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Werthead

Formula One 2018

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Maybe Williams? I assume Stroll is out next year - though Williams may need a pay-driver, Mercedes could also do something about the engine bill.

 

Reportedly, Kubica's contract gives him first refusal on a race street should it become available. So for Ocon to go to Williams, they'd also have to get rid of Sirotkin (and the income he brings with him).

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2 hours ago, Antonius Pius said:

And why on earth would Kimi want to race for Sauber? Just to pick up a paycheck? Can't imagine what challenge he sees there. I expect he will do a lot of good for the team, but really?

It is a bit of a surprising move. Maybe Kimi just enjoys the experience of being a F1 driver, and isn't ready to give up on it yet - there probably weren't many alternative seats if he did want to stay in F1? It's definitely a great signing for Sauber, they don't tend to have many former World Champions driving for them.

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10 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Ocon looks set to be Mercedes reserve driver in 2019 with a view to being promoted to the main team in 2020.

Williams also have Artem Malekov on their books who may step up if the Kubica deal doesn't happen or if they drop Sirotkin.

The report does a good job of explaining the domino effect of ricciardo surprising everyone leaving red bull and force India going into administration and bought by stroll senior. I guess ocon may have got a mercedes drive over Bottas if they had known ocon would be without a drive. Only issue I see is whether they'd really get rid of dependable Bottas in 2020 for a driver who hasn't been competitively racing?

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Mega qualifying lap from Hamilton. That was something else altogether.

Vettel looked monumentally pissed off afterwards. After last year he's not going to be too keen on pushing Verstappen at the start and he knows after that it's Hamilton's race to lose. Hamilton has occasionally screwed up Singapore in the past, so he'll be hoping for a similar error, but not looking good for Ferrari tomorrow. Hamilton's main worry may be Verstappen getting a launch and then smashing him off the track.

Magnusson looking seriously off-form as Grosjean gets back his mojo as well. Haas are (almost certainly) going to retain both next year, so Magnusson needs to up his game again after that great start to the season.

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Magnificent lap by Hamilton. It was fun to see how verbal and giddy he was in explaining that lap when interviewed. He's in the zone right now and he's almost unstoppable in that mode. A big difference from when he's frustrated with the car.

That said Max's lap was probably as impressive given the difference in engine power. He's going to be very dangerous off the start as he knows he has little to lose championship wise while Vettel and Hamilton can't afford a DNF. Could be an interesting race if Vettel gets the lead as we know how stubborn he is with giving up a position.

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Vettel just seemed to give up there. Really bizarre strategy error by Ferrari as well.

Not Perez's best weekend either,

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On ‎9‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 4:16 PM, Werthead said:

Vettel just seemed to give up there. Really bizarre strategy error by Ferrari as well.

Not Perez's best weekend either,

It does feel like Vettel/ferrari are losing the psychological battle and/or performance against Hamilton at the moment.

Perez at least made an otherwise formulaic race more interesting but that swerve deserves further punishment particularly as it appeared to be from frustration. I know Perez "saved" Force india but it's a shame Ocon is losing out to him. The Ocon situation suggests mercedes need to have a feeder team or at least more clout with one of the teams they supply engines to. They should be able to persuade/insist they use him.

 

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Latest rumour is that Toro Rosso has already signed Kvyat and will be signing Pascal Wehrlein shortly, Mercedes having released him from his contract.

Williams also want clarity on the Stroll situation so they know what to do, but it sounds like Force India is leaning towards keeping Ocon until the end of the season rather than buy out his contract. That could change quickly, of course.

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Surprising, as Ericsson was tight with the boss and he had improved quite a bit recently. He seemed to be inspired a bit by Leclerc's performance and the improved car. Still getting curb-stomped by his far less experienced team-mate though.

Mercedes apparently going all-in to bat for Ocon at Williams. Williams are on the ropes and Mercedes could cut them a big engine deal (after last year's one for Bottas) if they take Ocon. The only question is if that will make up for what they lose by not taking Malekov for next season or by ditching Sirotkin.

Actually, having Ocon-Kubica in the Williams cars would be a really interesting set-up, and would give Kubica a really good marker to judge his performance on. But it sounds like Kubica's first refusal contract clause only kicks in if they swap drivers before the end of the season. If they change drivers at the end of the season, they don't need to give him a seat (and he seems to be saying he'll walk if that happens).

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Haas have also confirmed their drivers for 2019. Not many empty seats left.

The writing was at the wall for Ericsson when the Leclerc-Räikkönen swap was announced. They said Kimi was filling Sauber's seat, not the one Ferrari is entitled to fill under their sponsorship deal. Looks like that deal is more important than Ericsson's connections.

On the situation at Williams, they certainly could use some money from Mercedes. Sirotkin's sponsors seem to consider pulling out because Kvyat will draw all the attention in Russia once he's back. 

 

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Kvyat also confirmed for Toro Rosso. No word on Hartley. It seems likely to me that Wehrlein will replace Hartley and that really just leaves Williams to sort their lineup out.

