Red Bull determined to extend title streak

F1 Fanatic round-up

Red Bull RB9In the round-up: Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner says his team have a “fierce determination” to take both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships for the fourth consecutive year with the newly launched RB9.

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Red Bull launch their new RB9 car for the 2013 Formula 1 season (BBC)

“Team boss Christian Horner said the team had a “fierce determination” to win the drivers’ and constructors’ titles for the fourth consecutive year. Sebastian Vettel, who has won the last three drivers’ crowns, said: “It all starts again from zero, same chances.”

Horner: No doubts about Webber’s talent despite Marko’s comments (Autosport)

Christian Horner: “If we weren’t happy with Mark we would never have signed him for this year. We give both drivers equal opportunity and it’s down to what they do on the circuit.”

Allan McNish: I fear it’s the end of the road for Lewis Hamilton (Daily Express)

McNish: “I don?t see Lewis winning races in 2013 ?ǣ and there has to be doubts that the car will be good enough in 2014. Just look what happened to Jacques Villeneuve after he joined BAR having won the title in 1997. He never won another race.”

Jenson Button channels No5 at McLaren with nod to F1’s Nigel Mansell (Guardian)

“At McLaren’s launch of their 2013 car, Button ?ǣ or “Luke Mansell” as he jokingly referred to himself ?ǣ said: “Nigel meant a lot for every kid growing up, whether you were into Formula One or not. Because F1 was massive in the late 80s and early 90s.””

Mercedes F1 team breaks record??for cash spent as it announces its 2013 F1 car (Daily Mail)

“The Mercedes Formula 1 team, which has signed Britain?s Lewis Hamilton to replaces Michael Schumacher as lead driver, spent a record ??242.1??million on its title challenge in 2011, according to its latest accounts.”

RB9 Rhythm of the Factory (Red Bull via YouTube)

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Comment of the day

With Adrian Newey describing his new car as a progression of the 2012 championship winning RB8, Craig-O wonders whether the RB9 is perhaps a little too similar to its predecessor.

I have a feeling the lack of a pull-rod front suspension could be costly, especially as Ferrari were able to harness its potential. It also doesn?t really look any different other than a few minor details, people also forget it wasn?t the fastest car for the majority of the season anyway. Red Bull could be behind McLaren, Ferrari and maybe Lotus and Mercedes by the end of the season, though should be quick out the starting blocks as they will probably be able to understand the tyres quicker than the others.
Craig-O

From the forum

What do you predict for the 2013 Formula 1 season ahead?

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Giorgio Pantano who turns 34 today. A star in karting, he made his F1 debut for Jordan in 2004 but missed a few races due to disputes over the sponsorship money he was supposed to bring.

He stepped down a level and joined the new GP2 championship, which he won in 2008. However it failed to lead to an F1 return. He later raced in IndyCar.

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63 comments on Red Bull determined to extend title streak

  1. Will Wood (@willwood) said on 4th February 2013, 8:06

    Apologies for this being up late. I made an error with the scheduling last night and only just realised.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 8:17

    I have a feeling the lack of a pull-rod front suspension could be costly, especially as Ferrari were able to harness its potential. It also doesn’t really look any different other than a few minor details, people also forget it wasn’t the fastest car for the majority of the season anyway. Red Bull could be behind McLaren, Ferrari and maybe Lotus and Mercedes by the end of the season, though should be quick out the starting blocks as they will probably be able to understand the tyres quicker than the others.

    I agree with this whole-heartedly.

    I think McLaren were going down the right track when they totally revised the MP4-28 so as to give them more scope for development because they felt they had developed the MP4-27 as far as possible, and that if they continued developing it, they would reach a point of diminishing returns sooner rather than later. I think Red Bull will be faced with the same conundrum; perhaps they would hit the wall after McLaren would have with the MP4-27, but I have the feeling that whatever advantage they have with the RB9 will be squandered by the way everyone else has half a dozen avenues for development, and so will stand a better chance of catching them.

    Honestly, I was disappointed in the RB9. It’s rare that the regulations are as stable from one year to the next as they are between 2012 and 2013, and so I was eager to see what Adrian Newey could come up with when given a second bite at the apple. But what they unveiled seemed to err on the side of conservatism, as if they looked at the final results of 2012 and thought to themselves “Yeah, we won, so let’s just keep developing the RB8 and we’ll win again”, without taking into account the way they won in 2012. The RB9 just seems to totally lacks imagination, and I feel that everything else is better by virtue of being more interesting.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 4th February 2013, 8:26

      The RB9 just seems to totally lack imagination.

