Thanks hugely to everyone who submitted a question for Derek. The names of all the submitters were put into my Sarah Fisher autographed AAMCO hat. Big congrats to Brad from Indianapolis who won a signed copy of Double D's book! Brad's name was picked at random by Mrs. pressdog.
All Double D's answers are below!
John Schaller, Dallas Texas: Where should IRL go? Since the unification, it seems the ideal time to debate what open wheel racing should be. Superspeedways? Short Tracks? Road? Streets? International? Multi chassis\engine combinationsWill these decisions be made to benifit the fans? teams? Sponsors?
Daly: The IRL should attempt to build what CART had 13 years ago …the most diverse racing championship in the world (road and street races, short and long ovals). I would cancel all international events immediately and concentrate on building a significant American Championship first. If it’s not significant in America, why should International venues should be interested? I would get competition amongst multiple manufacturers and engines. I would have engine manufacturers pay the teams to use their engines and opposed to the other way around.
The Duke: What things does F1 need to do going forward to be relevant to the automotive world with regards to green tech, i.e. clean diesel, biofuel, hydrogen, regen braking, etc.
Daly: Keep doing what it's doing. It's interesting that some F1 developments for the race cars, end up on road cars, and then banned from race cars ... traction control, active suspension, ABS braking etc.
The Duke: Should F1 ban all the wingletts and do-dads for aero? Have one front wing that measures "x" with one blade and a rear wing, also one blade subject "x" width and "y" height so that control of the cars goes back to the driver and less to the aero engineer?
The Duke: Is F1 about technology or is it about racing/the show?
Daly: F1 is about technology first ... it’s not about the racing ... if it was about racing they would ban deliberate blocking that stops passing ... they would like a good show but are slow to change the rules to promote a good show. F1 night racing is being hailed as a great new world, but it is simply copying what America has done for years.
The Duke: Are you in favor of blowing up all Tilke designed circuits and banning the man from ever designing another one?
Daly: Tilke has promoted a clinical style of design that has slowly disengaged the general public. To have the run off areas that Tilke has designed, the spectators have to be moved so far away that the overall experiential element of a live event is diminished. It's a bit like watching a live race from behind a window. Our (Derek Daly Design) design philosophy is a little different.
The Duke: What happens to F1 when Bernie goes away?
Daly: It suffers greatly. Bernie is one of the brightest men I know.
The Duke: Is the difference between the haves and have-nots in F1 any different today than it has been over the last 40 years?
Daly: No …there was only ever a few competitive teams in F1 in any era. This era just has bigger budgets to spend.
Johnny: In either the car *or* the commentary booth, what was the scariest thing you have ever seen in racing?
Daly: My personal scariest thing I actually saw unfold was when I had a brake failure in the Tyrrell at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1980. I was so scared that I collapsed when I was pulled from the car.
The scariest crash I ever saw was Jeremy Dale’s in Road Atlanta when he hit Barbazza’s Ferrari in front of the pits.
Johnny: As a fan, what do you think about F1 outlawing traction control and moving to spec tires?
Daly: I agree with outlawing traction control. I do not like spec tires for F1. I would like to see multiple tire manufacturers back in F1.
Johnny: Do you favor bleeding edge technology racing or something more "equalized"? Which do you think is better the for th health of the sport?
Daly: F1 has flourished because of the intrigue of bleeding edge technology. NASCAR flourished before the “spec” car came in. I don’t think that NASCAR will create stars as they did in the past with a more “spec” series.
Johnny: Who in your mind was the greatest pure driver, and conversely, who was the best at using racecraft to get the most out of their car?
Daly: The most naturally gifted for me was Ayrton Senna. The most complete was Michael Schumacher. Race craft is not as necessary nowadays because F1 races have become two or three short, flat out sprints that does not need much thinking about mechanical sympathy from the drivers. Alain Prost was the master of race strategy before pit stops.
Robert Boston: Who was the best driver you ever raced against regardless of racing category?
Daly: Alain Prost
Phil! (Cheers!): Who were your idols growing up in Ireland? Did you look more to F1drivers or rally drivers (since rallying is almost the national pastime over there)?
Daly: I had no real interest in Rally drivers when growing up. I was only captivated by F1. Idols would have been Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart.
Ray: Why do so many very good drivers make such terrible TV commentators?
Daly: They don’t have the “gift ode gab” nor “a bit o’ de blarney”….
Shellhead: Who are/were the best race car drivers of the past 20 years? Who would you like to have raced against?
Daly: Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Mansell, Piquet, Andretti (Mario & Michael). I raced against them all except Senna & Schumi….
Brad from Indianapolis: What do you think it will take to return post-split North American rear engine open wheel racing to greatness?
Daly: Great leadership from a strong dictator…
Arj from Sioux City: At some point in time, you create a goal that you want to achieve. Knowing this is a team sport, how do you translate the pieces that make up that goal to each individual on the team?
Daly: Very thoughtful question. As long as the goals of each individual (drivers and team members) are aligned, you can work together to achieve. When a driver's goal is forced upon a team who are not in a position to support it (or don’t have the resources), friction can derail all good intentions.