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SEASON 2019

So now it is 19 years after Y2K. All good so far.

I have to say that I am a bit keen to see what happens this year. At this point - before pre-season testing blows it all apart - there are some pretty interesting potentialities. Sauber is going well, and likely to improve with Kimi there (unless he really is in pre-retirement). Force India is under new management, and that management appears to have a few bucks. They have a good driver in Perez, and a not hopeless driver in Stroll, so who knows? Mercedes are an interesting packet. How much motivation will Hamilton actually have this year, I wonder? Valteri has proven to be somewhat brittle mentally, and uninspiring in every way. Imagine if he won the WC? yay........yawn........great. Ferrari look to have at the very least, a really interesting driver battle. I am predicting MAJOR blow-ups in that team. Gosh, you have the Vettel/Leclerc thing, and then you have the new team principal, who will have the usual Ferrari win or fired approach to motivation in place. The same over at Red bull, where there are way too many egos to deal with. I mean you have Max, Pierre, AND Helmut. That will be something to watch. Lot of speculation around about the Honda. I am hoping that it will have enough horsepower to keep up, but be so brittle that it fails every second race. I want to watch Max trying to keep it together when that happens. He just doesn't have the skills to hold his frustration in for more than a month, or two. Renault have made some bold statements over the summer, but one truly wonders how much they could make, given that in 4 years, they haven't managed to find an engine that works in the current formula. Still, they have solid investment, and Cyril baby has had an impact, so let us see if Ricicardo and the Hulk can actually achieve anything.

Nothing special to say about HAAS. I think that Carl is already regretting his latest attempt at F1, and this will be the swan song for him. Williams say that they found the bad gasket that caused all of last year's problems, and that all will be well this year. Seriously, all of their press releases now have sound of desperation in them. Just cannot see them coming back anymore. Even with Kubica, who was a mega talent back when, but can't possibly come up to speed in F1 now I think. Most particularly in that car.

And then there is Maclaren.If the Renault engine really is a good one, there is a possibility. What I really think is that the guy at the top has got the corporate culture completely wrong. As long as that lasts, I can't see it. Would like to though.

Comments

  • Hamilton worried, Ferrari appears quicker than Merc. let's see. Can't wait for Melbourne now, this is one of the most interesting pre-seasons with all the changes highlighted by Lease above. Do not expect anythiong much from Kubica unfortunately. But Vettel/Leclerc promises to be a bomb. If the baby is fast, I really want to see how Seb will react under pressure!!!
  • Never thought Williams would turn into the Minardi of the grid (though that statement is unfair on Minardi, who never had that kind of budget). Red Bull seem actually competitive with the new Honda engine, while McLaren... dear me why do they bother?
  • edited April 4
    Well after just two races it's still kinda tough to say who is in which spot troughout the season. Red Bull seems to be about the same as in the beginning of 2018, same goes for Williams except they seem even more at the back (like Manor in 2014). Ferrari is again strong but Mercedes is leading the standings, reminds me also on last season. Toro Rosso unfortunately is not a competitive as I would have wished, those three gained points were lucky. Renault, Alfa and Haas look promising, Mclaren also. Racing Point and STR are my disapointments so far, STR will hopefully learn to better use and understand the basically 2018 RB-car.
  • Will Bottast be able to make a Rosberg 2016? This is the key of the season....
    Second key: will Ferrari win its first race with Leclerc?
    McLaren looks extremely fast on the single lap, if they find the pace they may have their best season in years...
    Williams making the Marussian really cannot be seen.
  • In Barcelona Lewis re-established the hierarchies. Still he has to be careful, with this Bottas he can't afford a crazy summer as he had in 2016.
    Darkest night for Ferrari, with still the sensation that the boy would be faster than Seb if let free to do his races.
    Good Haas and Mc Laren, with Racing Point coming up. Renault badly struggling
  • Let's see how Seb's claim will go.
    He would have deserved the win in Canada and probably the commission just applied fiscally a rule that is objectively too strict, still the rule was there. But for the championship I see anyway little chance for ferrari to challenge clewlis, we must hopw him to feel sure and have a crazy summer like in 2016, so that Bottas may have a chance like Nico. But I doubt it will happen.
    I feel, anyway, that lewis is starting to feel "satisfied" these days, although he would be suilly to do so when he is so close to M$'s real records.
  • The championship is not really a question, is it? I think most fans are looking elsewhere in the field for their entertainment. Leave it to Danny Ric to provide it. I think that he could not care less about the penalty. He is determined to have some fun and make things interesting, whilst he educates himself on the limits of his car. I love his quote to the Dutch interviewer asking for a comment; "fuck em all, how's that?" They so need this guy in the racing.
  • And we're back to penalties. The pass by Verstappen on LeClerc is a bit conflicting. On the one hand you really don't want the racing to be a series of penalties for minor infractions that might spoil the flow of the racing, and yet on the other hand Max does these unsportsmanlike things and you just think that he ought to be taught some manners. It is fairly clear that Max set the young fellow up from the corner entry, based on his learnings from the previous lap. He waited past the optimal apex turn in until LeClerc started to turn, then opened the wheel on the way out to push him off the track. Once upon a time a driver would have been lambasted as a cheat for that. It is the way that Schumaker used to do things and no-one liked it then either. I rather think that Verstappen was never actually taught fairness. It is fairly clear from comments he has made in the past that fairness is anything that he does, whilst the opposite is true of anything done to him.