      Come on, it’s purple! :)

    • Tyler (@tdog) said on 4th February 2013, 8:27

      I must say I was expecting a bit more wow as well, but given:-

      1. Red Bull’s track record of constant and rapid development, even from one test from the next;
      2. The lengths RBR went to at yesterday’s launch to give as little away as possible, suggesting they have tricks up their sleeve;
      3. Newey’s widely acknowledged genius;
      4. The fact that car hasn’t even hit the track yet,

      I think it’s a bit early to suggest that RBR has erred in its design choices.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 8:30

        The lengths RBR went to at yesterday’s launch to give as little away as possible, suggesting they have tricks up their sleeve

        I read that as being symptomatic of a lack of foresight more than anything else. If you’re going to invite the media to the launch of your car, you should expect them to take photos. All the other teams put 2012-spec parts on the sensitive parts of their cars. Red Bull were the only ones who employed a group of SAS washouts to wrestle mobile phones away from journalists.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2013, 8:50

          I was wondering weather with German AMS having good pictures online that were evidently made during the presentation, maybe they had an exclusive to be the first ones to show pictures of the car @prisoner-monkeys.
          It seems strange to think of Red Bull having missed a trick PR wise.

          • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 4th February 2013, 8:57

            Apparently Red Bull misses Dany Bahar… He created all the wild things like the Red Bulletin, party’s and extravagant motorhome. For all bad he’s done at Lotus/Proton, he sure did a better job than the current PR people at Red Bull.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 9:00

            @bascb

            It seems strange to think of Red Bull having missed a trick PR wise.

            You think so?

            I think most people would agree with me when I offer up the opinion that Red Bull are perhaps the worst team at managing their public relations. They do, after all, employ Helmut Marko and allow him to belittle their drivers at regular intervals. He does serious damage to the team’s image and credibility, and they make no move to censure him.

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 4th February 2013, 9:14

            It seems strange to think of Red Bull having missed a trick PR wise.

            And yet they did. It wasn’t the first time, either. In my opinion they “miss the trick PR wise” pretty much every time Helmut Marko speaks publicly.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2013, 9:58

            Ah, yes. I know what you guys mean there @maroonjack, @prisoner-monkeys, but that is mostly to do with things surrounding how they run the team, or especially manage to keep Marko embarrassing the world for his “outspoken” (rude/blunt/favourism-blurred all come to mind), not for planned things like a car launch.

            When we compare it with McLaren, its clear what team is set out to reach a bublic lately (Ferrari does not have to do much for that, they already have the audience’ attention)

        • Randy (@randy) said on 4th February 2013, 9:13

          I know RB has so much resources that they could put U.S.A. out of their debt, but it seems that last year’s frantic development rush towards the end of the season must have had it’s toll on RB9.

          Now i’m certain there’s more to it – people like Adrian Newey just don’t stop and suddenly drop the ball after three straight years of success. Remember that we’ve only just seen the very tip of the iceberg, now the fun will really get going.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 4th February 2013, 8:46

      But what if McLaren et al. are struggling in the first five races to get the most out of their new machinery while Red Bull are consistently putting points on the board? What I mean to say is that they shouldn’t simply adopt a front pull-rod just because they had a push-rod last year. Red Bull have been evolving their car since the RB5, and so far it has brought them plenty of success.

      Still you may be right, they may run out of steam this year and be finally defeated, but it won’t be because of laziness (“Yeah, we won, so let’s just keep developing the RB8 and we’ll win again”). Perhaps they didn’t have time for a revolutionary design after developing last year’s car right up to the final race, or maybe Newey finally ran out of inspiration. Either way, I think the RB9 will be a contender.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 8:50

        But what if McLaren et al. are struggling in the first five races to get the most out of their new machinery while Red Bull are consistently putting points on the board?

        I very much doubt that everyone will have screwed things up so badly that Red Bull slip away from them.

