Lando Norris, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2017

Norris aiming for F1 debut in ‘two or three years’

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: McLaren junior driver Lando Norris, who impressed for the team in testing last week, says he aims to make it into F1 in two or three years time.

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Ben gives a view on the drivers at F1’s back-of-the-grid team:

I think that the two Sauber drivers performances either shows Wehrlein isn’t as good as we thought or that Ericsson is a fair bit better. Wehrlein has clearly been better in qualifying although not usually by a big time gap.

But the races have been rather even. Both have been up and down. Wehrlein did get the points although he was lucky to get that in Baku as he actually ended up damaging his team mates car slightly with an attempted overtake. Ericsson was then instructed to let him through with the promise of a position swap if Wehrlein couldn’t pull away. The return didn’t come even though Wehrlein had only pulled away by a couple of seconds. The reason may have been because Vandoorne was closing in. But that was a point Ericsson was more deserving of in my opinion.

If Ericsson had been on his strategy in Spain, he will likely have picked up one or two points too. It was a very risky strategy that did work out well. He was 11th after all so almost certainly could have done better with Wehrlein’s strategy. However, in most races Ericsson has finished behind, is hasn’t usually been that bigger gap.

But I think there have been over three races where Wehrlein has finished over 30 seconds behind Ericsson. One of them was in Russia where they pitted as close to each other as they could and used the same strategy too I think. The points don’t show it, but overall in the races this season, I think they have been equal. Wehrlein is better in qualifying. But I don’t know if either are actually good enough for a better team.

Both have had crashes. Wehrlein cost himself the start of the season and has had a huge crash in qualifying for Canada. He also had a huge crash in practice recently too. Ericsson crashed in Monaco in qualifying and in the race too. Both are inconsistent and in my view both do occasionally have stand out races. It’s just been a little unlucky that Ericsson’s better performances usually have been out of the points.

Although it didn’t look like Ocon was better than Wehrlein when they were both at Manor, I am almost convinced that Ocon is a fair bit better now. If Wehrlein is as good as Ocon, then I don’t think Ericsson would be far off his level either.
Ben Rowe (@Thegianthogweed)

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On this day in F1

  • Nelson Piquet won the Hungarian Grand Prix today in 1987 after a wheel nut cost Nigel Mansell victory

31 comments on “Norris aiming for F1 debut in ‘two or three years’”

  1. Neil (@neilosjames)
    9th August 2017, 1:29

    The ownership of Sauber, and the team’s future direction, makes it difficult for me to make any sort of judgement about how well Wehrlein is doing relative to Ericsson.

    Wehrlein knows that no matter what, he has zero future at Sauber, and his team-mate’s backers – as far as I’m led down certain paths to be aware – own the team. That must have at least some impact on his morale and mental approach, and ‘Torpedo’ Kvyat has spent the last season and a half showing us how important it is to be in the right frame of mind.

    Being rejected by Force India in favour of Ocon won’t have helped either.

    It’s odd. Normally a season and a half is enough time for me to get a pretty decent idea of how good a driver is, but I still can’t quite tell with Wehrlein. There have been flashes but no great consistency, and smarter people than me (Mercedes) obviously believe he’s good enough to spend millions on, but I’m not totally convinced yet.

    Maybe he’s just one of those drivers who only wakes up when he sees the opportunity for a worthwhile result.

    1. Wehrlein knows that no matter what, he has zero future at Sauber, and his team-mate’s backers – as far as I’m led down certain paths to be aware – own the team.

      Not buying it. In fact, Wehrlein has been getting a fair amount of preferential treatment at Sauber vs Ericcson. I think he shows moments of brilliance, but overall, he not consistent or good enough to be considered a future star.

      1. nelson piquet
        9th August 2017, 15:22

        if he was at force india regularly driving in the points you would say otherwise

        1. He’s not “regular” in his performances though.. is he?
          He’s strong at certain tracks and he’s terrible on certain occasions.

  2. Hahaha, old Mika is doing someone a favour behind the scenes? Ludicrous!

    OK one more time then;
    The championship is over. It will be Lewis.
    Monza and Spa are 100% Mercedes.
    The rest is all 70-80%, if no heavy rain (S1 at Suzuka, S2 at Interlagos and S2 and S3 of COTD would be Ferraris if rain).
    Only Singapore and Abu Dhabi are Ferraris.

    What happened here is RB already wasted Seb’s chances to win by holding up or eliminating Seb from Lewis on vital circuits – Canada (wing), Silverstone (Start) & Shanghai (stuck again) (and Baku was even more dumb in this calculation) – so with an engine change still looming, Ferrari will need a ridiculous amount of luck to even be close. I’m even calling the championship to be decided in Mexico by the looks of it.
    Earlier on I said maybe not if Honda (to slow progress to get close) or RB comes into play (fundamental issue with the MGU-K & H). Not anymore.

