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Mandzipop

F1 2016

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

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.

If that is the case, Williams are either wasting Kubica's time, because next year there will surely be another experienced though not yet ancient driver on the market. I'm thinking Di Resta, Grosjean, or Perez or even Raikkonen. There are more options than Kubica if he really isn't good enough. Or they're just keeping him in reserve for this year, if Sirotkin really bottoms out. But if they can't put him in for more than one or two races, I doubt this will do any good. Or do you mean that they're taking 2018 for a lost season and let Kubica do what he can for them as testdriver (technical know-how) and throw both him and Sirotkin out next year?

Did Di Resta disappoint also? I didn't get that Massa outperformed both Sirotkin and Kubica. Word in the media was that Sirotkin was better than expected, but I don't know how that was managed re: set-up, fuelload, etc.

 

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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.

I think nobody bothered to ask the grid girls themselves, but I think Liberty were more concerned with how it looks for the worldwide audience to have good looking women standing there like furniture, as if that's all they're good for. In this day and age, that is indeed an anachronism. And arguably a slight to the many female fans Formula One also has. Getting with the times also jives with Liberty's stated goal of updating Formula One to the present.

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Thinking of last year's driver crop, what do you guys make of these drivers?

(In no particular order)

  • Sainz did well at Renault, but has shown a recklessness and lack of control at Toro Rosso that made him a liability at times. And a greater aptitude for lying that is generally necessary for the business. Hulkenberg has to step up though, or he'll get beaten.
  • Kvyat and Palmer have essentially written themselves off
  • Perez was good, but Ocon was/is better
  • Wehrlein and Magnussen didn't do bad, but didn't impress either;
  • Magnussen seems to be an annoyance to the other drivers;
  • Stroll wasn't as bad as I feared at the beginning, especially for a buy-in driver. He did have some good moments, and some promise as a reliable driver, if not a real racer.
  • Grosjean had a few moments, but his whining is incredibly ennoying (earning him a "Shut up, Romain!" radio-message from Gunther Steiner). Had a lot of mediocre moments too;
  • Ericcson seems to be the weakest of the lot.

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Doesn't Williams need a driver who is at least 25 to promote their sponsor? Maybe that's what they hired Kubica for. Stroll and Sirotkin are both too young.

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8 hours ago, Loge said:

Doesn't Williams need a driver who is at least 25 to promote their sponsor? Maybe that's what they hired Kubica for. Stroll and Sirotkin are both too young.

Martini prefer having a driver over 25 but it's not a deal-breaker. Williams kept them appraised of the situation and if it meant losing them, they may have chosen differently, but apparently they worked something out.

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On 02/02/2018 at 11:51 AM, Antonius Pius said:

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.

 

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

In the UK the SKY deal is one that Bernie had negotiated. It doen't mean the new owners are against it. I get the impression they want some online streaming pay-per-race option which I guess only works if the race isn't free to watch.

 

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First qualifying of the year sees Mercedes on top again. It looked for most of it like we could have a very close battle at the top between Hamilton, the Ferraris and Red Bulls but at the last minute Hamilton pulls out a lap that is significantly faster than anyone else could manage. It's difficult to know whether to expect a similar story in the race, or if it was just a superb lap from Hamilton and he might not have such a big advantage over the longer distance. Hopefully the latter since it would be good to have a three or four way battle for the title.

Bottas must be feeling under a bit of pressure this year if he wants to keep his drive for next year and crashing in qualifying definitely wasn't the best start to the season.

Alonso seemed reasonably cheerful after qualifying despite missing Q3. At least the 11th place suggests McLaren are towards the front of the midfield and have something to build upon but it looks unlikely they'll be challenging for podiums anytime soon.

Perhaps the most obvious difference to the cars is the Halo. I'd say 90% of the time it doesn't look too bad, but there are some camera shots (particularly from the onboard shots) where it looks a bit weird.

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Yeah, it was looking pretty close up there and then Hamilton smashed it. He says it wasn't down to "party mode" - the Merc's top engine mode - as he'd been using it in the previously lap. It was just that he was able to deliver a brilliant lap. To be fair, he has form as this was his 7th pole at Melbourne. Verstappen and I think Vettel both made significant mistakes, though, so they may not be as far off as it looks (and Raikkonen might not be quite as on fire as it looks either).

