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Mandzipop

F1 2016

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New contract for Max Verstappen

He is pleased about it too

Apparently he is going to make a lot more money, but his stated goal is to win multiple world championships. Conclusion is that Red Bull must have been able to convince him that their package going forward will be good enough to keep fighting with the Mercedeses and Ferraris. No idea yet what the engine deal will be (Renault could still be an option, despite public statements to the contrary), but otherwise they have to have some card up their sleeve. I can’t imagine they think Honda, which will power Toro Rosso next year, will make such a leap as to be fighting for wins in 2019. There are rumours going around that Red Bull might get a Mercedes customer-engine, but that would be a risk from Mercedes’ point of view. Don’t know what to make of that.

Ricciardo might get the nod, and start looking elsewhere. Horner has said that they want both drivers to remain, but from the details we have, it looks like Verstappen has been made first driver in all but name.

Meanwhile, Hartley is getting the sympathy vote. Hope he can do well. Kvyat is made to look like a mindless puppet with the way they’re putting him in and out of the car. 

Hope we’ll get a good qualifying and race.

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6 hours ago, Antonius Pius said:

Meanwhile, Hartley is getting the sympathy vote. Hope he can do well.

I think him being given an engine penalty on his debut sums up the absurdity of the engine penalty system.

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Yeah, I can't see Ricciardo hanging around. He's neck and neck with Verstappen in general form, but he has less years in him (even if he's very likely to see another decade in the sport, Max will see much closer to two) and he can see that Red Bull are considering the marketing and PR benefits that Max will have, at least for a couple more years (the "youngest driver to do this achivement" window will close pretty shortly).

My guess is Ricciardo to Mercedes in 2019 unless Bottas has a much stronger season next year, or Ferrari if not and if Kimi retires after next year.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

My guess is Ricciardo to Mercedes in 2019 unless Bottas has a much stronger season next year, or Ferrari if not and if Kimi retires after next year.

I wonder if McLaren could be an option as well if they improve after their divorce from Honda to regain something of their old form? Ricciardo would be a good replacement for Alonso when he decides to retire.

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New engine regs for 2021.

They're keeping the engine tech generally the same, but are only using one electrical recovery system (rather than two). The engines will have to run 3,000rpm faster to generate more and better sound, and standardised battery and electronics will have to be used, rather than everyone being able to come up with their own solutions. The combined impact will be that the engines will be slightly better than now, but significantly cheaper and simpler (and less likely to have technical problems). It's an evolution rather than a revolution. There's also a KERS-style approach with how electrical energy can be manually distributed, which should allow naturally slower cars to store up energy for a speed boost later on.

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On 22/10/2017 at 1:43 PM, williamjm said:

I wonder if McLaren could be an option as well if they improve after their divorce from Honda to regain something of their old form? Ricciardo would be a good replacement for Alonso when he decides to retire.

If Ricciardo has any sense he'll move to a team where he can be the number one driver as I think he's too good to be the back-up guy. So I'd say Mercedes is a bad idea unless he's confident Hamilton will retire or move by 2019. Obviously Vettel wouldn't tolerate Ricciardo showing him up again so it would only be if Ferrari lose faith in Vettel where that would happen.

Mclaren I could see potentially happening as I think Alonso probably will retire or start showing his age. The sad thing is I fear the ship has sailed for Alonso unless the car is semi-comptetive next year. But Ricciardo moving to Mclaren in 2019 could be a good move. Mclaren is usually a team that works its way to the top more often than not and the recent Honda era has been the worst run they've had in my memory of the sport.

I still fear for Red Bull with them apparently being stuck with Honda in 2019 or a new engine supplier. Although next year could be promising as they are clearly catching up with Ferarri and Mercedes.

It's a shame the second half of the season has robbed us of an entertaining championship battle but the races have had some good racing from other drivers at least. I hope we can see some good scraps in the last few races given how close the top 3 teams appear to be at the moment.

