F1 Winter Break
F1 Team-mate Comparisons Part One: Who’s ahead at the summer break?
Posted By: Editor   |  05 Aug 2018   |  5:15 pm GMT  |  77 comments

With Formula One currently on ‘summer shotdown’, teams and drivers have the chance to relax, recharge and take stock of the season so far. figure out how to come back stronger after the unofficial halftime of the 2018 season.

A clearer picture is starting to emerge in that most intense of competitions; between the various team-mates in each squad. So which drivers are currently winning their battles, which ones are fighting back from a poor start to the season, and how do these outcomes compare to JAonF1’s start of the season predictions for team mate supremacy?


Leading Driver: Stroll

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Stroll

The 2018 season has remained a difficult one for Williams – almost a complete write-off for them. They’re at the foot of the standings and 14 points adrift of their nearest competitor (Sauber), who seem to have only become more competitive as the season has progressed, thanks to investment and technical support from Ferrari.

With the team having to go ‘back to the drawing board’ to undo the difficult characteristics of the car, it seems their only chances of taking anything other than tenth place in the constructors’ championship would be in a race of bizarre circumstances, preferably for them at a track with increased power unit importance, as was the case in Baku where Lance Stroll took P8, their only points of the year.

Since the previous comparison after Monaco, the battle between the drivers looks to have evened up slightly. Over the last six races, their qualifying record is 3-3, albeit with Stroll progressing into Q2 twice, and and Sergey Sirotkin once.

In the races, things appear to have favoured Stroll, but it’s been difficult to have to many direct comparisons between the two drivers. Starting as far back as they do, they’re open to variables such as first lap incidents and split pit strategies.

Stroll was out of his home Grand Prix after a collision on lap one, in France he narrowly lead Sirotkin before his tyre failed in the closing stages of the race, and he finished ahead of Sirotkin in Austria, but the two had different tyre strategies.

Stroll again finished ahead in Silverstone after the two ran almost mirror-image strategies, and was ahead at Hockenheim before both cars pitted for intermediates and retired with mechanical troubles shortly after.

The Hungarian Grand Prix was already compromised by a pit lane start for Stroll. He gradually caught up to Sirotkin over the course of the race, but was unable to pass his Russian team-mate despite having faster, fresher tyres.

Things look very difficult for Williams going forward, with Martini set to leave at the end of the season and Stroll looking around at other opportunities including Force India.


Leading Driver: Leclerc

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Leclerc

Whilst the battle at Sauber looked much closer at the start of the season, rookie driver Charles Leclerc has started to put real daylight between himself and Marcus Ericsson.

Since our last team-mate comparison piece, Leclerc has given Sauber their first Q3 appearance since the 2015 Austrian Grand Prix, a feat which he has now achieved three times this year, and led the team’s first double-points finish since the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc congratulated by Ferrari Chief Engineer Jock Clear after progressing to Q3 at Paul Ricard.

The qualifying battle since Monaco has been 5-1 to Leclerc, and the head-to-head only gets slightly easier for Ericsson, who can only really claim to have beaten his team-mate at the German Grand Prix, where his tyre calls in the adverse weather prevailed whilst Leclerc pirouetted at turn one.

The only question mark remains over Hungarian Grand Prix. Ericsson qualified ahead, but both got into tangles at turn one and probably would’ve only been battling for 13th at best.

Leclerc has really caught the eye this season and was being tipped for a move to Ferrari for 2019. That was before Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne suddenly passed away. Raikkonen has strong support from team principal Maurizio Arrivabene and now it will be a case of whose voice carries the strongest in the new structure at Ferrari as to whether Leclerc gets a promotion or where Raikkonen will get to approach 40 as an F1 driver.

Toro Rosso

Leading Driver: Gasly

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Gasly

Around the time of the previous team-mate comparison, Brendon Hartley was already under pressure at Toro Rosso, and reports started emerging that the team were enquiring about McLaren junior driver Lando Norris. Whilst the Red Bull stable may or may not still be looking at the Briton as an incentive for the early departure of technical director James Key to McLaren, Hartley’s situation hasn’t become any more secure, and the Kiwi will need a stellar end to the season if he’s to be retained for 2019.

Hartley has only managed to out-qualify Gasly once in the last six races, but his qualifying hour defeat at the British Grand Prix can be ignored as component damage caused him to crash heavily in FP3, which prevented him from taking part in qualifying.