        • thatscienceguy said on 4th February 2013, 10:27

          Equally you should doubt that Red Bull have screwed things up so badly that everyone else slips away from them.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 4th February 2013, 10:42

      I don’t agree that they’ve maneuvered themselves in a development dead-end. If you look at the rear it’s completely different to the RB8.
      We need to wait till Melbourne but it doesn’t look to me as if they will have troubles bringing new parts.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 4th February 2013, 13:36

      2 Points;
      1; I doubt any of us are qualified to critique A.Newey on the basis of a couple of poor photos.
      2; I doubt that the car at the launches of the leading teams is exactly the car that will arrive at the first test let alone the first race.

    • Jake (@jakehardyf1) said on 4th February 2013, 14:06

      I wonder how many people in here have any clue about engineering etc.

      A front-wing aero package’s importance outweighs a choice of either pull or push rod suspension.

      The F2012 has some of the worst understeer seen in the ‘front runners’ and a lot of that came from the front wing package.

      RedBull and McLaren’s front wings are very good at minimizing the vortices created at the wing tips/planes, and they are also very good at clearing vortices away from downforce-generating components. Look at Newey and his aero-team’s packages since 2009. The RB5’s front wing design was better than the dominant Brawn’s, however Brawn’s double-diffused monster’s rear end package that generated enormous rear end grip/downforce and overall balance gave it the edge in the end. Remember 2009 was the year that the front wing design was basically put on the table and fully re-devised to fit the new regulations. RedBull, with no double diffuser managed to be very competitive with the RB5 unlike McLaren and Ferrari, despite McLaren and Ferrari’s 2007-2008 aero-dominance with all their barge-boards, fins, gills and bodywork.

      I am almost certain the RB9 will be quite dominant unlike many people’s thoughts in this thread. People forget the Renault engine is inferior to the Mercedes and Ferrari with regards to power (up to about 20kw less), yet since 2009 (more-so 2010 onwards), the RedBull team seem to dominate the high downforce circuits i.e Monaco (10,11,12) Silverstone (09,10,12) Yeongam (2010-Q, 2011, 2012) etc.

      It is at Monza and Montreal where the engines show their power with the minimal drag/downforce setups.

      Ferrari or McLaren dominate the Montreal race time and time again over history (Renault engine wins Montreal ONCE).

      After all my jibber jabber above, my point is, do not underestimate the RedBull fluid dynamicists. They are the cream of the crop. Look at the RB9’s front wing for launch, let alone the one they use at Monaco this year. It will be the closest to perfection on the grid. They also have the rear end sorted out very well. The RB7’s rear was perfection with blown exhaust, and RB managed to adapt to the coanda exhausts quickly in 2012.

      I hope I am not made a fool of here if redbull struggle, but this is my 2 cents as a mech. engineering student.

      RedBull Mclaren will be top dogs.

  3. DamionShadows (@damionshadows) said on 4th February 2013, 8:38

    @keithcollantine Man, I love me some title steak :D

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 8:49

    “I don’t see Lewis winning races in 2013 – and there has to be doubts that the car will be good enough in 2014. Just look what happened to Jacques Villeneuve after he joined BAR having won the title in 1997. He never won another race.”

    Right, because the situations are totally comparable.

    Once again, I suspect a journalist has led the subject of an internview into giving him the answer he wants to hear for the sake of a better headline. After all “Lewis is doomed” will probably sell far more papers than “Lewis will be okay”.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 4th February 2013, 9:18

      I got that sense too. I find it hard to believe that someone of McNish’s nature (and stature) would come out and say so categorically that Hamilton is finished, particularly when he heaped praise on him later in the piece (“Lewis drove like a world champion last season and he still sets the benchmark, especially in qualifying.”).

      Hamilton has taken a risk and he knows it. But it isn’t as mindless and stupid as some of the (mainly British tabloid) press are making out. He’s putting his faith in a team which won a race in 2012, won a world championship in 2009 and which in the early 2000’s often gave the big boys a run for their money (2004 springs to mind). Yes they blow very hot and very cold, but they look to be trying to build up a winning team and are recruiting some fantastic staff at the moment. Hamilton wants to be a part of that. If it doesn’t work out I doesn’t work out. I certainly don’t think that it will do Hamilton’s reputation any harm if he has a winless season or two. He is a world champion and one of the quickest men out there…he is in a position where he can take this risk and if it doesn’t pay off he could probably step back into a moderately competitive car and try to rebuild his reputation, sort of like Raikkonen did.

