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    Figured I’d partake in this, but kind of shocked to see how slow the forums have become..

    I like to do my Silly Seasons in the style of cheap 90s F1 magazines.

    Hamilton wins the title, leaves F1 per Rosberg’s example. Toto Wolff, having burnt several bridges to experienced drivers as they spoke up about the FIA favoring the title contenders, has to resort to a Mercedes Junior.
    77. Bottas
    31. Ocon

    Vettel, determined to emulate Schumacher, stays on. Raikkonen announces his shock retirement after winning the Belgian GP. Ferrari, not wanting their radio communications to be heard less on TV, sign a loud driver.
    5. Vettel
    8. Grosjean

    Red Bull Tag Heuer
    After Ricciardo announces a shock change of teams, Red Bull quickly withdraw their other drivers from the market.
    33. Verstappen
    55. Sainz

    Force One Mercedes
    Name change goes on, Ocon is lost to Mercedes. Name change allows for more Brexit sponsors.
    11. Perez
    4. Rowland

    Haas Ferrari
    After a strong second half of the season, the team loses Grosjean to Ferrari, but gain another Ferrari driver.
    20. Magnussen
    36. Giovinazzi

    Williams Mercedes
    With 2016 being a year of regression, Williams seek aggression. Who better to get than the honey badger?
    3. Ricciardo
    18. Stroll

    Toro Rosso Honda
    With Sainz moving to the mother team and a new engine supplier, Toro Rosso will concede into a transitional year.
    96. Gasly
    87. Matsushita

    The team finally signs a big name and retains the Hulk.
    14. Alonso
    27. Hulkenberg

    McLaren Mercedes
    Despite getting a Mercedes engine, they lost their star driver. They gained something else due to the Mercedes engine deal, too.
    2. Vandoorne
    94. Wherlein

    Sauber Ferrari
    Honda deal falls through, Ferrari steps in on a condition. The team is to be rebranded Alfa Romeo in the future.
    9. Sony Ericson
    50. Leclerc



    Quite partial to these myself
    Alonso – Ferrari F2012

    Raikkonen – Ferrari F2007

    Jos Verstappen – Tyrrell 025

    Luca Badoer – Forti FG03

    David Coulthard – Williams FW17

    Giancarlo Fisichella – Jordan J197

    Alain Prost (or Jean Alesi for that matter) – Ferrari 642

    Clay Regazzoni – Ferrari 312T

    Elio de Angelis – Brabham BT55 (though it is a somewhat tragic choice)



    Kimi Raikkonen:
    A Horse with No Name – America

    I wonder if Kimi played GTA San Andreas when he was with McLaren..

    Pretty safe choices from everyone, at least expected some Parkway Drive from Ricciardo or some YG or Future from Hamilton.



    Not going to the 2012 Belgian GP. I knew it was probably my last chance to see Michael Schumacher drive in F1, but for some reason I didn’t go. By the time he announced his retirement I already damned my call but hoped I could see him in another class some day. I still hope, even if it’s unrealistic.



    Going from memory here, so favoritism is included up until about 2006.

    1998: Schumacher
    1999: Irvine/Frentzen
    2000-2004: Schumacher
    2005: Raikkonen
    2006: Alonso/Raikkonen
    2007: Hamilton
    2008: Kubica
    2009: Vettel
    2010: Webber/Alonso
    2011: Vettel
    2012: Alonso
    2013: Alonso
    2014: Hamilton
    2015: Hamilton



    A fair bit has changed since 2014 so I guess I’ll post the current Dutch situation..

