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Werthead

Formula One 2019

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18 hours ago, Werthead said:

Hamilton's penalty was freaking nuts, though. The front wing was severely damaged and driving around with it like that for a full lap would have risked a really serious accident. Several times we've seen cars roll over their own front wings when they're detached, which then explode and shred debris over the track in a manner that's hugely dangerous to the other drivers. So Hamilton had no choice but to turn into the pits. He couldn't make the bollard without driving the wrong way around the track (which is #1 on the FIA's rules of "never fucking do this, for any reason, ever"), so there was no other way for him to get into the pits. So that felt like a pretty harsh penalty.

It did seem a bit harsh. On the other side, Le Clerc only getting a fine for a blatant unsafe release seemed unusually lenient compared to previous penalties for similar offences.

19 hours ago, Werthead said:

Another good story today was Kubica getting his first point since his comeback, and the first for Williams this year.

I hadn't seen that the results had been adjusted. It is good he's at least got something to show for his efforts this year, although everything about Williams' performance this year has been a disappointment.

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Solid race rather than a spectacular one, but epic and ballsy strategy call from Mercedes there, and one that completely snookered Red Bull, leaving them nowhere to go. Very smart thinking there, and a great recovery.

Bottas I think is gone from the end of the year. I can't see him being retained after yet another disappointing weekend. A shame after his great start to the year, but it's fallen away ever since. Ocon to Mercedes next year, maybe Bottas to Renault where Hulkenberg's seat is under threat and Hulkenberg to Haas, where one of the two drivers and maybe both are toast. I suspect Grosjean on performance might be the one to go, but Magnusson is a fucking liability (his moves today against Riccardio were pretty dodgy) and is going to get someone killed one of these days. Maybe drop them both and bring in someone else?

I think Mercedes want to see Russell in a better car, but their influence elsewhere around the field is limited, unless Racing Point decide to drop Perez. That said, Williams have reportedly found the aero problem that's been screwing them over all year and fixed it, so suddenly Russell was beating a Racing Point and an Alfa. It's unlikely to see them massively improve in the rest of the year, as the chassis development limits what they can do to improve on the issue, it's a good sign that when things step up Russell can make the most out of it. Not so much Kubica, who I fear may be out of a drive again at the end of the season.

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I think Kubica getting back on the grid was enough he was always going to struggle a bit unfortunately.

I would say that Grosjean is the one likely to stay at Haas he is apparently very good at the development side. The commentary were saying that at Lotus he was telling them for a long time they were developing the wrong way and when they finally listened the car started to be competitive and Kimi won and he is having a similar effect at Haas choosing to run the old spec car and being quicker in qualy than his teammate in the new spec.

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Not as epic as last three races but that run couldn't continue. However it was great to see Hamilton and Max go head to head in cars that were equally matched. Hamilton showed he's not willing to bow to the new kid on the block. Mercedes tactical decision was genuis and as Horner said post race it was a weird scenario where 2nd place had the advantage fue to the free pit stop. Max was snookered if he hadn't come in immediately and it would have been madness to pit from first.

I think grosjean development skills might find him a drive somewhere but not sure if haas will keep him. They need a driver who is consistently reliable.

Mercedes have a tough choice. Bottas isn't delivering but ocon presents problems too. Ocon is known for being abrasive and being fractious with team mates. Do they want to risk that with Hamilton? Bottas has his flaws but he knows his place and works well with Hamilton. I think if they knew what Hamilton was planning eg moving/retiring after 2020 season they'd be best keeping bottas and then giving ocon and Russell a drive in 2021. But that would require ocon having a drive elsewhere in 2020 as two years out is too long. The problem is mercedes don't really have anywhere to put ocon. Unless perez leaves, racing point is not going to have room. If williams are losing the mercedes engine then I can't see them putting him in there. McLaren have their drivers locked in even if they get a mercedes engine. It highlights how mercedes really need a junior team in terms of driver development. Red bull and Ferrari both have one and it helps them with getting up and coming drivers tested out prior to joining main team.

