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    I’ve thought the same for a long time, but as I write this another point of view comes into mind: with technology so advanced, surely all data point in one direction and it should become more obvious to anyone which way to go to win. While decades ago you could argue all cars were equally good because they were all imperfect in different ways, now it’s true that it’s easier to correct mistakes, and if there really is a single “right way” to build a car as the years pass each team should be getting closer to it – closing competition. It’s almost harder to make a weak car now.

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    It’s quite a bit of time since the last piece of news about GP2 came out. With so many drivers rumoured to be already in agreements with teams (Sirotkin, Gelael, etc.) could it be that the teams are waiting to find out what will happen when, and if, the change to Formula 2 happens? A meeting to discuss the changes was rumoured to be planned for January, but of course there’s no time for these changes to take place before 2017 – why not announce the calendar yet? A change in name can be announced the day before the season starts, and a new car is not urgent.

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    1. Vettel – while one may rank Rosberg much behind Hamilton, he did not end up as far behind his team mate as Raikkonen did. The Ferrari was a good car this year, Raikkonen underperformed and Vettel overperformed. He was not perfect in Bahrain and disastrous in Mexico – in the other 17 races he took the maximum, from his car, from his driving and from the results. 2014 now looks even worse when compared to his driving this year and in 2013. Revitalized.
    2. Hamilton – only twice down the podium, improved in his only weak area – qualifying – and never looked in doubt for his third title. Worthy champion.
    3. Verstappen – the results are only part of his ranking. He got rapidly better as his experience grew, yet made few mistakes and many, many great overtakes. Wonderful driving standards from a 17-year-old rookie. Surprise of the year.
    4. Perez – took him a while to get the maximum from his car, but once he found the perfect balance he became the easiest pick for best of the rest behind the Mercedes and Ferrari. Both in qualifying and in the races he upturned Hulkenberg’s favour and beat him in the championship. A matured driver.
    5. Rosberg – up till Silverstone he was usually behind his team mate but with three wins to five he was still in it. He then had nightmare races till Austin, but in the last few of them he had re-found his qualifying form of last season. Without the pressure of defending an impossible title assault, he relegated Hamilton to second driver in the final three races. 6 wins remain a decent showing, and he took all the wins Hamilton lost – except those Mercedes lost as a team in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore. Fluctuating in form.
    6. Massa – if Bottas is a champion of the future, Massa is not retirement material yet. He and Bottas were evenly matched, but Massa was the one who came out on top when it mattered more in the first half of the season. He defended well from Vettel and Bottas to take his two podiums of the year and led at Silverstone on merit. His form dropped significantly in the final part of the season when Williams were almost certain of their third place and car development stopped, but he finished only 15 points behind Bottas in the standings. Oldie but goldie.
    7. Bottas – like above. Only in the final third of the season he consistently held the upper hand on Massa, but overall his season looked like a step backwards from last year. Judgement postponed to next year.
    8. Grosjean – took a bad car beyond its limits – his podium at Spa remains one of the highlights of the year. If a driver who outclassed Raikkonen at Lotus and who was one of the best drivers two years ago looks average it is because his car is worse than what he deserves. Relentless.
    9. Hulkenberg – he was in fine form until he won at Le Mans. Stangely, that high-point of his career was the start of a dip in performance in F1. Still only finished in the points when he didn’t retire in the second part of the year. Consistent.
    10. Sainz – his results are similar to his team mate’s, if we exclude Verstappen’s pair of fourth places. Seven retirements badly hurt his morale and chances at further points, but when his car didn’t break down he showed good pace overall and he and Verstappen were alternatively ahead of each other. Unlucky.
    11. Kvyat – unlucky year to move up to Red Bull. Ricciardo had found a better engine which allowed him, in the right circumstances, to take three wins – Kvyat only a podium. Yet he came out ahead of the Australian. Usually unseen, he brought his car high up, with three fourth places. Solid.
    12. Ricciardo – bad choice of time to be beaten by his team mate – again. Critics will say his 2014 was downright lucky, and though that is not completely true few would have predicted Kvyat to come out on top this year. Back with his feet on the ground.
    13. Raikkonen – managed to finish fourth, which was the maximum anyone could have asked him for, but how difficult it was. Qualifying performances and race results thrown away because of silly mistakes – his racecraft needs refreshing. Great on one-lap pace, he cracked under pressure when Ferrari needed him to perform, with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi being two exceptions which prove the rule. Average.
    14. Nasr – started with a great drive on début, from then on his car took matters to itself and good results became a mirage.
    15. Button – it was he who drove McLaren’s best races, and some of his qualifying runs were inspired. Stubborn (in its positive meaning).
    16. Alonso – not so sure second or eleventh does not make a difference. He clearly is too good for this car, but he has mostly himself to blame and some complaints were out of place. Doubtful.
    17. Rossi – in only a few races, and including his début, he beat Stevens on track and in the championship. Finally got his chance and did brilliantly.
    18. Maldonado – nine retirements? His reputation precedes him. When he stays out of danger, he brings solid points. He does not seem to have margin for improvement though, pace-wise. Sutil II.
    19. Merhi – beat Stevens more than the opposite happened. Not bad at all.
    20. Stevens – while usually the better Manor in qualifying, he had no reason to be the slowest of them in the race more often than not.
    21. Ericsson – the Sauber was not a car which could’ve fought for podiums, and seldom fought for points, but it is clear Ericsson is not the way to go for the team. Sutil and Gutierrez should’ve taught them a few lessons.