    1. What country are you in (and state, if applicable)
    2. Which channels broadcast F1 near you?
    RTL Germany (usually in standard cable subscriptions, not everywhere, though)
    Ziggo Sport (free channel if you are a Ziggo customer, otherwise completely unavailable)
    Ziggo Sport Totaal (pay channel)
    3. Do they show all the races live or only a limited number (if so, how many?)
    RTL: shows the majority of races and qualifying live, depends on other programming throughout year.
    Ziggo Sport: unknown what they will broadcast at this point, ‘as much as possible’.
    Ziggo Sport totaal: everything live on dedicated channel.
    4. Do they also show qualifying live?
    See above
    5. Do they also show practice sessions live?
    RTL has a strange way of deciding what they show and don’t, typically flyaway races allow for FP3 to be broadcast at times nobody’s watching main programming.
    Ziggo Sport: unlikely
    Ziggo Sport Totaal: all of it.
    6. If they are a subscription channel, what does a full year’s subscription cost (excluding limited time offers)?
    Ziggo Sport Totaal costs depend on your current cable company and what service you get. If you’re a Ziggo customer, the basic package costs 10 euros a month, the deluxe package with full HD will set you back 15 euros a month. If you have KPN for TV, the costs are not mentioned on the Ziggo Sport website. Canal Digital charges the same as Ziggo for the basic (10 a month) but interestingly enough only 14 for the deluxe package. Having Telfort cable makes the deluxe 15.50 euros, Delta 14.50, Vodafone price isn’t listed, Caiwai is 14.15, Tele2 maintains the 15 euro rate.

    As you can see, a clear price for all..
    7. Do they broadcast coverage online? If so please post link/s
    The 10 euro service that allows you watch everything online or pay per view is available here:
    8. Please supply any other relevant information such as alternative viewing options
    If you have satellite TV, you could possibly receive Channel 4 and watch that instead. SkySportsF1 is ‘available’ in the Netherlands but either requires installation costs beyond belief or activities that are not condoned by Dutch law. There is no longer a Flemmish public broadcaster for F1, so Dutch people in the south are unlikely to be able to catch Walloon RTBF either.

    Dutch F1 viewing figures are rumoured to have more than doubled following Max Verstappen’s success, with the Canadian GP in 2014 having 400,000 viewers and the 2015 edition attracting 900,000. However, it’s all a bit shady and inconclusive. When Jos Verstappen drove in F1, viewing figures were closer to 1,2 million. Make of that what you will.



    Jos Verstappen
    Jos, much like Max, had a very short career in the lower formulae, but was backed by the Dutch branch of Philip Morris. After testing for Footwork and McLaren in late 1993, it seemed that Philip Morris wanted Jos to sign a test contract with McLaren and try to move to a race seat for 1995. Instead, Jos signed to the Mild Seven backed Benetton team to test in 1994 and maybe drive in 1995. As known, Letho broke his neck during testing and Jos made his debut at Interlagos in 1994. In the process, he pretty much lost all of his personal sponsors (or his manager felt he didn’t need them anymore) and managed to come off looking rather weak compared to Schumacher. Then he was replaced by Letho, reinstated, then replaced by Herbert for the final race and 1995. Afterwards his career became a case of finding relatively cheap seats at the back of the midfield and being ousted by paying drivers. (Legend has it that Ken Tyrrell quit his own team after BAT/BAR took over and got Rosset over retaining either Salo or Verstappen for 1998.)

    Perhaps the biggest blow to his career was Honda deciding to return as engine supplier in 2000. The people working on the works team in 1999 were people Jos knew from Tyrrell and liked him. The car was quick and Jos was probably at his peak in 2000 and 2001. I don’t think Jos was as good as Max is as a complete driver, but Jos certainly was gifted.

    Olivier Panis
    It’s hard to judge if Panis would even have made it to F1 were it not for the long gone unspoken rule that drivers backed by Elf would at some point drive for Ligier. However, Panis was regarded as a good driver in the 90s. Staying at Ligier as it became Prost nearly got him a lot (a very good 1997 season) but ended up costing him (his crash at the 1997 Canadian GP). After a poor 1998, it should have been clear that Prost GP wasn’t moving up any time soon, but he chose to stay for 1999. I think 1998 and 1999 allowed people to forget his amazing run in early 1997 and the promise he showed in his debut season. He ended up testing for McLaren in 2000 (much to the joy of Mika Hakkinen) then moved to BAR for 2001 and 2002. The BAR wasn’t very good and Villeneuve got all the noteworthy results. Olivier then moved to Toyota for 2003 and 2004, but again found himself at a team with a decent-at-best car and not so stellar organization.