Gasly seems like toast. There's nothing lost in trying out albon as gasly is so far behind anyhow. Or kvyat although I'd feel bad for him to be demoted three times if it didn't pan out

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Gasly's saving grace is that the Red Bull programme doesn't have any other drivers ready to come up (they have a couple in F3 and one former F2 driver currently doing IndyCar but no other prospects). So they swap Gasly for Kvyat, but Kvyat did balls up his first stint in the Red Bull (but OTOH why bring him back if you're not going to give him another chance?). Or they swap him for Albon and risk the same thing  happening again: young hot driver who struggles with the promotion to the senior team after just one year in F1. They could bring in an outside driver, but that seems to go against their ethos.

Very interesting (but at this point vague) rumour floating around that if Jamie Chadwick wins the W Series, she might have a shot at Williams (where she is already development driver). That'd be quite a jump from F3-spec cars to F1, but Williams may feel it's worth rolling the dice. Because W Series isn't FIA-approved, she'd have to go through the F2 cycle first, which puts it off a couple of years.

Mick Schumacher is also coming up and just won his first F2 race, but his season has been sporadic, so his F1 debut is still likely a couple of years away.

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I didn't realize the w series wasn't FIA approved. Makes the whole set up a bit pointless if all it does is maybe get you into F2. It just means women drivers are older before they get anywhere near F1. Surely it'd be better allowing mixed drivers in all the lower formulas?

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On 8/5/2019 at 2:19 PM, red snow said:

I didn't realize the w series wasn't FIA approved. Makes the whole set up a bit pointless if all it does is maybe get you into F2. It just means women drivers are older before they get anywhere near F1. Surely it'd be better allowing mixed drivers in all the lower formulas?

They do, but relatively infrequently. Tatiana Calderon is the only female driver in either F2 or F3 at the moment, and is a development driver at Alfa.

You could in theory jump from W to F1, but you'd need enough super licence points to do so, and the technological leap from F3 cars (which they use in W) to F1 is very steep. There's no reason you couldn't do W and F2 at the same time though.

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On 8/5/2019 at 12:10 PM, red snow said:

Not as epic as last three races but that run couldn't continue. However it was great to see Hamilton and Max go head to head in cars that were equally matched. Hamilton showed he's not willing to bow to the new kid on the block. Mercedes tactical decision was genuis and as Horner said post race it was a weird scenario where 2nd place had the advantage fue to the free pit stop. Max was snookered if he hadn't come in immediately and it would have been madness to pit from first.

Has he ever? I mean, this wasn't in doubt, was it? Hamilton is the king of F1. He was always going to have a go, and he had the fastest car to boot. The only times Max got the better of him was (at the top of my head) in Brazil 2018, Mexico 2017 and 2018, where the Mercedes didn't "work" properly, and Malaysia 2017, where Lewis was fighting for the title and not willing to risk a real duel.

The best part is, I think they both really want to contest eachother. I think the respect is definitely there. During Vettel's post-race interview I saw Lewis hugging Max in the background, can't say I ever saw that before. 

Agreed that Max was snookered by Mercedes. Max's only hope was for Gasly or the Ferrari's (or anyone) to be inside Lewis' pit-window to hold him up, otherwise they could only lose. Still, quite remarkable to clear 19 seconds in less laps. Lewis was really putting in qualifying laps I think.

Quote

Gasly seems like toast. There's nothing lost in trying out albon as gasly is so far behind anyhow. Or kvyat although I'd feel bad for him to be demoted three times if it didn't pan out

What's really worrying for Gasly is that there's apparently no method to what he's doing. He seems consistently lost. I'm sure he's got some skills, after all he did allright in the Toro Rosso, but it all seems to desert him at Red Bull. Of course his confidence can't be high, but where does a misjudgement luke running into Albon's rear at Hockenheim come from?