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    The GP3 official press release now also says 28 cars is the maximum. Must’ve been a typo.

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    8th November – Jorge Lorenzo – MotoGP – Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain – Race 18 of 18
    8th November – Danny Kent – Moto3 – Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain – Race 18 of 18

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    Found the last (of possibly quite a few) thread:

    This was my post:

    Fifteen races, not the ten of the first days, not the twenty of present. Inspired by 1986:

      1. Brazil, Interlagos
      2. Spain, Catalunya
      3. San Marino, Imola
      4. Monaco, Monte Carlo
      5. Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps
      6. Canada, Gilles Villeneuve
      7. United States, Circuit of the Americas
      8. France, Paul Ricard
      9. Great Britain, Silverstone
      10. Germany, Nurburgring
      11. Hungary, Hungaroring
      12. Austria, Red Bull Ring
      13. Italy, Monza
      14. Europe, Hockenheimring
      15. Australia, Albert Park

    I’ve always loved Kyalami – the modern version! I get it would probably not be a great addition, and my calendar tries to stay realistic and, with the exception of Paul Ricard, all of the circuits were in the calendar less than ten years ago. I’d put Kyalami first in the order, moving all the other races back.

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    My head is exploding. As an Italian, you have no idea how much this is talked about, everywhere, all the time. I did not see it live, and I can believe who tells me Marquez slowed Rossi on purpose both in Sepang and in Phillip Island. I too can see Marquez hits Rossi before Rossi “kicks” him, but then why has Valentino not said precisely that to the stewards and in interviews? He’s trying to condone his behaviour, which to me means admitting he’s done something wrong. He clearly pushed him wide and slowed him down, but if he hadn’t meant to “kick” Marquez he would’ve said that. “He wanted me to lose the title and he’s managed to” is all he says, while threatening to skip Valencia.
    I have never supported Rossi, always rooting for Pedrosa instead and with Iannone next in line to replace him. I supported Lorenzo when it was either him or Marquez in 2013, as I’ve never liked the latter. Now Rossi has managed both to make me like Marquez more and dislike himself more, and I don’t want to hear conspiracies which want Lorenzo and Marquez as allies since last weekend.
    To who deserves the title: both Marquez and Lorenzo have more wins than Rossi. This was the reasoning Bernie wanted to introduce in 2009 with “medals”, and would’ve meant Massa would be 2008 champion against Hamilton. Keith also said last year that who wins more races deserves the title (not sure he’d agree on ’08 though) but I want to remain impartial until it’s over. Even halway-through the season I predicted Lorenzo or Marquez to take the title eventually.

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    Evans has confirmed he will be testing for Porsche in the WEC. A move away from GP2 is more and more likely.

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    Prema have ties to Mercedes and Ferrari, having run Fuoco and Ocon recently. Marciello won’t graduate at Sauber and there are better prospects for Haas to pick, so my guess is he’ll be remaining. A move from Trident to Prema? Perhaps he could be joined by Antonio Fuoco himself: he’s driving in GP3 already, but his team Carlin won’t continue next year.
    Hilmer? Sad to say this but if they can’t keep going with Force India backing I guess that will be pulled next year and we will have seen the best of them. MP should finally drop de Jong if they hope to make a step forward, Rowland has already shown them how it’s done but he will have better options. Campos could and should keep Pic and Haryanto, Rapax will likely drop Visoiu, Arden is underperforming as badly as ever so either driver could get the boot but I guess Nato and Bernstorff will be their line-up. Racing Engineering will probably keep King, Rossi could graduate and be replaced by …? Trident would lose both Marciello and Cecotto, and should promote Ghiotto. Carlin have lost Leal and Sorensen, Stoneman would be a good pick indeed and Mardenborough looks to be the next in line. ART’s McLaren ties mean they will likely not promote Ocon, who could remain in GP3 or move to DAMS, and promote Kirchhofer in place of Vandoorne, with Matsushita the best option for Honda’s part. Status should keep Stanaway, and Stockinger if he helps pay for the Kiwi’s seat. Russian Time could keep Markelov but either Evans will want to try to do “a Leimer” or he will leave.