      The biggest thing which worries me with Mercedes at the moment is Niki Lauda. He was incredibly unsuccessful at Jaguar and wasn’t much kop in his role as a consultant at Ferrari in the early 90’s either. He seems to be a divisive figure and only time will tell if Mercedes will flourish under his leadership.

      • GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 4th February 2013, 9:52

        I agree, it’s not as big a gamble as it seems to be made out to be. I am a bit disappointed to read McNish’s comments saying he might not win because someone else did the same thing once.

        There is definitely something going on over in Brackley, lets hope its a good thing!

        • SennaPart2 said on 4th February 2013, 10:25

          Yeah, people where questioning Schumachers decision to join a lacklusture Ferrari after double title win with Benneton. And even if Lewis dosnt have succsess with Merecedes, he knows full-well McLaren would have him back.

          Nobody was saying Alonso was finished when he went to Renault after McLaren because people knew the talent was there and was just biding his time to join a better team.

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2013, 8:54

    Interesting article on Mercedes spending on F1. Given that a lot of it is on engine research, I can imagine how it would be important to have Niki Lauda or Toto Wolf being less part of the racing team and more of a F1 ambassador to oversee the contact with the other teams using those same engines actually.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th February 2013, 9:45

      The headline of the Pierce James it out tot be scandalous, het reading the Pierce, the money on engine was recouped as that devision made a small profijt while the racing made a loss of 10 – given how f1 works, spent some more for a year and you might gain it back from prize money. … And that doesn’t even take into account the money being largely spent on developing for 2014, with several teams getting those engines and paying for them! Doesn’t look so bad to me, but maybe I read it wrong?
      Good point @bascb on possible role there for Lauda/wolf, that might help customers not be too worried about works team getting preferential treatment too.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 4th February 2013, 13:46

      @bascb, there is also is a reference to an electric supercar which makes it difficult to understand how much of the budget is purely F1 and how much is R&D that they would be doing anyway to keep ahead in their road-cars.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2013, 15:02

        I just reread the article @hohum, and to be honest its a bit chaotic with that electrical supercar thrown in as well (not to mention suddenly switching to insurance cost at the finish of the article) after first stating that the 240 million was Mercedes F1 spending.

  6. WarfieldF1 (@warfieldf1) said on 4th February 2013, 8:58

    Merc heads are rolling due to record spend for the 2012 season delivering proportionately very little; and a PLC board that demands return on investment……….however as a PLC their accounts are open to scrutiny and I suspect RBR, McLaren and Ferrari lead the spending.
    However, as they now seem to be throwing money at it again I would imagine that this is effectively a last push and without noticeable improvement by end of 2014 could be very bad for Brackley and F1.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 9:29

    So, what time can we expect the Mercedes and Toro Rosso launches tonght?

  8. I really hope they spice up the livery of the 2013 Toro Rosso. It looked like a drab, pale version of it’s big brother…the Red Bull. Even if they have to keep the Red Bull type colours, I’m hoping they brighten it up a bit.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 4th February 2013, 10:10

      I’ve been hoping for a “sugar free” STR livery since they came into the sport! See the link below to see what I mean.

      http://wtf1.co.uk/much-better-2012-concept-f1-liveries/

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 4th February 2013, 13:00

        @geemac The only one I like from this selection is Marussia. I don’t like cyan “sugar free” version of Torro Rosso. I’d prefer Red Bull “total zero” colors, or gold/yellow which you can see on Red Bull “20% less sugar” cans sold in Singapore.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2013, 15:49

        Funny how the Enstone team made a livery that looks almost exactly like that McLaren livery (black with red) and Sauber seems to have taken a bit of a que from the Sauber one to give it a bit more of a dynamic look too @geemac. Even Ferrari seems to have picked up on using a bit more black and they did incorporate the white stripe, be it on a slightly different place.
        Lets hope STR picks up and really goes for the sugarfree livery this year!