I'm a bit annoyed with the British press about Hamilton. Rather than celebrate his fourth world championship, all they seem to talk about is when/if he'll ever beat Schumacher's records. FFS celebrate the fact he's the most successful British driver rather than speculate on whether he can break a record that will be incredibly hard/unlikely to beat. I did however like Jackie Stewarts very honest opinion of how championship wins don't necessarily reflect who the best drivers are. He mentioned a couple of drivers who he felt were far better than drivers who won more championships. That said I think Hamilton is doing a good job in winning championships in an era where there are more high quality drivers than there were in some of Schumacher's seasons. The flipside to that though is him losing to Rosberg last year - not sure if any of the greats would have let that happen (even with reliability issues). But again the likes of Schumacher was always the number one driver which clearly wasn't the case with Mercedes last year.

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So the engine for 2021 is basically a more straightforward version of what we have now. Still hybrid but less intricate components and more RPM, which supposedly makes it easier to produce and operate, but is still equally fast. Good news for manufacturers (Aston Martin?), meh for fans.

 

Hamilton managed to seal the deal in Mexico, not in the way he wanted, but still deserved. Too bad Ferrari and Vettel (Baku, Singapore) fell to pieces after the summer break. More competition would have been nice. Good to see Red Bull joining the fight, makes it more interesting. I do think maybe the last two tracks somehow suit the Red Bull car disproportionately; they may again be a bit off in Brazil, and I would expect Abu Dhabi to be a fight between Mercedes and Ferrari. But who knows. Red Bull have improved a lot during the season, as have Renault.

Just from the change in demeanor you can tell how much Hamilton relishes being rid of Rosberg. Those last few years together weren’t nice. They were really grinding each other down. Bottas is a clear number two, and Hamilton is (deservedly) the man at Mercedes.

For the drivers market, there really isn’t an obvious move for Ricciardo. McLaren may be the best option, the Renault is a good engine, and Alonso may be beatable if they don’t renew Vandoorne. Ferrari aren’t going to take Ricciardo (Vettel will probably veto), unless he’s the clear number two.

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Sauber has dropped Pascal Wehrlein - who scored points for them this year - in favour of keeping the extremely mediocre Marcus Ericsson, who did not. They've also added Charles Leclerc from the Ferrari young driver programme. Ferrari have forged closer ties with Sauber, providing the engine and allowing them to drive under the Alfa Romeo brand, which also means a change of livery (white and red rather than blue, which is a shame as I thought Sauber's colour scheme was probably the most striking of last year, although we didn't get to see it much).

Slightly ridiculous but very cynical decision: Ericsson has financal backing and Wehrlein does not, despite being a clearly far more talented driver. Ferrari also didn't want to help Wehrlein as he is part of the Mercedes young driver programme.

Meanwhile, Williams has problems. Their plan was to put Kubica in the second car for 2018 but his performance in the tests was solid but not outstanding. They're now left in a situation where they can't really take Wehrlein (who I think in ideal circumstances would be their #1 choice), reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin or Kvyat because they are too young to do marketing for their chief sponsor, Martini and they can't really drag Massa out of retirement yet again.

At this point their choice seems to be between annoying their sponsor, taking what could potentially be a risk with Kubica or settling on Di Resta as a default choice. They seem very nervous about this because Paddy Lowe has designed the 2018 car and they have a big boost of money for this season thanks to their deal with Mercedes to take Bottas, so they have at least the potential to be far more competitive this year and they need a driver more experienced and less flaky than Stroll who is going to take the fight to at least Force India, if not Red Bull.

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Surely, if marketing is part of the thinking, it has to be Kubica on a season-long contract? If the testing was 'inconclusive', rather than 'shockingly terrible'. There's a good chance he'll get better as he gets back into the swing of things, anyway, and in terms of marketing, nothing they can do will get them more attention than hosting a Kubica comeback.

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Yup. I'd put in Kubica, have Di Resta as reserve (or swap out Di Resta for Wehrlein and wait two years) and then if Kubica realises he can't be competitive, swap them over. As long as you budget for it in the contract negotiations, shouldn't be a problem. Keep Rosberg (who is now Kubica's manager) sweet and you might be able to get some of his technical knowledge and support as well.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

Sauber has dropped Pascal Wehrlein - who scored points for them this year - in favour of keeping the extremely mediocre Marcus Ericsson, who did not. They've also added Charles Leclerc from the Ferrari young driver programme. Ferrari have forged closer ties with Sauber, providing the engine and allowing them to drive under the Alfa Romeo brand, which also means a change of livery (white and red rather than blue, which is a shame as I thought Sauber's colour scheme was probably the most striking of last year, although we didn't get to see it much).