    Though he faced a similar situation as the likes of Hulkenberg, Perez and Grosjean today, he made a mistake in staying with Prost too long, joining BAR-Villeneuve when they were still together and Toyota. Had he ended up driving the McLaren somewhere in the Schumacher/Hakkinen era, he could have been more of a problem than DC ever was.

    Mark Webber‘s early career
    Mark is one of those drivers that I can’t help but feel should have won more races. Ultimately overclassed by Seb at Red Bull, he somewhat ironically did at the only time in his career he was at the right team at the right time.

    Nothing wrong with starting at Minardi, especially the year after fellow Briatore-protege Alonso did so, but Jaguar was never a good team. Probably not a whole lot of choice there, though. However, his next move, to Williams, is of a different category than ‘doing an alonso’. He traded a midfield team for a top team declining to the midfield.. 2005 was not that bad, but didn’t beat Heidfeld with the might expected of the guy that put the Jaguar on grid positions it had no right of being on. 2006 was terrible for the team and harmed Mark’s profile as well. Moving back to Milton Keynes, now Red Bull Racing, wasn’t the best move from a driver heavily linked to Renault at the time, but ended up being a good enough call.

    That being said.. If Mark had a car of the calibre of the RB6 somewhere between 2005 and 2008, he would have grabbed a lot more wins and potentially the title as well. Perhaps he didn’t quite ruin his career, but that first win in 2009 was years overdue.

    Jarno Trulli
    Started off strong at Minardi and Prost in 1997, was held back (as Panis was) by the poor 1998 and 1999 Prost cars, moved to Jordan in 2000 and 2001 where he had a reasonable time. Then moved to Renault, which had an amazingly poor 2001 as Benetton and their 2002 wasn’t much better. Outscored by Alonso plainly in 2003, but had a strong 2004. Until he managed to get himself fired. Remembering his good former team mate Panis, he decided that a move to Toyota would be the best way to obscurity. Arguably got the most out of driving a Toyota among anyone who drove for them, but ended up joining Lotus1MalaysiaF1Team to really sort that silent exit from of the sport out.

    The move to Renault in 2002 can be excused by winning the 2004 Monaco GP, but at the same time getting fired months later negated that progress. His time driving around a Toyota wasn’t much of a waste, but he must have known he wouldn’t carry the team to wins. Moving to Malaysia1Lotus(not)TeamF1 is still a strange move in my mind and where 2009 aided his profile, he managed to become invisible during the 2010 and 2011 seasons..

    Giancarlo Fisichella
    There is a strange symmetry between Trulli and Fisichella. As Fisi drove for Benetton in 2000/2001, Trulli drove for Jordan. Trulli moved to Benetton/Renault, Fisichella moved to Jordan. Why anyone would want to move to Jordan after 2001 is a mystery, being a team in decline and getting second grade Honda engines. 2003 did give Fisi a win at the wheel of the Jordan-Ford, but much of the season saw him not even finishing. He only scored two more points the entire season. He made a good call moving to Sauber for 2004, effectively racing Ferrari’s 2003 challenger. But, the call from Renault came and Fisi dutifully played second fiddle to Alonso, harming his profile in the process. After being ditched by Renault because the poor 2007 season was totally Fisi’s fault, he ended up at Force India. He stuck the bloody thing on pole at the 2009 Belgian GP, only to sign on for Ferrari to do marginally better than Luca Badoer in the monumentally bad Ferrari F60 for the rest of 2009.