In that same time frame, Hartley has had two races affected by 35-place grid penalties, whereas Gasly has had one race with a 30-place grid penalty. Therefore, it can’t be known if either driver chose to sacrifice qualifying to opt for more of a ‘race’ setup in those events.

From the better qualifying positions, Gasly has generally been able to stay ahead in the races. The drivers have one points finish each, and Hartley was impressive with his tyre calls en route to tenth place at the German Grand Prix, but Gasly’s sixth place in Hungary is by far the standout result. It was similar to his Bahrain Grand Prix exploits earlier in the year, and exactly the type of performances Toro Rosso will be looking for in their quest to keep Sauber at bay in the constructors’ championship.


Leading Driver: Alonso

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Alonso

It’s been a summer of ‘stopping the rot’ for McLaren. Since the last team-mate comparison, they’ve slid from fifth to seventh in the constructors’ championship – behind Haas and Force India – and have begun their process of restructuring the team and bringing in new recruits.

Whilst some of their early season results came through clever tactics, their form has dropped, and they’ve only scored points in half of the races they’ve entered.

Driver-wise, all points are being claimed by Fernando Alonso, and he’s enjoying a very one-sided team-mate battle at the moment. Alonso retains his perfect qualifying record against Stoffel Vandoorne and has rarely looked threatened in the races.

Many have leapt to the defence of the 2015 GP2 champion, including Alonso, and a chassis change for the Hungarian Grand Prix seems to have had a positive effect on the Belgian, who was running right behind the lead McLaren during the race when his gearbox failed, denying him his first points since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Vandoorne will be hoping that any pick-up in form after the summer break wont be too late to save his Mclaren seat, which is being linked with Renault’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren junior driver Lando Norris.

Force India

Leading Driver: Tied – but Ocon in the ascendancy

JA on F1 start of season prediction: Ocon

Six races ago, it was Sergio Perez’s podium finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that was the big difference between the Force India drivers. The gap between the two back then was eight points, and this has now been whittled down to just one point, with Perez still edging ahead in the drivers’ standings.

Esteban Ocon is starting to reap the rewards from the increased form. Over the last six races, he’s won the qualifying battle 5-1, with Perez only out-qualifying him in Germany, something Ocon blames on his seat being handed to somebody else in FP1.

The races follow a similar pattern, too. Ocon has finished ahead in four of the six races, with Perez’s only triumph coming at the Hockenheimring race. Both drivers retired in the French Grand Prix; Ocon was involved in a collision and Perez had power unit troubles.

Ocon’s form has caught the attention of Renault, who were reportedly close to signing the Frenchman for next season, until the Ricciardo deal was agreed, whilst Perez has been spearheading the administrative proceedings at Force India in a bid to save the team, which could possibly be his only option for next year.

Esteban Ocon: Soon to be taking the Renault seat from Carlos Sainz?

By: Luke Murphy & James Allen

All images: Motorsport Images

Of the drivers mentioned in the article, who has impressed/disappointed you the most this season? Leave your comments below.

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Seb not Kimi has to go. Schumy Jr. has a car to win. No excuses allowed. Where’s that#1 finger?


2 days now since this page was refreshed.

Assume it’ll be like this for the 2 weeks all F1 teams shut down.

Tornillo Amarillo

Leclerc is now the World Champion!!!!!!!!

– I know, but he will be when this comment is published. 😉



Yep the space time continuum on JAF1 is way way in 2 day delay mode.

You get 15 posts sitting for 2 days then you get 40+ then you another 2 day pause before something else happens.

Assume we will get the news that Elvis is Dead soon and Disco is the new dance craze.


Most impressed by Ocon and Leclerc. Dissapointed for/in Hartley. I wonder if the money gained from the pay drivers at Williams is worth the slower lap times?

How great it would be if Alonso went to Red Bull for even just one year. Red Bull would certainly get the best from honda and Alonso could show where Verstappen is really at. Alonso would have a slim chance at the championship and could or should drive free of charge to get the seat.


I think it’s another case of the ‘Alonso curse’ striking again…

He publically rubbishes Honda at every opportunity, and now a top-team seat becomes available and it’s with Honda’s new partner 🙂


I think the two teams that are hardest to analyse here are Renault and Force India (a third would be Williams, where the car has been so poor it has been very difficult to meaningfully evaluate Stroll or Sirotkin).

