Stefan Johansson’s latest blog entry looks back at the Verizon IndyCar Series’ successful return to Watkins Glen International, featuring a weekend of Scott Dixon domination like no other, as well as looking ahead to the new future of Formula 1 following the Liberty Media announcement last week.
On Dixon’s glorious weekend at The Glen, Johansson writes, “It was a very impressive display in every respect. I can’t remember anyone dominating to quite that level for quite some time. It was like he was in a different league all weekend. He dropped back a few places for the restart (on Lap 42 after a caution for a collision between Will Power and Charlie Kimball, and pit stops, Dixon restarted 4th) and within less than two laps he was back in the lead.
“Everyone else was struggling to pass anywhere on track but it was amazing how Scott just pulled off passes with his incredible, fluid driving style which is just perfect on a track like that.
“It’s been a strange year in that I think he’s been driving more strongly this year than any that I can remember and yet he’s come away with less than almost any year before. Even reliability issues have stopped him at places like Detroit and Road America, where it was almost certain he would have won both races.”
Johansson’s take on new F1 owners Liberty Media is one that they need to move the series forward from a digital perspective, while also calling to figure out a way to cut costs on such high-tech parts and processes.
“I don’t know anything more than what has been covered by the press but one would hope that they’ll look at the business more pragmatically. I think that’s already starting to happen and maybe they’ll bring more of a clean sheet approach to it,” he writes.
“Let’s not forget that F1 is still a hugely popular sport globally, but I think they know they can make it significantly more popular. With the speed at which the world moves today in terms of social media and other digital platforms there are definitely ways to monetize those outlets. Bernie says he’s never made any money on the Internet but I don’t think he’s been dealing with the right people. Certainly not if you look at the F1 website which is full of broken links and quite clunky in general, you can tell that very little effort has been spent in this area.
“The other day I was visiting a new racing simulator here in Los Angeles. There was a two-year old Williams chassis there that a group bought to transform for the purpose of making it into a simulator. They were showing me simple things like the car’s power steering rack. It’s an absolute work of art. That piece alone probably required 50 people to engineer and build. It’s absolutely exquisite, but for what?
“If the series, together with the FIA can work out a way to control costs by focusing on areas of development which are prohibitively expensive like aerodynamics and maybe standardize some components, it will immediately be on a better business footing.”
Johansson, who at one point raced for McLaren F1, was not a huge fan of the team’s decision of phrase to replace Jenson Button with Stoffel Vandoorne next year.
“Well, it’s a very odd statement to claim that this is a new and innovative solution to effectively fire one of your drivers, or at least demote him to reserve driver. Unless all the rest of us are complete morons, I don’t think anyone understands what McLaren is trying to do more than just that, replace Button with Vandoorne,” he writes.
There are several more great nuggets within Johansson’s latest blog, which you can view in its entirety here.
Previous linkouts to Johansson’s blog on MotorSportsTalk are linked below:
- 9/1: On Texas, Verstappen and blocking
- 7/30: On F1’s rule changes, Rosenqvist Indy debut
- 7/16: On IndyCar’s rise, F1 penalties
- 7/11: On Rosberg’s crazy week, and more
- 7/1: On Le Mans finish, F1 back-to-back in Canada, Baku
- 6/9: On Indy 500 and Monaco GP
- 5/26: On Verstappen, Mercedes and more
- 4/29: On rules, regs and female drivers
- 4/7: F1’s power struggle, Haas’ rise
- 3/24: Addressing fixes for F1, IndyCar
Additionally, a link to Johansson’s social media channels and #F1TOP3 competition are linked here.