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    Avatar of Nick

    Hard to say..

    1998 was my first full season, with a great comeback from Ferrari/Schumacher after being miles behind the McLaren at the start of the season. It cemented the Ferrari/McLaren rivalry as the classic title battle in my mind. Plus, it had plenty of mad races/sessions, like Spa 1998 and the Austrian GP qualifying. Not to mention some classic liveries..

    2003 was a great season, as there just was a lot going on between teams, as far as the championship goes and it was a massive difference compared to 2002 and 2004..

    2007, 2008 and 2010 would be my honorable mentions, great seasons all together, but ultimately the racing wasn’t always all that during those years.

    2012 is probably one of the most dramatic seasons I remember, from intrigue to battling team mates, teams, team orders, reliability concerns, driver errors and heartbreak, it was the first time since 1998 I ever felt empty after the final race of the season.

    Despite the off-track politics, I’d say 2014 so far is coming pretty close to 2012, too.

    Avatar of Nick

    For as long as I have been watching Formula One (1998) I have heard people talk ill of Bernie. Once I started investigating on what he did for the sport, I came across many clever tactics and a lot of good for the sake of the sport and his wallet.

    However, his business model is outdated. The financial aspects are no longer realistic, as the poorest teams are left out to dry, while we no longer have the Andrea Moda/Simtek like teams which Bernie wanted to get rid of in the 90s. Ferrari gets a lot of money for being Ferrari; another illogical and outdated idea. On the other hand, there’s his influence on the rules and the FIA’s regulation of F1 in general. Frankly, in the 80s and perhaps the early 90s, the sport was still growing and having someone who wants to monetize the sport having an influence made sense. However, F1 has grown a lot and right now, his ideas are not those of the fans, who are more in number and more in financial influence. From double points to selling F1 as a subscription on top of regular TV subscriptions, his ideas might make sense for the money, but no longer for the sport.

    There’s a reason why, in business, the original entrepreneurs leave the daily reigns of a business to more qualified people; at some point you’re done innovating and you’re moving the business or product away from the consumer’s needs. Frankly, I think both the FIA and Bernie have forgotten that it is not the sponsors who are the consumers of the sport; it’s the fans. While you could argue they matter less, I’d still point to Korea and India, as well as Turkey, as a sign that attendance numbers still matter for the tracks.

    Ideally FOM or CVC would have had someone running along with Bernie for years now. But, I’m getting the idea Bernie literally lives for F1 now. It is not uncommon for people his age to stop working or any other activity and rapidly see their health decrease. I think they’re putting off a definitive end, because they don’t have a replacement, nor do they want to give Bernie the idea they have a replacement ready.

    The recent news on the teams talking to Charlie Whiting about the radio rules and having them relaxed goes to show how messed up F1 is: the commercial rights holder suggests something to the rulemakers, they implement it, suddenly, the ones who have to follow the rules protest.

    Bernie, FOM, CVC, the FIA and the teams have shown time and time again to be completely unable to reflect on past changes, how other series deal with rules or commercial rights or even simply consider the wider consequences. It’s not Bernie that’s bad, it’s the entire F1 institution.

    The racing might be great this year, but as far as respect for these institutions go, I’m having a terrible year..

    Avatar of Nick

    Vettel and Alonso rumors in recent years have been utterly wrong so far, I can’t see the same repeats suddenly being true.

    Let’s not forget we have had rumors of Alonso going to Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Lotus in the past 14 months. Meanwhile Vettel has been rumored for the same Mercedes and McLaren seats and Alonso’s Ferrari seat, of which the Ferrari rumors are about as old as his first world title.

    At this point, it’s going to take an actual signing of either at any team for me to believe any of the rumors surrounding either driver…

    Avatar of Nick

    Lawrence Stroll is a Ferrari enthusiast, though. He might be willing to provide some funding for a Ferrari-backed team in his name, regardless of what his son does.

    It sure seems more likely than the Russians actually paying up at this point.

    Avatar of Nick

    Worth to note Adam Parr said several and not all teams running 3 cars.


    Red Bull




    Force India

    Toro Rosso


    This would leave 21 cars, enough for Haas to enter in 2016.

    Avatar of Nick

    I think it’s a bit of a luxury problem that GP2 has; some of their rank went through the field in a few years and managed to prove their worth in F1 quite fast as well. F1 teams like to play it safe, so whenever someone seems like a mega talent, they sign them. F1 teams do seem to view GP2 this way moreso than FR3.5, since Da Costa was given the time to prove he wasn’t all-amazing-all-of-the-time, while Magnussen had a mediocre 2012 but killed it in 2013 and was signed to McLaren no less, although he was already affiliated with them.

    The GP2 champions who came through the ranks quickly often had some sort of deal with an F1 team as well, Rosberg and Hulkenberg with Williams, Hamilton with McLaren, Grosjean with Renault/Boullier. Alternatively, Frijns had no connections with F1 teams and has nothing to show for winning the FR3.5 title in his first season, much like Leimer for his title in his umpteenth year in GP2.

    In the end, it seems it doesn’t really matter if you win the championship, it’s the connections you have. Which is why Vandoorne and Nasr are more likely to end up in F1 than Palmer, regardless of who wins the title..

    Avatar of Nick

    So far we have arguments from the ‘hypocrite’ Westerners and counter arguments that pretty much go ‘but other countries do the same!’.

    What do we do then? Sit in apathy? How do you think civil rights came about? The working class never stormed into a castle in the dark ages and said ‘we want the right to free speech on the internet!’. Things are taken once at a time. Have you considered that maybe, if something is achieved in Russia, that a next controversy might come along and people will try to fight that? Don’t you think, at some point, other countries will also face political action because their policies do not align with the views of the world?