I thought Esteban Ocon had had a poor season but your stats suggest it’s not been as bad as it has sometimes appeared. However, he hasn’t exactly been banging the door down to the Mercedes seat, so in a sense it’s arguably still not good enough. And if Ocon has been average, what does that say about Perez? At least he has a real flagship result (Baku, where he was brilliant) but what else?

Similarly, at Renault, they seemed quite keen to offload Carlos Sainz. In other words: he’s not been good enough. But he’s been competitive with Hulkenberg, after a slow start, and now people like Martin Brundle are saying they will be “very angry” if he doesn’t get a good drive. Implies: he’s doing a very good job. So, which is accurate?

Wider point: I think, for a driver trying to make a name, a few stand-out drives (in races) is better to consistency without a stand-out drive. Ocon and Sainz are lacking in stand out drives this season (Sainz’s 5th place in Hungary qualifying is not sufficient because his race was less strong). Pierre Gasly, on the other hand, has had three great drives, even though he’s been inconsistent elsewhere. Ocon and Sainz could be the next Verstappen and Alonso but, the way things stand, they risk becoming the next Hulkenberg and Nick Heidfeld.

Tornillo Amarillo

a difficult one for Williams – almost a complete write-off for them. They’re at the foot of the standings..”

What if the car were hypothetically OK?

I think the drivers are capable enough to finish more races in P8 and to put the Team in P8 in the standings.

But in reality, even if the new front wing has fixed some problems, now is the time of the year where teams shift their resources to build the 2019 car, so… better not to hope too much for the rest of this year.


James, the Toro Rosso drivers have 5 total points finishes: Gasly 3 and Hartley 2.


Looking forward to Spa. Highlight of the year as always. But until then vacation and stats.


Looking at McLaren’s statistics it makes you think of Soviet propaganda outlets releasing the resultat of a election or statistics. But to be fair on the Soviets they were smart enough not to put 100% but maybe 95 or 91%. Vandoorn must be one of the worst GP2 winners of all times and he doesn’t even have a GP2 engine anymore.


Team mate comparisons only go so far these days. Leclerc looks good, but he’s compared against Ericsson. Vandoorne looks really bad, probably is, but then again, wherever FA is there is something going on behind the scenes. Williams again what can one say. Gasly looks rather good but Hartley wont be long in F1 it seems. Who else? Ocon/Perez i have the feeling Ocon should do better against Perez if he’s about to do something great in F1.


Williams…what a mess. How can one evaluate the drivers there other than that they look really bad.


Hartley is in a jam! He’s not up to F1 standard, and will definitely be dropped. There are so many good drivers waiting in the wings, there’s no room for drivers who are obviously not going to cut it at the very highest level.


A lot depends on how Red Bull decide to replace Ricciardo. If they give the seat to Sainz, Hartley is toast. They’ll drop him for either Ticktum if they can get dispensation, or Norris or maybe Albon if they can’t. If McLaren cut Vandoorne loose then he might be in the frame as well, as he fits the Toro Rosso brief to a tee.

That all changes if Red Bull opt to promote Gasly instead. If Hartley continues to consolidate, they may well opt to at least start the season with him alongside one of the young guns. However, if they go for someone like Vandoorne (or maybe even Wehrlein?) who’s already got a fair bit of F1 experience then that would work against Brendon.


Nice pun Harleys Jam


Hartley seems to get on well with Franz Tost though….


“Summer shotdown”? Are they all Spitfire pilots?


Some Messerschmitt’s in there too …





Now The Hurricane is the plane with the better sound in my mind than the Spitfire. Though all time favourite is the Twin Engine Mosquito. Several years back at The Duxford Air Show . All three planes did a fly by .

The Mossie rocked it👍👍👍👍for a plane predominantly made out of canvas and wood.

Great place Duxford.

“Dam the Bosch!” Lord FlashHeart🧐🤣😂

BlackAdder Goes Forth The 20 minuters Episode” (ps I know different W)


Same engine, should sound the same?

Different props perhaps change sound slightly. In any case never noticed the difference anytime I’ve heard them. But then my ears are not the best. Hi Fi set to 11.

Rock Rocking the joint…


I actually fear for Williams: I think both Stroll and Sirotkin are better than they have shown, but the have an awful car to deal with, one that’s fundamentally unstable because of aero stall. Given how this hinders performance; and given that they are losing their major sponsor at the end of the year, a perfect storm is brewing that could render who drives moot: The team may not survive.