It does indeed appear Red Bull are suffering from a lack of new talents. Has Ticktum been relegated? He was quite hungry to get his super license at the start of this year, I seem to recall. 

 

Given Grosjean's consistent lack of racing skills, I would chuck him out if I were Haas. Magnussen's a liability too, in a way, but more to others than to the team. I can't judge Grosjean's technical skills, but it feels to me like Magnussen has come out on top every Sunday this year. That's got to count for something.

 

Don't know how reliable this is, but it doesn't bode well for Bottas. No guarantees that Ocon can take the fight to Lewis, but it seems like Bottas has been ground down by the pressure and Lewis' relentlessness.

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I think Hamilton (and max) relish the chance to fight each other as too often critics will suggest success is due to lack of competition or having a car with too great an advantage. So Hamilton getting to race with Max is a great opportunity to showcase his skill. Hamilton always wanted to race Alonso in a similar car but unfortunately neither of them ever had similar strength cars after their stint together in McLaren.

I also agree that I'm non-plussed at people who still question Hamilton's skill. I sometimes question his persona but his skill isn't in doubt

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53 minutes ago, red snow said:

 

I also agree that I'm non-plussed at people who still question Hamilton's skill. I sometimes question his persona but his skill isn't in doubt

Do people? He's clearly by far the best driver of his generation. Top 5 all time and will inevitably hold record for wins and pole, if not also titles. 

He's a bit flash but doesn't come across as a dick. 

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Agree that he doesn't come across as a dick. Sometimes a bit of a drama-queen, but nothing more than that.

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2 hours ago, Antonius Pius said:

Agree that he doesn't come across as a dick. Sometimes a bit of a drama-queen, but nothing more than that.

Yeah it's his dummy spitting/sulkiness that is his worst quality and think it was what tipped him over losing championship to rosberg. The thing is he's pretty honest with his emotions meaning when he's on a high his joy is infectious. He always seems to have time for fans too and i know when he's at Silverstone he buys and has a drink with the stewards. 

I have a few dutch and potuguese friends who vehemently hate him but guess that's because he's beating the drivers they like most. Portuguese friend hated how massa lost to Hamilton.

I think the only winning driver I've begrudged over the years has been some of vettel's wins because it was so dull to watch. Wasn't exactly his fault though 

I think in general the current drivers are a good bunch in terms of personality and media engagement. Ricciardo, Norris and sainz seem to have a lot of fun on twitter and injokes and the Netflix show benefitted everyone involved

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Given Grosjean's consistent lack of racing skills, I would chuck him out if I were Haas. Magnussen's a liability too, in a way, but more to others than to the team. I can't judge Grosjean's technical skills, but it feels to me like Magnussen has come out on top every Sunday this year. That's got to count for something.

 

Grosjean's technical skills are actually pretty decent, but the problem is that he loses focus and goes through bad spells too often, and during those bad spells he's not only off the pace, but can get actively dangerous. In his second and later years at Lotus he outshone Raikkonen and showed some really good pace, but last year he seemed to relapse again.

That said, Magnusson is also regarded very negatively by the rest of the paddock, more than Grosjean, as his driving is seen to be quite dangerous and over-aggressive. Hulkenberg would quite happily punch his lights out, and as Hulkenberg seems a lot more popular in the paddock than Magnusson, I suspect a lot of the drivers agree with him.

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Caught the final race of W Series. Some pretty good racing there and a good British victory for first championship winner Jamie Chadwick, with Alice Powell also doing well (winning the race to snatch #3 in the championship).

The race did confirm that Brands Hatch is in no fit state to host an F1 race though. Coulthard drove a 2011 Red Bull F1 around the circuit as a demo and it would have been challenging with the narrow body cars. With today's ones, no chance, and the pits are barely fit for handling the F3 cars of W series.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Caught the final race of W Series. Some pretty good racing there and a good British victory for first championship winner Jamie Chadwick, with Alice Powell also doing well (winning the race to snatch #3 in the championship).