    And @himmatsj, thank you for proving Godwin’s law. Just because the Germans supported him at the time, doesn’t mean the morality of his actions are any less messed up. We look back in disgust at black slaves, but the people at that time didn’t really care. We look back now and see the Romans didn’t mind throwing Christians to the lions, but the fact the Romans loved the entertainment doesn’t make it any less appalling.

    Again, I find it amazing that people from countries with a low freedom of press go on and on about how Western media is the same. If you would just compare the New York Times with the Huffington Post, there’s a world of difference. See what is said about the same stories in The Sun or in The Telegraph and suddenly there’s other angles. Buy Der Spiegel and suddenly you’re actually reading journalism. The Western media isn’t some monolithic singularity.

    Frankly, only few voices come from the rest of the world that actually defend the GP in Russia, but instead try to offer their ‘insight’ in the West.

    @himmatsj As a Malaysian, would it make you feel better if I also disliked the way your government treats people that aren’t Muslim? How your government has banned concerts because they do not align with their views?

    Avatar of Nick

    All this talk from Button about how he ‘would love to still be in F1 next year’ do strike me as a means of saying that Ron Dennis is looking to replace him, but keeps him on hand in case Vettel doesn’t want to join. Of course, none of this would have been addressed as directly by Ron Dennis..

    Avatar of Nick

    Do yourselves a favor and learn the Russian language then go and read the laws yourselves then comment on them.

    May I suggest you learn German, French, Polish, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Greek, etc. before you comment on what their news media is saying on Russia?

    Perhaps a tad unrealistic, yes? @denhugh

    Avatar of Nick

    Team Lotus (technical innovations, not afraid to sign a young talent)
    Brabham (technical innovations)
    Benetton (hip team, great driver line ups)
    Prost (refuge for French drivers and I just really liked Alain as team boss)
    Minardi (the art of perseverance, great place for rookies)
    Jordan (probably the hippest team, great place for rookies and as interim career)
    Arrows (endless drama, endless entertainment)
    Tyrrell (heritage, Uncle Ken had great taste in drivers)

    I personally wouldn’t put BAR on this list just because of their ‘we’re going to win our first race’ mentality and how they took 3 seasons to realize F1 wasn’t that easy.

    Avatar of Nick

    Talking some next-level Grand Prix Manager Editor-stuff:

    Mercedes: Rosberg – Hulkenberg
    Red Bull: Ricciardo – Hamilton
    Williams: Bottas – Vettel
    Ferrari: Alonso – Raikkonen
    McLaren: Magnussen – Vandoorne
    Force India: Grosjean – Perez
    Toro Rosso: Kvyatt – Sainz jr.
    Lotus: Vergne – Maldonado
    Marussia: Rossi – Palmer
    Sauber: Bianchi – Nasr
    Caterham: Canamasas – Berthon

    Avatar of Nick

    Since top 5′s seem to be in order..

    5. Arrows A19
    The black paintjob is amazingly done, especially because of the white sponsor logos. Its engine cover is unique in modern F1 and the entire car is yet very elegant.

    4. Brabham BT52 (1983)
    A true radical, it really shows the unique cars of the 80s. They might not have won the championship with it, but it’s a stunning car.

    3. Forti FG03 (1996)
    There’s something about this car. It’s simple, it’s bright yellow and it performed like a dog. Yet again, the simplicity is what pulls me over. I actually own both Badoer’s and Montermini’s model cars of the early season version livery..

    2. BMW Sauber F1.08 (2008) (late season)
    While I like the simple cars of the past, they’re usually not very pleasing to the eye. For some reason, the way F1 cars were going from 2004 onwards was far more complex, but the aerodynamic function of the cars became visible. No other car really grabs my attention like the F1.08, possibly because of its color scheme (the white parts make for interesting shadows and ‘expose’ the aero more than other colors) it’s my go-to car for aero insanity.

    1. Ferrari F2007 (2007) (late season)
    While it started off as the typical conservative Ferrari, the late season version had areo appendages a-plenty and a far more cunning red color. Especially in wet sessions, that car just looked amazing, as well as amazingly technical.

    Avatar of Nick

    I don’t think Button is being rated lower than normal. Plenty of drivers at that stage of their careers became non-entries in Silly Season discussions. It’s often older drivers have fewer places to go (as mid field teams can’t afford them and top teams are focused on proven, yet younger talents) and become less interesting for silly season discussion.

    Then there’s history. Drivers like Eddie Irvine and DC (while I’d rate Button higher) or even Ralf Schumacher end up away from winning for a few years and gradually their careers dimmed out (as was Button’s before 2009). It’s not fair on a driver to lose stock because you’re driving a bad car, but that’s the reality of F1, I guess.

    Avatar of Nick

    The van der Garde rumors have been going on for a while, but he was also rumored to drive for them in Hockenheim and has been linked to Marussia for 2011, and Williams in 2012 and 2013. Frankly, Giedo has Jos Verstappen-like rumors in the Dutch media, rather than Max Verstappen-like rumors.

    I doubt Sauber will frop Gutierrez. He has been in front of Sutil at some interesting points during this season and there’s a Mexican GP next year.

    Avatar of Nick

    @junior-pilot I’m pretty sure James Allison, Pat Fry and Nikolas Tombazis are not Italian.

    We’re also living in a different world than the late 80s and early 90s. Mattiacci worked in the UK for some time and has dealt with various cultures. Having Italian leadership at Ferrari today is not the same as it was in the 70s or 80s. There is a lot more to a company’s culture than just the leadership.

    That being said, I’m not at all surprised nothing has come of this rumor and the websites who were presenting it as fact have done nothing to restore their credibility. I guess not everything has improved with internet journalism..

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