They are not going to score enough points to stay out of 10th place, but at least that means they will get something. But if the rumors are true, the Strolls will switch their investment to Force India. That’s a lot of dosh for Williams to lose and manage to stay on the grid, especially if FOM goes hardball with them for holding up the Force India sale.

Vandoorne is on very thin ice, especially given that Sainz and Norris can be used as pawns in the RBR-STR-James Key game. I can imagine a scenario in which he replaces Grosjean at Haas, with Sainz slotting in at McLaren. If Stoffel continues the positive trend he showed post-new chassis in Hungary, he could retain his seat.


Vandoorne’s most likely destinations appear to be either staying at McLaren (if either Alonso leaves or Red Bull take back Sainz), going to Sauber (where the management are big fans of him) or Toro Rosso (where he suits the team’s raison d’être). I’d be surprised if Sergio Perez went anywhere but Haas next year.


Williams seem to be making workable contingency plans so I doubt they’ll go to the wall, but they could well end up back markers for the next several seasons. Talk is Williams are preparing to cut costs by taking more Mercedes tech and developing less in-house. Sad for a team with their history, but needs do as needs must. Stroll and his money look Force India-bound, but I reckon they’ll pair Sirotkin with George Russell (who’ll net them a discount from Merc) next year.

Really, though, if they haven’t already they need to write this year off and find exactly what correlation or design issue has gone so horribly wrong, fix it and also review their testing procedures to ensure such problems are picked up much earlier.

Still, isn’t it great to see Williams and McLaren battling it out again?


#Rudy. Will FOM go hardball? McLaren and Renault oppose the deal without a gurantee about Mercedes using FI as a junior team. Now who does that leave for Mercedes to bet closer to? Just another conspiracy theory with no evidence but I will wait an see.


Williams greatest mistake was that they shot themselves in the head this year by taking the stack of money that came with having two inexperienced drivers in the car … it’s something I believe Red Max Racing will struggle with next year if they don’t employ a very experienced driver to test the car on track before the 2019 season.

Kubica was also a weird choice because he has no recent Hybrid F1 driving experience to use as a reference. He was more intrigued and bamboozled by the huge weight a Hybrid F1 car carries and the massive power surge of a Hybrid PU under acceleration.

The aero “stall” was the least of his problems because he was learning to drive a completely new car!

The two young race drivers didn’t pick up the problem quick enough either. This aero problem should have been found during the first couple of days of preseason testing and sorted asap … not months later when it was far too late.

I firmly believe a guy like Massa would have understood the problem quite quickly and made it clear what was needed to fix it – or at the very least, find some tweaks to get around the “stall” effect with some clever driving techniques … one trick is the driver slightly flicking the rear of the car to one side very quickly, to rapidly alter the airflow over the rear wing when it “stalls”. Then it quickly reattaches the drag and stabilizes the car enough to remain driveable.

That little trick is quite obvious with most of the top drivers & cars as they enter a straight after a long fast corner. If you watch a car when there is humidity in the air and the vortices can been seen rolling off either side of the rear wing, as soon as the car straightens they make a small “snap” flick with the steering and the airflow (downforce and drag) instantly disconnects, which releases any drag on the rear wing and then it quickly “reattaches” and stabilises the car instantly. They do it to stabilise the rear end before the driver hits the DRS button.

It’s almost like an ‘extra DRS before the DRS zone’ because, for a slit-second, there’s no drag on the rear wing while the car is under full power from both the ICE and deployment from the electrical systems.

That sounds like a great deal to take in I know … but it actually happens in a few quick seconds … if you can get a look at the Red Bull doing it in, I think it was Max’s car in an early Hungary GP practice session, the camera picks it up perfectly and then shows Horner’s face looking a bit sheepish because he realised the whole world just got to see one of their “Newey” aero secrets.

No doubt one of our savvy readers with aeronautical engineering experience will pick me up on my way of explaining it but that is my take on how it works.


williams messed up when they awarded lowe 5% shares in the business to work with engineers who believed they were equally skilled with better or the same level of experience. if cause they all wanted to prove that lowe wasn’t worth what he was being paid or better still, make his 5% shares worth less.


Lowe went out to Williams to do a Brawn.

Instead he became the ensconced Prawn.

With his 5% of air.


@Rudy – I share the same suspicions about S&S.