The race did confirm that Brands Hatch is in no fit state to host an F1 race though. Coulthard drove a 2011 Red Bull F1 around the circuit as a demo and it would have been challenging with the narrow body cars. With today's ones, no chance, and the pits are barely fit for handling the F3 cars of W series.

Well, the main event of the weekend was the DTM races. DTM cars are a bit heavier and less powerful than Formula 1 cars, so outdated former Formula 1 tracks like Brands Hatch and Zandvoort are just right. Coulthart used to compete there after his F1 career, BTW. So did Jean Alesi, Mika Häkkinen and Ralf Schumacher. Currently, there are two former F1 drivers, namely Timo Glock and Paul di Resta. Interestingly, no former F1 driver has ever won the series. di Resta won it before going F1, but hasn't after his return. Gary Paffett won in 2018, but he only was a test driver in F1.

 

ETA: Heinz-Harald Frentzen also competed in DTM after his F1 career. Pascal Wehrlein was a DTM driver before and after his F1 career. Like Paffett, he is a victim of Mercedes's decision to withdraw from the series in favour of Formula E. So was di Resta, but he got a drive at the newly-formed Aston Martin team.

Edited by Loge

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4 hours ago, Loge said:

Well, the main event of the weekend was the DTM races. DTM cars are a bit heavier and less powerful than Formula 1 cars, so outdated former Formula 1 tracks like Brands Hatch and Zandvoort are just right. Coulthart used to compete there after his F1 career, BTW. So did Jean Alesi, Mika Häkkinen and Ralf Schumacher. Currently, there are two former F1 drivers, namely Timo Glock and Paul di Resta. Interestingly, no former F1 driver has ever won the series. di Resta won it before going F1, but hasn't after his return. Gary Paffett won in 2018, but he only was a test driver in F1.

 

ETA: Heinz-Harald Frentzen also competed in DTM after his F1 career. Pascal Wehrlein was a DTM driver before and after his F1 career. Like Paffett, he is a victim of Mercedes's decision to withdraw from the series in favour of Formula E. So was di Resta, but he got a drive at the newly-formed Aston Martin team.

Yes, I am aware of all that. Although Zandvoort hopefully won't be outdated because they're going back there next year, which will take the calendar up to 22 races (with Vietnam added as well). And then 2021 could up it to 23 if the Saudi Grand Prix happens (which I know a lot of people are dead-set against), and then 24 if the second US event happens, despite almost all the drivers and teams saying they don't want a schedule that packed.

Interesting to hear W Series' plans for next year. They've gotten FIA recognition, so from next year the series will generate super licence points. There'll also be more races next year (8-10) with plans to up it further in 2021 by having the first races in Asia and North America (probably Japan and the USA). Chadwick may not defend her title though, as it sounds like F3 is coming knocking with a view to F2 the year after.

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Gasly out, Albon in.

Given both Marko and Horner had been saying that Gasly's seat was safe until the end of the season as late as the last grand prix, this is not a good look for Red Bull's honesty. Still, as a strategic move it's a decent one. See if Albon is ready for the big chair and if not they can either put Gasly or Kvyat back in for 2020.

Red Bull seriously lacking depth in their driver recruitment programme at the moment, which is bizarre given how strong it's been previously.

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3 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Gasly out, Albon in.

Given both Marko and Horner had been saying that Gasly's seat was safe until the end of the season as late as the last grand prix, this is not a good look for Red Bull's honesty. Still, as a strategic move it's a decent one. See if Albon is ready for the big chair and if not they can either put Gasly or Kvyat back in for 2020.

Red Bull seriously lacking depth in their driver recruitment programme at the moment, which is bizarre given how strong it's been previously.

I don't think anyone beleived them saying he was safe given their previous behaviour. I certainly didn't.

