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Werthead

Formula One 2018

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Old thread was old.

Big news: the Red Bull-Renault divorce is on. Red Bull should announce tomorrow they are formally switching to Honda for 2019 onwards.

Even bigger news: Renault are apparently actively courting Adrian Newey for next year, and he hasn't ruled out the switch. Newey has previously said he wants to retire with Red Bull and turned down tens of millions to move to Ferrari (although that was because he didn't want to move to Italy; Renault's UK operations are based just down the road from Red Bull), so that'd be huge if true.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Even bigger news: Renault are apparently actively courting Adrian Newey for next year, and he hasn't ruled out the switch. Newey has previously said he wants to retire with Red Bull and turned down tens of millions to move to Ferrari (although that was because he didn't want to move to Italy; Renault's UK operations are based just down the road from Red Bull), so that'd be huge if true.

There's been a lot of speculation about what Alonso would do next year and if he'd be in F1. I wonder if the prospect of Newey designing the car could possibly tempt him back to Renault, his greatest triumphs came in previous iterations of that team so it would be an appropriate place to end his F1 career.

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The official announcement is out. Now Red Bull must find their driver lineup for next year. 

As for Alonso, after winning at Le Mans he talked of the "triple crown," which is the Monaco GP, Le Mans and Indianapolis. So it seems possible that he leaves F1 for IRL, or splits his time between the two. Renault don't look like they could win a championship any soon (say within the next two years), and apparently McLaren has Indianapolis ambitions. Alonso also seems to have signed up with Toyota to do the full WEC superseason ending with next years Le Mans 24 hours. All of that leaves a departure from F1 more likely than a change of team.

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20 hours ago, williamjm said:

There's been a lot of speculation about what Alonso would do next year and if he'd be in F1. I wonder if the prospect of Newey designing the car could possibly tempt him back to Renault, his greatest triumphs came in previous iterations of that team so it would be an appropriate place to end his F1 career.

A Newey-designed Renault would be tempting, especially if Sainz gets called back to Toro Rosso or Red Bull next year (which apparently is now likely, given they can't get Norris and have settled for Hartley for the rest of the season). It'd be the last roll of the dice and Alonso has to be debating the merits of that, McLaren coming good or IndyCar. Tough choices.

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Biggest story of qualifying: Leclerc getting 8th on the grid, beating both Haas (with some help from Grosjean's incompetence). Although arguably the more interesting, long-term story is Marcus Ericsson, the dullest driver on the grid, getting his car into 15th. This suggests that Sauber have taken a massive step forwards since the start of the season (when they were backmarkers) and now seem to be better than McLaren and Williams and on a rough par with Toro Rosso and maybe Haas.

McLaren are reportedly in utter turmoil, internal fights going on, Boullier's position seems highly untenable and there's even talk of bringing Whitmarsh back, although that would require a top-down restructuring (a lot of the current team is the one Ron Dennis left in place, who aren't too fond of Whitmarsh, despite his clout with the shareholders). They're trying to woo Ricciardo for next year, but he'd be insane to even consider it at this moment. I think he has no choice but to land back at Red Bull, and I think the only sticking point will be him wanting a 2 year contract and the team preferring 3 years.

Raikkonen had a pretty awful qualifying session (which ended with him missing the right turn-off in Q3, although to be fair the track is seriously confusing in places) and by some reports Ferrari are now 65-35 in favour of replacing him with Leclerc for next year. That would be a bold move for Ferrari, but it might be wise given that Vettel is perfectly capable of winning races and championships, but he has a fragile streak which can cause him to implode at the most inopportune moment. Having a more competitive team mate might help, although that's a major philosophy change from Ferrari.

Mercedes' latest upgrade seems to have stormed it, so I'm expecting a relatively straightforward win for Hamilton tomorrow.

Edited by Werthead

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On 6/19/2018 at 4:01 PM, Werthead said:

A Newey-designed Renault would be tempting, especially if Sainz gets called back to Toro Rosso or Red Bull next year (which apparently is now likely, given they can't get Norris and have settled for Hartley for the rest of the season). It'd be the last roll of the dice and Alonso has to be debating the merits of that, McLaren coming good or IndyCar. Tough choices.