I think people underestimate the effect of the aero issues at Williams; the changing operating envelope and dramatic transition of aero balance and down-force are not easily driven around, regardless of talent. Kubica said so himself – its a horrible car to drive, with the driver having no confidence to find the limit, let alone push it.

In this context, I feel both drivers are being harshly judged*. I hope they both get another chance to answer the question of whether they are worthy of F1. Either at Williams, or elsewhere.

*add a health dose of confirmation bias; most fans wanted S&S to fail, because they are pay drivers, and assume that they were chosen over Kubica on the basis of $$$ and not talent/speed.


Stroll was comprehensively outperformed by Massa last year; he was only close behind in the standings because of Baku and a few other bits of luck. If you take their average qualifying times I think he was the worst performing driver compared to his teammate, even worse than Palmer vs Hulk. Granted, it was his first year and he has a lot of room to improve, but there’s only so much you can spin that.

Sirotkin’s track record up until now has been…ok if you squint a bit (3rd as a rookie in GP2 is fairly impressive) but it’s hard to claim either one are more or less than the archetypal pay driver.


#Redline. Yes the Williams is a poor car and with no “ reference” driver haw can you give a performance metric for Stroll and Sirotkin. Stroll on the radio however is another story. If ever there was an entitled spoilt brat in F1 thenn he is it.


Hey Jon, the guy paid a lot of money for that seat – he’s entitled to complain as loud as he likes!


#ctp paying for a meal in a restaurant entitles you to complain about the food or to the manager. It does not entitle you to be downright rude to the staff.


I don’t understand these situations where one driver beats another on points or is at least level on performance and its the other driver that gets all the attention. The example i’m referring to is Ocon and Perez. Perez has become the new benchmark driver – a known quantity and used as the reference to judge others, but never himself the bride.


perez is far more experienced than ocon and should be head and shoulder above ocon in performance but he isn’t.

Fernando Deutsch

Two times FI has directly affected Perez result by pitstop issues. One same incident for Ocon. Main problem is FI has not been consistent in provide a good car and good strategy for both drivers to do better. And agree Perez has been used now like the benchmark driver, while he has shown, in previous years, and partially on this one, he still should be considered as a top player.


Perez had a seat at a top team* and didn’t perform; I don’t think he did a bad job considering, but it blotted his copybook to be beaten by Button so badly. He also gets good results largely (although by no means exclusively) by running impressive counter strategies and bagging impressive against-the-grain results; that skill is a lot more valuable in the midfield than in a front running team where you’re more limited to qualifying at the front and winning in sheer pace alone.

Take this season – Ocon has generally been the better performer, but Perez scored big in Baku while Ocon crashed out. That’s all on Ocon, obviously, but striking big with a one off result isn’t going to impress the top teams, and those opportunities come along less frequently; it’s more about delivering at a consistently high level all the time.

*assuming we still count McLaren in 2013 as a top team…


Probably because Ocon is the junior in the team and shows that he is already faster than Perez. He has more potential, so gets more attention.


Leclerc has looked good along with Ocon.

Disappointing, Stroll who has acted like a petulant teenager far too often, the car is poor but he hardly shines above his rookie team mate who manages to remain professional.


Ocon to Renault?


So where is Hulks going? Formula E?

Or is Alonso going to Renault or Haas .

Or did Ricci have a clause saying he is outright No.1 driver so they could either keep Hulks or get a junior driver who will behave as a No.2 driver. I can’t see Icon doing that.


“Ocon’s form has caught the attention of Renault, who are reportedly close to signing the Frenchman for next season, …”

How many days ago was this article written?


… until the Ricciardo deal was annouced, the actual statement goes. Marc


2nd august?


Re: Ocon. I thought Hulk had a Renault contract for next year, so with Danny Ric joining him, how can Ocon be going there too?


it is not what it says. Marc


Probably written on the same paper that Palmer had his signature on. I have no insight as to what Renault will do with that second seat but do not think a “ simple” contract will get in the way.


Obviously it’s going to be a threesome!!!! Come on guys, was this prepared as thread fodder for the pre season break?


Charles Leclerc has impressed, as has Gasly, but it is hard to say for sure how they are doing due to the poor standard of team mate. Stroll being ahead of Sirotkin is also difficult to analyse, partly due to the poor car, but mostly because we don’t really know how good either driver is.

