Massa's FIA Karting Vision

Sounds like Felipe-baby has the right idea.


Still seems to hinge heavily on the perspective of karting just being for kids on the “ladder” which I think is a disservice to the sport, and ultimately stunts it.

I mean yeah it’s cool an when an F1 driver says that karting is about the closest thing to F1 in some ways, but I think the simple message of karting being a fun and economical (not cheap) way to go racing is the high order bit. I’m not naive enough to dismiss the FIA’s business model though. It is what it is.

When he says this

We have so many different things in karting. I want to give this message to all the ASNs that we need to be together and be very close and make things easier than it is

ASNs (or on a smaller scale, clubs, tracks, series etc) already know this. It’s not news and in most cases it’s not willful ignorance. It’s survival in many cases. I’m not saying it doesn’t suck, but let’s not overlook the big issue…

The challenge isn’t informing them, they already know uniformity (in the long term) will help. They hear it from their racers pretty often. The challenge (for the FIA, or any governing body) is to build something that offers enough of an incentive for tracks\series\clubs to get onboard.

Placing next to no emphasis on 50% of karting participants (Adults) is going to make that job more difficult.

I would assume that the decision by series organizers to run a certain engine package is an economic decision and that in the absence of a regulating body that mandates a certain engine package (and provides the support to make this happen), no amount of saying “wouldn’t it be nice if we were all on the same page?” is meaningful.

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Well FIA-level karting ISN’T economical, and it IS part of the ladder system. Although many weekend-warrior types like you and I enjoy karting for the fun and simplicity of it, the fact is that it will ALWAYS be the first step on the ladder in a career in motorsports, and I think ignoring that also is a disservice to the sport.

I believe in my episode of the podcast, I mentioned that karting can be a lot of different things to different people. It’s a way to a professional career, but it’s also a fun hobby with those of us who don’t have a shot at F1. Massa’s perspective as FIA Karting president obviously is going to cater toward the FIA’s goal of a coherent ladder system, but I think his reinforcement of having kids stay in karting until they are truly ready to move to single-seaters is an important statement that goes against the current trend of pushing kids into cars by 13 or 14 years old. I feel like Felipe “gets it” when it comes to that. His concern as an FIA employee is not keeping old farts like us doing club races in Yamaha when we have expendable income, his concern is helping young drivers who want to move up the ladder have a solid path to do so.

I’m not saying ignore it at all. I’m saying why not both? These groups and ages nearly always co-exist at the track, so it makes sense to me that an organization or santioning body’s approach would encompass both.

You have to think of the FIA beyond merely the handful of world champ events. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

(Speaking about Europe here) Through it’s ASNs, the FIA is (indirectly) involved in weekend warrior types of karting. It used to be a LOT more involved, arguably for the benefit of the sport because when it was, there was more commonality between classes across nations and continents. However the FIA continued down the path of (over) accommodating the stepping stone market and the result is history

I think it would be wise to include non stepping stone racers in a proactive way…

Here’s why… They consume the same products (Tires, Chassis, Engines) from their industry members. They pay entry fees and so on at the same ASN sanctioned track. Volume of purchases may vary, but nonetheless, post-collegiate ageed racers support the same ecosystem and businesses that pay the FIA directly and indirectly.

So to me, it makes good business sense to have a two-pronged approach :confused:

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I agree that a two-pronged approach makes a lot of sense. I also think that domestically, and maybe even for the non-ladder runners in Europe, going to a balance of performance via reward weights is a great way to avoid a lot of the what engine to run issues, and not something I see mentioned much as a solution.

One thing I have seen in other forms of racing to control costs, was to come up with a reasonable price of a used kart, engine, and tire combo, then after the race the top 3 karts are bought by the club for that price. OR I have seen where anyone in the class can purchase the top 3 karts. What this did was keep the racer from dumping a ton of money into their car. Would you spend $3k on a kart to win, just to find out you have to sell it for $1500? The numbers are just an example, but the intent is top keep the cost down.

Some series us a “claiming rule” with regards to engines, so anyone can buy the winner’s engine for retail price, keeping people from hoarding the best engines.