Really curious to hear some news on this front. Rumour over here right now Is that McLaren may partner with Andretti Autosport and start a team in IndyCar. 

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14 hours ago, Lord of Oop North said:

Really curious to hear some news on this front. Rumour over here right now Is that McLaren may partner with Andretti Autosport and start a team in IndyCar. 

Yes, that's gathering pace as a rumour here as well. McLaren need to diversify a bit and entering IndyCar helps them do that, and they can give Alonso some silverware in another formula whilst they try to recover in F1.

I think internally McLaren may be considering the possibility that they'll need to write off this generation of engines and will have to focus on 2021, which is likely beyond the time Alonso would want to stay in F1 even if he was winning occasionally.

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Also a rumour flying around that McLaren might take raikonnen if Alonso leaves. It seems like McLaren are definitely operating on principle Alonso is leaving which might be because he's doing Indy car with them.

 

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14 hours ago, red snow said:

Also a rumour flying around that McLaren might take raikonnen if Alonso leaves. It seems like McLaren are definitely operating on principle Alonso is leaving which might be because he's doing Indy car with them.

Raikonen would seem an odd choice for McLaren unless they're really struggling to find a driver, since although he's still a decent driver he's clearly past his prime and must be close to retirement.

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9 hours ago, williamjm said:

Raikonen would seem an odd choice for McLaren unless they're really struggling to find a driver, since although he's still a decent driver he's clearly past his prime and must be close to retirement.

I agree it's an odd choice. Unless no one wants to go there? Id say it's a gamble even for rookies. It's not like vandoorne has people clamouring to take him. 

Ricciardo would be crazy to move there. Renault if he wants to gamble but realistically he's been offered best option with red bull and I think it's clear that red bull support whoever is winning rather than verstappen is number one

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 Yeah, I think the consensus is that he is going to stay at Red Bull and trust to the Newey-Horner judgement (which has been right so many times in the past).

Also it appears that the Renault-Newey team up was only a rumour and the story hasn't gained traction since. So I think we're going to see things falling out fairly evenly. The big question will be Alonso and Raikkonen.

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10 hours ago, red snow said:

I agree it's an odd choice. Unless no one wants to go there? Id say it's a gamble even for rookies. It's not like vandoorne has people clamouring to take him.

Maybe someone like Pascal Wehrlein who hasn't otherwise been able to get a seat could be an option. They could also take a risk on Kubica.

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These were two interesting weekends. Vettel screwed up both times and still comes out one point ahead of Hamilton. Watching him plow through the field after the start accident in France was quite impressive. The Austrian grand prix saw quite a few DNFs. I wonder what's up there. Maybe the altitude. And everybody was struggling with the tyres. The Ferraris should have been able to win, though. They definitely had the pace. They had the best start, too, but got stuck and lost positions rather than gain. At least not another accident. All six cars with Ferrari engines in the points. Mercedes are still best in qualifying but they have to worry as Ferrari seems to be faster over the race distance. They did a much better job managing their tyres, too. And a good job by Verstappen.

 

On the driver market, the silly season will probably last till the end of the year. If Hamilton wins another title, he'll probably retire. But that won't be clear before the end of the season. So, everybody will postpone signing new contracts as long as possible, particularly Ricciardo.

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They brought the wrong tyres to the track, all the teams were annoyed by it.

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It was an odd, but entertaining, race. I do feel sorry for Bottas who seems to be having terrible luck this year, he would probably not be far off the Championship lead if he hadn't had so many issues that weren't his fault. It did seem a bit surprising that Austria was the track causing so many reliability problems, it doesn't really seem like a typical car-breaker circuit. It was a good race for Verstappen to take the victory, even if Mercedes' horrible weekend helped a lot.

Grosjean must be very relieved to finally get some points on the board and be the best-of-the-rest driver behind the Red Bull and Ferraris. I think Haas might have been starting to lose patience with his mistakes, I'm not sure one good race really makes up for it but at least he's reminded them he does have genuine pace when he can stay out of trouble.

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That was the best and most entertaining race of the season, by far.

