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Mandzipop

F1 2016

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

First of the summer driver swap-around rumours coming in. Ferrari are considering keeping Kimi and this weekend helped with that, but apparently are strongly considering either Perez or Carlos Sainz Jr. No word yet on the Mercedes free seat. My guess is that Alonso will see how he does in the Indy 500 and if McLaren are going to pick up a Merc engine for next year before he commits a strategy. Mercedes probably want a more consistent performer than Bottas, but Bottas did win a race, he's far easier to manage and his problems seem to be also affected Lewis at other races, so it's hard to tell if he's underperforming relative to the equipment or not.

I think Bottas has had a reasonable season so far, although you're right that he's not been consistent. I think Mercedes could definitely do worse than keeping him, unless they can get a genuine World Championship contender like Alonso to replace him.

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Alonso's Honda engine failure at the Indy 500 is unlikely to endear him further to the situation, so it'll be interesting now to see how things pan out.

If, as some have suggested, Honda have switched to a long-term game plan of using Sauber for the next 2-3 years for engine development and will release McLaren from their contract for a set period, then that will make it far more likely Alonso will leave for another team. McLaren with a Mercedes would be a step up to the top of the mid-tier (their chassis, by all accounts, is pretty good) but if he wants the extra world championship in the next 2-3 years, Alonso simply has to be in either a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull. Otherwise he might as well retire now.

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15 hours ago, Werthead said:

Alonso's Honda engine failure at the Indy 500 is unlikely to endear him further to the situation, so it'll be interesting now to see how things pan out.

If, as some have suggested, Honda have switched to a long-term game plan of using Sauber for the next 2-3 years for engine development and will release McLaren from their contract for a set period, then that will make it far more likely Alonso will leave for another team. McLaren with a Mercedes would be a step up to the top of the mid-tier (their chassis, by all accounts, is pretty good) but if he wants the extra world championship in the next 2-3 years, Alonso simply has to be in either a Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull. Otherwise he might as well retire now.

Retirement it is, then. Mercedes won't take him. They remember 2007 too well. Besides, their current lineup works well. They don't miss the discord brought into the team by the hostility between Hamilton and Rosberg. Red Bull isn't in the habit of spending tons of money on ageing champions. They have an excellent driver lineup and if one of them leaves for greener pastures they just promote one of the Toro Rosso drivers. Ferrari have their champion with Vettel. If they decide to replace Kimi it will be a number two driver, not Alonso. That leaves Renault. Not a top team right now but they have the will and the resources to get there. That will take a few years, though, and the money they'd have to pay Alonso might be better spent on R&D anyway. 

As for the McLaren/Honda situation, their contract is both long term and exclusive. Obviously, MCLaren don't insist on exclusivity anymore under the new leadership but I'm not sure that they can ditch Honda. And Mercedes have stated that they won't supply them, so it would have to be Renault or Ferrari. Ferrari are losing a customer with Sauber, but IIRC they don't give their customers their latest and greatest technology. Would be interesting to see McLaren and Red Bull with the same engine. 

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On 5/28/2017 at 7:33 PM, Werthead said:

Alonso's Honda engine failure at the Indy 500 is unlikely to endear him further to the situation, so it'll be interesting now to see how things pan out.

My uncle gifted me his Indy tickets this year.  Alonso's dead car drifted to a stop right in front of us at the end of pit road.  Too bad, as he was having a strong race.  There was a big cheer when they called his name during driver introductions.  When he hopped out of his car the folks sitting in our section gave him a standing ovation.

 

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Yeah it doesn't look promising for Alonso. Hopefully Mclaren has a performance clause (works both ways eg if Honda felt Mclaren was letting them down) that allows them to break out of a contract. Although knowing Alonso's track record it would simply turn out that Ferarri have the dominant engine in 2018.

Renault is probably a safer retirement team given his history with them but that's not what he or fans want.

I guess it depends on whether Raikonnen retires really. A leftfield and unlikely scenario would be Hamilton announcing a move to Ferarri (he's made gambles before and has often said how he'd like to drive for ferarri in terms of prestige). Mercedes keep Bottas but take on Alonso as their number one. Unlikely as I think Hamilton only signed a new contract last year. But I bet Hamilton is thinking about it.

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13 hours ago, red snow said:

Yeah it doesn't look promising for Alonso. Hopefully Mclaren has a performance clause (works both ways eg if Honda felt Mclaren was letting them down) that allows them to break out of a contract. Although knowing Alonso's track record it would simply turn out that Ferarri have the dominant engine in 2018.

