@kingshark Well, Mercedes focussed on 2014 from at least two years before the start of this season. Schumi probably helped set up part of the success.. the engine idea is over two years old now as well, so they knew they’d have an advantage in that area for a long time. It’s probably what Lauda used to sell the idea of moving to Hamilton – he stated he was moving in Sept/Oct 2012 for 2014 onwards.
@full-throttle-f1 Interesting to note the turmoil in the team then and now.. it seems like things are moving backwards in Maranello and not forwards sadly. Montezemolo hired the best a few years later to bring success.. think Todt, Brawn, Bryne and Schumacher.. Alonso is trying to instigate this once more, with Allison and Fry joining.. the Italians like Domenicali going, who were brought in after 2007/8.. so things can get better in the next few years.
Well, I don’t think I ever wrote a team off faster than McLaren in 2009. I was hoping to see a proper defence of Hamilton’s WDC, but looks like they put everything they had into 2008 (which doesn’t surprise me, that car has so many aero appendages).
@matt90 Rosberg’s podiums were rather a surprise, though. They never really looked like a top 3 team all weekend in 2010, imo. And I imagined they’d get more than 3.
@kingshark I imagined Ferrari would bounce back in 2005 up until the British GP. Even though they were handed the USGP victory, both Schumacher and Rubens were looking good the races before. But after the British GP they never really seemed like they were on it.
I think Ferrari will probably end up winning a race. Despite being rather lucky with the circumstances sometimes, Ferrari typically manage to be around the top to win a race when circumstances provide. Exploding Michelins at the US GP in 2005, having KERS at Spa in 2009 or the one race ban on off-throttle blown diffusers at the 2011 British GP.
I’m not too sure where to put McLaren yet, they’re not doing as bad as in 2013, but it’s not exactly looking like 2010 or 2012 either.
If we’re talking writing off teams in general, I’d like to say I had 0 faith in Spyker F1 the moment they announced to have bought Midland. Nor had I any faith in Midland, and I sometimes forget they were a thing.
Other than Marussia and Caterham about every year they have existed, I think Mclaren 2013 and Ferrari (and Lotus) this year are the earliest times I’ve ever written anyone off for the title.
I expected BMW to do well in 2009 after ‘sacrificing’ the title run-in 2008 to concentrate on the new rules.
A late crash was all that stopped Kubica getting a podium in Australia (Round 1) and Heidfeld actually got 2nd place in Malaysia (Round 2). It looked like their was some potential in the car.
Then it hardly scored a point for the rest of the season… It was over by Catalunya.
Without going into the anals of Minardi and other bottom feeding teams, I think the earliest I wrote off a team was Ferrari in 1996, they gained Schumi, Brawn, and a buttload of talent, they ditched the horribly heavy/thirsty V12 for a more well rounded V10 and… Rd1 the car was terrible and the year just descended into the worst moment in France when Schumi’s engine lunched itself on warmup lap from pole :/
I pretty much made my mind up after the first Bahrain test that Redbull wouldn’t win a Championship this year. And although they have made massive improvements, i still don’t think they will. I also think Lotus in it’s current form will not be on the grid in 2015.
@steevkay Indeed, perhaps their second half car was the car they would have had for the whole season. But they pushed mightily to win the WDC with Lewis. Ferrari were on average stronger in 2009 but gave up early to focus on the 2010 car.
@calum I remember that same sense from BMW. But it turns out they should have pushed for 2008 – I feel they gave up early in 2009 when the extent of the financial crash became clear. Same for Toyota.. they really could have won a race in 2009 with their early package being the second quickest. I think both decided to quit from 2010 onwards quite near the start of the season. But the 2010 Toyota should have been raced, possibly by HRT (if they had had enough cash to buy it).
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