Fernando continues to thoroughly thrash Vandoorne, which isn’t great news for Stoff, Jenson was still giving Nando a hard time in his last year, so Van the man can’t be much cop can he? It will be interesting to see how Sainz gets on there next year, unless FA doesn’t fancy goung up against him of course……

I thought Occon would dominate Perez at Force India, but he kind of hasn’t has he? He needs to do the job on Checo in the second half of the year to grab Toto’s attention.


Sirotkin seems to be a better qualifier, while Stroll is a bit better in races, especially at the start. The building consensus among the press and commentator seems to be that Stroll is actually pretty good, if rather rough around the edges. Sirotkin has impressed in small doses, but having an unpredictable and inconsistent first car is an F1 rookie’s worst nightmare.



George Russell seems a better fit with Mercedes. Even though Icon is up in the queue stakes.

Plus will Force India fold? Go the way of defunct Caterham …if so…then you have 2 drivers out of drives come 2019.


Bk, I don’t think FI are going anywhere, Stroll snr is supposed to be bailing them out in an entirely philanthropic gesture….

Renault seemed to really want Occon, maybe they will get him next year.


vandorne has the same championship titles as palmer, or similar.


Same title Aveli. But both were ok drivers.

Stoffel had the makings of a good F1 driver but has fallen downwards as did Palmer. Time for Lando and Sainz to be made drivers for Mclaren.


I certainly think it’s time for McLaren to let Alonso go. He’s forced them into some dreadful decisions.


McLaren have designed dud cars since 2012.


Tim, Gaz – isn’t it well documented that of all the teams, McLaren gives the least to its #2 driver? Never mind the bent chassis Stoffel has been wallowing around in, isn’t he at least a race or two behind on all aero updates?

More than a little disappointed the article doesn’t point this out.


Ctp, to be fair to the Stoff, we don’t know what goes on within the teams, and there have been strong rumours that he hasn’t had the same kit as Nando.


Personally, I think Vandoorne is toast at McRenault, I can’t see him signing a contract with them for 2019. Thank you but goodbye……………

Assuming Fernando Alonso does stay – and a huge salary surely helps – then I’d wager Alonso’s team-mate will be his young progeny (and clean shaven) Carlos Junior. I think McLaren are weary of signing inexperienced “yoof” drivers who take at least half a season to learn their craft. Young Carlos has got four seasons under his belt, he knows the ropes. Alonso can teach Sainz Junior how to absolutely maximise his driving and motivation every time, while Carlos can teach the older Spaniard how to shave. A good combination.


Gazboy, it seems as though Fernando is keeping McLaren waiting, and so they are forced to look for a driver like Sainz to hedge against him deciding to leave and there being no suitable replacement available. Norris Vandoorne wouldn’t be a great line up for them, so Carlos needs to come in.


alonso would emerge after sainz’s dust settles.


Very plausible Gazboy, especially the facial hair scenario…perhaps they will compromise and both sport a goatee or stylish tash?

If I were Sainz right now though I’d also give HAAS a call!


@Gaz… if I were at McLaren, I’d replace the bearded Spaniard with the younger clean shaven one. The upsides would be:

1. A quarter of the salary. The saving could then be re-invested in building a better car.

2. Less criticism of engine partners, so energy can be focused on building a stronger relationship rather than fighting fires and mending fences.

3. No ego to pander to, with distractions such as “lets race at Indy/NASCAR/LeMans” etc… which distract from what the team should really be doing.

The downsides:

1. You’d lose the media coverage of the trademark Alonso sound-bites on Sundays. To the detriment of fans worldwide, that consider his outbursts more entertaining than the race.

2. You’d lose perhaps a tenth in pace, but what does it matter when your car is seven tenths off the pace?



Stoffel isn’t going anywhere. He is dating one of the management’s daughters. If you going to stay in a team even though you talent stock is now lower than a Nats testicles…Then date the bosses daughter…It’s a solid firewall.


Never rated Ericsson and thought he was a pay driver that somehow got under the radar and the criticism aimed at someone “ bedblocking” a seat in F1. Reading this twice I still do not understand the can of financial worms behind him but wonder if Force India might not have a seat fir him next season.



I’ve long felt Ericsson wasn’t really good enough for F1. He’s now showing that perhaps isn’t the case but at the same time, there are many out there who could do better. Longbow’s enthusiasm for him is apparently undimmed, though, while the more talented Swede Joel Erikssen has moved into DTM.