    Giancarlo stated a dream came true: he became a Ferrari driver. For a few races. Then he became a Ferrari-GT driver. Looking at Force India in 2010 and 2011, they could have used Fisichella a lot better than Ferrari’s GT program did. Perhaps not a ‘ruined’ career, but returning to Enstone to be Alonso’s second man was below the best he could have done at that point, and his career didn’t have to end on 5 non-points finishes at a team that already had next season’s drivers lined up.

    Perhaps not so much ‘ruined careers’ then, but mostly ‘careers that could have gone a lot better’?



    Used my trusty grading system, but grades went off as the season progressed.

    21. Roberto Mehri
    Not impressive, not bad, but that’s not something to show at a team like Manor and expect to stay in F1.
    20. Will Stevens
    Faster than Mehri in qualifying, but as the season went on seemed to lose out during the races. Unremarkable season, so like Mehri just didn’t impress.
    19. Alexander Rossi
    Showed up, did his job and beat his teammate. Ran too few races and exactly where you expected him, so hard to place him much higher.
    18. Pastor Maldonado
    Not a bad season per se, but to finish first, first you have to finish. Luck or not, Pastor had a hard time doing that this season, despite being much closer to Grosjean in the races than I expected.
    17. Marcus Ericsson
    Much like the Manor drivers had a largely unimpressive season, but did score points and didn’t always run as far off Nasr as I expected.
    16. Fernando Alonso
    Hard to judge, but I can’t rate DNFs higher than finishes.
    15. Jenson Button
    See Alonso.
    14. Felipe Nasr
    Did a fine job, but wasn’t as far in front of his teammate as I expected. After this season I’m also doubting his potential for growth, though he was never one of my favorites in GP2 either but did well there in the end.
    (From here on it’s a lot closer, where individual spectacular results give an advantage over finishing ‘in position’ for nearly all season)
    13. Felipe Massa
    Shown in 2014 he can still perform. 2015 showed that’s also pretty much it.
    12. Daniel Ricciardo
    Kvyatt beat him on points, but had a poor first half of the season. Something to think about, he has proven he’s a good driver, now to stay on top of things.
    11. Daniil Kvyatt
    Beat his teammate on points, but had a poor opening to the season.
    10. Kimi Raikkonen
    It pains me to put one of my favorite drivers this low, but compared to Vettel and seeing the amount of non-mechanical DNFs/points lost, I have to be disappointed.
    9. Valtteri Bottas
    Not as special as his 2014, with Massa being a lot closer it’s hard to put him much higher for me.
    8. Romain Grosjean
    His most mature and consistent season. A podium is a great achievement in a car that wasn’t developed much all season. Pulverized Maldonado in qualifying, but Pastor came pretty close to him during a number of races. Ultimately held back by the Lotus.
    7. Carlos Sainz Jr.
    Was unlucky to receive the lion’s share of Toro Rosso’s mechanical DNFs, but was pretty close to Verstappen. Both Toro Rosso drivers got the most out of the car, but Verstappen was closer to the positions to capitalize on others’ misfortune often.
    6. Nico Hulkenberg
    Had a somewhat hit and miss season, especially before his Le Mans victory. The best results went to his team mate, which is something the Hulk needs to be wary of.
    5. Sergio Perez
    A third place and three fifth places are excellent results for a Force India. Sergio seemed to be a more consistent version of his 2012 self.
    4. Max Verstappen
    As I put above, I started scoring expected results lower and lower as the season progressed. With two finishes in 4th, impressive drives throughout the season, Max scored the most standout scores. At the same time, Monaco was a big, avoidable mistake and I’m not sure what was going on in Abu Dhabi.
    3. Nico Rosberg
    Saved his place in my top 5 by his late season streak. Rosberg continues his reputation of being a weak driver in second or under pressure, but a strong driver if he’s comfortably first. If his timing was wrong in 2014 because of his Saturday vs Sunday performance, his timing in 2015 was wrong as he only won races comfortably after the championship was lost.
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    A very strong season, resulting in a well deserved 3rd WDC. Still has too many races where he’s just not on it. The car is strong enough to then still guarantee 2nd, but driving like that in a more competitive season would have cost him a lot of points.
    1. Sebastian Vettel
    Apart from his mistake in Bahrain and his off race in Mexico got the best out of his car all season long and often was the life of the party when Mercedes was challenged. Now for Ferrari to build an even better car and stop the silly mistakes when it comes to Q1, and we could have a challenge on our hands.