  9. andae23 (@andae23) said on 4th February 2013, 10:05

    As a general comment regarding this year’s liveries: I’m a bit disappointed to see that just like their cars, teams have decided to have an evolutionary colour scheme. Force India, McLaren and Mercedes have the exact same livery as last year, Ferrari and Lotus have slightly altered their previous design and Sauber’s AWESOME livery isn’t exactly revolutionary either. I’m hoping that the final presentations will be better: especially curious to see what Marussia and Williams have come up with.

  10. tandrews (@tomand95) said on 4th February 2013, 10:29

    Nico Rosberg just tweeted a picture of himself in the W04 https://twitter.com/nico_rosberg/status/298375389707894785/photo/1

  11. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 4th February 2013, 12:54

    This thing about Mercedes and 2014 bugs me. It’s been touted since 2011, that 2014 could be the year that Mercedes ‘comes good’ and delivers a consistently winning car. Well I just don’t buy it. This story about their spending just drives home the point – they have the financial resources and seemingly the factory facilities required to build a winning car. Why anyone on the Mercedes board thinks that there’s any reason to be optimistic about 2014 is beyond me. This is a team in its fourth year under the guise of Mercedes, and it has delivered just one win, and already people within the team are talking as if they don’t expect to win much or at all in 2013.

    Personally, I think that if you can’t win with four years of top level resources and rules stability, then you simply can’t win, and no change of rules in 2014 is going to change things. Why don’t they think they can win in 2013? Because after four years they still don’t understand the aero requirements well enough to build a winning car. This I think is why McNish is down on Hamilton’s choice to change teams (though of course his motivation for doing so has been debated at some considerable length already), and I’d say he’s probably right to assume what he does – Mercedes have shown no real potential to take a step forward and join the top teams. They’re effectively the best of the rest, behind the genuine contenders. There is literally no reason for thinking that they will be any more effective at interpreting the 2014 rules than they were in interpreting them 2010-2013.

    Sorry to be so down on them, but the fact is there really are no excuses for how poor they have been.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 4th February 2013, 13:32

      Well, Mercedes has been hiring a lot of new people and if they decide to put full focus on 2014 very early on next season, they could be very competetive at the beginning of the 2014 season – much like Honda/Brawn in 2008-2009. Mercedes probably hasn’t had a proper car during 2010-2012, but neither did Honda/Brawn before their 2009 car.

      But yeah, I agree that it seems more likely RBR, McLaren and/or Ferrari will be the top teams in 2014 also.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 4th February 2013, 14:04

        The thing is, while I do see what you’re saying, the genuine top teams don’t seem to need several years driving round in poor cars in order to develop good new cars for rules changes. The 09 Brawn was a good car, but by the end of the season it was being outpaced by the Red Bull which had a ‘normal’ development process, with Red Bull fielding a good car in ’08 as well. The success of the Brawn was for a large part down to them effectively spotting a rules loophole and developing for that loophole. I don’t think you can rely on Mercedes spotting a similar loophole in 2014 for quite a few reasons:

        – Teams will remember ’09 and spend more time looking for loopholes to exploit in ’14
        – The technical regs for 2014 aren’t even set in stone, and with concorde in limbo you couldn’t even guarantee that the new engine regs will come into force at all.
        – ’09 was the start of a period of relative stability for aero regs, and while Brawn did a good job stealing a march on other teams, by the mid point of the year they were being outpaced and have never gotten close to the front again, despite having all that experience on top of the additional resources being fired at the team from ’10.

        Mercedes want to be able to build long term success, and that sort of runs counter to the need for them to spend a couple of years devoting lots of development time to a speculative rule change in the future. That’s not how a top team operates. The fact is, despite the promise of 2014 shaking up the order, you can’t ignore the fact that Mercedes are currently not capable of building a championship winning car. Despite having had one in ’09 based on what is effectively the same set of rules they’re using today. If you want to see a team which has really interpreted this period of rules stability properly, you have to look at Red Bull. That’s what Mercedes should be doing, but they’re not. And that’s just not good enough.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 4th February 2013, 13:51

      Yes, just like Jaguar, they never did any good either, what happened to them?