The question now will be if Mercedes vanishes into the distance race on race or if Red Bull and Ferrari can take the party to them. Red Bull have a proven, formidable ability to develop mid-season whilst Ferrari tends to drop off, so Red Bull could get some tasty results later on in the season if that continues.

Hamilton was really nasty to Vettel in the post-qualifying briefing. I think he hasn't forgotten some of the shit Vettel pulled last year and wants to show definitively who is the better driver in a direct contest. 

Disappointment I think for McLaren. They wanted to be the 4th best team with a view to closing on Red Bull over the season, but instead look 7th with both Renault and Haas in front of them. That's got to smart. Fortunately they beat the Toro Rossos, as that would have been humiliating. Williams also looking seriously off form. They had a big budget bonus for this year plus a much better chief engineer on board, so they should be doing a lot better, even granting that the car concept is completely different so some teething issues should be expected. 

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Martini prefer having a driver over 25 but it's not a deal-breaker. Williams kept them appraised of the situation and if it meant losing them, they may have chosen differently, but apparently they worked something out.

 

Ha. It turns out that Martini and Williams had already agreed to terminate their sponsorship deal for 2019 anyway, so it never ended up being an issue.

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curious race. shame it was won on a techicality but it at least demonstrates that qualifying, luck and tactics are going to be key to defeating Hamilton this year. If he is leading after the first corner I don't think anyone will be able to touch him - unless the mercedes is as variable on tracks as last year. Ferrari as a pair (with Vettel clear leader) could prove formidable if this race was an example

I felt sorry for Haas as both drivers were looking set for top 6 finishes. Did they confirm whether retirements were due to faulty pitstops? Alonso maximised the weekend as usual but it's debatable they are anything other than 5th fastest team.

Some of the camera shots with the Halo are absolutely awful. From outside they just look a bit pointless but hopefully we don't need to see occasions where they are needed as I'm still not convinced they'd provide that much protection.

Poor start by Verstappen - was worryingly sounding whiny a lot of the time and Ricciardo was certainly the better driver this weekend. If I were Mercedes, I'd already be chatting with Ricciardo about 2019 as Bottas isn't even performing the role of wingman. Hopefully he improves but if Mercedes want two championship winning drivers there's clearly better candidates in F1 already,

 

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4 hours ago, red snow said:

I felt sorry for Haas as both drivers were looking set for top 6 finishes. Did they confirm whether retirements were due to faulty pitstops? 

Based on the pit crews reaction, seems pretty certain. I heard them talking about it later in the race and it seems like it was a malfunction with the pneumatic system for the impact gun.

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Interesting race. I'm surprised the virtual safety car loophole - where the cars can still roar down the pit lane at the max pit speed even when the virtual safety car is out and thus gain an advantage - wasn't closed after it caused some grumbling last year, and it cost Lewis the victory.

Haas were running brilliantly before it all went wrong. They're going to rue those mistakes because, like a lot of the lower-budgeted teams, they're not great at mid-season development so will likely drop off over the season as Renault and McLaren outspend them. So they needed to maximise their outstanding performance in this race.

Ferrari outperformed the car, which is clearly not as on the ball as it was last year. The Mercedes seems to be less diva-ish but it still has the weakness of getting flustered running in dirty air, as did the Red Bull and the McLaren. The aerodynamic problems seem a little more pronounced this year over last year and they need to look at that. Not being able to overtake even with DRS on is ridiculous. Melbourne is not great at overtaking but it's not impossible either, yet the amount of overtaking in this race was risible.

Red Bull definitely have a very fast and formidable car. They were spoiled by Riccardio's penalty and by Verstappen's spin, which nuked his tyres for the first half of the race. Even so, Riccardio was closing in fast on Raikkonnen at the end of the race and would have passed him with a few more laps.

Excellent run by Alonso. Finishing 5th when the best he could have expected before the race was 11th was outstanding. If there's a big shunt at some point and 2-3 of the front runners get taken out (and that's happened at least once per year in the last few seasons, IIRC), a podium is possible. He just needs to bring his A-game to every single race. It was great to see him genuinely happy and enthusiastic during and after the race (gearing up his team over the radio and bantering afterwards with Coulthard in a way we haven't seen for a couple of years).