I think Ericsson is clearly the weakest current F1 driver, although admittedly by the historical standards of pay drivers there have been far worse. I was wondering if he had ever scored a point, but I see he did have a few points finished in 2015, which I'd forgotten about.

3 hours ago, polishgenius said:

Surely, if marketing is part of the thinking, it has to be Kubica on a season-long contract? If the testing was 'inconclusive', rather than 'shockingly terrible'. There's a good chance he'll get better as he gets back into the swing of things, anyway, and in terms of marketing, nothing they can do will get them more attention than hosting a Kubica comeback.

I think there's a bigger potential benefit of running Kubica compared to some of the other journeyman drivers like Di Resta or Kvyat. There's probably an argument for developing a talented young driver like Wehrlein instead, but the sponsorship concerns might make that idea a non-starter.

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Get Kubica in give him a big pre season program and if hes not at least competitive then maybe drop Di Resta in for the rest of the year after 6-8 races. Hopefully Stroll has a few more drives like Baku next year.

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Yeah, Stroll clearly has talent but it's a bit inconsistent. The problem is that we don't know how much of that is down to the car: William started the season very respectably (those sequential 6th place finishes for Massa at the start of the season) and dropped off pretty fast. There are some indications that Williams might have given up on 2017 early on to focus as much of that windfall from Mercedes (which was more than double the prize money difference between finishing 4th and 5th) as possible and the acquisition of Paddy Lowe on the 2018 car, so the poor performances after Baku were down to in-season development screeching to a halt. But we don't know that.

Williams are frustrating. They had two great seasons in 2014-15 and looked like they could be on the upswing and then started losing it again. Still better than the backmarking they were doing for a few years before that, but like McLaren they should really be up there in the mix.

McLaren next year will be a very, very interesting sight. If they show up and underperform whilst Renault and Red Bull are doing well, they can't blame their engine partner.

Force India - or Force One as it sounds like they may be rebranded - also just seem to be stuck. They can't seem to make the jump to challenge Red Bull for 3rd without a major source of investment so they have completely maxed out their potential with nowhere really to go. That's got to be frustrating.

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RE: Kubica

Kubica isn't likely to step in unless he gets an airtight contract guaranteeing him a drive for two years or full compensation if he's swapped out. After his accident he got a huge pay-off from his insurance company, on the basis that he would not be able to drive F1 again. If he turns out to be able to drive in competion circumstances, his insurance will require him to pay them back. So in order to offset that 'penalty' he needs a guaranteed amount of income. This comes from Robert Doornbos, a former Red Bull and Minardi driver and friend of Kubica's.

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That's interesting regarding the insurance situation for kubica.

I'm really hoping McLaren are near red bull in speed next year. Fans of the sport deserve to see Alonso in a car that has the potential to win races.

I'm also hoping bottas has had a chance to talk with rosberg and got a strategy to take the helm if Hamilton makes mistakes. Although Hamilton made very few of those last season for bottas to even take advantage of. I think Hamilton handing the lead back to bottas in that race mid season was actually a really clever gambit in that bottas has a massive amount of respect for him.

Hoping vettel is currently on an anger management course right now as he must know he wasted points through bad behaviour irrespective of reliability issues.

Fingers are crossed that no team manages improvements that give too large an advantage. The best seasons are the ones where cars are great at some tracks and weaker at others. We got this with Mercedes Vs ferarri this year and with red bull towards the end. It means the 3-5th positions are also hotly fought as it's maximising points on weak tracks that add up.

Sort of worried that the halo device will look ugly, mess up aero and worst of all not really work.

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In a move described as sexist by actual grid girls, Formula 1 has decided to remove grid girls from future races in the hopes of hiding how ugly the angel hoop actually is. I can only imagine it will be prettier than the racing where they are now only allowed 3 engines. Pit crews should be happy with 7 tyre compounds now meaning things are more likely to get decided in pits. My interest was slowly waning anyway...