    And Bottas will crack under pressure at one point because there is only 1 guy in the last 20 years to not crack under pressure at their first try for the championship. Mika himself! With some luck I may add but Mika was fast like hell. He defeated Schumi and Coultard in 9 out of 16 quali’s(!). Bottas won’t do that, and you need it with this aero package. Even Button, Alonso (put him here because a 90 point deficit is not close folks) and Villeneuve had very stable previous years.

    Toto (who is Bottas’ agent) especially didn’t want to sell the team mentally to Lewis after Lewis showed in Abu Dhabi ’16 he could do what he want, otherwise Wehrlein would’ve now been in that seat, that is the truth there. Bottas had one weekend were he had pressure from the get go and he lost pole to post-hungary Massa (don’t forget how good Massa was back in the day), don’t hype him up too much.

    1. @xiasitlo Where were you all this time? I needed your cold rationale to back up my comments. I totally agree with you. There’s come cold hard fact above that nobody has even considered, yet they are so plain to see.

    2. there is only 1 guy in the last 20 years to not crack under pressure at their first try for the championship.

      Well.. you should include Button in that list. Although both Mika and Jenson didn’t ‘crack’ under their 1st championship attempts, their machinery was good enough, and teammates were poor enough, to make sure that they would seal it. Bottas doesn’t have that kind of advantage in machinery or a weak teammate, so it’s ridiculous to even compare the situations.

      1. great point about that one @todfod. I agree that Bottas is in a completely different situation as well. The only way for him to get that championship is to stay close enough until the end and have Vettel and Hamilton mess up or crash together so that he can sneak past!

        I think he is doing a fine job of keeping as close as he can so far. Now he needs the luck to suddenly be there at the end of the season

      2. @todfod Button cracked. He won the first 6 races and then he got regularly beaten by his teammate that had little testing time on that car and was some weekends far from the top spots, he made a gigantic lead look not so big.

      3. @todfod
        Hahaha! That is absolute nonsense. (I’m not even defending Mika as his poles which were vital against Schumi defend him in ’98)

        Barrichello got 42 points over Button’s 34 in 2009 after Turkey (imagine the gap with the current system)! He outperformed Jenson when Brawn were caught. He was not a poor teammate. The rest of the field caught them and outperformed them starting from the 7th of the 17th race! That is 59% of the season. Kimi, Lewis, Webber and Seb had all better machinery for the larger part of the season. Even Rosberg and Kovalainen(!) performed better in a third of the season then Button = Button cracked. Rubens did better. So saying better machinery or poor teammate is absolutely preposterous!

        And Bottas HAS that kind of advantage now (he is already proven to be more consistent over the season, but he will need something special, that is) only need to beat Lewis, as Kimi is nr. 2 driver and Vettel won’t be close to overtake the Mercs in at least 75% of the circuits remaining (remember the 1,5/2sec gap rule this year).
        I’m sure Bottas will have enough experience next year but this is a learning-year for him.

    3. Some pretty big claims here.

      Will Bottas crack under pressure? Not necessarily. He is in a win win situation, there is no pressure on him. Everyone expected Lewis to thrash him, nobody gave him a chance. Since the start of the season, he’s applied himself really well, and his stock has significantly risen in the paddock.

      If Bottas has proven one thing, its that he belongs at the sharp end. He has consistently been on the pace, and has been faster than Lewis a fair few times. He’s consistently been on the podium as well. I think Bottas is in an excellent position. If he keeps driving the way he has and stays out of trouble, he could well see himself as World Champion.

      1. the only way i can see bottas champion is if he sneaks under the radar right down to the last race (a la Raikkonen ’07). he’s been pretty awesome this year (russia, monaco and austria, he wiped the floor with hamilton – don’t see that too often), but hamilton tends to have the edge in qualifying and i think that will win out.

        spa and monza look like mercedes lock-outs and hamilton will be on fire at both races. the rest is all down to the development race – i’m not super confident about ferrari but vettel is driving extremely well (baku aside).

        1. Evil Homer (@)
          9th August 2017, 14:50


          Toto is no longer Bottas’ manager I thought?- it was a part on the deal he would stand down if Bottas was signed.

          1. Correct. I was talking past tense (not clear with the parentheses, my mistake)watch the line: ”Especially didn’t want to sell the team”. But I was talking about the situation in Abu Dhabi after Toto was reported to be screaming at Paddy Lowe and the amount of anger that followed in that garage.

    4. @xiasitlo opinion presented as fact 👎🏻

      1. @swh1386

        Where are your facts mate?

  3. 2/3 years. Don’t ruin Lando’s career, by now team bosses should know they must capitalize on the youths unwavering confidence and openness, look at Kvyat started out great, grew up in a bad way, now you can’t do anything with him.

    1. Pretty much yeah @peartree. I think that the pressure cooker atmosphere at both RBR and at STR did that guy no favours for his career. And them telling him in the media to chill out, is unlikely to make Kvyat feel comfortable and just drive either.

  4. Cotd is spot on. Logic is flawless. Most likeley Erricson and Wherlein are just not top tier.

    However there are no really bad drivers in F1 right now. All are quite decent.