    • WarfieldF1 (@warfieldf1) said on 4th February 2013, 14:52

      We won’t have a true idea who is fast and who is slow until Aussie qualifying so there is little point writing the car off already………however Red Bull didn’t have a decent car until RB05 and that was with Newey and reasonable staff continuity and no shortage of money. Mercedes by contrast (as Brawn) started 09 in a heavily compromised car that had 15 months development behind it to include the Honda engine and the supposed fancy Gearbox/Kers combo; only to be cobbled together with a different engine and a slashed workforce leading to little in season decent development and, I would imagine, few resources to work towards 2010. That they won the WDC and WCC in this circumstance was a miracle; however MB effectively started 2010 with a duffer of a car and a depleted factory/personnel ….yes they have spent 2010, 11 and 12 underperforming but I think there is still hope for progress over the next two years despite the board panicking and bringing in Niki the hatchet.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 4th February 2013, 15:40

        I have seen a few people draw the comparison with Jaguar/Red Bull, and I don’t think it really stands up to scrutiny. When Red Bull bought Jaguar, the team was in the absolute doldrums, having gone from a solid prospect to backmarkers in the space of three years. Red Bull, in reality, bought little more than an entry ticket and some factory space from Ford. Everything else was built from the ground up, including their facilities.

        By contrast, in ’09, Brawn won the championship. They were using some of the best engines on the grid, and had a car which was a good technical basis for development for the forthcoming period of rules continuity, which comes to and end at the end of this year. Admittedly a lot of the technical team that worked on the BGP-01 were made redundant, but the data from the car itself and the development which went into it, were all part of the package.

        So, Red Bull bought out a backmarker and then spent a few years incrementally rising up the order until they eventually became world champions, building on their initial success to take their place among the F1 elite. Mercedes, by contrast, bought a world championship winning team with the best (or second best, at worst) car on the grid, and in three years have managed to achieve just one win and a championship best position of fourth, slipping back further in 2012 to fifth. There has been no incremental improvement in their performance since they bought out the Brawn team, despite an investment comparable to the top teams in the sport. Remember that their plan was never to write off the years leading up to 2014; they spoke with confidence about being a major factor in the title hunt from 2011 onwards.

        They’re now talking down their chances in 2013, most likely because they know that if they were going to have any bright ideas about this set of rules, they’d have had them by now. And instead they’re pinning their hopes on another roll of the dice from the technical shake up. Effectively saying that they’re relying on luck to propel them forwards. That’s very different from the approach that Red Bull took, and is indicative of a team which, frankly, doesn’t know how to take the next step forwards. All of this should be very worrying when you consider how traditionally fickle manufacturer board of directors can be, with the current hatchet job going on at Brackley just another symptom of a team in developing crisis.

        Of course, never say never, and I wouldn’t like to prejudge the performance of a car which hasn’t actually turned a wheel in anger yet, let alone one which only exists on paper. By no means do I rule out the possibility of them taking that step forwards, but what I will say is that there is absolutely no evidence that they have the ability to do so.

  12. The Limit said on 4th February 2013, 14:23

    McNish is not the first to compare Hamilton’s career choice to that of Villeneuve. At the beginning of 2007 I remember David Coulthard saying that McLaren should not be putting Lewis into the car so early. That he would find it so hard against the defending champion Alonso etc etc. The rest is history.
    Its so easy to right Hamilton’s chances off, we all know that Mercedes last year struggled like pigs as the season went on and got nowhere. Not even the legendary Schumacher could save their blushes and had to retire, how can Hamilton do any better?
    Personally I can’t see any pressure on them, on Mercedes. Everyone expects them to be terrible as they expected Brawn Gp to be terrible in 2009. Ferrari were terrible a year ago yet contested the championship until the final grands prix. The pressure is more on Hamilton’s former team mate Jenson Button and the McLaren team and how they will fare with a young driver in the second car still earning his stripes. Will Button have the onions to push the team forward when things are going wrong?
    As for Christian Horner, nice job papering over the cracks. Marko’s comments about Webber were mean if not entirely unwarranted, yet Mark has always been a good investment for that team and is a true professional. I think Christian knows which side his bread is buttered.

  13. Maciek (@maciek) said on 4th February 2013, 15:21

    I don’t think McNish’s Villeneuve analogy holds up very well for Hamilton. For one, much as I was once a fan of Jacques, Hamilton is more talented and, maybe more importantly, feels like someone who is more motivated to prove doubters wrong. Not to mention that going to Mercedes is hardly comparable to BAR. In addition to all of which, I don’t think we’ve seen the final act of the Hamilton/McLaren relationship yet.

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