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  • #291067
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    Iestyn Davies
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    “Auer outbid for Arden FR3.5 seat, moves to DTM with Mercedes; Ocon and Blomqvist seeking DTM moves” – A shame if we don’t see any of these three in FR3.5. Blomqvist aiming for BMW, Ocon Mercedes.. does that mean Juncadella won’t return to DTM? Perhaps FR3.5 or something with points for single seaters?

    #291064
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    Iestyn Davies
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    @keithcollantine I wonder if this will result in anyone who can making the switch to GP2, while those left out then join up with FR3.5? Seems like that is what is happening so far sadly.

    Nato was also beaten to the F4 title by Vandoorne as well. Having lost also to Kvyat and Rowland in Eurocup, he’s a reliable benchmark just below that top level, like Will Stevens too (perhaps lacking the consistency to be top level).

    #290964
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    Iestyn Davies
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    @hunocsi Not empty anymore! Maybe Force India? He arguably has more potential than Merhi or Juncadella.

    @bradley13 True, but I can see him and Stanaway being overlooked from now on. I think Stoneman is already thinking about other avenues. Lynn, Rowland, Stoneman.. 3 similar drivers, but Lynn has the backing to make it to F1.

    #290912
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    Iestyn Davies
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    @hunocsi Mercedes too, if Wehrlein will continue to be shunned by the FIA. What did they say about the Michael Schumacher return? Tough to diagnose that if say he never got to start his F1 career in 1991….

    #290902
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    Iestyn Davies
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    Sounds like “this is all we can afford, however, we can put your sticker on our car :)”

    #290901
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    Iestyn Davies
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    Marciello moving to Trident is a step backwards in traditional performance terms, but as his Sauber reserve role means he is secure in Ferrari’s thinking (F1 practice runs next year? Race drive soon after?), and he is ‘the most eligible junior for a super licence’, being closer to base in Italy/Switzerland is probably more important.

    I imagine Sorensen is secure with his backing, as they dropped Stanaway who had beaten him in German F3, as well as turning around the 2014 FR3.5 car for Vaxiviere. Lets see how much he can improve on last season’s GP2 performances, now in Nasr’s car, as more talents flock to the series (filling out the top ten again, where he’s likely to be with Leal).

    @rjoconnell I thought Cecotto dragged them there really, that’s the driver we should have seen up till now. Unless he was driving Marciello’s car since testing…

    #290890
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    Iestyn Davies
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    True.. and whether Lorandi can be as impressive as Verstappen next year! But Leclerc could really be a world beater.

    #290863
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    Iestyn Davies
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    @rigi True, I thought that too at first glance. However, consider that it was Magnussen’s second year in the category – it’s like saying that Palmer beat Vandoorne in GP2 this year.

    Vandoorne’s record: 1st; 5th, 4th; 1st, 1st; 2nd; 1st – he’s lost to Frijns x2, Sainz Jr x2, Kvyat x2, Stevens; Magnussen – basically, only F1 level drivers, and Stevens only from having a two season disadvantage in the same car (much like GP2 this year, that I would give to Vandoorne solely on Feature races). Kvyat he then beat to the title the next season. 4 equivalent titles in 5 years (or 3 from 4 before 2014). Looks like a Hamilton/Hulkenberg type prospect, which is borne out by how impressive Kvyat looked this year.

    Magnussen’s record: 1st; 7th, 2nd; 3rd; 2nd; 5th; 1st – lost to Costa, Vergne, Felix da Costa x2, Quaife-Hobbs, Monras, Berthon; Dillmann, Abt; Nasr; Bianchi, Frijns, Bird. One thing in his favour is that he was slightly younger, and had 2 equivalent titles in 6 seasons (5 years). But he lost to some drivers we might not consider F1 standards. It’s fair to say that Vandoorne might have pressed Button a bit harder, while Magnussen could have taken off his rough edges in GP2.

    #290829
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    Iestyn Davies
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    It’s fair to say that Bianchi, Magnussen and Sainz Jr are generally more promising than Gutierrez, Ericsson or Nasr, but all 6 have won titles quite quickly in the junior ladder, showing potential is there. Valsecchi, Leimer and Palmer (and Chilton) instead decided to learn their craft in GP2, rather than up the junior ladder, which then is held against them as proof of being slow learners.

    McLaren have just handled Magnussen/Vandoorne badly. Magnussen should have been in GP2 this year, while Vandoorne (still ready and waiting) got a year in alongside Button, before stepping back to reserve driver. He’s the Hamilton level talent, while Magnussen still needs that GP2 experience to round off his rough traffic edges. With that, Magnussen is also a top talent. But @sepulhead is correct.

    #290828
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    Iestyn Davies
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    2009 Renault was definitely a backmarker, Force India had a low drag car and BMW Sauber wasn’t much better than Renault. So, we get Alonso, Kubica, Heidfeld as you’d expect.

    2012 Sauber and Williams were strong early-mid season, with Force India improving in the latter half. Hence Perez has 3 podiums and Maldonado a win (and arguably should have had around 3 podiums), with Hulk a shining performance at the end (and a 4th place for him and di Resta in the latter half).

    Based on that we’d expect Alonso, Hulk and Perez in that order.. and that’s what we have in 2014! Maldonado’s errors cost Williams 7th in the WDC, so we now see his inconsistency vs. Grosjean. It’s also interesting to think what Hulkenberg or 2014 Bottas would have done with the 2012 Sauber and Williams. @junior-pilot @kingshark

    PS. Lets see if Force India develop in the direction of Hulk or Perez.. maybe the 2012 Sauber was so strong, because of Perez’s input? Kobayashi struggled for consistency, when in 2010/11 he looked like the number one driver.