    Wherlein was snubbed by Mercedes because he just did not set the world alight.

    Only real shockers are Palmer and Kimi, both in their categories.

  5. I agree with Prost. The hybrid technology is here to stay to some extent at least.

    1. The future is not hybrid, it is electric. F1 could again be a bastion of motorsport by making whatever formula they want, that is how it used to be… v10 and v12 were never road relevant in the 90s, yet f1 had more manufacturers and privateers involved. Prost is maybe right, the manufacturers wont return to v8 and v10, but no more manufacturers will sign up for this hybrid rubbish, that is why they are going to formula e.

      1. @kpcart It could be natural gas as well. That would be a good environmental-friendly option for petrol in the long-term. I hope F1 won’t choose an entirely electric route in the distant future because FE already exists purely for that purpose.

      2. kpcart,you know, all you are doing is proving the point that I have made in the past – that the latest fashions amongst the F1 fan base are based on whatever was happening in the sport about 20-25 years ago when, most commonly, the person complaining was still a young child.

        Go back a few years, and you had people talk about how the turbo engines of the 1980’s were “real engines” because of their – quite often overstated – power figures: now, were are endlessly regaled with tales about how the engines of the early 1990’s are now the “real engines”, and the earlier turbo engines are now disparaged because “they aren’t loud enough”. It’s now the early 1990’s that is subject to revisionism and idealisation, to the point of fetishisation about the engines of the time.

    2. @jerejj, It looks like the revised PU regulations are already taking shape, 1.6 V6, twin turbo, no MGU-H. Reduces the cost, complexity and increases the noise by ditching the MGU-H. We may well see Cosworth (CEO has talked about this already) and possibly other engine suppliers look at re-entry with the barriers to entry and cost significantly reduced. Gives teams like Red Bull opportunity to become a works team without needing Renault / Ferrari / Mercedes.

  6. “But keep the electricity involved in a different way, maybe using it in different things.”

    What the heck does that mean? Manufactures are going totally electric. As long as F1 has these manufactures, and dictating the rules, then expect gas to be phased out. Who let the manufactures in anyways? Anytime manufactures come in, it becomes the haves and the have nots. They only race to build street cars and spend hand over fist. So far, new engine rules = absurd costs to build new engines. So we are gonna do it again huh? Even though manufactures are getting ready to kick gasoline to to curb.

  7. Loud petrol-only F1 cars are a thing of the past and it should stay there.

    Prost is right, manufacturers don’t want to go backwards, in the last few weeks Volvo have announced they are only a hybrid only route, Porsche are reviewing their engine range to potentially make a change. Tesla Model 3 also released (not related to F1 but a big news in car industry.

    There will probably be a market for loud F1 cars but that can be catered for in the Historic GP circuit.

    Cost is an issue though, that could do with some controls…commercial off-the-shelf parts or technology sharing or similar ideas might help in that area.

    Let’s move forwards, not backwards.

  8. I think the current proposal for the 2021 engine might need a rethink, because it’s a step in the wrong direction. I would propose a driveline like this: electric motors driving the wheels, fed from a small battery pack. The battery pack is charged by a petrol-burning range extender (let’s a 1.6 liter V6 turbo engine) with a set maximum amount of fuel.
    The future development path then becomes very clear: increase the electric energy while lowering the fossil fuel part. When batteries become better/lighter the set amount of fuel can be lowered gradually. At some point the petrol engine might be replaced by something like an hydrogen fuel cell, if that’s ever going to work. Or if promising concepts like the solid-state battery become avaialble, the range extender could disappear all together.

    1. Very interesting idea Leo B, but I doubt it would ever get approved by those who want loud.

  9. I think the type of engine shouldn’t be determined by a committee, it should be left to the teams and their favoured engine or power unit manufacturer. There really isn’t much need for an engine “spec” because the limits are already in the rules: a current fuel limit to be used per race, 105 kg, a car weight limit of roughly 850 kg, an engine space limit, etc. Whether a team wants to use a 6 cylinder turbo or a V8 naturally aspirated with or without a hybrid, even some sort of catalyst cell that converts fuel to electricity if they want, it should be entirely their prerogative. You can add the choice of regular brakes or KERS to the list as well.
    The teams will gravitate towards the most powerful race winning engines they can afford.

  10. @drycrust
    The two main issues that prevent battery electric vehicles to become a massive hit with the consumer are the energy density vs weight and the charge time of the batteries. These are precisely the areas where F1 engineers would focus on. Wouldn’t it it be much more interesting/beneficial to have the combined engineering power of F1 attack those issues, instead of having them marginally improving the internal combustion engine? So I’d say make them use some sort of hybrid power unit (see above also) with a pretty much standardised ICE and free up the electric part.

    1. Yes, I agree, there is a lot of potential. I wouldn’t want F1 to be hamstrung by rules, but it seems to me that is what we now have. For example there are rules about how the fuel is injected into a cylinder. I can’t see why this is necessary. Why not leave the way the fuel gets into the combustion chamber up the the engine manufacturer?

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