Dont forget Rosenqvest too


Longbow is an ‘investment vehicle’ for some Swedish rich old boys. Most of them like sports and hereof also motorsports. But they also know that money can be made by promoting some talented young sports individuals, by long-term contracting them, invest in their developments and then potentially cash in bigger time if they make it to the top. Hence their SportPro company who is doing just that. (think about it as Angel Investors) The Marcus Ericsson (ME-) Promotion company is just one of this company’s contracted ‘ownerships’. As the ownership (and thereby interests) between Longbow and SportPro is overlapping, makes it more predictable that they have interests in keeping Ericsson driving for Sauber, as their investment from SportPro into ME-Promotion (which is Ericsson himself) would otherwise most probably be lost. Ericsson is allegedly also old time friend of the Rausing-family (TetraPack) which is one of the major shareholders of Longbow). That said, Longbow’s investment in Sauber is the principal and even they may come to the understanding that Ericsson is simply not talented enough to make it to the top in F1, so they better drop him altogether, take the loss of whatever they invested in SportPro to get his deal on ME Promotion signed, all to save whatever major investment they have already placed into the Sauber team.

Never the less, still small pocket money for these Swedish multi-billionaire boyz who probably don’t mind paying a bit extra to have ‘one of their own nationals’ on the grid. To bad for them that Ericsson is just no new Ronnie Peterson…

But they still enjoy to go to the races and you often see them hanging around in the paddock club with their invites tagging along. And without them, Sauber would have been long gone history by now, so why not.


@Cyber – good summary, but as you’ve said, Longbow’s investment into Sauber is the one with most upside. Whilst Sauber was trundling around at the back of the grid, there was zero opportunity cost to having Ericsson there. Now that they are becoming more competitive, what does it cost (in terms of points and car development) not having a quicker, more reliable and more experienced driver in his place*?

I think Ericsson needs to lift his game – and prove he is there on merit – as ultimately the value potential of the longbow investment >> ME promotion investment.

* assuming that financial aspects override nationalistic aspects, which is reasonable, as these guys didn’t become billionaires by throwing away $$$…



What can you say about the dynamic duo at Williams.

Stroll Sirotkin aka “Rich Kid and Novichok kid” a pairing made on some desperate world, where tumble weed feathers across a desolate road which slowly meanders to Williams HQ. Outside a squeaking rusty sign greets customers and visitors alike and an old man in a rocking chair with a 12 bore by his side.

Both drivers are as bad as the car. Both need to go but the whole team is for hire. Surprised both cars front nose cones are not coated with a Pimp red lipstick👄


Leclerc kicking it in the Ferrari B team 10/10

Toro Rosso

Gasly kicking it in Red Bulls B team.


The great farce. A comedy of errors. Complete implosion.

Alonso trying his best but even he wants out . Mclaren is an Orange Satsuma waiting to be squished. Alonso will be going either to Haas or Indy Car. Nothing else is on his mind.

Stoffel nepotism in full effect he is safe for another year. Or until his relationship with the one of the managements daughter goes Pete Tong.

Sad downfall of a blue ribbon team.

Force India…

Both drivers on a par. Shame the team is now part of Mallaya’s fraud package. Soon as he is extradited to India…the better !!. I hope the Indian govt take everything away from him. Then l9ck him in a dark cell. The F1 Team and it’s staff are the ones I feel for.


How is Stoffel benefitting from nepotism…



Stoffel is Dating the daughter of one of the bosses.

Eddie Jordan even asked the question directly, about Stoffel, after a small piece on Mclarens woes to Zak Brown.

Who looked rather sheepish in his reply. It’s on Channel 4 F1 show at British GP.

It’s an eye opener on how enclosed the relationships and friendships are in the top tier of Mclaren. Jobs for the boys. Safety in numbers. Boullier was the one who was the fall guy and not part of the clique.


I see, thanks…


Maybe that part of the reason why Zac Brown is having a clear out right to get rid of the old boy network that strangles rather then helps. Americans often have a different approach to Brits who have a habit of being stuck in the past



Stoffel is dating the daughter of one the guys Zak brought in ! So maybe it’s the Zak clique more than a Mclaren old boys one. Hence the Eddie Jordan question regarding nepotism directed to Zak.


Can’t lock VM in a dark cell. UK has asked for video of the designated cell to ensure there is light and air.



“Light and Air” isn’t that how he paid for all his dodgy business deals?

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