Toro Rosso seem to have fallen flat on their faces with the Honda. Very disappointing after they looked good in testing. Williams are also nowhere, which is ridiculous given the strengths they brought into this season. I'm starting to wonder if both drivers will make it through the season or if Williams will swap one of the drivers for Kubica at some point, as they urgently need that experience in the car.

One ominous factor was several cars, but most notably Hamilton, switching their engine modes way down at the end (Hamilton may have done it too early, Raikkonnen was right on his gearbox at the end) to try to preserve the engines for longer, as each engine has to do 7 races. That's going to make the ending of the races boring and they really need to get a grip on that as it's silly.

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yeah - engine management when drivers feel their aren't many positions to gain could make tyre management seem like not so much an issue.

That and Ricciardo getting that 3 place grid penalty. Some things should just be fines or "points" eg once they get a certain number of points then they get a grid penalty. It really neuters races.

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It was a fortunate victory for Vettel since I think Hamilton was clearly the fastest driver and even Raikonen should have had a good chance of finishing ahead of him. At least it looks like Mercedes don't have a huge advantage in raw pace in the race even if they do clearly seem to be the fastest. The lack of overtakes was worrying, hopefully it's not going to be something we see too much this year.

3 hours ago, Werthead said:

Toro Rosso seem to have fallen flat on their faces with the Honda. Very disappointing after they looked good in testing. Williams are also nowhere, which is ridiculous given the strengths they brought into this season. I'm starting to wonder if both drivers will make it through the season or if Williams will swap one of the drivers for Kubica at some point, as they urgently need that experience in the car.

I think we can't really judge Sirotkin properly given the car trouble he had, but it's not great for Stroll that he ended up behind a Sauber driver making his debut. Stroll did have some good performances at times last year but he needs to become more consistent.

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16 hours ago, williamjm said:

At least it looks like Mercedes don't have a huge advantage in raw pace in the race even if they do clearly seem to be the fastest. The lack of overtakes was worrying, hopefully it's not going to be something we see too much this year.

Yeah, really hope that this doesn't continue. Despite the lack of overtaking, I found that the race itself was pretty engaging because of all the drama with retirements and the VSC. But I'm getting tired of watching parades.

In comparison, I was watching the IndyCar season opener a few weeks ago and there were over 300 overtakes.

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6 hours ago, Lord of Oop North said:

Yeah, really hope that this doesn't continue. Despite the lack of overtaking, I found that the race itself was pretty engaging because of all the drama with retirements and the VSC. But I'm getting tired of watching parades.

In comparison, I was watching the IndyCar season opener a few weeks ago and there were over 300 overtakes.

It's always a fine balance with overtakes - you want them to feel earned but you don't want them to be impossible. If this race is a marker for the rest of the season then I fear that all the worries last year about the cars being wider and the aero packages making it harder to overtake could be coming true. It might be that it took a year for everyone to maximise the downforce. That or the removal of the coathangers, etc have made the cars too dependent on clean air. It's something they need to address - I'd much rather have cars that have the ability to overtake than all this nonsense with engine limits and grid penalties.

 

On a different note I have to give Vettel credit for his charm offensive on Hamilton. Nice to hear him say that Hamilton's qualifying lap was probably only 0.1 second engine power and 0.6s sheer driver skill. He said he'd watched the lap and studied the telemetry etc and admitted it was just Hamilton's ability to pick a way through corners no-one else could quite hook up. He also pointed out Hamilton's record at qualifying there. Maybe he's just trying to make amends for his behaviour last year but he sounded genuine.

On the other hand Ricciardo was saying if the Mercedes does have a "party mode" engine then it's pretty much a kick in the balls for everyone else at qualifying and that most of the paddock could get a pole with that (although he did admit that Hamilton is world class, making the difference more noticeable) I thought he'd choose his words slightly more carefully given they may have a spare seat for him next year. It must be frustrating though to know that your own skill can be nullified simply by an engine mode.