Renault is probably a safer retirement team given his history with them but that's not what he or fans want.

I guess it depends on whether Raikonnen retires really. A leftfield and unlikely scenario would be Hamilton announcing a move to Ferarri (he's made gambles before and has often said how he'd like to drive for ferarri in terms of prestige). Mercedes keep Bottas but take on Alonso as their number one. Unlikely as I think Hamilton only signed a new contract last year. But I bet Hamilton is thinking about it.

Also unlikely if Vettel wins the championship or comes second this year and Ferrari keep him. They don't want that headache.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Also unlikely if Vettel wins the championship or comes second this year and Ferrari keep him. They don't want that headache.

Weirdly Bottas seems a better choice for Ferarri who clearly prefer a sidekick to the team's number one driver. It's why Verstappen being linked to a move there seems unlikely.

Although Hamilton and Button appeared to get along as well as could be expected for team mates. I think Vettel is more of an issue as he doesn't seem to handle being outclassed very well.

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On 2017-5-31 at 2:17 PM, red snow said:

Weirdly Bottas seems a better choice for Ferarri who clearly prefer a sidekick to the team's number one driver. It's why Verstappen being linked to a move there seems unlikely.

Although Hamilton and Button appeared to get along as well as could be expected for team mates. I think Vettel is more of an issue as he doesn't seem to handle being outclassed very well.

Verstappen has more or less confirmed that he's not going anywhere yet. Perhaps he's waiting for Ricciardo to go first, as Ricciardo's has been linked with Ferrari due to his Italian heritage, but that might just be smoke blown up our asses.

Vettel's contract ends after this year, but if they win the championship or get really close, I'm sure he'll stay at Ferrari. He is trying to emulate his hero Schumacher, and besides I think he likes it there now. There have been no more histrionics this year, and he's already won some races due to his own skill and both strategy and calculation by Ferrari. Whatever they changed when they threw out James Allison (which was the most discernible clue to the palace-revolution), it seems to have worked.

I wonder how Kimi reflects on the Monaco GP though. It was his to win, when Ferrari decided to screw him over for Vettel. He appears to have no other skills or interests, so he might stay on, but his ego was bruised last week in a way I have not seen before. Or maybe I'm reading too much into this.

 

Alonso... I doubt he'll relate his Indy Honda engine failing to his year at McLaren. Indy is an entirely different competition, and by all reports Honda is doing fine there. Just bad luck this time, though the irony is extreme. Good that he was doing fine. Mercedes probably don't want him beside Lewis because they're finally having a harmonious season; Bottas is doing fine, but not remarkable just yet. He still has to really prove himself.

I would have loved Stoffel Vandoorne to have done well at Monaco, since it's being reported he has what it takes. This was his chance to deliver, and he dropped the ball. Both at qualifying and in the race.

Lance Stroll I think can be written off as a new, though somewhat better, Marc Gene.

And Nico Hulkenberg is killing the hell out off Jolyon Palmer. I predict we're not going to see him again at Renault in 2018. Even 2017 seems doubtful at the moment.

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Oh, and if Ricciardo leaves Red Bull and Red Bull promotes Sainz, we're gonna have one hell of a season. Sainz and Verstappen can't stand one-another, so fireworks are guaranteed.

I have to say though, that Sainz eliminting Stroll at Barcelona was Sainz's mistake. However much he denies it.

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Whatever they changed when they threw out James Allison (which was the most discernible clue to the palace-revolution), it seems to have worked.

Not sure about this. This year's car was largely Allison's work. We won't see his impact at Mercedes until next year.

Same with Williams. Both the massive cash boost they got from Mercedes giving them their engine for free and Paddy Lowe coming on board won't be seen until next year. Given Williams' ability to capitalise on good fortune, I wouldn't be surprised to see them ultra competitive next year (although backsliding again is possible without another big cash boost after that).

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Fucking useless app; here goes another attempt:

 

Is this year's Ferrari really Allison's work though? I seem to recall they threw him out relatively early in the season, i.e. before work on this years' car really got started.

I have lot's of respect for Williams, but don't hold your breath for them becoming competitive again. If Red Bull have such difficulty, with lots and lots more budget, I don't see Williams pulling it off. Especially not given the weird hoops they've jumped through for the extra bucks here and there. The only way it works is if the Mercedes engine does it all for them. Stroll's dollars can't make up for the loss of data and result.

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That was awesome. Was absolutely not expecting that from Baku, or any street circuit really. Combination of skill and havoc makes this the best race for ages.