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    Looking good for Audi… anda nightmare for Trulli. I had heard Duran was going to be Liuzzi’s team mate, was that announcement made after testing or what? Hope Abt can have some luck this year :(

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    Did I miss something? Buemi has revealed his overhauled design for Formula E and there is no sight of Red Bull logos. No more their third driver?

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    And here are the season 3 tables, as promised !

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    Race 19: United States
    Qualifying: 1st – Race: 1st
    I was second to Maldonado in practice, second to Alonso in Q1 and 7th in Q2, while Fernando was knocked out in 14th place. I went on to take pole with my first attempt in Q3. At the start I shut the door on Webber and Senna took advantage to take second place. He slowed his rivals down quite a bit over the first two laps, then fell back due to DRS. I had now four seconds on Hamilton, and he slowly reduced it before I pitted on lap 6. He and others continued and I was sixth, holding position on Rosberg. After the top five had also stopped, I led Webber and Kobayashi by three-and-a-half seconds, and set the fastest lap on lap 9. Schumacher, Alonso and Schumacher again then lowered the time further, but I only improved by a tenth and gave up trying. Webber caught up in the final lap and with his last chance in the back straight he overtook me, but I out-braked him and took my lead back for the final metres to take my tenth win of the season.

    Race 20: Brazil
    Qualifying: 8th – Race: 1st
    I led Q2 after finishing 7th in Q1, but rain in Q3 ruined my setup work and I salvaged 8th after risking to be dead last. The track was dry on Sunday and I jumped three positions at the start, and a further two on the back straight. As Rosberg had lost his lead to Webber and was fighting with Vettel, I seized the opportunity to pass the two ahead of me to take second place. At turn 7 I went on the inside of Webber and took the lead by keeping my foot down on the outside of turn 8. From then I ran away, extending my lead with every lap. I improved the fastest lap three times before pitting on lap 8. I came out 4th and stayed there for a lap, when the leaders pitted too. Webber leapfrogged Rosberg but had dropped to six seconds behind me, which I quickly extended to ten with fast laps in succession. On lap 12 I set a 1:13.0, and only got very close to that in the remaining laps, but no one else threatened to equal me. I lapped two Marussias, two HRTs and a Force India, despite three retirements. Rosberg followed Webber at the flag and Alonso was fourth ahead of Vettel: the top five in the race were the top five in the championship, in order. Despite beating Alonso by 180 points, I have “only” been promoted to equal status for next year.

    Season Summary
    Wins: 11 – Poles: 10 – Doubles: 8 – Grand Slams: 1
    1. Australia – 1st + 1st
    2. Malaysia – 22nd + 2nd
    3. China – 22nd + 1st
    4. Bahrain – 1st + 1st
    5. Spain – 1st + 4th
    6. Monaco – 23rd + 2nd
    7. Canada – 1st + 1st
    8. Europe – 1st + 2nd
    9. Great Britain – 4th + 2nd
    10. Germany – 1st + 1st
    11. Hungary – 2nd + 1st
    12. Belgium – 17th – 6th
    13. Italy – 1st + 1st
    14. Singapore – 1st + 1st (Grand Slam)
    15. Japan – 8th + 12th
    16. South Korea – 7th + 16th
    17. India – 1st + 1st
    18. Abu Dhabi – 7th + 2nd
    19. United States – 1st + 1st
    20. Brazil – 8th + 1st

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    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Sainz
    4. Verstappen
    5. Nasr
    6. Rosberg
    7. Massa – had a very good run of 3/4 races
    8. Hulkenberg – drove very well since Le Mans
    9. Bottas – evenly matched with Massa, which is worse than last year
    10. Grosjean
    11. Ricciardo
    12. Kvyat – not bad, but before Hungary he and his car had done nothing eye-catching
    13. Alonso
    14. Raikkonen
    15. Perez
    16. Button
    17. Stevens
    18. Ericsson – thrashed by a roookie
    19. Maldonado – no improvement, and consistently behind Grosjean.
    20. Merhi – gap to Stevens tends to be too large

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