I hope we continue to see happy Alonso. If taking part in other championships has brought this about then they should let him split his time. Hopefully Mclaren will improve over the season and I think with some drop-outs/penalties Alonso could easily get on the third step this season. If he does I don't think there'd be anyone not applauding it.

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Slightly surprising qualifying session with the Ferraris seeming to have a clear pace advantage over Mercedes. With Hamilton's penalty added on it would be a huge effort to be able to challenge for victory so it looks like he could fall further behind Vettel in the Championship.

There was also an impressive drive from Gasly in the Toro Rosso, although I suspect McLaren won't be too amused about their cars being behind a car with a Honda engine that suddenly seems much more reliable.

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McLaren are also the weakest of the Renault-powered teams. Will be interesting how they perform over the season relative to Renault in particular, but also Haas, who seem to be on roughly the same level.

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7 hours ago, Loge said:

McLaren are also the weakest of the Renault-powered teams. Will be interesting how they perform over the season relative to Renault in particular, but also Haas, who seem to be on roughly the same level.

I suppose it could be worse, they could be Williams who have probably the best engine in the field and seem to be stuck at the back of the grid.

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That was an interesting race. Can't work out if Bottas did himself a favour by closing up on Vettel at the end, or screwed himself over by not attacking and taking the position. Wolff said they saw from the GPS and telemetry that Vettel had fuel-saved earlier on and used that window to stay ahead of Bottas so even Hamilton couldn't have done the pass, but it might be he was being polite there.

Another illusory solid result for McLaren, but at some point they're not going to have 4 or 5 cars above them taking themselves out of the race and they'll start getting the actual 9th-12th place finishes the car is only realistically capable of and that's going to cause things to go south again, especially if Toro Rosso pull off a few more upsets like today. Outstanding result from Gasly.

Worst moment of the race was Raikkonen hitting the mechanic and you could see his leg just snap. That was horrible, and a repeated mistake from Ferrari's stop-and-release system which is electronic. That system I think should be banned and replaced with a manual release system like Red Bull use. It malfunctioned twice for Ferrari this weekend (the first time in FP with no injury) and it also looked like it malfunctioned for Haas last weekend.

Solid recovery drive from Hamilton and impressive form from Vettel, who is showing he can win under adversity when push comes to shove. First back-to-back victory for him since 2013 when he last won the championship. Given that China is also not a great Mercedes track on paper, they need to start getting worried. Hamilton needs to win in China and they need to start closing down that gap again. And Verstappen needs to sort his head out and Red Bull need to get a grip. Once again, the start of the season is going badly for them.

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The pit stop incident was nasty, I agree that the automated systems don't seem able to do their job.

The race did come to an exciting conclusion. I suspect Bottas might have been able to pass if he had a couple more laps, Vettel did manage to do just enough to hold him off. It seemed a decent drive from Bottas but he's got to be disappointed that he couldn't finish it off. We didn't see much of it, but it looks like a good performance from Gasly to get fourth, he seems to be making a name for himself.

Hamilton overtaking three cars in one corner was fun as well.

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1 hour ago, williamjm said:

The pit stop incident was nasty, I agree that the automated systems don't seem able to do their job.

The race did come to an exciting conclusion. I suspect Bottas might have been able to pass if he had a couple more laps, Vettel did manage to do just enough to hold him off. It seemed a decent drive from Bottas but he's got to be disappointed that he couldn't finish it off. We didn't see much of it, but it looks like a good performance from Gasly to get fourth, he seems to be making a name for himself.

Hamilton overtaking three cars in one corner was fun as well.

Yeah, looked like he was almost there. He had a couple lockups on earlier turns that probably killed his last chance on that final lap.

Hamilton seemed pretty pissed off at Verstappen there in the post race room, when he was watching replay. Pretty sure that I heard him say "what a dick". Contact seemed like pure racing incident to me.

Like Wert said, McLarens position in the points is something of an illusion - so it'll be interested to see what happens when they don't get so lucky.

 All in All, good race to watch.

The pit stop incident was horrendous. I saw it in slow motion and wow, his leg just snapped back completely. Just awful. Kimi's response to in a post race interview was pretty shitty - he came off like he didn't give a fuck at all. During the race when he got out of the car, he didn't even go to check on the crew. Just walked back into the garage. The fuck?

 

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