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the grid girls to me were utterly pointless and addressing it by having grid men mixed in there too was never a solution either. They'll probably still have some form of them at the podium and i guess someone will have to stand with a marker for the car but this is going to be more in the "free eyetest" style. Really it's a job for low-entry level team mechanics than models.

The sport has bigger things to deal with eg no women racers but that wasn't a defense for keeping the grid girls.

I'm a bit concerned with how this is the last year in the UK that some live races will be shown on free TV. It's like the sport is deliberately trying to shrink its audience but making money while doing so. I know these are the result of Bernie contracts but Liberty Media really needs to address this moving forward.

I'm going to Silverstone this year which will be my first on the track F1 experience. Hopefully it'll be good.

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So, Kubica definitely not in the car for 2018, except for testing and unforeseen circumstances. I guess Sirotkin and his money gave Williams a really tough choice. On the one hand, I'm all for new talent, but on the other I was curious to see if Kubica still has what it takes. Apparently Williams think not. And, Formula One is not a place for sentiment.

Testing for this season begins in three weeks, by the way.

Re: grid girls: it makes no difference to me that they won't be employed this year. The concept of grid girls is obviously sexist, and it doesn't really add anything. Employing rid guys is even more farcical, so please no to that. There has to be a better way to place/position markers.

A good friend of mine is going to Silverstone too. He's been to some races, but never in England.

 

4 hours ago, red snow said:

I'm a bit concerned with how this is the last year in the UK that some live races will be shown on free TV. It's like the sport is deliberately trying to shrink its audience but making money while doing so. I know these are the result of Bernie contracts but Liberty Media really needs to address this moving forward.

Are they really the result of Bernie? Signed pre-contracts and so on? I hadn't realised Bernie's reach was that wide.

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TV contracts are usually for a couple of years. Those for Germany have just been re-negotiated. As a result, Sky is pulling out. They wanted exclusivity, and F1 wouldn't give them that. No change there between Ecclestone and the new owners. Sky just doesn't have enough subscribers here. 

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So, Kubica definitely not in the car for 2018, except for testing and unforeseen circumstances. I guess Sirotkin and his money gave Williams a really tough choice. On the one hand, I'm all for new talent, but on the other I was curious to see if Kubica still has what it takes. Apparently Williams think not. And, Formula One is not a place for sentiment.

 

Apparently the situation with Kubica is that if he rejoins Formula One, he has to pay back a large insurance payout from his accident, which was based in him not being able to race reliably and regularly in F1. To make that work, he needed a minimum 2-year contact from Williams. Williams was unwilling to take that risk up-front as his performance in the test was not outstanding (neither was Sirotkin's, who was comfortably outperformed by a retiring Massa, but he was better than Kubica). By putting Kubica into a regular testing and practice regime, they don't breach the terms of Kubica's insurance payout and also can better assess his performance over the long haul (if he has to do 1 or 2 races because Sirotkin or Stroll have to bail, I believe that also doesn't breach the insurance term: Kubica must be able to regularly compete in F1 which means a race seat contract). I think the feeling is that the Sirotkin-Stroll pairing is very risky and they'll only give it one season before swapping one of them out for a more experienced hand. Apparently Kubica's ability to give actionable, reliable feedback which the engineers can use is also extremely strong in F1, up there with Massa, Rosberg and Vettel, and Williams see that as a very useful tool for them.

Quote

 

Re: grid girls: it makes no difference to me that they won't be employed this year. The concept of grid girls is obviously sexist, and it doesn't really add anything. Employing rid guys is even more farcical, so please no to that. There has to be a better way to place/position markers.

 

Yeah, I saw people saying these girls were now unemployed, but that's not the case. They didn't travel from grand prix to grand prix to grand prix, each race recruited them from their country's own modelling agencies, so each girl only did one grands prix (although maybe some of the European ones travelled around a bit more and did two or three). It's still a big event and I assume a reasonable sum of money, but not enough to sustain them as their sole source of income.

I do get the criticism that these girls were there because they wanted to be, in many cases were motorsports fans or were doing degrees and other things on the side which this helped pay for. They felt anachronistic rather than offensive. I do wonder how many sponsors will get around this by still having models walking around with their brands on, just not on the grid like they used to be.

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