    It is a shame that even though he is an amazing talent, his attitude is one that cannot be admired. So we are still waiting for a hero. It's been a long time.
  • I'm conflicted with F1. In truth most races this year have been boring. The French and Austrian races only showed something interesting in the last couple of laps, due to mostly tyre wear. Everyone is just conserving and hoping to hang on in the last couple of laps. For Charles it didn't quite work out. It's all a bit pedestrian at the moment, and I think the strategists have a lot to do with it, trying to deal with these tyres. Maybe we need just 1 tyre compound, like the old days, that's good for 25-30 laps only.
  • Tyres are definitely part of the issue. HAAS apparently cannot do anything with them. So much for outsourcing both chassis AND engine and then trying to make the thing work with people who didn't have anything to do with the design. The other thing that is coming up more and more is heat. There seems to be a lot of talk from all parties about managing engine temperature. It is not clear from what I have read whether they are talking about the ICE, or the package, or any individual bits. It does seem though that as manufacturers extract more total horsepower from their package that they are really struggling to get rid of the heat created.

    So in the end you have drivers being managers by having to drive within the limits of tyres and engines that cannot be used to heir full potential.

    Drivers should be given other jobs to do, like changing gears and pushing clutches. Multi-tasking used to provide a lot of the action once upon a time.
  • Clewlis lucky in Silverstone with the safety car, but would have probably won anyway. His fastest lap at the last lap was a masterpiece, and done on purpose: he is as usual surgical in destroying his opponents psychologically.
    The initial duel Hamilton-Bottas (great Valtteri) and the surpass by Leclerc to Gasly at Lulland were among the top fights seen in the last few years.
    Great, great race! Zeltweg and Silverstone sort of reconciled us with Formula One!
    No more need to say anything about Seb.....

    On a different subject, I can't help mentioning the Wimbledon final between Nole and Roger. A game that gors among the top level sport events all time, in 50 years they will still talk about this legendary match.
  • There is lots to say about Seb. His heart is clearly no longer in the game. Can't see him staying on after this year.

    Hamilton does indeed operate in a surgical way, but no personality at all. Hard to like the lad. The McLaren boys are doing well, and it is good to see the cars back in the running. Grosjean is finished. As Jack Warner would say "he'll never work in this town again". Mind you Magnussen, Magnus, I am just great, is not doing himself any favours either. Thoroughly enjoying the Rich Energy saga. Shame they got rid of ZZ Top and changed their name.

    Renault are just weird. WTF is going on with those guys? The only thing that you can probably now say is that The Hulk was really a journeyman after all. I seriously do not understand why they don't understand their own car. It's like they show up each week without a clue. It either works, or it doesn't.

    Gasly wasn't ghastly, so that's good. He needs a few more of those to hold on to his seat. You have to be impressed with Verstappen though. Not only fast, but gives it 100% every single lap. He is going to be an impossible personality once he gets to the top step regularly.

    Was the tennis on? That's nice.
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