been interesting to me for awhile. It feels like they are being held back on purpose. What is the point of F1 today?
Intermediate Driver

NASCAR is on the same channel as WWE and are trying their best to be "Entertainment" not racing anymore. The new cars are more suited to younger drivers, hence all of the winners so far this year are the under 30 crowd. The stupid one lug wheels and rubber-band tires do not make for competitive racing.
Intermediate Driver

And then you see guys "win" a race that's rain shortened and the sun comes out 10 minutes later!

 Is it heresy to be a case-hardened, lifelong autoholic but not care in the least about any racing?
 Bump drafting in stock car racing may be a fine skill, even art form. But watching it for 2 1/2 hours? A mutual friend suggested we give an otherwise interesting pal a dog dish and some colored ball bearings or BBs he might twirl reducing his utility bill.

 The technology of various race cars fascinating, and it's engrossing to walk through the pits at a vintage race, examine a '30s Alfa, etc.  But watching them go round and round whether oval or undulating course?  No thanks.

  Driving an old sports, GT, or "road car," to use a term forgotten today, the latter describing a stock passenger car that was a good distance speed car, giving it its head on an open road--if you can still find one with over a third of a billion people in the US --  now you're talking.

 Nothing against racing.  We understand the attraction. Some folks like to watch others have sex.  Just wondering if there are other gearheads who could care less?


 Please don't justify your passion with "racing improves the breed."  That's like citing war as spur to technological development.   Just before War II we had the cyclotron (1939), electron microscope (1940), live television broadcast '36 Berlin Olympics, 1939-40 NY World's Fair, fully electronic color TV John Baird, Scotland, August, 1944.


  It's human nature to develop, improve, fine-tune.   You want to marvel at ground effects machines piloted by paragons of eye/hand coordination, or those with ability to throw a baseball 90+ mph with surgical precision, or hit same, have at it.


  Only wondering if we're allowed to be indifferent but retain our car guy cred.

Intermediate Driver

Neither Series gets it! And both are on the path to irrelevancy.

As far asI am concerned: So What real Racing stopped many years ago when simple machines with basic rules and chivalry where the Show and furthermore JV was right: remove the Air ( and for that Matter a lot of the other Junk Why don't we just run Driverless cars then we can also have a big competition on who builts the best Computer-Dtriver
Intermediate Driver

I followed NASCAR as long as it was NASCAR, stock car racing. I was lucky enough to have met King Richard many times at the LVCC, as well as so many of the real stock car racers. Back in the day Racers such as Harry Gant, who raced in Wing Tips and they raced cars bought and conned from real dealerships. I saw such notables race, as well as Ayerton Senna, Michael Schumacher. There was a time when a racers skill and engineering feedback spawned the wins that such as Mario Andreotti enjoyed. They stepped into any motor vehicle and the race driver flowed. Be it on dirt, bricks or wooden planks or even ICE, Henry Ford. Now, non race driver RULEMAKERS decide what is best. Don't get me wrong, SAFTEY I #1. But racing is for RACERS!! Or used to be. A race of 5 100 mile segments is no 500 mile race. Open wheeled is OPEN WHEELED. F1 is a dedication to the engineering and enginuity of the racers. Or it used to be. Sports car racing is the only racing for fans now. Go to a race and you can meet the drivers. You can go on the grid before the race and see the cars and owners. You can camp on the grounds for days, view from anyplace by the track. You will see the cars YOU can and are urged to buy. You can also see dedicated racecars that extend the visions of speed, within safety guidelines, that are the future of transportation in so many ways and the tracks are so diverse and the times, up to 24 hours of CONTINUOUS racing, 12 choirs,10 hours and 4 or 5 classes of vehicles AT THE same time. Excitement still exists in racing besides waiting for THE BIG ONE!! Please join me for Long Beach, the next Sports Car ( actual race).