    #290760
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    Iestyn Davies
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    @vanguard Agreed. But they are still very good drivers – both had long careers, including being the ‘most raced’ driver, and Patrese was a World Karting Champion. Without Mansell and Schumacher alongside them, both could be WDCs. Same for Berger without Senna.

    Consider the 1991 Portuguese GP – Patrese, Senna, Alesi, Martini, Piquet, Schumacher. So, in a Minardi with a Ferrari engine, Pierluigi Martini was only ten seconds behind the works Ferrari – in a top car, he surely would have done well. Minardi even led a race that season with him at the wheel! And this, in the era of the dominant McLaren-Hondas/Williams-Renaults! Maybe Ferrari picked the wrong Italian for 1992..

    Prost, Scheckter, Andretti.. I’d say both could have gone faster, but realised it was risky to do so. But two of them might also have had team orders on their side, in 1978 and 1979. It’s true that that perception is still there, but I imagine that now all of the drivers are rounded, as Hamilton adapting to use the tyres/fuel better in 2014 shows. Williams is a good example that the natural perception can be the wrong way around.

    #290758
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    Iestyn Davies
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    @matt90 @debaser91 What that means is that Hamilton reached ‘peak speed’, or ‘fastest in the field’. In his rookie year, he was 0.2 seconds down on Alonso in qualifying (which was still the best debut, this side of WWII). By 2008, he could ‘make the difference’, even when Ferrari had a faster car. Kovalainen was no slouch (as his time at Lotus proved), but Hamilton was clear of him by 0.3 seconds, and was the fastest in 2009, once the car was up to scratch.

    Hamilton’s peak speed was probably 2008-2010, with a slight dip in 2011, before being back at his best in 2012, but for a definitive answer, I’d need to see the proper data. 2014’s raw pace was shrouded by mistakes (like 2012’s race pace by pit stop errors), but race pace proved he was a tenth or two faster than Rosberg, just as the historical data predicts for both drivers at their peak speed.

    Vettel, for instance, was clearly ‘on top form’ from 2011-13. In 2012, he could make the difference when the RB wasn’t miles ahead. Yet in 2009 or 2014, he lacked that consistency, while 2010 would have been sewn up earlier, if Vettel had his subsequent form. He will need to recover that at Ferrari, or become a ‘fully rounded driver’ like Raikkonen and Alonso have done. It’s possible – Button had a peak in 2005/6, but regained that form in 2010/11 at McLaren, same for Massa at Ferrari 2008 to Williams’ second half of 2014.

    What marks Alonso out as special is being the best for so long – that handful of ‘best ever drivers’ can be the best for 5 years or more. This is what unites Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Fangio, Clark, Moss, Stewart etc. and now Alonso. Hamilton is the driver that could join him at that level from the current field, and a few years in a dominant Mercedes will give him the stats to reflect that. Vettel maximised his ‘time at the top’, and was even aware of it, hence his statement about ‘enjoying these days’ towards the end of 2013. To be the best at all is no mean feat – that’s still only about 3 or 4 handfuls of drivers since WWII.

    #290693
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    Iestyn Davies
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    86.. Prime example of Williams losing a title via infighting. Piquet had 86 on pace, then Mansell in 87, after Piquet’s accident. But Prost and Senna were on another level, as then shown at McLaren.

    73.. Similar to 2008, in that, the driver made the difference in a tight 2 team battle. Lotus also had Peterson for pace, but Emmo taking points off him in races.

    It’s now obvious why sometimes a 1-2 driver policy will be enforced so that titles are not lost. Will Mercedes let Hamilton/Rosberg still battle once their advantage is gone? Brawn wouldn’t.. but he’s not there anymore.

    #290663
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    Iestyn Davies
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    The rivalry shows no signs of abating, but finding that tussle here did lead me to finding some detailed information on the ownership and finances of F1 :). I guess it is an indication that this site is taken seriously – I doubt many GMM clones would have gotten such a reaction. On that note, which F1 site suffered from libel action, taking a serious financial hit?

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Sylt and Saward running F1 would be amusing. Sylt (and Reid) would take care of the financial/media side, while Saward would take care of the sporting/fan matters. It would be like Blair-Brown, a partnership highly known for its combustibility!

    #290661
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    Iestyn Davies
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    On the original premise of the thread @f1fanf1fan:

    1958 – a lost title for Moss, just like 1956, 1959.. He’s a multiple WDC, but somehow without, a bit like Hamilton, before WDC #2 in 2014. Moss has more wins (16-14) than Brabham, 3 titles.

    1976 – probably different without Lauda’s crash at Nurburgring, although Hunt is not an undeserving winner, as shown by 8 pole positions and a lost win in Britain. If only Tyrrell had Jackie Stewart in the P34. 3-way battle!

    1981 – Reutemann’s lost title IMO, as the Kyalami race was not counted, and his Caesar’s Palace race car was suspicious to say the least. Williams cocked up driver management, a common theme for them.

    1982 – Villeneuve would have walked it, and Pironi almost did. We also missed out on 1983 – Villeneuve, Piquet and Prost. It would have been a classic, like 2010 with Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel!

    1994 – Even Schumacher says Senna would have won this one had he lived. But it would have gotten closer in 1995, and maybe in 1997 before a retirement, if not after a dominant 1996.

    1999 – McLaren had the fastest car, but lost the WCC from 5 retirements by Hakkinen from pole, notoriously spinning out of the lead at Monza. I doubt he’d have made these mistakes vs. Schumacher.

    2008 – Ferrari let this one slip, a pre-cursor for 2010 and 2012. They backed each driver for half a year, allowing Hamilton to win as the dominant number one McLaren driver. Crashgate didn’t help either.

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