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Not sure why Mercedes did that. They secured a 1-2 finish so maximum Constructor's points. They should have given Hamilton the choice on what to do or just told him to let Bottas pass on the last corner. Completely illogical. I don't see a situation developing where those 7 points will make any difference, not with Mercedes now pulling away from Ferrari in the technological development. Weird.

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10 hours ago, Werthead said:

Not sure why Mercedes did that. They secured a 1-2 finish so maximum Constructor's points. They should have given Hamilton the choice on what to do or just told him to let Bottas pass on the last corner. Completely illogical. I don't see a situation developing where those 7 points will make any difference, not with Mercedes now pulling away from Ferrari in the technological development. Weird.

It soured what was an enjoyable race. Hamilton should have given the position back or at least owned the ruthless team decision rather than all the excuses and lamentations he made afterwards. For Bottas to lose from pole because his team mate had blistered tires is really bad form. Especially as it seems Bottas gave the position away thinking he'd be allowed it back if things hadn't changed. It's a real shame as Hamilton beat Vettel on the track which was great for the championship seeing them go wheel to wheel and it was undone by mercedes handing him the win. Good for mercedes? Probably. Good for the sport? Absolutely not. 

Thankfully verstappen provided us with something more sporting with a tour dear force on his birthday. This is why red bull tolerates his bad days because to start from 19th and lead the majority of the race was phenomenal. I'm pretty sure he could have won on the one set of tires had he been allowed and part of me wishes they had gambled with the hypersofts and the potential elation from him possibly getting a podium or , in a dream scenario, stealing Hamilton's undeserved win. The commentators joked he should have went back in for his old set of tires and Christian Horner said those tires would not only have lasted the race but Max could have drove home on them too.

Magnussen continues to be the Gandalf of F1 with his "you shall not pass" mantra in what's stubbornly hard but fair. I felt force India handled team orders correctly by giving both drivers a chance at passing him and handing Ocon the position back when Perez also failed. They aren't fighting for a driver's championship but that's the way I like to see team orders used. Mercedes forget the psychological effect this will have in Bottas, why give a race 100% when you know you'll have the win taken from you if your teammate is behind you? I think it's something that has affected raikonnen's driving and other obvious number 2 drivers in the past.

Overall I'd say it was one of the better russian grand Prix but mercedes decision but a damper on the whole thing and I can see why fans of other sports would use the decision by mercedes to claim it wasn't a "real" sport.

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well, while all the TV pundits have done an excellent job of justifying mercedes team orders decision I have to say it has completely sucked the life out of the remainder of the season. At one point vettel is down in 18th and Hamilton and Bottas are in a 1/2 position. The tension in wondering how this race will pan out. Max summed up the situation in a post qualifying interview when asked "do you intend to interfere in the championship battle" and answering "what championship battle"? Fingers crossed that the Honda, Red Bull, Max combo is a winning one next year. The Toro Rosso was looking a bit more nippy this weekend so Red Bull may have made a decent gamble with the switch to next year. Vettel has demonstrated that he just isn't as consistent as Hamilton, Ricciardo and Verstappen when it comes to wheel to wheel racing at the moment. That combined with some odd qualifying decisions by ferrari is highlighting how they can't stand against the solid mercedes team and an on-fire Hamilton. Starting to feel like we have to hope for le Clerc or Verstappen to provide us with a to the wire championship next year as Vettel/Ferrari have had two attempts now and have buckled. It's clear Bottas knows his place so it would require Hamilton to have an awful start to the season for there to be any racing within mercedes - although I'd love to see a situation where Hamilton plays the good team player and hands Bottas races next year. I suspect his "conflicted feelings" about team orders will slip into "not following them" when the shoe's on the other foot.

Qualifying was good though.

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Season started out with such promise, but turned into a snoozefest. Hamilton has this one in the bag now

 

 

Edited by Lord of Oop North

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Solid race to start with, lots of incidents and then some continuing events through the race. A shame Max couldn't really race Bottas at the end and Hamilton was mostly left untroubled out front.

Vettel starting to get desperate and make mistakes. Ferrari might be starting to think about finding a driver who won't buckle under the pressure.

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53 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Solid race to start with, lots of incidents and then some continuing events through the race. A shame Max couldn't really race Bottas at the end and Hamilton was mostly left untroubled out front.

Vettel starting to get desperate and make mistakes. Ferrari might be starting to think about finding a driver who won't buckle under the pressure.

If it wasn't for vettel's contract id be having a sit down with Alonso and asking whether he'd like a go with s race winning car. I know Vettel has a contract but they could just say "like it or lump it" with Alonso as a team mate. 

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The championship loss will be Ferrari's fault as much as Vettel's. The constatly make bad desicions this year. It's not that they have winning strategies and Vettel by being impatient or anxious is the one losing the games. Ferrari has been outplayed in the strategy sector for 10+ years. 

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