I think it shatters a driver's confidence (as we saw with kyvat) so i feel bad for him. But being lapped by your teammate regularly with no apparent reason is a bad look. Hopefully albon can step up, otherwise red bull have tricky decisions to make in 2020 if they aren't willing to recruit outside driver program.

It highlights how both red bull and ricciardo dropped the ball by not finding a compromise. Then again red bull would have more constructor points but less with the drivers as ricciardo would have inevitably taken points from verstappen. Red bull can't have it both ways. Maybe they should get bottas? A driver whose rarely a threat to the main driver but brings in the points.

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3 minutes ago, red snow said:

I don't think anyone beleived them saying he was safe given their previous behaviour. I certainly didn't.

I think it shatters a driver's confidence (as we saw with kyvat) so i feel bad for him. But being lapped by your teammate regularly with no apparent reason is a bad look. Hopefully albon can step up, otherwise red bull have tricky decisions to make in 2020 if they aren't willing to recruit outside driver program.

It highlights how both red bull and ricciardo dropped the ball by not finding a compromise. Then again red bull would have more constructor points but less with the drivers as ricciardo would have inevitably taken points from verstappen. Red bull can't have it both ways. Maybe they should get bottas? A driver whose rarely a threat to the main driver but brings in the points.

Ricciardo's position I think was understandable. He outscored and out-won four-times world champion Vettel in his first season in the same car, then both out-won and outscored Verstappen in two seasons, and only failed to do the same in the third because of repeated mechanical failures. He wanted parity in pay with Verstappen and was denied that, so he went somewhere else because he felt the Red Bull was getting behind a junior driver with less of a proven track record and not giving him his due. The feeling may be that Verstappen has more long-term potential than Ricciardo, but that was not as yet conclusively proven.

That said, Ricciardo is a great driver with solid experience and who could win a WC in a front-running car. There's a strong feeling that he is on the backburner for Ferrari, given his Italian heritage and that his driving style would fit in with the team very well, whilst he is clearly more measured and experienced than Leclerc. If Vettel leaves, I suspect Ricciardo is the #1 choice (well, Verstappen or Hamilton might be preferable, but it's unlikely they're moving any time soon).

It is interesting that the Red Bull young driver programme has not led to massive, long-term success outside of the team. Only Vettel, Ricciardo and Sainz have moved on from Red Bull into other teams and enjoyed long-term success and are still driving, whilst Gasly, Hartly and Kvyat all choked on the big opportunity. Some of their other drivers have gone into completely different series and enjoyed huge success, like Buemi (whose firing now appears to have been hugely premature), but there does seem to be something wrong with their system in that it is not necessarily developing drivers to the best.

Bottas is a solid, reliable driver, but him not taking advantage of the opportunity in Mercedes is a blow to his potential future at a top team. I suspect we'll seem him go midfield, to Haas if they do chop one or both drivers at the end of the season, or maybe back to Williams.

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Hopefully Ricciardo has a performance clause in his two-year contract as it'd be a shame if (still a big if) Vettel leaves Ferrari this year and Ricciardo can't replace him. Bottas would probably fit Renault ok as well, if that happened.

I think one possible explanation for the Red Bull program faltering could be Verstappen. They seem to have become so focused on him that other drivers have fallen by the wayside. Yes, they got a few years out of Ricciardo but lost him because they favoured Max. Same with Sainz jr who I feel Red Bull again ignored largely because of Verstappen's star - he'd have made a strong team-mate at Red Bull. Maybe Verstappen has made the team too impatient with the toro-rosso drivers? Which is in stark contrast to Mercedes' approach where they'd rather have drivers spend time in smaller teams (and even miss seasons) before promoting them to the top team in Ocon and Russel. Red Bull would have probably promoted Ocon if he was their driver while Mercedes preferred to keep Bottas on loan than to give Ocon (with 2.5 seasons in F1) a drive. Somewhere inbetween the Red Bull and Mercedes strategy is probably best as I think Ocon will have suffered from missing a year.

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