Hmmm...not a Jeff Gordon fan Cameron?
Intermediate Driver

stock cars on road courses are fun to watch. also pocono. but nobody in any series is allowed to build a 'faster' car. the idea of a 24hr race's top finishers being a few seconds apart is ridiculous. balance of performance is goshawful. that man who built and qualified an f1 car in his own garage with a rented cosworth engine is one of my heros. so's the canadian who took the lotus twincam out of his cortina and put it in his lotus 18 fjr, bought his fia license, and qualified for the watkins glen f1 race.
Intermediate Driver

I watch F1 for the spectacle. I also watch F2 and F3 for the close racing. Wouldn’t know about NASCAR. Never watch.
Pit Crew

NASCAR lost me years ago when they started the "Chase" point system. They might as well use the old IROC cars and get it over with. NHRA lost me with another version of that point system. The 4 wide racing is ridiculous and even the drivers call it a cluster. F1 in my opinion has allowed too much technology to numb the racing. Maybe I'm just "old school", but I liked it when drivers and pit crews had the largest effect on the outcome of the races.
Pit Crew

I used to watch nascar regularly for years til they decided every one had to fit into one set of templates so they could bunch them together til they crashed. Then nascar wondered why the stands got so empty. If nascar believes we only want to see crashes instead of real car racing I'll switch channels all day. F1 doesn't do anything for me at all. A bunch of rich companies trying to one up each other.

Some of the most exciting racing anywhere is to be found watching E types, D types, Listers and Shelbys duke it out on 5 1/2 inch wide tyres. I love F1 but theres something special about 2 or 3 drivers you've never heard of drifting side by side at the absolute limit. Maybe F1 needs 6" wide bias racing tyres and no aero instead of manipulated finishes to fix a championship.

Racing used to be based on ingenuity and driver skill. That lasted till the 60’s and that is when money via Sponsors and MFGs took over. 

At this time technology started to take off as more exotic materials and better understanding of mechanicals and aero came about. 

That took things to the next level where in many series the engineers took over from the drivers. 

The 917 killed Can Am. Chevy and Ford killed Trans Am. 
Several teams killed F1 with unlimited spending. 
Indy went from run what you brung to almost everyone with the same Eagle and Cosworth. The 962 and the elimination of Camel killed IMSA. 

Yes these series come and go but they never were the same. 

Now it is economics. Teams and mfgs demand controls on cost. Networks want entertainment and sponsors are not spending as much. 

What I miss is the innovation that has been lost and yes the cheating. The cheating in NASCAR was legendary. Today they will remove the crew chiefs hands for a loose lug nut. 

My hope is with the test of the Camaro at Le Mans and intro of the similar car in the Australia Touring Series is a hint of a global racing series in cars while advanced will require the drivers to really drive. 

Imagine the cars and drivers running at Bathurst, Indy, Daytona, LeMans and Spa? It could prove to be interesting. 

Look pure racing  is over outside the local tracks but even there cost are a struggle. We need to find a new way that is cost effective that answers the main issues but still puts on a great show. 

Racing is a business and Entertainment today and there is no getting around it. 

One of the best series now is the NASCAR truck series. No restrictors and old time drafting. Short tracks rule and many Hungary low buck teams that are competitive. Cost are fairly low and the races are good on a number of tracks. Mid Ohio should be a real event this year. 

The one series in for a major change is F1. The race always was secondary to the strategy and the technology. As the tech becomes limited it will be interesting to see how the long time F1 fans react. They will see more drama on the track vs in the garage. Will they accept this. That formula never connected to the Americans as much as they wanted their drama on track. But with Earnhardt that is where it happened. 

Advanced Driver

As an antique and classic car guy (mostly US production iron), I am also a longtime NASCAR fan. The NASCAR thing is a lot like quicksand in that the more they "wiggle around" with rules and changes to influence the outcome of races, the further they sink.
The HANS device really DID make sense... after Dale Earnhardt was killed in a huge wreck... along with roof flaps to keep them on the track and even the "safer" barriers... and then it was on from there. I think they have nearly lost me with the massaging and the "sameness".
That's just not how things play out in the real world, and the fans all know it.