Eta: the irony of that last part of that last post. :P

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A lot happened in Baku... Very well done by Stroll, I didn't see that coming. A bit of luck with the reshuffling after the safety car periods, but he was up there. Still wonder if the Williams' competitiveness was due to more than just the Mercedes engine (Force India were better all weekend), though. Baku and Montreal are booth high speed tracks though, which suit the Mercedes-powered cars. Not sure about Spielberg in Austria.

I think it's clear that Hamilton gave Vettel a brake-test, but Vettel really lost it. He was extremely lucky not to get disqualified. Three points on his license is a slap on the wrist unlikely to have any effect. And Sainz must really be feeling the pressure. Kvyat is outperforming him the last races, and Sainz keeps making stupid mistakes which he won't own up to. Seems likes he's getting frustrated. Today's spin was purely down to his own scared reaction.

Verstappen was really pissed off by another technical failure, so much so that appartently the team sent him back to his hotel te calm down. That's four retirements in the last six races that he can't do anything about. Meanwhile Ricciardo is raking in the points, and today's win too, to salt Verstappens wounds.

Good fun championship so far :)

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Very strong race, lots of upsets and a somewhat unexpected podium set-up.

Vettel was out of control though. That was "petulant whinger" Vettel showing up when he's not handed everything on a plate, which I hope we'd seen the last of last season. Vettel should have gotten a race ban for that deliberate move on Hamilton, which was disgraceful and dangerous. His explanation afterwards was also extraordinarily bullshit: "Well, we're men." What?

I believe the points on his licence have moved him very close to a race ban. Anything else like that again and he's out for a race, which would be disastrous to his championship chances now that Ferrari seem to be slipping back a little (although upgrades and some of the upcoming circuits should favour them more).

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9 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I believe the points on his licence have moved him very close to a race ban.

I heard he got three penalty points for todays action, a suspension comes after seven? Can't seem to find it.

ETA: "The 29-year-old was also given three penalty points on his licence, taking him up to nine. If a driver receives 12 in a 12-month period, it triggers an automatic race ban."

From the BBC.

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3 hours ago, polishgenius said:

That was awesome. Was absolutely not expecting that from Baku, or any street circuit really. Combination of skill and havoc makes this the best race for ages.

Eta: the irony of that last part of that last post. :P

It was a long and epic race although some of the unpredicatbility was generated by deliberate deployment of safety cars. Did they ever explain why the safety car was apparently going slower than it should have? At least they had the sense to stop the race after a realising ever release of the safety car resulted in another set of accidents.

I need to see the Vettel incident again but it does sound like he agressively swerved into Hamilton in retaliation for what he thought was Hamilton brake testing. I agree with Hamilton that that is disgusting behaviour and is downright dangerous. I'm trying to recall the punishment schumacher received for the time he almost forced another driver into a wall on a finish straight. I'm sure it was harsher than what Vettel received. The fact Vettel emerged from the race extending his lead is very unfair.

The weird thing is how Vettel seems like a nice person outside the car but he's clearly a different animal when racing.

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2 minutes ago, Antonius Pius said:

I heard he got three penalty points for todays action, a suspension comes after seven? Can't seem to find it.

ETA: "The 29-year-old was also given three penalty points on his licence, taking him up to nine. If a driver receives 12 in a 12-month period, it triggers an automatic race ban."

From the BBC.

but he gets two points back next race as it will be 12 months since his initial run of penalty points began

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12 minutes ago, red snow said:

 I'm trying to recall the punishment schumacher received for the time he almost forced another driver into a wall on a finish straight. I'm sure it was harsher than what Vettel received.


I'm not defending what Vettel did, because clearly any deliberate bump is a risk of causing a huge accident, but there's really no comparison between what he did here and Schumacher trying to put Barichello into a wall (or indeed the time he tried to smash Villenueve off the road when the latter overtook him- failing miserably in that instance and putting himself out).

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I was watching the aftershow and agree with Eddie Jordan that what Vettel did was the equivalent of a footballer head-butting another player in which case he should have been sent off.

The only defense was that which Coulthard gave him in terms of we'd have to see whether Vettel steered into Hamilton. As Coulthard pointed out Vettel was busy shaking one hand at Hamilton so he maybe wasn't using the other for active steering.

I still think a driver who can do that is dangerous full stop. What's to say he wouldn't do the same thing out of anger at high speed?

The funny thing was Vettel constantly talking about them being "men" when he was the one acting like a child.

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