Major props to Hamilton's strategist for owning up to his huge mistake over the radio. No idea what they were thinking, and they have done this before. Sometimes Mercedes overthinks it by worrying more about what Ferrari is doing that what is best for them.

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McLaren need a massive shake-up. Apparently a lot of the issues came from the tensions between Dennis and Whitmarsh, and when Whitmarsh was forced out Dennis could only complete a certain degree of restructuring to his liking before he was also ousted. Boullier apparently tried to fix the problems but it didn't really work because he's quite a passive guy. He has a lot of technical knowledge and strategic nous and I think that helps when the foundations are solid - as it did when he did a terrific job at Lotus, getting Grosjean on the podium and even getting Raikkonen to win races - but when the core is rotten, he's not the guy to come in and fix it.

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On 7/2/2018 at 9:14 AM, Loge said:

These were two interesting weekends. Vettel screwed up both times and still comes out one point ahead of Hamilton. Watching him plow through the field after the start accident in France was quite impressive. The Austrian grand prix saw quite a few DNFs. I wonder what's up there. Maybe the altitude. And everybody was struggling with the tyres. The Ferraris should have been able to win, though. They definitely had the pace. They had the best start, too, but got stuck and lost positions rather than gain. At least not another accident. All six cars with Ferrari engines in the points. Mercedes are still best in qualifying but they have to worry as Ferrari seems to be faster over the race distance. They did a much better job managing their tyres, too. And a good job by Verstappen.

 

On the driver market, the silly season will probably last till the end of the year. If Hamilton wins another title, he'll probably retire. But that won't be clear before the end of the season. So, everybody will postpone signing new contracts as long as possible, particularly Ricciardo.

The race felt different to others this year Making it entertaining for different reasons.

See, I'd say the opposite. If Hamilton doesn't win this season he might retire. I think he desperately wants to equal and preferably beat Schumacher's record (I think Vettel is the same) but he needs another 4 titles for that. I think it's why there was the rumour of him wanting signing a 3-4 year deal. If he loses to Vettel this season though it means he has to win the next 4 which seems a stretch especially if Ferrari remains the strongest car on average and if red bull continue to move forward. If he can't win 7/8 titles there's really not much point him hanging around. Age is starting to go against him and the last thing he wants is to finish his career Alonso style (although I think mercedes are unlikely to fall from grace in the way McLaren have.

On 7/4/2018 at 12:40 PM, Loge said:

 Boullier is out at McLaren. I doubt that that's enough to turn things around.

They probably need Ron Dennis back. He sounded a bit of a dictator but he got results. Otherwise I agree they probably need a clean slate or steal several key players from another team. 

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9 hours ago, red snow said:

They probably need Ron Dennis back. He sounded a bit of a dictator but he got results. Otherwise I agree they probably need a clean slate or steal several key players from another team. 

Nooooo. Ron Dennis got them in this mess to start with, he's the last person you want to try to get you out of it.

Quote

 

See, I'd say the opposite. If Hamilton doesn't win this season he might retire. I think he desperately wants to equal and preferably beat Schumacher's record (I think Vettel is the same) but he needs another 4 titles for that. I think it's why there was the rumour of him wanting signing a 3-4 year deal. If he loses to Vettel this season though it means he has to win the next 4 which seems a stretch especially if Ferrari remains the strongest car on average and if red bull continue to move forward. If he can't win 7/8 titles there's really not much point him hanging around. Age is starting to go against him and the last thing he wants is to finish his career Alonso style (although I think mercedes are unlikely to fall from grace in the way McLaren have.

 

Hamilton has always said he has no interest in beating Schumacher's record. His plan has always been to retire from F1 whilst he was relatively young enough to do something else, and he's just started his music career (doing some vocals on Christine Aguilera's new record, of all things). The scuttlebutt is that he's been asking for a 2-year contract so he can assess the 2021 regulations and if he thinks he can keep winning he'll stay, if not he'll retire. I think Hamilton will be content with becoming the joint-second-best F1 driver of all time (which only requires one more title) and the best British driver of all time (arguably he's already there). Maybe if he'd won 2007 and 2016 and Schumacher's record was more achievable (as he'd be equalling him this year), he'd be thinking more about it.

Edited by Werthead

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