    They’ve also thrown Sebastien Loeb under the bus by not giving him a WTCC seat despite moving to that series together. Didn’t properly inform him either.

    I honestly don’t know if I should feel bad for the WTCC because it’s always been like this. First Seat, then Chevrolet, now Citroen, I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up calling it a day on the series if they don’t manage to keep some manufacturers on board, or rather find some that won’t ditch the WTCC as soon as their marketing budget undercuts their sporting budget.



    I’d call him one of the best drivers not to win a title of the current era, but only when this era is over and Hulkenberg and Grosjean never get a go at a top team. At the same time, history usually isn’t kind to drivers who finish second and weren’t that popular during their careers. Villeneuve was and still is a hugely popular driver and could have won the 1979 title, but no other season had him so close. It’s mainly the fact he hasn’t won more than he did (but he so obviously had the talent for it) that adds to his legacy. Drivers like Moss and Ickx have many accolades outside of F1, leaving it more at a ‘it’s a shame they never won an F1 title’-sentimental type legacy.

    Rosberg meanwhile has by and large always scored to his best and it hasn’t been enough. He never got close to the title in the second best (or worse) car like Schumacher in 1998, or Raikkonen in 2003 or even Alonso in 2012. I think of him more as a driver who would have won the title under different circumstances, someone like Berger, Webber or Ralf Schumacher (minus his Toyota days). He might need to either win the title or have another close season like 2014 before his profile is boosted any more than his current general perception.



    I’m loving the ideas of standardizing more in F1 and having F1 facilities that can be used by smaller teams, as well as the idea of structuring the sport more like US sports in the sense of franchising.

    One thing I do note in this tread is that it’s rather forceful; changes like the ones described above me would have to be pushed through by the FOM/FIA or a breakaway council. To follow up my original question; how do you think that F1 should change these things? Have F1 break away from either FIA or FOM (or both?), have the Strategy Group decommissioned?

    Personally I’d prefer a ‘fresh start’ for F1 in the shape of a Indycar/NASCAR type franchise. This would allow for an overhaul of pretty much everything that’s been talked about in this thread, but also would allow for parties to stay behind. One element of a ‘breakaway series’ that has come up on previous discussions on this forum is the possibility of a team staying behind in an FIA/FOM series and raking in the rewards, while the new series has to rebuild its appeal.



    I only now realized I completely forgot my own deadline. Sorry for the delay! (Though it serves as a good indication why I haven’t taken part in this challenge lately, I keep forgetting the deadlines!)

    I liked all the entries, the ones from Phil and Browny went neck a neck, with Browny’s perhaps being more realistic for 2015 circuit design, however @philereid takes the win with a nicely flowing track.



    Awesome, thanks @browny

    A couple of years ago, the province of North-Holland figured it’d be a good idea to demolish Zandvoort and build a new racetrack somewhere near Den Helder or Den Oever. This challenge is inspired by that.
    -Build a purpose built circuit near either Den Helder or Den Oever in the Netherlands
    -Between 4.5 and 7.5 kilometers long
    -You cannot demolish houses, but you can build over waterways or small roads
    -The small islands north of Den Helder are off limits

    I’ll probably announce the winner around 21:00 GMT+1 on Thursday.



    Volzhsky, near Volgograd (aka Stalingrad). Actual track is a little over 6 kilometers long.



    While agreeing it’s a kind gesture from Vettel to have Kimi’s name on the pit board as well, part of me wonders why Ferrari has him sitting there but hadn’t included his name in the first place. Then again, this is Ferrari, I guess.

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